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review 2014-08-07 06:04
BOOK REVIEW | Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell follows the story of Cather Avery, a 18-year-old college freshman hailing from Omaha, Nebraska who is obsessed with a franchise called Simon Snow. (Think Harry Potter.*) Cather is a twin who was raised by a mentally unstable father and a mother who left that suffers from her own anxiety problems. She finds solace, comfort and acceptance in the world of Simon Snow, but has sort of forgotten to live in her own.

When I was younger, I loved writing fanfiction. I never "fangirled" over books(that would happen when I was older and started reading Game of Thrones...) but I fangirled like craxy over video games. My fanfictions were various stories using the characters from franchises like Kingdom Hearts, FFX, FFVII, ... most of the Final Fantasies... and even a few anime, like Sailor Moon. But then I got older and my fangirl tendencies seemed to have faded away. (For the most part. Damn you, George R. R. Martin.) (Just kidding, I love you.)

That being said, I really couldn't identify with Cather. She is reclusive, scared and avoidant of nearly all human contact, which is about as opposite of me as it gets. To be honest, when the book first began, I was afraid I was going to end up disliking it because I couldn't get over how clingy she was. However, Rainbow Rowell has a gift. Not only did I get over Cath's imperfections, I ended up really liking her, even before she began to open her eyes to the real world.

Cath somehow got me rooting for her. I wanted her to go out and have fun with her room mate. I wanted her to be a regular 18-year-old girl and not have to worry about her possibly-alcoholic twin, disappearing-and-now-reappearing mother and her wonderful-but-sadly-disturbed father. She had a lot on her plate.

Watching Cath grow was fulfilling. When she finally began going out with her room mate, Reagan (who was a hilarious and very real character), and starting her own romance with Levi (a sweet, adorable 21-year-old with the patience of a saint), I felt really satisfied as a reader. Rowell gently led into Cath's growth and I felt like I was growing with her. Of course she still did things I didn't understand (like how a kiss over Levi's head for three months... get over yourself, girl), but by then I understood her so thoroughly that it made sense.

Cath also grows as a writer. As her world is broadened from the world of Simon Snow to her own, she realizes the endless possibilities that she could write. About herself. About her world. That was a great metaphor for how she had finally accepted her reality.

Overall, I absolutely adored this book. The characters were so fleshed out and real that I felt like I was reading a book about my own friends. I'm very excited to check out Rainbow Rowell's other books.

* There is mention of Harry Potter in this book, which sort of confused me. She set up Simon Snow as the Harry Potter of that universe and then threw in HP randomly... I sort of wish that had been edited out. I don't understand the reasoning for that inclusion.

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review 2014-08-06 06:41
AUDIOBOOK REVIEW | Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

When I finished listening to Jeaniene Frost's "Halfway to the Grave," the first thing I did was get on Audible and buy the second book. I cannot tell you how much fun I had listening to this. I'm aslo extremely glad I chose to listen to this rather than physically read it, because the reader is phenomenal.

"Halfway to the Grave" follows 22-year-old Kat who is a half-vampire and half-human hybrid. (My sister told me this is called a vampile... is this a thing?) She has made it her life mission to hunt down vampires and stake them through the heart before they get the opportunity to hurt any other innocent people. Her life - and mindset - changes, however, when she meets Crispin -or "Bones"- who convinces her to work for him, hunting down vampires that are dangerous. He shows her that not all vampires are evil and she realizes that she has to re-evaluate her entire perspective of the world.

I loved these characters. Loved. Absolutely adored with unadulterated fondness. It felt as if I were listening to my best friend tell me a story about how she got into killing vampires and then fell in love with one. Kat is relatable... er... maybe not relatable since I'm just full human, but she's personable. I get her. When she made choices I didn't agree with, I never thought she was stupid or annoying; I just sort of shook my head and said, "Bad move girlfriend."

Bones was another fun character to hear about. I loved his dialogue. He is so witty and charming, and their constant banter was hysterical to experience. I sort of couldn't help but root for him. He's just so charming... you want him to get the girl. He's also really sweet. I think that romance-readers who prefer the ultra-alpha type of male lead might not like him, and yeah, there were times that he came off just a tad too perfect, but you know what? I was completely immersed in the fantasy. I just suspended my disbelief as far as it could go.

I feel like this is another book that is perfect to listen to, much like how I felt about Gayle Forman's "If I Stay." The only thing that sort of caught me off guard was the sex scene. Of course I knew there was going to be a sex scene: they had been leading up to it verbally and physically. But every time one of these scenes happened, my ears went red and I just got a bit uncomfortable. So you can imagine my embarrassment when the sex scene actually hit, haha. My advice would be to just skip it if it makes you too uncomfortable. There's nothing vital in those scenes, so they're okay to skip.

I personally didn't skip it. I just took it to Twitter and freaked out online, ha.

Overall, I definitely recommend this. I saw in Kat Kennedy's review that she recommended it for people who wanted some junk food reads and I completely agree. This is a really fun book where you get to just relax and enjoy the ride. I appreciate that 100%.

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text 2014-08-01 06:26

Have you guys heard of "Booktube"?  It's basically this fantastic aspect of Youtube where people talk about BOOKS.  You can find Hauls, Tags, Challenges, Reviews and more on this side of the internet and it's basically like pure gold for any book lover out there.


I thought I'd compile a list of my favorite booktubers for your viewing pleasure and from there, you can find others that tickle your fancy.  This list is in no particular order.


1.  BooksandQuills


This channel was my first introduction to the Booktube community.  Sanne is from The Netherlands and has amazing taste in books.  She also reads a variety of books, which is nice (and unusual) in the Booktube community.  She always has critical and thought out reviews and opinions on each book. 


2.  PeruseProject


Reagan reads mostly YA and Adult Fantasy.  She has a sarcastic sort of wit and always creates absolutely hilarious and entertaining videos.  Personally, I love Adult Fantasy so I have always loved her channel, but even if you don't, she does many Haul/Challenge videos which can appeal to any book lover.


3.  PolandbananasBOOKS


Christine makes me laugh.  If you love YA, she's the girl to watch. She is extremely excitable and energetic, which is always really fun to watch on Youtube.  Her channel is really popular, and I think it's due to her personality and excellent editing.  What I really like about Christine, though, is that she branches out from the typical Booktuber videos.  She's really creative.  Check out her Mourning Period video to see what I mean.


4. Ariel Bissett


I like Ariel Bisset for the same reason I like Sanne from BooksandQuills: she really thinks and dissects what she's reading.  She also has videos where she discusses a topic related to books.  Her Sex in Books!? videos is one of my all-time favorites by her.  She also predominately reads YA, but has been trying to branch out lately, which I appreciate.


5.  Joel Books


Joel is a booktuber I've only recently discovered, but I completely love him.  He is hilarious.  Once again, he reads mostly YA (you will quickly discover that most of the Booktubers read YA) but he is so ridiculously entertaining that every video put out by him is worth the watch, although I particularly liked SLOW READER SHAME.


6. Chapter Stackss


I love this girl.  I love her because of the variety of books she reads.  She reads everything from YA to Anita Blake and, as I mentioned earlier, that is so rare in the Booktube community and so refreshing.  She is hilarious, insightful and quite possible one of my all-time favorites.


Other great booktubers:






Little Book Owl




And so many more!


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text 2014-01-02 13:52
How much money do you spend on books?



Okay, let’s be honest. How much money do you spend on books? In a week, in a month or in a year. How much is it, for real? Not a guess or a round-about number but a REAL solid number.


This year, I want to calculate how much money I spend on books. It’s a scary thought. Because honestly, I don’t really know but I have a feeling my number is HIGH. I buy books everywhere I go. I buy books at Target, Walmart, Kmart and my local indie book store, Paragraph Books. I buy them online at Book Depo, Amazon, B&N and Book Outlet. I even buy books at the grocery store. Yup, you heard me. I buy them at HEB. I buy books everywhere and anytime I’m at the store. And I never really stop to think how much money I REALLY spend on my hobby.


I will be calculating my spending on books every month till the end of the year where you will see my grand total! *GASP*


I decided to calculate any money spent on books into 3 areas:


1. Personal books I buy for myself (Duh)


2. Giveaways ( I give away lots of books so this year I want to know how many books I give away and how much it cost me)


3. Shipping (Does anyone know how much money we spend at the post office? I know I go there a lot and shipping has gone up.)


4. Blogging Cost (Graphics/Web design/Hosting/Subscriptions, etc)


Why am I doing this you ask?


Well for several reasons. First, I want to know for myself. I admit I’m in a (tiny) bit denial about the cost of my hobby. I mean really, it can’t be that much. (Looks around, bites nails.) Right???


Second, I want to bust that rumor that says bloggers don’t spend much money on books. I have heard that ALL the time. That bloggers get so many books in the mail, we don’t have to buy any. And all I’m thinking, I buy plenty. I spend lots of money on books, giveaways, etc.


In the end, this experiment is for all the bloggers out there who support readers/authors everywhere. Although my spending habits aren’t the same as yours, we are alike in what we do.


*Please note that I will have a widget on my side bar with my monthly total so far*


Wish me luck!


Happy Reading and Happy New Year!!

Source: www.bookswithbite.net
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