Friday, March 18, 2016

Blog Tour: How to Get Your Heart Broken + Giveaway

How to Get Your Heart Broken by Rose Fall
Release Date: March 21st 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
A self-proclaimed cynic, Eli is unsurprised by her boyfriend’s betrayal. Yet, its impact goes beyond what she realizes; a cruel bet, an array of secrets, and a thousand lessons not yet learned teach her how to trust again as an unlikely boy shows her a kind of love she never knew existed.

After Eli finds her boyfriend cheating on her, she seeks an escape. She heads to the beach to spend the summer before college with her two best friends. When Eli is unable to move past the betrayal, the girls devise a distraction; a bet about their handsome neighbor. Yet their thoughtless competition goes too far and their friendships are tested as they began to wonder how much they really know about each other and themselves. In the chaos, they manage to learn the truth about love, self-acceptance, and the journey back from rock bottom.

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Buy Links: AmazonPaperback

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Eli wasn't really surprised when she found her boyfriend with another girl on her bed. She was used to people disappointing her. But she couldn't help but be angry and sad for what things could have been. She knew Ryan since she was ten. She had hope. But now she deems the male gender to be all alike. To get her mind off of Ryan one of her best friend's, Rachel, hatches a plan. She decides that if Eli believes that all men are the same then their new neighbor deserves a taste of what they all have been doing to girl's for eons. Eli, Rachel, and Ash are going to make the handsome neighbor, Jessie, fall in love with them and then break his heart. How's that for revenge?

I honestly did not understand the revenge plan. It was really the only part of the book that I was confused about. It made no sense to get revenge on someone they didn't know. He did act overly confident so if I could have seen a scene of the girl's where Jessie was acting like a jerk before they came up with the plan then that would have made better sense for me.

Other than the revenge plan I am a sucker for a good romance. If you have a good romance then you have saved the book for me easily. Jessie is an overly confident, charming guy but he never acted like a jerk. Hallelujah right? Eli was always sarcastic with Jessie. I always thought it was a defense mechanism since she's hurting right now, however she can be quite snarky with her best friends too. Mostly these two watched movies together which doesn't sound thrilling but it does sound realistic. Jessie and Eli's conversations were really fun. Of course, I knew something was going to happen with the two so it made it even more exciting when they were together.

Eli's friendship with Rachel and Ash was a huge part of the story. Best friends are the best, but Rachel... well let's say she took after Eli is the sarcastic department but she could be pretty cold hearted to Ash. I was always upset that Eli never really stood up for Ash as much as I would have liked her to. I know Rachel has her issues like Eli but what kind of friend is she really if she treats others so poorly? Eventually, things got smoother which I was thankful especially for Ash the poor girl. She's the girl who felt invisible in high school until Eli came along. I pretty much sympathized with her the most. She had the heart to be the only one who was hesitant to do the plan. Smart girl. The three girls were such a large part of the book and kept me interested (I sometimes need more than romance). The talks between Jessie and Eli always made me happy (But really it all goes back to the romance). All in all, other than the strange revenge plan I enjoyed Eli, her friends, and her love interest. How to Get Your Heart Broken was a pleasant read that thankfully didn't leave me hanging at the end. (Epilogues rule!)

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Book Trailer





About the Author

Rose Fall was born in New York City to Senegalese immigrant parents. She is currently studying Communication and Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill. Her debut novel "How to Get Your Heart Broken" is set to be released Spring 2016. You can find her at her blog on rosesarecool.wordpress.com

Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter

GIVEAWAY



Saturday, February 27, 2016

Blog Tour: The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

About The Ramblers

• Hardcover: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (February 9, 2016)

For fans of J. Courtney Sullivan, Meg Wolitzer, Claire Messud, and Emma Straub, a gorgeous and absorbing novel of a trio of confused souls struggling to find themselves and the way forward in their lives, set against the spectacular backdrop of contemporary New York City.

Set in the most magical parts of Manhattan—the Upper West Side, Central Park, Greenwich Village—The Ramblers explores the lives of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family. During the course of one fateful Thanksgiving week, a time when emotions run high and being with family can be a mixed blessing, Rowley’s sharply defined characters explore the moments when decisions are deliberately made, choices accepted, and pasts reconciled.

Clio Marsh, whose bird-watching walks through Central Park are mentioned in New York Magazine, is taking her first tentative steps towards a relationship while also looking back to the secrets of her broken childhood. Her best friend, Smith Anderson, the seemingly-perfect daughter of one of New York’s wealthiest families, organizes the lives of others as her own has fallen apart. And Tate Pennington has returned to the city, heartbroken but determined to move ahead with his artistic dreams.

Rambling through the emotional chaos of their lives, this trio learns to let go of the past, to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds. The Ramblers is a love letter to New York City—an accomplished, sumptuous novel about fate, loss, hope, birds, friendship, love, the wonders of the natural world and the mysteries of the human spirit.

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Clio is finally happy. She has Henry, an older, loving, hotel entrepreneur who adores Clio. She has a career as an ornithologist fulfills her. And she has friends who love her. Her life wasn't always like this. She felt invisible and vulnerable for a long time. She harbors a secret from Henry that she worries will come out. If he sees her for who she really is will he accept her or run away?

Smith does her best not to lose it. She can't help but feel overwhelmed and envious of her little sister's wedding when that should have been her a year ago. Although still dealing with her broken heart she still tries to be the perfect daughter. In reality, she feels she could never be that person and it weighs on her. Then comes along Tate who is going through a divorce. He went to Yale with her but they never really spoke to each other. All of a sudden she's revealing a hidden secret only her best friend Clio knows. Why she has opened up to him she doesn't know. All she hopes is that she won't be left broken hearted once again.

The Ramblers is a three person POV. I know some people don't tend to like books with multiple POV's but I love them especially if they work as well as The Ramblers. I really liked Clio more than any of the other characters just because I felt I could empathize with her more emotionally. Her mother was dealing with a mental illness all of her life and it wasn't really addressed within the family. Her father is a quiet sort of man and they have been strained since her mother died a year ago. When Clio described what it was like to live with her mother I couldn't help but feel sorry for her. It's really hard seeing a parent go through something and not understanding what's happening until you are older. Her story gave a glimpse of what it was like to have a parent with a mental illness and how it affects everyone around them.

Clio was genuine and kind. She was so afraid too. Afraid that she would lose a guy she never thought she could love so much. I understood her hesitancy and found her story to be very rewarding. Her best friend Smith, on the other hand, took me a moment to warm up to. I just didn't like that she was clearly jealous of her sister. When I found out the details of what happened with her ex then I really started to understand and appreciate her. I mean it does really suck to have family members think that the person you loved for so long really didn't mean anything. Her father particularly drove me nuts with his rudeness towards Smith's former relationship. He also wasn't very nice about her career aspirations. He's that typical rich guy who frowns on those who have less than him or don't 100% agree with him. So I could understand why Smith felt lost and couldn't really see her worth at times.

Tate is that oh so special guy that Smith opens up to. Tate's divorce is pretty difficult on him but then through all of that he finds Smith. He never wanted to get into a relationship so fast but with Smith, it feels different. He can't figure her out and she's so beautiful because of that. I liked that he was not like Smith's father at all. Basically, that was the standard he had to pass after I met her father and he succeeded in that.

There's one minor thing that I didn't think was particularly necessary which was all the sexual moments that were kind of crude to me but other readers might enjoy that aspect. Otherwise, I enjoyed how each story came together. I enjoyed getting to know Clio, Smith, and Tate and seeing where their journey took them. I'm really happy with how everything turned out and kind of wish I had a glimpse of their future to see how they are all doing.


Photo credit: Elena SeibertAbout Aidan Donnelly Rowley


Born and raised in New York City, Aidan Donnelley Rowley is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, but her dream (long unconscious) was always to write. She is the author of a novel, Life After Yes; blogs at IvyLeagueInsecurities.com; contributes to The Huffington Post; and is the founder and curator of the popular Happier Hours Literary Salons. The middle of five sisters, she lives in New York with her husband and three young daughters.

Find Aidan on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.



Thanks to TLC Book Tours and William Morrow for providing me The Ramblers in exchange for an honest review!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Cupcake Witch

Chancellor Fairytales #2. Love Potion Books (2015) YA Bound Book Tours
Julie
Buttercream. Vanilla. Fondant. Dark chocolate. Brown sugar. Molasses. Baking has always been my true love, but it wasn’t until my mother’s death, and the unexpected inheritance of Serendipity Gardens, that my bliss called me. Bittersweet. But Serendipity Gardens has more to offer than just a potential shopfront. An unusual recipe box left to me by a distant relative might be the key to unlocking my dreams.
Too bad the most powerful family in Chancellor has plans that could turn those dreams to ruins—literally.
Too bad the son of that powerful family is just the kind of guy I’ve been looking for. 
Horatio
I suppose being heir to the Hunter family’s Blushing Grape Winery should make me happy, but nothing could be further from the truth. With my mother gone, my father has taken me under his wing, and I despise everything about the way he does business. Sour grapes, indeed. Instead of raising money for charitable causes, my true passion, I’m chasing my father’s manifest destiny.
Too bad his dream includes paving paradise.
Too bad the property owner is the sweetest woman I’ve ever met.
They say the course of true love never runs smooth.
But that’s nothing a magical cupcake can’t solve. 


Review

"HOLDING THE WHISK TIGHTLY, I swirled the pale-yellow batter around the bowl, the sweet scents of vanilla, brown sugar, and bitter dark chocolate perfuming the air. Even though it was a cool autumn morning, the heat from the oven made the kitchen feel toasty warm."

Julie, a red-haired dreadlock beauty, loves to bake scrumptious desserts. All she's ever wanted was to have her own restaurant or bakery where she can live out her passion. Her mom never wanted this because according to her there was no money in it. The result is that Julie's miserable, failing her classes, and about to lose her scholarship. Her mom has passed away and she can't decide whether she follows her mother's dream or her own. A property her family inherits might be the opportunity for her to choose once and for all what she wants out of life.

"I gazed across the shop. The possibilities were limitless, but the one thing that needed to be there was me. My heart felt it with more certainty that anything I’d felt since Mom had died. I needed that neglected place as much as it needed me. What we would do together, I wasn’t sure quite yet, but that was nothing a pumpkin spice latte couldn’t remedy."

Source

Horatio's father has been on a rampage ever since his wife died - Horatio's mother. He's being pulled in two directions too - his father's demands or his own passion that he shares with his deceased mother. While trying to meet his father's demands he meets Julie, a sweet, polite, but not to be taken lightly girl who's in his way of a property his father insists he obtains. Julie and Horatio are on the verge of a decision - live the life their parents want or the lives they want to live.

"Nothing was ever good enough for Dad. Nothing. And now that Mom was gone, his temper and impatience were worse than ever. He hadn’t even asked about the charity event. My achievements meant nothing to him. The only thing that mattered was what he wanted."

The Cupcake Witch was a wonderfully feel good novella. I've been reading a lot of serious reads so it's been a while since I've been able to enjoy a sweet read like this. The setting is a small town that has that feel. Everyone seems to be friends with each other and I thought it was a perfect setting for Julie and Horatio's story. All the characters were very good-natured. Julie and Horatio were struggling with a major decision in life. I could feel how much they wanted to please their parents but also how miserable they were doing so. Their romance was a bit fast paced. However, the story and it being a novella had me not too bothered by the pace but enough that I think other readers might find fault with that aspect of the story.

"Rayne had bent down and was helping up the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Her red hair flowed down her back, a pile of real estate signs were heaped at her feet, and she was nursing a cut in her thumb—an injury that, clearly, I had caused. Great. What a wonderful day this was turning out to be. And thanks to my dumb luck, I’d just made the worst first impression on the one person I’d needed the most."

There was some wonderfully delicious dessert imagery which I was, of course, thrilled to read about. I've been on a Food Network binge so the time I read The Cupcake Witch worked out nicely. I loved the concept of a cupcake witch or really a hearth witch. It's kind of nice thinking that magic can be anywhere even in the food we make. The only thing I couldn't believe was that there weren't any recipes! That would have taken the story higher in my mind. One detail that didn't escape me was that the cover has a red-haired dreadlocked girl just like Julie! Such a cool consistent thing to discover.

"The earthy, slightly spicy, taste of the lavender mixed with hints of lemon and honey. The cupcake melted in my mouth the way Mom’s pineapple upside down cake used to do. The cupcake’s lavender flavor, melding with Rayne’s honey, took me back."

Source

I'd love to see what else Poppy Lawless has in store. If it was anything like this tasty story it sure to be a sweet read.



About the Author

Romance author. Cupcake connoisseur. Certified herbalist. Beach bum. Fan of all things Starbucks. Holistic healing advocate. Surfer girl wanna-be. Lost guru. Maker of dandelion wine. Counselor. Paranormal buff. Etsy addict. Secretly Jedi. So not a geek girl. Gifted in sarcasm. Hot wife. Ninja mom. And now, I'm ready to share a whole head full of witty, mouthy, smart, lovely, heart-warming, and hot characters with the world. Are you ready?

Poppy Lawless is the author of the forthcoming series Love & Chocolate releasing in 2015 and The Glass Mermaid. Poppy holds degrees in English and Psychology. She is a counselor in the field of mental health and is a trained herbalist. Poppy's new series blends the best of romance with a Practical Magic or contemporary Bewitched appeal.




Giveaway





Thanks to YA Book Bound Tours for providing me with The Cupcake Witch in exchange for an honest review!


Monday, February 8, 2016

If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle Illustrated by Cale Atkinson


Standalone. Tundra Books (February 9th, 2016) NetGalley

Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring ... he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, gryphons scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet ... or is he?
If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations--and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.



Sam's pet hamster is quite boring compared to all the animals she finds in her mythology books. She thinks of how great a gryphon, mermaid, sasquatch and other unusual creatures would be to have as pets. But as she thinks them up she notices that they all come with some complications. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, you'll get some giggles and an assortment of odd knowledge about mythological creatures.


I was instantly attracted to the artwork in If I Had a Gryphon. It's really my style of art with vibrant colors and really cartoony bigger than life creatures. The illustrations really make the story come alive. The writing is really cute and simple. The story rhymes its way to every creature Sam can think of. I think the array of creatures and the way the story is presented will have kids wanting to read more about the animals. I really want to know what a Kirin is and why it needs a field of grass. The silliness and creativity of what each creatures complication would be was really fun. I especially liked hearing about the manticore needing special floss and seeing Sam flossing that big, disgusting mouth.


If I Had a Gryphon was just the perfect picture book. It encompasses two things I love: art and mythology. It was a home run for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tundra Books for letting me read If I Had a Gryphon in exchange for an honest review!

If you could have any mythological pet what would it be?

Noni Speaks Up by Heather Hartt-Sussman Illustrations by Geneviève Côté


Tundra Books (February 9th, 2016) Netgalley

Noni always tries to do the right thing. But she doesn't know how to help her classmate Hector, who is constantly bullied for his name, his size and his giant glasses. Noni stands by silently, afraid that the kids will turn on her if she speaks up. Yet "doing nothing" doesn't feel very good. Will Noni be brave enough to take matters into her own hands? 


Standing up for yourself can be a difficult thing to do. Standing up for someone else can be even harder. Noni Speaks Up describes how Noni freezes up when a boy named Hector is being made fun of. She thinks about what it would be like if her friends turn on her if she speaks up. Is it worth helping Hector if she ends up alone?

I've been faced with this same situation time and again. It's something that is really relatable to kids and something that family members and teachers should discuss more often. I really liked that Noni starts thinking about the consequences that will happen to her if she speaks up because that's the main downfall with people who are wrestling whether or not to speak up for someone. Do I really want this attention on myself? 

What kids should really think about and I wish Noni Speaks Up would have alluded to more towards the end of the story is that friends who make fun of others aren't good friends. Well, at least, they don't see how harmful their actions can be and you need to wake that friend up. If they don't see their errors and they start making fun of you then they aren't friends you need in your life.

Needless to say, I really enjoyed the message and writing of Noni Speaks Up. The illustrations were simple and childlike. Everything came together really nicely. I think it's a great story that I would pick up later on especially as a future teacher who will discuss moral dilemmas like these with her students.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tundra Books for providing me Noni Speaks Up in exchange for an honest review!

Have you ever faced a moral dilemma like Noni?
Do you wish you could have acted differently or the same?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Books on Her Mind Weekly Recap #1


This past week I got nasty sick with a cold to where I missed two classes which makes me cringe thinking about it.

I'm finally feeling better so I'm trying to comment more and be more active on the blog.

As you might already notice I got yet another new look. I'm constantly changing or never satisfied with my look so it was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm pretty happy with the look and I don't have to worry that all the pictures align to the left so everything's good.

While I was sick I got to read a good amount of books especially when my head stopped pounding. I always love team challenges on the YA Buddy Read group I participate in. They always encourage me to read more. Hopefully, I'll get caught up with reviews this month along the way.

Also, I'll be participating in the Valentine's Day Reading Challenge for fun this week.

I'm linking this to The Sunday Post hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer


Books Read



The Sea of Tranquility has become one of my favorites of the year so far.


Challenge Updates

  • Reading England Challenge ------- > 0/11 books read
  • Foodies Read 2016 ------- > 0/8 books read
  • I Love Picture Books Reading Challenge ------- > 1/25 books read
  • Royal Challenge 2016 ------- > 2/15 books read
  • 2016 Horror Challenge ------- > 1/5 books read
  • Retelling Challenge ------- > 1/4 books read
  • 2016 Graphic Novel and Manga Challenge ------- > 5/24 books read
  • NetGalley Reading Challenge ------- > 2/10 books read
  • Christmas in Winter ------- > 10/17 books read
  • 2016 Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge ------- > 2 books read
  • Around the World 2016 ------- > 6 books read
  • Goodreads Challenge ------- > 17/150 books read
  • Operation Deepen Faith ------- > Read up to Genesis Ch. 3

#FitReaders

I was sick most of the week but I did get to go to the gym one day before everything hit.

Monday, February 1st - 7,142 steps + 1 hour at the gym (Triceps and Chest)
Tuesday, February 2nd - 6,420 steps
Wednesday, February 3rd - 2,032 steps (Sick)
Thursday, February 4th - 79 steps (Sick)
Friday, February 5th - 3,657 steps (Recovering)
Saturday, February 6th - 2,162 steps (Recovering)

Total Steps: 21,492

My plan this week is to do my jog/walk program and get to the gym again.

I'm linking this to the #FitReaders Check-In @ The Geeky Blogger's Book Blog

Weekly Royal Releases/Finds

I'm hosting the Royal Challenge 2016. I recently did the February discussion and I wanted to see if I can post some new releases or finds each week that would fall into the category. So here we go:



If you have any suggestions of books to feature please let me know in the coments!


To link your royal reads, see other reviews and discussions, or find out more information about the challenge you can visit here.


Looking Ahead


Monday, February 8th, 2016
Noni Speaks Up by Heather Hartt-Sussman
If I Had a Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
Blog Tour: The Cupcake Witch

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
The Magical World of Foodie Books
Stacking the Shelves

Thursday, February 11th, 2016
After the Woods by Kim Savage

Friday, February 12th, 2016
Happiness and Books

Saturday, February 13th, 2016
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Sunday, February 14th, 2016
Books on Her Mind Weekly Recap #2
Valentine's Day Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

What books did you get to read last week?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Practically Perfect Princess in Every Way

Source
               
Now I know the word "perfect" isn't something we frantically must try to achieve for our lives to be fulfilled. Everyone is perfect the way they are and if they think they can achieve better in their lives than that is great. When I am thinking the "perfect" princess I'm thinking of the princess that I can admire for her character and skills. I think I've come up with all that would make my perfect princess.

This discussion is part of the Royal Challenge 2016. It's all about creating your own princess or prince. If you want to join or add your updates you can find info on all that here.



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No damsels in distress allowed

I mean it's great to have a charming, sweet, ruffian trying to save the day but not at the expense of a princesses integrity. I'd rather my princess save her own life/kingdom without a prince getting in the way.


This girl does whatever it takes to survive and feed her family then she goes on to try to save her man. The odds are stacked against Feyre, but she will do anything to save the ones she loves.

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But she has the capacity to lean on some great friends

There is nothing worse than a stubborn princess who doesn't put her trust in her friends. I mean stubbornness is a great trait of mine but if I couldn't lean on others in times of need than I would be a fool. 


Who exemplifies this? ~ Blue from The Raven Cycle series

Blue puts her trust in these three boys that think Gansey is their leader. But Blue is the key to everything and she gets everything started. Her friends have her back and she has theirs.

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Which she might drive crazy with her spontaneous leap-into-action nature

Having that adventurous nature might get her into trouble but it's what makes her life so much more interesting. Just going for whatever needs done makes this princess a fearless one.


Who exemplifies this? ~ Will Scarlet from Scarlet

A girl posing as a guy. She might want to leave her past behind and not rely on her friends but, she always will fight first and ask questions later. Living in a corrupt town, she's actually making a wise choice. She's also clever and fearless enough to save innocent people from danger.


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She just can't help that she must do anything to help those in need

Morals are the top priority for my princess. being a good person is one of the goals that I think all princesses should strive for. If they don't then what makes them so great?


Clara goes against what she must do in order to save her friends and family. She makes mistakes but her intentions and sacrifice are always there.

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Her quick wit can her into and out of trouble

Intelligence and being quick on her feet will get this princess on the right track to save her kingdom.


Who exemplifies this? ~ Katarina from The Heist Society


Katarina is always a force to be reckoned with. Everyone comes to her for her for ideas and strategies to get the job done. Without her being quick on her feet, she and her crew would have been caught countless of times.

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If her wit fails then her weapon of choice will surely fix that

I don't care what weapon(s) my princess has - sword, daggers, a bow and arrows, a mace, an axe or her fists - if she has the skills to fight off her enemies she has scored points with me.

Who exemplifies this? ~ Nastya from The Sea of Tranquility

Although broken from a past tragedy, Nastya has skills that will have anyone coming at her quickly running away. She can hit hard and run fast so you don't want to mess with this small but ferocious girl.

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She must follow her own journey

She should never let anyone dictate her path in life. It's great to follow rules but breaking them for something you stand for and/or your happiness is what can make a princess a cut above the rest.

Who exemplifies this? ~ D.J. Swenk from Dairy Queen

With her quiet nature, you would never expect her to "break the rules" and make her high school football team. No one, not even the guy she likes, can make her stop doing what she loves.


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What characteristics and personality would your princess or prince have? Can you think of any characters that could fill any of these categories?

Crystal Cadets

Crystal Cadets #1. Roar Comics (Jan. 2016) NetGalley
Cadets Go! Join this team of darkness-fighting, world-saving, power-packed teen girls from all over the world on their first adventure! Zoe has always felt out of place; her foster parents are great and all, but she's long felt like something was missing. That is, of course, until she discovers a mysterious gem left to her by her birth mother and her whole universe gets flipped around! When the crystal grants Zoe mysterious powers of light she becomes the Diamond Cadet, and she's not the only one; suddenly she's meeting new friends who shoot flames and glowing green arrows. It's all fun at first, but when The Darkness possesses Zoe's foster parents her only choice is to join this wild group of action-hero girls, traveling the globe to defeat The Darkness and find a cure! 


Zoe is a bit of a misfit. She gets made fun of by the girls at her school. Unbeknownst to her - her life is going to change forever when she receives a letter from her birth mother. In the letter is a crystal - a diamond to be precise. She's soon thrust into the world of good versus evil. When the darkness takes over her parents she goes around the world finding other crystal cadets like her and trying to find a way to save her parents. Meanwhile she must fight the darkness that's trying to take over the world.

Source

I couldn't help but think of Steven Universe when I was first thinking of reading Crystal Cadets. The artwork especially had me excited to read about this whole new invention with girls saving the world. What I couldn't predict was how fast paced Crystal Cadets was going to be. In such a way where I could not get into the story. I wish everything would have slowed down so the idea of the Crystal Cadets could have been explained. Also, I wanted to get to know the characters and their personalities. There was no way I could do all that with the pace of the story. It's unfortunate, there was so much potential. I did really like the art and the concept of the story. Having your own crystal that gives you power and what seems like a familiar that you can ride and fight with is pretty awesome. I just don't think the story was executed correctly. 

Source
Thanks to NetGalley and Roar Comics for providing me with Crystal Cadets in exchange for an honest review!


If you had your own crystal what do you think it would be and what animal would you want as a fighting companion?

Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016 Monthly Recap

Pattern Source

This felt like the longest month ever! I started out strong reading twelve books the first two weeks of the new year. Then nothing for three weeks until today. I focused so much on my classes. I love the new ideas, strategies, and the professors I have this year. I'm going to be really busy now that I'll be going to an Elementary school and then to my University. I have classes Monday-Saturday so I'm going to be booked. I want to be a little more active on the blog and be friendly with new and old blogs. I also plan on working on being more active exercise wise in the month of February. For the month of January, I fell in love with my classes and Worst Cooks in America.

I want to make sure to see each month how I'm doing with my book and non-bookish resolutions/goals for the year so below describes how I did this past month:

My Book Resolutions 

  • Read more picture books ------- > I read one picture book


  • Read more graphic novels and mangas ------- > I read five graphic novels


  • Keep track of reading challenges ------- > I've kept track of my challenges on Goodreads. I need to work on keeping track on the blog.
  • Read non-fiction books ------- > I read one non-fiction book


My Non-Book Related Resolutions

  • Draw for fun again  ------- > I didn't draw! I plan to take the time to draw at least one thing.
  • Try learning how to crochet  ------- > I didn't work on this either. I plan on borrowing a beginner crochet book from the library.
  • Try your hand out at new recipes ------- > Another one I didn't get to. I have been writing down recipes I want to try.
  • Exercise and drink water regularly ------- > I stopped writing down my water intake but I have gotten back into jogging and walking. I am forced to walk to class every day so I get at least 3,000 steps a day. I'm going to start focusing more on the amount of time I walk, exercise, or jog.
  • Explore religion and pray ------- > I only read and wrote notes on three chapters! For shame. I prayed very minimally.
  • Take more pictures ------- > I took pictures mostly of myself.

Challenges

  • Reading England Challenge ------- > 0/11 books read
  • Foodies Read 2016 ------- > 0/8 books read
  • I Love Picture Books Reading Challenge ------- > 1/25 books read
  • Royal Challenge 2016 ------- > 2/15 books read
  • 2016 Horror Challenge ------- > 1/5 books read
  • Retelling Challenge ------- > 1/4 books read
  • 2016 Graphic Novel and Manga Challenge ------- > 5/24 books read
  • NetGalley Reading Challenge ------- > 2/10 books read
  • Christmas in Winter ------- > 10/17 books read
  • 2016 Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge ------- > 2 books read
  • Around the World 2016 ------- > 4 books read
  • Goodreads Challenge ------- > 13/150 books read

#FitReaders

  • Jan. 1st - 100 steps - Wasn't feeling well
  • Jan. 2nd - 5,123 steps
  • Jan. 3rd - 4,834 steps
  • Jan. 4th - 10,534 steps
  • Jan.5th - 2,750 steps
  • Jan. 6th - 6,053 steps
  • Jan. 7th - 10,636 steps
  • Jan. 8th - 5,080 steps
  • Jan. 9th - 2,173 steps
  • Jan. 10th - 4,801 steps
  • Jan. 11th - 10,014 steps - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.090 miles)
  • Jan. 12th - 10,029 steps - (Gym for 1 hour - Abs, Chest, Triceps)
  • Jan. 13th - 10,039 steps - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.097 miles)
  • Jan. 14th - 10,279 steps 
  • Jan. 15th - 10,065 steps - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.109 miles)
  • Jan. 16th - 4,400 steps
  • Jan. 17th - 49 steps
  • Jan. 18th - 4,400 steps - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.134 miles) (Strong, Lean, Toned Arms, Chest and Shoulders Workout - Lift Like you Mean It!)
  • Jan. 19th - 6,317 steps
  • Jan.20th - 4,024 steps
  • Jan. 21st - 4,410 steps
  • Jan. 22nd - 3,711 steps
  • Jan. 23rd - 1,820 steps
  • Jan. 24th - 1,561 steps
  • Jan. 25th - 3,925 steps
  • Jan. 26th - 9,162 steps
  • Jan. 27th- 4,308 steps
  • Jan. 28th - 3,741 steps
  • Jan. 29th - 4,660 steps
  • Jan. 30th - 4,271 steps
  • Jan. 31st - 4,607 steps - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.153 miles)

Total Steps Recorded: 167,876 steps
Average Daily Steps: 5,415 steps


Jan 2016 Fun MileJanuary 2016 5K

 Fun Mile: 
Jan. 11th - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.090 miles)
Completed on Jan. 11th
5k: 
Jan. 13th - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.097 miles)
Jan. 15th - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.109 miles)
Jan. 18th - Jog/Walk 20 minutes (1.134 miles)
Completed on Jan. 18th
I probably completed my 10k too but I'm only counting the times I used my Couch Potato to 5k program. 



First Book of the Month


How was your January?
Have you all seen the cover of A Court of Mist and Fury?