Monday, 31 December 2012

Reading Update (2)

So I've decided not to do these every Monday, but simply when I feel the need to do them (mostly on Mondays). Anyway, this week I want to talk about a few things.

I have finished North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley, as well as Rebel Heart by Moira Young. You can see my thoughts on North of Beautiful on my Goodreads. My feelings for Rebel Heart are still a little mixed up, so I'll hopefully have a review posted soon. I've also been slacking and haven't finished my Hobbit movie review yet, despite seeing it more than a week ago! :-/

I have just started reading Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle. I am on the first story, The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson, but am really looking forward to reading John Green's story. I also intend to start reading Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce in the next few days. Maybe even today, if I feel like it (unlikely, but maybe).

I also feel the need to say that I haven't read any of my December reads this month. I haven't read His Dark Materials trilogy, nor have I read A Christmas Carol (which was because I couldn't get it from the library by Christmas). So, I am definitely deciding what I'm going to be reading in the month much closer to the month. Therefore, I am unsure if I'll stick to my January list either. I will probbly be reading His Dark Materials then, as well as Sisters Red, Let it Snow, Angelfall, the Selection, and the Girl of Fire and Thorns. However, these are all "maybe's" except Let it Snow and Sisters Red.

Don't forget to follow my blog and check for my Hobbit movie review. :)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Reading Update (1)

Hello! From now on, every Monday, I will be posting a reading update which will simply detail the books I've been reading and what book I am currently reading. I'm doing it on a Wednesday today because lately I have been doing Christmas posts.

I am currently wrapping up North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley. I am enjoying the story and I love Terra's search for the true meaning of beautiful. I am finding there are some frustrating moments but I understand why they are there. Just over midnight this morning I finished the stories in the Spirit of Christmas by Marley Gibson and Cecil Murphy (and various authors), and it was a beautiful collection of inspiring stories. Before that, I read Crossed by Allie Condie... if you'd like to see my (very jumbled-up, very angry) thoughts, than you can check out my Goodreads review. As for books I plan to read, I'm super excited to read Rebel Heart by Moira Young (the sequel to Blood Red Road), Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, and Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.

Comment below on your thoughts about these books, and the books you're currently reading!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Top Ten Books/Authors I am Thankful For + Books I Received this Christmas (Countdown to Christmas)

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day filled with holiday cheer! For Top Ten Tuesday's freebie and my Christmas Countdown, I have decided to mix two Christmas topics: What authors/books I am most thankful for (this was the topic during Thanksgiving which I missed, but it also applies to Christmas), and a random topic I created: books I received this Christmas! Enjoy. :)

Top Ten Books/Authors I am Thankful For and Books I Received this Christmas
December 25, 2012
  1. J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter: I love her, and I love HP, and the series is the most amazing I have ever read. It challenged me when I was younger, and still continues to awe and inspire me whenever I think about it. Which is still often. 
  2. Uglies quartet by Scott Westerfeld: Not only were these novels amazing stories, but also taught and portrayed important underlying messages about beauty in society today. 
  3. Underground to Canada by Barbara Claassen: This book opened by eyes about what slavery was like in the USA during that time period, and for that I am very grateful for Barbara Claassen's amazing story that portrayed this to me. 
  4. Blood Red Road: Because this book was just THAT good. 
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: This opened my eyes to the horrible things that have happened and could happen on our earth. Not only that, but this book alone introduced me to a whole new genre of books that has now became one of my top favourite genres. Because this book introduced me to a genre, I have discovered sooooooo many amazing new books that I loved! Plus this book was amazing, and I am thankful to Suzanne Collins for writing it. 
  6. The Rainbow Fairy novels by "Daisy Meadows": It just occurred to me today, since I read these so long ago and I of course didn't pay attention to stuff like that then, that Daisy Meadows HAD to have been a pseudonym (to be honest I would've been scared if it wasn't, considering these are the "rainbow fairies" books we're talking about). Goodreads proved me right. Anyway, this is on my list because they are the first books I ever read. Well, real novels, really, and I am grateful for them for easing me into reading to become the obsessive book-lover I am now. :D
Books I Received this Christmas:
  1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: I already own a very old copy, but this copy goes with my new set of...
  2. 3. 4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien! I am so happy! I wanted this so badly, and now I have the complete set! I am definitely even more encouraged to read these novels in the spring. Awesome!!!
Thanks for reading! I am so grateful for my beautiful Lord of the Rings set I just received and the aforementioned books on my other list, as well as many, many more. Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy Holidays!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas- Dec. 24

Today is Christmas Eve, which means another countdown to Christmas post. Today I have decided to show my favourite Christmas reads from when I was in elementary to middle-grade school. Keep in mind these are all children's novels, so definitely not anything I would've judged too harshly or critically at the age I read them.

Dancing Through the Snow by Jean Little: This is one of my favourite books from middle-grade! It is a sweet and touching story with a good message for kids. I remember loving this book because it was entertaining with a satisfying storyline. Recommended age: Age 9-12.

When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke: I remember this book being read to my class when I was in elementary school. It was a fun, fantastical novel with characters which I loved to hate, and I remember loving the names of the characters! I also loved the awesome illustrations to break up all the text. In fact, I loved the book so much that I begged my mom to buy it when I got home. Don't ask me how I remember all this. Recommended age: Age 7-10.


On Christmas Eve by Ann M. Martin: This is probably my favourite childhood Christmas book of all. Full of grief, death and loneliness, but also hope, life, and family, this book really made an imprint on me. For years I read it every Christmas to get immersed in the story again. I loved the characters, and the book nearly made me cry. Recommended age: Age 9-12.

Thanks, I hope you enjoyed this post. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Countdown to Christmas!

Now that it's December 23, I thought I'd do three days of "Christmas Specials". The first day (Christmas Eve Eve) I have chosen to talk about three Christmas books and one potential book that I would really like to read in the years to come (maybe next year, maybe in a few years).

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn: This book was recommended to me by a few friends who have read it, and though it is not a "Christmas" book so to speak, it takes place in the wintertime and it sounds like a heart-warming romance for the season (even though I don't read a lot of romance... oh well, there's a first for everything). 


Ex-mas by Kate Brian: This sounds like a hilarious book perfect for the holidays. Hopefully this will be entertaining and a fun read because I'm sure I'll be reading lot's of sci-fi and high fantasy during November. I really hope this is good, because I have high expectations. 

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry: The author's name makes me think of a certain chocolate bar, but the novella sounds like a short and sweet and I've heard versions, but would love to read the real one. It sounds really cute and will hopefully fill me up with some more Christmas spirit. 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: So this may or may not be on this list because hopefully the book will be in from the library by Christmas. Probably not. So I really want to get my act together and get this on hold next year so I can read it! :)

Don't forget to check for tomorrow's blog post!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Top Ten Books I Read in 2012

Hosted by the Broke and Bookish (link in sidebar), this meme features a topic in which you list your top favourite books, authors, etc. within that topic. Check out the Broke and Bookish blog to join in. :) And I am going to cheat with this one and list series instead of just one book sometimes ;).

Top Ten Books I Read in 2012
December 18, 2012
  1. Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld: I read this series over the summer after hearing about it numerous times. The series was consistently amazing. The world-building, plot, characters, and everything were very, very well done. My favourite in the series was between Uglies and Extras, Specials following close behind, and Pretties still a very good book but not quite as good as the others (in my opinion). 
  2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins: I finally read The Hunger Games!!! The first book was absolutely amazing, I was blown away by Collins amazing writing skills and original ideas. The second book, Catching Fire, was an impressive sequel to the Hunger Games, but not quite as amazing. The trilogy was concluded with the final book, Mockingjay, which overall was a fine book but to me was a bit disappointing. All in all, however, I loved the series!
  3. Blood Red Road by Moira Young: This book surprised me with it's amazingness. Sure, I thought it would be a good book, but not as good as it was. I read it in maybe two days and I couldn't put it down. I'm waiting anxiously for Rebel Heart to come in from the library. Anyway, the original concept and fast-paced action landed Blood Red Road the third spot on my top ten favourite books/series of 2012.
  4. Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker: I finally read this! I can't believe how long I waited. I loved this book so much! For more of my thoughts, check out my recent reflection on the novel. 
  5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: Love love love!!! There was awesome description in the novel and I love Middle Earth! Gollum and the riddles was definitely my favourite part of the book. Though sometimes I found myself a little bored, I loved the archaic language and the parts with action were really great. All in all, I loved the book. I can't wait to see the movie!!!
  6. Divergent/Insurgent by Veronica Roth: I'm so glad I decided to read this! Full of action and suspense, this book was another book I finished in about two days and couldn't stop reading once I started. The second book, Insurgent, was not a disappointment, and I hope that in the last book of the trilogy Roth will develop her "world" more and explain more aspects of the dystopia society.
  7. The Princess Bride by William Goldman: I haven't read a fairytale in a very long time, so I decided to place this on hold after wanting to read it for a long, long time. I saw the movie, but it was a long time ago so I didn't remember anything about it. This novel has action, romance, phenomenal characters, sword fights, great backstory, and hilarious, charismatic narration. I loved the book, and I can't wait to re-watch the movie.
  8. Variant by Robison Wells: After this book was recommended to me by Brianna at The Book Nook (http://booknook24676.blogspot.ca), I put it on hold from the library, after being warned of  the extreme cliff-hanger ending. I waited to read it before I got the sequel, Feedback, and then read them both consecutively. I loved Variant, it was packed with suspense and action, but the sequel really fell flat for me. But that's ok, because Variant still ranked high enough to be on this list!
  9. Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder: This was a dystopia novel which reminded me a tiny little bit of Uglies (though the ideas were very, very different) about a girl named Trella who is a scrub and accidentally leads a revolution. The book was very well-written with great action, though quite slow at parts, and an interesting premise. I'm really glad I read this in 2012.
  10. Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick: So sad! The final book in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series, which I've been slowly reading over the years! I love all the characters, so it was amazing to follow all five of them through their lives from Grade 6 to Grade. I'm still in denial that this is the last book. 
Onto the honourable mentions! Other books I read and enjoyed this year include Entwined by Heather Dixon, the Riley Bloom series by Alyson Noel, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, the Awesome books by Neil Pasricha, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and the Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. 

That's it, everyone! 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Underground to Canada Reflection

I read Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker quite a long time ago this year, but I felt the need to write a reflection now because I realized how many things I had to say about the book.

This book is extremely historically accurate, so not only are you reading an amazing story from a gifted writer and getting to know the great characters, you are also learning about the time period. This book was gripping with it's beautiful, stunning phrases, such as "daylight peeled away the shelter of darkness" and "[the mockingbird] It preened among the shimmering, sun flecked leaves, before bursting into loud-clear song".

Now let me discuss opinions. I found that some people did not enjoy the book as much because they found it disturbing and racist. Yes, I agree they were treated absolutely horribly and what was happening was wrong, but the purpose of the book is to explain what it was like for the slaves and awful people were to them. Though the tone of the book was sad, grim, and definitely emotional, I found that the story really connected with me because of it, meaning I had a better understanding of the characters and I felt touched by the story. And even when I felt like crying, I found it made the book even better. I was able to think about the experiences of slaves in America and how Canada was like the beacon of hope. This novel is definitely one I will never forget.

Some people also talked about the lack of action, but I have to disagree. There was plenty of adventure, and just an equal amount of dialogue, action, and beautiful poetry to make the novel and plot all come together. I warn you though- there are many sad parts.

I would definitely recommend this to everyone, whether you like historical fiction or not, however, if you are uncomfortable reading about the cruelty to the slaves, you might not want to pick this up.

I rated this book 5 stars out of 5 and really hope more people read this sad but amazing story.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Just books :)

This post is just about the books that I've read this month, am planning to read this month and my "most anticipated" books. In my planning, I said I was going to read His Dark Materials and A Christmas Carol, but I may not read the whole trilogy of His Dark Materials because I have chosen to read some other fun, more festive books along with some other novels I've been planning to read this month but didn't really "announce". Checkmarks beside the book means I have now/already read it.

Short Collections 
The Book of (Even More) Awesome by Neil Pasricha √
The Book of Holiday Awesome by Neil Pasricha √
The Spirit of Christmas by Cecil Murphey and Marley Gibson
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Novels
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan √
Crossed by Allie Condie
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
POTENTIALLY:
The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman. That'd be nice. :) But I doubt it'll happen.

Top 7 Most Anticipated To-Read Books (not on my list above):
  1. Angelfall by Susan Ee: I've heard crazy amazing things about this book, and I only saw one rating on Goodreads below a four star (it was a three star), and almost everyone rated it 5 or 4.5 stars out of 5. I just am so excited to read this book!!!
  2. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen: I reallllllyyyyy want to read some Sarah Dessen books! I really can't wait for this one. 
  3. The Host by Stephanie Meyer: Sounds so good! I think I marked this as a January read. I'm not interested in Twilight, but this sounds great. I'm not going to hold it against the author, especially because I haven't even read Twilight. 
  4. Rebel Heart by Moira Young: Ah, come in from the library already! I need this book. :O
  5. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder: This book looks soooooo good! I loved Inside Out and Outside In by the same author, and though this concept sounds totally different (it's fantasy not science fiction), it still sounds as good, if not better, than the other books I've read by her. 
  6. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: I haven't read a fantasy novel in a while, I've been a little caught up in science fiction after discovering dystopia via the Hunger Games and the Uglies series. The synopsis sounds really cool, even though there are people who are on the fence about the book. But that's ok. It looks good to me. 
  7. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa: I am a bit wary of this book because of the wayyyy overused topic in YA literature: vampires. Come on people, come up with something original! That being said, I have heard that many people have echoed my thoughts on this topic, and were thrilled and surprised when the book turned out to be more realistic of a vampire apocalypse, and creative as well. It sounds really dark and exciting, so I really want to check this out. 
Thanks for reading! :) What books are you reading, or planning to read? Please leave your comments below!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A Quick Bookish Survey

Created by The Broke and the Bookish, this is a short little survey about current books. :)



The book I'm currently reading: Can't say I'm getting into Crossed. I'm only 46 pages in, but I'm finding it slow and tedious. I'm feeling like I'd rather be reading something else, so I'm reading The Book of (Even More) Awesome by Neil Pasricha as well, which is a great in-between book I'm enjoying. It's a nice break from all the novels. :)


The last book I finished: I believe that was the Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, a very enjoyable read and the third in the Heroes of Olympus series. I loved the mythology! Highlights of November included Variant by Robison Wells, Inside Out/Outside In by Maria V. Snyder, Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick, and Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.



The next book I want to read: Decisions, decisions! With a giant stack of books sitting on my drawer, it's hard to decide what to choose. But I'm going to have to go with a book I've been looking forward to for a long time and finally saw in the paperback section at the library. Yep, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. What a beautiful cover.

The last book I bought: Now, I don't buy books much, but on the day it was released, I bought the Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I am not going to read it for a few years, but I love having the beautiful book on my shelf, and knowing that I bought a first edition. :)


The last book I was given: A very, very long time ago. But I think the last novel I was given was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. A longggg time ago.




Hope you enjoyed this! Check back for future posts. :)

*All images from goodreads.com

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2012

This is a meme I have been doing for the past two weeks hosted by the Broke and Bookish (link in sidebar). Anyone can join in, so check out their blog to see the requirements. Anyway, getting on with it. :)

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2012 (in no particular order)
December 11, 2012
  1. Suzanne Collins: Can you believe it? I finally read The Hunger Games in 2012. I loved the first book, the series was great as a whole, and I also read the first book in her children's series, Gregor the Overlander, out of curiosity. I would love to read more of her books if she chooses to write and publish more.
  2. Scott Westerfeld: LOVED the Uglies quartet. LOVED. Essentially this was the series that really, really sparked my interest in sci-fi, though the Hunger Games prompted me to read more dystopia. Anyway, I have heard of his other books such as "Peeps", which sounds great, and I like his writing style, so I really would like to read more of his books.
  3. Moira Young: Loved her style of writing and unique, fast-paced plot. Definitely a re-read book. Can't wait for Rebel Heart to come in and I will definitely check out any other books she writes. 
  4. William Goldman: This man is a genius. A genius. I probably won't read his other books, but he totally had me fooled for so long in his plot, and I love his story-telling ability. 
  5. Maria V. Snyder: I read Inside Out and Outside In this year and loved Snyder's ideas and concepts within the novels. I am very excited to read her Poison Study series and her Glass series. I will definitely be reading more of her works in 2013 after becoming interested in Inside Out this year.
  6. Veronica Roth: Divergent and Insurgent were awesome and action-packed, and I loved the plot Roth created. I really like her writing style. 
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien: Finally read the Hobbit! I'm craving more Middle Earth, but I really want to be ready to dedicate to it when I read the Lord of the Rings. I love Tolkien's archaic language and story-telling prowess. 
  8. Neil Pasricha: Sure, he doesn't write novel novels, but his "Books of Awesome" really put me in a good mood when I read them. If he ever chooses to write more "awesome" books, I would love to read them. I can't wait to read the Book of Holiday Awesome this Christmas and I'm really enjoying the Book of Even More Awesome.
  9. Maggie Stiefvater: Though I didn't really like Lament, I still added Stiefvater to this list for one specific reason: her other books sound amazing. The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys in particular sound great, though I'd like to read her most popular Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I also love her poetic, beautiful language she uses in her books. 
  10. Barbara Smucker: I got around to reading Underground to Canada this year, despite owning it for a very long time. I loved the book so much, and the language was so eloquent and beautiful. It was just one of those times where I had to write so many lines down in my journal because I loved them so much. Smucker's poetic writing style and excellent portrayal of the time period of slavery made the novel amazing for me, therefore earning her a place in my top ten favourite authors I read in 2012. 
Thanks for reading! Look out for another TTT next Tuesday! 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Top Ten Books You Wouldn't Mind Santa Giving You

As promised. :) Remember this meme is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, you can check out their link in the sidebar.

December 4, 2012
Top Ten Books You Wouldn't Mind Santa Giving You
  1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld- Love this series, definitely books I would like to re-read someday, which is why I'd like to own the series. 
  2. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
  3. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
  4. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
  5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling- Would love to have these three companion guides as reference books to the Harry Potter series. 
  6. Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling
  7. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I would love to have the first book, the one that started them all. 
  9. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien- By the way, I am not cheating because, although it is often called a trilogy, the Lord of the Rings is actually one book split into three volumes. So there. Anyway, this is a classic series that I haven't read, but would love to have so I can re-read, and seriously, it's the Lord of the Rings!
  10. A surprise! :) - Oh sure, I could think of another book to put as my tenth, but I think it would be awesome to just buy or receive a random book that I wouldn't expect to be getting. :)
Hope you enjoyed this post. 

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2012 (I know, I know!)

I have decided to participate in a weekly meme (Top Ten Tuesday) hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (brokeandbookish.blogspot.ca) every Tuesday, in which they will post a topic such as "Books I Can't Wait to Read", and then participators will choose their top ten books fitting this topic. I meant to do this last week, but it slipped my mind, so I have decided to do two this week- November 27 and December 4. The December 4 list will be a different post... No one likes too much text (I know, I'm guilty of that...).

November 27, 2012
Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2012
  1. Untitled (Divergent #3) by Verionica Roth (September 26, 2012...I wish... 2013)- Ohmygosh I need this book! I loved Divergent and Insurgent and the ending made me want to scream. Anyway...
  2. The Archived by Victoria Schwab (January 22, 2013)- Beautiful cover. High Goodreads rating. Engaging, intriguing synopsis. YA science fiction/fantasy. What else could I hope for? 
  3. The Program by Suzanne Young (April 30, 2013)- This is a new series which I am super excited for. It is a young adult dystopia/science fiction novel and the synopsis on Goodreads sounds awesome. 
  4. My Name is Rapunzel by K.C. Hilton (2013)- I am really excited to be reading some more fairytale retellings, so this book sounds amazing. I read the extremely short synopsis on Goodreads and am already hooked. This is right up there with some of the books I'm most excited to read (released in 2013). 
  5. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake (September 10, 2013)- I actually want to read this book so bad! When I first added the book on Goodreads just a few days ago, there was no cover. And now there is! Ah!!! Anyway, this novel is fantasy with Greek mythology, which I love so very much, so this book is definitely one I want to read super bad!
  6. Mind Games by Kiersten White (February 19, 2013)- Originally saw this on the Broke and the Bookish top ten list. It sounded very interesting, and I love new dystopia series! So I had to add this to my most anticipated books of 2013. 
  7. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (October 2013)- As I dive into the Mark of Athena, my need for the next book becomes bigger... I am certain he's going to end it with a cliff-hanger. 
  8. POD's by Michelle K. Pickett (June 4, 2013)- This book has a great Goodreads rating of the beta readers who have already read it. Not to mention the synopsis sounds awesome. Really awesome. Totally the type of book I would love, so I'm super excited. 
  9. Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr (May 7, 2013)- Gasp! More mythology (I know... three books on my top ten). This one is Norse myths, which I am super excited about because I have never read about Norse mythology before. I have never heard of K.L. Armstrong, but I have heard of Melissa Marr and intend to read her "Wicked Lovely" series. Anyway, this book sounds really awesome!
  10. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (2013)- Sounds like an interesting concept... I am very excited. And I enjoy the name. And it's very sci-fi-y. I'd love to read this. *sigh* If only they'd announce a publication date...
Note: After I had made most of my list, I saw that The Archived was on The Broke and the Bookish list. However, I actually had no idea it was on there! I found out about this book through my amazing Goodreads recommendations (thank you Goodreads!).

Don't forget to check out my December 4 TTT list. :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

November Book Haul- Reviews

Hello everyone! As the beginning of December continues, it's time to review my November library book haul. I read 9 books this month. Nine books! Crazyyyy.


If it says "Title Text" at any point, I have no idea what that's about, but it's showing it in the preview. 

Friday, 30 November 2012

Bookshelf Tour!!!

Bookshelf Tour- November 2012.
I finally figured out why this wasn't uploading! Turns out the file was too big... So I have uploaded it in two parts, however I didn't plan it in two parts so the cut might be a little abrupt. It's also veryyyyyy long... So I suggest watching it in the two parts or finding somewhere comfortable to sit while you watch. ;)

Part 1:
video

Part 2:

video


Note: This was filmed a short while ago (I think something like a week... Probably exactly a week, seeing as today is Friday), so some of my "currently reading" books are inaccurate. For example, I am now done The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick. Check the sidebar to see what I'm reading now! :)

AH! Darn title text again. I know for certain I wrote something there. Anyway, it was meant to say "I apologize again for random darkness."

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bookish Tag

This tag I am writing about today is the "Bookish Tag" from Sonythebooklover on YouTube (check out her channel). So let's get started with the questions.

1. What genre of books do you prefer?
I read such a wide variety that it's very difficult to choose. My long time favourite has been action fantasy or adventure novels, but my current phase and new favourite genre is science fiction/dystopia. But there are a few realistic fiction books that I completely love.

2. What are some of your must-have books in your library?
Everyone in the universe needs to read Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling does an amazing job of creating a fantastical world, intricate plotlines, and intriguing characters. Seriously a masterpiece. Other books I own and recommend include are Stormbreaker (and the entire Alex Rider series, but I only own the first) by Anthony Horowitz, and I have never read the Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen yet, but someone in my house did buy it and it sounds excellent.

3. What is the most expensive book on your shelf?
I don't really know, but probably the Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I plan to read it sometime, but not right away.

4. What book do you covet the most?
I would love to have the Uglies quartet by Scott Westerfeld and the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. And definitely the Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling. It would be awesome to add those to my collection. And ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I want Divergent #3 SO. BAD. This is torture, Veronica Roth!

5. How much to you spend on books?
Honestly, not much. I love books (as you can tell), but I don't really buy them often because of price and uncertainty if it is a book I'm going to want to own. And space. My bookshelf is on the side of my desk and it's really small.

6. What do you think of the current trend in YA books right now?
I am really liking YA books right now. Love the Hunger Games, Uglies trilogy, Inside Out/Outside In, Divergent and Insurgent, Blood Red Road... as you can see, tons of dystopia. And I'm loving that too. What I'm not liking is amazing ideas behind YA books that become distorted by unnecessary, full-frontal romance. I want more intense action and background on the society, not romance. If I had wanted a romance book, I would've taken one. Seriously. And would they STOP with vampire romance? I get it if a few series draw on that, but when almost everything in YA fiction now is about that? Please.

7. What series do you wish you had more books of?
The Mother-Daughter book club! These are like classics to me. I only own the fifth in the series, Home for the Holidays, and would love to own the whole collection because they're the type of heart-warming books that I could re-read if I was feeling downhearted. I am on the sixth and so I've heard, last volume, in the series and I could seriously go on reading these forever. So I would love to see more books of this, I'd never get tired of the girls adventures and real life situations. And, of course, Harry Potter further stories. Of course. I think that's obvious.

8. What are your go-to books in your library?
People who have done this have generally gone for more genre rather than specific titles, but I'll go for both. Specific books are all seven of the Harry Potter novels and the Chicken Soup for the Soul books that I own. Genres right now is dystopia/science fiction and classic books, which is kind of unlike me.

9. What book is currently in your bag?
Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick, the sixth Mother Daughter Book Club book, and the Book of Even More Awesome by Neil Pasricha, which is easy to read a short section when I have a free, but short, moment.

10. What is your most prized book in your collection?
Harry Potter. :D Ya, I'm obsessed. Also, I love the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien copy that I have. It is so old and worn, but I love it.

11. What are some of your non-fiction books on your shelf?
Well, I have three chicken soup books on my shelf, though three others are around the house somewhere, and I love those. I have a few craft-ish books from a while ago, I have a baking book, a dictionary, atlas, etc. and that's about it.

12. Name your favourite authors (up to three).
J.K. Rowling, because she's brilliant. Heather Vogel Frederick, because, though I have only read one series of hers (... or wait no... I read another series of hers but that was when I was much younger....), I love her story-telling ability and how she can successfully create five amazing characters and plotlines that weave perfectly with one another. Finally, Scott Westerfeld. I have only read the Uglies series from him, but it was amazing, and I definitely plan to read "Peeps" and "The Last Days" by him as well.

*Update: Jan. 16/13 I now HAVE to add Maria V. Snyder because Inside Out and Outside In were great, Poison Study is amazing so far, and all her series sound just amazing! I love her writing style and unique ideas.

13. Favourite bookstore?
Indigo bookstores. Not only do the carry so many books, they also have cool little things there like bookmarks and earphones, as well as a few CD's and movies. And a lot of them that I've been in have Starbucks in them. Awesome.

I am going to tag a few people from some of my favourite blogs.
Julia @ Books As Wings (http://write4porsche.blogspot.ca)
Brianna @ The Book Nook (http://glowgold24676.blogspot.ca)
Kirsten @ K's BooK's To Read (http://ktoread.blogspot.ca)
Jami @ Bookworm's Blog (http://purpleninjaas.blogspot.ca)

Have fun everyone! If you aren't tagged by still want to do the challenge, go ahead.

Hope you enjoyed! :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Technical Difficulties

Hey there. I have a few videos that I want to post (Bookshelf Tour and November book reviews), however, Blogger is currently not cooperating with me and will not upload the videos. Hopefully this will be fixed soon and then I will be able to post the videos. In the mean time, check out my other videos and posts, or give me feedback under my "Future Posts #2". Thanks. :)

Update, November 26- Still not working! Hopefully this will get sorted out soon.

Update, November 28- Well apparently it's just that one video that refuses to upload. I tried exporting it again and uploading it, but that seems to be messing up my computer. So anyway, in the mean time I would like to post some more written things, but it's been pretty busy.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Future Posts #2

Hey! Since it's been about a month, here is my second post of my series "Future Posts" which will talk about the types of posts I am hoping to do in the future and the recent posts I have done (by the way... this post will be long.)

October's Future Posts:
  • Literary Dinner Party √
  • The Serpent's Shadow book review √
  • The Princess Bride book review √
  • Bookshelf Tour
  • 7 Deadly Sins of Reading √
  • More word art!
  • Book Recommendations
  • Cover to Cover √
  • Q&A √
I have yet to do my Bookshelf Tour which I've been planning, as well as book recommendations. However, both my word art and bookshelf tour are in the making. Sorta.

So anyway, here is a list of things I would like to do now, so please let me know your top two favourites. This time I will explain what each thing is. :)
  • Bookshelf Tour- I've been really wanting to do this! But I haven't had the opportunity yet. For those of you who don't know, a bookshelf tour is just that: I'll talk about the books on my bookshelf. 
  • Princess Bride Word Art- I'm getting used to using Illustrator, because I've never used it before. I have a certain quote from the Princess Bride that I am working on. If you don't know, word art is taking a quote or phrase (from a novel, in my case) and adding images/sketches, fonts, colour, etc. to represent it.  
  • Book Recommendations- For this, I would basically just recommend books by specific authors, specific genres, if you like____ try _____, etc. 
  • Cover to Cover- Check out this post to see what it is all about. :)
  • This or That- Have you ever heard of the game "Coke or Pepsi?" Well, basically it's where there are questions such as "dark chocolate or milk chocolate", and you have to answer which one you prefer. Often times it is done where you try and guess what your friends would say. If I were to do this on my book blog, I would post book or writing related questions that I would answer, and anyone who wants to could create a post on their blog and join in by answering my questions and/or creating their own (don't forget to link back here ;)
  • Book to Movie Adaptation (The Princess Bride): Pretty self-explanatory. 
  • Top 10 Books to Read- I have a veryyyy long list. But this would be me explaining my top 10 if I HAD to choose. 
  • Dream Cast for Divergent- Yes, the movie is coming out in 2014! So I thought I could say who I think should play who. 
  • Literary Mix Tape- Character TBA. ;)
I guarantee there will be other things that will be posted that are not on this list. I also guarantee that the following posts will be posted by February 8. 
  • Two reviews of another blogger's review
  • One alternate-text review (something other than a book- I know right!)
  • Another book-related challenge of some sort (such as the Literary Dinner Party)
  • 2013 Book Resolutions
  • A picture of my owl decoration I bought. I don't care if it doesn't relate to books. Whatever. (I ended up adding this to my bookshelf tour). 
So that's what I can guarantee. Sorry, this post was kind of long and boring (gasp!) but that's ok. I gotta have them once in a while. So please, comment on the two things you would most like me to do. 

Oh! And also, I would love if you could answer this one question in the comments too... Do you prefer watching videos on my blog or reading written things (like this one)? Thanks!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Hunger Games Tag

Hey! Today I have decided to do a written Hunger Games tag by Aura at Aura's Book Box on Youtube. There are a variety of questions and I will be bolding the one I choose and explaining why. I would not read this if you have not read all three of the Hunger Games books. There will be spoilers. Enjoy! :)

1. Peeta or Gale?
Is neither an option? Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but I am on Team Finnick. Gale, to me at least, was arrogant sometimes, plus he ended up being a total jerk in Mockingjay. And Peeta was just too kind, and often too... soft. But Finnick... he's determined, strong, yet sweet with a vulnerable side too. He was just awesome.

2. Effie's crazy style or sweet and simple like Cinna?
Effie's style sure is entertaining but I think Cinna's is more tasteful, and more like me. I mean, imagine wearing what Effie does everyday! So I would have to say Cinna.

3. Life in the Capitol or Slug it in the Districts?
Life is different there. You aren't spoiled like in the Capitol, and you have to learn to be independent and do things for yourself. Plus, I for one wouldn't be able to live with the guilt if I lived in the Capitol. I don't mind roughing it in the districts. Everyone's gotta pull their weight.

4. Bread from district 11 or stew from the Capitol?
Well, I don't even eat red meat so, the option is obvious. But even if I did, I would still choose District 11 bread because it reminds me of Rue, and is a symbol of the districts.

5. Katniss's archery skills or Cato's knife fighting abilities?
Archery skills! I have always wanted to be able to use a bow and arrow, it sounds so amazing and would be dead useful too. Using a knife would be way to gory for me and I would never use the skills that I had with it anyway! I wouldn't be able to harm anything like that.

6. Peeta's gift of camouflage or Rue's gift of tree-climbing?
Rue's gift! How amazing would that be? It would be helpful in the Hunger Games and I already love climbing trees so if I could climb like Rue... Explosion of amazing. Peeta's gift is helpful too, but when I think of it in comparison to Rue's, it doesn't compare. Not only would it be fun, it also would be helpful to protect yourself, attack others in the Games, and catch food. Brilliant.

7. Become an Avox or get stung by a tracker jacker?
I admit it would be awful to have hallucinations of horrible things happening to yourself or your family but think about it... Not talking???? Ever???? That is not possible for me. At least tracker jackers would most likely be a short-term thing. Depending on the circumstance.

8. Join forces with the Careers or run for the Hills?
Run for the Hills!!!!!! I wouldn't be caught dead with the Careers. Ever.

9. Who's cuter? Prim or Rue?
Rue <3 Not only is her appearance adorable, but she also is so sweet, curious, and freaking ninjaa (yes, two a's)!!!

10. Run for the Cornucopia or run for the Hills?
Both. I'd run to the Cornucopia, grab something small like a backpack or whatever I could, then sprint away to the Hills and try to stay away from everyone and avoid killing people. I just couldn't do that.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Wordle

Hey everyone! Today I was on wordle.net, and decided to make a wordle for my blog. Thanks for the idea, Julia, at Books as Wings (the link to her blog is in the sidebar). Enjoy! :)


Friday, 9 November 2012

Harry Potter Literary Dinner Party

All-HP literary dinner party. Awesome ;)

video


*SPOILER ALERT*  2:30-2:45
And seriously... If you haven't read the books and plan to, do not watch that snippet! :)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The 7 Deadly Sins of Reading

Prepare yourselves... this is the 7 deadly sins of reading tag adapted by BookishlyMalyza. Here we go!

Greed- What is your most expensive and least expensive book?
Truth be told, I do not buy books often. I KNOW. Crazy. I get nearly every book I read from my local library (and trust me, I make many trips there...) because 1) I do not have enough space for tons of books 2) I do not have enough money for tons of books 3) I do not want to buy the book and realize I despised it once I read it. I only buy books when I really, truly LOVE the series and know for absolute certain I will re-read it at least (least!!!) one more time. But my most expensive book would probably be the Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, which I plan to read when I am older, or my Harry Potter collection, though much of this was paid by my sister as a gift. My least expensive book would be my short, thin book about J.K. Rowling.

Wrath- Which author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Suzanne Collins all the way. I loved the Hunger Games soooo much. It immediately made my top books list. Then I read Catching Fire. Not amazing, but still a very, very enjoyable sequel. But then came Mockingjay... Oh Suzanne Collins, what have you done? The ending was not satisfying to me at all, and the entire book was like a haze... I just couldn't dive into it. Sorry for those Mockingjay lovers out there.

Gluttony- What book have you deliciously devoured over and over again without shame?
I don't re-read a lot of books... well, except one. Harry freaking Potter, of course. I have read the series 5 times so far (and counting!), and plan to read it again soon, probably this February. Every time I read it, I get something new from the characters and series. It is safe to say I can absolutely not get enough of HP.

Sloth- Which books have you neglected to read due to laziness?
Lord of the Rings all the way. I've wanted to for a little, and then I started and I.... I just couldn't. So the book is safely returned to the library because I just couldn't read it right now. But I promise, I absolutely will! I also have neglected to read quite a few classics such as The Secret Garden, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the full version of Little Women, and of course, Watership Down. I will read them all. Of course.

Pride- Which book have you talked most about to make you sound like an intellectual reader?
Again, Harry Potter. Uttering magic spells and talking about all sorts of important, professional-sounding terms (priori incantatem, amortentia, thestrals, elixir of life, the philosopher's stone, and many, many more). Plus, I know my stuff so well from this book that often, I just can't resist. And luckily my family tolerates it. As do my friends (most of them have read HP anyway, so they relate).

Lust- Which attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters in books?
For female characters, definitely strength. Any character that can hold her own and is tough and determined makes me very, very happy (Katniss Everdeen, anyone? How about Saba? Tally? Trella?). I really love that trait in a female lead. For male characters, I like any character that is flawed, which really applies to any character for me. To see vulnerability in really any character is helpful and relatable to me. A great example is Harry Potter. He is brave, smart, athletic... but he doesn't always make the right choices. But what makes him amazing is how he handles situations and recognizes his flaws. I also like male characters that are funny, amusing, or pranksters (cough, cough Gred and Forge ;). Pretty awesome.

Envy- Which books would you most like to receive as a gift?
I'm pretty content with my Harry Potter collection, but I would totally love to be gifted Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I wouldn't say no to the Uglies series or Hunger Games series either, though. :)

So that's it! I really hope you enjoyed reading this. Tell me what your answers to the questions would be in the comments, or make a post on your blog and let me know!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Few Book Reviews

As to not overwhelm you with an enormous amount of written book reviews, I decided to take some of the written reviews I have wrote and transform them into a video. There are three reviews in this video. Hope you like the video.

video

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Love, Stargirl- Book Review

My review of Love, Stargirl, the companion book to Stargirl. Hope you enjoy. :)


Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Sequel to Stargirl
Realistic Fiction/Romance
288 pages
**** (four stars)

    Through a yearlong letter to her former boyfriend, Leo, Stargirl reflects on her experience at Mica High and her new life in Pennsylvania. At her new home, she befriends her new, strange neighbors and finds herself drawn towards the nonchalant Perry Delloplane. As Stargirl struggles to find herself again, she thinks about Leo and tries to sort out her feelings for both him, and the strange delinquent, Perry, whom she finds herself oddly curious about. With new and old characters from Stargirl, this companion book allows us to follow Stargirl along her journey.
    "When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light." (p. 182). This quote from Stargirl takes on a new meaning in Love, Stargirl. As a character in this book, Stargirl went through major changes. She lost her confidence and this quote didn't seem as true anymore as Stargirl lost what made her so special. However, throughout the book Stargirl transformed again to her refreshingly eccentric self, and these developments made me feel more invested in the story. I liked the format of the book as well, as they were organized in simple journal entries that made it easy to read and understand when it took place. Because of this, I was able to get through the book quickly, but I actually enjoyed it more than the first book, which is somewhat surprising. This book seemed to have more depth, and I liked Stargirl as a narrator better, though I did miss Leo's physical presence in the book. However, I was disappointed in Stargirl at first because she transformed from this unique, amazing character to an average teenage girl. I think Spinelli chose to write this from Stargirl's perspective to both reveal more about her character and way of thinking, and how she changed after meeting Leo. I admired how Stargirl rediscovered herself and realized she never had to change who she was, which was the theme of the book. Love, Stargirl inspired me to recognize and appreciate the little things that make our life special. 

The Princess Bride- Book Review

Here is my review on the amazing fantasy/adventure/romance novel, The Princess Bride, by the brilliant genius William Goldman. 


http://samantharaephotography.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/princessbride.jpg

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
No series (though one long, long chapter of a long-lost sequel)
Fantasy/Adventure/Romance
512 pages
***** (five stars)
Original Tale by S. Morgenstern

Westley and Buttercup were meant to be together. As soon as Buttercup realizes she's madly in love with the farmboy, Westley, he sails away to earn money for them to build their life together. Buttercup waits anxiously for his return when the news reaches: Westley's ship sank, and he is dead. Buttercup, as she mourns the loss of her true love, becomes more and more beautiful, finally reaching the status of the most beautiful woman in the world. In a rapid turn of events, Buttercup then finds herself engaged to the awful Prince Humperdinck... until she is whisked away by a motley trio of kidnappers: the giant Fezzik, the swordsman Inigo, and the evil genius Vizzini. How will Buttercup ever escape?
This book was filled with delightful plot twists! I love plot twists! Not only this, but William Goldman, who abridged the story (hint, hint) filled the book with amusing and interesting pieces of information and sub-stories about himself (more hints!) throughout the book. This narration really added another layer of depth to the novel. I also really enjoyed the character development throughout the book. Buttercup matured greatly from start to finish, and I was very pleased to learn more about different character's backstory (such as Inigo, my favourite character). I believe S. Morgenstern chose to reveal more about the sub-characters because it made me connect with them and the plot more deeply. As an author, the entire aim is to have the novel and characters relatable, so I commend Morgenstern on succeeding. The theme of this novel is if you love someone with all your heart, you will always find a way to be together. With a perfect combination of adventure, love, and humour, this book let me fall right into its pages. If you are 12+ and enjoy intense yet comical adventures, I beg you to read this!