Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

Title Things We Know by Heart
Author Jessi Kirby
Page Count 304
Publishing Date April 21st 2015
Publisher Harper Teen
Genre YA, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Find Goodreads | Amazon

I came across this book by chance. I had never read anything by Jessi Kirby before, but after reading Things We Know by Heart I certainly will read her other books. This book was a rollercoaster of emotion

When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all. 

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

The story line is something we have all seen before, but this is truly something special. It is a story about moving on, letting go, and relationships both romantic and not.

I really enjoyed Jessi Kirby's writing style, it is truly bewitching. She made you feel fear, sadness, anticipation, heartbreak, joy, happiness, and above all love. You experienced everything right along with Quinn which made you relate to her on a different level. 

Jessi made you feel like you were right there with the characters. The setting and atmosphere she created were great. You could almost taste the salty air, feel the sand between your toes, and hear the waves crashing into shore. 

I thought the story was great, it was very raw and inspiring how deep the characters were. Jessi was great at depicting how Quinn dealt with her grief, or how she didn't for a long time. Also the relationship that formed between Quinn and Colton is amazing, the way they learn from each other and how they help each other deal with a crap time in their lives was beautiful and to get to experience that with them was wonderful.

Jessi is able to break you down and build you back up within 300 pages, honestly within the first few chapters I was crying which was a first for me. The story had a lot more substance than most YA novels have and it was a great change.

The only thing I didn't particularly like was the ending. I would have preferred to have a little more of a grip on what happens in the future, but I guess the ending it did have was special in the way that you can fill in the blanks yourself.

I would recommend this book to anyone who can read. Jessi is such a gifted writer and it is truly a privilege to read her book. I thought it was raw, honest, inspiring, breathtaking and beautifully written props to Jessi Kirby!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Reading Update: Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordon

A few days ago I was looking for a movie to watch, and I came across Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief. I had already watched the movie but I remember really liking it so I watched it again. And this time around was no different from before, I once again really liked the movie and honestly casting Logan Lerman didn’t hurt either. Sea of Monsters was next on my to watch list and I was able to cross it off again almost imeadietly. From reading other book bloggers I had already gathered the movies were based on books written by Rick Riordan. After reminding myself how much I liked the movies I decided to check out the series.

As usual I’m late to the party but right now I am reading Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief, I’m on the fourth or so chapter and really enjoying it. What I’ve gathered so far is that the book and movie are certainly worth seein\reading both if you want an accurate feel of the story. They both differ from eachother. In the book Percy is 12 and in the movie he certainly isn’t, and there were a few other differences I noticed. None the less I’m really liking the book so far. Rick Riordan has a unique writing voice, which I’m certain if you’ve read his books you’ll be able to pick out from a crowd. I’ll keep you updated on my process with the books. Have you read the Percy Jackson books? Did you like them? I'd love to hear your opninion.

Friday, May 15, 2015

How to Bust Out of Your Reading Slump

Every avid reader has them, reading slumps. Gosh they are the worst, and I am sad to say I am currently in one. You know the feeling of wanting to read but just not being able to cop up enough concentration for it, your eyes and mind wonder off and before you know it you find yourself reading the same sentence over and over again. Reading slumps are quite upsetting for a person who loves to read, so in this post, I am going to do my best to help you get out of it. These are some thing I find helpful. I hope you will be able to snap out of your slump fast with these tips.

1 Read a book you love. If you read one of your favorite books you will be sure you'll love reading it, which will likely get you your reading mojo back.

2 Ride it out. Even though we all obviously love books sometimes you just need to step away from them for a while. Focus on something else, study hard or hang out with your friends. Go life your life for a while and after a period of time you'll get the reading itch back, I promise!

3 Change your reading environment. Maybe a change of scenery is all you need, go to the park or a coffee shop to read. If background noise makes you lose focus find a place without noise, or if it instead makes you focus find a place that does have background noise. Choose a comfortable, calming space and just read.

4 Visit a book store or library. Hopefully when you are browsing you will reconnect with your love for books and get excited to read again.

5 Use a different medium. If you have been reading e-books switch to physical books, and the other way around. A different type of book can sometimes help to switch things up. If your slump is really bad you can also try an audio book.

6 Watch BookTube. If you want to be inspired I'd recommend watching some BookTube video's. It reminds me how fun reading actually is when I try to hard. Two of my favorite BookTuber's are; PeruseProject and BooksandQuills

7 Read with a buddy. Ask one of your friends if they want to read a book with you, not necessarily in the same place. Have a kind of book club and discus what you have read after each chapter. This will most likely make you excited to read the rest of the book.

8 Watch a book to movie adaptation. Watch a movie which is based on a book. If you really loved the movie you will probably like the book too which might give you your reading mojo back.

I hope these tips will be able to pull you out of your slump. If you have tried any of these tips, or have any of your own please leave a comment!

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Top 7 Literary Insults

Unlike popular opinion, books aren't always that serious. They can be just as funny as your favourite comedy. Even the most renowned, award winning novels have funny lines in them if you look closely enough. Here are some of my favourite literary insults.

"My dear, I don't give a damn." - Gone with the wind.

"If your brains were dynamite there wouldn't be enough to blow your hat off." - Timequake.

"I desire that we be better strangers." - As you like it.

"She is nuttier than squirrels poo." - Harry Potter and the deadly hallows

"I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with such little result." - The importance of being earnest.

"Your hair wants cutting." - Alice in wonderland.

"He would make a lovely corpse." - The life and adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

Title Fans of the Impossible Life
Author Kate Scelsa
Page Count 368
Publishing Date September 8th 2015 
Publisher Balzer + Bray
Genre YA, Contemporary, GLBT, Romance

Find Goodreads | Amazon

This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over as a new student at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to act like a normal, functioning human this time around, not a girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby. 

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with a mischievous glint in his eye. 

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and secret road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives. 

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

A captivating and profound debut novel, "Fans of the Impossible Life" is a story about complicated love and the friendships that change you forever.

Gosh doesn't this just sound amazing? I'm really excited to read this, and I can't wait until the book is released. I figure it will be a quirky tale about teen life. Also I imagine it will have a unique view because of the LGBT characters. It seems like a very character driven book which will most likely make it a joy to read. What books are you excited for? I'd love to hear.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Movie Review: The Duff

Title The DUFF
Release Date 20th of February 2015
Directed By Ari Sandel
Duration 101 minutes 
Cast Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Bianca Santos, Skyler Samuels
Genre Comedy 
PG -13

Find Trailer

So I just watched The DUFF, I wasn't really expecting much and besides knowing what a DUFF was I had no knowledge of the story. Ohmygod, I loved it, it was amazeballs.

Bianca (Mae Whitman) is a content high school senior whose world is shattered when she learns the student body knows her as 'The DUFF' (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos). Now, despite the words of caution from her favorite teacher (Ken Jeong), she puts aside the potential distraction of her crush, Toby (Nick Eversman), and enlists Wesley (Robbie Amell), a slick but charming jock, to help reinvent herself. To save her senior year from turning into a total disaster, Bianca must find the confidence to overthrow the school's ruthless label maker Madison (Bella Thorne) and remind everyone that no matter what people look or act like, we are all someone's DUFF.

I guess the plot is a little cheesy, but it really brought some serious social issues to light. High school is full of labels and people trying to 'belong'. And it was really interesting to see Bianca, the main character, go trough the different stages this ignites. Also cyber life was a really important factor in the film, this was very interesting to see because this is a very big aspect of our daily lives. 

The story was fun to watch, it was light but it still made you think. I really liked the fact that current social issues were being discussed in a really funny way. The acting was also great, the performances were snappy and bright and they really spiced up the movie. Mae Whitman did an amazing job and played the character of a frumpy but proud geek very well. 

I really loved the movie and will certainly be reading the book it was based of by Kody Keplinger. The movie is funny but with enough cometary about teen life to make it stand out. I would recommend this to anyone who has been or is in high school and loves a good laugh.

My Rating: 4,5

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lending Out Books

Everybody has different views on lending out and borrowing books and I thought I'd share mine seeing my latest experience.

Today I got myself into a little bit of a pickle. I was sitting in Geography and to fight the boredom me and my closest neighbours started talking about books. We talked about Eleanor & Park, a bit of John Green, some Harry Potter was touched and last but not least the Divergent Trilogy. A friend of a friend asked me if I have copies of the books, and I answered that yes I did. She immediately jumped on me and asked if she could borrow them from me because her friend wouldn't lend them to her. This made alarm bells ring in my head and I searched the most creative part of my mind for a plausible excuse. It's not the nicest way I know, but honestly I'm kind of anal about my books.

Everybody treats their books differently. Some people like to give their books annotations or they like their books to look well read. While I personally like my books to be read  at  the same time I go out of my way to avoid cracking the spine. I shudder when I read a library book or an assigned book at school and I see a previous reader has given it dog ears, and when I see someone reading with the cover bent it just gives me anxiety. Books aren't cheap so when I spend my money on books I like to take care of them. Lending out books puts this responsibility in others their hands and I am not certain some people can be trusted with this. I asked one of my friends their opinion on lending out books and she reacted in the same way, yay I'm not alone (Private dance party). But if you want to lend out your books to someone here are some tips.

1 Expectations
If your not certain someone will be careful enough with your book subtly tell them to be careful with it.

2 Time frame
Another negative part of lending out books is the uncertainty if you'll get it back or not. Give the person borrowing your book a time frame in which you expect them to return the book to you.

3 Marking Your Territory
To make sure you can always identify your copy mark them. Piss methaphorically all over them. OK maybe not that drastic but putting your name in there shouldn't be an issue. If you don't like marking your books try writing on washi tape it looks cute and it isn't permanent.

And if your still vehemently anti lending out that is fine too, and here are some tips to deal with that.

4 Gently reject 
Tell them to maybe try the library and see if they can lend the book there.

5 Elaborate
When they are still on your case for lending your copies tell them that you don't like lending out your books. Maybe touch on past experiences. Tell them about when someone didn't give you a book back or damaged a copy when you are always very careful with your books.

6 Evade
When all else fails make an excuse, you have tried your best to do it the nice way.
- I have already lend my copies out.
- I have them stored away.
- I seem to have misplaced them.

Good luck with your borrowing and lending experiences! Also I am really interested to hear what your borrowing and lending stories are.