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: “After You” by JoJo Moyes

Hello!

For Christmas, I was gifted with a card from my aunt and uncle. It was a beautiful card! It was painted like a present perfectly wrapped along with these brown strings that looked like they were real, so much that I almost attempted to undo it! Inside was a nice little message, wishing me a nice holiday and new year, and finally a $50 gift card for Amazon.  I actually didn’t use it right away, I wanted to wait just in case Santa Claus didn’t get me a pillow, which he didn’t…. but neither did I! Haha!

Since I was given a new tablet for my birthday from my lovely nana, I’ve been reading a lot more, and it’s mostly because I don’t have to wait until it’s fully lit in my room. It has a light built into it and that means I can read it at night!. So, when I got the Amazon card, I knew I would buy some books that I desperately wanted to read before watching their films. I’ll explain later in another post I promise!

A couple of years ago, I read the book Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, and after finishing it I actually went ahead and watched the movie and was semi-impressed with it. I still stand by what I said in my review for the film, it had the important things of the book they could fit into the two hours of content.


Here is the description of it on Goodreads.

27774596._SY475_“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future…

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here JoJo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.


I honestly can’t say why I felt the need to continue reading the series. I was tempted to see Lou’s journey to Paris, but once I started on After You, I was kind of sad that it wasn’t the focal point of the story, but as I went on I began to feel happy that the author went in another direction.

Several of the characters are still in the process of grieving and dealing with the aftermath of everything that happened with Will and his family. As much as I loved the funny, loving, comical Louisa Clark from the first book, I wasn’t too sure how I would feel about the bitter, almost faded version of this beautiful person. The events that take place after she comes home is really rough but I think it was very powerful to see what happens to a person after someone they loved dies, even at their own accord. I’m trying not to spoil things, but I wanted to include the fact that Lou goes to counseling sessions and I felt this was so important for anyone that is dealing with anything going on in their life but have no one to talk to.

There was one thing that kind of bothered me towards the middle of it. I started to think of the film of the first book, and I thought if they would continue doing the series? I know the backlash of the disability community wasn’t pretty, but a part of me was curious on how they could make this story work on film. Also, who would play both Sam and Lily too? I’m not going to lie, I still had Emilia Clarke in my head the whole time and I felt like she was perfect for the role anyways, so I embraced it as much as possible, but picking out who I thought would play Sam and Lily, are still on in the air.

I really enjoyed this book, but I will have to wait some time to be able to purchase the next one because as my mom told, “Meghan, you have seven others books. Why don’t you try to get through those before you go asking to buy more.” As much as I don’t want to admit it, she does have a point, but I’m going to miss reading up on Louisa’s life!

Have you read Me Before You and its sequel After You yet? What were your thoughts on both novels? Would you like to see it in as a film and would you keep the same actors or exchange them? 

snowflake

 

 

REVIEW | Me Before You

review2017

Hi 🙂

Today I am with my second review about Me Before You. This time I am talking about the film. Yes, I have finally been able to watch it, thanks to the fact that we had a free preview weekend on Epix and this was on my list from the get-go. The bad part was during that same weekend that not only did my DVR act up but my remote kept dying on me and we had no triple A batteries in our house!

If you read my book review that I published back in March or April, I explained that I read this book for a difference. I wanted to see how Will Traynor is portrayed. How does he become quadriplegic?  This was a question that I had in my head the day the trailer came out. So when I finally read the book, I got my answer but I had to make sure the movie was as clear about the reason too. I am glad that the reason is as good as they could make it in a movie.

I did watch it with an open-mind and I was very surprised! I was expected to see a LOT of missing dialogue and beloved scenes, but you can’t expect a movie to have everything in the right order! I did have some issues with the actors. Whenever you read a book, a person or in my case a silhouette of a person will appear as that character. Since I did see the promo pictures of the two main characters when the movie came out, I immediately liked Emilia Clarke as Lou, but I did not approve of Sam Claftin–able-bodied or not–he was not in my head while I read the book. I also didn’t like Matthew Lewis as Patrick or the actor who played Nathan. However, I also imagined Mr. Traynor as a bigger man so I figured I wouldn’t like Charles Dance but I quickly changed my mind. So besides this, I was pretty impressed with it!

I wish they had included more things described with Will’s disability. I think Lou getting a better understanding of his condition was made through going online to those chat boards and learning as much as she could, and they did share a bit of that but I felt it was not as in a lot of detail. The only thing we really got to see that even goes with being quadriplegic was when Nathan put him into his wheelchair and whenever he was sick, that was about it and I really hated that! I mean, he was just basically sitting in a power chair for fun. If it wasn’t for the beginning and those five small scenes, I probably would change my tone and say it sucked but it was really as close to the book as you could get honestly!

So have you watched the film yet? And did you read the book? What were some things that you wish they had added in or taken out?

snowflake

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The Goodreads Challenge 2017!

Now that it is officially summer, I’ve seen quite a few bloggers put up posts about books they will be reading for the next two months. I’ve found like two posts that basically inspired this blog post in a way and they are Emmie of Carpe Diem Emmie and Amie of The Curvaceous Vegan.

I also have another reason why I wanted to write this post. Last year I had to create a Goodreads account because the other site I was using was basically disappearing at the start of the year because more people were on there. So I had to make a whole new profile and figure out of the 300+ books I had on there which ones I wanted to keep in the bottom of my TBR list and I also wanted to keep track of the books I had read while I was in school. I want to say I had over 1,000 books in different shelves. Of course majority of them were located just in my to be read list.

One of the things I did last year, was make myself a goal of books to read for 2016. I had found a way out of my reading slump and I decided to give myself a chance and put in 7 books. I was pretty proud of myself for completing three books out of the seven, I even re-read the first Harry Potter book and I NEVER re-read books ever! It is literally once in a blue moon kind of deals! The other two books I read where Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.

This time I only gave myself a fair shot. I didn’t want to go over my limit because I do blogging full-time and if anything happens within my family–like recently–I usually don’t read a whole lot anyways.  So I only put myself down for at least five books for 2017! I thought it is a pretty fair number for me and I’m moving slowly but I think that’s to be expected but I do have over 7 months left of the year so I think I can do it!

Completed: 

Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir
The book is about the first Tudor queen. Elizabeth of York was the daughter of King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth Woodville. She was also the niece of King Richard III and sister the missing Princes of the tower Edward V and Richard, Duke of York. She was also wife to Henry Tudor, future King after killing the last York king at the battle of Bosworth. She and Henry had a total of seven children: eldest son Prince Arthur married Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon before his death in 1502, King Henry VIII married her in 1509 and had a daughter Princess Mary, who became England’s first Queen. Elizabeth and Henry also had two daughters who lived into adulthood: Princess Margaret who married King James IV and Princess Mary was married to Louis XII of France, her second marriage was with her brother’s friend Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.

The book was beautiful. It has tons of information about everything from the last of the War Of The Roses and her time as a York princess to Tudor queen, wife and mother. Some people have called her the forgotten princess/queen because she wasn’t into politics, but I don’t believe she was forced out of it, I just don’t think she wanted to associate herself in that area. She was way different from how she’s portrayed on Starz “The White Princess”.  If you love history and/or anything royalty, you’ll definitely love this book!

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
This was my first ever book set in the life of somebody with a physical disability, Will Traynor is a quadriplegic  after being an accident, he cannot do anything for himself anymore and has to be constantly watched and cared for by others. Whereas Louisa Clark is a young woman, who lives with her family by choice and has a boyfriend that is obsessed with fitness. In the beginning she loses her job, one that she loves, and she tries to find something else that isn’t downgrading. As a last result, she finds an opportunity as a caretaker of Will Traynor, even though she has never cared for a person with a disability in her life.

This book deals with both disability and suicidal issues. I thought it was very informative of what really goes into our lives, meaning people like me who have physical disabilities. If you’re not familiar with that, I urge you to read it. It’s a nice contemporary book though, but yes it will make you bawl your eyes out!

I think I’ve finally figured a sort of reading schedule that I want to do to finish up. Unfortunately, when I took these pictures I went by the biggest to smallest because I figured they wouldn’t look right on film and if you’re wondering what the hell these three are in right now, they’re in a big foam box. I mostly use it as a movable desk. I’m very resourceful that way!

 

 What I’m Reading Now:

The Ring And The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz
On the back of the black, it says “Once, they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a formidable castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different fortunes.

As the annual London season begins–a whirlwind of wealth and magic marked by lavish parties and gorgeous girls vying for the attention of young royals–the talk of the town is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her beauty to recognize her. After falling for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, she must balance her desire for love with her duty to save her family’s position.

Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle is bent on reclaiming what is hers, but Marie doesn’t even want Leopold–she lost her heart long ago to a boy she will never be able to have.

Desperate to escape a life without love, Marie turns to Aewlyn, and the girls form a perilous plan that endangers the fate of the monarchy.

I thought this would be an interesting to continue on with the historical fiction vibe after finishing EOY in April. I should be done with it soon. I have the extended version so I can no longer go by what Goodreads says anymore as it doesn’t have this version. I’ve already started working on the book review.

What I’m Reading Afterwards:

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow’s blood is red–the color of common folk–but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince–the friend–who betrayed, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Every day the same. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she known them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life–as she sees it–is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

I’m pretty sure I’ve had these last two in my possession the longest, and yet they’re the two I’ve chosen to leave last on my list. I am roughly 7% on TGS whereas I’m 3% on TGOTT. I do want to finish both books and I will, I just don’t know why I’m having such a hard time getting into the stories. I want to be able to get the third book of the Red Queen series that came out earlier this year and finally watch The Girl On The Train (and Me Before You) before the year is up!

I would like to finish this lineup so when it comes time for my birthday I can get some more books and have something to keep me busy for 2018! I know, I know I’m thinking way too ahead of myself but I want more historical books!

Here are some titles I’ve been looking into lately!

Mary, Queen of Scots by John Hale | Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII by Giles Tremlett | Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower by Susan Higginbotham | Red Roses: Blanche of Gaunt to Margaret Beaufort by Amy Licence | Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco | The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman | To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

What are you reading this year? Are there some interesting books you think I need to look into?

snowflake

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Book Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

I don’t know how in the world I did it, but I managed to finish two books in April! It was a triumph for me considering I haven’t read an awful lot since probably October when I realized getting through the third Harry Potter book was a no-go.

I had started Me Before You back in August as it says on my Goodreads. Thank god that it keeps track because even I don’t know what I actually started reading it! I knew about the book itself from all of my blogger friends and they were going back and forth between loving it and absolutely hating it, and then the film adaption came out and there was a big backlash that came afterwards with0 the whole disabled community, they weren’t so pleased with the actors! I was on fence about the whole thing and so I wrote a blog post back in November called “What’s The Point Of Acting?” that explained my reasons for keeping in open mind for able-bodied actors playing characters with different disabilities.

The story is about Louisa Clark, the ordinary girl who lives a simple life in England, who in the beginning works at a coffee shop while she lives at home with her parents, granddad, younger sister and nephew. She is in a seven-year relationship with Patrick, a man obsessed with fitness. After losing her job, she goes to find another job and the only one she seems to find that isn’t too bad is working as a caregiver to a severely disabled man by the name of Will Traynor.

Will Traynor was “the perfect guy” to some standards. He traveled and did everything that he wanted. He was also a partner at a firm and in a relationship with a beautiful girl Alicia but one day he loses it all when the accident happened and he became a quadriplegic, who was now stuck in a wheelchair with 24/7 care; the man who could do things for himself now had to depend on other people for the most intimate things.

Somehow these two’s lives would change forever, for the best or worse depending on how you looked at them.

One of the things that I applaud for the author, JoJo Moyes for doing is giving the reader all of the information they would need to get a semi-understanding what goes on for a caregiver to somebody like Will. We’re not easy to take care of, sometimes our families aren’t strong enough to lift us and they need help to do things like getting us in and out of our beds, wheelchair, etc. I say “we” even though not everybody is the same, I am able to scoot myself around on the floor but I cannot put myself back on the bed like I used to. I can’t even give myself a proper shower and wash my hair like others can, my mom has to help me for those types of things. So in certain parts, I could definitely relate to Will’s attitude towards life.

The other point of the story is whether or not you should be able to end your life. I think that’ll always be a hard subject to talk about, whether it’s caused by bullying or if you in Will’s shoes and you have to live out your life in a wheelchair, never being able to do the things you loved doing before this happened. I will be honest, this is a touchy subject for me as well because I have been suicidal in the past. I’m not as open about it, because I feel like I would never do it despite having those strong thoughts. Sadly those ideas still live deep in my mind.

I see Louisa and Will’s family point of views on the topic, and at times I will pulling for Louisa’s ambition to try to change his mind, but as my mom and sister were discussing one day, if a person is very depressed and suicidal, and if the first time they don’t succeed that doesn’t mean they don’t have a plan B. Sometimes people don’t feel like their situation isn’t going to change, that is their decision on what to do next. It should be a respected thing, they’re not being cowardly, they just don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and for a long time I didn’t either, but somehow I lost those thoughts and began to live and love my life.

I hope I haven’t offended anybody with those two paragraphs (I probably have) but I figured since I was going to this review I would decide to unleash all of my thoughts I had while reading this book. Now I can finally watch the film!

Have you read “Me Before You” yet? What did you like (or didn’t like) about it?

snowflake

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