Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Review: A Pretty Age by Barbara Mueller

ISBN: 1449779557
Published: January 7th, 2013
Publisher: Westbow Press
Synopsis from publisher:
In 1910, a missionary visitor arrives at Sophiny Mumm’s convent boarding school in Concord, Kansas. Sophiny is smitten. Her best friend Antoinette Dominguez is not—and begins a series of strange behaviors breaking all the rules. In an ensuing investigation of puzzling enigmas, Sophiny has to use all the resources of emerging women’s rights, family relationships, social networks, the new technologies (telephone, photography, and transportation), and patron saints. A Pretty Age exposes the violence still underlying the Midwest’s supposed civilizing forces at the turn of the century (1910) through the emergence of two convent boarding school students into a world where weapons may have changed but the danger remains.

It's a bit hard to describe A Pretty Age for me.  I guess describing it as a mystery book is the best way.  Sophiny's best friend Antoinette disappears from the convent school that they both attend.  Antoinette has been telling Sophiny that she plans to elope, and while this puzzles her, Sophiny isn't very worried about her friend at first.  Then, as time goes on and Antoinette isn't found or heard from, Sophiny begins to get worried and starts looking into things.  Things get a bit dark as she starts uncovering what has happened to Antoinette.

I wasn't too fond of this book.  I almost put it down about halfway through, but just as I was about to give up, the plot picked up enough that I kept going.  Still, I skimmed large portions of the book because I wasn't a fan of the writing style.  That's what kept me from getting into it.  The entire book seemed to drag on, and I felt like what could have been told in a few sentences was instead elaborated into several paragraphs.  It made it difficult for me to read and enjoy the book.

It really is a shame because the plot itself was intriguing, and I feel like I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the writing style had been different.  However, there were some aspects of the story I liked.  It had a very interesting setting.  I don't know if I've read any books set around 1910, and if I have, they certainly didn't take place in Kansas.  It was also really unique that a large part of the story takes place at a convent school, which is a setting that I've definitely never read about.  There was also quite a lot of talk about feminism and what was happening in the feminist movement in 1910 that I really enjoyed.  There are many strong female characters in this book, and that definitely helped me get through the book easier.

While the writing style made it difficult for me at times, certain aspects of the story were enough to make me still enjoy A Pretty Age okay.  I think there are definitely people out there who would enjoy it, but it's not for everyone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Summer Break Mondays

It's amazing how even when I'm not in school Mondays feel like the most stressful day of the week.  There's absolutely no reason they should really.  I never write on Sundays, so I suppose that writing again could be the cause.  Still, during summer break Mondays aren't all that different from weekends, so I don't really understand why I still dread them so much.

I haven't really done much so far today other than write.  That's still making up the majority of my days really.  I still want to get a bit more done today.  I'm really enjoying where I am in the story I'm writing.  I wish I could talk about it, but I don't want to do that yet.

For the moment, I'm going to go study Japanese.  I haven't made incredible progress in learning the language this summer, but I have been studying it at least a little every day.  I'm hoping I can keep that up when school starts in a few weeks.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Larry Stylinson

I don't talk about Larry Stylinson (or Lourry if you prefer) on here ever.  I have it in my Twitter bio, but I don't tweet about it much.  The only place that I really "talk" about Larry at all is on Tumblr, and that just basically consists of my reblogging pictures, gifs, etc.  There are a number of reasons that I don't talk about it much.  For one thing, I don't really talk about One Direction here on my blog or on Youtube that much at all.  Perhaps the biggest reason though, is because I feel like everything I could have to say has already been said by other people.  Plus, some people get really offended if they think that you've "broken the fourth wall," but honestly if anyone wants to find anything on the Internet, they can.  I don't know why some people seem to think that Tumblr is a magical land where you can keep anyone related to One Direction from seeing what you post.

I made a video about One Direction about a month ago and uploaded it to Youtube, but I immediately privated it for a variety of reasons.  I didn't even touch on Larry in that video though, so it's not even really the same thing.  Still, One Direction and Larry Stylinson are a huge part of my life and what I spend my time doing, and for that reason I feel like I should talk about it more here and on Youtube.  That's why I've decided to actually start talking about them more.  It will honestly hardly affect this blog at all, but I do want to make more Youtube videos about it.

I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to say yet.  There's quite a lot I could go into, and yes, most of it will have been said before.  However, I don't want that to stop me from talking about it either.  After all, almost everything has been said about everything at some point.  I was actually going to go ahead and make this a blog post about why I believe Larry is real, but I think that would be better suited for a video and I already filmed one this morning.  That will be coming soon.  It may be a little difficult as I have so much to say that I really don't know where to even begin.  I want to try this though.  I feel as if I've been too silent about my feelings on Larry on the Internet, and I really want to end that.

An Actual Summer Break

Ever since all of the wedding and concert excitement a few weeks ago, I haven't really been doing much.  Nothing really notable at least.  However, tomorrow will be exactly a week until my twentieth birthday, and that's kind of a scary thought.  It's hard to believe that I'll no longer be a teenager.

My days recently have seriously been filled with nothing but writing, reading, and watching TV shows.  I'm kind of thankful though because I really need this for at least part of the summer.  Doing a bunch of fun stuff is great, but I also need to use summer break as an actual break or I'm going to be tired out before school even starts.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pointless Sentimentalities

I like to keep anything that is slightly sentimental to me.  I'd probably be a borderline hoarder if I didn't force myself to throw away the more mundane things that I have inklings to keep.  Granted, sometimes I just keep things (such as receipts) because they get put somewhere and then I never think to throw them away.  Still, I have a lot of things that most people probably would have thrown away by now.

In elementary school my friends and I liked to make up freeze tag games.  We eventually had so many different types of freeze tags that we couldn't remember them all, so me being how I am, I decided that we needed to write down a list.  I remember that I took that list to recess with me every day to make sure that we remembered all of the freeze tags when deciding what to play.  (And I typically wanted to play Halloween Halls instead of freeze tag.  We made up all our own games if you can't tell.)  I still have that list.  It's wrinkled more than it even should be because I had this fascination with how soft paper got if you wrinkled it up, so I used to purposefully wrinkle any paper that wasn't school work.  I'll probably never throw that list away, even if it's pretty useless these days.

That's just one of the small, sentimental things sitting around in my room.  I have the usual ticket stubs.  I even had a piece of bark from the tree that used to sit on my elementary and middle school's playground.  They cut it down the year after a graduated.  None of these things serve any purpose other than bringing back fond memories whenever I see them, and that's why I like them so much.  A lot of things have changed (especially since elementary school), but I can still look at those things and immediately remember a bunch of memories associated with those things, even if it's really only a list of freeze tags.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Naruto Shippuden Episode 81-88 Review

I really loved these eight episodes.  Shikamaru's been one of my favorite characters since the chunin exams, but he really cemented his place as my favorite character in these episodes.

It was heartbreaking to watch the episodes where everyone was reacting to Asuma's death, especially Shikamaru's reaction.  The deer in the forest were a bit odd, but when that one went and got Asuma's lighter for Shikamaru I was in tears.

I also loved seeing Naruto's new jutsu.  I love seeing him get better and better.  At the beginning of the show I was just kind of indifferent to Naruto, but I've really come to love him as a character since the Sasuke retrieval arc.

I really don't have much to say about these episodes.  I think a lot of it is because it was only eight episodes, but also, these episodes just made me really emotional.  I'm not entirely sure why.  There was Asuma's death of course, but I think I've just been oddly more emotional when it comes to books and TV lately.  Whatever the reason, it's making it harder to pick out things in these episodes to mention/talk about.  I really enjoyed them though, and I can't wait to keep watching!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Disappointment with Series

I often feel like I get disappointed in things far less often than most, and I have no idea why that is.  I think it's most obvious when it comes to TV shows or book series.  People will sometimes complain over certain aspects of the series, such as the ending, and I'm usually perfectly fine with it.  It's weird that it tends to happen more with series than with movies or stand alone books.  I think it's because I get so wrapped up in the series and so attached that it becomes harder for me to recognize flaws.  I just focus on all of the positive things instead.

I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing.  After all, is it good that if one of my favorite series does something I may love it, but I would be put off by the same thing in a movie or stand-alone book?  I guess it's something that doesn't really matter, even if it means that I'm more forgiving of series when I review them.  I kind of like it to be honest.  It means that once I get into a series, it's harder for me to become disappointed by the series.  That doesn't mean it will always be the case, but typically speaking I'll keep enjoying the series as long as it lasts.

I've never understood people who can stop a series before finishing, whether that means not reading the next book or stopping watching a TV series.  I get way too attached to do something like that.  Once I've started, I'm going to follow through and see what happens.  I can't think of one series that I've ever left unfinished (unless we count the ones I'm still in the middle of).  Between the characters and plotline, there's always something that I have to see through to the end.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Legend of Korra Season Two Comic Con Thoughts

I had planned to write a post about something completely different today (something that I've been putting off for more than a week), but then the Korra panel happened at Comic Con, and I just have to write about it.  (There are no spoilers in this post, by the way.)

First of all, we finally know what month season two will be released!  It's coming out in September, if you haven't heard, and I'm ecstatic that we finally at least have a month.

I haven't watched or even looked at everything that came out of the panel.  I've seen some pictures and watched the trailer, but that's it.  It's not that I'm avoiding spoilers, but it was a lot to keep up with as it came out.  I'm sure I'll get around to looking at everything once things calm down a bit.

The trailer looked absolutely amazing though.  The music was incredible.  That was something that I noticed immediately.  In addition to that though, the animation looked beautiful.  I don't typically notice or pay close attention to the animation, but it really stood out to me in that trailer.  I'm not sure that all of it was completely finished, but I still really liked the look of it.  The trailer didn't give much out storywise, but it was beautiful to watch.  Nickelodeon also released a clip of episode one, but I haven't watched it yet.

All of the other information that I've actually seen has helped make me even more excited as well.  We only have two months now!  I hope I can make it that long!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Long "To Do" List

I have quite a long "to do" list for today, and I've done basically nothing other than watch a documentary on Netflix.  I've been so productive lately that I'm not going to get too mad at myself though.  Other than going with my mom to pick up our dog Mickey from the vet later, I have quite a bit of writing to get done, and I also really need to go ahead and buy some of the books for one of the literature classes I'm taking next semester.  I can't even remember how many books it was that I needed, but if I keep putting off getting them then it'll be a day before I go back to school and I won't have them.

I'm off to do some writing though.  I'm hoping to get a lot done before the vet calls about us going to pick up the dog.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Literary Family

If I have participated in Book Chat here on the blog before, then it was an extremely long time ago.  I did participate on my Youtube channel more recently though.

This month's topic is to create your own literary family with authors.  I've been putting a lot of thought into this, and I'm having a difficult time thinking of authors that I would want as my relatives.  I think I'm going to keep mine pretty simple for that reason, but it has still been something really fun to think about.

I have to choose J.K. Rowling as my literary mom.  She was the first author to come to mind.  I associate Harry Potter with my childhood, and it just feels like it would be a natural fit to have her as a mom.  I think she'd be a good one.

I haven't actually been able to decide on what author I would want as a dad, so we're just going to say that my literary family is a single-mother one.

For siblings, all I can think of is that I'd really like to have Laura Ingalls Wilder as a sister.  Since her books are all about her childhood, I feel like I kind of already know what it would be like to grow up with her, and I think we would have a lot of fun.  Things would probably be quite a bit different considering we'd be in a different time period though.

I'd really like to have John Green as an uncle.  I debated choosing him as my literary dad, but for some reason I just see him fitting better as an uncle.  I love watching his vlogbrothers videos as well, and I imagine we could have some awesome conversations at family gatherings.

For an aunt, I'd really like to have Maureen Johnson.  I follow her on Twitter, and she's just fantastic.  I imagine her and John together at family gatherings would make things extremely interesting.

I think this was a bit hard considering I don't know much about a lot of authors' personalities, but I still really like this topic.  I'm probably going to give it more thought in the future.  This post is kind of disjointed because I'm still kind of mulling it all over in my head and trying to decide if these are really the author's I want to choose.  I'm sticking with this as my literary family for now though.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Top Ten All-time Favorite Books

This topic came from Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm going through and doing all of the old themes whenever I get a chance here and on my Youtube channel.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  This is in no way surprising to anyone who knows me at all.  It will definitely always top this list.  Harry Potter was my entire childhood.

2. The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  This was the other series that kind of made my entire childhood.  I think it's the reason I fell in love with that time period and possibly why I fell in love with history in general.

2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  When I started reading this series in high school it almost instantly became one of my all-time favorites.  The only books that top it in my mind are Harry Potter.

3. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.  We read this book in eighth grade, and I just absolutely fell in love with it.  I was kind of in awe of the idea that people once used to actually believe in witches and accuse people of witchcraft.

4. The Giver by Lois Lowry.  We read this book in sixth grade, and it was another one that I fell in love with instantly.  I'm almost positive that it was my first experience with dystopian, which I would later go one to love completely.

5. The Chosen by Chaim Potok.  I had to read this for summer reading before my senior year.  I remember choosing it because I like history (and had already read Pride and Prejudice), but I wasn't really expecting much.  This book made me an emotional mess though, and instantly became an all-time favorite.  I love how it's a unique perspective of World War II.  It's the only book I've ever come across that tells about a Jewish American during World War II.

6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  I read this independently but for school.  I'd heard so much about this book, and it was intriguing enough that I decided to pick it when we had to choose a classic to read on our own.  Turns out that a despise every character in the book, but for some reason I absolutely love it anyway.

7. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.  Yet another dystopian...  This was part of summer reading the same year The Chosen was, but this one was required of the entire class.  It hit me in a way no other dystopian ever has before.  Unlike with others, I could actually see our society becoming this, and it really kind of hit me hard.

8. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.  This was in our classroom library sometime during elementary or middle school, and I picked it up to read in class.  It kind of broke my heart, but I love it for it.

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I could have chosen any John Green book here (and Looking for Alaska almost got put instead), but I decided I had to go with The Fault in Our Stars.  Cancer has definitely had an effect on my life (as it has with most), and this book just really kind portrayed cancer in an incredible way.

10. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.  This was another book in our classroom library (I remember it was fourth grade), and it got passed around by all of my friends.  I remember that it made every single one of us cry.  I think it was the first book I'd ever read that had death as a major part of the story (other than Cedric's death in Harry Potter, which was much more fantastical to me at that age), and it really hit me hard.

There are so many books out there that I could have put on this list, but I'm very happy with naming these ten my all-time favorites.  I realized while making this list that most of them were introduced to me through school, which I feel is incredibly lucky considering how many kids hate school reading.  The list may have a few changes at some point in the future, but even so all of these books have a huge amount of meaning to me for various reasons.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Twisted Episode 5 Review

I reviewed episode one here on the blog, but since then I've been doing all of my reviews over on Youtube.  However, I decided to review episode five here.  That's partly because I actually took some notes during this episode, and I ended up with a lot more notes than I had expected I would.  This may be more long-winded than these reviews typically are.

I wish my sister, who is named Regina, had been watching the episode with me when Lacey had the dream that Regina appeared in.  My sister would have appreciated seeing her again.

I loved the bit where Jo agreed to go to the formal and her mom immediately rushed off to buy her a dress.  That is literally my mom and me.  I feel like she's always trying to get me into dresses, and I hate them.  Every episode I feel like I find even more ways to relate to Jo.  She's definitely my favorite character.

Lacey kind of frustrates me.  She just seems to change her mind too often.  One minute she's being nice to Danny and Jo, and the next she's almost completely ignoring them.  I understand that a lot of really crappy stuff is going on, and she's really confused.  It can get kind of annoying though.

The mayor (whose name I can't remember) really, really frustrates me.  I hate how he's blaming Jo's dad for everything when he clearly isn't at fault.  And I'm saying this as someone who really doesn't like Jo's dad all that much.  It's just really frustrating.

I'm not sure how I like the portrayal of the mathletes.  I don't want to go into a long rant about nerds and nerd stereotypes, but it kind of irks me.  Besides, I remember the kids who were on the academic teams in high school, and I don't think they were all that awkward.  The awkward kids (like me) were too awkward to even join academic teams.

I found the people of the town's reactions to Danny being at the festival very interesting.  I was surprised that there were actually people defending him.  That was nice.

I guess it's time to get into the romance stuff...  Rico obviously has a crush on Jo.  That much is obvious.  And he's definitely jealous of Danny.  Everyone seems to think that there's something between Jo and Danny, which I find funny because I don't think there's anything at all.  Danny kissed Lacey (which was interesting), so obviously he doesn't have feelings for Jo.  Jo's feelings are less clear, but I really don't think she has feelings for Danny either, not romantic ones.  I really do think she likes Rico.  She just misses having her two best friends, and I think that's making her cling to Danny a bit.  I don't think her feelings for Danny are at all romantic.

As for Danny and Lacey...  I'm really not sure what to say or how I feel.  I was expecting there to be something between Danny and Lacey from the first or second episode, but I'm not sure if I like how it's being developed.  The kiss seemed a little rushed.  I don't understand why she kissed him when she did.  For one thing, as far as we know she's still dating Archie.  Secondly, how do you just kiss someone that you've been acting the way she has toward just randomly, even if she has been developing feelings.  It just seemed odd to me.  Like, I wasn't necessarily surprised, but I'm not too thrilled with the way it happened.  I do really want to see how that storyline goes though and how their feelings develop.

The letter and money that Lacey found was a really interesting plot twist.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how that develops.  It also made me believe even more that Danny didn't murder Regina.  He seems to legitimately have no idea what the letter is or the money is for, and I know that letter has to be linked to her murder.

I can't for the life of me understand how Danny's mom didn't notice Rico when she threw the necklace.  She looked like she was being so careful about not being seen, but Rico wasn't exactly hiding or hard to see.  Still, that will of course make Rico more suspicious of Danny, and it will only make things worse between him and Jo when Jo stands up for Danny.

I'm really looking forward to next week's episode!

I Love Surprises

My week has been pretty uneventful since the Birthday Bash concert on Sunday.  I spent Monday basically just recovering from that, but Tuesday and today have been pretty productive days.  I've gotten a done of writing done, and I may have started working on a special birthday surprise for someone today.  I'm incredibly excited about that.  The idea to do it just hit me the other day, so I started on it today.  It's probably going to be a lot of work, but I'm really excited to do it.

I really haven't done much else these past two days, at least nothing's that noteworthy.  I still need to get some writing done today though, so I'm going to go get that done.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Birthday Bash

On Sunday I went to WZPL's Birthday Bash with my sister Regina, best friend Haley, and two of Haley's friends: Aleah and Victoria.  It was beyond amazing, even though it also involved sitting in the incredibly hot sun all day and getting sunburnt.  Even with all of that, the concert more than made up for it.

A Great Big World and MKTO were the first two bands to perform.  I'd never heard anything from either of them before, but I really loved both bands.  I'm definitely a fan of both now, and I'm going to look up more of their music.  They were great.

Emblem 3 came on after that, and I'm honestly not a fan of them at all.  I spent part of their set standing in line to buy an Ed Sheeran bracelet.  They also spent most of their time not on stage riding around on skateboards behind the stage.  Their tour bus was right beside the stage (but behind a fence), so they spent a lot of time freaking girls out by riding by.  It got kind of annoying to be honest.

Cher Lloyd was after them, and she was one of the two reasons I was there.  She was so incredible.  I love her even more now, and I didn't know that was possible.  She is even more adorable in person.  She kept saying "thank you so much" after every single song when the audience applauded, and she apologized for rambling because she said she gets more nervous when she talks on stage than when she's singing.  It was just wonderful, and that alone would have been worth the entire trip.

Cody Simpson performed after Cher, and his performance was definitely most most theatrical (for lack of a better word) than the others.  He actually had costume changes, backup dancers, and videos on the screen behind him.  I'm not really a fan of him at all, and I missed part of his concert too because I went to the bathroom and to get food with Vicky.  Still, I saw a good portion of it (at least when I was paying attention) since it was an hour.  I think we mostly just paid attention for his dancing more than anything.  I even remember saying to Haley at one point that he is more of a boyband than One Direction.

Ed Sheeran was the last to perform, and by far the best.  There's no competition there.  He was absolutely amazing.  I knew he would be, but I still wasn't quite prepared for it.  He made everyone get involved and had everyone singing parts of the songs.  At one point he even got the audience so quiet that he started singing without the microphone, and it was unbelievable.  (Unfortunately, of all the things I filmed, I didn't get that because I was staring in awe too much.)  I will never forget that moment.  There just aren't words to describe an Ed Sheeran concert.  It's just him and his guitar even.  He doesn't even have a band or anything.  Personally, I think it's something that absolutely everyone needs to experience.

It was an incredible day, but it was also exhausting, especially considering the more than three hour drive there and back.  Needless to say, I was pretty out of it all day yesterday, but I think I've mostly recovered now.  It was an amazing experience though.  With that, the One Direction concert, and meeting Little Mix, I'm unbelievably happy with this summer.  It's been one of the best of my entire life.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: On Heaven and Earth by Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka

ISBN: 0770435068
Published: April 19th, 2013 (originally published November 17th, 2010)
Publisher: Image
Read from June 10th to July 2nd, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
New York Times Bestseller!
From the man who became Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio shares his thoughts on religion, reason, and the challenges the world faces in the 21st century with Abraham Skorka, a rabbi and biophysicist.
For years Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Argentina, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka were tenacious promoters of interreligious dialogues on faith and reason. They both sought to build bridges among Catholicism, Judaism, and the world at large. On Heaven and Earth, originally published in Argentina in 2010, brings together a series of these conversations where both men talked about various theological and worldly issues, including God, fundamentalism, atheism, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and globalization. From these personal and accessible talks comes a first-hand view of the man who would become pope to 1.2 billion Catholics around the world in March 2013.


This book is basically a transcript of conversations that Bergoglio (now Pope Francis; then Archbishop of Buenos Aires) and Skorka (a Jewish rabbi).  They talk about a wide variety of topics and what their views are on them.

I absolutely loved this book.  I loved getting both of their perspectives on every topic, and although they occasionally disagreed, they were always respectful of each other.  I always enjoy learning more about various religions, and I loved seeing a Catholic perspective and Jewish perspective in the same book.  They talk about relations among various religions in the book even.  It was done very well.  I love the entire concept of this book.  It was a great idea.

It's in a script kind of form.  For instance, when it's something Skorka said, the book says "Skorka:" and then it's followed by what he said.  I really liked that format and found it easy to follow, but at the same time I could see some people disliking it.  It really is just them going back and forth on the different topics.

I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Catholic or Jewish literature.  It isn't a thorough book on theology, but I do think it is a pretty good conversation starter and all around interesting book.  I found quite a few quotes from both men that I absolutely love.

Two quotes that stood out to me:

"Even though I personally believe that G-d exists, it is arrogant to say that He exists as if it were just another certainty in life." - Abraham Skorka

"Beyond this, I want to point out that the Devil is one thing. It is quite another matter to demonize things or people. Man is tempted, but there is no need to demonize him." - Jorge Mario Bergoglio

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Feeling Pretty Horrible

Today has not been all that great of a day.  It was one of those days where everything seems to go wrong.  In this particular case it was only of my own body's doing though.  I woke up to my allergies being much worse than usual.  Eventually that developed into a horrible headache (much worse than I've had in a long time and it was my entire head and neck).  Then, my stomach started hurting.  For a while I was really worried that I was getting sick, but now I'm pretty sure that the headache went back to the allergies and the stomach pains were because of the pill the dermatologist put me on for my acne (I didn't drink water when I took it like I should have).  I still have a little bit of a headache, but overall I'm feeling much better at the moment.

Needless to say, I didn't get much done thanks to how I was feeling.  This was particularly unlucky as I also slept through my alarm (probably because of my allergies) and woke up late.  Of course it was also on a day where I had a ton to do.  I'm being really productive at the moment though, so I'm sure I'll manage to get everything done.  I've been doing pretty good lately, so I shouldn't be surprised by all of this.  My allergies in particular have been far too good lately for me to expect that to keep up.

I'm sorry for the post that was basically just me complaining about feeling horrible.  Sometimes I just have days where I want to get this stuff out though.  I'm sure I'll be feeling much better tomorrow.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: Desolate by Ali Cross

ISBN: 1478190892
Published: July 3rd, 2012
Publisher: self-published
Read from June 13th to 30th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Where darkness lives, all becomes desolate . . .
It’s been two months since sixteen-year-old Desolation Black chose Earth over Hell and her friend Miri over her eternal love, Michael.
Desi goes through the motions of life: school, training, remaining vigilant against the forces of darkness, but her dreams are full of the choices she wishes she could change. When she’s injured by a strange demon, old temptations arise, and the lines between good and evil blur. Desi discovers those choices aren’t so final after all.
And this time, the power of love—for a friend, for a lover—may not be enough to save her from the darkness that lurks within.

This is the second book in the Desolation series.  I reviewed the first book here back in October.

I loved this book so much more than the first one, and I did enjoy the first one.  This one though was amazing, I thought.  It was very climatic, and I was constantly trying to figure out what was going to happen. The second book in a series is usually the slowest (especially in a trilogy), but I definitely don't think that that was true for this one.  The entire book was just one epic event after the other, and I never knew what was going to happen next.

I'm not going to go into very much detail since this is a sequel.  I don't want to spoil anything for the first book, since I don't really have much to say.  I mostly feel like the story is too incomplete for me to talk about anything spoilery.  I need to read the last book first.

I can't wait to read the next book and see what happens.  The end of this one was definitely a cliffhanger, and I really want to read the next one soon!