Tag Archive: January


The Under-Hyped Readathon has ended once again, and I was able to read more than one book this time! Go me! I ended up reading three books, and I started a fourth one. I did want to read more, but I’m happy with how many I was able to read in a week.

Below are the books I completed, along with Gifs to help express how I felt about each one.

They Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth – 4/5

This book reminded me a lot of Desperate Housewives, which I used to watch a lot. It was fun to watch all the drama and see what the characters would do next. Be warned, there are a lot of affairs!

 

The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde – 4/5

This was a very sad story about loss and blame. You just want to hug the main character and tell her that everything will be ok. It was an enjoyable read, but it’s probably not for everyone.

 

Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge – 3/5

The first few bites of this “cake” were amazing. The story sucks you in and completely immerses you in all the action, but in the second half everything changes, and I didn’t enjoy the direction it went.


I really enjoy picking up books that sound interesting but don’t have many ratings. It’s a gamble sometimes but it’s great when it works out. Most of the books I read are ones that have been highly recommended or talked about a lot. The Under-Hyped Readathons have helped keep me excited about books that I think sound cool when I buy them. Hopefully I can keep up this momentum for the rest of the year.

Let me know if you participated in this readathon or what you’ve been reading lately. Happy reading!

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The Under-Hyped Readathon is back! I had a lot of fun participating last time, and I thought I would try again this time and maybe read more than one book. One of the reasons I love this readathon is because you get to see books you might never have heard about before.

The readathon is like last time and if you want more information you can go to The Under-Hyped Readathon’s Goodreads page. The readathon starts on January 19th and ends on January 25th. The only rules are that the books have to be considered under-hyped. This time around there is no limit to what under-hyped means, so you can read a book that you feel doesn’t get enough love or whatever you deem under-hyped. I’m going for books that have less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.

Below is the list of books that I plan on trying to read during this week. Of course, I won’t be able to read them all, but I’ll be able to pick from a variety. (All links go to their respective Goodreads page)

  1. A Stake in Murder by Donald Allen Kirch
  2. The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan
  3. The Killing Room by John Manning
  4. Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge
  5. They Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth
  6. Love Me, Love Me Not by Libby Malin
  7. The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Let me know if you’re participating in this readathon or what you’re planning on reading. You can also let me know if there are any other readathons that you’re participating in. I would love to know. Happy reading!

Video Game Channel

I’m not sure if anyone would be interested in this, but I wanted to share with everyone. Chad and I have always wanted to start a Youtube channel for video games, and we finally set one up last month. We also have a second blog about video games that has everything about our channel already posted. It’s also one reason that I’ve been slacking on reading and posts because we’ve been playing and recording games.

We just started so it’s not fantastic quality, but we are improving with every video. Some of the games we play include: Alan Wake, Bioshock, To The Moon, and The Sims 3. We also have other games planned for the future but don’t want to give anything away yet. 😛

If you’re interested in watching us be silly or just want to hear our “beautiful” voices, here is a video with some of our channel highlights so far:

**Some profanity is used

Goals and Challenges for 2015

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s 2015! Time for resolutions and gym memberships. I was really happy with my reading last year. Hopefully I can continue being successful this year.  I’ve decided to put together a list of goals and challenges to help keep me on track. Let me know what your plans are or leave a link to your post if you’ve already made one. 🙂

Goals

  • Book Buying Ban
    • As most of you can tell, I have a book buying problem. I tend to buy more books in a few months than I can possibly read in that time and because of that I end up with more TBR books than read books.
    • For this ban I will need to finish 5 books before I’m allowed to buy 1. The only exception to this will be sequels. I’ll allow myself to buy sequels for series I’ve already started.
  • Less wrap-ups/More full reviews
    • Doing the wrap-ups every month became really stressful. It almost made me not want to read more books because I didn’t want to post a review for so many at once. If I focus my energy on more full reviews and less short reviews, I think it will be better for me.
  • Do something about unfinished books
    • I have a few books that I’ve started but haven’t really done anything with since I stopped reading them. I want to either DNF or finish reading them this year. I may end up donating some of the books I haven’t enjoyed or don’t plan on reading so someone else can enjoy them.

Challenges

  • Read 3 Classics
    • I’m not sure which ones I want to read yet, but I have plenty on my shelves just waiting for me.
  • Read 4 Stephen King books
    • I have 16 of his books, and I’ve only read one and started another one. I would like to change that because so far I enjoy his writing style and want to see what all the fuss is about. Horror is also a genre I’ve been focused on, so it’ll work out great.
    • Right now I’m thinking about reading the following:
      • It
      • The Shining
      • Pet Sematary
      • Undecided as of now
  • Read a total of 52 books
    • Every year I’ve tried to increase the amount of books I read. For 2014, I wanted to read 40 books, and I managed to read 60. This year, I’m going to shoot for 52 but hopefully I can pull off reading more than 60. We shall see how it goes.
  • Finish That Series Challenge (created by bethjune327)
    • I have a problem with starting a series and never finishing it, so I want to change that. In 2015, I want to finish some of the series I’ve been putting off, and I think this challenge will be a big help.
    • Some of the series I’ve been neglecting are:
      • The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
      • The Waking Trilogy by Thomas Randall
      • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
      • And many more . . .
    • Guidelines for this challenge are:
      • Series must be FINISHED in order for them to count.
      • If the series isn’t complete yet, you must read up to the most recent book in said series.
      • Novellas are optional.
      • You do not have to start the series in 2015, just finish it.
      • The series has to have at least 2 books out prior to December of 2015.

Wish me luck with my reading this year. We’ll recap in December to see what all I’ve failed to achieve . . . oh wait, I’m supposed to be positive with this. I’m doomed already. 🙂

I’ve decided that at the end of each month, I will do a wrap-up post to go over the books I’ve read and the movies I’ve watched in that particular month. There will be mini reviews of books and movies. I will keep Tuesday reviews open for books and movies I want to go into more detail about.

During January, I didn’t read as much as I would have liked. I only managed to read 3 books in total. It’s disappointing, but I’m finally getting out of my reading slump, so that’s a plus. On the other hand, I watched quite a few movies, and I’ll give mini reviews on some of them.

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

Legend – Marie Lu
Genre – Young Adult/Dystopian
My Rating – 3/5

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Review: For me, Legend started out sort of slow. It took a few chapters before I was invested in the world. At times, the story was predictable. It was easy to figure out where the story was going and what was going to happen to the characters. However, I found the story and the world enjoyable. I liked both June and Day and found myself cheering for them the entire time. They were likable characters, and they each had their own personality. I’m glad it was easy to tell the difference between the two main character’s points of view (besides the font changes). There wasn’t a lot of character development, but I’m sure there will be plenty over the course of the next two books.

I enjoyed the ending of Legend. I believe it fit the plot well, and it wasn’t there to only get the reader to purchase the next book. The main plot was resolved, but there was enough mystery left to continue the story. I’m looking forward to the next book (Prodigy) in the trilogy.

The Chosen One – Carol Lynch Williams
Genre – Young Adult/Realistic Fiction
My Rating – 4/5

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

Review: During the beginning of The Chosen One, it can be a bit confusing with all the different names being presented, but after the first chapter, the names were much easier to follow. Williams brings up a tough subject to read about. The story ignites many emotions, depending on the situation. I found myself angry for what the community put Kyra through, but it made sense due to how Williams described everything. I felt sorry for Kyra and some of the other members, and I’m sure most readers will feel the same way.

In all honesty, The Chosen One was hard to stop reading because you want to know what becomes of Kyra and her family. The story was far from predictable, and I was surprised by what actually happened near the end of the book. I would definitely recommend this story, but be warned that it may not be for everyone, and it might be upsetting to some because of how the community treats the women and some of the men.

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
Genre – Young Adult/
My Rating – 3/5

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Review: Anna and the French Kiss was a bit of a disappointment for me. I have been hearing so much hype about this book, and I was really excited for a cute and funny romance. I didn’t rate the book any lower because for more than half the story, I didn’t really have a problem with anything. It wasn’t until near the end that all the negative things really piled up. First, I’ll explain what I liked. The story was quite cute and funny for a majority of the book. I really enjoyed Anna as a character, and I found that her love of movies was unique and relatable.

(Some SpoilersNow, on to what I did not enjoy. Étienne annoyed me. While I was delighted about him and Anna, it was not alright that he still had a girlfriend (Ellie) for a large portion of the story. I mean the story sets up Ellie as not the best girlfriend, and we as readers are not supposed to support Ellie and Étienne’s relationship, but I bet if the reader was able to see into Ellie’s point of view opinions might change. I would not want to be Ellie. Étienne should have manned up sooner and broke it off with Ellie when he started to develop feelings for Anna. That would have been the decent thing to do. I know why he didn’t, but to me it was just a cheap way to keep the two main characters apart. Okay, rant over.

There was way too much drama for my liking. It seemed that everything that could happen, did happen. The side characters didn’t really matter too much. They were merely there to make Anna feel better when she was questioning everything. Overall, I would not recommend this book, but plenty of others have liked it. I might still give Lola and the Boy Next Door a chance, but we shall see.

Rango
Rating – PG
My Rating – 5/5

Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff.

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writers: John Logan, Gore Verbinski

Stars: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Timothy Olyphant

Review: I never expected to like this movie very much, but there is just something about this story that I absolutely love. I have been watching this movie over and over. For one, I enjoy the humor and how it’s very subtle at times. It might be because I have a strange sense of humor, and I find odd things to be very humorous, but I think many people will like the comical aspect of Rango. The plot was unique, and honestly, I’m not sure if it’s the best movie for children because they might not understand the story; however, there is plenty for adults to appreciate.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Rating – PG
My Rating – 4/5

The most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the beloved children’s book, the film focuses on a town where food falls from the sky like rain.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Writers: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Stars: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell

Review: This was quite an adorable movie, and it was another one I was not expecting to like as much as I did. The characters were personable and had great characterization. The jokes were funny without being too repetitive (Steve!), and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the quirks of each of the characters. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is definitely a movie for children, but it’s one that adults will be able to enjoy as well.

Epic
Rating – PG
My Rating – 4/5

A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group of characters in order to save their world — and ours.

Director: Chris Wedge

Writers: James V. Hart (screenplay), William Joyce (screenplay)

Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Beyoncé  Knowles

Review: While Epic is not completely original, and this sort of tale has been told before, Epic was able to bring a new twist to the story. I’m really happy that a lot of cliches were tossed out while making this. One in particular that stood out the most to me was when the villain’s son was hurt, he immediately stopped to check on him. The character’s were likable, and it’s easy to root for the good guys. My favorite characters were, of course, Mub (Aziz Ansari) and Grub (Chris O’Dowd). To me, they were able to bring the right amount of humor to the movie.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole
Rating – PG
My Rating – 4/5

When a young owl is abducted by an evil Owl army, he must escape with new-found friends and seek the legendary Guardians to stop the menace.

Director: Zack Snyder

Writers: John Orloff (screenplay), Emil Stern (screenplay)

Stars: Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham

Review: I have a new appreciation for owls. This was such a refreshing tale, and it was beautifully crafted. I’m glad there was some slow motion moments, so I could admire the amazing details in every scene. Even though it wasn’t perfect, the character development was enjoyable and realistic, especially with Soren and Kludd. The characterization was nice as well, even if it was a bit cliche at times with the overly good heroes and the overly evil villians. Although, it’s a nice story to show the difference between good and evil.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Rating – PG-13
My Rating – 4.5/5

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

Director: Francis Lawrence

Writers: Simon Beaufoy (screenplay), Michael Arndt (screenplay)

Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Review: Catching Fire is one of the best book to movie adaptation I have seen in a while. The only reason the movie did not get a 5/5 from me is because I rated the book 4/5, so the movie can only be as good as the source material, but it received .5 more for being so entertaining and well-done. I was thoroughly impressed with how well the book was brought to life. More impressive was that Francis Lawrence made action scenes without shaky cam! Woo, no shaking camera bouncing around everywhere. I would highly recommend this, and I’m excited to see how Mockingjay will be done. 

Book Art

As I was searching through BuzzFeed, I found an interesting post about an artist turning books into sculptures. While I’m not a fan of destroying books, I find the art quite beautiful. Some of my favorites are:

The Little Mermaid

The Night Circus

To Kill a Mockingbird

I find it fascinating the different things people can make out of everyday objects. I’ve always wanted to craft something as amazing as these book sculptures, but alas, I was born with average artistic skills. Anyway, let me know what your favorite one is or if you have found any cool book art.

I won’t make up any more excuses for buying books and movies because I love finding bargains on different items. Plus, I could have bought a lot more than I did, so I would call that a win. We spent several hours in town and found great deals everywhere we went. If you came across some great deals recently, let me know what you got (It doesn’t have to be books or movies).

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Genre – Classic/Romance

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity.

She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

The Unidentified – Rae Mariz
Genre – Young Adult

Kid knows her school’s corporate sponsors not-so-secretly monitor her friendships and activities for market research. It’s all a part of the Game; the alternative education system designed to use the addictive kick from video games to encourage academic learning. Everyday, a captive audience of students ages 13-17 enter the nationwide chain store-like Game locations to play.

When a group calling themselves The Unidentified simulates a suicide to protest the power structure of their school, Kid’s investigation into their pranks attracts unwanted attention from the sponsors. As Kid finds out she doesn’t have rights to her ideas, her privacy, or identity, she and her friends look for a way to revolt in a place where all acts of rebellion are just spun into the next new ad campaign.

Rango
Rating – PG

Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff.

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writers: John Logan, Gore Verbinski

Stars: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Timothy Olyphant

 

Epic
Rating – PG

A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group of characters in order to save their world — and ours.

Director: Chris Wedge

Writers: James V. Hart (screenplay), William Joyce (screenplay)

Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Beyoncé  Knowles




Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole

Rating – PG

When a young owl is abducted by an evil Owl army, he must escape with new-found friends and seek the legendary Guardians to stop the menace.

Director: Zack Snyder

Writers: John Orloff (screenplay), Emil Stern (screenplay)

Stars: Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham

 

What About Bob?
Rating – PG

A successful psychiatrist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, a highly manipulative obsessive-compulsive, tracks him down during his family vacation.

Director: Frank Oz

Writers: Alvin Sargent (story), Laura Ziskin (story)

Stars: Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty



Five Film Collection (Comedy)

Blazing Saddles (R)
To ruin a western town, a corrupt political boss appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Caddyshack (R)
An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher.

National Lampoon’s Vacation (R)
The Griswold family’s cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Grumpy Old Men (PG-13)
A lifelong feud between two neighbors since childhood, only gets worse when a new female neighbor moves across the street.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (PG-13)
A goofy detective specializing in animals goes in search of a missing dolphin mascot of a football team.

So much for my book buying ban. In my defense, my mom needed something ordered from Amazon, so of course I needed to add some books to my cart too. Plus, it’s only 3 books this time, so it’s okay, right? Right? On another note, I did get some movies last weekend as well. I can’t seem to pass up $5 or less movies. To stop buying books and movies, I’ll just need to stay out of stores and stay offline… I think that’s possible. Who am I kidding? I’ll probably buy something right after I post this. Anyway, on to the book and movie haul!

*All descriptions for books taken from Goodreads and all descriptions for movies taken from IMDb.

Pivot Point – Kasie West
Genre – Young Adult

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre – Young Adult

*I finally bought myself a copy of this book. Now, I can add it to the rest of my favorite books on my shelf.

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins
Genre – Young Adult

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion…she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket–a gifted inventor–steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Rating – PG

The most delicious event since macaroni met cheese. Inspired by the beloved children’s book, the film focuses on a town where food falls from the sky like rain.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Writers: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Stars: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell

Titans Double Feature
(Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans)
Rating – PG-13

(Clash of the Titans) Perseus, mortal son of Zeus, battles the minions of the underworld to stop them from conquering heaven and earth.

Director: Louis Leterrier

Writers: Travis Beacham (screenplay), Phil Hay (screenplay)

Stars: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Dune
Rating – PG-13

A Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father’s evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor’s rule.

Director: David Lynch

Writers: Frank Herbert (novel), David Lynch (screenplay)

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis

The Mummy Trilogy
(The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor)
Rating – PG-13

(The Mummy) An American serving in the French Foreign Legion on an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Hamunaptra accidentally awakens a Mummy.

Director: Stephen Sommers

Writers: Stephen Sommers (screen story), Lloyd Fonvielle (screen story)

Stars: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah

Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap

Chaotic Goddess Swaps is hosting another book swap, and I’ve been accepted to participate. This will be my first book swap, and I’m really excited about it. I’ve watched other people participate in swaps on Youtube, so when I saw this one advertised, I wanted to give it a shot. Here are the goals and rules of the swap:

Send your partner THREE books:

  1. A book you love
  2. A book you haven’t read but are interested in
  3. A book from your partner’s wish list
Books ‘n’ Bloggers Swap Rules:
  • Packages must contain 3 books that fit the criteria stated in the Swap Objective.
  • Send books that fit your partner’s genre preferences.
  • You must respond to emails from the swap hosts within a timely fashion.
  • Books MUST be mailed on or before February 1st, set to arrive by February 5th!
  • You must send a tracking number for your package to your partner and to us at Chaotic Goddess Swaps.
  • You MUST post and link up your swap reveal post. This is non-negotiable.

Sign ups are closed for this particular swap, but there will be another one in June.