July 2017 Wrap Up!

July was a busy, busy month full of working, reading and writing, and I cannot say that I am sad it is over! However, I am happy with the writing I got done and the books I read, and here is the complete, final list of them all:

City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

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I re read the first three books in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and really enjoyed diving back into the world! City of Bones, the first book, takes place in this magical world of angels and demons, where Shadowhunters (part human and part angel) slay demons to keep the world safe. In this book, we follow fifteen year old, Clary Fray, whose mother is kidnapped from their New York apartment one afternoon. Clary sets off to find her mother, and along the way discovers that this magical world is within her own, and that it is tied to her mother’s kidnapping. If you want a fast paced read with a broad cast of characters this book would be perfect for you! CoB – 4/5 stars, CoA – 4/5, CoG – 4.5/5 stars

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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It was one of my best decisions to go out and buy this book because once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop! Eliza and Her Monsters follows Eliza, a girl who is the creator of a popular web comic called Monstrous Sea, and while her online life is thriving, her offline life…not so much. That is until she meets Wallace, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfic writer and she realizes that maybe her offline life could be just as good as her online one. This is a really cute and relatable read that is impossible to hate, in my opinion! 5/5 stars

Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

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I was really looking forward to reading this book because well, Hamilton. If you didn’t know, this tells the love story of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler, who both played huge roles in the shaping of the United States we know today. I loved the musical so I was really excited to jump into this. Although, while it was a slower pace than I prefer, it was still interesting and enjoyable. I don’t think I would pick it up again but I am glad I read it! 3/5 stars

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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This was a book I had no expectations going into, and I was extremely surprised by how much I loved it! I appreciated the middle eastern influence in this story because I have not read many books influenced by this culture and I really enjoyed it. The Wrath and the Dawn follows our main character, Shahrzad, whose young king takes in a wife every new day only to have her killed the following night. But when Shahrzad’s best friend is the new victim of the king, she volunteers to be the king’s wife in order to avenge her friend, but things do not turn out the way she initially thought. I cannot wait to dive into the next book because I know The Rose and the Dagger will be amazing! 4.5/5 stars

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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During BookTubeaThon, it is a great idea to have at least one book, if not more, that is less than 300 pages, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower was my choice for that. Being a 211 page book, it follows high school freshman, Charlie, who has always struggled when it came to making friends and fitting in, but eventually he is taken under the wing of a two seniors, Sam and Patrick, and he finally feels like he fits in. This book deals with mental illness but is usually a really light hearted and fast paced read. This was a re read for me, and I loved it just as much as the first time! 4.5/5 stars

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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The Raven Boys was a book that had been sitting on my shelf, gathering dust, for a while now, and also going into it I had no expectations. Again though, I was pleasantly surprised by how whimsical and entrancing book this book was, and it made me definitely want to continue on with the series! In The Raven Boys, it follow Blue Sargent who every year stands with her psychic mother and watches blindly as the soon-to-be-dead walk by, but when the day comes when she an actually sees a spirit she approaches it and learns that the reason she can see this spirit is because they are her true love, or the person she killed. Conflicted and confused, she continues on with her life, until she meets the boy of the spirit and is flung into his adventure seeking world. This book contains a really fun cast of characters who were very different and unique in their own ways, and overall I thought it was a very solid book! 4/5 stars

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Obviously this is a re read, as I have talked about this book a lot on my blog. I needed a light hearted and fast paced read to push through the last day of BookTubeAThon and as always, this book delivered exactly what I needed! Anna and the French Kiss follows an American girl named Anna who is sent off to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. Terrified in this new element, she eventually meets a group of tight friends who welcome her into their group, but she can’t help but fall for the one of them, the charismatic, English Etienne St. Clair. If you enjoy contemporary, then you have to read this book because you will fall in love with it! 4.5/5 stars

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

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I finished this book on the very last day of July and just flew through it like most Sarah Dessen books. While I wouldn’t say it was my favourite Sarah Dessen book, I did enjoy it and loved the characters! Once and For All follows Louna, a seventeen year old girl who is spending her last summer before college working for her mother, a famous, local wedding planner. One night at a wedding, she meets charismatic, serial dater, Ambrose. He tries to woo her but it is a lot harder than he thought, but he isn’t giving up now that he knows what he wants. This book is really fast paced and while it was fun, it was also really sad at times! It talks about some issues that are current in the US, but it is important that books acknowledge them, no matter how devastating they are. 4/5 stars

It is crazy to see that I read a total of 10 books this month because it has been so, so, so long since I have accomplished something like this. The BookTubeAThon has to take a lot of credit for that though, and I had so much fun participating this year for my second time! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and don’t forget to check out my last blog post: July 2017 Book Haul!

 

 

BookTubeAThon Day 3&4 Update!

Yesterday and the day before, I was just SO tired that one, I barley got any reading done because I was working all day and by the time I got home at like 10pm, I passed out. Because of that, I decided to combine yesterday and today’s update so that I actually have something to update you on…

Day 3:

Anyways, on day 3 or Wednesday, I did manage to finish the last 88 pages of The Wrath of the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and let me just say, it was SO amazing! I will go more in depth on my feelings in my July 2017 Wrap Up, but let me just say that I will be buying the second book as soon as possible. After finishing that, I also started The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, which is a re read, but I managed to complete 90 pages of that! I needed a short, contemporary to read during my busy schedule and it was definitely a good decision.

DAY 3 OVERVIEW:

Books Completed: 1

Pages Read: 178 (88 pages of The Wrath and the Dawn + 90 pages of The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

Day 4:

Yesterday was a decent reading day, but I am still about one book behind on my goal and I really need to pick the pace up. Luckily tomorrow (Friday) is my last day of work before the weekend, and I have a really long drive that I have to sit through so I will be reading from 5pm until I finish two books. Not only did I finish reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, which meant that I had to read 121 pages of it, but I also started Once and For All by Sarah Dessen and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Mind you, I did not get very far in either, but I mean, it is a start!

Day 4 OVERVIEW:

Books Completed: 1

Pages Read: 172 (121 of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 34 of Once and For All and 17 of The Raven Boys)

Anyways, I apologize for not getting these two updates up on time but I hope you enjoyed them. Stay tuned for my regular blog post today, as well as my BookTubeAThon Day 5 Update!

 

Top 5 Favourite Soundtracks!

I love movies and I also love music so I decided to put together a blog post of my top 5 favourite movie soundtracks! A lot of these are going to be book-to-movie adaptations but a few are not. I really recommend you listen to these soundtracks if you haven’t and I hope you enjoy!

The First Time – This movie has Dylan O’Brien and Britt the-first-timeRobertson in it so I adored it right away, but I also really, really liked the soundtrack. This movie is about this guy named Dave who has been pining after this girl named Jane since forever, but when he meets this new and different girl named Aubrey he starts to question his feelings for Jane. This movie is cheesy but it also deals with a lot of realistic problems that teenagers have. The soundtrack really fits the mood and feeling of this movie and the opening song, Silly Boys is one of my favourites along with the Sweet Lousie.

perksThe Perks of Being a Wallflower – It is only obvious that this movie would have an amazing soundtrack since it is set in the early 90’s so it is filled with music from the 80’s. The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows a teenage boy named Charlie who is entering his first year of school with a lot of baggage from his past, but when he meets a group of misfit seniors, his life is turned around for the better. I love this movie and its soundtrack is great. It has The Smiths and David Bowie so what more could you want?

moanaMoana – I absolutely adore the Moana soundtrack. I could sing it all everyday and never get bored of it because Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a great portion of the fabulous soundtrack. Moana is an animated movie about a girl named Moana who has never left the island she lives on, but dreams of sailing the seas. When she has the opportunity so save her dying island, she jumps on the chance and goes on a crazy adventure along with the Demigod Maui. This was one of my favourite movies of 2017, mainly because of the catchy and amazing songs. My favourite is most definitely How Far I’ll Go because it is so inspiring and will motivate you to do anything.guardians-of-the-galaxy-movie-poster-1-high-res

Guardians of the Galaxy – Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie that I cannot explain just because it is so awesome and kick butt. The soundtrack is also amazing. Hooked on a Feeling played and made me love the movie 10x more!

Divergent – I love Ellie Goulding and she IS the Divergent soundtrack. 31980-divergent-divergent-poster-artDivergent is a movie that follows 16 year old Tris Prior who is about to take an aptitude test that will tell her which faction she belongs to. In this dystopian world, there are 5 different factions. Erudite the smart, Candor the honest, Abnegation the selfless, Dauntless the brave and Amity the kind. The scene where Four and Tris kiss has one of my favourite songs from this soundtrack and I was really satisfied with all the music!

Those were my top 5 favourite movie soundtracks and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post: February 2017 Talk!

 

Mental Illness Book Recommendations

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week and I thought it would be a good idea to recommend a few books that involve mental illness. It is really important to be aware of mental illness because it is something that affects many, many people. Anyway, here are a few books with mental illness and I hope you enjoy!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – This book displays mental illness fantastically and I really think everyone, whether you have a mental illness or not, should pick it up. It follows Charlie who suffers from anxiety and PTSD, as he struggles to fit in after loosing his best friend to suicide the pervious year. That year though, he meets two friends named Sam and Patrick and they turn his world around for the better. I absolutely loved this book more than I ever thought I would and it is a great way to understand what is going on in someone’s head who suffers from a mental illness.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – I was hesitant about putting this one in just because I think it really romanticises the concept of mental illness but overall, it does make you aware of it. Looking for Alaska is about a boy named Miles who is sent to this boarding school where he meets this smart, funny and very messed up girl named Alaska. It is obvious from the start that Alaska suffers from depression and bi polar disorder  but I just wished they were displayed better than how they were in the novel. Needless to say, it was still informative and it was an interesting read.

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen – I actually just completed this book and I had to add it in here because even though the mental illness isn’t the main part of this novel, it does play a big part. Just Listen is about a girl named Annabelle who on the outside looks like she lives a perfect life but really the total opposite of that. She starts the school year with no friends and a career she doesn’t want. That is, until she meets Owen and he begins brightening up her life. The mental illness that plays a part in this novel affects Annabelle’s sister, Whitney who suffers from an eating disorder. This totally changes Annabelle’s way of life and I found it to be very realistic and accurate.

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – I am reading this book in my English class and while it is a fantasy book there is mental illness portrayed in it. This book is about a 12 year old boy named David who after he just lost his mother, has begin hearing his books talk and has been seeing things that shouldn’t be possible. This book really plays with your head as you are trying to decide whether or not this is real or just all in David’s head. Apart from deciding what is reality or not, it is clear David suffers from OCD as we see at the beginning of the book right before and after his mother has died. I know quite a few people with OCD so I felt like I got to understand their illness better after reading this.

Those are a few recommendations and I hope you enjoyed! Please don’t forget to spread the word about mental illness, not just this week but always.