Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November Snapshots

I've been neglecting my blog this month but I have been so busy between school and having family over for both my sister's wedding and Thanksgiving. I didn't have a lot of chances to take photos this month but I did capture the most important events...

1. My sister's wedding was at the beginning of the month and that was one of the longest weekends of my life but her wedding turned out great and I had a lot of fun. For her wedding, one of my other sisters made like two hundred paper flowers and the above photos is of my bouquet.

2. "I'm not throwing away my shot..." I voted in my first presidential election and even though the outcome was not what I anticipated, I have no doubt that love will conquer over the next four years.

3. And obviously the most important event of the month, the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I absolutely loved the movie, and I've already seen it three times! I love everything that J.K. Rowling writes and I love that we are getting more from the Wizarding World. I will always love Harry Potter, but the release of this movie has rekindled my love in full force and I got really emotional on Instagram when I posted this photos.

So those are some of things that happened to me in November. I have two weeks left of classes for the semester, then Christmas will be here, and blogging during the holiday season is one of my all time favorite times. So I'll be able to share a lot of the photos I've taken then and catch up on my reading (I've only had time to read eight books so far this month *sigh*) - Jessica

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Books I Read in October

Life has been getting a little crazy lately and I was finally able to type up and share which books I read in October. I managed to read 9 books and a graphic novel last month, so here is what I read and some of my thoughts and opinions on them.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - This is the sequel to Six of Crows, which followed Kaz and his crew of criminals and misfits as they pull of an impossible heist. I enjoyed Six of Crows but I didn't love it, with this books I was able to appreciate the characters and their story more. I really love the character development in this book, and I loved the story that I followed. I think this was a great conclusion to these two books, but I would not mind in the slightest if Leigh Bardugo decided to write more from this world and of these characters.

True Letters From a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan - This book follows, James, a high school soccer player, who starts to realize he has feelings for guys. This book sold me over when I saw that it was compared to as the male version of To All the Boys I've Loved Before (which is one of my favorites). I really liked this book and I really admire how the author handled the topic of coming out. I did have some problems with plot issues but I like how everything came together in the end.

The Rose Society and The Midnight Star by Marie Lu - These are the last two books in The Young Elites Trilogy, which revolves around the anti-hero, Violetta, who has the power of crafting illusions. I had no idea where Marie Lu was going to take these two books because the first book ended on a major plot twist, but I ended up really enjoying these two books. I like how Violetta was characterized and how she grew as a character, even though I couldn't relate to her. I also really liked how this series wrapped up and I can't wait to see what Marie Lu writes next.

Replica by Lauren Oliver - This book is a "flip book" that follows two girls, Lyra and Gemma, who each carry stories that intersect. When I heard about this book, I was immediately intrigued by the premise, and I ended up alternating chapters (Lyra then Gemma) while reading it. I love how the plot was crafted and how the stories lined up. I liked Oliver story but I do think the plot fell a little flat in the end. I am still really looking forward to the next book because I like how the stories were told.

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle - This book revolves around Quinn, an aspiring screenwriter but after his sister passed in a car accident, he trying to figure out how the type of person he wants to be. I liked this book, I enjoyed the characters and I liked the writing style, especially how some parts were written as a screenplay.

Saga, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples - This is the second volume in a graphic novel series that centers around Hazel, who was born to two different species that have been at war with each other. I enjoyed this volume, especially the world building. I still think this is a really cool concept and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the series.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - This is the second book in The Illuminae Files Trilogy, which is a SI-FI series told entirely through files (emails, audio transcriptions, documents...). I absolutely loved the first book in this trilogy, it was one of my favorite books that I read last year, and this book had a lot to live up to. I loved this book, but I didn't love it as much as the first book. I love how the authors challenge my imagination as I'm reading their stories, and their writing is fantastic. I love how this book answered a lot of questions from the first book, but also asked so many questions and I can't wait to read how everything wraps up in the last book (which is expected to be published in fall 2017).

The Archived and The Unbound by Victoria Schwab - This series revolves around Mackenzie, who is a Keeper, aka someone who captures the dead waking souls, Histories, and returns them to the Archive. The world that Schwab has created in this story is so complex and deep but I had a lot of trouble connecting to the main character and I didn't really care for her story in the first book. I liked the second book a lot more and I like the direction that the author took the series. Schwab has confirmed that there will be a third book in the series, but not much else has been announced. I will definitely be reading the third book when it comes out, because I think that there is still more left to this story.

And those are the books that I read in October. November has already been a really slow reading month for me, but I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving break next week to catch up on my reading goal. - Jessica