Thursday, July 2, 2015

TILT: Bookish Accessories

It's the Thursday before a 3-day weekend and I am Ready. So let's do a fun Things I Love Thursday to distract us for awhile, shall we? I've gathered up some cute bookish accessories and I want to see/hear about your favorites below!

(if you do not want your item featured, please contact me!)

Librarian Necklace by MissingPiecesStudio -I'm big into librarian things lately, can you tell??

Bookshelf Phone Case on InspiredCases -this is exactly what I was looking for, 2 days ago! And it's going on my wishlist. :)

Bookish Nails by OneNailToRuleThemAll -I tried to talk my sister into doing these for me, she said no lol. I mean, she did these super cute pineapple ones, she can totally do that right??!

Shelf Portrait Necklace by PteelyBraire -this is genius! You can pick your favorite books and they'll do the spines custom for you! Love it.

And for those in the US, happy 4th of July!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Book vs Movie: "The DUFF"

I've been excited to see this movie since I first heard about it. It sounded like such a great throw-back to all those silly teen movies that used to be around more: She's the Man, 10 Things I Hate About You, it's all dystopian and vampires and Shailene Woodley. ;) I actually went and bought the book (which I'd never heard of) because of the movie. That's a first for me, I think. No wait, I watched Beastly before reading it and ended up loving the movie more. Anyway, I read this book back in April and finally got to watch the movie last weekend, so figured it was time for another book vs movie! (Spoilers for either/both, so be warned.)

First of all, The DUFF was written by a 17 year old girl. That's so unfair cool. ;) I gave the book 3 stars; it's a quick, easy read and I enjoyed it. Bianca and her 2 best friends are going along in their lives happily, until the resident hottie, Wesley Rush, mentions to Bianca that she's the DUFF in their little group. What's a DUFF, you ask? Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Yeah. Kind of harsh. As I'm sure you all know, words can hurt.

Calling Vikki a slut or a whore was just like calling somebody the Duff. It was insulting and hurtful, and it was one of those titles that just fed off the inner fear every girl must have from time to time. Slut, bitch, prude, tease, ditz. They were all the same. Every girl felt like one of these sexist labels described her at some point.

Of course, Bianca is pissed and hates Wesley even more than she already did. Until she doesn't...hate him, that is. You know how it goes: you think about someone so much in anger, then all of a sudden, you're just thinking about them period. So what does she do? She sleeps with him. Yeah, that's smart. And that's where the book and movie start to differ, in a huge plot-changing way. (And big spoilers after this!)

In the book, Bianca & Wesley "hook up" a LOT, which surprised me a little. You don't see that very often in a young adult book and I suppose that's why they took it out of the movie. I can't say that I agree with their reasons for removing that plot though, it's not look teens don't know it's happening. Anyway, the other main difference was the relationship between Bianca and her parents. In the book, her dad is the one who is around, and despite their many problems, I really wanted to see that on the screen. So, as much as I love Allison Janney, I was pretty disappointed by that part of the movie. The additions to the movie (the mean girl, cyber-bullying, etc...) were all fine to me, as long as I didn't remember that it was a book lol. You really had to take these as 2 separate pieces, I think, to enjoy them. I really did like the movie and will probably buy it.

As far as the actors go, I thought they were fine. I liked the actress who played Bianca, obviously she's not fat or ugly, just normal looking but that's okay. I only watched the random odd episode of Parenthood, so she's not ingrained as that character for me luckily. I felt like Wesley looked too old, but that's how it goes in teen movies. And I honestly just don't get the whole Bella Thorne thing. Why is she popular? The friends were fine, if forgettable. Those few scenes where Bianca & Wesley are laughing and joking around were my favorite, they felt very natural and maybe ad libbed? The romance was there, maybe more so in the book of course.

“I think about you much more than any self-respecting man would like to admit, and I'm insanely jealous of Tucker - something I never thought I'd say. Moving on after you is impossible. No other girl can keep me on my toes the way you can. No one else makes me WANT to embarrass myself by writing sappy letters like this one.

Only you.”

When I was looking for gifs/pics on Pinterest, all I kept coming up with was Lizzie McGuire. People on Pinterest are obsessed with Lizzie McGuire. So I figured I'd end this review with her, just because. You're welcome. :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My 10 Favorite Reads of 2015...So Far!

This week's TTT on The Broke & The Bookish has great timing, since I was planning on doing this topic soon anyway! We're talking favorite books of the year so far and I've had plenty. :) I'm already at 60% of my goal for the year, with 90 books, so I'll probably end up raising that again lol. And luckily, I've only had one dud...the infamous Sweet Valley High book. So let's take a closer look at my favorites and then I want to hear about yours!

1. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson --I can't believe this is still my #1 for the year, being the very first read too! It was just so lovely.

2. Rose Under Fire (sequel to Code Name Verity) by Elizabeth Wein --I think I enjoyed this sequel even more than the first.

3. Mosquitoland by David Arnold --there's something about this quirky little book that I really loved. Mim & Walt were such amazing, damaged characters.

4. Roommates Wanted by Lisa Jewell --this book starts out very slow but keep going, it is well worth it! Toby Dobbs is lonely in his big, old house so he gets some roommates. Fifteen years later, he's ready to be alone again but the roommates aren't budging. Way more serious than it sounds. ;)

5. The Geography of You & Me by Jennifer E Smith --my favorite of her books now. This is a great romance but also a journey of adventures and finding yourself.

6. For Real by Alison Cherry --Amazing Race style adventures + sisters bonding + some romance = an awesome book! I'll be reviewing it in detail soon.

7. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord --a country music roadtrip? Yes, please!

8. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson --I just finished this last weekend. My sister had insisted I borrow it because she loved it and I did too! Not just the mystery with Jack the Ripper-esque murders, but also the daily life of a London boarding school. It was all great!

9. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore --another suggestion by my sister! :) The blend of magic and old Texas history really made this an interesting read.

10.Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters by Ben H Winters --I know you're probably thinking "seriously??" on this one but it was actually really good! The original classic was fine but a little slow. With this remake, you get the prim & proper but also the scandalous and serpentine!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: "A Wrinkle in Time"

 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
3 out of 5 stars

I never read this book as a kid. Just skipped right past it. And I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Reading it as an adult left me confused and a little bit jaded. But I honestly can't see how a child could read this with any kind of comprehension of the plot. Since this is considered a classic, spoilers will be free-for-all, so beware if you want to give it a shot yourself.

The story starts out well enough with 15 year old Meg lamenting her high school career, or rather the lack of it. She's considered "weird" because her parents are highly intelligent scientists and her youngest brother (5 year old Charles Wallace) doesn't speak much in public. Meg is smarter than she seems or acts, as is Charles Wallace, but it's not helping them much. On "a dark and stormy night", the Murry family is visited by a strange creature named Mrs Whatsit, who mentions to their mother that the tesseract is a real thing. In case you're not up on your scientific studies, a tesseract is essentially, a wrinkle in time. Don't ask me to explain it further, there's math involved and I'm just not up for that. (This comic by Faith Erin Hicks probably explains it better than me!)

This is about when we get into the strange and unusual. Mrs Whatsit, along with her 2 friends (sisters?) Mrs Who and Mrs Which, take Meg, Charles Wallace, and a school friend of Meg's named Calvin on an amazing adventure thru time and space to save the Murry's father. He has been missing for quite some time and it is up to the children to find and rescue him from Evil, even though they have no idea what they are doing most of the time. There are fantastical creatures, 2 dimensional planets, Mediums with crystal balls, Dark Evil Things, and a planet where every person and thing is perfectly in sync with the next. It is on this planet that the children's father is being imprisoned by IT...a disembodied brain controlling everything around it. Pretty creepy.

Side note: does anyone remember the Galactic Milieu series by Julian May? I loved those books but got grounded (because of bad grades) from reading the last one in 9th grade and now I can't remember if I ever read it. I should pick those up sometime and reread them.
Another side note: was I the only one who got grounded from reading books? Lol...

Okay, moving on. The children free their father but in the process, lose Charles Wallace to IT. He is turned into a pod person and they escape to another planet before IT gets Meg as well. Meg is severely injured when they tesser (you know, move thru time) but is taken care of by the strange creatures on the planet, whom she calls Aunt Beast. I think this was probably my favorite chapter. The gentleness and quiet laughter from Aunt Beast was so refreshing for Meg and me.

"How strange it is that they can't tell us what they themselves seem to know."
"They are very young. And on their earth, as they call it, they never communicate with other planets. They revolve all alone in space."
"Oh, aren't they lonely?"

In the end, it is Meg who goes back to save Charles Wallace and she does so with love. Yep, love is the only thing IT doesn't have. Convenient, right? But that's okay, I still kind of teared up. The 3 children and their father tesser back home, where they are reunited with the rest of the Murry's in the vegetable garden.

"How did all this happen? Isn't it wonderful? I feel as though I were just being born! I'm not alone any more! Do you realize what that means to me?"

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: "All Night Long: Sweet Valley High #5"

All Night Long: Sweet Valley High #5 by Francine Pascal
1 out of 5 stars

Before Reading: OMG, Jessica is dating Pornstache from Orange is the New Black!!! Look, proof!!! Also, why is she wearing her jean jacket on one shoulder?

The Main Plot in 50 Words or Less: Jessica dates an older guy and stays out all night. Liz covers for her. That's pretty much it.

The Second Plot in 20 Words or Less: Liz and Todd fight over Liz protecting Jess. The twins take a tourist guide license test. (Whatever that is.)

Opening Lines: "What do you think? Do I look sophisticated enough for Scott?" Jessica Wakefield stood poised before the full-length mirror in her twin sister's bedroom, chin thrown back, her lovely features arranged in a languid pout.

Closing Lines: Tomorrow, she promised herself, stifling the tiny stitch of fear in the pit of her stomach. I'll tell him tomorrow...

Best WTF Lines: There had been a dumb, leering smile on his face when he'd made the old joke about them being "double the fun". Elizabeth had nearly gagged. [me too]

It was a kind of grown-up pajama party, with everyone wearing nightshirts and nightgowns, and the floor strewn with mattresses for them to sit on instead of chairs.

...there was a manlike hardness to his bronzed build she found dangerous and exciting. ...she sensed it wouldn't be so easy fending him off if they were alone.

"...Scott sure likes 'em young...gotta watch out for them when they're that age. All tease and no tickle...jailbait, if you ask me..."

Happenings in SV: Jessica wants to go to a beach party with this college-aged guy, Scott, and Elizabeth doesn't think she should. Jessica goes anyway and gets in over her head. Everyone is drinking beer and smoking joints. (Jess does not partake.) Scott takes Jessica into the woods or something and tries to go further than she wants. She fends him off, Scott calls her a baby and leaves her there, after saying the party is an all-nighter and she's not getting home.

Elizabeth is furious when she doesn't come home the next morning, but covers for her. Todd thinks she's being used again and they argue over it, big time. Cara sees Liz (as Jess) talking to Todd and spreads tons of gossip about it. Of course, they get back together in the end. Blegh. There's a big surfing contest between Bill Chase and a new guy, Sonny Callahan. Todd sold Bill his surfboard to get the money for a Yamaha motorcycle. Liz is apprehensive about it. Bill wins the contest.

Fashion Icons: "This halter top would look really sexy with my red shorts," Jessica said, holding up a scrap of lacy white cloth as she smiled sweetly at her twin.

In her chamois bikini and cornrowed blond hair, the girl was a dead ringer for Bo Derek.
In her [Jessica] new red string bikini she was a match even for "Miss 10", if she did say so herself.

She [Elizabeth] slid into a pair of old jeans worn to velvety softness and yanked a long-sleeved T-shirt over her head. Quickly she combed her wet hair and secured it with a tortoiseshell clip on either side. She was jamming her feet into a pair of moccasins when the phone rang. 
Choosing a short, bias-cut skirt and matching striped top that was one of Jessica's favorite outfits, she (Elizabeth) hastily made the change, pulling the clips out of her hair and giving her head a shake. A dash of her twin's favorite cologne and some of her lipstick and she was read to go downstairs and greet the world as Jessica Wakefield.

She'd (Alice Wakefield) gotten up at dawn to go jogging, as she did every morning, and still was wearing her burgundy velour warm-ups and her running shoes. Her honey-blond hair was caught up in a ponytail, adding a youthfulness to her tanned, slender appearance that made her seem closer to her daughters' age than her own.

Dana was in one of her usual outrageous getups: an oversize t-shirt over a red-striped miniskirt; purple tights; and black suede ankle boots. An enormous gold loop dangled from one pierce earlobe; the other sported a tiny silver star.

Lila, in her metallic-blue one-piece, her wavy light-brown hair done up in French braids, was practically draped over his board as she feigned a keen interest in surfing.

Twin Hijinks: When Jessica doesn't come home, Elizabeth pretends to be her twin with her mom and at school. It works of course. She takes her tourist guide test for her too but bombs it horribly.

Other Thoughts: This book was so horribly disgusting, like the last one, but I had to give this a one star. Seriously, Scott is so gross. But I was so surprised the authors didn't take it all the way. It's weird that they really don't mention S-E-X in any of these early books. Oh yeah, they make out and Scott slips his hands down Jess' bikini bottoms, but that's it. **Trigger warning: Are you seriously telling me that this skeezy, college-aged, pornstache guy would stop when this little high-school girl tells him to?? There's no way. And the reason I gave it one star, besides the skeeze, was because the Scott storyline was basically 2 chapters and then he was gone. Like, he's on the cover!

The Next Book*: Will Todd's motorcycle drive them apart? Find out in Sweet Valley High #6, DANGEROUS LOVE.

*(not necessarily what I'll be reading)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: "This One Summer"

This One Summer by Jillian & Mariko Tamaki
3 out of 5 stars

I had been looking forward to this book since I first heard about it last year. I finally purchased it this winter but wanted to wait until it actually felt like summer to read it. With the record breaking rain we had for most of April and May here in Texas, I thought that would never happen. Luckily, the rains have finally stopped (minus the weird pop-up sunshine storms and TD Bill) and it finally feels like summer here, so I can start reading all the "summer" books I've been gathering up.

This graphic novel really is a "novel" at 300+ pages but I still felt like I didn't get enough story at times. It's a very quiet story, not much action, and that may be disappointing to some people. But it is a great story about growing up and the many different relationships we have. And also that feeling that summer brings, of adventure and relaxation all at the same time.

Rose and her parents spend part of each summer at a beach cottage and this year is no different...until it is. I would *love* to spend a few weeks or a month or a whole summer at my own beach house. Soaking up the sun, splashing in the ocean, playing silly games and reading books all day and night, wrapping up in a blanket on the porch when a chilly thunderstorm rolls thru, no rules or regulations or work. Yeah.

Rose's parents have been having a rough time for awhile and while she had hoped the trip would help them, it doesn't. So she's excited to see her friend, Windy, and have some fun. I love Windy, she was definitely my favorite character in the whole book. Old enough to have an idea of how things work but still young enough to not get pulled down by "grownup" problems. She has a major sugar addiction and loves to dance to hiphop music. And she helps Rose stay young for a little while longer, when she needs it most.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10 of Top Tens

This week is The Broke & The Bookish's 5 year blogiversary and they're celebrating by giving their favorite Top Ten Tuesday topics over the years. Congrats to them and thank you to Jamie & friends for starting up such a fun meme! :) I had a lot of fun looking thru my past posts and trying to pick out my favorites, it was actually kind of hard. So here we go, in no particular order! (Actually, they're sort of in date order lol.)

1. 10 Characters I'd Switch Places With -these all still stand true, although I think I'd swap Mary Anne for Mallory Pike, because it turns out I'm more in tune with her.

2. 10 Posts That Reflect Me -yep, this is still a good mixture of me: reviews and memes, young adult and classics, silly and serious.

3. 10 Literary Figures Who Should be President -because DUMBLEDORE. Also, I used a Mary Poppins song. :)

4. 10 Books/Authors I'm Thankful For -I get pretty sappy in this one, but it's all true. Harry Potter, John Steinbeck, Terry Moore, Baby-Sitters's all there, in me.

5. 10 Best Bookish Memories -this was seriously fun to think back about. I can also add now: getting my nonreader sister to read Harry Potter with me 2 summers ago, sharing all the young adult books with my middle sister & going to NTTBF with her, hearing my younger sister getting into reading more & asking about romance books this past weekend. :)
(middle sister, Stephanie Perkins!! & me at NTTBF)

6. 10 Books I Always Recommend -um...same list as #4 lol. But it's so true!!

7. 10 Book Boyfriends -because boys. :) I'd have to add the guys from the Ghost Bird/Academy series to that now because woo are they some hot guys!!
(you can buy this pin at TheCarbonCrusader!)

8. 10 Book Confessions -things get real here y'all. Stealing, witchcraft, dog-earing lol.

9. 10 More Books I'd Turn Into Movies/TV -I still want this list! And my "book to movie" posts always seem pretty popular.

10.10 Books I Have/Want to Reread From My Childhood -because I always love talking about childhood favorites.