Monday, May 8, 2017

Bout of Books 19: Goals and Updates

Lately I've been wanting to read so many books at once, when I came across a post for the Bout of Books readathon, I knew I had to join!  It's a low-pressure, week-long readathon, giving me plenty of days to read as much as my heart desires without stressing out about it!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Readathon TBR

I'm starting this readathon with something I rarely ever do...a reread!  Thirteen Reasons Why is one of my favorite books, and starting the Netflix series made me itch to pick the book up again!  After that, I'm planning on finishing The Unexpected Everything, which I'm already halfway through.  Honestly, I'm not expecting to read all of these.  I'll be glad if I get through 3, but I have no reason not to aim high!


        Monday                                                                                  Tuesday
-Books read today: 0                                                               -Books read today: 1
-Number of pages read: 252                                                   -Number of pages read: 50

      Wednesday                                                                              Thursday
-Books read today: 0                                                                -Books read today: 0
-Number of pages read: 0                                                        -Number of pages read: 28

          Friday                                                                                   Saturday
-Books read today: 0.5                                                              -Books read today: 1
-Number of pages read: 237                                                     -Number of pages read: 228

-Books read today: 1
-Number of pages read: 269

-Total number of books finished: 3.5
-Total number of pages read: 1,064


Monday: From the moment I started watching Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix, I knew that I wanted to reread the book, because it had been about 5 years since I first read it and I was foggy on the details of the story and I wanted to see how the two compared.

Tuesday: In the early hours of Tuesday, I finished the last 50 pages of Thirteen Reasons Why, but got caught up in errands, so I wasn't able to start my next book just yet.  The book was as good as I remembered, although I didn't cry this second time around.

Wednesday: My boyfriend was kind enough to share his cold with me, so I spent a majority of the day in bed, trying to sleep off the virus.  No such's Sunday as I type this, and I'm still sick!

Thursday: Still fighting a cold, so I was only able to read a few pages of Shattered Warrior, which is a really great graphic novel that I'll be a part of a blog tour for very soon!  This one wasn't even on my list, but it was calling to me from my bookshelf.

Friday: I finally finished the last half of The Unexpected Everything, and I have to say, it wasn't my favorite Morgan Matson book.  It was cute, don't get me wrong...I guess I was just hoping for more from such a long story.

Saturday: I continued reading Shattered Warrior until I finished it in just over an hour.  Can't wait for a sequel!  Review will be up on May 24th!

Sunday: Finishing off this awesome readathon with Words in Deep Blue, because I know it'll be a quick and easy read for me, but I don't want it to stop here!  I want to keep pushing myself to read multiple books a week.
Blogger Tricks

Sunday, May 7, 2017

What I've Been Watching: April/May

What I've finished:
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

I decided to watch Parenthood after my Gilmore Girls binge because I couldn't get enough of Lauren Graham, and it turned out to be an amazing show that I hadn't heard that much about prior to watching!  It's emotional and funny, but also so realistic.  I wish I had a family like the Bravermans.  

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 was actually better than the first, which rarely ever happens!  I'm so in love with Chris Pratt, and I already can't wait to go see it again.  Of course, we had to rewatch the first one immediately after seeing the sequel.

Currently watching:
The Anna Nicole Show
Santa Clarita Diet

I'm not one for crappy reality tv, but I watched one episode of The Anna Nicole Show and got sucked in.  I doubt I'll finish it, but it's good for when I want something mindless.  In a way, it reminds me of The Osbournes, which I actually really loved when it first came out, so it's bringing back some nostalgic feelings.  

Santa Clarita Diet is kind of hokey, but I'm really enjoying it.  The dialogue always has me laughing out loud.  Drew Barrymore is also one of my favorite actors, and it's great seeing her in a tv show!

What's next:
Thirteen Reasons Why

I'm planning on starting this show today, because there's so much controversy over it lately.  I read the book years ago, and it was one of my favorites, so I still have high hopes.  I think once I finish this show, I'll probably want to reread the book to compare.

Have you seen Thirteen Reasons Why?  What did you think about it?
What would you recommend I watch next?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Challenging Reality of a Book Junkie

What's the point of having a book collection?  How often do you actually reread books after you've already finished them once before?  Personally, it is rare for me to reread something unless I absolutely loved it.  Having a book collection is not like having a movie collection, because admittedly, I have watched many of my DVDs at least two or three times over, and yet I have only read most of my books once.  The rest of my books fall into the categories "soon" and "someday".

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love having a collection.  I love having options.  If I have an entire room of books, the possibilities are endless.  Unfortunately, my space is so limited right now, I've come to the realization that I have two options: get rid of some or stop adding to the pile.  Recently, my best friend's teenage sister asked me if I had any books for her to have, because she's just starting to get interested in reading.  I was instantly filled with the excitement of opening her eyes to so many new worlds, just as I was able to do at her age, when I started this blog.  Instead of feeling dread, I was looking forward to going through my shelves, piles, and stacks.

For as long as I've been blogging, I've been playing Tetris with my books, placing them where they fit best, not organized by author or genre.  I'm lucky if I can even get a series together.  I tried to Google "how to declutter/organize books", but I was met with many minimalist articles.  While I enjoy watching minimalism videos on YouTube, I also know that lifestyle isn't for me.  One thing did stick out, though, and that was the idea that if you hold something and it doesn't bring you instant happiness, let it go.  The idea seemed simple enough, so I went for it.

First I was able to pack up all of my duplicates.  Next, I started actually sifting through my shelves, one by one.  I remembered reading many of the books in my hands, but I didn't remember the story or if I actually liked it or not.  This is probably one of the biggest reasons to let those books go, but I second guessed myself.  Others were more difficult to get rid of, because I felt they belonged with other books that I wanted to keep. It got a little easier as I went on, pulling at least 40 books off of my shelves and finding room to fit books I previously kept on the floor.

I know that this isn't the last of it.  When I move, I'll go through my books once more, hopefully finding the strength to part ways with the books I couldn't say goodbye to this time.  The more I think about it, the more I wonder, do I REALLY need half of the books I own?  At this rate, I will never get through all of them anyway.  

Do you struggle with this as well?  What are your tips for downsizing?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Bang by Barry Lyga

Title: Bang
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Little, Brown
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: April 18th, 2017
Pages: 304 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.  

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. 

It took a gun to get him into this. 

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Boy, 4, Shoots, Kills Infant Sister

There's nothing quite as gripping at that headline.  For the past 10 years, Sebastian has been drowning in regret.  His actions weren't malicious, but everyone in the town looks at him with a mixture of pity, fear, and disgust.  There's no escaping what happened, and at just the age of 14, Sebastian is looking forward to the day it all ends.  That is, until he meets Aneesa, an intelligent and understanding individual.  She's the only one who doesn't know what happened all those years ago, and Sebastian intends to keep it that way.  Aneesa is Sebastian's only sliver of normalcy in the life he's made for himself.

I was hooked as soon as I read the synopsis of Bang.  While I was expecting a rollercoaster of emotion, I also knew that Sebastian's story would be a hopeful one.  The struggle that this main character goes through on a daily basis is hard, especially after he meets Aneesa.  Sebastian struggles most with forgiving himself, because he can see the pain in his mother's eyes when she kisses him goodnight, and he can feel it in the emptiness his father left behind.

Aneesa is a wonderful character to have interact with Sebastian.  She pulls him out of the hole he's been living in, encouraging him to turn his passion into a career.  I actually really loved that they were able to start a YouTube cooking channel and monetize the videos instead of getting your typical summer job.  This is something I've always been interested in doing myself, plus, Sebastian's pizza recipes made my mouth water!  While they work on that project together, Sebastian realized that there's much more to the world than his own problems, and it opens his eyes when he sees that Aneesa is being verbally attacked online solely because of her race and religion.

Bang is a book that I think everyone should pick up, especially now, in a world full of gun violence and prejudice.  It deals with hard-hitting topics that are perfectly portrayed through these characters, and it will make your heart ache when you connect them to real-life events and people we see in our day-to-day lives.

Funko Pop haul

I've been collecting Funko Pop figures for as long as this blog has been up and running, starting with my Hot Topic exclusive Daryl Dixon.  My collection hasn't grown insane like it would if I allowed myself to buy them as often as I want to, but I do have 36 of my favorite characters hanging around various parts of my bedroom.  If I could have one thing in the world right now, it would be more space for books and Pops!  Here's my most recent haul, since Hot Topic recently had their Hot Cash sale and I've gone long enough resisting the Pops that I've been wanting desperately!

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-Heimlich from A Bug's Life
-Kira and Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal
-Sookie St. James and Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
-Sailor Mars and Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon
-Kylo Ren from Star Wars VII
-Elivra Mistress of the Dark
-Bobby Singer from Supernatural
-Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange

Admittedly, a couple of these were impulse buys, but I don't love them any less!
I was actually eyeing up a few Stranger Things Pops until I realized that they didn't apply to the sale :(

I was ecstatic to learn that an Elvira Pop was released, and I've been looking for an Alex DeLarge Pop for quite some time after seeing that the original became so rare.

For more of my Pop collection, check out my Instagram!