Book Review: “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

I think the last time I reviewed a book was back in 2016. I lost my reading mojo, even though I continued to go on YouTube and watch over 7 different booktubers on a daily basis, adding new books onto my to be read list on Goodreads. In August 2018, I decided to take a chance and bought my first contemporary, trending book out there, it was Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Honestly, this book has been on my TBR list for two years, and I thought it would be one of those books that I’d either never want to read or purchase it because it was a bit cheesy. Fast forward to now, I’m thankful that I talked my mom into letting me buy it! And the fact that Netflix was releasing a movie based on it, definitely didn’t hurt either!

Backstory – Taken from Goodreads

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

I think I bought this book when the Netflix edition covers were released, because I almost didn’t recognize the title of it until I read the back of it and remembered the name “Lara Jean” so I was a bit intrigued but I also didn’t want to purchase it solely on the fact that it was going to be turned into a movie. I think I really got it for the fact that I hadn’t read anything in over two years and I made it my mission to make time for other things besides blogging throughout the week, so when I saw it, I hoped it would be enough to get me out of my funk and for like two months, it did that for me before I lost it once again. In my defense, I was an idiot and tried to read three books at the same time! Apparently I’m not that kind of a bookworm.

Overall

When I first started reading it, I wasn’t on chapter five yet, and I had already expressed to my parents how much I loved the book! I’ve been out of school, in what feels like forever, but this transported me back to my freshman year and I was seeing the similarities between what I did around all of the cute guys, except I never wrote them all letters. I only did that one and I delivered it in a full cafeteria, and how Lara Jean was around both Josh and Peter.

I think what I loved the most about her was how different or quirky as Peter describes her. I think that’s actually a perfect way to explain her to people. She is mostly a home body, likes to hang out with her family, and best friend Chris then getting drunk and/or high with the rest of the party goers. Besides all of the drama that ensues in the book, I honestly think the letters going out to the boys was the best thing for her. It got her out of comfortable shell and I think she started to learn something about herself as a person.

As far as the boys go, I was going back and forth with them. In the beginning, I was pulling for Lara Jean and Josh, but the more it continued I was really loving this “relationship” between her with Peter. I think my favorite outing between these two characters was their first one, where Peter takes her to go estate shopping at this old house. This is where you get to see Peter in a new light, he’s away from his friends and his attention isn’t on the ex-girlfriend Gen, they’re bonding throughout this little adventure. This is also the readers first glance at Lara Jean getting out of her comfort zone too.

Lastly, I need to talk about something that was added at the end of the book, and I’m not totally sure if the previous editions included them, but in my copy we get recipes of the cookies that were talked about towards the end of the book. I’ve only come across a book that had a recipe somewhere within the book and that was (weirdly enough) Duff McKagan’s autobiography It’s So Easy (and Other Lies) released in 2011. If you’d like to check out that review, you can click here, but I should say that the review was published in 2012. I wasn’t the best blogger at that time, so please ignore the many mistakes included in it, okay?

Have you read the book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han yet? What were your thoughts about it? Which character is your favorite in the series?

January Playlist

Howdy!

We’re at the end of the first month of 2019! Well, I am! I have decided that there will be no blog posts next week. I’m still moving into my room so I thought with taking out that week that maybe I can get a jumpstart on my plans for February.

Here are my Top 10 Songs for this month!

Close To Me by Ellie Goulding x Diplo featuring Swae Lee
Let Me Down Slowly by Alec Benjamin featuring Alessia Cara
Scared To Be Lonely by Martin Garrix featuring Dua Lipa
Heart To Break by Kim Pietras
Waiting For The End by Linkin Park
Machine by Imagine Dragons
7 Rings by Ariana Grande
Never Be by Meg Mac
More Than Words by Little Mix featuring Kamille
She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5
To The Water by Moya Brennan

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do a lot of reviews like I wanted, but I was happy with what I was able to find on YouTube though. I’m hoping to add more next month, but I also don’t want to push myself any more than I should, so we’ll really have to see what happens. You might get a surprise or two! If you have yet to read the ones I published earlier they were:

LM5 by Little Mix | Singular: Act 1 by Sabrina Carpenter

So what was your most played song of the first month of 2019?

Goals For 2019!

Howdy!

On the 31st of December, I saw a tweet that was asking for the top 5+ goals you’d like to accomplish for the new year on my sister’s account. I don’t usually post things like that, because mainly I don’t usually have a clue of what I want to do, but this time I did and I just decided to list all five of my goals for 2019!

The next day, my mom was at work, so it was just my dad and I for the day and I actually let him on these goals, because I thought he’d get a kick out of what I put down for the first two; what I didn’t know was that the next day, the second goal is getting closer to happening. I was a bit shocked by the news, but more so on the fact that my dad asked me what number that goal landed on my list. I was kind of stunned that he had remembered them in the first place, because when I originally told them to him, he was half asleep on me. And then as I was busy telling the both of them, I realized I forgot to tell my mom at all! Oops!

Move Into Our New House ✔️

We’ve been in the process of dealing with our new house for longer than we had planned. Everything was supposed to be done before Thanksgiving, but we’ve passed two holidays and we’re still not in the house yet. We’ve had a lot of issues! I don’t particular want to talk about that on this post.

Update: On January 9th, we finally moved in! It took a few more days to the rest of the stuff into the new house, but we’re here. I’m hoping to do a longer post about designing the perfect bedroom soon.

Finally Getting My New Wheelchair

I think my parents got the ball rolling on the house and my wheelchair around the same time! September was a big month for us, that lead to more question marks than anything else. However, we recently got a letter that most of the things we were wanting to be added onto the new chair were approved, so that is a good sign! I am still fairly wary about the whole thing. I’ve been waiting for a new wheelchair for almost 7 years. I’d like to gain some of my freedom back, like being able to clean my room by myself and just spend a couple of hours outside with our cats, taking pictures than being stuck up in my room the whole day.

More Cuddles With My Nephew ✔️

This had been the only goal to have been fulfilled at the start of the year! My sister brought little man over on the 2nd, and my mom let him sit on my right leg. We haven’t been able to do that before. Even though, he is really active, he really calms down whenever he sits on my lap. On this occasion though, he did something that kind of made me want to cry, because I wasn’t expecting it. He gave me a hug. He grabbed ahold of my shirt and left hand and pulled us together and I couldn’t help but put my head on the top of his; we only stayed like that for a couple of seconds but he’ll never know how much that meant to me, especially since I love giving cuddles myself too!

All The New Music

This one kind of stumped my mom, but as a music blogger, you know you can kind of devout your time into talking about Christmas music, because once it becomes the middle of November, the amount of real music coming out the next month is fairly smaller than you’d like and unfortunately, January has a slow start to releasing new music. You definitely don’t hear anything brand new right away in the new year. You usually have to wait until the second week of February to fade before you hear anything worthwhile. That’s why I’ve had to go back through the last bit of 2018 for any albums I can review on here!

New Opportunities For My Blog & I

In 2018, I decided it was time to branch out a little, away from the blog, and even separate myself from Disability Horizons for a while. I had big ambitious to start writing pieces for other people, whether they were other bloggers or bigger sites for digital magazines. Technically I have a three part series that I was planning to give away to a site that I actually like, but more importantly because they don’t have a lot of disability themed articles. I just wanted to lend my voice to them. I’ve talked to several blogger friends, Lucy and Melissa were very helpful during this time but I kind of lost my nerve at the end of spring.

One thing that I was able to do was work with The History Of Royal Women. I was writing for them at the end of 2017, but most of my work came out at the start of the year until the beginning of summer. I had done two different themes: disabled royal princesses and lives of heiresses of the eras. I’d like to end out that last one, because I still have two more ladies to talk about, but I worry that it’s been too long of a gap and they won’t let me back on to write anymore.

I would love to have more opportunities to write for other people, plus also offer up to other people to write guest posts as long as they match the topics I normally discuss on here. If you want to contact me, click here.

I do have more personal goal. The reason why I want to keep this one under a lock and key, is because I don’t want to put any pressure on anyone to make it happen right away, nor do I want to feel bad for my expectations. So, for the time being, the sixth and final goal will remain hidden away.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2019? Can you name five or more in the comments?

A-Z Disability Challenge | C : Be Truthful To Your Children

Howdy!

This post is very close to my heart. Since my sister found out she was pregnant with my nephew, I wondered how we were going to explain to him about my disability. It’s kind of easier to explain to children in the grocery store about how came to be like this. Our go-to is “god made me like this” or “I was born like this” but I have a feeling Nolan isn’t going to let those explanations slide. I think it is important to talk about disabled people with young children.

I’ve never been able to hold him like everybody else because of my arms, so imagine the expression on his face when I started basically wagging them in front of his face when he was about three months old! He was mesmerized that these large hook-like arms that were just swinging back and forth. He’s been practically in love with them ever since. He has expressed his interest in my feet recently, one day he was on the couch and I started waving at him with my feet and he just starting waving with his foot! He’s starting to realize how different I am compared to his mom and dad. We have a special connection.

Children are both very curious and honest creatures. They haven’t been in this world long enough to see the bad unless they’ve been taught it since they were in the womb! They like to figure things out for themselves, and only ask their parents or grandparents when they’re a bit lost for words. I’ve seen a lot of kids in various ages, stare but also try to shield their faces so you don’t notice them. They usually wait to ask questions until I’m fully out of view, but I’ve realized if I tell them “hi” or I wave at them, they’ll just put you on the spot right there and you just have to go with your gut and hope their families will fill in the gaps the best they can after you leave. Here’s my advice to parents who would rather dodge this discussion because you think it might be too difficult for them to understand; if you’re comfortable then explaining the differences between a girl and a boy’s anatomy and/or race, then saying something how a person could be in braces from head to toe, standing in crutches, or rolling around in a wheelchair will be a piece of cake.

How do you explain to children about disability? Where do you stand on educating people on how to talk about some of the more common disabilities, like spina bifida, blindness, deafness, or even cerebral palsy to children at home or even at school?

Album Review: “Singular: Act I” by Sabrina Carpenter

After I did the Little Mix review last week, I wondered how many other albums I missed and wanted to talk about on here. So I have found two more albums, this one and another that came out in December that I will be sharing my thoughts on hopefully next week! First, we are going to talk about my increasing love for Sabrina Carpenter. I know the last name Carpenter is fairly infamous in the music industry, but I don’t think Sabrina has any relations to them. Sabrina is an actress along with being a singer. She’s worked on the Disney Channel on shows like, “Austin & Ally,” “Girl Meets World,” and finally “Adventures In Babysitting.”

I’ve been focused on her singing career than her acting, and it was purely by accident. I caught the end of her song “Thumbs” on the radio and thought it wasn’t bad and within a week later I heard another one called, “Why” and it was just continuous, because the final song I heard in 2018 was “Lost Love” with the EDM group Lost Kings. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the tracks, so when I saw that she had released a new album back in November, I was like “I need to check this out right now!” So, if you’d like to join me on this little adventure, you’re more than welcome to it.

The first song is “Almost Love” and I liked the cute popping in the beginning. The “cute” factor never really leaves the beat at all, and I think it makes it a bit annoying. A part of me hates it, but yet I’ve heard it so much lately that I’ve been dancing and humming to it, so it’s a good dance-pop song but has some little things that irritate me. We move on to “Paris” and I will be honest, I thought she had redone The Chainsmokers’s single of “Paris” but after I listened to it, I realized I was wrong but I like it anyways. I like the seductive beat and tone of her voice. I think it gives the message a needed edge. I really enjoy it!

Third is “Hold Tight” featuring Uhmeer. I’ve never heard of this person, but I am always open to new artists! This has a R&B sound to it too, which is strange because the album has been said to prominently be pop/EDM. It’s much slower, has a strong sexy vibe going on but I actually like it! I think Uhmeer’s deep voice is a good contrast to Sabrina’s sweet voice. It just added to the “feel good” vibe that was already going on. Next was “Sue Me” and we’re back on the pop train again. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like this one. It seemed really dull compared to the previous tracks. I didn’t even dance to it after the first verse was over and yes, that’s usually my sign that it’s a good song, but there was nothing with this. So, we move on to “Prfct” which is the word: Perfect, but without the vowels. The only reason why I say that out loud because I was so confused writing it out in my notepad. It was one of those days for me! Anyways, this beat is nice and easy. To me, it’s more sensual than the other way around, but I really like it.

We’re heading to the last three songs of the record. The sixth track is “Bad Time” and this only had Sabrina’s voice in the beginning, so it’s a slow start to the beat itself, but when it does appear it’s a nice real pop sound. I was a bit on the fence about it. I liked the sound, but thought it was a bit overwhelming to really hear the lyrics of the song. That is my only complaint with it. “Mona Lisa” is on now and I thought the moment it started, I thought it was a bit unique. I thought it has 00’s bubblegum pop sound to it. It reminded me of Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera! Honestly, it was refreshing and it actually became one of my favorites of the bunch! And finally the last song is “Diamonds Are Forever” and I really liked this one too. I thought she kind of sounded like another artist I heard recently: Elley Duhe. This has a sensual beat, but she sings it with such sass that it really makes you like it. At least, it did that for me!

Apparently I had some strong expectations to this effort than I thought I did because a part of me felt a bit let down by it. I was on the fence for about half of the tracks on this record and only had one real favorite out of the whole thing. That’s not like me to be like this, so I’m hoping when she releases Act 2 later this year, it’ll be a little bit better!

Have you listened to Sabrina Carpenter’s new album yet? What did you think of it? Do you love it or hate it?

Favorite Blog Posts Of 2018!

Howdy!

Yeah, I’m a little late writing this post, but it’s January so I’m still okay with getting these types of posts up! It’s also been three weeks (or so) after I first put up my last post of 2018, I asked everyone at the end of it if you wanted to see my favorite posts of the past year. Although I didn’t get any replies for it, I just decided to do it anyways!

A lot of bloggers will do these posts of only talking about their most popular posts of the year, but I don’t like going that route. Some of my most viewed blog posts are full of grammar and spelling mistakes, so the fact that get any reads at all kind of freaks me out!

Here are some of my favorite blog post of 2018!

Goals For 2018
Shuffle The Music Tag
NYE Shenanigans
Are There Two Babies
3/4
What I Love About Afternoon Tea
My Worst Fear
Favorite Dance Films!
Why You Should Blog Now?
The Disabled Blogger Tag
Baby Shower
Top 11 Life Mottos To Live By
How Do I Stay Organized?
Nolan’s Nursery Tour
Why I’ve Never Joined A Book Club
Becoming An Auntie
4 Favorite Female Stand-Up Comics
Summer Playlist 2018
The Assassin
What It’s Like To Be A (Disabled) Blogger
6 Halloween Movies For Adults
5 Favorite Shows About Nature & Culture
The Baby Name Tag
Basketball Is Back
Routine Or Nostalgic?
Bad Kitty

I think 2018 had a lot of informative pieces. I wanted to give new bloggers some tips that have helped me over the years. I also wanted to be a voice for the disabled people who might be thinking about creating a blog, that talks about their lives as well. I think having more than one perspective on a disability is good for everybody, because we have our differences but always looking into resources to help one another too.

Despite being sick at the start of the year and going through a major depression spell at the end of the summer, I managed to get a lot of interesting posts written up for you guys. And here I thought, it was just all about movies, but nope. I talked about various things that go with all three of my niches: disability, lifestyle, and music.

I even tried to bring back a couple of old stuff too! I really do miss doing those flash fiction challenges. All of the ones I used to do have ended and blogs have all but disappeared. So, I’ve had to search on Twitter and Pinterest for various prompts, and I’ve been successful. When March came over, I wrote my first story on here since probably 2012! It was great to be back doing some free writing again. I’m hoping to continue on them for 2019 too!

One last thing that I did this past year was talk about babies. Between my sister and cousin Kristi, it was baby central on the blog! Since Kristi and her family now live in Louisiana, I will not be able to do a lot of intimate blog posts about Joseph and her new baby! However, I will eventually do the post about her second child’s arrival. I still feel extremely guilty for not being able to get that up in November! Of course, I will be talking about my nephew this year. I think we’re due for another update on him and I will work with Blondie to see what kind of pictures she’d like to share with you.

What were your favorite blog posts of 2018? Is there a topic you’d like for me to discuss on a future post? Let me know!

A-Z Disability Challenge | B : Building Trust

Howdy!

I created this challenge to talk about disability topics and today’s post will discus about building trust with other people. So, this piece will contain some personal advice and experiences, but it’s more directed to the families of disabled kids and young adults.


Trust is a big thing.

You learn it from a very young age, I think you don’t necessarily realize it until you begin to look back and it does make sense, it all goes together. Here’s an example, whenever a toddler is about to do something he’s not suppose to, you tell him “no” and try to explain that he’ll get hurt. You can’t expect your child to leave it alone, that’s a rarity even in itself, so you’ll most likely see the kid do it anyways and start wailing because it got a bump on the head. First off, kids have to learn things on their own. You hope they’ll get the message and learn to trust you the next time you say something like that, but even you know better not to trust a young child either. So, it goes back and forth quite a bit…

As somebody with a disability, I rely on people to help me with things. I don’t like to, because I always feel like I can figure it out on my own, but there are things that I cannot do by myself so I need help with them. When you have to invite a third party, it can always be a hit or miss. I learned this while I was in school. Whenever my aides were out for a period of time, I had many, many substitutes that would have to be with me throughout the day. I would have to teach them what I needed for each class and what they could do to pass the time. They were kind of dragged from one place to another; not to mention to give your trust on a person you’ve just met once or only had a few times, circumstances would worry me sometimes because I didn’t know what this person would do.

Honestly, I tend to give people the benefit of a doubt. It’s one of the bad things about going with the flow. You don’t want to second guess people right away, so you go all in and give your trust away like it’s pieces of candy. However, I’ve learned over the years to listen to my body about certain things: your gut will tell you when something’s up and mine would flare up a lot while I was in school. I would break down in the middle of classes and feel completely awful, afterwards I would be switched out of that class and I’d calm down and be myself again. Unfortunately, I haven’t had this happen whenever I’m around people, just whenever I’m in a different place physically. I guess that’s better than anything though, right?

For families of disabled kids though, everything is heightened. They’re not there with their child. They have to hope that whoever’s watching over their kid is doing what that person would do for their own children. If something has happened that is a little weird, things can escalate really fast and as someone who has had been in this kind of situation, it feels horrible. You don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but if something is off about how you’re being treated whether it’s physically or emotionally, it is best to speak up about it. You don’t deserve to live in fear of what’s going to happen once the dominoes collapse. They have to give up a lot of their trust to the people their child is around on any given day, and that includes their friends, and that alone can cause a lot of anxiety, but you do continue to take chances because you do want your children to be treated like everybody else, if they don’t, how is your child suppose to live in the real world?

How are you with trusting others around you? And families, what kept you going when things weren’t ideal with your child’s aide or surroundings? Do you have any advice you could to other parents out there?