Tuesday, December 31, 2013

'Tis the End of All Things {this year}

Happy New Years Eve everybody!  

Do you have any special plans for tonight? I'll be attending a costume party, which should be fun.
After long consideration I've set on going as Nancy Drew and you may, or may not, be seeing pictures of my fab outfit in the near future ;)

I have hopped on here after a very (VERY) long absence, for which I apologize, to give you all a taste of what I hope this next year will hold for this blog.

Hopefully, by having a plan I will feel the pressure of responsibility. Because, let's face it, even bloggers that love to blog will get in slumps where they don't have the motivation to write their emotions down for all to read.

With Christmas, and a new job, I have been unmotivated to write for my blog, which I regret. There may come a day when I lose all interest in blogging and having a life on the internet.


Now, onto the plan! I love making plans and schedules and task charts, but hardly do I ever accomplish them. That's why I'm letting you all know my plan, that way I'm held accountable.

2014 Blog Plan

At least 2-3 Book Reviews a Month
At least one post about something writing related per week
1 post about my life and what's happening on my side of the screen each month

2014 Blog Goal 
Have enough followers by the end of the year to start doing giveaways

If any of you have book recommendations it would be appreciated greatly! Also, if you know fellow bloggers that would enjoy my blog, please share it :) Thanks everyone, and have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 Or, more accurately:

From Goodreads: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


My review (SPOILER FREE): The Fault in Our Stars is a beautifully written story about two cancer kids that fall in love. It's about the way we look at life and how, after a life close to us is taken away, that perspective effects the way we cope. It's about learning that people aren't who they seem (or who you want them) to be. People will disappoint you greatly, or perhaps surprise you into love. This book is about LIFE. Real life. Real people. Real love. 

This story and the characters in it are alive in my heart and they will never leave. Reading this book brought laughter to my lips, tears to my eyes, and deep thoughts to my mind. What a marvelous combination! The way John Green writes makes me feel and think - not many writers can do that, and he does it wonderfully and fluidly. John Green, you are MAGNIFICENT. 

The main two characters: 

Hazel Lancaster - "I told Augustus the broad outline  of my miracle diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer when I was thirteen. (I didn't tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You're a woman. Now die). It was, we were told, incurable." ~Hazel, page 24. 

Hazel is sixteen, her favorite book is An Imperial Infliction, and she enjoys watching reality TV shows with her parents. She attends college classes and has a huge vocabulary. Because of the metastasis forming in her lungs she is constantly hooked up to an oxygen tank. She has short brown hair and is told by Augustus she looks like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta.

Shailene Woodley as Hazel in the upcoming film adaption.

She is an up-beat, sarcastic girl that has an irrepressible affection for...

Augustus Waters - Handsome and flirtatious, this guy stole that piece of my heart reserved for book boyfriends as soon as I set eyes on him. Augustus meets Hazel at Support Group and they start their relationship with a steamy stare-down, which Hazel wins. Confident, charming, tall. This guy has it all...well, I guess there's the little detail of him having one leg due to the Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) that was in it.

Augustus is determined to leave his mark on the earth before he dies. In this way he is very different from Hazel, who is afraid to hurt anyone by leaving her mark and does all she can to prevent the pain others will feel when she herself dies. Augustus complains at one point of the book that he just wishes he could have a major impact on people. "It crossed my mind to fake a choking incident or something so that he might give me the Heimlich. Maybe then he could rid himself of this fear that his life had been lived and lost for no greater good." ~Hazel, page 237.

She then tries to make him understand that by just living he impacts those around him: "I just want to be enough for you, but I never can be. This can never be enough for you. But this is all you get. You get me, and your family, and this world. This is your life." ~Hazel, page 241.

Ansel Elgort as Augustus in the upcoming film adaption.

They are young and in love and bring to mind a favorite quote from Doctor Who: "Life is short, and you are hot" ~Billy Shipton in the episode Blink.

 5 Stars

Ages 15+ (depends on maturity level)
-some language, sexual references, and brief sex scene-

 (End of spoiler free review)








Okay, if you're still reading this I am assuming that a) you've already read the book, or b) you want the book to be completely spoiled for you. I will not take any blame for poor, spoiled blogglings, understood?  ;)

Note: This part of the review is more likely to be a sobbing rant, rather than a well written review. 

 My emotional status in the last 50 pages went from this:

To this:

To this:

It was just too much! The other time I have cried this hard because of a book was reading Allegiant! I came downstairs, my face swollen and red, and my mom looked at me and was all "What's the matter?!" and I was just like:

After realizing that I was just crying over a book, which is pretty normal, she gave me a hug and teased me about how 'it's just a book, it can't hurt you really'. You know, the normal mom talk.

John Green you are very skilled at making me sob violently, thank you. Like I said, you are a magnificent writer.


They deserved better! They deserved each other!

I guess that's just life though, right? We're all dying, not just cancer patients. Every minute we live is another minute closer to death. Cancer patients just have to live with that constant reminder, unlike those that lead 'healthy' lives. Just because I don't have cancer doesn't mean I'm guaranteed a long life. Now, I'm not saying that people with cancer don't have it worse than non-cancer people. We go about our lives normally, while they (like I just said) are repeatedly reminded that they could die any minute. Their lives are painful, emotional, and sad. The Fault in Our Stars gives a peek into what living with a tumor inside your lungs is like. I really appreciated this, because in all the movies I've seen with cancer patients they are always so angelic and perfect. Hazel and Augustus are not. They fight (with each other and their parents), they're selfish, sarcastic, thoughtful, and have many of the same emotions every teenager has. 

And they loved. They loved each other in a way that wasn't just the normal 'boyfriend/girlfriend' way.

So, naturally, Augustus had to go and die.

Of course.

Throw a pile of bricks at my heart, why don't you? 

You know it must be an amazing book if it can make you have all these feels.

And this, my blogglings, is most certainly an amazing book.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wings by Aprilynne Pike

From Goodreads: Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.


I found this book on Goodreads and, being the die-hard-fairy-lover I am, went to my library and checked it out. Lo and behold on the front cover were these words, which I had failed to notice until I got home:

"A REMARKABLE DEBUT" ~ Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga.

That about turned me off. Not that I'm absolutely against the Twilight series, it just seems like a waste. I've seen the first movie and have read the first few chapters of the first book, but just wasn't interested...at all. 

So I almost put the book down.


Sadly, if I had I would not have missed anything. Wings had an interesting fairy-plot (what kind of fairies they were, what their history was, etc.) and the characters weren't that bad. I didn't finish the book wanting to read the next, so I guess that speaks for itself. The main thing that made the worst impression on me was the dreaded LOVE TRIANGLE. I had a feeling there would be some cheesy, sappy romance (Hello, the author of Twilight recommends it) so I shouldn't be that dissapointed.

But I am.

I'm a fairy lover. I still watch the Tinker Bell movies whenever I can with my little sister...and you know what? I'm proud of my love for fairies. Many girls grow out of their wishful fairy thoughts, but not me. Maybe it's because I'm a writer (but more likely it's because I don't want to offend Peter Pan if I ever met him) or maybe it's that I haven't grown up yet.

Anyone else fall in love with him in this movie?

Thing is, if I'm going to read a faerie book I'm expecting something spectacular, something I'd love my sister to read someday. Wings was not spectacular; it was a fast, easy read and although I don't regret reading it, it won't be something I recommend to others.

It was just...eh.


3 Stars

Ages 14+
(brief sexual references)

Monday, December 2, 2013

When You Become a Loser

I did not win NaNo this year. 

But, I wrote about 7,000 words in two weeks, which is something I've never done before! My grandparents came and visited for a week and a half. Thanksgiving was amazing (and I was full for days after...).

I had a great month full of family and friends and food

Wish I had these dwarves to help with the dishes afterword though.

Sure, I only wrote the first two weeks of November.

Yes, I was too lazy.

Correct, I did choose Doctor Who over my laptop many nights.

But no, I am not a NaNo loser. Neither are you.

I wanted to give a little pep talk to all of us who didn't reach our goals. First off, YOU ARE NOT A LOSER. You may feel discouraged and down and keep saying things in your head like "Maybe I'm not a writer after all...I guess this isn't something I'm good at." Guess what? No writer in the history of writing ever felt good about a novel they tried to write in 30 days. The point of NaNo isn't to write a magnificent novel ready to be sent to the publishers; the point is to WRITE. To put as many words to paper (or screen) as you can, as fast as you can. It's basically a race of sorts, except all who participate are considered winners.

Now, I know that pang you felt in your heart when you saw how many of your writing buddies had the purple banner next to their names pronouncing them a WINNER! I know, because that's what I felt.

As the 30th drew closer and closer I began to realize how undedicated (<--spell-check insists that's not a word) I was to my writing. Here are some tips I made to help prepare myself for next NaNoWriMo.

1. Take typing lessons. Seriously, this is a skill necessary for achieving your word count goal. If you sit down for an hour and only get 500 words on the page, you are going to have a rough month. 

2. Make October your plotting month. Character profiles, inspirational quotes, outlining, etc. etc.: get it done! I jumped into NaNo with just a basic idea and a main character. <---major downfall.

3. Write all throughout the year. Poems, short stories, novels: whatever.  Just make sure that November isn't the only month you set writing goals. By doing this, you'll prepare yourself for the intense pressure of NaNo. 

4. Read. If you're a writer, there's a pretty big probability you enjoy reading. Reading lots of books from many different genres is great and all, but in order to expand your talents as a writer you need to read:

a) books in the same genre that you're writing.
This way, you submerge yourself into the type of world you wish to put on paper.

b) your favorite books. 
The books that make you cry and laugh. The characters that live close to your heart. This is the type of magic you want people to remember in your writing. 

5. Don't worry. Every new experience as writer will grow you in ways you wouldn't imagine. Even if...wait for it...THAT EXPERIENCE IS NOT PHYSICALLY WRITING. Those days where you go to the park with you siblings, when you think you should be home writing. The nights your mom, dad, and brother stay up later than the younger children to watch TV and eat secret ice cream...and you decide to join them. When you wake up in the morning exhausted and hit the snooze button to sleep for an extra hour...or three. Every happening in your every day life is growing you into a better writer. Writers pour out their emotions, thoughts, dreams, pasts, and stories into their writing. 

Without such experiences books would be bland, poems probably would cease to exist, and the world wouldn't have as many people sharing the same desire to WRITE. The same yearning in their hearts to have the characters living inside their heads to be loved by others.

Every writer is different. Some are outliners, some are more of the dreamer type, some have huge vocabularies, and some can develop amazing characters better than others. We all have our talents, even if we haven't officially discovered them yet. Keep writing, my friends. Do not let go of your dream and passion just because "Well, I didn't win NaNo so I must not be a writer". 


Great things, you will do.


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