September Wrap-Up & October TBR

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September Wrap-Up

I definitely meant to upload this blog post like, three days ago… but I have been deathly ill with a disgusting cold and I went to the Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour on Friday (which absolutely did not help my cold) so I completely forgot! I also have two upcoming midterms this week so I have been dedicating all my time to studying. Better late than never though, right?

September wasn’t the best reading month. Between going back to school, working, and attempting to do homework I haven’t had much time to read. However, I did finish a series I have been working on for a while, so I wasn’t completely useless!

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson

I honestly have a pile of like 20 graphic novels that I have accumulated in the last few months, so naturally I was like “I’m going to read all of these in a week!” and then clearly did not. However, I am so glad I read this one before I failed at the rest! This was a fantastic continuation to the story. I was so much more invested in this volume and I have the third volume sitting on my desk already so I honestly don’t know why I haven’t picked it up yet! 5 out of 5 stars!

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4) by Richelle Mead

Probably the most stressful book in these series. So many things were going on, it was bound to go to shit at some point! I enjoyed this one, but definitely not my fave. 4 out of 5 stars, find out more in my series review.

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5) by Richelle Mead

Definitely my favourite book in the series! I felt like this book was really reminiscent of Vampire Academy for me in that I could not put it down. I didn’t really feel that way with a lot of the other Bloodlines books. 5 out of 5 stars, again check out my series review for more thoughts!

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6) by Richelle Mead

I finally finished the series! I also felt like I could not put this one down, but more because I just wanted to find out what happened in the finale. I definitely think it was a good concluding novel, but I refuse to believe Richelle Mead is done with this world. 5 out of 5 stars. Do I need to mention the series review again?

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Oh my heart, this book. I honestly can’t even wrap my head around the events that occurred in this book. It was so upsetting and so dark, but simultaneously so heartwarming and beautiful. I literally cannot even form coherent thoughts. I just can’t. I’m not emotionally ready for Queen of Shadows, I’m just not. 5 out of 5 stars, can I even give her any less?

I guess I did okay this month considering how much I’ve got going on! I’m just ready to get these midterms over so I can read all my October TBR books!! Which brings us to…

October TBR

Okay, so I was at home sick last week and wanted to get some fresh air…? Yeah, sure we’ll go with that… So I decided to take pictures of my October TBR instead. Except for you literally cannot bring a camera out without attracting my puggle. She is the definition of a princess and thinks you just want to take pictures of her. Whereas my other dog is so camera shy you will never see him on camera, ever. So my little puggle princess Bella decided she also wanted to be part of the TBR.

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Here’s my Halloween themed October TBR.

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Here’s my Halloween themed October TBR featuring Bella and her “can I eat the Voldey now?” face.

I’m currently 222 pages into Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor so hopefully I can finish it this week!

What are you reading in October? Do you also have a Halloween themed TBR or are you just reading regular books this month? 

I’m off to watch Once Upon A Time! Who else is excited to see what’s in store for Dark Swan??

xx

Jacqueline

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JULY & AUGUST WRAP-UP!

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Well after almost two months of not posting I’m back and ready to buckle down, which is ironic since school starts next week and I will have little time to blog. In July I finished my summer school class so I had a ton of last minute readings, papers, and my final exam to focus on. I thought I wouldn’t have a lot of time for pleasure reading but I still managed to finish 7 books in the month of July, which honestly I’m pretty surprised with.

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth 

I was spoiled for this book so I was really dreading reading it… I picked it up as an audiobook instead to provide some incentive to listen to it, but it still took forever… I enjoyed the story and I really cared for the characters, but the end still pissed the hell out of me. I still rated it 4 out of 5 stars though, because honestly, I don’t think it could have ended any other way.

2. House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones 

For some reason I can’t find Castle in the Air anywhere in the edition that matches mine… So I skipped it and read House of Many Ways, but seeing as they are only companion novels it didn’t really matter. This book was really cute and quirky and I really enjoyed reading it. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars as well.

3. Confess by Colleen Hoover 

Holy moly. I literally am blown away by Colleen Hoover. I think this book replaced Ugly Love as my favourite CoHo book. I had to put the book down to accommodate my sobs. Such a beautiful story. 5 out of 5 stars for the Queen of New Adult.

4. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han 

I’m sitting here drawing blanks when trying to recall what this book was even about… This is why I shouldn’t do wrap-ups two months late… All I remember was that I loved it and Jenny Han is so adorable and her writing is fantastic. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars though so something must have annoyed me??? Don’t remember??

5. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead 

My goal was to read the rest of the Bloodlines series…
I love this series and I really loved this book! There was enough action, romance, humour, and everything else I love! 5 out of 5 stars!

6. The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead 

As you can see I did not complete my goal…
After I finished this book I kind of needed a break, I didn’t enjoy the third book as much as the second. I feel like too many things were going on that I couldn’t really enjoy it because my head was in too many places. But of course the Sydrian romance still made me give it a 4 out of 5. The suspense and plot twists were also on point.

7. Every Day by David Levithan

I had this book on my shelf for ages and for some reason I could not get myself interested enough to read it. So, as I did with Allegiant, I got the audiobook. I actually really enjoyed the narrator of the audiobook, I think she did a really fantastic job. The story was really interesting to listen to and at some points I felt myself so entranced that I forgot what else I was doing, but I feel like had I have read it I wouldn’t have liked it as much. Still can’t decide if I will pick up the sequel. 4 out of 5 stars.

Honestly, I wish I had a legitimate excuse for why I didn’t blog in August, but I really don’t. Between working full time and trying to enjoy what bit of summer I had left, I really just didn’t want to sit down and blog. Then I went to NYC and the next thing you know August is almost over! I somehow managed to read another 7 books (well 6 books and a graphic novel). Apparently 7 is my lucky reading number! I also read a ton of single issue comics, but I couldn’t even begin to list them.

1. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

I got my really good friend at work hooked on Colleen Hoover so we binge read all of her books this summer. The only one I have left is Losing Hope. However, I let my friend borrow all of these books before I even read them. So I had her hounding me to read them every day after she finished them… As soon as I started reading this book I was obsessed. It was so cheesy and adorable, how could you not love it? Will was annoying as hell sometimes, but overall I loved it! 5 out of 5 stars, obvi.

2. Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

I didn’t think it was possible to love these characters anymore… Kiersten was probably my favourite character and she’s 11… I loved this book! It was so funny and so touching, but also so freaking sad near the end. You can see the conflict coming from a mile away and Will got even more annoying, but I still loved him and the story. 5 out of 5 again.

3. Thor, Vol. 1: Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron

This comic is fantastic! I started to buy the single issues a while ago, but then decided just to wait for the first volume and I’m glad I did, I wouldn’t have been able to read only one issue at a time! Amazing art and I love the lady version of Thor! It was also really funny! 5 stars here!

4. Smoke by Ellen Hopkins

For some reason I really felt like reading something sad and a bit dark and Ellen Hopkins is good at writing about tragic things so I gave this one a whirl. I read Burned years ago, so I had to look up a plot summary, but nevertheless I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it all started coming back to me and I’m really glad she wrote a second book so you could get some closure with the characters. It was a bit slow, but definitely worth the read! 4 out of 5 stars.

5. This Girl by Colleen Hoover

Okay this book really annoyed me. I thought it would be like a real third book in the series, not just Will and Layken replaying their whole relationship thus far. To be quite honest, I didn’t really care to know his perspective on things since it just seemed to annoy me even more. Boys are so stupid sometimes! But I’m glad I read it and I, of course, loved the end of the book when all the other characters come back into it! 4 out of 5 stars.

6. Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

I was pretty disappointed with this book. I felt like considering it was a lot shorter than the first book it should have packed a punch, but it really didn’t. It started out slow and I felt like nothing really happened. Even at the end when most people said they were like “WOAH, the ending!” or “Give me the next book!”, I was pretty much like “oh, okay, well that’s bizarre and kind of makes the whole book pointless”. I hope the next one is better! 3 out of 5 stars… Can we also briefly mention that the covers are getting uglier and uglier as we go along? The third one is kind of hideous.

7. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Wow! Way to go Morgan Matson! I liked Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, but I loved this! I could relate to Emily so much and I just loved her character. I loved the friends she made and the development of all of them throughout the novel. To be quite honest I spent the whole book hating Sloane because of how sketchy she was and the things she put Emily through, but of course I cried at the end. The ending was adorable and I just loved everything about this book!!! 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you to everyone who reads this! I didn’t have many followers to begin with, but hopefully some of you stuck around even after my absence. I have a couple blog posts planned for this week and I’m hoping to start making use of this scheduling post feature. I have a feeling blogging will become my way to procrastinate when school starts.

I’m going to dive into Ms Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why and hopefully finish it before I fall asleep!

Until next time,

xx

Jacqueline

MARCH WRAP-UP & APRIL TBR!

MARCH WRAP-UP!

I honestly don’t understand how it’s April 4th… March has gone by so quickly I’m dumbfounded. My first final exam is in exactly one week and I could not be less prepared…Between midterms, final papers, and moving my sister into her new house I’m surprised I even did any reading this month! Well… I’m actually not surprised… because my favourite way to procrastinate on school work is by reading for pleasure.

1. A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin 

I spent the first 21 days of March tackling this bad boy… I don’t know how I read A Feast For Crows in a week when everyone seems to think it was the most boring, and yet I could not seem to finish ADWD. It honestly took every ounce of my being to push through and not give up. I needed to finish before the new season NEXT WEEKEND! Sorry George, this one was only 4/5 stars for me because I was kind of bored.

2. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks 

As soon as I finished ADWD I needed something romantic that could help me stop thinking about how depressing ASOIF is… and how tragic the season finale of The 100 was. I basically just really badly needed a pick me up and let me tell you, what a perfect book I picked!! This was so cute, it made me giggle, and I just loved it. 5 stars for you Sir Nicholas Sparks!

3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Literally all I have to say about this book is.. WOW! Rainbow Rowell seriously blows me away with her writing. I liked Eleanor & Park a lot, I loveeed Fangirl.. but holy shit. Attachments was so funny, so cute, and honestly I can’t even find words. The ending ❤ ❤ ❤ my stomach flipped so many times. AAAhhh, just perfect. Go read it. Right now. All the 5’s!!

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4. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover 

Can you tell I’m on a serious contemporary romance rampage?? WHERE HAS COLLEN HOOVER BEEN ALL MY LIFE?! This was my first book by her, and wow, seriously blown away. My heart broke so many times in this book, but the ending could not have been more perfect. Ridge… *swoons* *sighs* *passes out*. 5 stars for you Colleen Hoover!

Considering it took me 21 days to finish reading ONE book, I’m kind of impressed I was able to catch up with another 3 books… plus studying for midterms and write final papers and all that fun stuff… I’m also still 6 books ahead of schedule for my goal of 60 books this year, go me!

APRIL TBR!

I’m not going to stick to a TBR list this month because I have 5 final exams and as much as I hate to admit it, I probably wont be doing much reading… So I think the best thing to do is to just read what I feel like, when I feel like it… I’ve already finished Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, so I’ll probably continue on my contemporary rampage until I get sick of them! But one thing is forsure… I’m reading Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins as soon as it comes out next week!

What are you guys reading this month? Are you keeping up on your goals for this year? Do you have any anticipated releases this month? Let me know!

xx

Jacqueline

The Longest Ride: Book Review

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The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: September 30th, 2014
Genre: Adult Romance
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis 

Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

My Thoughts: 

Honestly, the reason I was so intent on picking this book up was because I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation. When it comes to Nicholas Sparks, I tend to read his books right before the movie comes out (With the exception of A Walk to Remember and The Notebook because I was still young when those movies came out). Nevertheless, I could not have read this book at a better time… I had just finished reading A Dance With Dragons and watching both The 100 and Girls in their entirety. All of these stories having extremely heavy content and breaking my heart into pieces I thought would be impossible to mend. Enter Nicholas Sparks.

This book was funny and heartwarming, but tragic in it’s own way. Even though Sparks’ stories usually include the “insta-love” that everyone seems to hate, he acknowledges that the relationships are not flawless and they are not without obstacles. Although Ira, a man in his nineties, has lived a full, happy life, he is not without regrets. The story of Ira and Ruth’s past that parallels Sophia and Luke’s present is what really affected me. Reading about Ira’s past broke my heart. As a pilot in WWII he has experienced his fair share of tragedy, which only seemed to get worse when he was forced to come home and face his fiancee Ruth. Despite the fact that their marriage was plagued with tragedy and heartache, they were able to overcome it with the simple realization that they never wanted to be with anyone else. The memory of Ruth and their many years together is the only thing that keeps Ira alive in the terrible situation he has found himself in.

Sophia is a senior in university who has just gone through an earth-shattering break up (well, for her). Brian, her frat boy first love, cheated on her three times and now he seems to be everywhere she goes hoping to be able to convince her to take him back. I like Sophia’s character right from the beginning. She’s real, she’s relatable, and she’s interesting. The insta-love aspect didn’t bother me because I felt like she really deserved to find the right guy and fall in love. She spent a lot of time being broken over Brian so when her best friend Marcia asks her to go to the rodeo with the girls she, though somewhat reluctantly, agrees. This is where she meets Luke.

Luke is quite literally my dream man. I’ve always had a thing for cowboys and although I’ve never been to North Carolina, where this book takes place, I’ve been to Nashville, TN, which was pretty much the coolest place I’ve ever been. So yeah, I love cowboys. Luke’s character is somewhat reserved, really charming, and extremely hard working and driven. There were a few times where him and Sophia were fighting and I was actually getting mad and upset reading it… I think that just shows how invested I was in this relationship and this book in general. As a bullrider Luke puts himself at risk every time he participates in a rodeo… but it’s even worse for him because he has already been in an accident that almost cost him his life. However, when Sophia finds out what a risk it is for him to be riding she refuses to be with someone who willingly puts his life on the line. But the situation is a lot more complicated then either of them anticipated…

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was just the right book at the right time. Nicolas Sparks can honestly do no wrong when it comes to romance. If you like love stories, you like cowboys, and you also like a little bit of historical fiction thrown into the mix then you will love this book. Also, check out the trailer for the movie!

The movie already looks like there are a few changes to the plot, but the story is pretty complicated so I can understand why they would need to simplify it a bit to fit into a standard length movie. However, all the actors look like they are going to do a really great job and I can’t wait to see it!

xx

Jacqueline

TOP TEN TUESDAY: CHILDHOOD BOOKS

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

TOP TEN BOOKS FROM MY CHILDHOOD THAT I WOULD LOVE TO REVISIT

I know it’s Wednesday, but I couldn’t miss this topic! There are so many books from my elementary school years that I would love to reread.

**note: I am deliberately leaving out Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and A Series of Unfortunate Events because they are books I have already revisited, and will continue to revisit, so I feel like it is not necessary to mention them… the books on this list are books I have not read since elementary school, I just remember that I loved them and they had an impact on me.

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1. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

My teacher started reading this book to us in grade 4 on what I’m pretty sure was the Friday before March Break. I went home and immediately begged my dad to take me to the bookstore to buy it. I had it finished by the end of the weekend, and was completely okay with having to hear the story again when I went back to school after the break.

2. Avalon by Rachel Roberts

Aside from Harry Potter this was the series that really sparked my interest in fantasy. If I didn’t give all the books to my younger cousin I would definitely pick them up to reread. They ended up releasing new covers and I think eventually I might pick them up just to have as part of my collection. I like giving away books, but then I also really want to keep every book just incase! One day my sisters will have children and so will I, so you never know!

3. The Secret Language of Girls by Frances O’Roark Dowell

I honestly could not even tell you what this book is about. All I remember is as a young girl I thoroughly enjoyed it and even my elementary school best friend (who hated reading) loved it! When I thought of this topic it was one of the first book covers that popped into my head.

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4. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This was the first real series of books I started collecting. These books were fantastic, Junie is hilarious, and the covers and the art rock! “My name is Junie B. Jones. The ‘B’ stands for Beatrice. Except I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all.” Such a sassy little child, I loved it.

5. Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume

Honestly I think this is such an important book to read as a young girl. It just kind of helps you understand the things you are going through and what you can expect to go through. Judy Blume is a fantastic writer and I enjoyed all her other books as well, but this was by far my favourite.

6. The Gravesavers by Sheree Fitch

Again, couldn’t tell ya what it’s about. I think there was a ghost/some type of supernatural element. But you didn’t know the person was a ghost the whole time? Not sure. I’m fairly certain I cried, and I held onto this book for so long intending to reread it, but now I can’t seem to find it and I’m so hurt.

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7. Finding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine

8. Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine

Both of these books deal with really difficult topics. As a tween they were some of my first experiences reading about things like suicide and loss so I feel like they will always hold a special place in my heart. I would love to reread them to find out what I would think of them now.

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9. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

I feel like a lot of people complain about/have a hard time reading books for school, but I honestly never have. This was one of the first books I had to read for a book report in elementary school and I was obsessed with it. The mystery and the story was just so intriguing to me. They also made a terrible made-for-tv movie of it and I’m pretty sure I even enjoyed that. I actually tried to reread this recently but cast it aside because I had too many new books I wanted to get to.

10. Warriors by Erin Hunter

This is easily the longest book series I have ever collected. I started the first book Into the Wild in grade 5 and continued reading these books until I graduated grade 12…. and there are still more… Once I start reading a series I don’t like stopping until it’s over. But it just won’t end! Granted, it’s not like it’s one massive series… it’s sets of 6 series with new character POV’s in each so I could have stopped but I didn’t. There are still 3 more books I need to complete the last subseries I started, but at this point I feel like I would have to read them all over again to remember where I was at!

Well that’s it for the childhood books I would like to reread! Has anyone else read any of these? Do you remember what you thought of them? Would you ever reread them? Let me know!

xx

Jacqueline

FEBRUARY WRAP-UP & MARCH TBR!

FEBRUARY WRAP-UP!

This has been the story of my life for all of February and I swear if March continues down this road, I’m done. I will get on a plane and leave Canada as soon as humanly possible. snow-gif

BOOKS

This month I stuck to my February TBR and was able to complete most of it, which included:

  • A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen
  • A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin (up to page 506)

Overall I’m relatively pleased that I was even able to get that much reading done. It totals roughly 1,600+ pages so even though it doesn’t seem like much, it definitely took quite a bit of time. I also had to balance reading for school, studying for 4 midterms, writing 2 papers, and all that other fun stuff… so not too shabby! However, there are also a few other things I want to wrap-up for February.

MOVIES

There are three movies that I watched this month that I was extremely pleased with. Are you surprised they are all book to movie adaptations? Probably not.

First and foremost, The DUFF! I honestly never intended on reading this book or seeing the movie simply because I felt there tumblr_nf9r9rDu2M1r6vy8ho2_r2_250were other things higher on my priority list. I also didn’t necessarily love the idea of the “designated ugly fat friend”, but SHIT. This movie was SO FUNNY. I am so extremely glad I saw it and I probably still won’t read the book because I don’t like reading books after I’ve seen the movie, but wow did I enjoy this movie. Also, Robbie Amell? Can you say SMOKIN’?! Plus he’s Canadian… so even more swoon-worthy.

Mae Whitman is also absolutely fantastic. She is soThe_Best_of_Me_poster funny and has the best expressions I think she’s probably going to be up there with Jennifer Lawrence on my list of celebrity girl crushes. She needs to be in more movies, like now.

The day after I saw The DUFF in theatres I ended up picking up The Best of Me on Blu Ray to add to my Nicholas Sparks movie collection, of course. I watched this with my mom and was pretty pleased with it. I hadn’t read this one before seeing it so I didn’t know how it was going to end. It was extremely tragic and very typical of a Nicholas Sparks movie. And although the ending tied it up nicely, I wasn’t really satisfied. The actors did a really wonderful job though so of course there were a lot of feels and I may have cried… twice.

Annnnd the third movie was, *drumroll please*, Love, Rosie. I watched this one on my tumblr_n7lgraTb9h1ql5hv8o5_250actual birthday with my bestfriend and man was it a rollercoaster of emotions! I feel like such a butt because I didn’t read this one before watching the movie either… so that’s 3 for 3… but, whatever! I still really enjoyed it and didn’t expect it to be so sad. SUCH BAD TIMING FOR EVERYTHING! But, I mean, I guess that’s life right? Sometimes things don’t happen when we want/need them to and that’s what made the movie so much more relatable. But, let’s be real, Finnick Odair and Clary Fray? This movie was going to be perfection no matter what.

TV SHOWS

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Me at least ten times during every episode…

I didn’t even intend on including this in my wrap-up, but I started watching it on Netflix last night before bed… and what a horrible idea that was. I’m now absolutely downright obsessed with The 100. I stayed up until 2am watching it and then woke up at 9am to continue… I haven’t gone to bed at 2am in like… years. I’m usually such a grandma, but I couldn’t stop! How do you stop watching when they end every episode in a cliffhanger?! I’m so terrible with binge watching TV shows at the worst times… as if I don’t have a million papers and exams coming up.

MUSIC

And last but not least for the month of February… I have been listening to Hozier nonstop! I have had this one song stuck in my head for the last week.

MARCH TBR!

Besides finishing A Dance With Dragons I’m not going to stick to much of a schedule in March. I’ll probably just end up reading what I feel like reading. I’ve been really wanting to read contemporary recently, so maybe I’ll pick up something by Morgan Matson or Rainbow Rowell. I also don’t really have a number on how many books I want to read since I have a ton of school work to do, so we’ll see!

What did you guys read/watch/listen to this month? What do you plan on reading next month? Are you keeping up on goals and challenges for this year? Let me know in the comments! 

Until next time!

xx

Jacqueline

Birthday Book Haul!

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February is the absolute worst month to have a birthday in, particularly when you live somewhere that experiences harsh winters. This month I’ve had 4 midterm exams, 2 papers due, and 1 quiz… along with actually leaving my house and going to school in -40 degree weather. This also means I’ve always hated having my birthday in February. Anyways, enough complaining… I turned 21 on February 23rd! I’ve always wished my birthday was in the summer so I could throw some extravagant outdoor barbecue party, but I guess I just have to keep dreaming… Unless of course I move somewhere that’s warm in February.

Turning 21 in Canada isn’t anything special. I’ve already had my “sweet 16”, I became an “adult” when I turned 18, and I could start buying alcohol and going out to bars at 19… so yeah, 21, not really that great. So really all that’s important to me is seeing the people I care about and having fun! This year my birthday fell on a Monday so that also made things awkward to celebrate.

After winning the room escape!

After winning the room escape!

So, the Friday before my birthday I went to the movies to see the DUFF with a few friends! Boy am I glad I did… that movie was freaking hilarious. Then on Sunday we went to something called a “room escape” where you’re essentially locked in a room for 45 minutes and you have to solve puzzles and find clues that will lead you to the key to escape. Both of my sisters and their boyfriends, my brother, and two of my bestfriends came to play and it was seriously the funniest thing ever. Somehow we all came out alive with 5 minutes to spare. Then we grabbed Starbucks and went back to my house where my sister and my mom made homemade spaghetti and meatballs for dinner! Then cake, presents, and the Academy Awards! On Monday, my actual birthday, I went out for sushi with my bestfriend and her boyfriend and slept over at her house downtown. I had school at 8am the next morning, but I go to school in downtown Toronto where she lives so it was a lot more convenient than my normal subway commute. And that was that!! All in all it was a pretty wicked birthday, but now what you’ve all been waiting for… the book/other fun stuff haul!

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I don’t order from BookOutlet a lot because most of the time I end up putting a bunch of books in my cart that I don’t even think I would end up getting around to I just do it because they are good priced… BUT. When I saw Attachments and Landline AND Since You’ve Been Gone on the website I just had to make an order. Then of course my mom paid for them and I had to pretend it was a surprise… haha. I also ordered Opposition from BookOutlet as well because I read the first two books on iBooks and intended on getting the rest at some point. The cover is heinous, but whatcha gonna do.

Then one of my sisters let her boyfriend pick out all my gifts from them… and so naturally one thing he picked was The Awkward Human Survival Guide. It actually looks hilarious, but the funnier thing was my bestfriend also got me the same book. So hopefully I can return one and pick up something else! My bestfriend also got me that little “Why You’re My Bestie” book and it’s got a bunch of fill in the blanks and stuff inside and she filled it all out for me.

My brother got me the Sansa Stark and Robb Stark Vinyl Pop Figures to add to my Stark family collection and the Olaf plush toy that my dog is intent on killing.. My other friend got me the Dancing Baby Groot, which is so friggin cute! Anddd my mom got me a Pandora Charm Bracelet with a 21 charm!

That’s it for all my bookish/nerdy birthday goodies! I had such a lovely birthday despite the cold and the abundance of school work. I’ll be back tomorrow with my February Wrap-Up because I’m going to try to squeeze in as much reading as I can today!

xx

Jacqueline

JANUARY WRAP-UP & FEBRUARY TBR!

At the beginning of January I was weirdly feeling ready to go back to school and take on second semester… and then the first week happened. I feel like I was hit with a freight train. Now I’m just so… tired…

tired

This is literally what I look like in my 8am classes… Considering how much work I already have to do for school I am extremely impressed at how much I read this month. I somehow managed to finish 8 books and 6 graphic novels. I’m not going to comment on any of the books because I’m super behind in reviews so I’ll save the thoughts for those.

January Wrap-Up

1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (5/5 stars)

2. Saga, Vol 4 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (5/5 stars)

3. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – Prelude by Dan Abnett (4/5 stars)

4. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (5/5 stars)

5. Ms. Marvel, Vol 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson (5/5 stars)

6. Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All The Wrong Questions #1) by Lemony Snicket (4/5 stars)

7. When Did You See Her Last? (All The Wrong Questions #2) by Lemony Snicket (5/5 stars)

8. Deadly Class, Vol 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender (5/5 stars)

9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (4/5 stars)

10. Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett (4/5 stars)

11. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle (5/5 stars)

12. Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelmen (5/5 stars)

13. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (5/5 stars)

14. Fables, Vol 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (4/5 stars)

That’s 3,032 pages read!

I am definitely impressed with myself! I never read this much in a month during school!

* * *

February TBR

Since the next few months are going to be really hectic at school with upcoming midterms and papers due, I am only going to focus on reading two books and one graphic novel. I also might not even end up finishing them since the books I’m choosing are pretty chunky. Caution! Synopses might contain spoilers for books earlier in the series!

ONE.

A Feast for Crows (ASOIF #4) by George R.R. Martin

13497Goodreads Synopsis

With A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth volume of the landmark series that has redefined imaginative fiction and stands as a modern masterpiece in the making.

After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. But it’s not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes…and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.

TWO.

The Wicked and The Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie & Matt Wilson

Goodreads Synopsis23563247

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. 

THREE.

A Dance with Dragons (ASOIF #5) by George R.R. Martin

13541592Goodreads Synopsis 

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, Daenerys Targaryen rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way east–with new allies who may not be the ragtag band they seem. And in the frozen north, Jon Snow confronts creatures from beyond the Wall of ice and stone, and powerful foes from within the Night’s Watch. In a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics lead a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, to the greatest dance of all.

We’ll see if I can make a dent in these by the end of February… I want to at least have them done by the new season in April!

What did you guys read this month? Was it more or less than you hoped? What’s on your February TBR?

Happy Reading!

xx

Jacqueline

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Book Review

15783514The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Published: June 18th, 2013
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Source: Christmas Gift
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis 

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

My Thoughts:

This review is going to be short and sweet. Mostly because it was a short book, but also because I feel that it is one of those books that you need to go into a bit blind. This was my first Neil Gaiman novel to read and I can tell you I was not disappointed. This book is magical and mysterious and very, very bizarre. It was sad and spooky and basically just made you feel a lot of things. It had me thinking about what it’s like to be a child and what it is like to be an adult.

“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

If, as a child, you ever felt lonely or scared, lost or hopeless, confused or foolish, this book is for you. So, basically everyone. This book is for everyone. Anyone who has experienced childhood can take something from this book. That’s why it is so hard to explain why it’s a good read or what it’s about.

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”

The characters are relatable. The magic feels real. This is most definitely a book I can see myself coming back to in the future. I have already recommended it to a few people and I will definitely continue to do so. This was my first read for 2015 and it definitely set the bar high. I’m interested in picking up many more of Neil Gaiman’s books… but first, project TBR.

Any recommendations for Neil Gaiman’s other novels? Has anyone read this one? What did you think? 

xx

Jacqueline