Monday, November 30, 2015

November Snapshots


1 & 2. I really love the new trend of adult coloring books and I also love that Scholastics jumped on the wagon is releasing Harry Potter coloring books. I've only managed to work on two so far, a lot of the designs look hard but they're really pretty and I can't wait to do all of them. 


3. My car loaded up after my trip to Ikea! 4. And my bookshelves! I previously posted them early this month, but I love them so much and I wanted to share them again.  


5. I obviously had to get the vinyl edition of Pentatonix's new album to complete my collection. I am aware that I have an obsession with them...


6. And these are the newest editions to my bookmark collection. They're all from Happy Hello Art on Etsy and I've purchased from that shop several times and I've loved everything I've received. I'm especially in love with Luna and Dorian, I've been getting a lot of uses out of them. 

- Jessica

Friday, November 27, 2015

It's Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas


Thanksgiving has come and gone and now it's officially time to listen to Christmas songs! I've been listening to a little bit of Christmas music since after Halloween, but now I'm ready to go all out. I've always loved Christmas music but for the past two years I've been obsessed with Pentatonix's versions, and I've been waiting practically all year to be able to listen to them again. In preparation I got the deluxe edition and the vinyl of That's Christmas To Me (even though I already own the standard edition... I know I have a Pentatonix obsession). I'm honestly so excited for this season and I put together a playlist of some of my favorite Christmas songs which you can listen to here or down below. - Jessica



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Bookshelves


Since around April of this year, I've been talking a lot about getting new bookshelves. I had dreams of tall white bookshelves and I would start planning on how I would arrange them. And this week, I finally had the chance to go to Ikea and get them. I got two Billy units, a wide and a skinny one. I managed to avoid a major mishaps while building them and only walked away with a couple of small cuts, so overall they were pretty easy to build. I really love how they ended up turning out, and the fact that I don't have to look at the huge stack of books that were piling up to my waist anymore.


Obviously the first thing that I had to put up on the shelves were my Harry Potter books. And because they're my favorite books, and because I own multiple copies of each book they got there own shelf. They shelf next to it houses my Harry Potter with the Gryffindor sword, my overflow J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter books, and also my two Jane Austen. I've been eyeing the Vintage Classic editions of Jane Austen's books, and I've slowly been adding two my collection, so far I have Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility.


My Sarah J. Maas books also got there own shelf and I'm a little obsessed with how perfect they all fit on the shelf. And I know that eventually they won't all fit perfectly on this shelf for long because she's not done writing either series, but for now I'm in love with it. 


The shelf directly underneath my Harry Potter books houses my favorite YA Contemporaries and I love how colorful and pretty this shelf is.

And that's a brief overview of my new bookshelves. Eventually I want to do a tour of my bookshelves, once I find a way to organize them a bit more. These shelves are brand new and they're already almost full, I know eventually I'm going to need another shelf because I can't stop buying more books. - Jessica

EDIT: Check out my updated bookshelves here!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Books I Read In October


October was a pretty decent reading month for me, I didn't have a whole lot of reading time toward the end of the month but I still managed to read a total of 11 books. Here are the books I read and my thought on them:

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell - Sophie is an orphan, who was found in a cello case after being involved in a ship wreck, but years later she believes her mother is still alive and goes on a quest to find her. This is a middle grade book and the style and writing reminded me a lot of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. It's a book that I wish had been out when I was a younger, because I would have loved it then. I love that Sophie didn't feel pressured to be a "proper girl" during her time, and insisted on learning to play the cello and wearing pants. I also love how her guardian, Charles, allowed it and I really liked their dynamic. Even though I loved aspects of this book, I was a little unsatisfied with the ending and I wish there had been an extra chapter or an epilogue.  I still really enjoyed reading this book now, I loved the whimsical feeling I got while reading it.

Sway by Kat Spears - This book revolves around Jesse, or "Sway," a high school student who is hired by the football captain to make a girl fall in love with him. The narration of this book reminded me a lot of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, because they both have really blunt and funny narrators. I really enjoyed the plot of this book and the cast of characters. I felt that the romance aspect could have been developed a little better, but it came together in the end. Overall this was a really enjoyable read, and I think a lot of people will resonate with it's message.

Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat - This book revolves around Ivy and her family after they move from their upper class neighborhood to a neighborhood with a bad reputation. I absolutely loved this book, I became so engulfed in the story and read it in one sitting. I really loved Ivy's character, and I really enjoyed reading about her connection to music. I also really enjoyed the romance aspect of this book, and it is one of the few books that has a love triangle that didn't annoy me. There were some aspects of this book that I felt were underdeveloped, especially Ivy's family, I felt like the writer only explored the surface of their characters. But overall I absolutely loved the story and the message.

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs - This is the last installment of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children trilogy. This book was a really satisfying end to the trilogy, over the course of the series I developed and attachment to the characters and I really enjoyed how everything came together in the end. Overall I really liked how the story developed over the course of the series, and I'm interesting to see if the author writes more about this universe.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - This book follows Simon Snow, a character introduced in Rowell's Fangirl. In that book, Cath is obsessed with the Simon Snow books (a series meant to parallel Harry Potter), and throughout the story there are little snippets of the fictional books and snippets of Cath's fan fictions about the characters. This book is Rowell's story of the characters, and initially while reading it, I picked up on some of the similarities between it and Harry Potter but this story is so different. Simon is an orphan, who discover's that he's a wizard is prophesied to defeat an evil wizard, but he's an unlikely hero and he has trouble controlling his magic. I absolutely loved EVERYTHING about this book. I developed a huge emotional attachment to the characters, and I became engulfed in the story. The world that Rowell created in this book is so fascinating, and I loved the idea that spells can be popular phrases and that words are the true source of magic. And the romance between Simon and Baz, I completely understand why Cath writes fan fiction about them, because I ship them so hard. I'd absolutely would love for Rowell to write more books set in this world, because I feel that there's so much more that she could tell. This is absolutely my favorite of Rainbow Rowell's book and I'm definitely going to be rereading it soon.

Starry Night by Isabel Gillies - This story follows Wren after she meets and boy and feels that her whole life has changed. This was a really interesting read for me, I liked it but there were a lot of moments that frustrated me. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing, and Wren did some things that made me cringe. The story was a little slow, but about half way through I did get into and I was satisfied with the ending and the message that I got out of it.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales - This book follows Elise, who is an outsider until she discovers her niche at a nightclub and becomes a popular DJ. I would like to mention right off the bat that this book has major suicidal triggers. Through out this book Elise did some immature things (like Wren in Starry Night) that bothered me, and because of that I had trouble getting into this book initially. Some aspects of this book that I really enjoyed were the music aspects, Elise's journey, and the romantic relationship was really realistic and different from most YA relationships. Overall this was an enjoyable read, and I'm planning on reading more of Sales books in the future.

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston - This is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, where Lo-Melkhiin has married and killed over 300 girls, and to save her sister the main character tricks Lo-Melkhiin her instead. I really enjoyed reading this book, and it felt more like a traditional fairy tale then a majority of the retellings that I've read. I was really liked the magical element of the story, and I felt that was really well developed. One of the things that I found really interested was that the only character to really have a name is Lo-Melkhiin, even the narrator didn't have a name throughout the story, and I just felt that was so unique to this book. As much as I enjoyed this book I felt that the ending (before the epilogue) was rushed and could have been developed more.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - This book follows Mikey and his friends during the last couple of weeks of their senior year, while "the chosen ones" are trying to save the world. I was really intrigued by the concept of this story and how it brings the idea that everybody's lives are complicated. I really liked the satirical take to the hero's story and how it was told in short little paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter, and how they intertwined with the main storyline. This book was really different than what I expected it would be and I ended up really enjoying it. While reading this I did wish for more background development and world building, because it is such an interesting concept. This is the first Patrick Ness book that I've read, and I'm really looking forward to reading more of his book soon.

The Diviners by Libba Bray - This is the first book in a paranormal series, that takes place in New York City during the 1920's. This book follows several characters who all have "secret powers," and are involved in solving a series of murders. I really enjoyed the setting of this book, and reading about the slang and trends during the 1920's. This book was pretty slow paced, but I enjoyed how the story developed and I liked the characters and their development. I also really liked how this book is a combination of paranormal fantasy, historical fiction, and mystery in one, it was such an interesting combination but I felt that it really worked for this novel. I really enjoyed this book, I think that it's a great start to a series and I'm looking forward to reading the second book and seeing how this story continues to develop.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - This is the first book in a trilogy and is told entirely through files (emails, transcrips, documents, ect.). This book primarily follows Kady and Ezra, on the day they break up their planet is invaded and how they have to survive afterwards. This book was absolutely amazing! It was cleverly told, terrified me, and just completely hooked me from the beginning. I loved how the files told the story and how visually stunning this book is. The science fiction element of this book absolutely scared me, and I can't stop thinking about how technology could one day turn on humanity. And I absolutely loved the romance in this book, it was so well done and developed. I just absolutely loved everything this book and I can't wait for the rest of the series to come out.

I also managed to read about half of the illustrated edition of the first Harry Potter book, but I'll share my opinions on it during my November reads post. The last book in the Lunar Chronicals, Winter by Marrisa Meyer comes out on Tuesday and I'm already prepared to read it in one sitting, I've just been waiting for it for so long. I've got a pile of other books that I'm planning to read this month and I'll be updating my Goodreads account as a I read them if you'd like to view my progress for the month. - Jessica