Posted in Books, Reviews, Shades of Magic Series

A Darker Shade Of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) -V.E. Schwab || Book REVIEW

This is one of the first YA books I’ve read to completion in years, and is one of the few fantasy books I’ve picked up recently, as well. Has this sparked a love for YA fantasy, in my heart? Let’s find out!

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From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes–as such, he can choose where he lands.

Rated – PG13 (Violence, intense, some gore)

Publication Date – February 24, 2015

Length – 401 pages.


The Good :

  • This book was SO fun. Seriously. I found myself on the edge of my seat, more than once. I  was honestly really surprised by this because I don’t usually find myself gripped by books, unless they are horror or mysteries. So, this was a pleasant surprise.
  • The magic system was also interesting to me. I can’t really remember the last fantasy book I’ve read, that included magic, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything like it. I liked that it could take over a person, almost like possession.
  • Of course, the jumping between Londons was awesome, and it made me wonder if there was something similar going on, in the real world (Victoria, do you know something we don’t???)
  • I was surprised by the grit of this book. I didn’t realize YA got this bloody and violent. I’m intrigued…
  • I enjoyed Lila, and the other supporting characters. They had spunk and when something bad happened to one of it, I really felt their pain.
  • The villains were awesome too! They were so devilish and the way I imagined their voices, sent chills down my spine. Loved them!
  • This is a 400 page book, but it really felt like 200. I like that! This was a quick, easy, and fun read.
  • I was afraid there would be some kind of “chosen one” story line, but it really doesn’t seem that way. I love that. Let them work for their power!
  • There is little, to no, love story! YES! I LOVED that! It really raised the quality of this book, for me. Not that I don’t enjoy a romance subplot, in appropriate places, but this book didn’t need it.

The Meh:

  • The writing was less than stellar. I feel like with a little more “oomf” this could have been FANTASTIC!

The Bad:

  • Don’t shoot me, but I was not a huge fan of Kell. Brooding, serious main characters are really not for me. I need them to have a sense of humor or SOMETHING! It’s just so boring to me. Luckily, I liked the other characters enough to save this book for me, but it seriously could have been ruined with just this.

  • STORY – 4.5/5 (SO FUN! It took me by surprise and the twists and turns were exciting. Plus points for no love story or “chosen one” story line.
  • CHARACTERS – 3/5 (The villains were really cool and the side characters were interesting, but I didn’t like how serious the main character was…lighten up dude.)
  • WRITING – 3.5/5 (It didn’t blow me away, but it was fine.)
  • UNIQUENESS – 4/5 ( The magic system, the different Londons, and lack of love story made this a unique read.)

ALL IN ALL, I GIVE THIS 3.75 NEW BOOTS OUT OF 5!

 

I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next, in the series! Have you read this series? What did you think about it? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!

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Check out my last post on my review of The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel HERE!

 

Posted in Reviews

The Summer That Melted Everything – Tiffany McDaniel || Book REVIEW

I was sent this book by the author in return for a full and honest review. This did not affect my thoughts about the book.

I have never read a “magical realism” book before, even though it totally seems up my ally. Did this book give me more interest in the genre? Let’s find out!

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Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

Rated : PG 13 – Some language, intense scenes, and racial slurs. TRIGGER WARNING – ABUSE, RACIAL SLURS, AND SUICIDE.

Length : 320 pages

Publication date – July 26, 2016


The Good:

  • In my review of Backwoods Ripper by Anna Willett (see HERE), my biggest issue with the book was that it seemed to take a lot of inspiration from Misery by Stephen King. I had similar feelings about this book, but it actually made me like it more, instead of less. The book I think this took inspiration from was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Collins, along with many others. I especially saw the similarities between Attitcus Finch and Autopsy Bliss (the fathers in both). Maybe this raised the standard of the book for me because I loved both of those characters (let’s be fair, I’m allowed to be biased), but I really think it was because both characters were essential to the plots of their respective books and were done well.
  • The setting was awesome. It was set in the 1980’s, but sometimes I felt it was set even before then, due to the fact that our characters live in a small, rural town. I think this was a really realistic take on these small towns, due to the fact that they often grow with the times slower than bigger cities.
  • I was first put off by some of the characters, because I felt they were given quirks just for the sake of standing out among the rest, but as the story went on I really grew to love them. I feel like these oddities that seem to follow around every character (a little person who fixes roofs, or a woman who refuses to go outside due to fear of the rain, for example) were actually there, to make the character growth seem even more dramatic, and I’m not mad about it.
  • Every once in awhile, there would be something said that I found incredibly profound. It actually took me a while to get through this book because I found myself having to actually put it down, and really think about what I just read.
  • Some important themes like race, mental illness, and sexuality appeared, in this book, and I was really pleasantly surprised by that and how it was handled.

The Meh :

  • As you could probably guess from the synopsis, a major theme in this book is religion. I can’t say it was addressed poorly, by any means, but I’m just kind of tired of seeing religion being portrayed this way, in books. I can’t really go into much detail, in fear of spoiling anything, but I think I’m going to have a whole discussion about this, on my Youtube Channel.
  • This book jumps between two time periods, 1984 and present day, where we follow the main character in his adolescence and when he is around seventy, looking back on his life. I really could have done without the present day section, in fact, I wish it was omitted completely. I understand it was there to show the impact the summer of ’84 had on him, but I wish it had been left up to interpretation.

The Bad :

  • The only thing I had a real issue with in the book, was that writing took me a LONG time to get used to. I can’t really place my finger on what bothered me so much about it, but I actually considered putting it down more than once, in the first 20 pages or so.

  • STORY – 4.5/5 (I really enjoyed reading about when the main character was a child, but was much less interested in him as an adult. I didn’t need to learn what came of him after, and wish it was left up to interpretation.)
  • CHARACTERS – 5/5 (At first I thought they were hokey, but as I read I realized their quirks had purpose.)
  • WRITING – 4.5/5 (Took me a while to get into the groove of the writing. )
  • UNIQUENESS – 5/5 (Although obviously inspired by many books, the story was still its own.)

ALL IN ALL, I GIVE THIS 4.75 ODDLY COLORED SHOELACES OUT OF 5!


Have you read this book? What did you think about it? What is your favorite classic? I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!

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Check out my last post on Music This Month: February HERE!

Posted in Music

My Music This Month || FEBRUARY

Oh boy I’m doing this again! I wrote a post like this almost half a year ago, and had a really good time with it, but then I took a hiatus from the blog and forgot all about it.

I was reminded of it because I listened to A LOT music this month and thought, lets revive it, shall we?

21 Pilots

Ok so I went through a HUGE 21 Pilots phase this month, and had to actually cut out a lot of the songs I listened to on repeat, so that it wasn’t all about them this month.

Song(s) included –

  • Migraine
  • House of Gold
  • Heavydirtysoul
  • We Don’t Believe What’s On TV

Melanie Martinez

I LOVE Melanie Martinez, but only one of her songs is included this month. It is an AWESOME remix of Carousel.

Song included –

  • Carousel – Bleep Bloop Remix

Kanye West

So Kanye doesn’t make music in the genre I like, but the song I chose of his is GREAT for when I’m running. It’s got a heavy base line and keep me going.

Song included –

  • Fade

The Chainsmokers

I haven’t always been the hugest fan of The Chainsmokers, but recently their music has really been appealing to me.

Song(s) included –

  • Something Just Like Us ft. Coldplay
  • Paris

Ed Sheeran

Ed is my jam and I love him, that’s all.

Song included –

  • Shape of You

Cast of La La Land

I saw this movie and actually wanted to make a video about how much I loved it, but never got around to it. But since I found the soundtrack on Spotify, you better believe it’s been on repeat.

Song(s) included –

  • Someone In The Crowd
  • City Of Stars

Imagine Dragons

IMAGINE DRAGONS YAAS!

Song include –

  • Believer

Jon Bellion

I’ve actually never heard of this guy before, but when I heard this song, I thought it was 21 Pilots. It’s SO up my alley and I’m excited to hear more from him!

Song included –

  • All Time Low

Dr. Dog

When I saw Dr. Dog had out a new album, I literally screamed. So I included the new song (which I LOVE) and my favorite song of theirs.

Song(s) included –

  • Ladada
  • Heart It Races

Panic! At The Disco

What is a list of music, without my babe Brendon Urie? Seriously, if Panic isn’t included…PANIC! (hahah) Anyway, I love Death Of A Bachelor because it feels almost theatrical and its just something a little different than what I’ve been listening to (except the actual theatrical stuff fro La La Land).

Song included –

  • Death Of A Bachelor

 

And that’s all my favorite music from this month!

Tell me what your current favorite song(s) is! I really want to know.

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Check out my last post on my review of Shopaholic Ties the Knot – Sophie Kinsella HERE!

 

 

Posted in Reviews

Shopaholic Ties The Knot (Shopaholic #3) – Sophie Kinsella || Book REVIEW

When I’m feeling like a reading slump is coming my way, nothing helps me more than picking up one of the Shopaholic books! Did this book save my reading? Let’s find out!

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There’s never been a better excuse to buy a new dress…or two.

Shopaholic Ties the Knot

The irresistible heroine of Confessions of a Shopaholic and Shopaholic Takes Manhattan is back!–in a hilarious tale of mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, and one blushing bride who just can’t say no to saying “I do.”

Rated – PG13 (Some language and sexual innuendos)

Publication date – March 4, 2003

Length – 328 pages


The Good –

  • I think the story, in this one, was much better than the first two. Since I read the first one, the main thing keeping me coming back was the humor, but I actually believe that this book’s story actually kept me coming back and I think Kinsella really found her footage, during this book.
  • A big issue I’ve had with these, in the past, was the lack of character growth. I feel like, by the end of the book, most of these issues were resolved. Of course, I don’t know if this is actually fixed, since I haven’t started reading the next in the series, but it seems like there is definitely a step in the right direction.
  • The things that I’ve found great, in the past books, are still great! Becky’s hilarious point of view, is still present and is definitely still hilarious. The letters between banks and such are also still present and we actually read about Becky’s relationship with her new banker (I miss Derek Smeath).
  • I usually get a ton of second hand embarrassment from this series, but I felt like this book was a lot more sparing to me and my feelings.

The Meh –

  • Although I said that I thought the character development is getting better, there was a point in this book that I kind of *lost it*. I actually went on a little rant on twitter at about 50% of the book about the characters. I just got so tired of seeing Becky and Luke do the same exact things over and over again.

The Bad –

  • I actually have a little bit of a problem with the relationship between Luke and Becky. Like, I don’t think it is unhealthy, but Becky and Luke never seem to talk to each other about really big issues that happen in their lives. I just could never live like that.

  • STORY – 4/5 (I loved this one! It was a more fun and unique spin on the classic wedding planning story.)
  • CHARACTERS – 4/5 (All my issues seem to be solved, minus the communication issues.)
  • WRITING – 4/5 (So funny! Loved the letter in this one even more!)
  • UNIQUENESS – 3.5/5 (Pretty standard chick lit, but that’s what we need sometimes!)

ALL IN ALL I GIVE THIS 3.9 SLEEPING BEAUTY WEDDINGS OUT OF 5!

 

Have you read the Shopaholic series? What did you think about it! I’d love to know!

Thanks for reading!

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Check out my last post on Eating Disorder Awareness Week HERE!

Posted in Editorials

Eating Disorder Awareness Week || MY STORY

Hey guys, I am straying from my usual content to talk about Eating Disorder Awareness Week (2/26 – 3/4) this week. Just a disclaimer this will be a serious and possibly disturbing post, so if you are sensitive to vomit please be aware.

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Ever since I was around 15, I have suffered from bulimia, but just recently found out I also suffer from body dysmorphia.

A little history about my body. I have always struggled with my weight, due to genes and general laziness. My weight does vary, but this is not a story of me getting so thin that I became ill, because I have remained overweight throughout most of my life.

Bulimia

As I said earlier, I really began developing bulimia, but it really got worse last spring, when I was going through a hard time in my life. My bulimia is not always present, but really flares up when I’m feeling out of control in my life.

Here are some symptoms of bulimia that I suffer from:

  • Obsession with body image, weight, and/or dieting
  • Repeated binge eating episodes over a specified period of time
  • Loss of control during episodes of bingeing
  • Purging behaviors follow a binge to attempt to compensate for extra calories consumed

– Timberline Knolls

Some other symptoms I have, at my worst, is excessive exercise, and pushing myself during workouts to the point of vomiting.

Body Dysmorphia

I always thought those with body dysmorphia had a skewed view of themselves when looking in the mirror and I always thought it couldn’t be me since I knew my weight, so I had concrete facts telling me I was overweight.

It wasn’t until I compared my body to a character on T.V., that my boyfriend got seriously worried that I had the wrong idea of how I looked.

This made me look up the symptoms and found this :

  • Being extremely preoccupied with a perceived flaw in appearance that to others can’t be seen or appears minor
  • Strong belief that you have a defect in your appearance that makes you ugly or deformed
  • Belief that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way or mock you
  • Engaging in behaviors aimed at fixing or hiding the perceived flaw that are difficult to resist or control, such as frequently checking the mirror, grooming or skin picking
  • Attempting to hide perceived flaws with styling, makeup or clothes
  • Constantly comparing your appearance with others
  • Always seeking reassurance about your appearance from others
  • Having perfectionist tendencies
  • Seeking frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
  • Avoiding social situations
  • Being so preoccupied with appearance that it causes major distress or problems in your social life, work, school or other areas of functioning

– Mayo Clinic

I was actually brought to tears, when reading this list, because all of these things I read, I had just attributed to who I was as a person.

I can’t explain to someone what it feels like to learn that what you have always thought was your personality, is actually a sickness.

The Purpose

This post, was partly for myself and partly to bring awareness to everyone else. Not only did I want to bring awareness to the symptoms of these disorders, but also to show that not all people with eating disorders are thin.

I used to actually think that I did eating disorders wrong, because I never lost the weight that everyone else said they did.

So I want to tell everyone who has these symptoms, of all shapes and sizes, please find someone to help you, because it could get out of control faster than you may think.

To those who do not suffer from eating disorders, please be cautious of how you talk because you never know what others are going through.

Thanks for reading! I’m sorry if this was too graphic or sad for you, but if this could help one person, it was worth it.

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Check out my last post on my book review of Savages – Greg F. Gifune HERE!