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: “Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han

Hello!

It is time for the final book review of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series. I cannot believe I finished all of them! I’m still wrestling with all of the emotions I had while reading this series, especially this book, because it is the last piece of a very complex puzzle for me.

After I finished reading P.S. I Still Love You a few months ago, I thought I would give myself a chance to recover before jumping into the next book, but I didn’t. Everything that I loved about that book, made me want to continue down the road to Lara Jean’s love story. So, the day the review was published on here, I begin reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean and now I get to talk to you about everything I loved about it too!

WARNING: There are some spoilers below, so continue at your own risk!


35247769._SY475_Lara Jean is having the best senior year.

And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks . . . until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

taken from Goodreads.


When the story starts, you quickly realize we basically skip a year; as if by magic we end up starting Lara Jean’s senior year. I thought this concept was interesting considering the fact that I am celebrating 10 year of becoming a high school graduate, so a good chunk of the material about everyone trying to figure out what they were going to do after school was interesting because it brought back almost everything I was feeling when I was in my last year of high school as well.

There were a lot of things that made me rethink about my own early adult life, but even though I really tried (and also failed) to look past my own experiences during this important time of any young girl’s life, it was also nice to see how everything played out for both Lara Jean and Peter’s love story. Now with that being said, there was also some things I wasn’t a big fan of in this book. The most important was Stormy’s death. To say I was a wreck for a couple of days is a bit of an understatement, because this was a character I absolutely adored, probably because she reminded me of my nana in just her personality alone, so to see that part of Lara Jean’s story kind of left out at such an important time in her life really sucked!

Another element that “bothered” me was Peter’s attitude towards the end. Even though we have seen Peter have sensitive moments in the past, I really didn’t like the fact that he pushed the idea of them going to the same college after attending a year at other campuses. I know Lara Jean wanted to go to UVA as much as Peter, but as she has been really supportive towards him in the things he’s done throughout their relationship, he wasn’t truly there for her to make a big decision on the next phase of her life.

Once I realized in my mind that this was starting to remind me of when my sister began a long distance relationship with her boyfriend, I just got it into my head that they should break up. My sister kept fighting for a love that obviously didn’t care as much for her as she did for him, and I became very afraid for Lara Jean. I didn’t want her to experience that kind of pain, so in a way I turned into Margot–who I’ve never been a huge fan of throughout the series–and I started to agree with her mom’s advice to Margot about not having a boyfriend before entering college when she left for St. Andrews two years prior.

Even though I was on the fence about that situation, I did choose to think happy thoughts about how they were going to attempt to make it work and I actually really enjoyed how it ended. A part of me is really glad we don’t get to know what happens next for Lara Jean and Peter, and all of the other beloved characters like Chris, Kitty, and Lucas! The last sentence was so perfect and very Lara Jeanesqe as it gave me back a little snippet of what initially got me to this series in the first place!

This series has meant a lot for me! I brought me back to some memorable moments in my life, and in a way let me see what could have been had other things worked out. Later on, it felt like fate that I was reintroduced to this story, because now I can say I have completed a whole book series! I have never done that before in my life and so, this series has created its own little section in my heart for two but equally gratifying reasons!

Fun fact: I found that Romeo & Juliet film on our movies channels last month and I have had quite a bit of chocolate chip cookies. So, I thought since I’m done reading the series, I could pull a “date” night with just myself enjoying the two together with Lara Jean Song Covey and Peter Kavinsky deep in my heart. ❤

Have you finished this book? If you are watching the film series on Netflix, what are you hoping they include that wasn’t mentioned in the end? Last but not least, how are you doing on your 2020 reading challenge?

snowflake

Book Review: “P.S. I Still Love You” by Jenny Han

Hello!

It’s time!

Originally, I wanted to finish before the film came out on Netflix so I could watch and be apart of the discussion on Twitter, but then I received a tablet for my birthday and all of my physical books were basically left in the dust. Several months later, my mom told me about the possibility of bringing my tablet outside to our new deck so whenever the cats were done with me, I could stay out there to read.

Honestly, I laughed at her but once she brought out this foot stool (we call it a bench!) we have so I could take pictures of the cats. After about five minutes, the cats ran away and I was left on our porch without anything to do, but then I quickly remembered I had this book inside the hollow space of the stool and immediately took it out to start reading it.  By the end of the month I was wanting to read more than take pictures of the cats!


42945699._sy475_-1Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

taken from Goodreads.

 


By the time I wrote this post, I still hadn’t seen the film. I wasn’t a big fan to the first one so I really wondered if doing one without the other would be better for me? I really started to think this when I wasn’t reading the book at all and I just wanted to know what was coming next! Edit: I have watched the beginning but have decided not to finish or watch the rest of the films.

I thought the beginning really had the same lovey-dovey feelings I felt while reading the first book, but once the author brings in the drama of the video and this new character, another one of Lara Jean’s former loves into the picture, at first I thought uh oh, this isn’t going to end well! I was really surprised on how slowly I went from being Team Peter to Team John Ambrose. As much as I loved Peter in the first book, you could see he was conflicted between his feelings toward Genevieve, somebody he’s been with for so long to Lara Jean, a girl who’s love letters were sent out by mistake. You didn’t really know which direction these two characters should go, and for once in her young life Lara Jean had two guys fighting for her affections and I’m still not convinced she made the right choice in the end.

Besides of the romance, I loved the inclusion of the residents of the nursing home. Stormy sounds like a hoot to be around, and I should know because there were times I was reading and it made me miss being around my nana. I have also volunteered at nursing homes and I love being around the ladies there. They are really fun but you do have to be careful because they can be very mischievous! I haven’t been told I’d be perfect for one of their grandsons like Lara Jean, but still I have been around them while playing bingo! They’re competitive women let me tell you!

I feel like if I continue with this, I’ll just ruin the whole thing for you and I don’t want to do that to anyone! I already feel bad for the spoilers I’ve said in this post, so I apologize for doing that! I have purchased the final book in the trilogy, and I’m very excited to get into that but I may wait and make it my twentieth book of my Goodreads Challenge for the year.

Have you read “P.S. I Still Love You” by Jenny Han yet? For those of you that just read the book and skipped the film, do you regret your decision on it? What were your thoughts on the events that happened in the story?

snowflake

Top 10 Favorite Chick Flicks!

chick

Hello!

If anybody knows me really well, I am not into chick flicks. I have a hard time believing the amount of times of love at first sight but I have noticed over the years that I am watching more drama based films. I like that they’re visually beautiful, there’s little details in the frames and they always seem to capture everything so well! Whenever I watch action movies, I’m looking for clues of who killed this character or that one? In a way, I’m glad these always seem to calm me late at night.

When I was coming up for a list for this post, I tried to keep the romance to a minimum and I realized that was harder than it looks! Surprisingly, there are a few movies where I was left breathless, isn’t that a bit shocking? If you haven’t watched any of these movies, I suggest you do so because they each have their own good points to them and only a fraction will make you cry! However, according to certain family members I’m built like an ox because I don’t really show my emotions that much, so the ones that didn’t make me cry will probably have a different effect on you.

You’ll come to find out through this list that I also have a selective mind, you know I like to watch things with history but I am interested in music and art too. I’ve found a few movies that fit in those areas and the rest are just the coming of age and heartwarming films that we all at some point have loved.

10. Girl With A Pearl Earring (2003 – Scarlett Johansson, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson)

I have to say out of all the movies below, this was my most recent addition. I finally got to watch this mid-August and I’m very glad I kept looking out for it because it was very worth it!

I was very nervous about Scarlett Johansson as Griet though. At the time, I only had a small memory of how the real painting looked like imprinted in my mind and I thought at times she was a good choice but I know her as this ultimate badass so I had a hard time breaking away from that outlook, but she was absolutely beautiful! I wish there were more scenes of Johannes painting, because I mean it didn’t really bring him out to be this artist, it was more at Griet and her life as the family’s maid which was fine but I wanted to see Colin be around the paints more than he was shown!

9. Titanic (1997 – Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, Bill Paxton)

Honestly I went back and forth to put Titanic on here mostly because it is such a big movie that I didn’t want it to cloud my judgement for the rest of the films on my list. The main reason why I put it so low is because I’ve surprisingly only seen it probably less than 20 times since it came out.

I think I added it for the history aspect of it. I will admit for a long time I thought the whole thing of Rose and Jack was real. I think I was like ten when my mom basically told us that despite the fact that sinking of the ship itself was real, the characters weren’t, so it’s safe to say I believed it wholeheartedly. And it helped me learn more about the people that were on the Titanic, like Molly Brown and John Astor and his young wife. I also know a lot of about the lesser known people who were on board, and one day I would love to go to Branson, Missouri because they have a whole Titanic museum.

8. Thirteen (2003 – Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed, Holly Hunter)

I am obsessed with this film! I first found it by accident I think, because I don’t remember how I even saw it the first time. I do think we had it on DVD at one point of time. I even remember a somewhat awkward babysitting situation that involves my cousin Chris; I asked him if he wanted to watch it and I was an idiot for making him watch it with me in the floor because it had some racy scenes in it and I was literally too young to be watching it, as it was rated “R” but he was older like sixteen at the time.

It’s really a coming of age story, and it definitely wasn’t my first film that had teenagers who were dealing with drugs, sex, etc! I was watching Lifetime movies too and I can name close to four of them that could rival this movie. I will say that after watching this, everytime I saw Nikki Reed starring in another movie I’d always wanted to watch it. Now you know what really made me want to watch the Twilight films!

7. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (2008 – Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson)

This is going to sound really funny coming out of me, but I actually have a list of annoying actors and so I don’t necessarily like Brad Pitt, but yet I love this film!

I remember watching it the first time and when Thomas leaves Benjamin on those steps and Izzy is walking backwards down the stairs just made me cringe, it actually still makes feel uneasy just thinking about it. I thought the story itself was very heartwarming and surprisingly not weird considering Benjamin starts up this friendship with Daisy when he’s an old man and she’s a young child, you can kind of see him falling in love with her at the same time. I just loved how as time went on they’re friendship thrived when they were going in two separate direction, age wise.

6. Love & Basketball (2000 – Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps)

Love & Basketball has been a favorite of mine. It always has been but I’m still unsure on how I would have seen it the first time. My mind is taking me back when the TV network Oxygen was at its prime (I used to watch Xenia: Warrior Princess on that channel too) so maybe that’s where I must’ve watched it.

I have always gone in and out of basketball. I’ve never understood the right terms and positions so that’s why I’m still so shocked on how much I really watch it as an adult. It is also the film that got me interested in Sanaa Lathan, I have basically seen seven movies with her in them since I first watched this, Brown Sugar is another one of my favorites. They each have their romantic notes to them but they also use different topics to help create the love of the main characters. One uses hip hop music while this is about basketball, surprisingly I am more into this movie than the other since I know a lot about music, funny how that works huh?

5. Sweet Home Alabama (2004 – Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas, Patrick Dempsey)

I went back and forth whether to add this because I felt it is too much of a comedy-romance film than just a drama, but then as I was thinking about the rest of the list I figured I might as well include it! My mom is going to freak that I didn’t add Legally Blonde though! Maybe I should just do a romance list later on?

Anyways, I love this movie! I do remember how I got into this though! My dad had a friend years ago, he had two dogs that were just gorgeous! The female was pure white and part wolf, well she had puppies and wouldn’t take care of them so he asked my parents if we’d take care of them. We did. Blondie and enjoyed their company and were deeply sad that we weren’t able to keep one. I was especially upset over this because I have a love for huskies and wolves!

Anyways, the friend had a daughter who was older than me, but she brought over this movie to see if I liked it because I was really obsessed with LB and Reese Witherspoon. I cannot tell you how many times I borrowed that movie from her! I still don’t think she ever got it back during that last time! I remember we found a damaged case without the disc one time. Now I have it on my DVR and see it every once in a while on our movie channels.

4. Where The Heart Is (2000 – Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing)

This is the last film that I will say I don’t remember how I got into, but very happy I was introduced to it! Honestly, I’m thinking it was aired on Oxygen too! They used to play it like crazy and they were the only ones that left in some of the racy scenes too! As much as I don’t like watching movies on CMT or any other network channels, I will watch this movie on them. It’s not so much because I need a break in between, which helps sometimes, it just feels good to watch it on a slow afternoon or something!

I do know that it was the film that started my obsession with Natalie Portman. I loved her as Novalee! I loved everyone, but I began to regret watching The Tudors, The White Queen and True Blood back to back because James Frain is all three so beforehand, I did love him as “Forney” but I would be lying if I didn’t say that watching all three really annoyed the crap out of me.

3. Brooklyn (2015 – Saorise Ronan, Emory Cohen, Julie Walters)

Out of all the movies I’ve seen, this is the only one that wasn’t released in the early 2000’s! I actually saw it for the first time last November I think. It’s literally became one of my favorite movies and not surprisingly I want to read the book now!

I love everything about this film! I basically love anything set in Ireland, especially if they discuss life in different parts of the history. In this case, it is set in the 1950’s and you have a young woman being set to America away from her mother, sister and just her home in general, but she acts like me where she wanted to get away from everything and do something different. And when she makes it Brooklyn, she’s staying with a bunch of other Irish women in a boarding house and she meets this guy, who’s Italian and he changes her outlook on life and it’s so beautiful!

2. White Oleander (2000 – Alison Lohman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Wright, Renee Zelleweger)

I think once we get over Brooklyn, I think saying “this is one of my favorites” is kind of weird, because why would I put these next two at the top if they weren’t, you know?

I think this is one of the most hauntingly beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. I’ve always been afraid of Michelle Pfeiffer and that started when I first watched this and now every film that I watch and she appears makes me weary. I liked the layout of events and how Astrid managed to get through it all in one piece. Over time I’ve wanted to read the book, but like Where The Heart Is I don’t know if I could get through because I’ve seen it so many times. I mean, there’s a reason why I couldn’t read all of Prisoner of Azkaban!  

1. The Red Violin (1998 – Samuel L. Jackson, Carlo Cecchi, Jean-Luc Bideu, Sylvia Chang)

I’m very weird when I say that I hardly ever watch films that were made past 1999, mostly because the special effects are awful and the quality is really bad, almost worse. I’m too into my HD television I think!

I watched this back in June actually. I was looking through my TV guide and saw this on one of our movie channels and thought the description was interesting so I recorded it. When I first watched it, I was somewhat confused at first but then once you got to the third chapter the whole thing started to make sense. It is about a red violin and a series of events that happen over the course of its life which was a long time and the people that were affected by it and prophecies you hear in the beginning. It’s such a beautiful story and wouldn’t you know it, I deleted it and I haven’t seen it. That’s just my luck!

Now that you know some of my favorite chick flicks, tell me some of yours? Have you seen any of the films I’ve listed above?

snowflake

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