a costume, a shirt, and a book.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Can you guess what I'm going to be for Halloween?

It's probably not such an obvious costume to be honest - unlike my Snow White costume from last year - but I really like it nonetheless.

In other news, look at the shirt my sister got me!!! SO FREAKING COOL.
And that book? I'm currently reading it. So far so good.

What are you all up to this weekend and on Monday? And let me know what you are reading!

this blog in 5 years.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I had a very interesting conversation with a good friend of mine today. We were talking over the phone, and the topic of this blog came up. I try to NOT talk about my blogging with other people to be honest - I'm just naturally secretive when it comes to my bookish and nerdy side - but she did raise an important and rather thought-provoking question that I had to think about.

1. Where do you see your blog in 5 years?

I have to admit I haven't really thought of this blog's future. I kind of like the fact that I go through this bookish journey with you guys day by day, week by week... and not more than that. But it did get me thinking - where is this blog going?

I honestly still have no idea for sure. but I would like to think that:
  • In 5 years, I'd still go through my day, excited to get to talk to you guys about some of my favorite things; books, life, inspiration, writing, literature... among many other things.
  • In 5 years, I would still have the same enthusiasm that I have for this fun and inspiring hobby of mine.
  • In 5 years, I would still continue to enjoy reading and recommending good titles, and continue getting so many ideas from you.
  • In 5 years, I am still internet-friends with a lot of you, and that I can make more!
2. Do you ever see yourself NOT blogging anymore?

Honestly, right now, the answer is NO. Having been spoiled rotten with awesome conversations with you guys, I can't really see myself stopping!

So now... I'd like to ask you the same questions. Tell me! I'd love to know what you think.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Genre: Young Adult - contemporary
Rating: 4 stars

Review: John Green's one of those writers that you either really, really love, or you just don't get. I've discovered, after reading two of his books - and currently reading another one - that I'm most definitely one of those who simply love his writing style. It's certainly not for everyone, as it is quite different and unique. I enjoy it, and fortunately for me, that unique writing style was apparent in this book.

I found it smart, witty, and fresh. This made the character's voice really come through, which makes him sound unpretentious to me. And speaking of the character/s, I'm happy to say that they also came to life. They seemed like actual people to me - almost like they were just my friends that I talk to or hang out with everyday. They were likable and unlikable characters at the same time, which ultimately makes them believable.

If you are looking for a John Green book to start with, I'd still highly recommend Looking for Alaska first (I haven't read the rest, but will do so soon) before this one. Would I recommend this book exactly? Like I mentioned, it's an either you like it or you don't situation. Personally I thought An Abundance of Katherines was a fun and smart read. It didn't bore me, and I was thoroughly entertained. I also was able to take a couple of great quotes from here, which is always a good thing, and to be honest, have actually learned a thing or two from them. I'd say that's totally 4-star material right there.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: 2 stars

Review: Here's the thing - this book offers its readers so many good things. Beautiful images, well-thought out characters, magical settings, and a poetic writing style. It's such an exceptionally gorgeous looking and sounding novel, and I commend the author for creating such a lovely world.

Unfortunately, I honestly felt like its magic and its beauty was only from the outside - the story itself didn't grab hold of me. It didn't make me fall in love. Even though I can see why so many people rave about it, there were a couple of reasons why I do not feel the same:
  • it's excessively descriptive - The descriptions are beautiful, but they were just way too many of them. The descriptions and details just kept going on and on. I found myself getting extremely bored and annoyed with them! I constantly wanted something - some sort of action or event - to actually happen, but nothing does, because the author is still too busy describing.
  • there's too many characters at once - I like a good cast of characters, but I felt like for this one, too many were introduced at once. It was almost hard to catch up with everyone, and it was hard to remember them due to lack of realistic personalities.
  • plot and character development - To put it simply, I saw none.
  • felt a bit misleading - Reading its intriguing synopsis, you'd expect an action-packed story about the circus, and the people who work there. You would also expect some sort of romance in there, when in fact, I actually could not see much of the romance aspect.
  • a bit confusing - the timeline! I didn't get it, and I really, really paid attention to it. The narration felt forced.
So overall, I just felt like The Night Circus was all about setting the tone and the mood - which usually I would be perfectly okay with, if the story itself delivered as well. Unfortunately, for me at least, it did not deliver at all. I finished this book, feeling as if I have not really read a story, like I haven't really gotten to know the characters that well. So no, I do not recommend this to people at all. However, almost everyone that read this absolutely loved it, so I could be wrong. Sadly, even though its premise sounds like my kind of read, it just didn't go very well for me.

too early to talk about Halloween?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I think not!

Halloween's just around the corner, and I kind of want to start thinking about this already so I won't find myself procrastinating the last minute.

My friends and I sort of go all out during Halloween. We come up with ideas, plan fun stuff to do for the night... you get the point. However, we're a group of 'DIY' people and we'd rather make our own costumes or at least, come up with ones using clothes we already have. We promised we'd never resort to buying already-made costumes from actual costume stores - except for small accessories here and there that we may need.

Two years ago, I was a flower child hippie. Last year, I was Snow White. This year, maybe a 40-50s pinup? Rosie the Riveter? Hermione??

So here I am, coming to you guys for help, yet again. I want to find out what you're going to be for Halloween, who you have been the last couple of years, and if you any other suggestions. It needs to be unique, and no slutty costumes, please!! Very important. Haha. I'd love to hear your ideas!

the John Green project.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I recently re-read a little book called Looking for Alaska, written by none other than John Green.
I fell in love with the story and its characters once again, and discovered so many new awesome things about it. This re-read made me realize that I actually haven't read much from the said author, despite the fact that I adore him and his brother, a.k.a thevlogbrothers.

So I decided that I would read all of his books.
  • Looking for Alaska - check
  • An Abundance of Katherines - will read next!
  • Paper Towns - on hold
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson - own it
  • The Fault in Our Stars - coming soon; February 2012. Pre-order it and he will sign it!
Have you read any of these? Did you like them? I personally think his writing style stands out and his characters always seem to really shine through. So I am very excited to start discovering the rest of his work. Join me if you'd like!

parents punishing their kids with reading?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First, I'm not a parent. I don't know anything about parenting. I am only 22 years old, and can still be very immature at times, so I don't know if this opinion of mine really counts for anything. But I thought about this today through a long conversation with a friend.

We were talking about how some kids hate reading so much. How did they come to hate it? Why do they hate it?

Most of the time, the usual reason they have, is simply because they just don't enjoy it. They don't find it fun. This is pretty understandable, I think. But then there are the kids that hate books and reading, mainly because they are being taught to fear it - by their own parents or guardians.

Apparently, some parents use reading as a form of punishment. Let's say if the kids are too noisy or too loud, they're punished with an hour of reading. If they misbehave and disobey, they get sent to their rooms with a book. If they do something wrong, they're not allowed TV or toys - just books. The list of examples of scare tactics can go on and on.

I do not get this tactic to be honest. I feel like when you instill something in a negative way, it will become negative to the person. When a parent continuously uses reading as a threat or a punishment, the result would be obvious.

Again, I'm no parent and I really have no clue, but I was a child once after all. I was a child that was raised by parents and grandparents that promoted the act of reading - both as a hobby and as a form of learning. I would say if they didn't raise me that way, I wouldn't really be the reader that I am today.

So I guess as random as this post may seem to be, I would like to know your take on this. Do you know anyone that does this to their kids? Do you approve? How were you raised as a child, reading-wise? And if you're a parent yourself, what do you think of this? I'm very interested.

currently reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'm taking my time with this book. Don't know why, but I feel like it's not yet fully catching my attention. It does have such an intriguing and original plot line though that I am willing to stick with it.

If you've read this, what did you think of it? *no spoilers, of course*

And I would like to know what you JUST finished reading and what you all are currently reading as well! Was it good? Would you recommend it to me? I'd like to hear from you.

yours, mine, ours: the weekend

Monday, October 10, 2011

This weekend, my family and I drove down to Southern California for a little 'getaway' of some sort. The drive took about 8 hours and we stayed just from Friday to Sunday. All I have to say is - I probably would never trade San Francisco for anything, and I would not want to really live there, but Los Angeles and San Diego are pretty wonderful.

What were you up to the past weekend and what were you reading?
Here's to me hoping you had a good one xx

Fall is here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Autumn has always been one of my favorite times of the year. It's when the weather starts to get a bit cooler, while still having warm days. When trees change color, and when festive occasions take place. You all know I love my Winter (mainly during Christmas season!) but I feel like Fall is just so...


There's also nothing better than being in bed, with a good book, while sipping some hot chocolate. Perhaps with the subtle sound of rain pouring outside.
Sounds great to me.

What is your favorite season?

The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride

Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 2.5 stars

Review: This was alright. It's one of those books that I find hard to fully review since I thought it was just an okay read; I didn't LOVE it, but there's really nothing to hate about it either.

I believe that if you typically enjoy the YA genre, you might appreciate this.
For me, personally, I found it a bit forgettable. While the premise is interesting and intriguing, the writing overall didn't do it much for me. There were some parts that were drawn out that I thought could have just been edited out, and some parts when details lacked. I also didn't particularly root for the characters. Even though they were realistic and believable characters, I unfortunately couldn't connect to them. This of course almost always leads to me not really liking the book as a whole. So for that reason, I'm giving this 2.5 stars.

i'm baaaccckkk!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

That wasn't really that long of a break, but it was just exactly what I needed.
I felt like if I didn't take a brief hiatus, I would've just posted depressing quotes and posts over here, and that's just not who I am as a person and as a blogger at all.
But I am back now, and I just want to thank everyone that left a comment on that post [edit: I officially deleted that said post] and sent me e-mails and tweets. You guys have been a huge help and have been a great addition to a wonderful support system that I have in real life.

Not a whole lot has changed, really, but like I mentioned previously, I have been doing many different projects. I feel like I'm most myself when I do creative things, however random they may be.

As far as this blog goes, I'm also really excited to be back. Thanks so much for sticking around! You guys are awesome.

everyone loves them... but me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

There's so many books out there that everybody seems to love and that everyone seems to adore. Sometimes I wonder why I don't share that feeling. It could just be because I'm totally crazy, or that I read something entirely different, but regardless, these are just some of the popular books I just really dislike.
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville - Ahh.. too many unlikable characters here! I never quite understood the love for this 'classic,' if I have to be truly honest
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - I'm really sorry. I feel like a horrible reader and book blogger for saying this, but I do not see why everyone loves this book, and this series as a whole. The characters I thought were one-dimensional, plain, and boring. They didn't come "alive" to me. They were just that. Fictional characters. And the concept of the series - been there, done that. The writing's sort of okay, but not spectacular. And why... please tell me why, everybody's crushing on Jace? He's a jerk!
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - She is a really good writer. I don't deny that. I've always thought her prose was perfect and just so poetic. However, the book itself - its story, the characters, the fantasy/paranormal world... I don't buy it.I don't feel for them. I don't believe it. It was just the same old werewolf story that I've heard so many times. And to be honest, it was simply boring.
  • The Twilight series - I read all of these and liked the first one somewhat. New Moon was just zzzzzz and Eclipse got me all irritated because of Bella's weak personality. Don't even get me started on Breaking Dawn... everything about that book was just plain wrong.
  • The Shack by William Young - probably one of the worst books I've actually ever read. It is incredibly preachy and annoying to say the least.
  • The Secret by Rhonda Byrne - This one is a prime example of a popular, best-selling book that I dislike. I don't know about you - but while I was reading this, I felt my brain cells slowly deteriorating away...
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown - Cliche, cliche, cliche. Unfortunately.
I apologize for the mean-ness of this post, especially if you enjoyed reading them, but as always, these are simply my opinions. Please, please do tell me yours!

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Genre: Young Adult -fantasy/paranormal/contemporary
Rating: 4.5 stars

Review: Enjoyed this book so much! It's the perfect choice of read, especially because at the time I read this, I was looking for a sort of 'escape' from the real world. The world the author created in the book, while a bit dark, melancholic, and mysterious in nature, is a great one to live in even for a moment. I just thought the fantasy aspects were believable, the characters extremely likable (I do have a slight crush on the lead male character), and the writing is engaging and exciting - as it should be. I couldn't stop reading it. I couldn't put it down. It was fast-paced; a true suspenseful page-turner. The plot development, though, I have to say, was the winner for me. It was simply effortless!

So overall, while not exactly a 'favorite,' I still thought Forgotten was thrilling, exciting, entertaining, and well-executed. The concept for it is unique, and the characters are ones you'd want to get to know and want to actually care about. So yes, I highly recommend this to YA readers and fans. I would also like to say, I would most definitely be looking forward to reading more from this author, Cat Patrick. Very impressive debut!