Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Endings/Beginnings of Books

Happy Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)!!! This week's topic is:

top ten eight beginnings/endings of books

(I wracked my brain all day and couldnt think of any beginnings that specifically got me, so we'll go with endings...)

8. Sever by Lauren DeStefano (#3 of the Chemical Garden Trilogy) - Sometimes I like a good cliffhanger... or in this case, I also like when things get wrapped up in a neat little bow. At the end of a series, I dont want to imagine for myself, I want to know that all my favorite characters live happily ever after, and this book was the perfect end to the series. So, end of book: awesome; end of series: awesomer!

7. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (#2 of the Delirium trilogy) - the third book in this series did the opposite of what Sever did. At the end of the series, it was almost 100% cliffhanger, and I didnt love that. But the second book in the series, Pandemonium, also a massive cliffhanger, picked the perfect spot to...cliffhang? And the perfect way to do it. Loved this book!

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - one word: SWOON. Such a cute book, and not necessarily my style, as far as the type of book I'd read all the time, but definitely one of my favorites this year. Plus, its another one that gave me a pretty little package wrapped up in a bow at the end. Not always a good thing, but for the most part, I liked it in this one.

5. The Host by Stephenie Meyer - Well, cant spoil this one, but I can say that I didnt expect the book to end the way it did, but I was so happy it did. Not a neat little bow, but happy and satisfying.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (the first book only) - I wasnt a fan of how the last book ended, but the first book was a shocker. I mean, we all knew there were two more books, so it wasnt gonna end the way it "should have" but who wouldve thought... LOVED it.

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry - This is my favorite book of all time. The ending used to piss me off. But then I remembered the first time I read it, and my teacher told us that the ending didnt mean it was over. The ending left us the option of deciding what we wanted to happen. And usually thats not OK with me, but this is my single favoritest book in the universe, so it makes me feel better to make my own ending. Does that count? One of my favorite endings is one I made up, haha?

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - Its not a list without Harry. But really - you know the ending to this series tops all series-endings of all
time. Theres not even anything else to say about it.

I bet you all thought Harry Potter would be my number one. Have you ever read my actual number one though? If you have, you know why it beats Harry.

1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - my soul still hurts from reading this book. I actually think I want to read it again. The entire book tore me to pieces, but the ending? My heart became stone after this ending. I wanted to curl up in a ball with this one. Oh god, it hurts just thinking about it. I know, you're thinking how can it be number one if it hurt so bad? That book was amazing, heart-breaking ending and all. If you havent read it, please do. I'll even re-read it with you!

What are your favorite beginnings/endings?

P.S. Dont forget - If you havent read the first two books in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth (or you have, and just want a copy of your own), check out my giveaway. Its open until August 9, 2013! Good luck! :)


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Monday, July 29, 2013

Divergent Giveaway!

How many of you are pumped for the last book in the Divergent trilogy, Allegiant, to be released in October? I hope you've all read them both... well... you're in luck, if you havent! i solemnly swear is hosting a giveaway of the first two books in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth!

The first book is in paperback, and the second book is in hardcover. Plenty of ways to enter below. The giveaway begins today and will be open until Friday, August 9, 2013, so you'll have plenty of time to read them before the third book comes out in October!

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck :)

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Harry Potter Read-Along/Discussion [6]

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapters 5 - 8

You'll have to forgive me. I've decided to forego my long recap of several chapters at once. I take it you all have read (and re-read) the books, yes? so I'll stick to a one-to-two paragraph recap of the general events so we can get to the good stuff!

Basically in chapters 5 - 8, Harry and Ron get this brilliant idea to fly the bewitched Ford Anglia to school and get caught, but thankfully not expelled. Harry emeets his biggest fan, Colin Creevey, and avoids Professor Lockhart at all costs. Its also in these few chapters that Harry starts to hear voices in the walls saying things about blood, and killing people, but no one else hears them! After Harry finds out that Filch has been taking mail-order magic lessons, someone (or something) Petrifies Mrs. Norris and writes on the wall that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened and that "mudbloods" will be next.

First and foremost - lets get this out of the way. The scene in chapter 5 when Harry and Ron think its perfectly OK to fly themselves to Hogwarts is probably the most annoying part in the entire series. Did you think it was OK? Cause it totally wasnt. Please, even Harry knew from the start that it was a bad idea. I know that this was a way to further the story and its supposed to be even a little funny, but am I alone here? Just another reason why Hermione is my favorite!!

I mean really guys - you thought this was a good idea?
Harry and his friends attend Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington's deathday party on Halloween, but Nearly Headless Nick  is in low spirits because he cant be admitted to the Headless hunt because of the small bit of flesh (EW) holding his head on. Harry and friends totally try to help him get in by telling the others how scary Nick is. If you were part of the Headless Hunt, would you have considered Sir Nicholas as a member? I dont know about you guys, but blunt axe or not, fair is fair. As bad as I feel for Nick, the other members have got a point - how will he participate in the headless games if he cant take off his head?!

Lets talk about Lockhart for a minute here. I cant even stand that my all time favorite character, Hermione, gets all giggly and defends Lockhart's stupidity. I suppose girls... and even boys can be like that - blind to someone's faults because of their good looks and charm. I mean, I know that the Defense Against Dark Arts position was... taboo or whatever, but I think if the choice was mine, I wouldve taught the darn class myself rather that have that dip teaching my students! Agree?

And finally, at the close of these few chapters, poop really goes down. Harry and friends get caught at the wrong place at the wrong time - as always, it appears! They are right by the stinkin cat right when everyone , including Filch, comes and finds it Petrified. Filch freaks out, understandably, and Snape suggests Harry not be allowed... to play quidditch!? Ok Snape, really, its getting old already. I know Snape had it out for James, I get that, truly. Thank God for McGonagall who basically looks at him and says yeah, right and overrides that decision. Anyways, do you think Harry should've told the adults at that point that he was hearing voices? His friends convince him, and he sort of convinces himself, that hearing voices is not OK. And yes, if Rowling had taken that route, she probably wouldnt have had anyone believe him anyways. Maybe I'm just a big scaredy cat and would go running to a grown up for any little thing, but dont you think he could've saved himself some trouble if he'd come right out and said, "batten down the hatches - theres a voice in the walls!"

Looking forward to hearing from you guys! Are you all re-reading the books too, this summer? Or are you just participating by nostalgic-memory and indulging me in some more HP conversations, lol? Anything you'd like me to talk about next week, or that you'd like to visit from this week's chapters? I love feedback, my friends!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book-to-Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Released: November 16, 2001 
"Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."


Wow, well isnt that summary an understatement for this magical beginning to Rowling's wonderful world?! How can you not love this movie? Before last week, I hadnt watched it in ages. I usually watch movies 3, 5, 6 and 7-part 2. I dont know why, but those are the ones I usually gravitate to.  Even Sean, whom I've been with for almost 7 years, told me he doesnt think he had ever seen this one with me! I know - crazy right?! So, anyhow, watching it was really refreshing for me. I got to experience the first movie all over again, and also got to look at it from a review standpoint. Sean says I was "working" while watching it. Its true, I was. Taking notes and whatnot. What I came up with was that, based on how movies are usually butchered when transformed into movies, this one was great. There were a few things that were changed or left out, as always. That doesnt bother me much and I'm used to it. Obviously they cant put everything into the movie. But Some things did, such as:

  •  When Hagrid goes to get Harry from the hut on the rock, they leave immediately after he tells Harry everything. What sense does that make? It was midnight when you went to get him, Hagrid, why would you take an 11-year-old out shopping at midnight. And how long did it take them to get wherre they were going, because in the next scene, it was morning and they were about to go into the leaky cauldron!
  • No Peeves. Enough said.
  • Skips the wizard's duel that Malfoy challenges Harry to in the book, and they kind of just stumble upon the third floor corridor without Neville.
  • In the Mirror of Erised, Harry only sees his mom and dad, not his whole family. This kind of disappointed me. I think its really important that Harry saw where he came from, and that his parents came from somewhere too, ya know? I wanted to see the knobbly-kneed grandpa!
  • Hagrid's dragon simply gets taken away. They completely skip the entire scene where Harry and Hermione bring the dragon up to the tower for Charlie's friends, and they get detention simply for being late at Hagrids. And Ron gets detention instead of Neville. WTF!
  • Completely skips Snape's logic defense! Which, mind you, was my favorite out of all of them! NOT FAIR!
  • Harry attacks Quirrell rather than the other way around, and instead of Quirrell being abandoned by Voldemort and subsequently dying, Harry's attack causes Quirrell to disintegrate and then Harry passes out after that. That was an outrage!

The above listed things were the things that were changed which, to me, didnt need to be in order to make a good movie. They changed a bunch of other things, but either they didnt bother me, or I knew they were changed or left out for the good of the movie. But the things I listed, I cannot forgive.

Anyhow, what I did like was how the magicality (is that a word?) of it all came to life on screen, and it was action-packed and stayed true to the overall idea of the book. Even with the things that I listed that were changed, which I mentioned are unforgivable, I love this movie so much and I'm so glad I finally sat down to watch it after so many years.

How do you guys, as fans of the books, feel about the first movie? Do you agree with me, and think those things are unforgivable? Do you think there were other things left out that were also unforgivable? I'd love to hear what you think! :)


Friday, July 26, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday - Hoarding Books

Feature and Follow Friday is hosyed by Parajunkee. Visit them to find out how to participate! :)

This weeks Question:

What do you do with your books after you’re done reading them?

Lol, this  is easy. If I let it, my room would probably look like this:

I hoard my books after reading them. I love having them on my shelf, all pretty looking and stuff, lol. And they are in alphabetical order, mind you, mass market first, then paperback, then hardcovers. Series all stay together, etc. I keep my books in great condition, so I usually like to keep them on my shelf looking nice and organized but I guess its time to let that go, haha. I've recently decided that I can let go of some of them by having giveaways here on the good ol' blog, right? So look for those coming soon!

How about you? What do you do with you're books when you are done reading them? Hopefully your room doesnt look like that picture!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

ISBN: 9780590353427
Release Date: 1997
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Series: Harry Potter, #1
Page Count: 312 pages


"Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.
 But all that is about change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter."
     (Final) REVIEW: (We all know I've read this several times, so bear with me)
  • Rowling's writing is easy to read, as a children's book, but not childish and simple enough to cause me to lose interest at all. What more is there to say? Its (forgive the pun) magical.
  • World-building: I've yet to encounter a world as amazing and elaborate as this (though, the further I get into A Game of Thrones, Rowling may have some competition). I want to live at Hogwarts.
  • You most certainly see our characters grow from ignorant little children who like to get into trouble to child-heroes.... who like to get into trouble. :D You cant help but love it. Regardless of their development, I loved every single character, even the Dursleys. Rowling just makes such great mean/evil characters.
  • I love Hermione and Ron's friendship. They are friends after a few mishaps, but they aren't always nice to eachother. Setting something up for later on?....hint hint ;)

  • That even after Harry and Ron were basically bullying her - maybe not directly, but still - and she stuck up for them and took all the blame for something that was kind of their fault. Bullying is not OK! Alright, I know that's not really how it was but it just irked me.
  • Minor discrepancies/cop-outs: Ex.1: Ron's rat. It is not on the list of accepted pets. Obviously no one cares, and Rowling had to have noticed. Not a big deal but why couldn't she have just put rat on the list, or acknowledged that he was illegally bringing a rat to school!! Ex.2: Harry just miraculously realizes that Hagrid inadvertently sold Dumbledore out? I feel like this isn't a big deal either, just poorly placed. He kind of realizes it at a random time.... also, he's 11. Maybe wizard 11-year-olds know more than most kids do, but I wish this realization had been sparked by something believable rather than it just happening.

     RATING: ★★★★★ (5 stars)

I knew I would come to a point where I'd have delved pretty deep into HP and start realizing things I don't like. I don't mind those little things though. Obviously, no author or book is perfect. I love this series, and this first installment is one of my favorites of the whole series. I don't think there is much more to say except that if you haven't read this series, please do so, before the secret Harry Potter club members find you. ;)

What do you all think about this book/series?


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Book Turn-Offs

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is

top ten five words/topics that make me not pick up a book

1.   "Zombies" 
I cant do it. I'm not a zombie fan. The whole zombie apocalyspe thing just gives me the oogies and I'd rather stay away from it all together.
The exception: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion - I haven't read it yet, but my cousin loved it and I've heard good things about it. And it definitely strays from your standard zombie book.

2.    "Erotica"
Eek! I read Fifty Shades and I was just not having it. Gratuitous sex gets tiring to read - imagine for the characters! Its just too much for me, and I dont like it at all.

3.    "New Adult"
I actually dont have anything against New Adult, but the whole concept doesnt work itself out in my brain. I think I'm just content with my young adult books and the occasional adult fiction. Maybe if it wasnt called "New Adult", I would read it along with one of the genres I already do read and not know the difference. Who knows... maybe one day.

4.    "Angels"
I don't know why but even before Mortal Instruments took off, I had an aversion to the angels thing. It just seemed like it was the only paranormal "being" left for authors to make stories out of. I admit now, I did enjoy the Mortal Instruments series and I have been getting badgered by a friend to read Hush, Hush. I'm just afraid the angel thing will take away from the story.

5.    "Vampires"
I was a huge Twilight fan just as much as the next girl. But ever since I read those books, I was never a huge fan of other vampire books. I did buy the first book in  the Vampire Academy and House of Night series, but I havent read them and I am wary to. Ever since Twilight vampires are everywhere. Every author who could manage it was throwing a vampire into their stories and it was supremely annoying. I will read those other two series and hope I will enjoy them, but until then, the only vampire action I'm getting is from the Vampire Diaries - the show, NOT the books (hated them!)

Wow... that posts left me feeling a little negative. :/ I wont absolutely turn away books with these words, as I mentioned before, but if I've never heard of the book and those are the first things I see, probably not making it to my shelf unless someone specifically recommends it to me. However, if any of you have these words on a list of words that would make you pick up a book, and you've read some good ones on these topics, please give me some recommendations! I hate to stay in the dark, especially when there is an awesome book out there waiting for me!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Harry Potter Read-Along/Discussion [5]

RECAP - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapters 1 - 4

          Yay! Here we are on book two of the Harry Potter series! Harry has completed his first year of school and is now back with the Dursleys for the summer. At the end of book one, Harry tells his friends he is going to have a great summer because his family doesn't know that he isn't allowed to use magic. Book two opens on Harry's 12th birthday. His summer hadn't been as great as he'd hoped because the Dursleys basically ignored him, rather than being nasty to him. They locked his trunk and all of his wizard belongings in his old sleeping quarters - the cupboard under the stairs - so that he cant practice at all, and he hadn't gotten any letters from any of his friends all summer.

          On his birthday, the Dursleys don't even acknowledge it of course, and are having a very important business dinner in order to secure a sale for Uncle Vernon. Harry is sent off to make himself scarce before the guests arrive. When Harry goes back up to his room to pretend he doesn't exist during this special dinner party, a little creature is sitting on his bed - a house elf called Dobby.

          Dobby tells Harry that he must not go back to Hogwarts because he will be in mortal danger, but he cant provide details, lest he begin bashing his head on the wall to punish himself. Dobby lets it slip that he'd been intercepting letters from Harry's friends - Harry is of course furious and tells Dobby he will be going back to Hogwarts.  Dobby says he has "no choice", goes downstairs and wreaks havoc by way of doing magic and destroying Aunt Petunia's pudding, effectively ruining the dinner party, Uncle Vernon's business deal, and the rest of Harry's life. The Dursleys lock Harry up in his room and tell him he cant ever go back to Hogwarts for what he has done.

          Harry falls asleep, miserable, thinking he will be expelled since the ministry of magic thinks that the magic Dobby did was done by Harry, and when he wakes, Ron, Fred and George are outside of his barred window in a flying Ford Anglia! Ron and his brothers break Harry out and take him back to their house, the Burrow. Harry is thrilled, only when the four of them arrive at the Burrow (the only entirely magical house Harry has ever seen), Mrs. Weasley is absolutely furious with her sons for doing something so dangerous - Harry on the other hand gets off very easy. Mrs. Weasley treats him lovingly and feeds him as much food as he wants, and Mr. Weasley is fascinated by him and asks him tons of questions about muggles and how they live.
          Right before school starts, Harry and the Weasleys meet Hermione in Diagon Alley to get their school things, including an entire list of books by the handsome Gilderoy Lockhart. The Weasleys travel by Floo Powder, which Harry has never done, and when he calls out the name of the grate he wishes to land in, he stutters, and after a rather nauseating ride, lands in the wrong grate, bruises himself, and breaks his glasses. Harry tries to sneak out of the door of the creepy dark-wizarding shop (Borgin and Burkes) he seems to have landed in, when Draco Malfoy and his father walk in. Harry hides and overhears them saying they want to sell some things to avoid them being found on a raid by the Ministry. Harry finds his way out and (thank goodness) is found by Hagrid in this bad part of town, Knockturn Alley.

          Hagrid reunites Harry with the Weasleys and Hermione and they make their way to Flourish and Blotts, which is packed for Gilderoy Lockhart's book signing. Lockhart immediately recognizes Harry and jumps at a photo opportunity for the front page. Lockhart announces thereafter that he is going to be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts and gives Harry a free set of all of his books (which he kindly gives to Ginny). Malfoy teases him about being "famous" and Mr. Malfoy comes along, insulting the entire Weasley lot. Mr. Weasley ain't havin' it and takes a swing and they have it out in Flourish and Blotts! Hagrid thankfully breaks it up, and when Mr. Malfoy is dusting himself off, he sticks Ginny's book back into her cauldron (hmmm...) and stalks out....


So lets' say Dobby shows up in your room a month before you're supposed to go back to the only place that has ever felt like home. Harry is only 12 and, thankfully, stands up for himself and tells Dobby no, he will not stay at the Dursley's. Even when this never-before-seen creature is sitting on his bed, telling him that he will die if he goes back to Hogwarts, Harry refuses to stay. Do you think Harry was being brave, because he had just battled Voldemort a few months before? Or just being stubborn, rebellious Harry who doesnt like to take advice. I like to think he was being brave. He was definitely having a panic moment, thinking he was going to have to stay at the Dursley's for ever and ever, and he was not having that, mortal danger notwithstanding!

Harry is introduced to a new way of wizard traveling, Floo Powder. He's never really seen any others, other than the Hogwarts Express, and heard about Apparating. Harry doesnt exactly have the best time with Floo Powder, and ends up somewhere he does not want to be. For those of you that have read the entire series, what is your favorite form of wizarding travel? It surely can't be Floo Powder. I think Apparating is pretty cool, but I'm afraid I'd lose a limb while learning how to do it. Port Keys are such a pain in the ass. Its too much coordination to try to get somewhere. I'd rather drive a space-enchanted Ford Anglia than go by Port Key. I'd enchant all sorts of cool stuff into my car. Who cares if it takes longer? At least I'd have a really sweet car, haha.

I'd love to hear what you have to say on these two topics! (I know two seems like a small number, but I feel like all the great discussion happens after these few chapters) See you all next week for discussion of chapters 5 through 8!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Demigods and Monsters: Your Favorite Authors on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

ISBN: 9780979233142
Released: January, 2008; re-released July 2, 2013
My copy: Ebook (Netgalley)
Publisher: Smart Pop
Series: No, Stand-Alone
Page Count: (roughly) 288 pages


"Spend a little more time in Percy Jackson’s world—a place where the gods bike among us, monsters man snack bars, and each of us has the potential to become a hero.Find out:Why Dionysus might actually be the best director Camp Half-Blood could have, How to recognize a monster when you see one, Why even if we aren’t facing manticores and minotaurs, reading myth can still help us deal with the scary things in our own lives.Plus, consult our glossary of people, places, and things from Greek myth: how Medusa got her snake hair extensions, why Chiron isn’t into partying and paintball like the rest of his centaur family, and the whole story on Percy’s mythical namesake."

  • I loved Elizabeth Rees' piece that referenced our firefighters and police officers who died trying to save people during 9/11 as heroes just like demi-gods. I loved her piece as a whole, but I loved her idea that regular people can be heroes just as big or sometimes bigger than Riordan's demi-gods.
  • The whole things wasnt praise to Riordan's works. Some authors criticized where necessary and I thought that was great, and an honest, truthful thing to do.
  • This book is like one giant collaborative review. As a reviewer, how can you not appreciate and admire that

  • I was super excited about this book, and then it was kind of just OK. I was kind of let-down by it being just essays basically about each author's personal experiences and how they relate to Riordan's stories.
  • Some of the essays were way too long, and those particular authors kept repeating the same thing over and over. I mean, I love Greek mythology as much as the next obsessed-girl, but give me a break.
  • Its probably not the best book for the young reader, such as those who would be reading the actual Percy Jackson books. This is probably more marketed toward the older crowd, but it wouldve been cool to have some things written that younger kids could get into, too.

RATING: (3 stars)

Overall, I found this collection interesting more than anything, and I appreciated all of the insight it provided to the books. It really made me want to revisit the Percy Jackson series, and as soon as I'm done with my Harry Potter re-read, I'm definitely delving back into PJ, and possibly will re-read this one too. I absolutely love Greek mythology, so my favorite part about this were all the facts and comparisons to actual Greek mythology and how many new things I learned. It was pretty good, if a little disappointing, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is interested in mythology itself and wants to get a deeper look into what makes the Percy Jackson series tick.

Have any of you read this book? It was re-released to come out right before the second movie (which I cant wait to see!), but originally released back in 2008. Did you read it before or now, or are you planning on reading it? What did you think!?


*Disclaimer: I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Friday, July 19, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday - Book Destination Spots

Feature and Follow Friday again, everyone, hosted by Parajunkee. Visit to find out how to participate! this week's question:

Q: Book Vacay: Where is the best destination reading spot for you? (Where do you like to go to read other then your home)

Darnit - other than my house!? I dont really like anywhere else. :( I like to lay back on my couch. My least favorite place/way to read is sitting up in a chair. I absolutely hate it. I need to be relaxed. So with that being said, my favorite place would probably be on a beach (in the shade) in a hammock! I love hammocks. :D

Honestly, anywhere that I can lay back and relax comfortably works for me, but a beach with the option to take a break from the book world and play in the sand and water kind of tops the list.

How about you guys? Whats your favorite (other than your home) spot to read?


P.S.: New followers, let me know you've followed and leave a link to your blog so I can pay you a visit! :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

ISBN: 978146975878
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: McElderry Books
Series: The Infernal Devices, #1
Page Count: 479 pages

"Orphan Tessa Gray, sixteen, crosses the ocean from New York to find her brother Nate in Victorian London, her only possession a clockwork angel necklace from her mother. She is ignorant of her power to transform; the Dark sisters are not. They kidnap her for the Magister, who wants to marry Tessa and claim her power.

Shadowhunters, warriors of angel blood, battle demons and keep the peace in the Downworld of vampires, warlocks and other supernaturals. Orphan teen Shadowhunters Jem, Will, and Jess rescue Tessa and agree to help save Nate. Vengeful vampire Lady Camille Belcourt and her current lover, warlock Magnus Bane provide entrée to the Magister's secret Pandemonium Club"



  • The plot. Somehow, even with its similarities to the Mortal Instruments, and poor writing taken into consideration, the plot got me. The plot always gets me at some point with Clare's books. She is truly an author I hate to...like (I cant bring myself to say love).
  • Jem. Love him. Though, I cant quite say I am team Jem yet. I'm a sucker for a bad boy. Clearly Tessa is too, and though I found Will...plain old corny at times, I still like him. What woman can resist a tortured soul? (apparently I cannot).
  • The love triangle. I am not a fan of triangles normally, but this one is kind of subtle. Like, she's totally into Will, and acknowledges some confusion about Jem, but shes not out there like Bella saying "No, I totally love Will [Edward], but I want you to give me attention, Jem [Jacob]." So I can kind of dig a well-put-together triangle. Wonder how long it will stay tolerable, though.
  • I didn't find it as predictable as I thought it would be. Now, don't get me wrong - there are tons of similarities between MI and ID but I was expecting to be bored by this one entirely. I was bored at first, yes, but by the end I was screaming obscenities in my bedroom and slapping Sean in the arm while he tried to watch TV, whining to him about my outrages.


  • It took well over 150 pages for this book to get interesting. I dragged through the first three quarters of the book so badly. It wasnt until more than half-way through that I started wanting to read the book, rather than forcing myself to.
  • I've never been a fan of Clare's writing. We can all admit it, she's just OK. Occasionally she says something deep, but otherwise its choppy, lame, and at times, awkward. I guess its not bad enough that I cant get past it, though.

     RATING:  (3 stars)

          I will definitely read the next two in the series, especially since some fellow bloggers urged me through this one and told me that the next two are much better. That happens often in series; the first book is kind of a set-up book, and the rest contain all the awesomeness. I hope that is the case here. My main issue is the awkwardness of Clare's writing, which doesn't surprise me because I read 4 out of 5 of her Mortal Instruments series, which I do like (just not love), so I did know what I was getting into. But somehow, I'm laying in bed last night trying to finish the last thirty pages (finally), and Clare's freakin' plot has me yelling things out and pounding my fist on the bed, with Sean doing his best to nod and agree with things he has no clue what I am talking about! She pulled it out in the end, I suppose, and I hope I enjoy the next two more.

Have any of you read this one? What did you think?
If you've read the series, do you agree with other bloggers than getting through this so-so book was worth it, and the next two are better? Or am I wasting my time here? I'd love to hear your opinions!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Harry Potter Read-Along/Discussion [4]

Hello all! I'm late once again, but I'm working on getting ahead so this wont happen anymore, haha. I'm not sure if you all realize it, but today is the final "discussion" day of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. We will be discussing the last few chapters of the first book. I will also post a final review (in my regular "what i liked"-"what i didnt like" format) some time in the next couple of weeks. Then I'll start working on discussions for HP and the Chamber of Secrets. It only gets better from here!

RECAP - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, chapters 14 - 17 

--Snape has been "bullying" Quirrell since the last time we saw the gang and since he's been looking awfully pale and thin and scared, Harry and friends take to defending him when others make fun of him, and they are truly rooting for Quirrell to stand his ground against Snape.

--Hagrid mysteriously acquires a dragon egg from a stranger and when the dragon egg hatches and Hagrid names his "baby" Norbert. Norbert is destructive as dragons are wont to be, but Malfoy gets a glimpse of the dragon through Hagrid's window, and they know trouble is not far off! To try to fix this giant mess, Harry and friends break some major rules to get Norbert out of there by sneaking Norbert up to the tallest tower at midnight to be whisked away to safety. Harry and Hermione try to pull this off together but Malfoy finds out and they all ultimately get caught by Filch.

--After spending a while being hated by the entire student body for losing enough points to drop Gryffindor into last place for the house cup, Harry, his friends, and Malfoy have to report for detention one night at 11 p.m. at the Forbidden Forest with Hagrid where they break off into two groups to look for an injured unicorn. Something that doesnt belong in the forest has been hunting these pure, innocent creatures... Harry then encounters a cloaked creature who moves to attack him when, thankfully, Firenze the centaur saves Harry and carries him to safety! Even though it is a big no-no, Firenze gives Harry a clue as to who was drinking unicorn's blood - VOLDEMORT! Harry believes Snape has been trying to steal the stone for Voldemort!

--Harry suddenly realizes that the stranger who suspiciously gave Hagrid his dragon egg tricked Hagrid into telling them how to get past Fluffy to acquire the Sorcerer's Stone. They run to tell Dumbledore only to find that he has been summoned to the Ministry of Magic. They know now that it was a trick and Snape is going to go for the stone in Dumbledore's absence.

-Knowing how evil Voldemort is, and knowing that he killed Harry's parents, Harry and his friends decide to follow Snape and stop him themselves, since McGonagall doesnt believe them and Dumbledore is gone. They meet many obstacles, including a plant that tries to kill them and a life-sized chess set. Harry can only get through the last obstacle alone and sends Hermione back for help, while Ron is knocked out cold.

--Harry enters the last chamber where the stone must be hidden using Dumbledore's defense mechanism (the Mirror of Erised) and there is someone already there, but it isnt Snape.... it's Professor Quirrell - sans twitching and stuttering! Quirrell informs Harry that it was him all along and Snape had been trying to protect Harry and stop Quirrell!

--Voldemort shares the body of Professor Quirrell, and the face of Voldemort is on the back of Quirrell's head (hence the freaky turban). Quirrell tries to force Harry to find the stone in the Mirror of Erised, which he does, and the stone appears in Harry's pocket. He lies and tries to keep it from Quirrell, but Voldemort senses the lie! After the Dark Lord taunts Harry about how he killed his parents, he commands Quirrell to attack Harry in order to get the stone - but Quirrell encounters absolute searing pain upon making contact with Harry!

--Voldemort commands Quirrell to kill the boy and get the stone regardless of the pain, but the contact keeps blistering his hands and Harry keeps fighting. Harry loses consciousness from the pain and wakes up in the hopsital wing. Apparently Dumbledore realized the farce and showed up to save Harry right when he passed out. Voldemort, realizing defeat, abandoned Quirrell's body and Professor Quirrell died.

--Professor Dumbledore and Harry have a nice chat about the stone, Voldemort, how Harry's dad saved Snape's life once and thats why Snape dislikes Harry - he hates feeling indebted to someone he hated. He also told him that Quirrell couldnt stand to touch him because Harry's mom died protecting him, and love is much more powerful than hate. However, Dumbledore wont tell Harry why Voldemort wants him dead... he says he will tell him one day when he is old enough.

--Harry finds out that it was Dumbledore who gave him his father's invisibility cloak. Once Harry is well enough again, he makes his way down to the end of year feast where it appears Slytherin has won the house cup again - until Dumbledore awards some last minute points to Gryffindor for stopping Voldemort and Gryffindor WINS!!!

--Harry and Ron are surprised by their good marks at the end of the year, and Hermione is top in her class. Everyone heads home for the summer holiday and Ron invites his friends to stay for the summer and Harry cant wait. Uncle Vernon reluctantly comes to pick Harry up and Harry hints to his friends that his summer wont be as bad as it seems - his family doesnt know that he isnt allowed to use magic at home. ;)


I cant help but thinking how glad I am to finally be done with this book. Not because I didnt like it - quite the contrary (duh) - but because I want to get to the good stuff. You all know that around the third-ish book, sh*t gets real. Harry and his friends really start to grow up and the books do too.

My first topic for you guys is: What is Hagrid's deal!? Okay, we know he's a little bit of an oaf. Not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but surprisingly wise, and loving and absolutely loyal. But come on - he's obviously got a bit of a drinking problem - and totally thought it was OK to accept a dragon egg from some sketchy guy. And then raise the dragon as his child!!!
I'm not really asking a question here. We know Hagrid just loves scary creatures. I just want someone else to validate my feelings a  little bit here, and let me know that I'm not the only one who love Hagrid but thinks hes a little out of control at times. He's like that crazy family member of yours who you'd do anything for, but sometimes you just wanna slap em'!

Secondly - tell me, please, what was your favorite "line of defense" for the Sorcerer's Stone? I loved Snape's "riddle". I am a sucker for puzzles, riddles, anything to do with logic. I only wished I was there because I am dying to get my hands on those bottles to see if I can figure out the puzzle for myself! My second favorite was the Mirror of Erised - by far the best defense, but I'm just a little nerdy so I liked Snape's better haha. This one was basically fool proof, unless someone like Harry came to get the stone. How else would Quirrell have gotten his hands on it? Dumbledore is a genius! What was your favorite?

Lastly, dont you think it was a little unfair of Dumbledore to literally give points out at the last possible second causing the Gryffindors to win the house cup? Dont get me wrong - wait, please, let me explain! Gryffindor 100% deserved those points. But I mean, couldnt he have given the points out before the feast? Slytherins are students too, ya know, regardless if they are are slimy jerks. Wouldnt it have been nicer to award the points beforehand? I dont know, maybe I'm just being too nice. I do that sometimes. I dont like hurting people's feelings, even if they are awful people.... Hm... Maybe thats why I got sorted into Hufflepuff on Pottermore. :/ Your thoughts?

I obviously love Harry Potter and adored going back and re-reading this particular book for the fourth time. This book (and the movie) are my favorite out of the first three, which I consider to be the middle-grade books out of the series. 4-7 are definitely young adult and get much more serious and dark by the end.

Like I said before, I will be posting an actual review of this book, and all of the books in the series, in my normal format. Hope you'll give me your input when I post my final thoughts on the book as a whole.

Cant wait to hear from you all (and I promise I will get ahead on these posts - being late sucks)!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Format: E-book
Originally published:  in 1847
Series?: No - Stand-alone
Page Count (avg.): 325 pages

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.


  • The first half of the book - I enjoyed it immensely (the second half is another story...literally). It was surprisingly easy enough to understand, with it being written in the 1800s and all, and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
  • Certain characters in this story were very true to human nature at its worst (and sometimes best, sadly). Catherine was manipulative and possessive, as are many young girls these days. How many relationships to do you see out there today that are exactly the same way? Hell, I cant count how many times in high school I forced myself to cry so my boyfriend at the time would feel bad and give me what I wanted. I was a manipulative little jerk. It just shows how Bronte's characters transcend time.
  • Edgar Linton. He was probably the only somewhat redeeming character out of the whole book, in my opinion. He definitely made some crappy decisions, but he was probably one of the only characters who wasn't actually a crappy person.
  • The relationships came full circle. Catherine Earnshaw died as Catherine Linton, and Catherine Linton would have died as Catherine Earnshaw. It was pretty clever and cool.
  • I like being able to understand the references in Twilight now. Though I do not agree with Bella and Edward's characters about sympathizing with Heathcliff - geez, who can sympathize with the devil... He was just totally nuts, but I do see the similarities to Meyer's story, e.g. obsession.

  • The characters were all very confusing and hard to keep track of, especially when some of them were all called by their last names. How am I supposed to know which Earnshaw you speak of?! I had to take extra notes to figure it all out.
  • The servant Joseph.. he was impossible to understand. I was literally to the point where I would get ANGRY while reading his dialogue because I mean really, why would you have one of your characters speak in a dialect that sounds like gibberish, and expect readers to understand?! Absolutely ridiculous and extremely annoying!
  • Several of the deaths of the characters were not from actual illnesses, but from the characters being bat-sh*t crazy and making themselves sick. I mean, really? I know this was in the 1800s, but did people really die that easily? I've made my self sick with anger or anxiety numerous times.... I'm not dead!
  • This book was pretty much two books - two stories. The story of Cathy Linton should've been another freaking book, because halfway through, I had had enough and was super bored. It would've been better as a companion novel or sequel of some sort.
  • Makes abusing women seem totally OK. I know back then, it probably was, but come on. Even the narrator saw Hareton slap Cathy and he thought it was OK because she was being "saucy". Give me a break.
  • About three quarters of the way through the book, literally everything that was happening was absolutely nuts and completely unimportant. Bronte needed to wrap it up but she dragged it on and on. It became almost unbearable.
  • The ending. "Happy" ending? I guess you could say so. But after all the craziness, it was sort of anti-climactic, and super annoying. Hope you like getting smacked around, Cathy!


I almost cant believe how much I loved the first half of this book in comparison to how much I hated the second half. I was ready to give this book a five star rating, and here it is with a two and a half. The problem I have with giving it a two though, is how clever it was, and really, is a masterpiece, a work of art. The characters and stories come full circle and its so interesting to watch and see how the story plays out a second time.... I just wish the story had played out a little quicker. This truly is an epic story of "love", obsession and revenge. Heathcliff is the master of revenge. I'm kind of mad he goes soft at the end. I would've rather someone take him out - I cant see him going down without a fight.

There isn't much more to say without giving the whole story away to those of you who haven't read this classic yet. I wont warn you away from it. I actually didn't hate it, I just could barely make it through the second half. The first half is so enjoyable and has so much potential, that you may even be able to stand the second half. I actually recommend this read. It is a wonderful read, most of the way through..

★ ★ 1/2
(2.5 stars)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Movie Adaptations

OK! Time for this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic:

Top Ten Best/Worst Book-to-Movie Adaptations!


10.   Bridge to Terebithia - Actually this one was just OK. On one hand, I loved seeing this one come to life. On the other hand, it wasnt amazing for me, but I still enjoyed it.

9.   Breaking Dawn, Part 2 - I actually thought this adaptation was pretty darn good (especially compared to the others) and super clever. I LOVED the fight scene, and I was among the rest of them who were screaming at the screen at the midnight premiere trying to figure out what the hell was going on, only to find out I've been duped (thank God). Well played, Breaking Dawn, well played.

8.    Tuck Everlasting - I read this book back in the 6th grade and  fell in love... and then there was a movie?! Oh I was in heaven. I think I watched this movie every day for a month at least. Yes, there were some changes, but  I adored that movie. One of my favorite movies of all time actually.

7.   The Hunger Games - again, some changes? Yes. But I loved it. I thought it was wonderfully made  and even with the changes, reflected the message from the books.

6.   Holes - LOVED the book, ADORED the movie. Both so cute. There are always changes when adapting books to movies but I thought this was one wonderfully done and I love re-reading and re-watching this one over and over.

5.   Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Oh, you know a list is not complete without HP. I loved this final movie. I thought that every movie in this series truly did have its issues, but I remember sitting in the theater at the midnight premiere and everyone crying before anything has even freaking happened because it was basically the end of our childhood. Not only were there no more books, but we would never go see another HP movie premiere either. Not to mention the chills I got when the battle at Hogwarts went down. That scene where the creepy music is playing and the camera pans over Hogwarts as a whole and you see the whole thing happening... ugh. It still hurts thinking about it. Another one of my favorite movies of all time.


4.   Eat, Pray, Love - I LOVED the book and I was hoping to love the movie, and it wasnt all bad but I felt like it focused too much on the love story and not the journey that she Elizabeth took to find herself.

3. Twilight - Yes, I did just say I liked the Breaking Dawn part 2 movie. Twilight was just awful though. I dont think there is much more I can say about that.

2.   Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief - the PJ series definitely makes my top 5 list of favorite series ever. I was super excited when this movie was coming out, and super disappointed after seeing it. Just not my cup of tea. Hopefully the next one will be better.

1.  Beautiful Creatures - I just watched this one last week and I am still cringing thinking about how much I hated it. It was so ridiculously far off of the book and they changed things that didnt need changing. HATED IT. I'm used to movies changing things. We all should be, as book bloggers who probably read tons of books made into movies. That doesnt bother me. Hell, I wouldve liked Twilight if it was better quality. So for me to say I hated this movie says it all. YUCK.

What movies are on your best/worst adaptations list?


Monday, July 8, 2013

Thoughts: Mid-Year Bookish-Goals Progress

So, how many of you remember back in January when we all did Top Ten Tuesday's (The Broke and the Bookish) 2013 Bookish Goals?

Well that was my first post ever on this blog and here I am, almost six months later and still going strong! :) I hope I can continue blogging for a long, long time. Well anyhow, my point is, today is exactly six months from the day we made our bookish goals and resolutions, etc. So this is pretty much the half-way point. So, in other words, if you havent completed your bookish goals yet, you'd better get on the ball! The first half of the year went by super fast for me, so I want to complete as many as I can. How far are you on your goals?!

I have a tab at the top of my page called "2013 Goals" where I keep track of my progress on these goals, but I think it will be fun to see how far you've all come with your goals also! :)

10.     "Give away/sell some of the books I know I wont read again (not including Jodi Picoult or Nora Roberts books. I just cant do it)."

Well - you will all be very happy to know that I have completed this goal! I actually did this one very early on. I went through all of the books I own and I came up with about 50+ books I knew I'd never read again and divided them up between my neighbor and my boss. They were thrilled to say the least! I was so proud of myself. The disappointing side to this was that I cleared all that space off of my shelves and put all the excess book stock I have onto the shelf and am still out of room and in need of a new book shelf! Booooo!

9.     "Finish up all the series that I'm in the middle of, at least up to the latest release if the final book hasnt been released yet." 

This is a work in progress. I've finished 5 series that I was in the middle of, but I've also started 5 more. Eek. If I was to keep going the way I have been this first half of the year, I would have a million series open and none finished. But in taking a look at my bookish goals today, I can get a handle on this goal and finish up some of the series I started, namely the Chemical Garden Trilogy, which I've been avoiding for months now..... oops.

8.     "Finish all of the books that are currently TBR on my book shelf by the end of the year, so that all of the books on my shelf next year are TBR from this tear, haha;"

I dont know what the hell I've was getting at with this sentence, because I've confused myself by re-reading it. Anyhow, what I meant was that I wanted to finish all of the books that were on my TBR shelf in 2012 by the end of this year. I dont want to have books from 2012 on my shelf in 2017. But.... I'm not doing so well with this one. I finished only 4 books out of the 39 I had on my shelf as of Dec. 31, 2012. Eek. And I can tell you right now that I do not think I will finish all 39 by the end of the year. I am going to try to get at least 5 more done. :/ My problem is that I bought a bajillion more books and I have started all these news goals (e.g. re-read HP, read A Song of Ice and Fire, read and review some e-galleys...). I know, I know. I need to stay focused!

If only I had this pretty picture to follow when I started this...
Source: http://www.eclectic-eccentric.com/p/reading-goals.html
7.      "Read two (2) non-fiction books"

I've read zero. Zilch. Nada. Niet (is that how you spell it?) NINE! Not the number nine. But like German nine. Ok. I digress. What is my problem here? I made this goal in an attempt to broaden my horizons, but every time I think I want to pick up a non-fiction book to finally begin to complete this goal, I get scared or sidetracked or distracted by something I want to read much more. Have any of you read some non-fiction lately  that you think I would like? And please remember who you are recommending this non-fiction to: the girl who wants to live at Hogwarts. Go easy on me, please.

6.     "Read at least five (5) books by "new" authors (new to me)"

I did this one! I finished it! Yay!! I actually did better; I doubled this goal! I read books by ten (10) authors I've never read before! :) I'm proud. I know this is a small victory because with all of the awesome reads being released lately, its not hard to read new authors, but when you are like me who is very much in their comfort zone, its hard to branch out into the unknown.

5.     "Review every book I read this year (oh, God that one is going to be rough)"

Uh.. well... I kind of feel silly. I didnt realize how easy  this one was going to be and how much harder number 7 and 8 would be. I have review every book I've read so far this year. It's worked out so well that I've finally started being able to do my posts ahead of time and  schedule them and not have to spend every waking free moment trying to get a post out. Its a glorious thing. I suppose thats how real blogging works, lol. :) Well anyhow, regardless of how easy it has been, I am proud. Andddd..... the year is young yet and I have to work at it to make sure I review everything I am reading and can count this goal as completed by the end of the year.

4.     "Read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy in its entirety"

I havent done this one either. I read the Hobbit before I began blogging and I havent even picked up the first book in the trilogy yet, though I do own it and it is on my shelf. I'm just afraid I'll hate it, ya know? I hope not. I intend to complete this goal by the end of the year. I guess now is as good a time to start as any.

3.     "Read at least five (5) classics this year" 

I have only read one .... oops. I'm proud of myself for getting that far though, because classics are one of my biggest bookish-fears! I read Wuthering Heights a few weeks ago. Actually, you'll see my review for it some time this week. I was planning on jumping right into another classic.... but then I decided to read A Song of Ice and Fire and thats a big commitment so I decided I couldnt take on any other difficult reads.

2.     "...one purchase per three reads."

So basically I would have to read three books before making one trip to the book store. I completely failed this one. Sometimes I go five books without buying any more... sometimes I buy a new book before even finishing the last one. I cant do it. I'm sad to report that I have given up on this goal. Just aint gonna happen!

1.     "Read 40 books this year"***

*This goal has been changed from the original commitment.
I originally wanted to read 100 books this year. Then I realized how ridiculous that was with my schedule and everything. So I dropped down to 40 and I actually think I'll be able to complete this goal, with a few books to spare. 

I mean, all things being said, I dont think I'm doing horrible for it being the middle of the year so far. Did you make any bookish goals at the beginning of the year (whether you posted them on your blogs or not)? How are you making out with them? Better than I am, I hope.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday - Freedom!!

How was everyone's holiday? Did you do anything fun or go anywhere awesome? I didnt really do much. I always spend the 4th with my family, hangin around, bs-ing, kids lighting sparklers, etc.

This week's Feature and Follow (hosted by Parajunkee) topic is:

     Q: Today is the US' Independence Day. Share your favorite book with a war in it or an overthrow of the government?

This is an easy one for me:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is one of my favorite series (though I wasnt crazy about the last installment), and my favorite "dystopian" world with a crazy government that finally (thank god) is rebelled against.

How about you guys? Whats your favorite war or rebellion book? I love suggestions!! :)

Leave me a comment with your faves and let me know if your're a new follower. I'll come pay you a visit!!


Review: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

ISBN: 9780062026484
Release Date: September, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Fire and Thorns, #1
Page count: 432 pages

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.
  • The Spanish-influenced culture in the story is fascinating. I am Hispanic, so its nice to see something other than regular old America or a European country. I'm interested to do some research on where she got it all from - the language, etc., since I was able to understand most of it.
  • Elisa wasn't perfect. OK, I think she talked about eating just a little too much in the story, but I liked that she was a big girl and I liked that even when she lost weight, she wasn't suddenly skinny or hot nor did she stop wanting food, she was like an average large teenager.
  • Elisa developed a lot from a childish scared girl to a confident, powerful young woman. You go girl!
  • Elisa's king wasn't perfect either. I actually kind of disliked him a little but that was more realistic for me. Not every girl gets married off to a handsome, loving king.

  • A lot of the plot twists came from no where in a way that some of it didn't make sense or was something that never was alluded to at all  before. At least give me SOMETHING to go on.
  • I wish the world-building was a little more in-depth. I want more history about the Godstone, about the history of the kingdoms, about Elisa's life. I just felt like there was some stuff missing and I wanted more.
  • I was super interested at first but it slowed down in the middle for me while Elisa was in the castle and I was just a little bored. Maybe this is attributed to me reading more than one book at a time and all of my attention wasn't focused on this but I enjoyed this one, just didn't love it.
  • Some of the time was skipped over and characters developed feelings for others and I just couldn't see the connection, because it felt like they came from no where. I wish these formations of some relationships were explored more rather than just say "so and so likes so and so now because they were in such and such place for a month".
  • Bad things happened to Elisa or characters close to her and the reactions of the characters didn't seem to match the bad things. ***spoiler***Basically, how can you like your kidnappers and instantly become friends with them and want to help them?***end spoiler***
  • I hated how the characters gasped and grinned at everything at inappropriate times. I don't think people grin or gasp that much. Maybe that's just me though.


I enjoyed this book, but surprisingly it didn't move enough for me. I know Elisa went all over the place and didn't stay anywhere, but I felt like this was a set-up book, for all the crazy stuff that might happen in the second and third. It set Elisa up as a queen, as a more mature young woman, giving us a story as to how it all happened, rather than having to imagine it. I'll admit the book wasn't as awesome and exciting as I wanted it to be, but I think I will enjoy the next two books even more. Im looking forward to reading them soon and finding out how Elisa completes her service as the Bearer.

Have any of you read this book? What did you think? Do you agree or disagree with what I thought about this book?


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Harry Potter Read-Along/Discussion [3]

Hey ya'll. I know what you're thinking. Today is not Sunday. It has been a busy couple of days here for me, so this discussion post got a little delayed. My bad! :)

At the end of the last discussion post, Harry and friends had discovered a terrifyingly large three-headed dog in the forbidden third floor corridor, and noticed that it was guarding a trap door beneath it....

RECAP: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Chapters 10-13

  • Harry's new Nimbus 2000 is delivered at meal time in the dining hall. Soon, he begins quidditch practice and has no time to worry about the three-headed dog or what it is guarding.
  • Two months later, on Halloween, Harry and Ron are in potions class and are talking junk about Hermione who overhears them and she runs to the girls' bathroom, distraught. Down at the Halloween feast, Professor Quirrell bursts into the hall to tell the school that a troll has somehow gotten inside. When the houses are being evacuated back to their dorms, the big dummies Ron and Harry think its a good idea to warn Hermione, who is alone in the girls' bathroom,about the troll and on their way there they see Snape sneaking off to the third floor corridor. The troll descends upon them in the bathroom, and with quick thinking and some plain old luck, they knock the troll out and get out alive!
  • After surviving a near death experience, the three students bond and become fast friends, even if Hermione is a bossy know-it-all! Shortly after the incident, Harry sees Filch cleaning Snape's wound and hears Snape grumbling about the troll. Now, the three friends know it must have been Snape who let the troll in!
  • Harry's first quiddith game ever is nearly a disaster as someone tries to kill Harry by throwing him off of his broom. Somehow he hangs on and catches the golden snitch in his mouth, but who tried to kill him? Hermione definitely saw Snape cursing Harry's broom and if it wasnt for her quick thinking, Harry might be dead. They just cant figure out why Snape wants to kill Harry!
  • Harry and friends mention to Hagrid that Snape hates him and wants him dead, and let it slip that they know about the three-headed dog. Hagrid flips and asks how they know about Fluffy!? They bypass the fact that the giant dog's name is Fluffy and Hagrid accidentally gives them a clue. What ever the dog is hiding has to do with Nicolas Flamel. Now if only they knew who that was...
  • On Christmas, much to Harry's surprise, he has a bunch of gifts waiting for him in the morning, including an invisibility cloak that used to belong to his father... though from whom it was received, he does not know.
  • Harry tests it out that very night alone and after sneaking to the library to research Nicolas Flamel and almost getting caught, Harry stumbles into a room that holds the Mirror of Erised. In it, he sees his deepest desires, which shows him standing among his family. For Ron, he sees himself as head boy and quidditch champ. After visiting several times, he is "discovered" by Dumbledore, who moves the mirror to a new location and makes Harry promise not to go looking for it again, lest he waste his days away before the mirror staring at what he can never have.
  • Harry's memory is jogged when he sees a collectible card from a Chocolate Frog with Dumbledore on it that mentions Nicolas Flamel. Hermione finally finds a book with Flamel in it and they find out what Flamel is famous for - making the Sorcerer's Stone which, among other things, grants the bearer everlasting life. This must be what Fluffy is guarding under the floor in the third floor corridor.
  • Harry notices that he sees Snape very often and wonders if Snape is following him. He even wonders if Snape can somehow read minds (lol), and is keeping an eye on Harry because he knows they know about the Stone.
  • Snape referees the next quidditch game which makes Harry and his friends very suspicious, but since Dumbledore attends the game also, they know that Harry is same from harm. The game is largely uneventful and the Gryffindors win, putting them in the lead for the house cup for the first time in six years!
  • After some celebrating, when Harry is leaving the quidditch field alone later that night, Harry sees a cloaked figure that he can easily recognize as Snape sneaking into the forbidden forest. Harry follows on his broomstick to find out what Snape is doing at night, sneaking into the forest alone. When Harry gets as close as possible while still being inconspicuous, he sees Snape threatening poor Professor Quirrell. Harry rushes back to his dorm to tell Ron and Hermione that Snape is trying to steal the Sorcerer's Stone and bullying Professor Quirrell to help him!


So, Harry really gets into the groove of wizard school in these next few chapters. He is now the youngest quidditch player in a very long time and quidditch practice takes up a lot of his time, but he still finds time for trouble! After almost inadvertently causing Hermione's death-by-troll, Hermione lies their way out of big trouble and they soon become inseparable. Harry also finds the Mirror of Erised over Christmas break and spends much time in front of it, and upon being discovered, Dumbledore gives Harry a very deep lecture. However, when Harry asks him what he sees before the Mirror, Dumbledore tells him he sees..... socks. He never gets enough socks for Christmas. Ok.... I know this is just a cop out on his part, and we know he has this deep dark past, so what do you think Dumbledore really sees when he looks in the Mirror of Erised? What do you think his deepest desire is? Do any of you remember this being mentioned at any point in the later books? I cant remember, but obviously the sock thing sparked my curiosity.

Something else I wondered... what do you think Hermione would see in front of the Mirror? Would she see herself as head girl like Ron did? Top of her class? Greatest witch of her time? Or do you think she has some other desire in her heart? How about Hermione in the later books? Do you think her heart's desire changes in the later books, specifically the 6th and 7th, or do you think she still values education/knowledge most at that point?

Harry has got some serious skills, especially when he manages to stay on his broom while someone is cursing it and trying to knock him off to his untimely demise. I always wonder, do you think the "quidditch skill" is hereditary? I mean, Harry is something like a prodigy and he has never been on a broomstick before and BAM! He's awesome. But so was his dad... so... hereditary? :)

I think in previous readings of this book, I've definitely failed to appreciate the fun. I think the world building always grabs me in a whirlwind and I'm always so intrigued by life as a wizard and I want to learn more about how this and that works, and I never stopped to appreciate the nonsense Harry and his friends get into. They are a little wild and out there and sometimes I wonder where Harry got this from... maybe from being cooped up his whole life (is adventurousness hereditary too?!), but this time around I am really stepping into Harry's shoes and trying to experience this through him rather than seeing the whole thing from "afar". Its great to see the big picture but I'm interested to see how things go for me when I really sit down and experience the final showdown in this book through Harry, and the end-of-year feast through him too :)

What are your thoughts on all of these random topics? Cant wait to hear from you all! :)


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Intimidating Books

Happy Tuesday! This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

Top Ten Five Most Intimidating Books (might be intimated by size, content, that everyone else loves it but you are sure you won't etc)

My list is as follows:

1.     A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin - I know this is cheating, but I'm already reading A Game of Thrones, and I'm not so much intimidated by the book alone as I am of all 7 (5 released, 2 to come, several with 1000+ pages) books as a whole. I am loving A Game of Thrones right now, but what if I cant get through the rest? I don't want to miss out on a series like this. Ugh...

2.     Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein - I am just super afraid to read this and hate it. Its one of the most epic series ever, and leave it to me to be the one who's not into it. I'm afraid it will all be lost on me.

3.     Inferno by Dante Alighieri - I'm so intrigued by this book and I want to read it but.... its Dante's Inferno. I am terrified to pick up this book and not be "educated" enough to get it

4.     Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - another book I'm wildly intrigued by, but its a very sick topic and I'm afraid I'll start puking or crying or throwing things while reading it.

5. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - Its not the size of this book nor do I think I am not smart enough for this book. I am terrified that I will dislike it and that it change my opinion of my favorite author of all time. I know that authors dont write only masterpieces, and even if they write something I dont like, I tend to like them for what they did right anyway, but she is my hero. Its sitting on my shelf but I'm severely nervous that I will hate this and my hero worship of the queen with end or be altered in some way... (this probably isnt healthy, haha).

How about you guys? What books really intimidate you? If they intimidate you, they will probably not even make my maybe-might-read-one-day list, haha.