January 1, 2019

2019 Reading Goals

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Hi there Literature Lovers! Happy New Year!

I’m sure many of you are setting your goals for the New Year, whether that relates to work, an activity you want to pursue, or our mutual love, reading!

I have decided that this year I want to read 75 books. You can friend me on GoodReads to follow my progress.

There are two main challenges that I am setting myself for this year:

1) Read every book on my To Read list that is on Goodreads

We are all guilty of buying books and pushing them down our TBR as newer books are released. I have been sorting through my bookshelves and trying to minimize my collection. It’s mostly because my tastes have changed in the last year and a half. Despite this, I would like to read some of these books before I decide to give them away. There are around 50 currently on my TBR, some of which are the first in a series, so I will probably save those for later, but I plan to make it through all my unread books this year. Who knows, I might find a new favorite!

2) Read all 26 books in the Penguin Drop Caps editions

I started really collecting these books at the beginning of 2018. I had received the first book, Pride and Prejudice, for Christmas in 2013 with no intention of getting the rest of the books. Flash forward to today and I have collected almost all of these beautiful books. I want to actually read all of them, ideally by the end of 2019, so I plan to read two or three of them a month. It’ll be a fun way to get back into classics!

I’m so excited and motivated for this year and I will keep you posted on my progress as the months go by!

I’d love to hear about your reading goals for this year so please share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

October 30, 2018

Book Review | Alex, Approximately

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You’ve Got Mail is one of my all time favorite movies. It has beautiful shots of New York and books, lots and lots of books. What’s not to love? It also has a great enemies turn lovers story line that is compelling to watch. When I heard that there was a YA version of this story with vintage films instead of books, I was so excited to check it out.

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett follows Bailey “Mink” Rydell, a film fanatic with a love for vintage clothing. She has just moved to a small beach community in California to live with her dad, and to find Alex, her friend from an online film forum. She has no idea who Alex is and does not tell him that she has moved to his hometown, instead wanting to seek him out and see if they are drawn to each other as easily as they are online. But then she meets Porter, a boy from work who is drop dead gorgeous and gets under her skin. Bailey has to find out who to go with: Alex or Porter. (Spoiler but not really because it is in the synopsis on the back of the book: they are one and the same).

I thought overall that this was an okay story. It was about what I expected for a YA version of You’ve Got Mail, although I will admit I had higher expectations.

I think it might have benefited more if we could have seen things from both Bailey and Porter’s perspectives. Bailey isn’t necessarily a bad main character, but she has this naïveté that feels so unrealistic to me, and I’m saying this as someone who was very sheltered growing up. I also would have personally gone about their first meeting being different. The whole relationship starts with him being a complete ass and making fun of her (not mild teasing, making fun of her) and then she hates him for five seconds before remembering that he’s hot. It could have been something simple (and yes, predictable) like they met at work, thought each other were attractive, but he was being a bit too bossy and she was being pretentious (which she kind of is) and that was their big reason of disliking each other.

It also felt like there was all this unnecessary drama added in to make the story longer, mostly involving an old surfer friend of Porter’s who was acting like a tool the whole time just because. It was a bit boring.

Again, this was an okay book. I don’t know if it is something I will re-read again, but for what it was, it was all right.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5 Stars.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

August 16, 2018

Book Review | Gilded Ashes

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gilded ashesGilded Ashes is a novella from Rosamund Hodge, author of Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bond. This Cinderella retelling is set within the same universe as Cruel Beauty, where there are demons and Gentle Lords who barter with the common folk to achieve their own ends. Cinderella, known as Maia in this retelling, has been living with a haunting secret for years: her mother is a demon, and she must constantly lie about her happiness to save the people around her from this ghost.

I was surprised how quickly I fell into this story. I liked Cruel Beauty for the most part, but I found the continuous descriptions of the horrible demons monotonous at times. I think 80 pages was the perfect length for this. It definitely gave me Ella Enchanted vibes during all the scenes with Maia and Lord Anax (the prince in this version). They had an easy back and forth and felt like they were real people getting to know each other.

It was also refreshing to see the stepsisters in a different way. In every version of this story the stepsisters are mean to Cinderella simply because they can be. In this version the younger stepsister Thea was actively trying to be friends with Maia while Kore was mean to Maia because she thought that was her mother wanted her to do. All three girls were simply looking for happiness in this dark world and were trying to do whatever it took to reach that happy end.

Overall, I really enjoyed Gilded Ashes and would highly recommend picking this up for your e-reader.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Have you read any of the Cruel Beauty books? Which was your favorite? Share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

August 2, 2018

Book Review | Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon

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lost lagoonRapunzel and the Lost Lagoon is a middle grade adventure novel by Lelia Howland. This story is both a prequel and a mid-quel to the Tangled television show that is currently airing on Disney Channel (which, side-note, is super cute and I highly recommend). It is told in from the dual perspectives of Rapunzel and Cass, the daughter of the captain of the royal guard and Rapunzel’s lady-in-waiting. Most of the focus is put on the building friendship of these two very different ladies with the rest centered on a mysterious lagoon that holds an ancient power.

Lelia captured both Rapunzel’s unfailing enthusiasm and Cass’s brusk nature very well. I could practically hear the voices of these characters. The overall tone of the story easily melds with the adventures in the TV show, which definitely made it easy to get into this story. The ending was a little predictable, but it was still interesting to see how the heroes were able to handle the situation.

If you are a Tangled fan or just love adventure stories, I would recommend you give this a shot!

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.

Thanks for reading!

July 16, 2018

Atlanta Comic Con

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This past weekend was the Atlanta Comic Con and I was beyond excited! Comics and Fandom stuff galore, what’s not to love? What my sister and I were most excited for, though, was getting to meet some of the special guests from our favorite movies and TV shows!

My sister met with Nichelle Nichols, the original Uhura from Star Trek: The Original Series. Nichelle was super sweet and funny and it was so cute how excited my sister got seeing her.

MeetingBelle

The person I was personally most excited to meet was Paige O’Hara a.k.a Belle a.k.a my all-time favorite Disney Princess! She is the only person I got a photo with at the convention, but I did get to meet Linda Larkin, a.k.a Princess Jasmine (another favorite of mine) as well and have her sign a print that we’ve had hanging up since we were little. You can kind of see Linda in the background of this photo – she is the blonde woman in the back.

neville

My sister and I also meet the amazing Matthew Lewis, better known as Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies. Neville has always been one of my all-time favorite Harry Potter characters, second only to Hermione Granger. Neville was always a character that I wanted to give a hug and be his best friend, and I remember some of my friends and classmates teasing me for liking this goofy secondary character who was always losing things and messing up potions. They stopped after Order of the Phoenix came out and showed how important Neville would end up being. I am so glad I got to meet Matt and get my Funko Pop signed. It’s a great addition to my Harry Potter collection.

The last person we met was Sean Astin. We have seen a lot of his work, specifically Rudy, The Goonies, Stranger Things and of course Lord of the Rings. He signed my copy of Fellowship of the Ring and my sister’s Samwise Funko. We were able to have the most interaction with him, which was surprising considering how long his line was. He was a very sweet guy and joked around with everyone who came up to see him.

We had never met any celebrities before this event and we are so glad that we got to have the experience. Everyone in line with us was respectful and patiently for their turn to meet the stars. I don’t know if it’s because we are in the South and we try to be extra polite or people were starstruck, but overall the process of meeting the stars was handled extremely well.

prints

Atlanta Comic Con also had tons of amazing artists scattered around the room, but there was one booth that had the cutest prints. The artist is Dylan Bonner (Follow him on Instagram: @dylanbonner90), who has done some of the artwork for the Disny Pocket Princess comics from JoeBooks. I picked up two smaller prints, one of Cinderella for my sister (as that is her favorite Princess) and one of Anastasia in her dress from the ‘Once Upon a December’ scene. I ended up going back a little while later and grabbing his Marvel print that featured Stan Lee as well as four of my absolute favorite characters: Spider-Man, Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy and Sue Storm/Invisible Woman! It is now proudly displayed on my graphic novels shelf. He also has a Society6 page (https://society6.com/dylanbonner) if anyone is interested. It didn’t look like these specific prints were on there, but he had some other amazing works that I would highly suggested checking out, especially if you are into mermaids.

I am so glad I was able to attend this event and can’t wait for next year!

Did any of you attend this event, or have you been to any comic conventions in your areas? If so, what was your favorite thing?

Thanks for reading!

June 6, 2017

May Wrap-Up 2017

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Hi there, Literature Lovers! It is officially summer! Time for beach reads and days spent by the pool! Share what books are on your summer reading lists in the comments below!

I thought I would quickly share what books I read this past month. Have you read any of these? Let me know what you thought!

(Mina Lima) Beauty and the Beast

Every Heart a Doorway

To All the Boys I Loved Before

P.S. I Still Love You

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Thanks for reading!

March 31, 2017

February/March Book Haul

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Hi there, Literature Lovers! I hope you are all doing well! I wanted to share with you some quick pics of the books I have picked up the past two months. I received some Barnes and Noble gift cards for Valentine’s Day and hopped online to order a few things. Let me know in the comments below what books you have picked up recently, whether they are e-books, library books or you made a trip to the bookstore to add to your personal library.

everydoorway

 

beauty and the beast film       mina lima beauty and the beast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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March 2, 2017

February Wrap-Up 2017

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Hey there Literature Lovers! I hope you’ve had a great February. Here’s a quick list of the things I read this past month. Let me know in the comments what you read and if you had a favorite book from your list.

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Black Canary Volume 2: New Killer Star by Brendan Fletcher

The Fade Out: Act Two by Ed Brubaker

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack

•Archie #17 by Mark Waid

Jughead #9 by Ryan North

Thanks for reading!

February 9, 2017

Book Review | The Miserable Mill

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The Miserable Mill is the forth book in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, the thirteen-book series documenting the lives of the Baldulaire orphans as they try to escape the clutches of the villainous Count Olaf. It is also my least favorite of the first five books. By book four the formula of the children being placed in the care of a random guardian that is not an actual relation of theirs and having to outwit the grownups was becoming a bit stale. This particular one was also a little over the top when it came to the reader’s suspension of disbelief. While Lemony Snicket’s world is supposed to be completely ridiculous, I remember always thinking it was strange that Mr. Poe was dropping off the children at a lumber mill. They had no relation to Sir or Charles. Did he just call up a lumber mill and ask if they wanted three kids? And of course there is the scene toward the end where Sunny sword fights with her unusually sharp teeth.

…okay.

The one thing that I enjoyed was the inclusion of hypnosis. Although I have read this multiple times growing up and so already knew about this story line, it is a great twist and how it was revealed I thought was handled really well.

As I said, this isn’t my favorite of the first five installments of the series, but still an enjoyable read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.