13 Thoughts About 13 Reasons Why

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! Today’s post is going to be 13 thoughts about the new Netflix TV show, 13 Reasons Why. I used to love this book back in high school, it really resonated with me as a lonely teenager who dabbled in depression and could relate to the troubles of the characters in the story. Once the show came out on Netflix I wasted no time in marathoning the series, sometimes with commentary by my boyfriend and others alone in my dark living room, completely drawn into the story. Check out 13 of my thoughts about the new series below! Continue reading

Review: A Series of Unfortunate Events Ep. 1-2

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! Today I’m sharing with you my thoughts on my most anticipated series ever, since we got the news way back when that Netflix had acquired this show for release! A Series of Unfortunate Events, written by author Lemony Snicket, was literally my favorite book series as a child and adolescent, way before I had ever picked up a Harry Potter book. The TV series has premiered today, Friday the 13th, on Netflix, and I have watched the first two episodes – equaling the first book – this morning, and I thought I’d give my thoughts. Check them out below! Continue reading

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! Today I’m going to be reviewing the new book out in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I am a massive Harry Potter fan, I’ve grown up with the series, seen the final two movies at their midnight showings, and have been Hermione for Halloween for the past three years (my wild, frizzy hair fits the bill). So when I found out this book was coming out, I was so excited and ready for a new Potter-related thing to fill my life! While I had some mixed feelings on the plot itself, this book took me back home to Hogwarts. Check out some of my thoughts on the book below!

Continue reading

Book Review: Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

“The joy you find as a teen, however frivolous and dumb, is pure and meaningful. It doesn’t matter that it might ferment and taste different when you’re older. That’s the whole point of being a teenager – not worrying about the future.”

Kill the Boy Band (63).

25184383

This past week I read the book Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky, and I have to admit I loved it. The quick summary of the book is that a group of friends decide to get a room in the hotel their favorite boy band, The Ruperts, are staying at. When one of the girls kidnaps the ugly boy band member, things begin to go awry. First thing you should be aware of before reading this book, it gets pretty dark. You’re going to be reading some pretty morbid stuff and it’s going to make you crack up laughing. Since I love reading and watching darker comedy this was right up my alley. In the book jacket, Moldavsky says that one of her influences was the movie Heathers, which I could totally see in this book. The dark comedy is all there, and the relationships between the girls is almost similar to that of the Heathers.

To start off with, this book truly embraces internet and fangirl culture, which was an aspect of the book I really loved. There’s numerous references to Tumblr, Twitter, and fanfiction – all things that I, as well as the target audience of young adult girls, use regularly. It really knows who its target audience is and it doesn’t talk down to them or dumb things down; this is a book about fangirls written for fangirls. The boy band in the book is almost obviously based on One Direction, which in and of itself is hilarious, but as someone who was obsessed with 1D for a time as a teen, I could really relate to the characters and really understand the fangirl obbession.

Speaking of the characters, I definitely had my favorites and least faves. To start off with, the narrator seems to be nameless/faceless, which was something I wasn’t too happy with. I understand that the narrator is supposed to be an Everyman sort of character, a place for the reader to see themselves, but I felt that it was almost to fanfiction-y at time because of the reader insert idea. I loved the depth the other characters had though, especially in both Erin and Isabel. The exploration of the power these teen icons have over their fangirls, as seen in the backstory of Erin, is incredibly interesting and a real conversation that needs to happen in fandoms. We’ve seen in the Youtube community what happens when people with a fanbase are able to take advantage of their fans, so it’s a relevant and important discussion. Furthermore, the feminism that is shown in the story is great, the girls are more than just their fandoms and the use their skills brilliantly within their passions. For instance, Isabel has amazing investigative reporting skills and she uses those traits to run a fandom Twitter account tracking the boy band’s movements and getting insider scoops. Basically, you don’t want to be on the bad side of these girls.

Overall, I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a fun read, but it did have some downsides for me. As I mentioned before it felt a little too much like fanfiction in some parts, but I thought it really had its demographics down well. It didn’t talk down to the readers and embraced the social media that is present in modern day fangirling.

———————————————————————————————-

I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

Book Review: Alice by Christina Henry

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog. Today’s post is going to be another book review, this time featuring the book Alice by Christina Henry. I stumbled across this book on Goodreads somewhere in the beginning of the year (I believe on the Goodreads Best Books of 2015 list?) and I knew I had to read this. I am a huge lover of the Alice in Wonderland story and universe, and I’ll read or watch any book or movie that has to do with these characters. I really loved this book, so check out my reasons why below!

———————————————————————————————

51r8cQtAfyL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_

Alice by Christina Henry is the first book in a series about an incredibly dark take on the Alice in Wonderland Universe. Before I say anything more, let me make this clear that this book is probably not best for children or those who don’t like horror based on real life trauma. I was pretty shocked by just how dark the story got pretty much from the beginning, but you either learn to deal with the horrors you’re about to read or you should probably just put down this book. The story deals with rape and sexual abuse/assault which can be pretty hard to read if you’re not prepared or expecting it.

The story starts off with our main character, Alice, escaping during a fire from a mental hospital with Hatcher, a man whom she befriended through a mouse hole connecting their rooms. Alice has little to no memory of what happened years ago when she and her friend ventured into the bad part of the city, the only memory she has is a man with rabbit ears at a tea party. Our main characters quest is quickly established; during the fire that destroyed their hospital an ancient evil called the Jabberwock, and only Alice and Hatcher can stop him.

The story makes excellent use of the Alice in Wonderland universe, many of the recognizable characters are portrayed throughout this book, such as Caterpillar, the Walrus, and the Carpenter. My favorite use of the Wonderland characters is probably how Cheshire is written, a crime boss who is incredibly sinister under an amusing surface.

What I think I appreciated the most about this book is it’s portrayal of this world. As many of us know from the news, our real life world is where many bad things happen and people can commit unspeakable horrors against others. This book doesn’t take horror a la jump scares or one single evil presence in a world of good people; instead the horrors in this book are real life horrors, like rape, kidnapping, and the true villains in this book are the everyday citizens of the Old City committing atrocities on one another. While the Jabberwock is our main bad guy, he’s almost barely in the book, who instead chooses to focus on the crime lords controlling this city taking whatever they desire, whether it be goods or even people. The book didn’t venture away from the terror that can happen when bad people are in control and I really appreciated that. In a novel based off a children’s fairy tale, real life was really the true evil.

Overall I chose to give this book 4 stars out of 5. I enjoyed every second of this book, however sometimes I did have to put the book down and take a mental break from it. The only issue I had with the story is that I wasn’t too particularly invested in Hatcher’s character; I appreciated his role in the story but I didn’t really care about his character’s past or fate. The second installment in this series is coming out in July 2016 (I believe) and will be called Red Queen, and I will most definitely be picking it up when it comes out.

—————————————————————————————————

I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

end pic

Book Review: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Hello and welcome back to my blog, today’s post is going to be a book review on the latest book I’ve finished, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. I discovered this book thanks to the Goodreads Best of 2015 Book List, and after reading its description I thought I might be interested in it. Boy was that an understatement! Check out my more detailed thoughts on this book below!

———————————————————————————————-

23604559

Elsa, a spunky seven year old, begins our story arguing with her grandmother who has gotten into trouble with her after sneaking out of the hospital once again. Elsa’s grandmother is sick, although she reassures Elsa she’ll be home soon. Spoiler alert, if you couldn’t make an educated guess from the title of the book, Elsa’s grandmother isn’t coming home. Dealing with the lose of her only friend and confidant, Elsa discovers that her grandmother, a lover of fairy tales and stories, has left her with an adventure of a lifetime, a quest for forgiveness. As Elsa continues on her scavenger hunt, both Elsa and us as the readers learn that her grandmother’s imaginary world is most definitely real, and lives on through Elsa’s family and friends.

The characters in this story are so well rounded and thought out. We start with just an arbitrary glimpse of them and as the story progresses we delve into their personalities, history, and their humanity. The character I related to the most was Elsa’s mother, a woman struggling with having her own, independent career whilst still being a present mother to her child. As a young woman beginning to come into this question of career or family, I could definitely sympathize with her story. Maybe it’s also just be getting older, but who knows anymore.

This book hit me hard, I’m not going to lie. Elsa’s only friend is her Grandmother, and she’s also easily the closest family member she has. Growing up, I’ve always been a grandma’s girl, having lived and basically cared for by my grandmother on my Mom’s side and spending almost every weekend at my Grandma’s house on my dad’s side. My grandma on my dad’s side died my senior year in high school after a long battle with cancer, and just that part of my own history along made this story all the more real to me. By the end of the book I was bawling, because I felt like when Elsa’s grandmother was speaking to her, it was really my grandmother speaking to me. Cheesy, I know, but it was an already rough night when I finished this book and I took the story to heart.

Overall, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars, a first for me this year! Between the amazing writing, the well rounded and realistic characters, and the personal connections I felt with the story, I couldn’t give this book anything else. I will most likely be reading this book when I’m emotionally ready to pick it up again and I’m honestly glad to make a place for this story on my bookshelf.

————————————————————————————————

I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

end pic

Book Review: The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog, today’s post is going to be a review of a book I’ve been really excited to read for the past few months, The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff. As some of you may know from my bio, I was a history major in college and I love reading historical non-fictions. I also was able to take a class on witchcraft throughout history in my senior year, so I was really, really excited about this book and it did not disappoint! Check out the rest of my thoughts below!

——————————————————————————————-

563274521907e.image

The Witches revolves around the Salem Witch Trials which took place in Salem, Massachusetts from 1692-1693. This is a fascinating time of history in Colonial America as the primary occupants of this area are the Puritans, who are known for their strict adherence to the Bible and leading pious lives. The mass hysteria that grows throughout this village creates a dark mark on America history, a warning to future Americans about giving into mass hysteria and hive thought.

As a person who has read many historical non fictions for study, I found myself really enjoying reading this for fun. I loved how in depth Schiff went into the history and the culture of the Puritan towns. Not only did the details set the stage for how the witch trials came to be, but it also gave reasoning for why some of the “afflicted” young women came to accuse scores of people of witchcraft. As a person who is used to reading these sorts of heavy,  detail filled historical non fiction books, I wasn’t disappointed with its contents, however if you are not used to reading texts like that I could see how it would be hard to digest all the information.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5 because I really did enjoy the material, as well as learned a great deal about the Salem Witch Trials, a period of time in which I am very interested in. However, it didn’t get the full five stars just because on some days I had a hard time really digesting all the detail heavy information and I could see how it would turn some people off.

———————————————————————–

I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

end pic

Book Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog! Today’s post is another book review, this time the collection of essays and stories called Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Poehler writes in the introduction not to expect a typical novel structure out of this book, instead opting to combine various comedic essays about her life and things she’s learned and tied loosely together to create pseudo-chapters. Check out my thoughts on this book below!

———————————————————-

20910157-1As I mentioned before, Yes Please is less of a story or a memoir and more a collection of stories and comedic essays, and I must admit it’s pretty damn funny. But then, of course, what made by Amy Poehler isn’t funny?! One thing I noticed outright about the book is that Poehler doesn’t go too in depth into her current personal life or recent struggles. She claims that writing about her divorce from Will Arnett makes her too sad, so she decides to skim over it, referencing it on occasion. She writes a lot about things she’s discovering at her age of 42, which is hard to relate to at my age of 22. Essays about motherhood, giving birth, and just some of the mentions she has to middle aged women stuff is just something I cannot relate to. While I loved her essays on how she got into improve comedy and began her career, I skimmed over essays about divorce book titles. I just wished she delved more into her younger years and giving more life advice to younger women, which primarily seem to be her target audience.

I give this book 3 stars out of 5 because I really did enjoy the read for its humor and occasional bit of life advice. Poehler preaches about working hard in your industry to earn your recognition and not allowing yourself, as a young woman, to be invisible in your industry. It lost some stars for me because of the choppy nature of the book structure, as well as the bits of the book that I just could not relate to due to my age and lack of life experience.

———————————————————-

I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

end pic

Book Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog, today’s post is going to be another book review, this time the book Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I discovered this book looking at the Goodreads Choice 2015 Winners in the beginning of the year, and as a guilty pleasure lover of YA Lit, I knew I had to read this. While I enjoyed this book, check out some of my deep thoughts on the book below!

—————————————————————-

22328546

The premise of this book is that this dystopian world is split into two factions: the Reds and the Silvers. The Silvers are the rulers of the world and have special abilities (i.e superpowers) which make them more powerful. The Silvers also bleed silver blood, thus separating them from the Reds. The Reds are the common people, and this is where our protagonist, Mare Barrow, comes from. By chance she ends up serving the Silvers as young woman fight to prove themselves worthy to be queen, in some sort of weird tradition for the prince to find his bride. Mare ends up discovering she has one of these abilities and thus must be hidden within the Silver world, masquerading as a lost Silver princess. Not only does the book develop Mare’s powers, but she also must struggle to deal with a rising rebellion by a group of Reds which threaten the Silver regime.

Honestly, I found the plot of the novel to be unoriginal at best. The amount of times I found myself thinking that parts of the story resembled the Hunger Games were too high for me to truly enjoy the storyline. It felt like I had already read this book in any previous YA dystopian series. I wasn’t really surprised by any of the twists or surprises, and it just didn’t speak to me.

The characterization was meh, I particularly didn’t like how vague Mare was described throughout the story. Even after ready all three hundred and something pages, the only description I can thing of Mare’s appearance or personality is that she’s rebellious and has brown hair.

The book wasn’t bad per say, I enjoyed it for the mindless entertaining read but it definitely wasn’t something new to me or inspired me to pick up the other books in the series. I actually returned the book to Target after finishing it at work today because I knew it wasn’t going to be one that I really wanted to reread, plus I used the money to pick up another book. I give Red Queen 2 stars out of 5, because while I did have problems with it, I did at least enjoy the book enough to finish it. I’m not sorry I picked it up, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for something more than an entertaining read that you can’t take too seriously.

—————————————————————

I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

Book Review: Metro 2033

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog, today’s post is going to be a book review on a book I just finished reading earlier this week, Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky. I’ve been pretty sick this week with a raging cold, so lyaing in bed reading is pretty much the only thing I’ve been able to do, so I thought I’d give you some thoughts on a book I really enjoyed!

———————————————————————————-

91me6ZFu6YL

Metro 2033 is a Russian science fiction novel that was later turned into a video game, and it was heavily recommended to me by my boyfriend and given to me by him for Christmas. The story takes place in the year 2033 after the world has been destroyed by a nuclear war. Some of the Russian people were able to survive the fallout of the nuclear blasts by hiding in the subway system, which has now become the home of whats left of humanity. It centers around young Artyom (our protagonist), who must travel throughout the subway system on an epic quest to right what he had wronged many years previously. I loved how Glukhovsky went into incredible detail about how life worked at every metro station and how the history of these people progress over time. I must admit that I am not the most knowledgeable about Russian history or culture, but I definitely enjoyed learning about it  in a real, tangible way throughout this story. One thing that did detract a bit for me was the focus, at times, on philosophy. I’m not the biggest fan of philosophical texts, so I did have trouble at times really wrapping my head around parts of the story, but overall I found that I was really able to grasp the main concepts of the novel.

I’d give this book 4 stars out of 5, detracting one star for the heavy focus on philosophy and the trouble I had at time understanding the Russian history being spoken about. I’d highly recommend this book to sci-fi lovers or anyone interested in Russian Culture.

———————————————————

I’m participating in the Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge (I’m going for 50 books read in 2016!), so if you’d like to follow along with my progress or just see what I’m reading you can check that out here. I’m also attempting the Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge, which can be found here. Let me know in the comments any books you’d recommend and what you’re currently reading. See you all next time!

end pic