Thursday, April 24, 2014

T is for Tests

Welcome to one of my spontaneous observation posts! It's going to be quick because I have tons of stuff to do. But I need a little time to - relax and regroup. SO I am going to type this as fast as I possibly can (:

This week has been utter crap. Honestly. It started out fine, but Wednesday (yesterday) just ruined it all. Why? Well, I was studying for my APUSH test. Bummed because of my English grade, but determined to get as close to 100% as possible on my APUSH test. So I was studying, studying. Bell rings and I gather all my stuff and head off to my test. BUT WAIT.

I had a Starbucks bag with all my Physics project stuff. I didn't even notice it was missing until after first period was over. And by the time I made it over to the place I was studying - gone.

Needless to say, I had a bit of an emotional breakdown. Because I needed that finished and tested by Friday (tomorrow). Needless to say, I'm still amazingly stressed because I still need to get that project done somehow. But I needed a five-minute break to complain about my situation.

And now I'm going to back to work. Because this will all be over soon. Not soon enough. But soon.

Thanks for reading! Sorry for such a lame post :/


PS: I called this "Tests" because I think of this entire situation as a sort of personal test. A godawful one. But a test nevertheless.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

Goodreads Summary

She has everything she's ever wanted. But not her memory...

When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life.

Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows...

(Mini) Review

This book had been in my sights for a long long time before I finally bought it. It was sort of impulsive. Part of my huge book splurge in December (Christmas money well spent, in my opinion). Sadly, it remained on my shelf for a few more months before I was finally able to pick it up again. But once I started, I couldn't put it down.

I'll admit it, Adam might have had something to do with it. But I don't know how you could possibly blame me for that. Because even though it seems like insta-love. It's NOT. She forgot six months of her life. It's obvious there's something between them now, but it's not like it started the second she woke up. Just saying. In case that turns you off.

That all being said, it's not heavy on the romance. I mean, it's there. But it's sort of another piece to the puzzle. This super confusing puzzle. A couple parts were obvious. Others shocked even me. Always a pleasant surprise when that happens. I appreciated it so much.

As for Chloe: I found myself sympathizing with her. Seriously, if any more cool female protagonists keep popping up, I may never be able to say that I hate them ever again. Because she was cool. Confused and in denial, sure, but that's understandable.

Overall, the characters drew me in and the mystery just kept me hooked. The feels this book gave me! I certainly recommend it. Pretty good stuff. Short, fast read. Totally enjoyable.

Rating: 4 stars

Recommendation: for those who love contemporary with some mystery and romance!


Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Rereading

Also known as something I don't  do anymore.

Way back when, I could say: sure, I own a lot of books. Sure, they're a lot of money. But it's worth it because I've read every book I own at least two or three times.

I've read my favorite book (Marley and Me) at least five times. I don't know the exact number because I'm in a constant state of rereading it. That's to say, I pick up where I left off and when I finish it, I almost immediately start it over. I have barely touched it since I started blogging again in September.  But I'm about halfway into it. And I'll pick it up again when I have time.

My second favorite book (The Art of Racing in the Rain), I've read at least twice. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane has been read numerous times. The same with The Host. It's Kind of a Funny Story. Last summer I reread/skimmed the Gone series before reading Light.

With books I've reread too many times to count, there are parts I practically know by heart. With The Host, I skip the first two hundred or so pages EVERY TIME. One day I might actually reread that first part. But I found it so gosh darned boring the first time I said: never more!

Lately, I've been so busy that I haven't had time to reread anything. But I already have a mental list of books I'd love to reread when I do have time. Flawless (my third favorite book), is due for a reread. I started it about a month ago, but haven't gotten past the second chapter.

I want to reread the May Bird series. I want to skim/reread the Morganville Vampire series. Six Months Later, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, These Broken Stars... I wouldn't mind rereading any of those. There are also tons of ebooks I would like physical copies of. And if I ever get my hands on them, I'd love to reread them. Powered. Damselfly. Branded. To name a few.

Rereading is something I personally LOVE to do. In my opinion, that's how you know a book is worthwhile. It becomes a part of you. And I love that so much.

How about you? Do you reread/like to reread?



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Q is for Quietly Missing Someone You Shouldn't

I've been debating whether or not to write this post for a while now. It originally came to me when I was first planning my A to Z posts. I've tried to come up with something else to replace it, but for whatever reason I couldn't think of anything. That's not to say that I'm convinced that's a good enough reason to post this anyways. But, well. Here I go.

Over a year ago, I met this guy. I'd known who he was, of course. He was the kind of person most people seemed to know for one reason or another. Back then, he was just a name to me. Paired with another name, of a girl I knew of but didn't know.

I met him officially in the beginning of my sophomore year. We had Spanish and PE together. I can't say what exactly got us talking to each other. We met randomly in the halls because I was with my friend when he walked by. He said hi to her and hugged her. Said hi to me and hugged me, even though I'm not sure he knew who I was back then.

Anyways, after that encounter, we started talking somehow. Random small talk here and there. Mostly in Spanish class because he sat behind me. (And chatting with a guy in PE is just wrong on so many levels.) Sometime in November I got his number and we started texting. Not very consistently, but he would reply eventually. Sometimes he would text me first. He called me once - totally random five minute phone call, if that.

The thing that started it all, though, was some random day at 11:11 am. I don't know if you know, but  11:11 is the time people make wishes. Whether it's only pm, or am works, too, I cannot say. I'm convinced it's only pm that works because the one wish I know that was made at 11:11 am - well I'll get to that.

On that day, he told me to make a wish. I refused, saying I didn't know what to wish for. He said, fine. I'll make one for you. I waited a while and asked him what he wished for. He refused to tell me.

For the longest time he refused to tell me. I would keep asking, but to no avail.

In December I finally got my answer. Apparently it was something about how my boyfriend was lucky to have me and he hoped he and I could be friends for a long time.

He never said it out loud, so I'm convinced it's because this wish was made at 11:11 am. Needless to say, our friendship did not last long.

I got him to admit that he had feelings for me, and I confessed that I probably liked him more than I should. But it was pretty clear nothing would happen - I had/have a boyfriend. And he got over me soon anyways. I had hoped everything could go back to normal. But something had changed. For me, it was the fact that my boyfriend didn't exactly trust me. I never did anything, but I guess he thought I would. Make of that what you will.

But my friend and I basically stopped talking after that. Sure, every now and then. Once I even thought we could go back to talking during Spanish class. But the teacher decided to move us all around, so there was another thing keeping us from talking.

This was a over a year ago. More recently, he got a girlfriend that he's still with. He refuses to reply to my texts. Mostly ignores me in person. Except for a few times where he basically forced small talk out of me. Needless to say, I was rather uncomfortable. Who is he to decide when we should and shouldn't talk?

There's plenty of other stuff that I won't get into here. Point being is that he's caused a little too much drama for my taste. But I still find myself missing him. Because I thought we could be friends, you know? Not even best friends, or anything. Just close enough for him to tell me when he gets a freakin girlfriend, or that he may or may not want to break up with her. Is that too much? I'm asking for too much.

Truth is, I loved having a guy friend that was just a friend. For a while that was my boyfriend. We were friends for a while before he asked me out. And don't get me wrong, I love him. He's still my best friend. I wasn't hoping for anything like that ever again. But this guy... I wouldn't have minded something similar, you know?

Anyways. My boyfriend doesn't like hearing about him, for obvious reasons. Therefore my rant is here. And if you've made it this far, congrats!

Sorry for the long post.

Have a nice day you guys!


Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman [Tour Stop and Giveaway]

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)  
by Anne Blankman
416 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Release Date: April 22nd 2014


In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

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This book combines two of my favorite things - fiction and history. And it had World War II history at that. So I was already pretty excited to read this. I was not disappointed.

1. Characters
Gretchen. The main female protagonist. Common enough in YA, but if you know me, you know it's a hit or miss most of the time. I think this was a hit. I was thrown off by the third person point of view at first. But once I got into, I was INTO it. I thought Gretchen was totally believable. While she had her faults, I understood. I don't think there were any moments where I was pissed off at her. Which is quite an accomplishment. I loved her desire to learn the truth, and the way she handled herself in dangerous situations.
Daniel. The Jew who opens up her eyes. Brave reporter? I think that's an understatement. He's do just about ANYTHING to get the story. Very admirable, but definitely dangerous. I did love him though. I was shipping him and Gretchen from the beginning. I mean seriously. I couldn't help it.

2. Plot
This is not a love story. Daniel's part is actually more fact-seeking than romantic. He helps Gretchen out because he needs the info for his story. So he helped move the story along. Very fast-paced. Very dangerous. So amazing. I loved every second.
Most of the plot does revolve around the mystery of her father's death. But there's side plots with the Final Solution (though it never calls it that in the book) and Geli. Hitler is obviously everywhere. Speaking of...

3. Psychology
Mainly involving Hitler and Gretchen's brother. This is something I personally love because HELLO. How is it not interesting learning about how/why people think? Hint: it is interesting. To me. So I loved reading about the whole diagnosis thing. I won't give anything away!

4. World War II
Ah yes. The other half of the historical fiction. Also know as: the other part I loved! Now, I'm no expert with German or WWII. But I loved how she handled the subjects. Plus, in the back, she had a little section detailing the events that inspired the novel. So that was fun. It gave you some more perspective and an idea of how she changed it to fit her plot/character additions.

Overall, I loved this. Fast-paced. Good history. Awesome how she made her plot and real events work. So! I recommend. And I'm so glad there's more. Can't wait for the next book!

Rating: 4 stars

Recommendation: for those who love historical fiction. And WWII stuff

"Debut novelist Blankman’s account of life in Munich prior to Hitler’s 1933 elevation to the chancellorship is completely engrossing....Blankman creates riveting tension for her heroine and pulls readers through with an irresistible subplot featuring forbidden love."
-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"I'm in awed envy of the daring with which Anne Blankman plunges into her difficult and sensitive subject matter. To read Prisoner of Night and Fog is to be immersed in a breathtaking evocation of Munich in the 1930s, where life is ordinary and skin-crawling by turns, and in the painful, hopeful story of one young girl's awakening conscience. It’s terrifying and incredible to think how much of this story is true."
-- Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity

"Prisoner of Night and Fog seamlessly blends the fascinating, terrifying facts of Hitler's rise to power with a gripping murder mystery. Gretchen is a brave and believable protagonist, and readers will become engrossed in her struggle to uncover the truth. I can't wait for the sequel."
-- Michelle Cooper, award-winning author of the Montmaray Journal series

"Prisoner of Night and Fog is a nail-biting visit to Adolf Hitler's inner circle in the early days of the Nazi party's rise to power. Gretchen Müller's reluctant transformation from star-struck protege to clear-eyed "race traitor" is poignant and believable, while the echoing tramp of jackboots grows louder and louder through the streets of old Munich."
-- Jennifer Armstrong, coauthor of In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer (with Irene Gut Opdyke)

Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.

After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

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