Top 5 Favorite Reads On My Bookshelf

Hello!

We have a single, skinny bookshelf in my nephew’s playroom. I’ve always wanted to do a tour of it but I haven’t found a way to do it as a blog post and make it so that it’s fun and unique. The majority of the books are mine, while my poor nephew has like three! It’s a little sad but I don’t have any more room in my own bedroom to have proper shelves for them. I have a smaller one next to my bed but I don’t have any more room for anything really. Anyways, for today, I wanted to talk about my favorite books featured on the shelf and at first, as I was coming up with this post, it seemed like an easy conquest, when in reality it was the opposite but still I got it all done for you!

I’ve added a link to the reviews I’ve done in the past on the pictures listed below, so, if you want to check them out, all you have to do is click the photo. Be aware though, they could contain spoilers so please keep that in mind beforehand! It was extremely hard to list all of these books because I really love them all the same, or so I thought…I still hope you enjoy all of the books and maybe you will find your next favorite too..


5. “Origins” Stefan’s Diaries Vol. 1 by L.J. Smith, Julie Plec & Kevin Williamson

I do remember buying this book because from the moment I saw Julie promoting it on Twitter, and I was curious to see a written form of Stefan Salvatore’s origins, If you want a more detail look into the life of both Stefan and Damon on the day Katherine arrives to their home in Mystic Falls, VA, and turn them into murderous vampires, this was make you smile in a very odd way!

If you are like me and desperately miss the entire show (and The Originals too!) then reading the entire collection could be something you should consider someday. I have only read to the second book, but there are five more books afterwards “Bloodlust” and I think Julie wrote a series about Klaus too, correct me if I’m wrong in the comments, but they all seem great stories for the fall?

4. Children Of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I did buy it mainly on how it looked without a dusk jacket. I saw it on all of my favorite BookTube channels, There are not very many books that can match or even look close enough to their majestic jackets, but when I started reading it, and I was thoroughly into the story of these characters. I saw everything as I was reading and I still have Zélie’s dark skin and white hair in my brain. The most interesting part is, I cannot tell you how much this book pops into my head nowadays! This entire summer had me thinking about Zélie and Princess Amari, and what could happen for everybody involved in the next phase, so that means I should make a point to get the second book in the series soon or else it’ll just keep coming up to me at all hours..

3. The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

This is still one of my favorite reads after nine years of reading it.

This book tells you of a story of a young woman who can do anything she wants in the world but she doesn’t see her natural beauty. She has anorexia and is bulimic, and it is a very sad story underneath this interesting person. I’m still kind of bothered on why I wanted to read it in the first place, but I think it is purely to remind me that not everybody is happy with their bodies, and everyone has different struggles with seeing beauty within themselves.

2. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

I know this one still freaks a lot of people out, but it actually started out innocently enough as I wanted to know what all the fuss was about with the film. I knew there was an able-bodied actor for the role of Will Traynor and thankfully a year or two before, I made a vow to read the book first and if at one time the main character was “normal” and became disabled after having cancer or was involved in an accident, it was easier to tell myself, this can happen (and I know a lot of people who have experienced it firsthand!) and once I finished I could find the right words to tell everyone in both the book and disabled communities my views on it.

What I didn’t expect was being absolutely taken by the story of Louisa or Lou as she likes to be called instead. How she was in this book was so amazing and very educational too. For someone who had no experience taking care of a person with a very serve physical disability, she had a lot of spunk in her. This was one of my favorite qualities in her, she could hit back on Will’s depressing wit. Despite the fact that she wanted to help his family change his mind about committing medical suicide, and you realize that Will holds all of the cards for her. The story isn’t necessarily about him, it is on her, at least that was the way I saw it at the end.

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

All of the books listed in this post are truly amazing, but nothing compares to Victoria Aveyard’s “Red Queen” for me. I absolutely adore the story of Mare Barrow, the poor red who had the same abilities as the elite silvers.

It’s interesting, I remember before picking this up at Walmart back in 2016, and thinking it was about a vampire queen. It wasn’t until I read the blurb on the back that I realized I was a bit wrong there and I think I almost put it back on the ledge but something about it intrigued me and I finished with it a week after I bought it! I was thoroughly impressed and a bit surprised by everything mentioned in the book. One of my favorite scenes was when Mare tries to escape out of the castle and as she heads for the window, she has guards coming at her and she makes a run for it and manages to lean back and skid underneath the men and for some odd reason this scene is so vivid in my mind and pretty much sealed the deal on my doubts and expectations.

After five years, I can officially say I am almost done (depending on when this post goes live) with the second book in the series, Glass Sword and the review will publish Friday morning, and I am hoping to start on the third book by the end of the month if everything works out the way I am hoping it would. I would love to complete this series before the end of the year as well, but I’ll be proud of myself on that accomplishment whether that part happens or not though.


Now I have one more thing to say before I let you go!

I do love the “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” series by Jenny Han, but I do not keep those books on this shelf. They are located in my bedroom; I am hoping to store all of my beloved books, whether they are part of a series or standalones it doesn’t matter, so I can be reminded everyday of my accomplishments. Of course, this also means my dad will have to build me actual shelves on my wall someday because I have quite a few that I’m done with and want store them all together and I’m really running out of space on the floor so we need to go up for this project.. Also, do you have any advice on how I can get rid of the price stickers? They are seriously annoying and would love to have them removed from the beautiful covers. I am open to hear everyone’s suggestions at this point!

What are your top five or ten favorite books on your shelves? What makes them different than the others?

Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling

Hello!

Well, this one took me forever to get through–mainly because for a while I was just casually reading this because of its sheer size! I seriously did not think I would be able to finish it this year, but I’m here now and we have much to discuss!

WARNING: If you have not read the books yet and want to sometime in the future, there are spoilers mentioned below so I figured I’d give you a heads up beforehand!


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Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age.

Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event that’s supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for hundreds of years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal – even by wizarding standards.

And in his case, different can be deadly.

taken from Goodreads.

After reading the previous books, I knew going into this that I would be introduced to other things that were clearly missing from the film, but I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around everything! Honestly, there was one thing that annoyed me and it was like it just dragged on with certain sections. Other than that, I didn’t have much to complain about and considering it is 734 pages long, I feel like it was a success!

I always adore when Harry and Hermione go to The Burrow at the end of the summer holidays to spend time with Ron’s family. They may not have much, but you can always feel the love in that house, and with this book we get to meet Bill and Charlie! So, it was incredibly crowded and I can imagine Mrs. Weasley’s mind going to explode with all of those people under one “small” roof–especially with the crazy antics of Fred and George! I think James and Lily Potter would be pleased with how much love that Molly and Arthur care for their son and obvious well-being! I do have to mention that seeing Mrs. Weasley and Bill before the third task was so sweet! I totally cried during this scene because for one, you’re not expecting it to happen and if Harry ever thought he didn’t have supporters outside of Hogwarts in the games, he definitely knew at that moment.

We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.

Another element that isn’t mentioned in the films very much is we get to know more about house elves. What are house elves you ask? Well, they are these strange looking characters that work for the elite families in the Wizardry world. In the second book, “The Chamber of Secrets” we meet Dobby, who has the awful job for caring for the Malfoys. Dobby explained to Harry that elves are not allowed to leave unless they are given a piece of clothing, if their master gives them clothes, they are freed. Well, Harry freed Dobby by masking one of his socks as being from Mr. Malfoy. We get to see Dobby again in this book, and we get to know who exactly creates the daily feasts in the Great Hall. Unfortunately, we get to meet a very caring but heartbroken elf named Winky once we head into the Quidditch World Cup, which by the way, I FINALLY get to know who wins that damn game! I’ve hold it off knowing the truth in case I ever decided to read the series and it was awesome!

Now I will say, I wasn’t a blabbering mess after Cedric’s death like I thought I would; the only thing I could understand it was because I knew it happens and yes, as heartbreaking it is for everyone in the book and the Potter fans, I cried more when Mrs. Weasley surprises Harry than anything else. I do know, there would have been no way in hell I’d be able to replay everything in my mind minutes after witnessing Lord Voldemort coming back and everything that is mentioned in that chapter to retell it all to Dumbledore and Sirius. I mean, that is a lot for a person but given Harry is what? Thirteen in this book? Nobody needs to see that but unfortunately it happens and we have to heal and move on. The only thing that got me through this book was a little voice telling me, “we get to meet Luna Lovegood in the next one!”

I am very proud of myself for being able to finish reading this book. So far, this one is the one trying to come out of its spine! There is a good chunk that is now loose but it tucked back together with its dust jacket in the bookshelf. The next seems to be in better shape but we’ll see towards the middle on how much my cousin loved it! I’m not mad at him on the condition, these are first edition hardbacks, so I’m not terribly upset about their rips and tears, as they remind me that somebody before me definitely enjoyed them multiple times and I am perfectly fine with it!

Have you read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling yet? If you have, what were your favorite parts of the story? For those who watched the film before reading the series, how did you handle the death of Cedric Diggory?

Book Review: “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer

Hello!

Since I upped my reading challenge to 30 books, I was making that decision mainly to explore all kinds of stories. If I could, I would make room to read books that have made me curious in the past but fought against it at the time or lost interest either in the beginning or halfway through, and oddly enough Twilight is one of those books. As you might know, one of my favorites: The Vampire Diaries came on the air in 2009, which was less than a year after the first Twilight film came out. I do remember taking a chance and trying to read the book at my school’s library in that time frame but I just couldn’t shake it and ended up shoving it all away.

Mentally, I had Twilight on my to be read list, but it wasn’t until all of the films appeared in order on Showtime that I was like, “okay, I’m doing this! I am reading the books.” and within a few days, I had ordered it right along with my other books on my Kindle. It was the only print book I bought myself for a late Christmas gift and the sheer size intimidated me once again, even my dad thought it was a lot at the time, and was very proud to know that I had finished it too. These 300-400+ paged books have nothing on me anymore!


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About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight is a love story with bite.

taken from Goodreads.

The funny part about this whole thing, was my thought after I finished working on the banner above, it was simply, “would anyone be interested in another reading a review of Twilight?” I thought it was hilarious at first, but then it was, like I think I could make this different from others, to make it look like a brand new book. Eh, we’ll see what happens after this post publishes.

There is one more thing I need to point out; I have maybe seen each movie possibly once since they were all out on DVD. So, I was actually able to create what all of the characters, setting and what I was reading in general looked like, and it was so freeing! I’ve never been so proud of myself for doing this, because even though I kept seeing Billy Burk for Charlie, Anna Kendrick for Jessica, and Robert Pattinson for Edward, everyone else was very much of a blur at first but as I got towards the middle of the book, I could see different features for everything and it was interesting to say the least!

I want to say that I was pretty interested at the start, when we are introduced to Bella. It was sort of odd how Edward isn’t able to read her mind but yet we, as the reader, know everything she is thinking when she’s with and without Edward around, and as we continued in the story, I began to see this character in a new light, because I just thought she was too stoic, but learning more about her and how she thinks, was enlightening to me.

“How ghastly it would be, I thought, shuddering, if Charlie had, even the slightest inkling exactly what I did like.”

There are not very many times I will pick out favorite chapters, but I thought Chapters 13 to 16, were some of the most thrilling stories. It also answered a lot of things I remember weren’t really shared in the films. I absolutely loved learning more about Edward, how he became a vampire and what kind of circumstances were present when Carlisle gave him new life. My respect for Carlisle went over the roof as Bella was introduced to the story of how he was created and why he became a doctor in the first place. As I was reading these four chapters, I was allowing myself to slow my pace, because I have always been curious to learn more about the rest of the Cullens.

Once I got to Chapter 17, which is called “The Hunt” everything kind of changed and there was really no stopping in between because the events taking place are quick and you are automatically reading it as fast you can or at least, that’s what to me. Unfortunately, I had to stop just before I hit the epilogue, because my mom wanted to go to bed and it irked me so much to stop that I couldn’t get her out of my room fast enough; once she left though, I resumed my position and finished the book all in about four hours!

Now that I am done reading, I kind of want to restrain myself from actually watching the films and finishing the book series, in case, there is information featured that I might want to know beforehand. Of course, I’ve been waiting to watch the fist one for like two months and I don’t know when I’ll be able to receive the next book yet.

Have you read the Twilight series or maybe just one of the books by Stephenie Meyer? Do you remember if you had a favorite chapter(s) in that first book? Which couple do you ship?

Book Review: “A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair

Hello!

Man! It’s great to be back at writing these posts again.

Early December, I finally made the decision to stop reading for the rest of 2020, but two days before Christmas, I was on YouTube and this book and the rest of its series and they talked about what the story was about, and I just kind of thought “this is interesting” but I didn’t just get it right then and there mainly because I wanted to wait until the holidays were over to start on anything new and once I got the books I generally wanted to purchase, I was fine with waiting to get the first book, but then my gut was telling me to check to see if it’s available on Kindle Unlimited and there they were: the Hades x Persephone series and prequels too! So, I ended up getting just the first book in case I didn’t enjoy it off the bat, and I ended up finishing it in like two weeks!


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Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

taken from Goodreads.

I didn’t really know what the series was about before putting it on my Kindle. I just kind of saw the cover on YouTube and was like, “oh, you are gorgeous! Gimme!” and really felt the need to get it. You also have to remember that I already had a small stack of books to keep me afloat for a while but I chose to get this one instead. A part of me feels bad but yet I was thrilled seeing on KU that I just gave in and didn’t bother to look back. I mean, I don’t regret it one bit because it was everything that I wanted it to be and more, so obviously after I get done writing this review, I’m diving deep into the second book!

When I was younger, I already had a growing obsession on Ancient Egypt and its mythology, but my only source to learn more about Greek mythology was the Disney version. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that I realized that a lot of information that they gave us kids was pretty wrong, such as Hera, the “mother” of Hercules is definitely untrue. In the research we did, it was actually said that Hera had a strong hatred for Hercules! Unfortunately we were only allowed to select few of Greek gods and goddesses, and after that, I kind of lost the interest to learn about their mythology altogether. I had already decided on this before I found these books but it really shocked me on how much Disney influenced me–this book is about Hades and all throughout the damn book my mind kept showing me Cheyenne Jackson from “Hades” on Descendants 3 film and everytime we were in the Underworld, I would have James Woods, who voiced the animated version of Hades in 1995 in my head during some of the very erotic scenes! Totally not recommended by the way.

Respect could build an empire. Trust could make it unbreakable. Love could make it last forever.

I do want to point out that while I was wrestling with my version of Hades, I have never particularity loved the name Persephone until now and even though she is described as a platinum blonde in the story, I kept seeing her with strawberry-blonde hair instead. The same goes with her mother Demeter too! So, my whole system was a bit out of wack but I made it happen anyways. I definitely saw myself quickly becoming a bit of a fan of Persephone. I think everything that is said to her towards the end is completely true om how I viewed her in the start of the book. I think she is the one, who made me want to continue reading, especially when I should be in bed asleep, but I really wanted to know how everything ended for her, not much about Hades though.

The story itself was, very intense from start to finish and I feel that’s the main reason why I was able to read it so quickly, because you didn’t have that much time in between chapters to basically refresh yourself from a certain scene and even though I loved reading at that speed, it was sometimes too much for me and I had to take many breaks throughout important moments. Thankfully, everything was described in almost perfect detail so I was able to map out everything from both the Upperworld and the Underworld. The only place I had some difficulty building in my mind was the glasshouse, everything else was pretty easy structurally and it was a good thing too because it evened out my outlook on the characters and the events taking place.

There is a chance that by the time this post is published that I have probably finished with “A Game Of Fate” which is in the point of view of Hades, by the time this post goes up.. I was on Scarlett’s Instagram page the other day and someone had made the comment that it is better to read it like this and just continue to switch from their POVs. However, if you just want to stick to Persephone’s version of events, that’s totally up to you.

So, have you read “A Touch of Darkness” yet? If you have, when did you start to explore the second series? For those who have read retellings like this, how do you turn off those childhood memories basically and create newer versions of these mythological gods and goddess?

Blogmas | Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Hello & Merry Christmas to everyone out there!

Whenever I have a post going up on a holiday, I try to have something easy and laidback for my readers. I can’t get myself to publish a long chatty type of post, although it looks like I can after looking at what I’ve written for this! I know it is a day to be around your family or friends and enjoy that time together, even in this COVID mess but I promised you a Christmas playlist though, so that’s what I am going to do today.

I’ve actually done a lot of Christmas playlist posts over the years, so I know I’ve discussed this many, many times on here but I love traditional, jazz and soul Christmas music more than anything else, but I seemed to have found a whole collection of classic holiday songs in the style that I hold dear to my heart: epic! And what gets me, is that I’ve tried it out before, but it never registered as much even when I reviewed Lindsey Stirling’s holiday album in 2018. There is just something about it all now, that I just think there is something about it that is totally different than what I’ve been listening in the last three years!

For me, epic music–also known as trailer and cinematic music–is all about powerful moments, and when its paired with action and sadness, it can manifest even more and I think that’s why I enjoy listening to it so much, because it can bring out all sorts of things in a person. Whereas Christmas music is pulling out memories of their childhood. Every single song is in one emotion and that is almost always happiness, unless it is playing loudly in the middle of August or September, then it’s just pure annoying to everyone who tries to keep the holiday season until the start of November or for us Americans, after Thanksgiving.

I have chosen a great selection of incredible music for you with my Spotify playlist but here are my Top 22 holiday tunes to explore right now. If you would like to check out the full listing, please click here!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow by Vaughn Monroe
Somewhere In My Memory by John Williams
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy by Lindsey Stirling
Ding Dong Merrily On High by Celtic Woman
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Hugh Martin
Do You Want To Build A Snowman by Kristen Ball
O Holy Night by Anuna
Blame It On The Mistletoe by Ella Henderson featuring AJ Mitchell
Carol Of The Bells by Jennifer Thomas
The Joy Of Adventure by Amadeus Indetzki
Silent Night by Halocence
Epic Christmas by IMAscore
Santa Claus Is Coming To You by Alala
Rockin Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
Christmas Medley by Two Steps From Hell
Winterspell by Thomas Bergersen x Two Steps From Hell
Jingle Bells by Kaskade featuring Soran
New Fallen Snow by Philip Wesley
Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
That Spirit Of Christmas by Ray Charles
White Christmas by The Drifters
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

Well, I’ve definitely proved I was willing to listen to other genres when it comes to Christmas music. A lot of the songs are featured on my two favorite holiday films and that helped make it slightly more difficult to figure out what I wanted to share on this post because I know I’ve probably talked about them in the past too..

I tried to listen to Stan Kenton’s Christmas album on Spotify, but I couldn’t get through the one song I clicked to play the night I finished this. I can listen to his type of music, which was jazz and blues, but when it comes to Stan Kenton, I still have some issues with it. It’s nothing major, but I tend to cry about it later and I know he would be mad at me for doing that, because it gave him so much joy all throughout my childhood. I will listen to one song this morning just to show him how much I love and miss him on Christmas.

What is your favorite genre to listen to Christmas music? What about an individual song too?

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