Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books: December Wrap Up

The last books I read in 2015!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Books: My Thoughts on Soundless by Richelle Mead

SoundlessSoundless by Richelle Mead

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a person who reads for enjoyment. If a story is entertaining, that is all it needs to make me happy. That being said, I have to admit that I was concerned that I wouldn't like this book after hearing some reviews.

I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it! I do agree with others who wish there was more to the story. I feel as though I only scratched the surface of the myth and I would've appreciated more of the mythology throughout the story. Other than that, I thought this book was highly entertaining.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 14, 2015

Reading Challenges for 2016

As of right now, I have read 116 books this year. That is a big difference from the 38 I managed to read last year (I also failed my reading challenge miserably last year, if you remember my post on it). I believe that I was able to read as many books as I did this year in large part to being introduced to BookTube and also the reading challenges and buddy reads that I participated in. In light of this, I thought it would be great to start 2016 off with a bang, and participate in a few challenges right off the bat. I saw the two following challenges over at Laura's (mom2triplets04) blog here.

The first challenge I'm participating in is #RockMyTBR as hosted by Sarah K at the YA Book Traveler. The challenge is to read at least 1 book a month off your TBR. This was something I was thinking about before I heard of this challenge anyway, so I thought that it would be great to be participating with a group. If you're interested in joining, you can click here, and it will take you to the introductory post.

I'm going to read at least one book off my TBR every month next year, but I may try to do more depending on my reading mood. I am also going to have that book be off my physical shelf, and not let it be one that I don't own. As you may or may not know, my TBR shelf on Goodreads includes books that I don't own as well (which is another reason why the total is out of this world lol). If you are interested in buddy reading any of the books on my TBR shelf, I will link it here for you to peruse.

The second challenge I'm joining will be the Finishing the Series Challenge hosted by Bea's Book Nook. Introductory post is here.

This again was something I was considering before I found out about the group. Out of curiosity, I made a list of all the series I am currently in the middle of and the list is almost 3 pages long! I know there are other series that I want to start next year as well, so I better pare down my list to make room. This will be the perfect motivator.

I will be signing up under Level 3 (Experienced) to complete or be current on 3-6 series in the year. Again, I'm not going to make a TBR for this as I do not know which series I will be in the mood for.

Lastly, I will be participating in #TBRTakedown 3.0 as hosted by Shannon at leaninglights from January 4-10. Info post is here. This will be my first time participating in this particular read-a-thon, but I think it will really help me start the year off on the right foot, reading wise. I have not made my TBR for this read-a-thon yet, but once I do, it will be posted on this blog.

Let me know if you will be participating in any of these! Also, I'm looking to do more buddy or group reads in 2016, so if you're interested in buddy reading something with me, please let me know on any of my social media sites or down in the comments. Hope you are all doing great (✿◠‿◠)

Until Next Time, Take Care & Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )

Monday, December 7, 2015

Books: My Thoughts on Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising, #1)Red Rising by Pierce Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Truthfully this is somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for me. I'm going to be honest and say that I really did not start enjoying this book until the half way mark. The very beginning was interesting, but I lost interest after the first 7 chapters. It really wasn't until the plan was starting to be put into action did I start to become invested in the story.

As I read, I had a hard time remembering that the book is supposed to take place on Mars, as the scenery reminds me of Scotland. Probably didn't help that I also listened to a chunk of this on audiobook and the narrator has a slight Scottish accent. That actually helped with the appeal of the story for me, so not a complaint at all.

I will be continuing with the series and am interested to see how Darrow's strategy plays out in the next installment.

View all my reviews

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Books: What's on my Radar for December/Books I'd Like to Read Before 2016

Super up close and personal (〇o〇;) Sorry!

#HarryXmasToYou Read-a-thon/Watch-a-thon Announcement Video by Maureen Keavy here
Goodreads links to books mentioned are below:

Friday, November 27, 2015

Books: My Thoughts on Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Shatter Me, Book 3

Ebook, 393 pages

Read from November 15 to November 22, 2015

I read this book on Scribd here
If you would like a free two month trial to their service, you can get one through my link here

I buddy read this book, as well as the previous two installments with the lovely Christina de Vries. Please check out her blog here

My rating: ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。

Image credit to Goodreads

I pondered for a long time before writing my review, because I didn't know if I would be able to write it without a ton of spoilers. I am going to try here nonetheless. I am not promising there won't be spoilers though, so where they are, I will have them bracketed and hidden. You just need to highlight them to view, if you are interested.

This conclusion to the trilogy was much more interesting and engaging than the previous installment. Though I enjoyed it, the first installment was still the best in my opinion. This final installment did however revive my interest in Dystopian trilogies. I had almost sworn off Dystopian trilogies because for me, all that I've completed before this one had been excellent in the first, okay in the second, and terrible in the last installment.This trilogy ended with an installment that I really enjoyed and did not leave me with feelings of disappointment. It was not without it's faults though.

Everything I disliked about Juliette's character in Unravel Me was completely turned around here, though it did leave me with a feeling of confusion at the beginning of this book. It was almost as if her attitude and actions in book two never happened! *Spoiler here (highlight to view) [How do you go from someone who is anti-social and feeling sorry for herself all the time, to someone who suddenly thinks she can lead an entire army?!?] Despite this, it was nice to see the strong character I perceived her to be in Shatter Me come back.

Before I started this series, I was constantly hearing about Warner. Though I do enjoy Warner's character especially here at the end, it's all about Kenji for me. Without him, I don't think this story would've been as enjoyable as it was to me. He ended up being Juliette's family in a sense and was never afraid to tell her how it was when it was necessary. He was also always there for her when she needed him.

The end of this story did seem rushed to me. There were things that were suddenly dropped on me that I feel I was expected to accept without question. For example, [how is it that all of a sudden she figures out how to be invincible after being told by one of the members of Omega Point that it is possible she could be? She never even put it into practice, and it obviously didn't turn on automatically with what happened in the previous book]. I do understand why, especially in the end, things were happening the way they were, because it does seem like they were the only way the story could get to where it concluded. That being said, a lot of it was all so sudden.

The last section also only seemed to focus on Juliette and Kenji, which had me wondering where the other characters were during what was happening. As someone who usually reads for enjoyment and without critically thinking about what I was reading, it was surprising that I was questioning things as I read. I also wish that there was some sort of epilogue letting us know where our characters were after some time had passed as the very ending felt so abrupt. It did end on a good note though, which I was happy with and I was also pretty satisfied with where our characters were in their lives as well.

Though I have my issues and questions with this story, the entertainment factor was definitely there and this was a solid four star read for me. I highly recommend that you check this trilogy out if you haven't already and I am looking forward to see what story Tahereh Mafi brings us next.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Books: Fall Time Cozy Time Book Tag

My first tag video! I was tagged by Raul (LatinLector). His video is here.

Original tag was created by Novels and Nonsense. Her video is here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Books: My thoughts on NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2 NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's been a few hours since I've finished the book and still have no idea what to say about it.This was a very interesting read, and my first from Joe Hill. I started this on audiobook, but around the halfway point I had to switch to ebook because listening to the vulgar language bothered my ears. Listening to vulgar language is a very different experience for me than reading it and I found that listening to it was taking away from my enjoyment of this story. I am very glad that I switched over because if I hadn't, I might've had to put this book aside.

We start with Vic at seven or eight years old and her first experience with The Shorter Way Bridge. After this initial meeting, we always skip past a few years before we meet up with Vic again, until she grows into an adult. I think the next time we catch up with her is when she's 12, then 17 and so forth. Each time we meet back up with Vic, things have happened to her which molds her into the woman she has become. Though we get glimpses as to what those things were, that's all they were I feel. Being the hunker of a book that this was, I would've preferred more backstory in these areas.

Charles Manx - I was amazed by this character. So much like a child himself, but such a great villain. For a while, I was scratching my head wondering what was going on with him and then as we piece together everything and what importance his Rolls Royce Wraith has, that just made the story for me. I had a predication regarding his license plate before I started this book, and I was very pleased to find out that I was right in a sense.

Some other characters I enjoyed were Lou and Maggie Leigh. There was just a lovable quality about both of them. I'm still not sure how I feel about the very end of this book. **Spoiler (highlight to view) [I don't understand how Lou ends up with Hutter. I personally think the end would've been so much better without them getting together. Not that I don't believe Lou deserved someone, but why Hutter! UGH] Leading up to the very end though, I thought the story was action packed and full of excitement.

I thought this was a highly entertaining read and I am looking forward to reading more by Joe Hill in the future. Gonna go listen to some Christmas music now (*⌒▽⌒*)θ~♪

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Books: Trilogies (Monthly Recommendations)

Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads Group that was created by Booktubers Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters. The Goodreads Group is here, if you would like to join us. This month's topic is Trilogies. I have realized that I don't read too many trilogies, but I do have four to recommend to you this month. Goodreads pages for these trilogies are linked below:

Wondrous Strange Trilogy by Lesley Livingston

The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong

The Forbidden Game Trilogy by L.J. Smith

The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Have you read any of these trilogies or are you planning on reading any of them? If so, please let me know! Also, if you have a trilogy recommendation, I would love to hear it.

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )
/___\     Di

Friday, November 13, 2015

Book Blurb: Edgewise by Graham Masterton

Edgewise Edgewise by Graham Masterton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first Graham Masterton novel and I really enjoyed it! The story was very fluid and easy to read. I really like how it ended as well. I did not agree with how Lily went about things at times, but I can understand her reasoning behind it.

All in all, a great read and I am looking forward to reading other books by this author in the future.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Books: October Wrap Up

I read 6 books in October! Goodreads page links to books I mention in my Wrap Up can be found below.

Christina De Vries channel here

Raul's channel Latin Lector here

Once Haunted, Twice Shy (Peyton Clark #2) by H.P. Mallory

Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi

1st to Die (Women's Murder Club #1) by James Patterson

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Nearly Departed in Deadwood (Deadwood #1) by Ann Charles

Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry

Try Scribd for 2 months free using my link here

Let me know if you read any of these books or if you are planning on reading any of these books!

Take Care and Smi-Le Always,

(   "   )
/___\     Di

Monday, November 2, 2015

Movies: Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) Live Action Movie Parts 1 & 2

My daughter and I were fortunate enough to be able to catch local showings of the live action movies Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) Part 1 and Part 2. Having watched and loved the anime, we thought it would be great to see the characters come to life. I was pre-warned by friends however, to not have high expectations going into it.

Part 1 was pretty similar to the anime, though there were changes that confused me. Not having read the manga, I'm not sure if those changes were in the manga but I kept an open mind. At the end of Part 1, I was pretty satisfied with how the movie was done. The visual gore was a little over the top for me, but I expected it going in, seeing as I knew what to expect from the story. The action scenes were great, I thought The Colossal was amazing and the casting for Hange was spot on, in my opinion. I think that her performance was probably my favorite of both movies.

Then a couple weeks later, we were able to see Part 2. This part, though it did start pretty similar to the anime, was not even close. The story line was completely new to me and there were moments where I wondered to myself what was going on. The action sequences were still very good, and it got really interesting towards the end. The credits started rolling and my inital thought was that I was ok with how it ended. Until the little portion after the credits...there is another scene after the credits that made everyone in the theater ask out loud, "What was that?!". Then I was left in confusion asking myself "What did I just watch?!" ∑(O_O;)

I suppose, I should've gone in expecting nothing, but after how close the first part was to the anime, I guess I did have expectations. That's probably where things went awry for me. You definitely can't watch this part expecting it to be anywhere close to where the story in the anime is. If I had not had expectations, I probably would've enjoyed this part and the story as a whole a lot more than I did.

We thought the anime was so awesome, but unfortunately this movie just didn't come up to par for us, not even close. I definitely have it on my list to read the manga however. All in all, I'm glad we watched these movies, but I will probably not re-watch or purchase it.

Have you seen these movies? What were your thoughts?

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always,

(   "   )
/___\     Di

Image credit:

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Book Blurb: Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry

Rot and Ruin Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zombie books are not usually something I gravitate towards. Before this, the only other book I read about Zombies was Warm Bodies, which I liked but didn't love. This book, however was quite a nice surprise!

The world building was awesome and watching the relationship between our main character Benny and his brother Tom grow, was just heartwarming. This is so much more than a book about Zombies. There's a little mystery, a little teenage romance, and great action scenes.

So glad I came across this unexpected gem and am looking forward to further adventures without cast of characters.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 26, 2015

Book Blurb: Nearly Departed in Deadwood (Deadwood #1) by Ann Charles

Nearly Departed in Deadwood Nearly Departed in Deadwood by Ann Charles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Listened to this on audiobook from Hoopla through my library. This reminded me a lot of Charlaine Harris' Aurora Teagarden series, especially with the realtor aspect of the story. I do think this was a bit more enjoyable though. There were several times where I found myself laughing out loud at some of the dialogue.

There were a few things that I did not enjoy though. The narrator sounded almost computer generated during much of the story, which bothered me a bit. **Spoiler (highlight to view) [I personally thought that Violet should be stronger disciplining her children, especially her daughter who seemed to defy her at every turn and was persistently asking why she couldn't do something. And last but not least, Violet's co-worker who constantly harassed her. No one did anything to stop him or say anything, and she didn't do anything more than flip him the bird. I'm hoping that changes in the future installments.]

I will definitely be continuing this series in the future.

View all my reviews

Friday, October 23, 2015

Books: October Book Haul

So.....I bought some books this month ♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪

Goodreads links to books mentioned below. All links to books in the middle of a series will go to the series page and not the individual books, so you don't have to worry about spoilers.

I also mentioned Scribd in the video. If you haven't heard of this service, it's like Netflix for Ebooks. A subscription includes all you can read Ebooks and one audiobook credit a month, but they also offer a rotating selection of audiobooks you can listen to for free. If you would like to try out their service, you can get a two month free trial here.

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness #5) by Rhys Bowen

Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok Volumes 1 & 2 by Sakura Kinoshita

Backstage Prince Volume #2 by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges #1) by Stephen King

If Hooks Could Kill and For Better or Worsted (Crochet Mystery #7 & #8) by Betty Hechtman

Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus Sequence #3) by Jonathan Stroud

Angel (Maximum Ride #7) by James Patterson

Stunning (Pretty Little Liars #11) by Sara Shepard

Labyrinth (Languedoc #1) by Kate Mosse

Death Swatch, Fiber & Brimstone, and Skeleton Letters (Scrapbooking Mystery #6, #7& #8) by Laura Childs

Steeped in Evil and Ming Tea Murder (Tea Shop Mystery #15 & #16) by Laura Childs

Stake and Eggs and Scorched Eggs (Cackleberry Club Mystery #4 & #6) by Laura Childs

Death at the Door (Death on Demand #24) by Carolyn Hart

State of Fear by Michael Crichton

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Every Trick in the Book, Books Cooks and Crooks, and Played by the Book (Novel Idea #2, #3, and #4) by Lucy Arlington

Honolulu by Alan Brennart

White Night (The Dresden Files #9) by Jim Butcher

Japanese Fairy Book by Yei Theodora Ozaki

Arabian Nights Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish

Jurassic Park/The Lost World by Michael Crichton

On Borrowed Time (Library Lovers Mystery #5) by Jenn McKinlay

The Christmas Cookie Killer and Killer Crab Cakes (A Fresh Baked Mystery #3 and #4) by Livia J Washburn

Deserves To Die (To Die #6) by Lisa Jackson

Double Knit Murders (A Knitting Mystery #1& #2) by Maggie Sefton

That does it! Hopefully I won't pick up any more books this month, but no promises ❣◕ ‿ ◕❣

Until next time, Take Care & Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )
/___\     Di

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Blurb: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven't decided if his is a solid 4 stars or 3.5 stars, but since I round up my ratings, I suppose it doesn't really matter.

This book was slow going for me until after the 50% mark. I found Juliette weak and whiny up until that mark as well. Such a let down after how strong I perceived her to be in the first book. The romantic elements were so over the top, they were unbelievable. It did offer the opportunity for some good banter on it though with the person I buddy read this with.

That being said, after the 50% mark the story flew for me. I did really enjoy it and ended up absorbing the last half in a few hours. My favorite character is still Kenji. He just says what needs to be said and had some great lines/speeches throughout the story. I'm still not sold on Adam or Warner.

At this point, I am looking forward to seeing how the story ends, but I hope that the end does not hold disappointment for me.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Book Blurb: 1st to Die (Women's Murder Club #1) by James Patterson

1st to Die 1st to Die by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My first read by James Patterson. I enjoyed this, but I think if I hadn't watched the TV show before I started reading the series I would've enjoyed this book more. I was surprised with how short the chapters were and it gave me the illusion that the story was just flying by. The case did keep my interest and I will be continuing with the series.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 12, 2015

Knitting: Go Mi Nam - School Spirit Edition

My daughter has been a part of her high school marching band for the last three years, and this year is her final year. Usually during their tournaments, the parents and family in the audience are dressed in spirit wear. I made a scarf during her freshman year and this year, I decided on a hat.

The pattern I used was my own, a take on a hat I saw in the Korean Drama You're Beautiful staring Jang Geun Suk and Park Shin Hye. The original hat was done in one color, but I decided to try my hand at the two-color brioche technique here. It took me a couple of tries to get the join right, but in the end, it came out great!

The band performed their first tournament this past weekend and were awesome, especially for it being their first time out of the gate this season. They were awarded Superior with Distinction, which I believe is the highest score you could be awarded.

As with most music programs, fundraising is imperative for the survival of the program. I am planning on selling a this hat in a variety of color combos to help raise funds for my daughter's high school band program soon in my Etsy store. Keep an eye out here for an announcement post once those hats go up for sale.

Hope you are all doing great!

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )
/___\   Di

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Books: Creepy Reads (Monthly Recommendations)

Goodreads Group here

Trina's Channel (Between Chapters) here

Kayla Rayne's Channel here

The Shining by Stephen King

The Sculptor (Sam Markham #1) by Gregory Funaro - Free as of the day of this post on Kindle Unlimited

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories Re -told by Alvin Schwartz, Illustrated by Dirk Zimmer

Nightmare Inspector:Yumekui Kenbun by Shin Mashiba

Until Next Time, Take Care & Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )
/___\  Di

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Blurb: Once Haunted, Twice Shy (Peyton Clark #2) by H.P. Mallory

Once Haunted, Twice Shy Once Haunted, Twice Shy by H.P. Mallory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to say that I enjoyed the first book more than this one. In this installment, there wasn't the excitement or suspense I felt with the first one and I wasn't as drawn in to the story. This one was heavier in the romance and relationship departments and I was a little let down by the end. Still a fun listen though.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Books: My October 2015 Radar, a TBR of Sorts

Radar just seems like a better term for the books I have in mind for the month. TBR makes me feel like I can't or shouldn't deviate from the books I mention at the beginning of the month. Especially with it being Halloween this month, I'd want to pick up season related books as much as possible!

That being said, here are the books I have on my radar for October. Links for books past the first in the series will take you to the series page on Goodreads and not the actual book page, so you don't have to worry about spoilers:

Destroy Me (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi - buddy read with Christina de Vries (channel here)

Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura #1) by Jonathan Maberry - buddy read with Raul from Latin Lector (channel here)

The Impaler (Sam Markham #2) by Gregory Funaro

Once Haunted, Twice Shy (Peyton Clark #2) by H.P. Mallory

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1) by Liz Braswell

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

The Lost World (Jurassic Park #2) by Michael Crichton

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill

Of course after I filmed this, I found yet another book that I'm hoping to read this month with Bookworm's Buddy (channel here):

Edgewise by Graham Masterton

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )
/___\  Di

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Books: September 2015 Wrap Up

I read 17 books this month! The 6 I read for the read-a-thons are not included in this video, but I linked those wrap up videos below, if you're interested in my mini-reviews on those books.

BookBuddyaThon Wrap-Up & Vlogs

FairytaleaThon Wrap-Ups & Vlogs

Hayate x Blade (Volumes 4 & 5) by Shizuru Hayashiya

The Vines by Christopher Rice

Fairy Tail (Volumes 13 & 14) by Hiro Mashima

Black Bird (Volumes 5, 6, &7) by Kanoko Sakurakoji

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Wrath & and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh (as mentioned in this review, Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov as played by the USSR Symphony Orchestra in 1969)

A Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket

Until next time, Take Care & Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Blurb: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) Audiobook

The Bad Beginning The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed the multi-voice cast, including Tim Curry, Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, and Jude Law. The sound effects were interesting as well, though at times, I thought it took away or even over shadowed the narration. I did actually read the physical copy several years ago and watched the movie rendition, so I'm interested to finally continue this series soon.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Blurb: The Wrath and the Dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this! I was familiar with the premise of A Thousand and One Nights before diving in, but have not actually read it. I did start this on audio and am very thankful I did, as it helped with pronunciation of names and terms. I also had Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov playing in the background while reading, which really helped create an ambiance for the novel.

Of course the question is why the wives are killed each night, but I figured out part of the reason very early on in the story. That did not detract from my enjoyment of this story though, and I think the full reveal was perfect. Also I think there might be a misconception that our male lead is a villain, though I feel it's clearly stated on the book jacket that he is not what he seems.

One thing that I do have issue with is that I did not realize this was going to be the first in a series going in! That being said, I don't feel like the end of this book was a huge cliffhanger and I am at peace waiting for the next one to come out.

View all my reviews

Book Blurb: Gone Girl

Gone Girl Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Finally....I am finally finished with this book. It was almost two months of aggravation and attempted avoidance on my part to finally get here. I am trying very hard not to give this book 1 star, but I don't think I can go any higher than 1.5 stars. I do round up on my ratings, so 2 stars it is.

I think if I didn't enjoy crime shows or stories, this would've appealed to me more, but throughout this book there were a lot of verbals on my part while reading/listening (none of which were nice). The only character I enjoyed was Go. I thought Nick had some redeeming qualities toward the end, but I can't stand Amy. I don't even know if I want to watch the movie now that I know how this unfolds.

Unfortunately because of my experience with this book, I don't know if I want to try another one of Gillian Flynn's books....ever. At this point I would say that if I do, it will be a very, very long time from now.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 21, 2015

Books: BookBuddyaThon 2015 Vlogs and Wrap Up

BookBuddyaThon was from September 7 through September 13. Three books, five challenges, and my first attempt at vlogging!

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

(   "   )

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Knitting: Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! Wombat Hat

My daughter and I watched an anime earlier this year called Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! and in it, there is a character called Wombat. He is totally cute (at least in my opinion), so I decided to try to knit my daughter a hat. This is the result and I'm pretty happy with it. I believe she likes it as well and that's all that matters. For all the deets on what pattern I used and such, you can see my Ravelry page here.

If you're interested in checking out the anime, you can watch it on Crunchyroll here or Funimation here. It is pretty hilarious and I find it a little similar to Sailor Moon, but with a team of boys.

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

(  "  )

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Books: Books Set in Schools (Monthly Recommendations)

Links for this video below:

Monthly Recommendations Goodreads Group here

Trina's (Between Chapters) Channel here

Kayla Rayne's Channel here

Christopher Pike's Author Page on Goodreads here

Until the End (Final Friends, #1-#3)

Chain Letter: Chain Letter; The Ancient Evil (Chain Letter #1-#2)

R.L. Stine's Author Page on Goodreads here

When by Victoria Laurie

Murder for Choir (Glee Club #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1)  by Ally Carter

Ouran High School Host Club, Vol 1 by Bisco Hatori

Ouran High School Host Club Anime here

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Blurb: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now I know what all the fuss was about. This book was great. In the beginning, I was a little concerned with how I would get on with it. The descriptions were beautiful but I was constantly skipping the sentences and phrases that were struck out and would have to remind myself to go back and re-read it before moving forward. I did enjoy what was in those places though, as I thought it gave great insight to what Juliette was really thinking.

This was a very fast, entertaining read and I appreciate that it did not have a cliffhanger ending. Can't wait to delve into the next one.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Books: September TBR including BookBuddyaThon and FairytaleaThon Reads

My first video!

#BookBuddyaThon Links:

My Book Buddy, Christina De Vries channel here

Hosts: ElenaReadsBooks channel here
          ColdTeaandCrumbs channel here

Books Mentioned:
#FairytaleaThon Links:

Hosts: Rebecca Reads channel here
          MadNovels channel here

Books Mentioned:
Other Books Mentioned:

Monday, August 31, 2015

Books: August Wrap-Up

Looks like it's time for my August Wrap-Up! I read 9 books this month and participated in my first Read-A-Thon. Not to shabby if I do say so myself. Links to Goodreads pages for full summaries are included below.

For reviews on the books I read during BookTube-A-Thon, please see the post here. The books included in that post are as follows:

  • Vampire Doll: Guilt-na-Zan, Volume 5 by Erika Kari
  • Wicked Charms (Lizzy & Diesel #3) by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
  • Ghouls Rush In (Peyton Clark #1) by H.P. Mallory
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The next book I read was The Faerie Guardian (Creepy Hollow #1) by Rachel Morgan. Booktuber Benjaminoftomes' Book Club pick of the month was this series. Lots of people read all the books that are currently released, but I just read this one installment.

I really enjoyed this book about spunky guardian Violet Fairdale and her quest to correct a mess she's gotten herself into as well as an adventure in first love. I would've totally continued on with the series, but as it was, I was behind on my TBR picks for the month. I do plan on reading the next installment soon though as I can't wait to find out how the story unravels. If you are insterested in this book, it is still free on Kindle as of the date of this post here. I highly recommend it! 4 stars

Then I dove into Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop. This series has been some of my best reads this year and I do have to thank Booktuber The Gwendolyn Reading Method for the recommendation. The second installment of this series was not as exciting as the first in my opinion, but this book brought back everything I was missing in that second book. The mystery element is back and things are starting to heat up between the humans and the Others. I'm also loving that it looks like things are finally starting to progress in the romance department, but I am not loving the fact that I will have to wait until March for the next installment! A perfect example of why I don't usually start series until all the books are released.   (。•́︿•̀。) 5 stars

My next read was a little out of the usual for me, but there is a good reason. I read I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1) by Ally Carter.

As you may be aware, I joined the Monthly Recommendations Goodreads Group this month. September's theme is books that are set in school. In trying to collect my recommendations for the next month, I realized that I hardly had any books in my arsenal that I could recommend. My daughter had this one in her collection and told me she enjoyed it, so I gave it a shot.

This was a pretty cute book and though I think I would've enjoyed it a whole lot more if I were much younger, I still enjoyed the read. I'm not going to go into any further detail as I will be including it in my recommendations next month, but I did want to also include it in my wrap-up. 3 stars

The Scorch Trials
To end the month, I read The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner. I've had pretty bad experiences with Dystopian series in the past where I like the stories less and less after really enjoying the first book. In this case, I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this installment more than the first and am really looking forward to the movie coming out next month.

The setting wasn't as enjoyable to me in this book as it was in the first. I thought that this trial was interesting but I'm left with even more questions at the end than I had when I started. I'm just hoping everything doesn't go down the drain in the next installment. That may put me off Dystopian series for a very long time.

And that does it! I have several interesting things planned next month, including two new Read-a-thons so stay tuned. I'll be back soon with my TBR for September. What were some of your best reads this month?

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

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Image credit goes to Goodreads

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

KDramas: Bride of the Century

I have been on a Kdrama slump all year. To date I think I have only watched 6 or 7 dramas this year. My average is about 20 dramas yearly. If you've read my previous posts on Kdramas, I did have a watching streak a couple months ago, but I haven't watched a drama since July. You may also notice that I watch my dramas a lot like I read my books. I do not usually watch a drama or read a book when it first comes out and I will usually wait until the entire drama is done or most of the books in a series are out until I start it. This might explain why I haven't gotten around to this drama until now. Let me tell you that this drama was so good, I not only started it this weekend but I also finished it! It's been a very long time since I've been able to say that about any drama.

The drama I'm talking about is Bride of the Century with Lee Hong Ki and Yang Jin Sun. The story revolves around Choi Kang Ju, who is the eldest son and heir to the Taeyang Group, the largest conglomerate in South Korea. His family is said to have been cursed the last hundred years, that the first bride of the eldest son will always die. At the start of the drama, Kang Ju is engaged to Jang Yi Kyung, the daughter of the CEO of Ohsung Corporation. This engagement was arranged by their parents and Kang Ju is very cold and indifferent to Yi Kyung, going as far as to tell her that she is his puppet.

It is not long after this incident that Yi Kyung decides she wants to have nothing to do with Choi Kang Ju and disappears. Yi Kyung's mom gets anxious because she needs the relationship with Taeyang Group to keep Ohsung Corporation afloat. Luckily her stepson Yi Hyun has just met Yi Kyung's doppelganger Na Doo Rim, who saved him from a falling brick at his construction site. Yi Hyun and his step mom scheme a plan to have Doo Rim step in to impersonate Yi Kyung until Yi Kyung is found. Only because Doo Rim needs the money to pay for her grandma's hospital bills, does she accept.

Doo Rim is the complete opposite of Yi Kyung. With a bright personality and warm smile, she slowly but surely she starts breaking down Kang Ju's walls and he begins to fall in love with her. As the story progresses, the curse becomes more and more prominent. First there are rumors and then flash backs to what happened to Kang Ju's father's first wife, which make the curse more believable. This throws a whole new situation into the story and scheming between Yi Kyung's mom and Kang Ju's mom begins. Of course, Kang Ju still has no idea that the person he knows as Yi Kyung has been an entirely different person!

This drama has everything I enjoy in a drama - a bit of mystery, a bit of paranormal, and a bit of romance. Sure there were some instances where I thought things were happening that weren't believable (how can you not know that your fiancé has been swapped out with another person!), but I still enjoyed this drama immensely. Everything was wrapped up nicely I thought and the soundtrack is awesome. I will definitely be adding it to my collection.

My next drama? I have been recommended Oh My Ghostess by a few of my drama watching friends recently. I watched Episode 1 last night and it does look like a winner. Will report back once I'm done.

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

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Image Credit to DramaFever

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Books: Underrated Books (Monthly Recommendations)

I recently joined the new Goodreads Group Monthly Recommendations created by BookTubers Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters where we are recommending books around a different theme every month. This month's theme is Underrated Books. As we close in on Halloween, I thought it to be the perfect time to recommend to you not a single book, but one of my favorite series over the last year. I'm talking about the Ghost Hunter Mystery Series by Victoria Laurie.

If you like cozy mysteries with a little spook, I think you'll enjoy this series. Some of the books in the series are more spooky than others, but they were all entertaining to me. I don't think many people know about this series so I thought it would be a great one to recommend! I do not remember how I was introduced to this series at all, but I do know that the first book in the series, What's a Ghoul to Do?, was added to my TBR shelf on January 1, 2012 (Thanks Goodreads!). It wasn't until March 2013 when I discovered the books at my library while browsing. I wasn't actively looking for them, but the first five books were available so I decided to jump right in. Over the next 11 months, I consumed all 9 books that are currently out in the series.

The series is about a gifted spiritual medium MJ and her gay best friend and business partner Gilley (he's awesome by the way), as they build their business helping to rid places of evil spirits and helping other spirits to cross over. Think Ghostbusters meets Ghost Whisperer. Each book is a new case and takes you to a different destination. I believe you can read them out of order though I did not. My favorites were book 5 Ghouls, Ghouls, Ghouls and book 7 What a Ghoul Wants because well, they were set in Ireland and Scotland for one, o(〃^▽^〃)o but the cases were exciting as well. Book 7 would be one that I considered more spooky than the others also.

I really hope you check this series out and if you do, please let me know! I would love to discuss these books with you ゚・✿ヾ╲(。◕‿◕。)╱✿・゚ Let me know if you have an underrated book you think I should know about!

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always

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Image credit goes to Ashlee' s Books-Oh How I LOVE You♥ Board on Pinterest

Monday, August 10, 2015

Books: BookTube-A-Thon 2015 Wrap Up

I participated in the BookTube-A-Thon for the first time this past week. It was super fun and I was able to read 5 books and complete 4 of the Reading Challenges. I'm pretty proud of myself (✿´‿`) Links to Goodreads for full summaries are included below.

The first book I read was Vampire Doll: Guilt-na-Zan, Vol. 5. I had bought this back in 2012 and hadn't read it until now. Being that I read Volume 4 in 2011, the story line was a little rusty to me. I was able to get back into it though and it was a light enjoyable read. If you haven't read the series, it's about a vampire aristocrat who'd been sealed away over 100 years ago. He was recently revived but as a female doll and can only transform to his true self by the blood of Tonae. The story line is slightly hilarious which makes for enjoyable reads.

I completed two challenges with this read: Complete a book without letting go of it and read a book who's author shares the same first letter in their surname as you. 3 stars

I then moved on to Wicked Charms (Lizzy & Diesel #3) by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton. I didn't choose this read for any specific challenge, just that I was on the wait list for it from the library and it became available to me. I do really enjoy this series. Each book is a magical treasure hunt with cupcakes and cookies. Glo never fails to make me LOL and Hachet...well, you'll have to read the books to find out about him. Just a word of advice: don't read on an empty stomach. 3 stars

My next read was Ghouls Rush In (Peyton Clark #1) by H.P. Mallory. I read and listened to this from Kindle Unlimited, which I recently subscribed to. I had previously read the first book in this author's Jolie Wilkins series and really enjoyed that, so I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this as well. I was not disappointed at all. Highly recommend if you enjoy cozy mysteries with paranormal elements.

The story follows Peyton as she starts her new life post-divorce as she is surprised to discover that a long lost aunt has willed her her home in New Orleans. Appreciative of this opportunity for a fresh start, Peyton discovers that New Orleans offers more than just new surroundings, new friends and a possible new love interest. Upon renovating her new home, she discovers that it has a connection an unsolved mystery from the past. She can't just let things be, so she delves into the mystery with gusto trying to figure it out.

This book completed the challenge to read a book with blue on the cover. 4 stars

Next up, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. When I joined Goodreads in 2009, this was the first book I put on my TBR shelf and there it stayed, until this week! Since I'm sure everyone already knows what this book is about, I'll move straight onto my review.

I really enjoyed this book! The only thing that took away from that was......Lex. Oh man, I could not stand that child. Everything else was excellent. Very different from the movie, which makes me glad that I read this after seeing it. I think if I had read this back before the movie came out, I would not have enjoyed the movie as much as I did and still do.

This book completed the challenge to read a book I really wanted to read. It's also one of the books I have on my August TBR. 4.5 stars

As my final book of the BookTube-A-Thon, I finished The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Again, I'm sure everyone knows what this is about so I'll get to my thoughts.

I enjoyed this book, but I think I liked the movie better. I actually watched it before reading it. Now that I've read it, I think they did an excellent job with the movie.

The slang got on my nerves a bit and Gally was just as annoying in the book as he was in the movie. That being said, I did enjoy learning more about the day to day jobs in The Glade as well as a few other things (which I will leave out to avoid spoilers). Will be starting on The Scorch Trials soon, but not immediately. 

This book did not complete a challenge either, just counted towards my total and another book on my August TBR. 3 stars

And that's a wrap! I read a total of 1595 pages in the last week. That is definitely a feat for me! I had a really great time participating in this read-a-thon and have already been invited to participate in the October Scare-A-Thon, which sounds exciting. If you'd like to join that too, please check out the Goodreads group here.

Did you participate in BookTube-A-Thon? What books and challenges did you complete? I did try a new format for the post also, so let me know if you like the books to the side like this or in the middle as before, thanks!

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Books: My August TBR

I've been reading quite a bit lately. Thought I'd share with you what my To Be Read line up looks like for this month. It will be a month of books with movies already made or books with movies that are coming out. I don't usually have a theme that I go by when I read, but it just turned out this way. Links to the Goodreads pages are included if you'd like to read the summaries.

My plan is to start with Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton 

This book has been in the #1 slot of my TBR list since I started Goodreads in 2008. After watching Jurassic World, I decided now would be as good a time as ever to finally request a copy from the library. There was quite a bit of a wait list for it, but it was finally released to me a few days ago and I've already started on it.

The next books are in plan, but in no particular order.

The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Bought these books on Kindle when the first movie was being hyped for release and have not read them yet. I do not like to watch movies until I have read the book usually, but my Mom happened to buy the Blu-Ray for me for Christmas, so I made an exception. Now with the second installment's movie looming, I thought I should get caught up. 

Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern

I have had a physical copy of this book on my shelf since I watched P.S. I Love You years ago. When I watched that movie, I did not know it was based on a book. Once I found out, I decided to check out the author's other work and picked this one up. I believe the movie for this one is coming out in the fall, but I'm not sure of the exact date.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

No, I haven't read this yet and I have not watched the movie either. I do really need to get to this soon.

Since all of these books are on my current TBR list, I will not be doing a Surprise TBR pick this month. In addition to the above, I know that I do have a couple of books on wait list from the library, so if any of those come in, they will be read with priority as I probably won't be able to renew them. I also decided to participate in my first BookTubeAThon this month, so there will be additions to hopefully fulfill some of those challenges as well. Please feel free to follow my progress on Twitter!

Hope you are all doing great! What's on your TBR for this month?

Take Care and Don't Forget to Smi-Le Always!

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Crochet: Fall Comfort Throw

Finished this blankie for my Sister-in-law's new niece. All done with Caron Simply Soft yarns. It did take me a while to finish, not because the pattern is hard, but I put this project on the side a few times. When I started it, it wasn't for anyone in particular so there was no rush to complete it.

This is actually the second blanket I've made from this pattern and I think it is very pretty. The pattern is free on Red Heart if you are interested. You can check my pattern page on Ravelry here for specifics in regards to the materials used.

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Books: July Wrap-Up

After failing my 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I'm happy to say that I am doing a great job so far this year. I have already exceeded the goal I set for myself, with the help of several manga that I have read in the last few months. Lately, I have been obsessed with BookTube. (Thanks Lee for introducing me to it! Her blog is - if you haven't checked it out, please do!) Anyway, that inspired this post, which I think would be a good addition to my blog and help me to post more often. Links to Goodreads are included below if you would like to read the summaries.

Starting off with my Surprise TBR Pick #2 for June Mona Lisa Darkening (Monère: Children of the Moon #4) by Sunny.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I picked this book as the Surprise TBR Pick #2, but had not read the 3rd book yet, so I switched to that one instead. These books can be read as stand alone novels, but there are elements that continue throughout. I prefer to read them in order for this reason. This was a pretty quick read for me and enjoyable. We get introduced to some new characters, well as and NetherHell, another realm in the world. There's only one more book currently out in this series, which was released quite a few years ago. Not sure if the author has plans to continue. Gave this one 4 stars.

Next up I read Mugen Spiral Vol 2 by Mizuho Kusanagi.

This was the last volume in the fantasy manga duology. A fast read and enjoyable, though the end was very open. 3 stars.

Continuing on with manga, I read Hayate Cross Blade Vol 2 & 3 by Shizuru Hayashiya

This series is just silly. After I read the first volume, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue. My daughter enjoys it though so I thought I'd just continue reading since she checked these out from the library. These were better, but still silly. 3 stars each.

Murder Princess Volume 2 by Sekihiko Inui

Another end to a duology. This one I found very interesting. Will need to watch the anime in the future. 4 stars.

Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Listened to most of it on audio at Scribd but towards the end, switched to eBook because I was anxious to see what was going to happen. The narrators were good, don't get me wrong, but I just got impatient =)

The book does end with a hint of suspense, but not a major cliffhanger in my opinion. All in all, an enjoyable read and am looking forward to the sequel. 4 stars.

Spellcasting in Silk (A Witchcraft Mystery #7) by Juliet Blackwell

As expected, another great read from Juliet Blackwell! I enjoyed watching Lily and Sailor's relationship grow, as well as both of them trying to get past some jealousy issues and insecurities. Looking forward to the next installment. 4 stars.

Grey by E.L. James

I also listened to this on Scribd. I have to admit, I did not like this as much as Fifty Shades of Grey. The narration was very slow, but I did enjoy learning Christian's history as well as the extra part at the end between where Fifty Shades ends and Darker begins. 3 stars.

Murder of Crows (Others #2) by Anne Bishop

Another audiobook from Scribd. I really enjoy this series, but this book I enjoyed just a smidgen less than Written in Red. The quest to find The Controller and the rest of the cassandra sangue was interesting though the mystery element of the story wasn't as exciting to me as it was in the first installment. Still a great read though and am looking forward to the next one. 4 stars.

And last but not least, Beautiful Monster (Beautiful Monster #1) by Bella Forrest

The first in the duology, it's an easy read, especially if you like stories with vampires. The main female as well as a side character both have HIV so the story does mention living with this illness. It does end with a twist, but not one that makes me want to dive right into the next one. As a side note, I do like this new cover much better than the one that it had when I downloaded it. 3 stars.

And that does it, whew! That was a lot. I don't usually read this much in a month, but being that it is summer time, I got to fit a few more in. What were your favorite books of the month?

Until next time, Take Care and Smi-Le Always!

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