Luna

LunaThis book was definitely outside of my usual reading comfort zone. It isn’t that I don’t support this life choice or have empathy for someone like the character Liam/Luna, in fact I was a flower-girl at my “uncle’s” wedding to a beautiful MTF bride, but it’s not the genre I typically pick up. That being said I loved this book. It’s not only about questioning identity or accepting that someone you thought you knew was actually someone else the entire time. It’s about family, it’s about growing up, it’s about being courageous and taking the initiative to be who you’ve always wanted to be, whether that’s a different gender or the girl who actually gets the guy.

Of course I cried during it because it made me think of my own brother. Not that he’s transgender, but even if he were I would protect him and support him, just like Regan did for Liam. There’s no love like the one between a brother and sister.

I definitely recommend this book and I’m so glad it was recommended to me!

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4 Things I Loved This Week #celebratelu 3/29/14

celebrate-link-up

This week went by super fast which was nice since my other weeks have been dragging on, but I feel behind on my blogging now! Either way, my quick week gave me a few things to celebrate!

1. One Day of Nice Spring Weather 

Spring

Last Wednesday was so beautiful. I started out reading on my deck in jeans, but quickly had to change into shorts because it got so hot! C’mon girls, hat’s better than getting a tan while you read?

2. My New Friend

Janet

I am sadly not allowed to have pets in my rental… yet; however, I make a lot of cat friends because I leave food outside for them. My boyfriend says I’m enabling them, I disagree. I’ve named this new pal Janet.

3. Homemade Snacks

Snacks

These were a quick and delicious snack! Pillsbury crescent rolls, cream cheese, shredded cheese, bacon, and jalapeños. Roll ’em all up and bake according to the crescent roll directions.

4. Being a Barista

Barista

The best part about being a barista for me is my ability to experiment… and to copy Starbucks, but claim that mine version is “much better” because Starbucks, as we all know, is so overrated… I love trying new things and recommending them to fellow coffee addicts.

What did you celebrate this week?!

Personalized Reading Recommendations for Jaycie PART 3

I’ve become more excited about this series now that I have started reading some of the books on the list!

If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman is a young adult romance novel with death as a sub-genre so  you know I’ll love it and I’ll bawl my eyes out! Goodreads gives it a 3.97 out of 5 stars and acknowledges its heap of literary awards including: An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2010), South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award (2011), Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee (2011), ALA Teens’ Top Ten (2010), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2010)
Florida Teens Read Nominee (2010), Delaware Blue Hen Award (2011), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2012), NAIBA Book of the Year for Children’s Literature (2009), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2009)

“Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.”

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher again sounds like a perfect Thirteen Reasons Whytear-
jerker for me.  Rated a 4.07 with mystery, death, and romance! Just reading the synopsis is breaking my heart, but I’m hoping that whatever the reasons Hannah had for ending her life are “acceptable” in the end, although the people left behind, such as Clay, are never accepting of a loved one committing suicide. Literary Rewards: South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award (2010), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Preis der Jugendjury (2010), Georgia Peach Honor Book Award (2009), California Book Award, Abraham Lincoln Award (2013)

“Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.”

Ignore

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King appears to be a mysterious crime drama! 3.95 stars and an Edgar Award Nominee for Best Young Adult (2011), Printz Honor (2011), YALSA Awards for Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2010). And after reading the synopsis I am very curious with the title. See for yourself…

“Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.

So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.”

 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein was recommended by Dr. Ellington to me twice. The book is now in my possession and is on code name veritydeck to be read next. I’m starting to love learning more about history so historical fiction with a strong female role sounds pretty appealing at this time in my reading life. School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2012), Agatha Award Nominee for Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel (2012), Edgar Award for Best Young Adult (2013), Printz Honor (2013), Carnegie Medal in Literature Nominee (2013), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2015), Scottish Children’s Book Award Nominee for Older Readers (2012), Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Honor Book for Fiction (2012), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2012), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (Top Ten) (2013), and a North East Teenage Book Award Nominee (2012) is just a few rewards this book has received and Goodreads gives it a 4.13 rating. Need I say more?

“I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.”

I need to read ALL of these books ASAP!!

Have you read any of these titles?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 3/24/14 #imwayr

 

imwayr

 

Big Head

 

 

I finally finished this book and everyone was right, it did feel like a worthwhile book after I had finished it! It is an important ya novel for several reasons that I plan to blog about soon.

 

 

 

 

Luna

 

This was one of the books that Dr. Ellington recommended for me and that I’ve already blogged about in that series Personalized Reading Recommendations for Jaycie PART 2. I have never read a book on this subject before in any sense and it’s really interesting, which is probably why I am almost finished with it after a couple of hours!

 

 

 

Sorry

 

 

I read this for Contemporary Lit class and really enjoyed it. It has a dystopian fiction, fantasy element to most of the stories and focuses a lot on human emotions and wants. I am excited to discuss the rest of the stories in class.

 

 

 

 

Babi Yar This, I am reading for World Lit and it is one of those novels that I have to force myself to read each day, but once I pick it up I can’t put it down. I could talk about the inhumanity of Babi Yar, Stalin and Hitler for hours, but I’ll save it for WL class. The stories really are uncensored and the author Kuznetsov witnessed these events as a boy and wrote them in a notebook which is now the “Document in the Form of a Novel” that I am reading. He reminds  me that what I’m reading actually happened by interjecting author’s notes throughout.

 

 

CATSFinally I read this little graphic novel that I can’t get over! It is so adorable and any cat lover would appreciate how true it is. I try to keep my cat obsession somewhat under wraps, but this book is going to make me burst. Did I mention it’s adorable?! Okay, that’s all the more I can say.

What are you reading?

5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu

celebrate-link-up

This last week seemed extremely long. Everyone was coming back from Spring Break, the weather was up and down as always, and I had a lot on my plate, but amongst all the chaos I found a few things to celebrate.

1. The Reading I did this Week

Cat

I’ve actually really enjoyed everything I’ve read this week, assigned or not and I feel great getting back into the swing of things after not reading at all over break (I know shame on me, but I was SO busy). I especially loved Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Other Observations! It’s a purrfect quick read for a cat lover.

2. My Pinterest-worthy Waters

Water

I have such a hard time getting enough water in a day, especially because I work as a barista… Coffee is so much more fun tasting than water! So, I started putting fresh mint leaves and frozen fruits in my waters to make them more fun. It helps that I have this adorable mason jar glass to drink it from. It’s totally pin-able.

3. Puzzling

Puzzle

I bought and brought a ton of puzzles from home and I’ve really been enjoying the pastime. I usually read whenever I need a break, but when I need a break from reading, I like to do something where I still free productive and can see a result in the end. So, I’ll clean, or cook, or work on puzzle!

4. Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Whoopie

My obsession with these delicious treats started with Starbucks, but theirs were practically bite-size so I made some last night from a recipe I saw on Pinterest, of course. http://www.yourcupofcake.com/2013/01/red-velvet-cookies-with-cream-cheese-filling.html

5. My New Wheels

Mr. Bike

I have been wanting a new bike since I started college, but not just any bike a “cute” one with a basket and a cup holder! So, that’t exactly what I got. I’m not too happy that he’s covered in snow right now, but I live in a one bedroom house so there just isn’t the space for a roommate, sorry buddy!

What did you celebrate this week? Visit Ruth Ayres’s blog to link with the weekly Celebration.

Wanted: Encouragement to Continue Reading

Big Head

 

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah… What can I say about this book besides I don’t care for it. I haven’t felt like this about a book so far in this class; I don’t want to finish it.

Is it wrong to abandon a book?

I am the type of person that believes that if you absolutely do not like a book, put it back on the shelf! It isn’t a sin to leave a book unfinished and I for one do not feel guilty. Maybe one day I’ll come back to it. Our reading tastebuds can sometimes change over time and that unappealing novel might sound kind of tasty after a few months, but as of right now I am ready to spit Does My Head Look Big in This? out!

Unfortunately I can’t because this particular novel is of course required for the class… So, I need some encouragement to finish it. I have been reading a few chapters here and there for about four weeks now and I am barely halfway.

Please help. All suggestions  are welcome and appreciated!!

 

Ghost World

ghost-world-comicThis graphic novel was definitely not for me. I didn’t really see much of  a point to it. I hated how the two friends talked to each other and how Enid acts. The girls associate with a lot of sick individuals and their minds are always aloof to anything important. Until Enid is considering going to college and even that seems like a joke to them. I just found the whole graphic novel to be too strange. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood to read this one, but I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone.

ghost-world-film

But many people must disagree with me because this story by Daniel Clowes is “Now a major motion picture.” IMDb gives the 2011 film a 7.5 rating and an 88/100 Metascore. The movie stars Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, and even Scarlett Johansson…

I must be missing something… or it just wasn’t my jam.