Oops... I Caved | Book Haul (#2)

Thursday, September 29, 2016
The life of the reader is one of constant spending. My wallet sure doesn't thank me, but my heart does. Honestly, I would rather follow my heart (and all the pretty books) than boast a big balance. Although, I wouldn't much mind the big balance. I have no other thing to say to help my case, so on to the books!

Barnes & Noble and its 3 for 30 YA Deal is going to be the death of me

1. And I Darken by Kiersten White
2. Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black
3. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Adult books for the very adult person I clearly am

1. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
2. The Time In Between by Maria Dueñas
3. The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Video Haul

Mosquitoland by David Arnold | Book Review

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Title:  Mosquitoland
Author: David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Children's
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
"I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange." After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland. So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane. Told in an unforgettable, kaleidoscopic voice, "Mosquitoland" is a modern American odyssey, as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.

What I thought

This book was the perfect example of how I like my contemporary: quirky, deep but not too serious, and with a main character that recognizes she isn't perfect, but hell, she's pretty damn awesome. That and the fact that if this book was a heart, it would be one of the biggest hearts out there in the world.

I fully believe that Mosquitoland works as well as it does because of it's writing style, but mostly because of Mary Iris Malone. Let me tell you, girl fell completely real and her journey, although a bit magical in essence, was all too there. Not only that, but the collection of characters and people she finds along the way felt just as real. Perhaps, the only character that feels more like fiction than person is Mim's mom, and I believe this to be an intentional move (and if it's not, well, let the myth live so that people can praise David Arnold's genius like we do all those other white dudes who probably weren't as brilliant as we would like to believe) and a brilliant one at that.

I want to talk about Mim's little chosen family, because boy Walt and Beck were the real deal. They were both so fleshed out and although we saw them through Mim's eyes all the time they still felt like real people. Perhaps they were even more real because all we ever have of people is perception, and we can only ever know them as we see them. Does that make sense? This book made me think about things like that, and in my book that is a job well done.

I would also like to talk about the themes in this book, for although the main one is about finding home and what that means, there are other ones sprinkled here and there. Some of them, like the Poncho Man incident, I would have liked to delve into deeper. However, they were all sufficiently spoken of and about and the book didn't drag.

Another thing I loved about this book, is its comedic aspect. It was just my style. Take for example this quote:

"And you are...?" asks Moses A) Perfect B) The god of Devastating Attractiveness C) A flawless specimen, created in a lab by mad scientists in an effort to toy with the heart of Mary Isis Malone D) All of the above I circle D. Final effing answer 
I loved this book and Mim and her journey. I would definitely recommend this book to all contemporary lovers out there. 

On Reading Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I am my most comfortable in my comfort zone.

I guess everyone is, really. I mean, it's named comfort zone for a reason, right? It's familiar and welcome and warm, kind of like an old blanket. Much like an old blanket sometimes you need to throw the old blanket away and get a new blanket. There's a whole wide world of blankets out there and you can try them all. Same goes for books. Except don't throw out your books (donate them to charity or sell them or do something so someone else can enjoy them, unless the end of the world is nigh and you need warmth. Make this your last resource, though).

Going with the blanket metaphor here, I want to say that it's okay to cuddle under other blankets. There's no need to commit yourself to one sole blanket. Except, I mean genre. 

It is hard, but hey, if you wanted easy you would be stuck reading one thing for the rest of your life. For as long as you draw breath. That is a long time (I hope) and really do you want to limit yourself like that? I know I don't.

Whick is why I've been thinking about my own reading and how I mostly read YA. Because man, I love YA and YA is what I know and what I'm most comfortable with, but it can also be pretty limiting on myself. I'm often scared to go out and venture into other genres, because the unknown can be freaking scary. Also, I'm only a marshmallow living in a savage world in which literary snobs abound and no one offers directions. However, lately I've been telling myself to go out and pick up books from outside my comfort zone.

Books from the unfamiliar can be some of the best surprises. This past July, for example, I read Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. This book is magical realism, mind you adult magical realism that is kind of sexy, provocative and so Mexican I could invite it to a carne asada with my family and it would fit right in. And after reading it I found that I loved it and that it was one of the best books I'd read so far. It was that good and I never would have picked it up if I hadn't made my mind up to read outside of my comfort zone.

Sure, comfort zones are tempting and familiar and there's nothing wrong with them, but sometimes it's nice to branch out and see what else the world has to offer. After all, think of all the great books that are out there in the world that you won't discover unless you decide to shake things up a bit and read outside what you know?

What are some books that you've read outside of your comfort zone that you absolutely loved? How often do you venture outside of your comfort zone?

10 Kpop Songs for My Faves | Top Ten Tuesday

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, in which every Tuesday we list ten things (or more, or less) about that week's topic. This week's topic is all things audio, which is why I decided to mix two of my greatest loves: books and kpop. You can thank me later.

1. Just Right by GOT7

This song is perfect for Terra Cooper of North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley. It's all about how you're perfect just the way you are. I mean the song has lines that would translate to:
That she's pretty and perfect as she is now.
 Also, the video is super funky and I think the artist inside Terra would appreciate the visual aspect of it all.

2. Monster by EXO

Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is the perfect fit for this song. I mean, everyone pretty much called him monster. The song has this whole falling in love with this girl and creeping into her heart,. Isn't that pretty much the plot to the first book?

3. Me Gustas Tu by GFRIEND

This song is disgustingly sweet, much like Lara Jean. Note that I men this as a compliment of the highest kind. This song is perfect for To All The Boys I've Loved Before with its sweet and innocent lyrics and melody. Also the  video's aesthetic is Lara Jean af.

4. Beautiful Liar by LR

This song is so emo it can only be for my one and only Kaz Brekker. Bro, this song is basically about letting go of a person because you feel like you're not good enough and hiding underneath a mask for the sake of perpetuating that lie. If that doesn't spell Kaz Brekker, I don't know what does.

5. Promise (I'll Be) by 2PM

This song makes me think of Rhys. It's a sexy song all about being the man your woman wants you to be and about doing sexy things (and Lord knows Rhys is all about that life). It's about being there for your girl, basically, and we all know Rhys would go to the ends of the Earth and back if Feyre asked him to, but won't unless she does. I was super torn between this and My House, also by 2PM, but this one won.

6. Bad by Infinite

Now this song gives me serious Cassian/Nesta vibes. Why? Because it's about a man betting on this girl (I'm guessing his love, or whatever) that he knows might be bad for him. That he just knows might hurt him in all the ways that matter, but is willing to take the chance and risk it. It's also just a great song, so I had to have it in here.

7. BOOMBAYAH by Blackpink

This song is perfect for an Emergency Dance Party. It's so perfect for it, I'm sure Cath has it in her playlist along with the Kanye, just so she can whip out and scream Boombayah! at the top of her lungs and then try (and fail) to rap the rap parts. I can bet anything Levi screams the 'Brrr RAMBO' at the top of his lungs. I am fully convinced of this.

8. Breathe by Lee Hi

This song reminds me of This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. This book is all about how it's okay to stray from the path you thought was perfect. It's about learning that not being perfect is okay and that sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and realize that it's okay to make mistakes, that you're a better person because of them. Also, that you need to let others in and allow them to give you a hand. It's going to be okay in the end, after all.

9. Spring Love by Eric Nam & Wendy

This song reminds me so much of The Start of Me and You I want to squeal in pure unadultered joy. Granted, Max always sort of had feelings for Paige. However, their love went from a friendship to full out cuteness and this song is about just that.

10. Some by SoYou and Jungigo

This song is about two people sort of in a relationship, but not really. It's about the phase where you're flirting, but also sort of more than flirting. It's all about the confusing phase before you define your relationship. Ah, the uncertainty...
This song reminds me of Frank and Emily of Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson. Of course, Frank had a girlfriend, but the filtration between those two was incredible. It certainly made me wonder: so is he hers or what?

That is all for today. If you love kpop please let me know in the comments below and if you don't have I converted you?

Books of Supreme Heart | Top Ten Tuesday

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish, in which every Tuesday we list ten things (or more, or less) about that week's topic. This week's topic is faves. We all have faves, even though it's quite hard to narrow it down, so today I'll be doing a genre breakdown. My genre is contemporary, because contemporary makes you feel all the things and there's so many jewels out there I just have to speak of them. 

Note that these are in no particular order.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

This book is about sisterhood and finding your way. It also has a particular boy named Peter Kavinsky, whom I would marry in the blink of an eye if he so asked me to, because well... he's Peter Kavinsky. Seriously read the book and you'll understand. Not only that but this book features a half-Korean main character (and tons of cookies and cakes and other delicious things).

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen

North of Beautiful is one of my favorite books of all time and it deserves so much love. This book is wonderful and has a lesson of how we're all beautiful. Especially because of our flaws, not in spite of them. There's also a sexy Chinese-American boy named Jacob and a trip to China and much self-discovery. This book seriously has the power to make me smile, laugh, rage, and cry. It's the full ride and you should read it right freaking now.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Or how I like to call it Ari and Dante. I love the title, but damn it's a mouthful. So, I love this book about two teenage boys in the 80s living in El Paso, Texas. A city notorious for its Hispanic population. I just feel like bragging about El Paso because, well, I live there now and growing up I visited all the time and this never happens to me, okay? Also the book is lovely and Mr. Alire Saenz needs to hurry up with the sequel or god so help me I will track his office down. Oh, and have I mentioned the book is beautiful and the writing is almost poetry and that you have to read it?

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Now, Fangirl is a fan favorite (see what I did there) and it's so meta there's even a book about the fanfiction in this book. All that aside, Fangirl is a sweet book. It's relateable, but also not. The first time I read it I was entering my freshman year of college so I had virtually no experience to relate it with, yet. However, I would reread this and find that, damn, this was me (aside from the cute guy in plaid but details are whatever) and Cath was among the most relatable characters ot there. There's also weird kissing and dance parties and one quote about tequila that is the absolute truth #preach.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

When anyone asks me what I think about I'll Give You the Sun (and even when they don't) I always say I want to inject this book into my bloodstream. That is the truth and it will always be. This book is so beautiful, it's insane. The prose is heavy with metaphors, but that makes everything better. Trust me, I know my metaphors. Also, it's so damn artsy it should just be hung up on a museum, stat.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

This book is pure comedic gold. It's also kind of messed up in it's comedy. It's wrong, but so right. I swear, guys, I couldn't stop laughing when I read this book. Admittedly, I do have a very messed up sense of humor, but that is irrelevant. This book, as the title says, is about a dying girl and two dudes that try to befriend her. It's as awesome as it sounds. It also allows for a lot of messed up humor. It's a win-win.

Anything and Everything by Morgan Matson

That is not the title of one of her books. Sorry if you think it was and got excited about a new release. That is just not happening, yet. However, I do want to recommend any book by Morgan Matson. Any book. Amy & Roger's Epic Mouthful (I mean Detour)? Awesome. Second Chance Summer? Totally awesome. Since You've Been Gone? The best thing since sliced cheese. The Unexpected Everything? The next best thing to pizza parties.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone

I recently wrote a review for this book (which you should totally check out, just saying), because I fell in love with this book. It's cute. It has a European tour with senior citizens. A girl finding herself. Kissing in Europe (which as someone from across the pond sounds like way more romantic than a kiss in the desert at sunset) and just tons of good stuff.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

But also anything else by Sarah Dessen. I've been reading Dessen since I was like twelve. It's been eight years (I want you to know my fingers actually typed it's been twelve years before I realized it had only been eight) and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. I have read most of her books and have loved every single one of them. My fave is Just Listen, though. However, sadly enough, it's at my parents' instead of here with me. Saint Anything is pretty kick ass too.

Love and Other Foreign Words by Eric McCahan

I read this book back in January (or maybe December) and I fell in love with it. It's a cute contemporary about love and family and just being a teenage girl in this confusing confusing world. I expected more romance (but then again I'm always down for anything romantic that will then make me feel crap about my life-long singledom), but the book was still all heart.

The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch | ARC REVIEW

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Title: The Movie Version
Author: Emma Wunsch
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
A whip-smart, heart-wrenching debut YA novel about first love, first loss, and filmmaking that will delight fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer Niven.
In the movie version of Amelia’s life, the roles have always been clear. Her older brother, Toby: definitely the Star. As popular with the stoners as he is with the cheerleaders, Toby is someone you’d pay ten bucks to watch sweep Battle of the Bands and build a “beach party” in the bathroom. As for Amelia? She’s Toby Anderson’s Younger Sister. She’s perfectly happy to watch Toby’s hijinks from the sidelines, when she’s not engrossed in one of her elaborately themed Netflix movie marathons. But recently Toby’s been acting in a very non-movie-version way. He’s stopped hanging out with his horde of friends and started obsessively journaling and disappearing for days at a time. Amelia doesn’t know what’s happened to her awesome older brother, or who this strange actor is that’s taken his place. And there’s someone else pulling at her attention: a smart, cute new boyfriend who wants to know the real Amelia—not Toby’s Sidekick. Amelia feels adrift without her star, but to best help Toby—and herself—it might be time to cast a new role: Amelia Anderson, leading lady.

What I thought

I requested this book because it sounded straight up my alley, and upon reading it I found that while it wasn't what I was expecting, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

This is a book about mental-illness, which I wasn't expecting. At least, not from the summary of it. In this book, and this is a spoiler so cover your eyes or something, Amelia's brother, Toby, has schizophrenia. Amelia tries to deal with this fact throughout the book and tries to come to terms with it, as is her family. I don't know much about schizophrenia, but I can imagine how it might uproot a family and turn things around. So, I liked the fact that we were shown Amelia's family trying to adjust to their new normal and trying to understand and come to terms with Toby's mental illness.

Now, while I liked it there were some moments in the book in which I did feel uncomfortable with how it was dealt, but as humans we aren't perfect and we can't expect book characters to be either. It bothered me at times that Amelia seemed ashamed of Toby's schizophrenia, but then I thought that it could be a perfectly normal way to react at first and that it probably isn't easy to see someone you love change right before your eyes like that. So, I could put my feelings aside for the sake of character development.

Another thing that caught me by surprise was how we are promised some romance in the summary, but romance doesn't really play a big part in the story. If anything, it's more like a footnote or something of the sort. However, I'm glad for this because for the dear life of me I couldn't stand Epstein. What kind of name is Epstein anyway? He got on my every nerve.

I do like Amelia and I like that she's flawed and hurting and confused. I liked that she felt like a real person. Albeit, a person with supreme movie knowledge, but a person nonetheless. Also, she knows one of my favorite movies Frances Ha and for that, and that alone, I liked the book a little bit more.

Over all, this book wasn't what I expected, but it was still good. It's not worming its way into my favorites, but it was enjoyable and it certainly showed a character arc of acceptance and coming to terms with a loved one's mental illness.

Monthly Wrap Up | August 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Another month has come and gone leaving me in a state of mass panic about how damn fast this yearis going. August was a weird month, a heavy and tiring month. I suffered loss and passed a total of 30 hours in a car (not continuously but still) as such my month wasn't as productive as I would have liked it to.

Books read

On the blog

Video Wrap Up

What about your month? Was it good or was it meh? Was it productive reading wise?