Thursday, August 27, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (3)

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is hosted by Leah @ Uncorked Thoughts  and Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews. It's a weekly meme with a question to answer each time, and obviously, it's to celebrate and spread the love of the wonderful Harry Potter series!

Today's question was a tough one: Would you rather be locked in a room with Voldemort or Bellatrix?
This is such a difficult question to answer. Because given my choice, I'd rather not be stuck in a room with either of them, thank you very kindly.  Unfortunately, that's not one of the choices, so I have to decide between Voldemort and Bellatrix.
On the one hand, Bellatrix Lestrange is chaotic. She tortures people, and I would not like to be tortured. But, I feel like she would be easier to outsmart. Maybe I could stall and find a way out before something bad happened (but let's face it, probably not).
And Voldemort, he has no mercy. He wastes no time before using the killing curse. While that would be a quick death, there would be no hope whatsoever for escape. (Please, may I use the Alohamora spell on that door...?)
I might go with a loophole here and say I would be locked in a room with Hermione when she uses the Polyjuice Potion in the Seventh book...
(That doesn't count? Fine. Voldemort, but only because it would be over quickly.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0: Wrap Up

Bout of Books
Bout of Books is once again at a close. This was my second time participating and it was just as much fun as the first, maybe even more so. I felt less stressed this time around because I didn't really set any super strict goals.
If you are interested in looking at my progress throughout the ReadAThon, you can check out this post.
Total Pages Read: 1,340
Total Books Read: 3½
Mini Challenges Participated In: 4
Blogs Visited: 5+ (Lost Count)
The Books:

(+ The September 2015 issue of National Geographic Magazine)
And I didn't quite finish....

 Out of all of these four books, it's hard  to say which one was my favorite. I really liked the first three a lot, but I have to say my favorite book of the ReadAThon was probably Falling Kingdoms  by Morgan Rhodes. It was exactly what I love in a Fantasy book: princesses, princes, evil kings, magic and sorcery, surprises, plot twists, friends in unexpected places, war, and death. I just loved all of it, and the characters... this book is just so good. It's been days and this book has not left my mind.
My least favorite of the books may have been The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove, but don't worry! I still am really enjoying it. It has everything I love in Fantasy as well: pirates, epic train escapades, creepy villains, spine-tingling stories worthy of a late night campfire, a clever heroine, an unique world, and plotlines that make you think. It's great, and I have a feeling it will finish strongly.
Bout of Books was so fun this year, and I got a lot accomplished. Luckily, I had nothing planned for the week so I was  able to read a lot!
Thank you as always to everyone who made this week and ReadAThon possible, the hosts of the ReadAThon, and hosts of the mini challenges. And to everyone who stopped by and commented on my blog!
I hope everyone had a great week!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0: What To Read Next

Bout of Books
It's here! The last day of the Bout of Books ReadAThon is here! It's been a ton of fun this week, visiting participating blogs and doing the mini challenges scheduled throughout. Today, there is one last mini challenge. The "What To Read Next" challenge hosted by Sarah @ Sarah Reads Too Much. The premise of this challenge is to recommend 3 books that you have read this year. It was hard to narrow it down to only 3, but here's my picks:

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
I read this book for the Bout of Books ReadAThon actually, and I have not stopped thinking about it since I finished it. I devoured it in two days, and it's 412 pages, so that's pretty fast for a slower reader like me! This is the first book in a six-book YA fantasy series set in the world of Mytica, where a war is brewing between three kingdoms. It follows the point of view of multiple characters, and while I thought it would be confusing, I could follow it easily the whole time. Each character had a unique voice and view on the world. If you liked Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, or even if you want to start reading fantasy but don't know where to begin, this book is perfect.

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

This is a classic by the same author who wrote the beloved Anne of  Green Gables. I read this book this month as well, and it was just so heart-warming, but at the same time much darker than the Anne of Green Gables books. Emily is an orphan who moves in with her Aunt Elizabeth, whom she doesn't like very much. She is getting made fun of at school, and things just aren't going her way in life. Emily was such an imaginitave character, and I could relate to her in many different ways. It was a book where after I finished it, I had to sit and think about the book for at least a few minutes because everything at the end had been so unexpected. I would definitely recommend this one, though it is very sad at some points.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I marathonned this entire trilogy back in March, and it was just so interesting and good! I did have a couple problems with it, but overall it was a really awesome YA fantasy trilogy. It follows Eliza, who is born with a godstone in her navel. The godstone is supposed to bring her special powers and help people. It basically follows her story. It does have a lot of mention of religion, so if you don't like religion in books, then maybe skip this one. But this trilogy was so well written, and all the characters felt very real. I also loved all the diversity in this trilogy, and the fact that it wasn't set in the typical Medieval Europe setting common in Fantasy. I'm so ready for Rae Carson's new book, coming out next month!

Although it was hard to choose, these would probably be my Top 3 of 2015 as of Late August. I'm definitely excited to see what everyone else chose. Have a great last day of ReadAThon, if you're participating!

Fandom Mashup (#2): Who Ya Gonna Call?

Fandom Mashup is a weekly meme hosted by Lunar Rainbows Reviews and the idea is that every week you are thrown into a new situation. You get to choose five characters from any fandoms to help you out! (All the gifs/images aren't mine, they're from Tumblr.)

This week, the situation is...
 "You come face to face with an actual ghost. It seems friendly but you're not sure what to do next. Who's going to help you figure it out?"
  1.  The Ghostbusters from Ghostbusters

    Confession: I've never actually seen this movie (TV show?). But I've heard the song enough times to know exactly who to call if I ever encounter something strange, such as a ghost. And even though this ghost that I encounter seems friendly it can't hurt to have some back up, just in case things don't go quite as well as planned...

2. Caspar from Caspar the Friendly Ghost

Confession: I haven't seen this movie either. And all I could find for an image is the vaguely creepy one to the right, so, sorry about that. I would call on Caspar because he's got "friendly" and "ghost" both in the title of his movie so he could probably work things out with my new ghost friend. They might have a friendly ghost conversation whilst I watch in awe.

3. Nearly Headless Nick from Harry Potter

Aha, here's a movie series I have seen! I think Nearly Headless Nick would make a good choice to talk to the ghost because he is one himself. He's rather friendly as well, so he would be perfectly willing to see if the new ghost wants or needs anything.

4. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter

Okay, so Luna's great. She's my favorite character, probably. If I asked her, she would be perfectly willing to come and talk with the ghost and she'd certainly have her own theories on what to do next, how to move on. Maybe she'd claim it's not a ghost at all, it's actually something else I've never even heard of!

5. Maddox Corso from A Book Of Spirits and Thieves

Maddox has had experience with ghosts in the past as well, or specifically one ghost. And she's really more of a spirit... but either way, he wouldn't be as startled as he was the first time he saw one. And, he would always be very helpful and willing to help the ghost back to wherever it wanted to go.

Those are my five picks this week! A couple of them could probably be exchanged but some of them I just must have on my team! Have a great week.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0: Character Soulmates

Today's mini challenge is being hosted by Chioma @ Blue Books and Butterflies. I thought this was such a fun idea! Basically, you ship two characters from different books, different universes, together and give a short explanation why you ship them. You can even give them a ship name if you'd like!

Celeaeowyn (Celaena from Throne of Glass and Eowyn from Lord of the Rings) - This might seem slightly random but I was doing the R.I.P it or Ship it tag for fun a while ago when these two came up. I just think this would be so perfect. They are both fighters who keep their feminine qualities and definitely don't need any men to save them!

Fredchel (Fred Weasley from Harry Potter and Rachel Elizabeth Dare from the Percy Jackson series) - Apparently I'm shipping people with similar hair colors together today. But honestly, Fred is such a jokester, and since Rachel is used to Percy she would have no problem being patient with him and laughing at his jokes and pranks. At the same time, she has a more intense side that would really balance out the relationship between the two of them.

Lutavi (Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and Tavi from Codex Alera) - Since both of them are misfits, I think they would make a really great pair! Tavi wouldn't mind Luna's musings about nargles and such, in fact, he'd probably be interested in what she had to say. I just think they might be pretty cute together (and Luna is my favorite character ever so I need her to be happy and with a nice guy like Tavi she probably would be)!

This was a lot of fun to do, and I couldn't just pick one couple, I wanted to do so many more! I hope everyone's having a great Bout of Books so far.

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (2)

I'm linking up with the Harry Potter Moment of the Week meme again this week! This weekly meme is hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and by Lunar Rainbows Reviews!
This week's prompt was: If you could change one thing in the first film, what would it be?
As soon as I saw the topic, I knew exactly what my moment would be! Although I will always be wishing that the makers of the movies had found a place for Peeves in the movies, for this week I have something more specific to the first film itself.
I always wish they had included Hermione's bit in the dungeon when they were trying to get to the Sorcerer's Stone. I remember when I was reading the book for the first time when I was seven years old, Hermione figuring out the riddle of the potions was so inspiring to me. It was the first time when I truly looked up to her and admired her! I was so disappointed when it was cut from the movie.

(Sorry about this being late this week!) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0: Bookish MASH

Bout of Books
 Today is Day 3 of the Bout of Books ReadAThon! I decided to take a little break from reading to complete today's mini challenge, and it sure is a fun one! The Mini Challenge for today is Bookish MASH, hosted by Rocky Top Real Talk so be sure to check that out if you are also a participant. If you've never played MASH before, it's a fun little game where you write out your choices for different categories, such as significant other, pets, and so on. I'm quite bad at explaining things, but the blog linked above explains it quite well!
This is what my paper looked like when I wrote out my MASH categories:
M(ansion) A(partment) S(hack) H(ouse)
Method of Transportation:
Where I Live:
Hogwarts (I could totally live here.)
Camp Half-Blood (Totally a viable living option.)
Best Friend:
Luna Lovegood
Eowyn (Lord of the Rings)
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles)
Cather Avery (Fangirl)
Three-headed Dog
The number I ended up with in my random generator was three! Here's how my life turned out:
I live in a mansion at Camp-Half Blood with my best friend Eowyn, and my pet dragon. I use a horse as my method of transportation.
A bit sloppy with the formatting of this post but the game was so much fun! 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bout of Books 14.0: Fictional World Travel

Bout of Books
It's the first day of Bout of Books ReadAThon! Woo-hoo! Today's mini challenge is hosted by Between Library Shelves. The challenge was to list six books that take place in a country other than the one you reside in. For me, that's the United States. I tried to pick books with different countries from each other, so that there would be a variety!

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1. Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck [India]
2. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke [Venice, Italy]
3. Theodosia and the Last Pharoh by R. L. LaFevers [Egypt]
4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins [Paris, France]
5. Soulless by Gail Carriger [London, England]
6. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead [Russia]

Bout of Books 14.0: Reading Updates

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 14.0 takes place from Monday, August 17th to Sunday, August 23rd. It's a ReadaThon hosted over at the Bout of Books  blog and takes place multiple times each year. This is my updates post throughout the ReadAThon!

Monday August 17th:

Pages Read Today: 154
Total Pages Read: 154
Books Read:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1)" by Taran Matharu {pages 47-201}
Books Finished: None
Mini Challenges: Fictional World Travel
Notes/Thoughts: I had already started The Novice before the Read-A-Thon began. Although I only read off and on today, I really enjoyed what I have read of The Novice so far! It reminds me so much of Pokémon, but in a YA Fantasy world! There are awesome friendships, different levels of creatures, and a brewing war. What's not to love? I hope to finish this tomorrow, since I get the house to myself tomorrow to read but it depends if I get distracted on Youtube again, ha ha! I also managed to complete today's Mini Challenge, and my results are linked above.

Tuesday August 18th:

Pages Read Today: 313
Total Pages Read: 467
Books Read:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu {pages 202-350}
         "Homecoming (The 100 #3) by Kass Morgan {pages 1-165}    
Books Finished:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu
Mini Challenges: None
Notes/Thoughts: So, I skipped out on the mini challenge for today, but I did end up getting some reading done! I even finished my first book of the ReadAThon, and started the third book of the 100 series by Kass Morgan. Maybe after I finish I'll finally watch the TV show? I didn't have much going on today so mostly I just read my books and visited blogs. Satisfying day!

Wednesday August 19th:
Pages Read Today: 174
Total Pages Read: 641
Books Read:
         "Homecoming (The 100 #3) by Kass Morgan {pages 166-340}      
Books Finished:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu
         "Homecoming (The 100 #3) by Kass Morgan
Mini Challenges: Bookish MASH
Notes/Thoughts: So, I had to do the whole back to school thing today. Not quite back in school yet (thank goodness!) but I found out my schedule, took the yearbook picture, and all that fun stuff. That was really stressful so I was glad to wind down with some reading. I also participated in today's mini challenge, which was a blast to complete. And I finished The 100 trilogy! I can't believe it's over. I always get over emotional saying good bye to series I love.

Thursday August 20th:
Pages Read Today: 0
Total Pages Read: 641
Books Read:  None      
Books Finished:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1)" by Taran Matharu
         "Homecoming (The 100 #3)" by Kass Morgan
Mini Challenges: None
Notes/Thoughts: Well, that makes it look like I had a very unproductive day. Really, my subscription to National Geographic Magazine came today so I ended up reading that instead of books. I didn't count it because this is technically Bout of Books ReadAThon, and what I read was a magazine, but I did get through 113 of the pages! I also went to see the musical Wicked with my best friend today (it's her favorite) and it was so good!

Friday August 21st:
Pages Read Today: 117
Total Pages Read: 758
Books Read:
         "Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes {pages 1-117}      
Books Finished:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1)" by Taran Matharu
         "Homecoming (The 100 #3)" by Kass Morgan
Mini Challenges: Character Soulmates
Notes/Thoughts: I paid a visit to the library again today, and got a couple more books that I'm super excited for, including Falling Kingdoms. We also got sausage pizza for dinner and it was delicious. Other than that, I didn't do much other than read today. I didn't get a lot of reading done despite that, but I am liking the book so far!

Saturday August 22nd:
Pages Read Today: 396
Total Pages Read: 1154
Books Read:
           "Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes {pages 118-412}
         "The Glass Sentence (Mapmakers Trilogy #1)" by S. E. Grove {pages 1-102}
Books Finished:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1)" by Taran Matharu
         "Homecoming (The 100 #3)" by Kass Morgan
         "Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes
Mini Challenges: None
Notes/Thoughts: Falling Kingdoms was such a good book! I finished it today and it definitely reminded me why fantasy is my favorite genre. I have a feeling the rest of this series is going to be even more epic, so I'm excited. I started the Glass Sentence, and while the world is super unique, I am not super into it yet. I didn't get much done today other than reading. I visited a few blogs, but other than that nothing really, and I'm glad for that because it gave me uninterrupted time to read Falling Kingdoms!

Sunday August 23rd:
Pages Read Today: 186
Total Pages Read: 1340
Books Read:    
           "The Glass Sentence (Mapmakers Trilogy #1)" by S. E. Grove {pages 103-289}
Books Finished:
         "The Novice (Summoner #1)" by Taran Matharu
         "Homecoming (The 100 #3)" by Kass Morgan
         "Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes
Mini Challenges: What To Read Next
Notes/Thoughts: Well, that's a wrap on Bout of Books 14.0! I read more than I expected to, actually, and I did enjoy everything I read very much. I may or may not have a wrap up coming soon as well. I got through a good chunk of The Glass Sentence today, and I think if I had read it maybe three years earlier I would have adored it, but for now it's just okay. Maybe I will like it more as I read more. I hope everyone had an awesome Bout of Books!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fandom Mashup (#1): We're Going On An Adventure!

This is my week of joining new memes. Earlier this week I linked up with the Harry Potter Moment of the Week meme for the first time, and today I am linking up with the Fandom Mashup meme for the first time!

Fandom Mashup is a weekly meme hosted by Lunar Rainbows and the idea is that every week you are thrown into a new situation. You get to choose five characters from any fandoms to help you out! (All the gifs aren't mine, they're from Tumblr.)

This week, the situation is...
"You've decided to set off on an adventure across the world.  Who are your travel companions?"
  1. Gandalf the Grey from The Lord of the Rings
    Gandalf is just the greatest. He would be so useful for so many different reasons. First off, he would probably already have an adventure planned so I could just hop aboard without having to do any previous planning. Second off, he knows how to use magic! That would be incredibly useful. Third of all, he can summon the eagles to get us out of trouble at any time. Finally, he would just be so much fun to have along.

  2. Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean
    Next, I would bring Captain Jack Sparrow along on my adventure. Because every good adventure needs at least one wizard, and at least one pirate, and we've got the wizard covered! Jack Sparrow can fight with a sword. He can also steer a pirate ship in case we needed to make a quick escape by sea and Gandalf's eagles weren't cooperating. Sure, he would steal all the rum, but that's a small price to pay, right?

  3. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
    Katniss Everdeen would also come along on the adventure with us. She is a very good hunter and would be able to catch all of our food. Since she's used to dealing with the wilderness, she's also very knowledgeable about which berries would be okay to eat, and all that sort of stuff. It would be very helpful to add her to my team.

  4. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter

    So, this girl has been on a couple of the lists that I looked at, but she would just make such a good companion on an adventure, I think that's universally agreed. She's very smart, and clever, so she would probably be able to get us out of a lot of sticky situations. Also, she's another magic-user and we can never have too many of those on an adventure!

  5. Donna Noble from Doctor Who
    Last but not least, I would bring along the one and only Donna Noble. She's so funny and sassy and would definitely bring the aura of optimism to our group. However, she can also be very motherly and would be a bit of a mama hen to our group. She also has a different approach to things than anyone else in the group and would make the adventure so much more fun.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Review: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Summary (as taken off Goodreads): "Before: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends.

After: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories.

Then: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed.

Now: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.

Always: Summers end. But this one will change them forever."

My Spoiler-Free Review (also on Goodreads):

Novels about summer camp always strike a chord with me. They make me feel so nostalgic and remember my own days at camp. This book sounded like it was going to combine time travel, summer camp, and girl friendships - and that sounded awesome.

But unfortunately, while this book did use all of those elements, this book did fall a little short for me. I found that the plot was focused more around romance and hooking up with boys (speaking of which - is that even allowed at summer camp? These kids need some supervision.) rather than focusing around the actual friendship between the girls.

And there was so much insta-love. At least two of the relationships were insta-lovey. Since the "love at first sight" trope is definitely a bookish pet peeve of mine, I was mildly annoyed at this small fact. They only spent five days in the past, and yet two of the four girls fell in love within the course of those five days? What? Why? How? It just didn't make sense and to me, it took away from the rest of the novel. Time that could have been spent fixing friendships was instead spent on romance that I had a hard time supporting.

Part of that may have been the fact that I had a hard time connecting with the characters. While I can definitely relate to the overall theme of losing friends that I value, I just couldn't see myself in Zoe, Tali, Joy, or Luce.

Not all of this book was bad, though! There were diverse characters in both race and sexuality (and in another aspect, but no spoilers from me). I appreciated seeing characters like that.

Another aspect I liked about the book was the easy-to-read writing style. Although a bit - for lack of better word - juvenile at times, there was definitely potential in the writing there and apparently the author writes poetry, so that may have helped with some of the amazing metaphors in this book. I did get really invested in the story, to the point where all the outside chatter fell away.

It was hooking. I read this book in less than 14 hours, and stayed up until 2 a.m to finish it. I couldn't put it down!

The ending - I did not see it coming, I'll tell you that much.

Short and Sweet Thoughts: While there were some problems with this book like insta-love and lack of connection with the characters, Proof of Forever was an overall quick and interesting read.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Bout of Books 14.0: Sign Up

It's time once again for the Bout of Books Readathon, hosted over at the Bout of Books blog. This will be my second time participating in the Readathon and I am very excited to do so. Here is the official blurb from the Bout of Books site:

"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team"

I will try to be updating my progress throughout the week, so we'll see how that goes! Last time I loved the challenges every day so I will try to do that part of it too. As for my TBR, I'm not going to put a lot of pressure on myself. I also don't know what books I will be reading but here are two that I might pick up:

I have already started The Novice but I am only about two chapters in so I doubt I will finish it up before the Readathon starts. And The 100 books are always quick reads. After that, I don't have any more books checked out from the library so I will probably only participate in the mini-challenges!
I hope everyone participating has a great Bout of Books week. What's on your TBR for the week?  Until next time, happy reading! 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Harry Potter Moment of the Week (1)

So, I just discovered this weekly meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts and I fell in love. It's so clever and I love the weekly topics! I love Harry Potter, I love weekly memes, and I love clever ideas, so this was perfect. This week, the goal was to rename the Harry Potter books, from Ron Weasley's perspective! I haven't read the books in awhile (except for Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince) but I worked with what I remembered!


1.  Ron Weasley and the Real Life Wizard Chess
2. Ron Weasley Stole His Dad's Flying Car
3. Ron Weasley's Rat is a Man
4. Ron Weasley and the Difficult Date
5. Ron Weasley is a Prefect
6. Ron Weasley and the Love Potion
7. Ron Weasley Skips School


Mine weren't the most clever titles ever but I sure had a blast doing this! What would you retitle the books?