My Latest Obsessions

Once upon a time, there was a girl. This girl was easily distracted by nice things and quickly became attached to, and maybe even obsessed with, these nice things. These are those things:

1. Essie E-nuff is E-nuff nail polish.

I’m not really a trendy person, but sometimes I really latch onto something because I feel that it fits a season. This nail polish reminds me of summer, and I have been painting and repainting my nails with it for the last few weeks. It’s like red, but softer. Like watermelon, or cherry popsicles.

2. Dunkin Donuts Dark Roast Iced Coffee.

This coffee makes me want to buy one of those helmets that old fat guys wear at football games that fit two cans of beer– except it will obviously hold two large Dark Roast iced coffees with extra cream and caramel swirl. So smoooooth.

3. Coheed and Cambria’s album Descension.

It took me a while to finally get Ascension and then Descension, and I am kicking myself for taking so long! It has been pretty much the only thing I have listened to since I have gotten it. It’s funky and it’s awesome.

4. Fairy Tale inspired books.

I have spent a long time reading books about dystopian societies and arranged marriages and paranormal type characters, but I haven’t really come across a lot of fairy-tale inspired books. I downloaded Unenchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale) by  Chanda Hahn for free for my Kindle (free books ftw), and I really liked it. I won’t say that it is the best written book I have ever read, but I really enjoyed the concept! It’s about a girl who is a descendant of the Brothers Grimm. It took me no time at all to read it, and I definitely plan on purchasing the next book in the series.

If you guys have any recommendations based on the music and book selections I just shared, let me know!!

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High School Poetry- Take 2

Back in April, I posted one of the poems I wrote while in high school. If you don’t remember, or would like to refresh your memory, you can see that post here. When I posted that poem, I mentioned that I may post another in the future, and that’s what I’m going to do now.

 

Questions

Life is smoke and mirrors, a bouquet of flowers.

Full of fragrance, a bouquet of flowers.

 

Do the memories just die? Just fade into the past?

Yes, very much so. Like this bouquet of flowers.

 

One day, do I grow to a certain potential,

Just to be plucked like this bouquet of flowers?

 

Do I bring happiness, in a time of despair?

Like the thought behind this bouquet of flowers?

 

Or am I tilled, rugged and raw

Like the grave below this bouquet of flowers?

 

Perhaps a symbol of optimistic beginnings,

A bride’s hands gilded with a bouquet of flowers.

 

Or maybe, on the off chance, it’s freedom.

Like life, before this dying bouquet of flowers.

 

The symbol of something more, of individuality.

Just in case he comes back, with a bouquet of flowers.

 

I don’t know why I was writing sad poetry, I don’t remember high school being sad at all. I think it might just be that sadness is easier to write about, I think there are just more words to choose from. Who knows. I also don’t totally understand this poem, but I like that about poetry. I think it helps you sort of assign your own emotions to the words, with just a little guidance. It makes poems more meaningful, I think. Anyway, I thought I was hot shit when I turned this in- tenth grade me got a 98% in that class! Haha. But, I think we all know that the writer in the family is the guy I married, so I won’t quit my day job. (Unless I find one I like better.)

Goodreads Reading Goals

Image by cellar_door_films via WANA Commons

So, I have been reading like a madwoman so far this year (I blame it on Tahereh Mafi), and I thought it was probably about time to update my Goodreads reading goal. When I set it back in January, it was at 50. As of now, I have read around 38 books this year and Goodreads told me I was 12 books ahead of schedule! So, I upped my goal to 75 books. But, how important are reading goals?

I know that when I think about reading goals, I automatically take a stroll down memory lane back to elementary school and I see 10 year old me reading books like it’s her job so that she can earn a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut through the BookIt program. I have always been a reader, but I know that my classmates and I were all a little more motivated to read when the thought of free pizza was thrown into the mix. Now that I’m an adult, I just get the satisfaction of knowing that I can read… a lot. But, are Goodreads goals changing the way some people read?

For some people, the goal fluctuates depending on how many books the person has read, and whether they are on track. Obviously, I was in exactly that boat, so I upped my goal to 75 books instead of 50. But, what about the people that lower their goal? Is it really a goal if the person keeps adjusting it to fit their reading pace? On the other hand, what about those people that pick books to read simply because they are short and will help them get to their goal more quickly?

Obviously, this is not a matter of national import or anything, I am just really curious about people and their reading habits, I suppose. But, it is interesting to think about a program that is meant to help you keep track of the books you read actually playing a part in the way you read books. I don’t think I am being as articulate as I could be, but I hope you guys get my point.

What kind of Goodreads goal-setter are you? What about those of you that don’t use Goodreads?

Sequel Review Anxiety? Is There Such A Thing?

Whenever I write a review for a sequel, I am overcome by some sort of anxiety. Weird, right? Well, it is. I just feel like when I am writing a sequel review I am going to give something away and someone that hasn’t read the first book is going to come across my review and throw a fit. And then I have to be that girl that makes a person not even want to pick up a book because I gave it all away. I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I don’t want you guys to think I suck. This is all coming to me now because next up in my review list is Fever the second book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren Destefano. It wasn’t one of those second in line books that made me hate the series or anything, I actually liked it (not as much as the first or third, but still.)

This is how I feel I should preface my sequel reviews.

So, how do you guys feel about sequel reviews? Do you follow a specific rule? Are there any exceptions?

In other news, I am introducing Chris (my husband) to the weeping angels from the Whoniverse. It started out when I made him watch the first episode from the new series of Doctor Who, and then I wanted him to see the first David Tennant episode. Buuuuuuut, I don’t know if I really like the first David Tennant as the Doctor episode because he spends most of it unconscious, so we watched Blink and then he finally got what I meant about the Weeping Angels being so freaking terrifying. Now, we are watching The Time of Angels and things are really getting creepy. But I am making a Whovian of him. I love going back to these early Matt Smith/Karen Gillan episodes, I love both of them so much. Especially Amy. So sassy.

How do you feel about the Angels? If you aren’t terrified of them, I don’t think we can be friends.

Who is your favorite Doctor/Companion combo?

Books? On My Kindle?!

I have always been a staunch supporter of print books. I don’t think that anything competes with the feeling of a book in your hands, or even the smell of one. I have been a reader my whole life. When I was little, my Grandma always bought my brother and me a copy of all of the Harry Potter books when they came out, and we would call dibs on who got to read them first. We had to anxiously wait until the other had already read it (my mom also read them) and then we would have conversations about the book, like our own little family book club. That sort of thing means a lot to me, and ever since then I have been acquiring books so that I might have a library someday. I was lucky enough to marry someone who has a love for books almost as big as mine, a writer even! So, he has joined me in my quest for a Beauty and the Beast library.

But, what about the Kindle? (Or Nook/Kobo, etc., if you prefer)

I first got my Kindle last year for academic purposes. It was easier to just bring up a pdf that my professor had sent to me than to make a trip to the library to print it out before class. However, I hadn’t put any books on it until April of this year. The reason? The book I wanted (Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi) was only available as an eBook. I remember thinking “Why would anyone only make their book available as an eBook?!?!” But, the Shatter Me series obsessed me absolutely had to have that digital novella. After looking around a bit, I realized this practice of publishing novellas in digital format only was pretty popular. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. There are obviously pros and cons when it comes to eReaders. These are mine:

Pros:

-Books are cheaper, and there are even some hidden gems in the “free” category.

-Some books only come as digital copies.

-Helpful for school books/files.

-You can read a Kindle in the dark!

 

Cons:

-People say that eReaders are more mobile, but honestly books are often similar in size, and you don’t have to charge those.

-What about the libraries?!

-When you read books, people always ask you what you’re reading. I don’t think that practice is as common with eReaders. But, then again, we do have things like Goodreads nowadays.

-Cover art! You see the cover art of your book each time you pick it up, but Kindles usually just jump right to page, and some don’t even have cover art.

 

Obviously, these are pretty short lists that I put together kind of quickly. But, it didn’t take me long to brainstorm this list at all, and I am new to eReaders (when it comes to reading.)

What side of the eReader debate do you fall on? What are some of your biggest reasons?

 

Oh, Hey June!

Photo by Chuck at Nastyhot.com!

Photo by Chuck at Nastyshot.com!

So, I guess it’s June now. This summer is really sneaking up on me! But, I’m going to do my first ever month wrap up. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t post a whole lot in the month of May. But, I did read. This month has been a little crazy for me between my college graduation, trying to find full time employment, and just general things. But, anyway, here is a Monthly Recap!

Graduation

First things, first. I graduated college. Say what? That’s right ladies and gents, I now have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with  a concentration in Public Mediated Communications and a minor in Psychology. People are always going on and on about how time moves so quickly and you can’t blink and blah, blah, blah. But seriously, where did the last four years go?! It seems like just yesterday that I was buying up every dorm item I could get my hands on and stressing about what kind of roommates I would have. Those four years probably took the most effort out of any other four years of my life, but they were definitely the most rewarding. Some people are all like “I can’t wait to graduate! Get me out of this school!” But, that was totally not me. Although I most definitely do not miss homework and research and all that jazz, I really miss going to class. I was a communications major, so I participated in a lot of awesome debates and generally great discussions with some really passionate people, and I am definitely going to miss it. But, if I get my way (I better), then I will definitely be going back to school and pursuing a Master’s Degree. So, check back in with me in a few years. Here are some of my favorite photos from graduation:

caseygradcollage

Posts This Month

Remember when I told you that I didn’t really post much last month? Well now is where you will really notice.

I posted this review of Matched by Ally Condie. Overall it was an okay book, but it didn’t really live up to all of the hype for me. If you are bored, by all means pick it up! But, if you have a stack of books to read and the one after Matched has you all excited, then read that one.  I gave it 3.5/4 stars.

My only other post for the month of May was basically a post telling you all of the reviews that are coming, but I have yet to get around to. You can see that here. This is a pretty hefty list, but I have reviewed one of them so far! Woo!

Books Read This Month

casebooks

 

Since I didn’t do a good job posting last month, I will spare you my monthly stats… Check back in soon for a review of Fever by Lauren Destefano!

HAPPY JUNE!

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium, #1)

Title: Delirium

Author: Lauren Oliver

Pages: 441

Publisher: Harper, 2011

Date Read: March 6-14, 2013

 

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now I would rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

 

Characters: 

Lena- It seems that the pattern in these types of books is for the main character to blindly believe in the system, be proven wrong, and fight to change it. Sadly, this book doesn’t break that mold. However, in light of that, I still liked this book. I liked it better than Matched. Lena is fiesty in a way that Cassia (Matched) is not, and she knows how to play it cool. She has a rule breaker friend, and she isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes in…when the time is right. She’s smart.

Alex- Ahhhhh, the boyfriend. The boyfriends in these types of books are always the best because they’re so mysterious. You spend most of your time trying to figure this guy out, and in the mean time he sweeps you off your fight feet with his awesomeness. By “you” I mean the main character….right? Anyway, Alex is wonderful and loyal and exciting.

Hana- Hana is Lena’s best friend (she’s the rule breaker I mentioned earlier). And of course, Hana would be the reason that Lena meets Alex. It seems this book has a lot of loyal people in it, because Hana is just as loyal as Alex is to Lena. I guess she just knows how to pick them. At first I didn’t like Hana because she just seemed to purposely get Lena into trouble, but she really grows on you.

Conflict: Love is a disease and therefore should be treated like all other diseases and vaccinated. There you go! How would you cope in a world like that? This book reminded me a ton of Matched, but this one had a little better world building, and there was actually more of a conflict than the one you see on the surface.

Things I Liked: The names. You might think I am superficial when I say that, but so what? It’s true. When I read a book, I don’t like having to mentally battle with the names I am reading and second guessing whether or not I am actually pronouncing them right. For instance: I didn’t know how to properly pronounce Hermione until I saw the first Harry Potter movie. Books these days are all apocalyptic and have funky names that I have difficulty pronouncing, and this one has good names that are also reader-friendly.  I loved the loyalty of the supporting characters to Lena, and I love that she is stubborn and has a sort of steely resolve. And she’s smart, I love that. There is nothing worse than a dumb main character.

Things I Didn’t Like: Honestly, I don’t really remember. I think it took me a little while to read this one because I was busy and it started a little slow. But, once all of the characters are introduced and stuff actually starts happening, I found myself wanting to read it more often. I hated her family, but I was supposed to, so no surprise there. I guess what I disliked most about this book is that I was constantly comparing it to Matched because they are so similar.

Cover Art: Loved it! I love seeing a fresh face on the cover of a book instead of a cutesy model on the front with a barrel of eye makeup on.

Overall: I really liked the story-line, aside from its remarkable similarity to Matched. It’s a good read, and I would recommend it!

Rating: 4 stars