Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bookish items

Lately bookish items have been on my mind. My sister asked me why on earth I wanted all these book related things such as t-shirts; Funko pops, jewelry, pins, artwork. The majority of them are useless aside from t-shirts and jewelry. Last thing I need is another mug or bedspread, but that isn't stopping me from desperately wanting them with them quote "Ignite my love, Ignite" (From the Shatter Me series, I love Warner!) I have no idea why I want these awesome items that don't do much, but I really really do! I have a whole collection of Funko pops that are so totally adorable! I also get so many cool bookish items from my owlcrate box that I don't need, but are really fun! I find it kind of funny that we crave these totally worthless things because they are cute or cool. For example I spent a bunch of money on my shadowhunters taro cards. I have never used them for anything other than put them in the case on my bookshelf, yet I have no regret in buying them. Of course in order to not go broke I am not allowing myself to buy anymore bookish items outside my owlcrate box. I have been contemplating making my own bookish items. It isn't very hard to use sharpie on a mug or fabric markers on a t-shirt. I already make my own jewelry so it wouldn't be hard to expand. There is some sort of extreme satisfaction in buying these things. Maybe I just have a shopping addiction, who knows. I just need to make sure I don't blow my college fund on a mortal instruments themed room! If you have any DIY ideas for bookish items comment below and share them! If I like it I will give a tutorial and a rating on my blog! Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Why Time Flies

They say time flies when you are having fun
And it crawls when you wish it would sprint
Time and I are friends you see
But it has never been good to me
Leaves me behind while it soars
My knees still pressed against the ground

Just three weeks left
Feels like more
But summer has to end some day
Summer and I have a love hate affair
Work to be done
Time to be wasted

I can't deny the sounds
The creaks and the shakes
Can't blame the elements of winter
The rain, the heaters, footsteps in night
Makes me know I'm not alone
Pull the covers over my eyes

But I am alone
At least for two more days
Or three more weeks
Until I see them every day
I see him every day
Beautiful torture

Time and summer have ganged up on me
Left me with boring forced words to write
And wonderful stories itching in my mind
Forced me into a schedule
Forced me into society and responsibility
Leaving lazy days behind for months  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

They Say the Sequel is Never as Good as the First

Since I just did the amazing series I need to finish post, I figured I might as well show some books where I either plan to never finish them or I wish I hadn't. The first (Or fist couple books) I highly recommend, but the rest of the series I do not. For this post I will be including a rating of the first book, an overall rating of the series (If I finished it), and a rating for the book where the series started to suck. I would never want you to waste your time reading bad books, so here is a way to prevent that! (Also I love to rant about books so this is a win win situation!)

1. Small Town Magical Romance

Beautiful Creatures was a good book with a bad ending. Instead of giving the readers what the whole story had been building up too, the author decided to have absolutely nothing happen and push everything off until the next book. Sadly the next book was so confusing that I decided not to continue. I think I got maybe 3/4th of the way through Beautiful Darkness before I realized the series was just going to keep spinning and leave the reader in the dark. Because the book does not end well, I would not recommend reading it unless you want to take on the whole series. I really liked the initial story that the author created and I wish she had stuck with it because then I would have stuck with the series. 

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: ❤❤❤❤
Series rating: I did not finish the series
Where the series went wrong: Beautiful Darkness ❤❤

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia is a whirlwind of plot twists, romance, and magic that is sure to keep readers entertained until the very last page. The small town of Gatlin holds very little for Ethan Wate. He can't wait to escape both the town and the dreams of a gorgeous girl he has never met. When Lena Duchannes moves into town an aura of secrets seem to surround her. Lena holds a power that has been passed down from her family for generations and must hide it from the town of Gatlin. Lena and Ethan find themselves drawn to each other and soon feelings start to grow, but can Lena give up her secret? First off, this book might be one of the most confusing books I have ever read. While I very much enjoyed reading it, I had to reread the ending several times to understand what was happening. The romance between Lena and Ethan is fantastic! I loved how the author made it a large part of the story, but still focused on the plot. The element of magic is very important in the book and it was very different from other books I have read. I also loved the setting and how being set in a small town in the south really enriches the story. Overall this book is really good, but the rest of the series not so much. I would recommend this book to fans of romance, magic, and fantasy.
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2. The Hunger Games Meets the Bachelor 

I love to rant about The Selection. America drives me crazy because if I was in her position, the whole series could be covered in the first book. The first three books in this series were fantastic and the plot arc they covered was really well developed and finished. Sadly, I think Kiera Cass got a little too drunk on her success, so she spent very little time on what came next. The Heir and The Crown should have never been written. They are not necessary to the series. The characters and practically non-existent plotline they contain are really poorly done. I really expected more from Kiera Cass and she let me down. Now the good news is, The Selection and its accompanying two books as well as the many novellas are really, really good. Basically, if you just forget The Heir and The Crown ever happened, you have found your next favorite series! I know I gave the series a four out of five rating, but that is just because of the last books. If you take those out the series gets a five out of five for sure! I really love these books and I definitely recommend them! I swear I am telling the truth, my copy of The Selection has been read so many times it is completely falling apart! (Actually I have reread the selection more than any other book I own, with Eclipse coming in close second with one less reread!)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤
Series rating:❤❤❤❤
Where the series went wrong: The Heir ❤❤

Kiera Cass brings a whole new story full of romance and fierce competition set in a dystopian world that readers won't be able to get enough of in The Selection. America is happy in her meager life as a five. She has her family, her music, and her secret boyfriend Aspen, who shows signs of proposing. So when an application for the selection shows up on her doorstep, there is no way she is going to jeopardize her happiness for the tiny chance of becoming the uptight Prince Maxon's plaything and the Princess of her country. When a course of events cause her to sign up, America is astonished to find she has been selected. Upon arriving at the castle America has her heart set on going home, but the palace and the people in it are not what she expects and America finds comfort in the arms of the last person she would have ever thought to look too. The Selection is one of my all time favorite books. I love the world that Kiera Cass has built and the characters she brought to life. America Singer may be one of my least favorite characters in all the books I have read, but I love her for it! The romance in this book is so agonizing as what is very obvious to the readers takes its time to appear to America. The plot in this book is very well done and works really well through the whole series. The character development is just so fantastic as we get growth from both major and minor characters that feels realistic and relatable. While the world is a little confusing at first, it is well explained and all questions are answered. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and science fiction!
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3. Fantasy that will be Loved by all Readers

Graceling is so good! Like really, really good! And the next book Fire is also like really, really good, some would even argue that it is better! Sadly the last book, Bitterblue, is really bad. It is a total let down compared to the amazingness of the first two books. The way the Graceling series works, is that you can read the first two books in either order, but the last book requires you to have read the previous books to understand it. Graceling and Fire have different characters and are really different books. The thing that links them is the world (kind of), the writing style, and the fantasticness of the story! I actually never finished Bitterblue because it was so disappointing, but from what I read it only deserved two out of five. I would also highly encourage listening to the audiobook version of Fire because it is really well done. (I have not listened to the one for Graceling so I am not sure about that one!)
Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤
Series rating: ❤❤❤❤
Where the series went wrong: Bitterblue ❤❤

Katsa is a graceling, a person with two different colored eyes who possess magical abilities. While the the gifts might seem like a blessing, it curses the graceling to a life out of their control, serving their royalty. Katsa has been graced with the ability to kill and is forced to serve her Uncle, the king, by killing off his enemies. Katsa had ruled out all happiness in life until she met the fascinating Prince Po. Graced with combat, Katsa and Po form an unlikely friendship that threatens to out secrets that will change their lives as they know them. This book is phenomenal in every way. The characters are extremely well developed and entertaining. The plot is action packed and full of surprises, yet it is not confusing. The world is extremely creative and well explained and truly transports the reader. I read this book in middle school and it completely opened me up to the fantasy genre. One thing that the author handles perfectly in this book is romance. This book is in no way a romance novel. It has really well balanced romance in it, so that romance lovers and everyone else will enjoy it! I would highly recommend this book to anyone as it contains things that all readers will enjoy!
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4. Romance on a Spaceship 

Across the Universe feels like a standalone novel. When I read it, I assumed it was a standalone, because the ending actually wraps up really well. When I finally found out about the rest of the books, I realized that the story continued. I really enjoyed what the author did with the second book and I was really looking forward to the last book. Shades of Earth was nothing like the first two in the series. It got really weird and kind of felt like author was just grabbing at something to throw off the readers. So here is the thing. You can't read the second book and not read the third because it will not end right. You can read the first and stop there. I would recommend trying the first one, if you are satisfied with the ending then stop, because it isn't going to get better. If you really need to know more, read the whole series. Romance enthusiasts you are going to want to read the whole series as you just don't get enough from the first book. Everyone else? Just do what feels right. Who knows, maybe you will enjoy the last book more than I did. 
Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)Across the Universe by Beth Revis
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤
Series rating:❤❤❤❤
Where the series went wrong: Shades of Earth ❤❤❤

Beth Revis gives us a beautiful science fiction story of romance, technology, space, and the future in Across the Universe. Amy barely agreed to be frozen for 300 years on the spaceship Godspeed in order to travel to a new planet and she definitely did not agree to be woken up 50 years early. Suddenly, Amy is thrust into a new society where she is utterly alone, except for Elder, the young leader of the ship. Elder has never seen anyone like Amy before and he is mesmerized by her. Eager to please, Elder helps Amy learn about life on Godspeed. Together they realize there is more to Amy being woken up then meets the eye, and Amy and her parents lives are in danger. As the secrets start to unravel, Amy and Elder realize that Godspeed seems to run on lies and any sort of future together may be doomed. I picked up this book in middle school due to its gorgeous cover and it took me barely a chapter to realize that I loved it. The story is fantastic and the romance is beautiful. I spent many years believing this was a standalone novel as the ending is fantastic and it was not until a couple of years ago that I realized there were more books. Sadly, the rest of the series is not quite as good as the first book. One thing I loved about this book was the society on Godspeed. It was so well crafted and original and it really brought something more to the story. I would highly recommend this book to science fiction lovers!
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5. I Just Read The Uglies Now What?

I love Matched so much. It is truly a really good book. Unfortunately, it suffers from something that happens pretty commonly in Science Fiction books, which is when the last book stops reflecting what was happening in the first books. Matched handles it better than say, the Divergent series, but it is still apparent. Reached was not what I had hoped it would be. The characters changed too drastically with not enough time for build up. This caused the last book to feel unrealistic and out of place. The good news is that it is still a good book. Compared to the rest of the series, Reached gets a three out of five, but as a book in general it is probably a four. This series is worth reading the whole thing because you will not be satisfied with just the first book. Also, if you are looking for something to get you out of weird mindset caused by reading the Uglies series, then Matched will do it for you!

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤
Series rating: ❤❤❤❤
Where the series went wrong: Reached ❤❤❤

Matched by Ally Condie will feed your addiction to dystopian romances with a fantastic story that will leave you begging for more. Cassia is ready to be matched. She knows the government will pick someone she will love because they always pick correctly. They chose everything in her life; where she will work, what she eats, when she will die. When Cassia finds out she has been matched with her best friend Xander, she knows they have picked perfectly. But the screen doesn't just show a picture of Xander, for a second it shows a picture of Ky. Now Cassia must make a choice of her own that will lead her to see how her society really works. Matched is one of those books that came out right as the young adult dystopian craze started up. I can completely understand why people could not stop reading Matched as it is fantastic! Matched is layered with a lot of commentary about society in it, that I feel a lot of younger readers are not able to pick up on. I recently reread it and was amazed by everything I had missed. In addition to this, Matched has a fast paced storyline, interesting characters, and a well built world. The one thing that the Matched series suffers from is setting up a story that then completely changes in the later books. I really loved this book and I highly recommend it for anyone who is a part of the dystopian fad.
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

And I Darken by Kiersten White

Spoiler Free Review:

And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)And I Darken by Kiersten White
My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

With fantastic characters, beautiful scenery, and an epic storyline, And I Darken by Kiersten White brings a whole new perspective to young adult historical fiction. There is nothing Lada Dragwlya loves more than her homeland of Wallachia. So when she and her brother Radu are ripped away from their father, the prince of Wallachia, in order to become prisoners of the Ottoman Courts, Lada makes a promise that she will one day return home. The one thing Lada hates more than the Ottoman Empire is being underestimated for being a girl. Lada knows she is stronger than all the men combined, so she sets herself to plotting her revenge. That is, until she meets Mehmed, the intriguing son of the Sultan. In Mehmed, Radu finally has a friend and Lada someone to give her heart too. Can Lada open up her love to more than Wallachia? I can not completely describe how amazing this book was. I picked it up because I am a terrible person who totally judges books by their covers. When I read the synopsis I expected something along the lines of My Lady Jane or The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, historical fiction with more contemporary characters. This book was so much more. I happen to love history and god do I wish a history text book was written like this! Of course a lot of the history in this book is from the author's mind, but the basis was so well researched and historically accurate. This book actually inspired me to do further research into the Ottoman Empire, which earlier in the year I had found totally boring. The three best things in the book are; the characters, the history, and the incorporation of Islam into the book. That of course can fit both into the characters and the history categories, but it was so fascinating that I think it needs it's own shout out. This is not a religious book, please don't stop reading this review because you think it is, it is a historical book. Islam was a major part of the Ottoman empire and the author handled it really well and completely enriched the story. The characters in this book are horrible and I love it! I can not say any more without spoiling the book, so go read it! This book is perfect for lovers of history and intense characters, though it is not for everyone. I would not recommend this book for people who want a basic storyline, a quick read, a comedy, or a basic romance novel, because this book is none of those things.

Recommended Mindset For Reading

And I Darken is not the kind of thing you can pick up, set down, and pick back up again a month later. The storyline is complex and detailed, requiring a lot of focus. This also isn't something that you can read all in one sitting. I would make sure you have a week where there is adequate time for reading each day. Not that you will have a hard time getting yourself to read, as this book is extremely engaging. While you do not have to love history to enjoy this book, you have to have some respect for it. The plot and the characters can not single-handedly hold up the book, the history is a big part, so if you hate it, this book is not for you. Also, if you want a cute romance novel, go pick up P.S. I Like You by Kaise West (I have a spoiler free review of this on my spoiler free review page!) and leave this book be. There is nothing cute about this book. So I hope I didn't scare you off because this novel is phenomenal!