Saturday, August 29, 2015

Weekend Reads [08/28~09/01] & Currently Reading

Hey guys!

It's that time again! It's the weekend! It's been a struggle to read as much as I would like to this month, and weekends have actually been busy lately. I've so far finished 2 of the books from my last weekend reads post. I've finished Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves #4) by Quinn Loftis & The Last Ever After (The School For Good & Evil #3) by Soman Chainani (review coming soon!). I plan on reading more next month, and hopefully I'll get used to school again *wink*. Here's what I want to try to read in the near future and what I'm currently reading!

Currently Reading:

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Page Count: 438
Published on: May 19, 2015
Published by: Del Rey
Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure, Romance, Middle Grade, Fairy Tale retellings, Adult Fantasy, Fiction, High Fantasy
Source: Print: Library
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

I'm about 300/426 pages through this book and I don't know if I can make myself finish it....

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Page Count: 369
Published on: August 20, 2013
Published by: Speak
Genre(s): YA, Romance, 
Source: Print: Hardback: Library
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon 

I hope I like this one!

Here's What I Want To Read Next!

Destined For Doon (Doon #2) by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Page Count: 368
Published on: September 2, 2014
Published by: Zondervan
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA, Romance, Science Fiction
Source: Print: Hardback: Library
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon 

I really loved Doon, so I'm hoping that I will love Destined For Doon just as much! You can find my review for Doon [here]!

Chivalrous by Dina L. Sleiman

Page Count: 368
Published on: September 8th 2015 
Published by: Bethany House Publishing 
Genre(s): Christian Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, YA, Fiction, Christian Romance
Source: Print: Paperback: From Bethany House Publishing
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon 

I just got this in the mail from Bethany House and I'm really excited to read it.

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Page Count: 384
Published on: July 7th 2015 
Published by: Bethany House Publishing 
Genre(s): Christian Fiction, Romance, Historical Fiction, YA, Fiction, Christian Romance
Source: Print: Paperback: From Bethany House Publishing
Age Rating: PG-14
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon 

I also got this in July from Bethany House, and I've been waiting for the right time to binge read my Bethany House books and I think within the next month will be a great time.

This will be a fun reading month. I'm excited for September..are you? Comment down below!

Happy reading!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

[Discussing Classic Fairy-tales!] The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson

Page Count: 48
Published in: 1836
Published by: Multiple Publishers
Genre(s): Romance, Fantasy, Classics, Fairy-tales, European Liturature, Short Story
Source: Print: (Borrowed) Hardback
Age Rating: PG-12

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

My Ratings: 5 star x2

Goodreads synopsis:

        Once there was a little mermaid who fell in love with a human boy . . . For as long as she can remember, the little mermaid has yearned for her 15th birthday, when she will finally be old enough to explore the world above the waves. For love of a handsome prince, the youngest mermaid makes a bargain with the evil sea-witch and endures great suffering in order to become human. Can she win the heart of the prince and earn her immortal soul?


Hey guys! 

       Disney's The Little Mermaid is probably in my top 3 favorite Disney movies, and I hadn't read the original story in probably years so I decided to re-read the story and compare it to Walt Disney's adaptation of it. I knew, of course, that the Disney version was legitimately different from the original, because the original fairy tales were usually really dark and quite sad. I really enjoy both of the adaptations immensely, but I kind of consider them two separate stories. Disney is beautiful and almost always has a happy ending, and the Disney movies are really great feel good movies that you could watch over and over and never get sick of (yes, even Frozen).  Sometimes you need a dark story with a good moral, and that's what Hans Christian Anderson gives you. Not to say that his stories aren't happy, because in a way they are. The endings are sometimes sad, but they're satisfactory endings that don't leave you bitter. The ending of The Little Mermaid was so sad, but I overall loved the stories the same. They both have characteristics that I love and it's hard to pick a favorite. Here are the differences between them!

  • The Little Mermaid is really quiet and actually kind of depressed after saving the prince.
  • She is 15-ish
  • She's very immature and naive
  • She longs for an immortal soul. She wants to become human so that when she dies she can go to heaven.
  • She's actually less determined than Ariel from Disney's film
  • The prince doesn't marry the little mermaid. He chooses to marry a girl that he thinks saved him from drowning. The Little Mermaid is devestated and her sisters give her the option to kill the prince and regain her mermaid form, but the Little Mermaid chooses to die and become the ocean. She then becomes t 
  • She's represented as a self-sacrificing hero
The Moral: Self sacrifice can reward you in the long run.
My Favorite Quote: "But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.”  

 The Movie:

  • This adaptation has more of a feminist approach, but to me that isn't very important.
  • The Little Mermaid has a name: Ariel. In the original story she has no name, but is just called "the little mermaid" but in both of the stories they are quite young. Ariel is 16 in the movie.
  • Ariel mainly focuses on her love for Eric and her deep longing to become human and join Eric in the human world (land). It's kind of a self-discovery story. She's trying to find her true self, whether it be a mermaid or a human. She doesn't feel like she belongs down in the ocean, so she wants to become a human. She has a collection of items that had come from the human world. She is fascinated by the human world and customs.
  • This adaptation ends with a happy ending and true loves kiss.
Moral: Dreams really do come true, and if you truly believe in your dreams they will come true.
My Favorite Quote:  

Over all there are so many similarities...the basic premise is the same, but Disney changed it up to figure in a happy ending. (These are just a few)
  • They need true loves kiss to become human.

  • They have to give up their voices to become temporarily human.

  • They fall in love with a human prince.

  • They're the youngest mermaid princess.
  • They both go to a sea witch for help.

  • They give up being a mermaid to be human.

       If you've never seen the film I highly reccomend it. It's by far one of my favorite films ever made. It's so beautifully made. The animation is flawless, the music is flawless, the story is beautiful, and the happy ending is so emotional and gahh so beautiful. 

Here are some of my favorite GIFs from The Little Mermaid film.

Which do you like best? Let me know in the comments!

Enjoy guys!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Out Of The Dark by Quinn Loftis

Page Count: 253
Published on:  June 3rd 2012
Published by: Quinn Loftis
Genre(s): Paranormal, Romance, YA, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Source: eBook
Age Rating: PG-14

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

Cheryl's Rating: 5 star

Twitter: @authquinnloftis

Goodreads synopsis:

Darkness has descended on the Transylvanian Alps.
Four packs of the powerful Grey wolves – in a rare show of cooperation – had joined together here in an effort to help their pack members find true mates. Then they were betrayed by one of their own – an Alpha hell-bent on becoming the most powerful of the Canis lupis. And though the wolf's assassination attempt on the currently-reigning Romanian Alpha failed, his plans to get Decebel, the Romanian Beta, out of the picture were coming together even as his treachery was discovered. The wolf fled, leaving destruction, death, and a missing mate behind him.

Unbeknownst to the other packs, the wolf has employed a witch to finish the deadly job and help him gain another tool to increase his power. A curse of devastating proportions will cripple Decebel in a way that may dissolve his fragile bond with Jennifer. Meanwhile, injured and alone, Jen has been fighting for her life. She had come to terms with her fate, accepting that she would not share a life with Decebel, until help came in the most unexpected form...

Vasile will have to use all his resources – including Sally, the new gypsy healer of the Romanian pack – to discover a way in which to destroy the witch, lift the curse from Decebel and reunite him with the one woman who makes him whole, and solve a mystery that's been surrounding the Romanian pack for 300 years.


Hey guys!

      Out Of the Dark is a continuation of the Grey Wolves series by Quinn Loftis. Oh my gosh guys! So good! This follows the characters within a few hours of the cliffhanger at the end of Just One Drop. In this Jen and Dec face the biggest obstacles, and they have to "put on their big boy pants" to find a solution. 

      Quinn Loftis has done it once again! I loved this addition to the series. Not only did she leave us at a cliff hanger at the end of Just One Drop, she succeeded in making the next book just as amazing! It added more fantastical elements to the world, and oh my gosh it was o funny! Jen and Decebel are so sweet and loving and I ship it so hard! I do believe that there will be a new ship in every book...I need more SallyxCostin in my life. Also the character development is actually really prominent in Jen & Dec's relationship. As I read, I found that they were becoming closer and their love was beautiful. Jen has matured considerably more throughout the 3rd and 4th book, and Dec has gained a sassy and sarcastic personality with Jen in his life. They bring out the best in each other. They're equally bull headed and sarcastic and it's hilarious to see them butt heads.
       This series will take you on a roller-coaster trip of emotion, inner turmoil, and conflict. It keeps you on your toes throughout the book. It will make you feel every emotion. It will literally make you laugh out loud, cry even! Quinn creates these characters that you can somehow relate to, even if something magical and fantastical is happening. You're worried with Jacque and Sally, scared with Jen, confused with Decebel, and overall you guys will feel ALL of the feels!

My Ships: Jacque x Fane //// Jen x Decebel //// Sally x Costin 
 Guys! These ships are amazing! asgialjlahf 

The Grey Wolves Series Reviews:

  1. Prince Of Wolves  4.5 stars
  2. Blood Rites          4 stars
  3. Just One Drop      5 stars
I hope you guys enjoyed this review! Happy reading! Stay beautiful!

Enjoy guys!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

[Review by Cheryl!] A Moment's Worth by Lauren Lola

Page Count: --
Published on: July 15th 2014
Published by: Lauren Lola
Genre(s): YA, Realistic Fiction
Source: eBook
Age Rating: (reading level) middle school (subject level) YA

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

Cheryl's Rating: 1 star

Twitter: @akolaurenlola

Goodreads synopsis:

Is the interconnectivity of the human race more than just the fundamentals of the Chinese tale of the red thread? Is the line between what’s real and what’s not as fine as we’ve been led to believe? How do narratives intersect each other without colliding and clashing? What can be uncovered, discovered, and even learned in a short period of time?

In her debut novel, Lauren Lola presents a cast of characters as they go about life as they know it, but not always in the most usual of circumstances. Some characters will mingle amongst each other, some will never meet; some whose identities take a while to be unveiled, some are left a mystery. From a UCLA freshman getting to know her celebrity roommate, to a man who unintentionally takes the San Francisco BART to a variety of locations beyond its final stop; from a fatherless girl who believes in the stars, to a young woman who carries the burden of being human, A Moment’s Worth is guaranteed to leave eyes seeing life a little more differently than before, for those who keep their minds wide open.


Hey guys! 

Here is my grandma's review of A Moment's Worth my Lauren Lola!

        Well,  from this synopsis, to the last page of the novel, I was confused.  The wording was extremely convoluted and pretentious.  The grammar mistakes were too numerous to even try to list.  This young author has a love for writing, that can be seen in her attempts at creating interesting characters.  I wanted to like this book because I love the idea of young people joining the ranks of the great writers of the past.  I must be honest, however, if I see that there needs to be more work put into the craft.  Normally I find at least some segments of a book that stay with me.  This book, however, left me blank.  I hope the author sees in this review the sincere hope that I have for her to go back to it and at the very least edit for grammar and dialog that brings it up to a reading level that YA readers expect.


        Well...there that I had said in the review I put on Goodreads, the book was a mess, but has the potential of being something good. I hope that Lauren goes back to it and has a good grammar check. As my grandmother said, it has the potential, but needs some help. If you're an aspiring writer don't be afraid to have your work checked and double checked. Writing is half the battle...then theirs grammar haha.

Mamaw and I
Enjoy guys!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rhymes With Witches by Lauren Myracle

Page Count: 237
Published on: March 1, 2006
Published by: Harry N. Abrams
Genre(s): Fiction, YA, Paranormal, Chick Lit, Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Source: Print: Hardback
Age Rating: PG-15

Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 2 stars

Twitter: @LaurenMyracle

Goodreads synopsis:

       Jane is the sort of quiet, ordinary girl who can walk down the hallways of her school without being noticed by anyone - not the football boys, the stoners, the debaters, and especially not the Bitches. The school royalty made up of one girl from each class who is so transcendentally beautiful and fascinating that no one can help but worship her.


Hey guys! 

        Rhymes With Witches follows Jane, a quiet, ordinary girl. She is one day approached by the queen bees of the school, the Bitches. They are the beautiful, popular girls who are worshiped by everyone. The Bitches give Jane the offer to join them and become popular and beloved by the whole school. Jane takes that offer, and everything goes down hill from there. There's something fishy going on with the Bitches...

       Let me start out by saying that I absolutely adore Lauren Myracle's books, but this one was a huge disappointment. The plot was rubbish and full of holes, the characters were horrible, and the ending was just awful! It was abrupt, it was too fast, and there wasn't any kind of redemption, they didn't explain how things came to be, and they left it off with a cliffhanger without any sign of a sequel. This book was awful. The only redeeming point was how they kind of dealt with bullying. Even then it wasn't very satisfying. All of the characters were so disloyal and so focused on being popular. They didn't care who they stepped on in the process, they just desperately wanted to be popular. Even Jane, she stabbed her best friend in the back to be popular. This was a mess and I was really really disappointed. 

       I really love Lauren Myracles' book series The Winnie Years. I read them when I was a preteen. 

       I absolutely love The Winnie Years. They're excellently written, the characters are amazing, and the romance in the later books is super cute. The whole series is really realistic, and preteens will relate to it very well. No matter your age you should read them..

Enjoy guys!
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Sunday, August 16, 2015

[Review By Courtney] My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Page Count: 423 
Published On: April 6, 2004 
Published By: Simon & Schuster, Inc 
Genre(s): Chick Lit, Womens Fiction, Drama, Adult, YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Family, Fiction
Source: Print, Paperback 
Age Rating: PG-14 

Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon

Courtney's Rating: 5 stars 

Twitter: @jodipicoult

Goodreads synopsis: 

        New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness. Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

        My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.


Heey guys! 

        My name is Courtney and Olivia has been so nice and is allowing me to guest blog on here! So here's a few fun facts about me before I get into the review. 
1) I LOVE Winnie the Pooh 
2) I want to move to the beach one day
3) Olivia got me back into reading our freshman year of high school (thank you dear) 
4) I hate reading series and I usually only read contemporaries, but I'm open to suggestions of other genres 

        Last New Year's Day Olivia, her sister, one of our friends and I ended up in a Goodwill. At this Goodwill I found My Sisters Keeper. It wasn't till this summer while in summer school that I read the book (I know I'm late getting on the bandwagon). Before reading this book I had watched the movie like a hundred times and had expectations going into the book. My expectations were definitely met and then some with this book. This was my first Jodi Picoult book and it made me fall in love with her writing. 

What I Loved: 

  • I liked how the book flashed back to before and during Kate's diagnoses. It helped me relate to the characters better and understand how they all got to where they are now.
  • I love how the book made me think. It raised questions like Does Anna have the obligation to risk her health, possibly life to save her sister? Where is the line between what is legal and what is morally right in a situation like this? How do you choose between risking one daughters life to potentially save your other daughter. I personally believe these kinds of questions can't be answered unless you were to be put into a situation like this. 
  • After finishing this book it stayed with me for a few weeks. I couldn't get the story or characters out of my head and I believe it shows how good of a book it really is.

 What I Didn't Like: 

  • I hated the ending. The ending to the book is different to the movie and I honestly preferred the movie ending. Since reading My Sisters Keeper I have read Picoult's book Nineteen Minutes and I'm currently reading Salem Falls. What I have realized that her books have "twist" endings. These endings have made me mad and made me feel like they weren't necessary to the story. 

My Favorite Character: Kate is my favorite. She is so unselfish and would rather die than put her family through any more hurt. She is the reason Anna try's to get emancipation from her parents medically.

My Least Favorite Character: Umm my least favorite character has to be that lawyer dude. It's great what he's doing and all but it isn't till the end that he shows any compassion to Anna.

Other than that this author has won me over and I'd recommend everyone to read at least one of her books 

Thank you to Olivia for allowing me to guest blog on here and thank you to you guys for reading my review!

If you'd like you can follow me on Instagram @annamariaizland


Hey guys! 

        I hope you loved Courtney's review as much as I did. She's been my best friend since our freshman year, and it's been a real blessing to have her in my life. I've also not hopped onto the My Sister's Keeper bandwagon, but I plan to do so really soon! Comment down below if you've read the book and if you love it as much as Courtney. I remember her messaging me right after she had just finished the book, and she was a mess...then and there I realized I was eventually going to read the will happen before the end of the year...I promise haha...anyway! Hope you guys enjoyed this review! I'll try to keep to the reviewing schedule, but until I get back into the flow of school that may take a couple weeks so bear with me.  Thanks guys!

Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr // Goodreads // Bloglovin

This was from New Years Eve, a few hours before we went to
Goodwill & Courtney got My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
[from left to right:] Sarah (my twin), Courtney, & Me