31 July 2017

A Month in Review: July

Once again I have had a brilliant reading month! I read a whole lot this month and I was super shocked at how much I enjoyed most of the stuff I read. Work has been crazy, but fortunately I'm becoming adjusted to it. I made a major life decision to go vegan and it's been a journey. I must say I have been feeling better so this is something I definitely want to continue. Keep reading to see what I've made it through this month!




These were some of my favorites for the month. Keep reading to see the full list!


  • A Court of Thorns & Roses 
  • Komomo Confiserie Vol. 3
  • Giant Days Vol. 4
  • The Bear Ate Your Sandwich 
  • First Grade Drop Out
  • The Secrets We Keep 
  • Fresh Romance Vol. 1
  • Everything, Everything 
  • Serafina & The Black Cloak 
  • A List of Cages 
  • One of Us Is Lying 
  • Preacher Vol. 1
  • Nooks & Crannies
  • Lumberjanes Vol. 2
  • Saga, Vol. 7 
  • When Dimple Met Rishi 
  • Birthright Vol. 1
  • Harry Potter & The Sorcerers Stone
  • Geekerella 
  • The End of Oz
  • Stef Soto Taco Queen 
  • Giant Days. Vol 5
  • All American Boys 
  • Monster Vol. 1
  • Masterminds: Payback 
Okay so I noticed that I'm still mainly readers authors from the US, but I must say a lot of them have been containing diverse characters so I may actually start keeping track of that information. I think it'll be good to see what types of characters I'm reading about. I read a lot of YA and honestly I'm not sure why. I haven't been reading that much YA, but for some reason this month I was all about getting through some YA books haha ! And I actually read some picture books! Thank goodness. Overall, this was a good month even in terms of rating. I pretty much enjoyed everything I read with the exception of one book which ended up receiving two stars. 

This month I read a total of 6120 pages which is the most I've read all year. That number is mind blowing to me. That means on average I was reading almost 200 pages a day! That brings my total for the year up to 28,581 pages! 

Here's what I posted on the blog this month! 


I hope everyone had a fantastic July!! 

27 July 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (Video Review)


Publication: May 30th, 2017 
# of Pages: 380 
Source: Library 
Genre: Contemporary 


Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.




Hey guys so I'm back with another video review! I think that whenever I post a review of my books on my YouTube channel then I'll definitely transfer the review to this page. It seems like the most logical thing to do. Anyway with that being said here is another review that I did of When Dimple Met Rishi. Although I enjoyed the book, I found the ending to be a little too long and I actually found myself skimming through some pages. If you're a huge fan of contemporary then I think that you'll find this book enjoyable.




24 July 2017

The End of Oz by Danielle Paige



Published: March 14, 2017 
# of Pages: 304 
Source: Library Copy 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository 


Ding dong—Dorothy is dead.

I watched as the Emerald Palace crumbled to the ground, burying Dorothy, the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone, under the rubble. And now that the rightful ruler, Ozma, has been restored to the throne…

Oz is finally free.

My name is Amy Gumm. You might remember me as the othergirl from Kansas. When a tornado whisked me away to the magical land of Oz, I was given a mission: Dorothy must die.

But it turns out girls from Kansas are harder to kill than we look.

Now the Road of Yellow Brick is leading me away from Oz to the dark world of Ev, where I have a new, powerful enemy to deal with: the Nome King. And—surprise—he has a gingham-clad bride.

With my magical shoes and a shrinking group of allies, I have one final chance to fulfill my mission, and save not only what’s left of Oz, but Kansas, too. As the line between Good and Wicked blurs even further, I have to find a way to get rid of Dorothy once and for all—without turning into a monster myself.

Dorothy once said there’s no place like home. Can I stop her from destroying mine?


This conclusion of the Dorothy Must Die series was definitely a tad bit different than the picture I painted in my head; however, I must say that it was well-written and contained a much better story-line than the third book. It still doesn't hold a candle to the first two books; however, it was an interesting conclusion with unexpected twists and turns. 

One of the most engaging aspects of this books definitely came in the form of a living and breathing Dorothy. Not only has the wicked, cruel woman survived, but she also gets her own perspective. At first, reading and getting a grasp of Dorothy's voice proved to be rather difficult; however, for some odd reason I grew adjusted to it and actually enjoyed her ridiculous perspective of everything that was occurring around her. She was just as clueless and self-absorbed as she was in the first few books and I ABSOLUTLEY LOVED IT! I know it may sound weird that I actually enjoyed a character that was all about self; however, you must understand Dorothy's extremely awkward sense of humor. She's crass, selfish, conceited, and just around awful, but it's hilarious and I was definitely glad to see her back in the action. We are also introduced to some new characters that I definitely enjoyed seeing incorporated into the framework of the story. 

Unfortunately what I didn't necessarily enjoy about the book came from the fact that the series was three books. Once again, I didn't think or feel like that was necessary to the development of the plot. I still, in this moment, do not understand the inclusion of the Nome King to the series. Granted he plays a role in the original books by Frank L. Baum; however, he just didn't seem to serve a purpose in this book. We, as readers, find out that he's after Dorothy's shoes, but we never learn if he can even truly utilize them to his full advantage. There were a lot of loose strings concerning this character and quite frankly it really seemed as though he was added as filler. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad to see him incorporated into this book as the one before. 

Overall, I think that this conclusions illustrated the better aspects of Danielle Paige's writing. The plot was quick-paced, there was a lot of humor, and just enough darkness to make the story twisted. Nevertheless, I don't think I'll every be as enthralled as I was with the first book. If you enjoyed the series I would definitely recommend reading this book for the simple fact that it does contain a lot of good elements that the third book missed. There are new characters, some romance, adventure, and new revelations: everything that a conclusion should contain. Nevertheless, I have this feeling we may see more from this world in the future. There are still some unanswered questions about both Kansas and Oz. 



22 July 2017

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Video Review)


Publication: May 5th, 2015 
# of Pages: 421
Source: Library Copy 
Genre: Fantasy 


Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.


Okay guys so I'm doing something a little different. I actually have already completed a video review of A Court of Thorns and Roses on my YouTube channel so instead of doing a full written review I decided to do a post surrounding that video. Before watching video understand that I went into this book with low expectations. I originally read Maas's Throne of Glass and while I enjoyed it I had no explicit urge to finish the series or keep up with it. Fortunately my experience with this book was extremely different and I definitely enjoyed every single moment of this book. Click the video and find out some more about why I enjoyed this great fantasy! 


21 July 2017

Friday #56, #36 Geekerella by Ashley Poston

The Friday #56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's VoiceJoin in every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you've been reading. Here are the rules:

  • Grab a book 
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your e-reader
  • Find any sentence (or a few, don't spoil it) 

**Be sure to post the links to your Friday #56 below!




Happy Reading!!! 

This week I'm highlighting a book that I've technically finished 30 minutes before this post goes live! haha But at least I can tell you that this book was cute and quirky and everything that any fan-girl could possibly want. If you're a fan of fairy tale re-tellings then this definitely would be the book for you as it takes the ordinary tale of Cinderella and incorporates it into something beautiful and unique. As you can see I really enjoyed the book and look forward to seeing more from this author. 













When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

20 July 2017

Children's Corner: Frozen Movie Review

Hey guys! It's been a while since I've done a movie review so it's definitely about that time! I'm so excited that I've created the children's corner on my blog to feature children related book reviews, movie reviews, and tips & advice. If you're interested be sure to check out the other reviews!

Today I'll be doing a review on the movie Frozen. I know that it's old; however, I watched it again for the first time in a couple of years and I was really excited to actually write a review about it. Soooo let's get started!!!


Director: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee

Actors/Actresses
  • Anna: Kristen Bell 
  • Elsa: Indina Menzel 
  • Kristoff: Jonathon Groff
  • Olaf: Josh Gad
  • Hans: Santino Fontana
  • Duke of Weselton: Alan Tudyk
  • Grand Pabbie, the Troll King: Ciaran Hinds
  • King of Arendelle: Maurice LaMarche 
  • Queen of Arendelle: Jennifer Lee 
Genre: Animated Musical/Fantasy 

Rating: PG 

Brief Plot Analysis: Frozen, a Disney animated film, takes it's origins from the Hans Christian

Anderson tale The Snow Queen. Nevertheless, this adaptation focuses on the connection and love between two sisters. When Elsa accidentally inflicts a town wide snow storm, it's up to her sister Anna and her newly found friends Olaf and Kristoff to find Elsa and change the pattern of the weather. 

Film Features: The artwork of the film is beautiful. The viewer can tell that the studio animators made great advancements with this film including the addition of special effects. Even the simplicity of the characters dancing seems to be technologically advanced. Another amazing visual aspect of the film came in the form of their color usage. I loved that the film contained this bright and amazing colors. They really appeal to the viewers eyes. In addition to the visual aspects, it would be best to also address the music. I absolutely loved the intro song. I don't know the origin of the music that they based this soundtrack on, but it is breathtaking. My favorites are definitely "Do You Want To Build a A Snowman" and "In Summer." Surprisingly, unlike a lot of people I could have done without "Let It Go."

Characters: The writers and director definitely wanted to created a complex dichotomy of the sisters. Viewers get the opportunity to view two select personalities and how the work together and clash against each other. Anna is extremely laid back and relaxed while Elsa is more intense which clearly stems from her constantly being told to "conceal it, don't feel it."Ironically, while watching the film I felt as though this movie was more about Anna's transformation and growth than Elsa. She does so much in learning about herself as well as doing what is necessary to save her sister. This was my second time watching the film and it took this second viewing to truly understand and grasp that concept. Outside of the two sisters, the best written character definitely does take form in Olaf. He's hilarious and witty and adds a certain sense of humor that the film needed.

Overall Thoughts: Overall I thought that the film was great. It isn't my favorite Disney movie; however, I think that it was well done with great music. It did have some romantic aspects, but this film definitely did focus on the relationship between the two sisters more than anything else. There was only one thing that I didn't enjoy about the film and that was a quote that was stated during the troll's song. One of them states that people can't change; however, I find that to be completely inaccurate. It even was proven to be inaccurate in the context of the film. Maybe that was the intention of the writers; however, I just know that I found it to be slightly problematic. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the film and definitely recommend it for families!



18 July 2017

Bookishrealm Discussion: Are Audiobooks Cheating?



Hello to my BookishRealm readers!! I know that I haven't done a discussion in a while and this one is getting posted later in the day than expected; nevertheless, I AM HERE! : )

So today I'm interested in discussing a very interesting aspect of my reading experiences. In my day to day life as well as at my job I often encounter or hear people say that they aren't sure if audiobooks are "real" or if they "count." As a huge proponent of audioboooks I'm always shocked and surprised that people don't believe in either a) using audiobooks or b) they don't believe that audiobooks truly count as reading. For those who are not convinced about audiobook let me give you a couple benefits to utilizing audiobooks:


  • Audiobooks are great for those who have long commutes or down time at work. For example, I listen to audiobooks during my 30 minutes commute to work and my 30 minute commute back home. I also listen to them whenever I have down time at work. 
  • They are also great for individuals who have visual or physical handicaps. Just today I encountered a woman who suffered from severe arthritis and couldn't manage to hold a book at all. She loved the fact that we offered books on CD as well as playaways which are miniature MP3 players for books. 
  • Audiobooks are also a great way to get through long and challenging books especially if it's narrated by a good reader. 
  • Audiobooks are also great for road trips and a way to bond the entire family. I work with families every summer in helping them choose audiobooks for their road trips. 
  • Audiobooks do count!!!  
In support of that last bullet, I went looking online for some resources, specifically psychologists, to see their opinions on audiobooks. According to psychologist Daniel Willingham, there is no cognitive difference between reading a physical book and listening to an audiobook. I won't go into the specific details of the actually psychology behind it; however, I will leave the link. The psychologist concludes that ultimately there isn't any difference between the two and while people claim that they are more likely to have their mind wander while listening to an audiobook, the same thing is likely to happen when reading a particularly boring passage of a book. After reading this article, I was reaffirmed in my belief that audiobooks are just as good of a resource as reading the physical books and I think it is unfair to say that they don't count especially to individuals who are unable to read physical books. If you're interested in reading the article here is the link: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/08/listening-to-a-book-instead-of-reading-isnt-cheating.html

If you're interested in finding some great audiobooks here are a couple of my favorites:


  • A Game of Thrones, Narrated by Roy Dotrice
  • Whatever After Series, Narrated by Emily Eiden
  • I Am the Messenger, Narrated by Marc Aden Gray
  • Nooks & Crannies, Narrated by Susan Riddell
  • Wonder, Narrated by Diana Steel, Nick Podehl, & Kate Rudd
  • The Mastermind Series, Narrated by  Ramon De OcampoKelly Jean Badgley, & Tarah Consoli 
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Narrated by MacLeod Andrews & Nick Podehl 
  • Harry Potter Series, Narrated by Jim Dale
  • Outlander Series, Narrated by Davina Porter
Let me know in the comments below what you think about audiobooks!! : ) 

17 July 2017

A List of Cages by Robin Roe


Published: January 10th, 2017 
# of Pages: 320 
Source: Library E-Book 
Genre: Contemporary


When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives…


A List of Cages was not on my list of debuts to read this year; however, I saw it on my library's Overdrive page and could not resist putting it on hold. You see, I had heard nothing but good things about the writing and representation. Trust me this gem of a book did not disappoint. 

The novel develops in the from of duel perspectives. One is Julian, a freshman with many dark secrets, and the other is Adam, a kind and patient senior who is just an overall great guy. In both of these characters I found solace and appreciation for their strength, courage, and resilience. I've never felt more connected to characters who were actually facing real life problems, realistic ones at that. Adam is particularly observant. For example, he is capable of noticing that even though Julian lives in a beautiful home, his clothes have a tendency to be a little too worn. Julian is skittish, but kind especially towards Charlie who has absolutely no inclination of liking him. 

What I loved most about this book was it's emphasis on friendship and kindness. The reader is given the opportunity to view these themes in a variety of ways. This includes the relationship that Adam shares with his friends, the love and kindness Adam and his friends share with Julian, and Julian's ability to exhibit love and kindness even when placed in the toughest of situations. The vibe between Adam and his friends is beautiful and heart-warming even though it proves to be a sad contrast to Julian's narrative. Nevertheless, Adam extends this sense of kindness to Julian who in turn spreads it on giving the novel a "pay it forward" atmosphere. 

I can't extend further into the narration of the book due to the fact that it would ultimately spoil the novel. Nevertheless, I can say that any reader should be prepared for a gut-wrenching tale that really illustrates the perseverance of the human spirit and what a touch of kindness can do for a person when they least expect. One of my favorite quotes of the book was stated by Julian and it couldn't be more true especially with the amount of hate and anger in the world today: 

"Hate ricochets, but kindness does too."

If you have not read this empowering and amazing book, I would highly recommend picking it up soon!


Sunday Post, #9

Happy Sunday fellow bloggers and readers. I am back with another Sunday post hosted by the lovely caffeinated book reviewer


Okay let's start with my week in a complete recap. Things once again are going smoothly at work and as my last post stated for some reason this seems to be a really productive month in terms of reading, blogging, and making Youtube content. I'm just hoping I can keep it up until the end of year ! : ) 






Books Finished This Week:









Okay this week went good as heck haha ! Finished 6 books and 3 comics/graphic novels. I really can't tell you why I've been reading so quickly except for the fact that I'm able to listen to audiobooks at work. That's pretty much it. 

  • One of Us Is Lying - 3.5 Stars 
  • Preacher Vol. 1 - 4 Stars 
  • A List of Cages - 5 Stars 
  • Everything, Everything - 3 Stars 
  • Fresh Romance - 3 Stars 
  • Lumberjanes - 4 Stars 
  • The Secrets We Keep - 2 Stars (Review)
  • Serafina & Black Cloak - 3 Stars
  • Nooks & Crannies - 4 Stars

  • A List of Cages Review 
  • BookishRealm Discussion: Audiobooks 
  • Waiting on Wednesday: TBD
  • Frozen Movie Review
  • Friday #56, TBD
  • ACOTAR Video Review


So I'm reading a lot of good stuff right now. I'm mainly trying to read a variety of things to keep my mind going. I'm hoping to get these three finished by the end of the week!

Well that's it guys! Let me know how your week went!

15 July 2017

Summer TBR Wipeout: Update Post #1



Happy Saturday everyone! As I you guys know I'm currently participating in the Summer TBR Wipeout hosted by The Candid Cover. This week we are focusing in on some updates to our TBR. I'll let you guys know how my reading has been so far and what I have planned next. If you are interested in seeing my original post with my TBR you can click here. Let's go ahead and get started!

ARCs: 

So unfortunately for this section I actually have not finished or started any ARCs. I feel like I've been reading everything under the sun except what I should be reading in terms of my ARC selections. Nevertheless, in the next couple of days I plan on starting the following book:





Tu Books has acquired world rights for YA graphic novel I Am Alfonso Jones, written by Tony Medina and illustrated by John Jennings and Stacey Robinson. In the story, teenager Alfonso Jones is thrust into the afterlife where he watches his family fight to gain justice after he is killed by an off-duty police officer. Publication is slated for fall 2017.


Series: 

I chose to complete three series in the time frame allotted. I'm on my way to doing pretty well with this one as I've started Payback which is the third and final book in the Masterminds series by Gordon Kormon. I love this series. It's a middle grade dystopian/heist story that has adventure at every twist and turn. I think after finishing this one I'll probably move on to The Bitter Kingdom or The Ship Beyond Time. 




From the master of middle grade, Gordon Korman, comes the final book in the bestselling Masterminds series — about a group of kids who discover they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history.

After a serious betrayal from one of their former friends, the clones of Project Osiris are on the run again. Now, separated into pairs, Eli and Tori and Amber and Malik are fighting to survive in the real world.

Amber and Malik track down the one person they think can help them prove the existence of Project Osiris, notorious mob boss Gus Alabaster, also known as Malik’s DNA donor. But as Malik gets pulled into the criminal world — tantalized by hints of a real family — his actions put him and Amber into greater danger.

Eli and Tori get sucked into even bigger conspiracies as they hunt down Project Osiris’s most closely guarded secret — who does Eli’s DNA come from? With a surprising new ally, and another cross-country adventure, the four will have to work together and overcome the worst parts of themselves if they are going to end Project Osiris once and for all.
 

Continuing Series: 

So far I've just decided to continue reading the A court of Thorns and Roses series. I'm currently reading the second book A Court of Mist and Fury. I'm not sure what I will continue after that. It'll either be the Joanne Fluke series or The Last of August. 



Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
 

Binging Series

I just got a copy of This Savage so I'll probably read it this week.



There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

SC Book Award Nominees: 

This is the category I'm doing the best in so far. I've read the following books: 
  • Everything, Everything 
  • Nooks & Crannies 
  • The Secrets We Keep 
  • Serafina & The Black Cloak 

Let me know how you guys are doing!! I would love to know everyone's progress. 

**I've also read 3 comics!