Monday, December 30, 2013

Life Post: The Last Post of the Year

Today's been a long day. Not much happened, but that's a good thing because I'm absolutely exhausted from how little sleep I got last night. I started writing the fanfiction I've been planning today though, so that makes me really happy. I've been a bit slow about getting things done, so I still have more writing I want to do. Still, I'm really liking what I have so far. Let's hope it stays that way.

This is going to be my last post here until 2014, so I want to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope you all have a good last day of the year tomorrow, and I hope that everyone's 2014 starts off well. My sister's having a party here, but right now I think I'll be sticking to myself during it. I have a feeling it's going to be loud and I'm not really close to anyone going. That does not sound fun to me.

Film Review: The Bling Ring

A24 Films
Directed by Sofia Coppola
Written by Sofia Coppola
Rated R
In theaters: June 21st, 2013
On DVD: September 17th, 2013
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
In THE BLING RING, Oscar Winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola takes us inside the world of these teens, where their youthful naivete and excitement is amplified by today's culture of celebrity and luxury brand obsession. The members of the Bling Ring introduce us to temptations that any teenager would find hard to resist. And what starts out as youthful fun spins out of control, revealing a sobering view of our modern culture. (c) A24


I don't think it'll be very surprising that my primary reason for watching The Bling Ring was because Emma Watson is in it. I did become somewhat intrigued about the real story of the Bling Ring though, and I was interested to see the film. Overall, I did enjoy the movie. I have only seen one other Sofia Coppola movie (Marie Antoinette), and I really enjoy that movie. After watching The Bling Ring, I really want to go watch her other movies. I didn't think The Bling Ring was great exactly, but I still want to see her other movies since I like the two I've seen.

My biggest problem with the movie is that I feel like it was a rather shallow portrayal of what happened. I know that the characters were shallow, and that was part of the point. However, they had to have had motivation for doing what they did, and I don't think that motivation was explored enough. I just think the characters could have been fleshed out more and made more human instead of the shallow robots that they more or less came across as in the movie.

That being said, I did like the movie for the most part, and I could see hints of the movie trying to make the characters less shallow. It definitely could have been a worse movie. I thought it was entertaining. I do see it as more of an artsy kind of film than a mainstream kind of one, and I could see that putting some people off. One thing I noticed is that there's a good deal of silence in certain parts and in other parts there are long periods of just loud music and nothing else. I can see the long periods of no dialogue turning some people off, but it didn't bother me.

I would definitely say that this isn't a movie that everyone would like, but I found it an enjoyable movie for the most part, even if I had some problems with it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Life Post: Recuperating from Christmas

I hope everyone who celebrates had an amazing Christmas. Also, I hope everyone who celebrates Kwanzaa is having a good one so far. I'm always jealous of the countries that have Boxing Day because I feel like it would be nice to have after Christmas instead of everyone going directly back to work. Of course, I'm a student, so I'm still on break. Still, my parents and even my sister both had to work today, which I couldn't have done. I was absolutely exhausted yesterday, and I needed to sleep today.

I hadn't written in several days because of all the holiday stuff going on, so it felt nice to get back to it today. I finished the first draft of the story I've been working on since October! I'm really excited about it, and now I've set it aside for a while before I go back to edit. In the meantime I plan to work on a new fanfiction that I've been thinking about for a while. I think I'm going to start some brainstorming tonight. I can't decide if I want to outline this one or just wing it as I write. I have a vague idea of the story and where I want it to go, but I'm still thinking of ways to flesh it out more.

I'd probably get started writing the fanfiction tomorrow, but my dad wants to go see the new Hobbit movie. That movie is so long that I'm not going to set any expectations on myself to get around to writing. It may happen though. We'll see. I'm really excited about this story, so it's possible that I'll find time to write no matter what else happens tomorrow.

I'm a Youtube Tag

There's this tag on Youtube called the I'm a Youtube Tag. I haven't seen a done of people doing it, but one person I'm subscribed to did a couple of weeks ago. Even though the questions are all about Youtube, I decided to answer the questions here instead of on my Youtube channel just because. So, here are the questions about my Youtube videos:

Do you wear pants when you film?
Yes, I tend to wear pants at all times.

What kind of videos do you film?
I don't even know what to call my videos. I do vlogs fairly often that are just whatever I'm doing that day. I also review a lot of books and TV shows. (Basically, it's exactly what my blog posts are only in video form.)

Will you be doing this in 5 years time?
I hope so. I don't see myself stopping making videos any time soon. I really enjoy it, and it's helped me gain confidence as well. If you go back and watch my first videos, I'm really quiet and unsure of myself, and you can tell a huge difference to my videos now. I think some of that has transferred over to real life too, and I'm really thankful for that.

Do you have any upcoming collabs? 
No. I was talking to someone about doing a collab a while back, but it never actually happened. I also used to be in a collab channel a few years ago that I really miss. It would be awesome to do another collab, but I'm not sure what it would be or who I'd do it with.

What inspired you to make a YouTube channel? 
I got into Youtube back in late 2006 with music video type things made for TV shows and such that I really liked. I started watching vloggers in 2007, and I thought it looked awesome. I almost started making videos several times, but I always chickened out. I even uploaded videos at least twice and deleted them a couple of days later because I was so terrified. It took until four years ago at the beginning of 2010. I think the only reason that I didn't give up then was because I'd told my family about it, and I could just give up when they knew. That made me determined to actually keep it up, and sure enough I became much more confident about it and it became a lot of fun.

Do you edit your own videos?
Yep. I don't know of many Youtubers that don't really. You have to have a full-time job with Youtube to really warrant someone else editing them, and even then editing them is your job. I don't even like the idea of someone else editing my videos. I want to see exactly what's going online before it does.

Current subscriber count and goal by 2014? 
As of right now, I have 78, which is far more than I ever expected to have. I'm honestly amazed that 78 people have decided my videos are good enough that they should subscribe. I don't have a goal for 2014. I never really pay attention to subscriber count anyway. I never know it unless I have to look it up for questions such as these.

Why YouTube?
I'm assuming this is asking why Youtube in comparison to other video websites. For me it just made since. The videos I found were all on Youtube, and I never even considered using another video hosting website. Youtube was just the obvious choice.

Do you film at night or in the day?
The day. By the time it's night, I want to be done with everything I need to do for the day. I do sometimes film once it's dark, especially lately, but that's only because it's winter and gets dark so early.

Where do you get your ideas from?
A lot of places. I've been reviewing books and TV shows for a while, and I don't think that's really an original idea. I love watching booktubers, although I wasn't aware of the community much until I started reviewing books. Other times I just want to talk about something, so I'll make a video. There's no one place where I get ideas.

Tips for a new YouTuber?
Make videos because you have fun and not expecting to get Internet famous or get a lot of attention. Very few people get Internet famous, and unfortunately, you probably won't. That doesn't mean you can't get subscribers who will enjoy your videos or that you can't make some awesome friends. You'll most likely be doing this in your free time though as a hobby as opposed to a full-time job. You should be having fun with it.

What do you call your subscribers? 
I think I refer to them as "guys" more than anything else. I really don't have a specific word.

Talk about something that is seen in a lot of your videos.
Books I suppose. I'm not really sure. Or my dorm room.

What have you gained from your YouTube experience? 
As I said before, it's made me a lot more confident about myself, and it's a great outlet to take about the things that I enjoy.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Book Review: Become Your Own Boss Now by Brian YT

Published: November 8th, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Read from December 6th to 9th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Stuck trying to find clients?
Not sure what to put in to your portfolio?
Don't know what to do about business cards and websites?
Confused by the advice you're finding online?
Trying to figure out how exactly you can start working as a freelancer and start earning some income?
Well, you've picked up the right book! However, you will find that this book is not like ANY 'how to become self-employed' books out there.
It will NOT tell you how important it is to set up your social media profiles.
It will NOT tell you how you need to carry your business cards everywhere you go.
It will NOT tell you why you need a professional looking logo or website.
It will NOT tell you to include a wide veriety of your best work in your portfolio.
It's not filled with a bunch of random useless tips you read about online.
Instead, in this book you will learn about:
- The bad advice you're given that's actually keeping you stuck and what you can do about it.
- The method you can use to get hired for projects without being a salesperson
- The step-by-step process to actually find clients, get them to hire you and start getting paid for your work.
- The way to stand out from your competition and win work over other freelancers in your field.
And more!


I thought this book was great for anyone who plans on doing any sort of freelance. I've been reading a lot about freelance recently, and this really does tell you a lot of stuff that is helpful but hard to find in other places. I'm really glad that I picked this book up. It wasn't a perfect book though, and that's mainly because it's so general for all types of freelance. It would have been more helpful if it was specifically for freelance writing as that's really what I want to know, and more general information can only be so helpful. It was a helpful book, and I'm happy that I read it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life Post: Merry Christmas Eve!

It's the day before Christmas! To be honest, today is a bit more exciting for me than actual Christmas day. Today is when my dad's family gets together for Christmas and when we go to Christmas mass. Tomorrow will be opening presents in the morning, but that's it. After opening presents it just becomes a normal day except I have some new stuff. I love both days though, and it's hard to believe that Christmas is already here.

I think I'll actually post a book review tomorrow (since I really won't have much to do and I'm still behind), but I wanted to make a post today to say merry Christmas Eve and Christmas to everyone who celebrates. I hope you all have awesome holidays!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Film Review: American Teacher

Rated: G
Directed by Vanessa Roth and Brian McGinn
In theaters: September 30th, 2011
On DVD: February 13th, 2012
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
American Teacher is the feature-length documentary created and produced by Vanessa Roth, Nínive Calegari, Dave Eggers, and Brian McGinn. The film includes a musical score by Thao Nguyen and is narrated by Matt Damon. The film chronicles the stories of four teachers living and working in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. Their stories are told through a mixture of footage and interviews with students, families, and colleagues, as well as the teachers themselves. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, our film tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today. -- (C) Official Site


I highly enjoyed this documentary. I'll admit I may be a little biased as I'm currently studying to be a teacher, so everything covered in this documentary is on my mind all the time. It's not really an incredibly optimistic view of teaching, but it's not anything I didn't already know. That being said, the only reason I knew most of the information was because I'm studying to be a teacher. I wish everyone was aware of the information in this documentary, but as I said, I'm a bit biased.

I'd recommend checking the documentary out if you can. It's on Netflix. I think this film does a great job of showing some of the things that are wrong with the way teachers are treated today, and it's important to remember that all of that goes on to affect the education of the students as well. That's why I feel like this is a documentary that people should see.

Friday, December 20, 2013

End of Year Book Survey 2013

This end of year book survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner. It's the first year I've ever done it, and it looks like a lot of fun.

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?

I'm going to cheat a little and say two. I have an "all time favorites" list on Goodreads, and I added two books to that this year.
The Reluctant King by Rachel Higginson (This is the fifth book in the Star-Crossed series that was originally going to be four books. I was surprised and beyond thrilled when I learned about this one earlier in the year.)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
There are a couple, but a recent one would be Forbidden: Discover the Legend by Tina Smiths. (I've filmed a review for it, but it isn't up yet.)

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
4 to 16 Characters by Kelly Hourihan. The premise sounded interesting, but I didn't think it was going to be as deep as it was. It was definitely an amazing surprise.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
There are a handful that I wish everyone would read, but I'm going to go with 4 to 16 Characters again. I really liked the issues explored in that book, and I wish more people got to see that point of view.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. I've become rather obsessed. I've read the first two now, and my mom has hinted that she's getting me the rest for Christmas. I'm going to have a hard time reading anything else for a while if that happens.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
I really didn't read more than one book by any author in 2013 except for some series. I'm going to go with H.O. Charles. I read City of Blaze back in August, but I haven't gotten to the rest of that series yet. I fell in love with the first book though, so I'm extremely excited for the rest.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
I'm going to repeat again and say City of Blaze. I've always loved the idea of high fantasy, but I've really read very little of it. What I have read was always young adult, which isn't surprising since the majority of everything I read is young adult. I read City of Blaze because it was free for Kindle, but reading an adult high fantasy was new for me. I'm very glad I checked it out though because I loved it, and it's only made me want to read more high fantasy in the future.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
I'm going to say the Mortal Instruments series again. I've become very drawn into that world, and I was constantly wanting to read them while I was in the middle of those books.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I really don't re-read books that often, even my absolute favorites. I re-read two this year, but that was only because it was for a class. I'd say Harry Potter, since I've read it more than anything else and it's been too long, but I didn't read that in 2013. I honestly don't have an answer.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
I really like The Reluctant King's cover.

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Magnus Bane from the Mortal Instruments series. I thought every character in that series was very memorable. I said this in one of my reviews, but I feel like that's one of Cassandra Clare's strengths as a writer.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
I'm going to go with Hamlet by Shakespeare. I mean, it's Shakespeare. I also didn't review this one because, like I said, it's Shakespeare.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
I'd say 4 to 16 Characters did. I relate to the main character in a lot of ways, and it was probably the book I connected to emotionally the most out of what I read in 2013.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
There are quite a few. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was one that I'd been planning to read for years and only got around to this part year.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“This above all: to thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man.” 
― William Shakespeare, Hamlet
I'm sure I could find something else if I really searched, but finding this one quote took long enough.

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
I honestly had no idea what I'd get for this before I looked at Goodreads, but I should be surprised that The Illiad was the longest book I read this year. The shortest is a bit harder, since some of the books that I read this year have "unknown" or a lower page number that I know is wrong. The best I can tell it's How to Make Money Blogging - Earning Your First $1000 Online by Nick S. Buchanan.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Ouran High School Host Club, Volume 9 by Bisco Hatori. I haven't gotten to Volume 10 yet, but Volume 9 finally started moving towards what I've been waiting for since Volume 1. I'm really excited to get around to Volume 10 and see what comes from it.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series. Like I said, Magnus was my most memorable character from a book this year, so that might have something to do with it. They were definitely my favorite couple in the series. I just really enjoy their dynamic. (Plus, I'm just now realizing looking back that I really didn't read too many books with a significant romance this year, which is odd for me.)

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
I mostly read books by authors I hadn't read before this year, but I did manage to read two books by Rachel Higginson this year. As I said before, her Star-Crossed series is in my all time favorites, so I'm going to go with The Reluctant King.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Being assigned it in class counts as a recommendation right? I highly doubt I would have picked it up otherwise.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
That's hard to say since I read a pretty good mixture. There's definitely a lot of young adult, since I took a young adult class and typically prefer it anyway, but that's not a genre.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
I'm really not one of those people who gets fictional crushes that often, although it definitely happens. Plus, like I said earlier, I really didn't read that much romance this year. I think my biggest fictional crush this year has been on television instead of in a book. I really can't think of one.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
I'm going back to 4 to 16 Characters again.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
City of Blaze again. As I said before, I've always loved the idea of high fantasy but found it somewhat intimidating. I loved the world Charles created, and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series and going back to it.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
This was definitely the Mortal Instruments series for me.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
4 to 16 Characters yet again. If you haven't noticed yet, this book was pretty awesome. I highly recommend checking it out.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
4 to 16 Characters. I know I'm using this for everything, but it's true. I didn't hear anything about it, and I only knew about it because I came across it on Netgalley.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013?
I didn't really find any new book blogs at the beginning of the year, and then several months ago I found quite a few at once. The Perpetual Page Turner was one of those, but I really love all of the ones I found.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013?
This is hard for me since I don't typically think about my reviews after I write them. I know that some turn out better than others, but I don't even know where to start with choosing one of them over all of the others.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
I wish I had discussions on my blog. If you ever want to comment, please do. It's very rare that I actually get a comment on a post, and I'm absolutely thrilled when I see that I have.

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I've seen several posts on diversity in YA over the past year. I don't have links to any of them, and I can't even remember which blog to search for them at. I really enjoy those sorts of discussions though because I think things like that are important to discuss.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
Does my adolescent literature class count? I had a lot of fun discussing young adult books with the others in that class, and it was nice to be in a class with a professor who really respected young adult literature.

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
I'm going to go with exploring my plans for the book I'm currently writing with my adolescent literature class and getting feedback from my professor on the first chapter. I know that's writing as opposed to reading, but it was nice to hear that my idea wasn't complete crap to other people. Plus, it happened recently, so it's on the forefront of my mind.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Apparently it was my book review for Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris. I'm actually surprised at just how many page views it has. I'm not entirely sure where they all came from because it's a pretty significant amount compared to what my posts usually get.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
I wish all of them got more comment, since they never get any. I really don't pay attention to page views, so I'm not really sure which ones have gotten more than others.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
I really don't know of any bookish discoveries that I made this year.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
Yes, I had a goal to read 50 books this year, and I'm currently in the 70s. I'm pretty proud of myself because I can't remember the last time I read this many books in a year. Of course, being an English major and in literature classes helps.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?
The sequel to City of Blaze as well as the rest of the Mortal Instruments series. (I feel like I should have picked books I actually own already though. Whoops.)

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
I don't really pay good attention to book releases until right before the release. I'll be keeping an eye out for any new books by my favorite authors though.

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I don't know of any debuts that are coming out at the moment. I'm sure I'll hear of some good ones during the year though.

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?
I think the Star-Crossed series by Rachel Higginson is set to end in 2014. That means two more books! I'm excited for it.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
I don't think there's anything major. I'm pretty happy with this past year, especially with how many books I managed to get through. I tend to make new year's resolutions with my blog and/or reading every year (and I almost always manage to keep them), but this year I really haven't thought of anything. It may be the first time in years that I start the year with no new resolutions.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Movie Review: The Business of Being Born

Rated: PG
Directed by Abby Epstein
In theaters: January 9th, 2008
On DVD: May 6th, 2008
Synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes:
While the United States has perhaps the most advanced health care system in the world, it also has the second-highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized nation, and many have begun to question conventional wisdom regarding the way obstetricians deal with childbirth. While midwives preside over the majority of births in Europe and Japan, fewer than ten percent of American mothers employ them, despite their proven record of care and success. How do American doctors make their choices regarding the way their patients give birth, and who is intended to benefit? Director Abby Epstein and producer Ricki Lake offer a probing look at childbirth in America in the documentary The Business of Being Born, which explores the history of obstetrics, the history and function of midwives, and how many common medical practices may be doing new mothers more harm than good. The Business of Being Born was screened as part of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


I thought this documentary was excellent. I had heard of home births before, but while I always thought people should be free to do what they want, I had always just kind of thought of hospital births as superior. I definitely don't hold that view now. I still think that women should give birth where ever they want to, but I have so much more respect for home births after this documentary. I even think I would want to give birth at home if I ever have kids, although I'd be sure to do more research on it first. I think that was actually something that this documentary made clear to me. Before I would have just blindly gone to a hospital and given birth without really understanding what was happening to me or the baby. Now I know that it's far more responsible to research birth and actually know what's going to happen. It seems like common sense now because who wants to go through labor without really understanding what's happening to them? But that's just kind of what I thought before watching this documentary.

While this documentary does an excellent job of explaining the benefits of home birth, I loved that they also expressed that all women should have the birth they want, even if that means giving birth in a hospital. They didn't immediately dismiss hospital births as inferior, but they explored why home birthing can be better for many women. It was a very informative documentary, and I am very thankful that I took the time to watch it.

The original documentary did so well that the same filmmakers went on to create a series of documentaries called More Business of Being Born. I also really loved that entire series. It's full of more information, and there's one documentary in the series that interviews celebrities on their own experiences, which I found very fascinating. If you watch The Business of Being Born and enjoy it, then I highly recommend going on the More Business of Being Born as well. It's all very interesting stuff. I would most definitely recommend this to anyone who is pregnant, even if you plan on having a hospital birth. It's nice stuff to be aware of.

Life Post: Writing and Christmas Gifts

For some reason I've had a lot of trouble getting through my entire to do list until late in the day lately. It's almost supper time, and I still haven't done all of the writing that I want to today. I think it's because my family is pretty distracting when I'm home. That and I did kind of just finish watching an episode of Naruto, but to be fair I had that planned and in my to do list as a break.

My mom just came to tell me that dinner was ready as I was writing this, so I suppose I should go eat. I plan on writing more as soon as I finish dinner. Right now, I'm pretty sure I'm going to finish editing my Avatar fandom secret santa gift tomorrow, so it'll be ready to go for the gifting period. I really hope that the person it's for like it! I'm proud of it for the most part, and I'm excited to finish editing it.

I also wrapped all of my gifts for my family today, and they're under the tree. Yay! I can't believe there are six days until Christmas. I'm excited. I really need to go eat now, so I'm going to force myself to stop writing.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Life Post: Christmas Things

Today has involved writing more than anything else. I also watched the cutest movie on Netflix, but I think I'm going to review it later so I won't talk about it now.

Tonight we're going to the church that's paired with our church for a Christmas thing. I'm hurrying to write this before we leave for that. We've never gone before, but now that my dad's deacon of both our church and that church, they really seemed to want us to go. Apparently Santa Claus is going to be there and there's food, but other than that, I have no idea what it even is. I know people who go to that church, but I don't know most of them particularly well. Hopefully it's fun.

I can't believe there's one week until Christmas! I'm excited! It feels like it's coming really fast.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Review: Ouran High School Host Club, Volume 9 by Bisco Hatori

ISBN: 1421514044
Published: July 3rd, 2007 (first published September 5th, 2006)
Publisher: VIZ Media
Read December 4th and 5th, 2013
Synopsis (from back of the book because Goodreads is wrong):
In this screwball romantic comedy, Haruhi, a poor girl at a rich kids' school, is forced to repay an $80,000 debt by working for the school's swankiest, all-make club--as a boy! There she discovers just how wealthy the six members are and how different the rich are from everybody else...
In middle school, Tamaki Suoh must entice the coldhearted twins, Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, to join his newly created Host Club. But in order to get them to accept his proposal, he must first best them at their own game.


I loved this volume. I said in my review for volume eight that I enjoyed it, but it also felt somewhat noneventful. This volume wasn't like that at all. I've said before how in love I am with Ouran. It's one of my favorite things in the world. This volume is a good example of why. I loved it. The last couple of volumes were extremely enjoyable, but this one was even better.

The first episode in this volume was really adorable to me. Tamaki was just so determined to get the twins into the club, and it's really heart-warming to me. See the other members a bit was nice too. I just think it's cute how Tamaki brought them all together like that. Hunny at the very end actually made me tear up a bit. It was cute.

The story about the princess wasn't quite as great to me. I thought it was sweet that Tamaki wanted to make her happy and how he figured out what was really going on and helped her. It was a cute episode, but it wasn't my favorite in the volume.

Episode 40 was what really got me in this volume. I won't get into it because I don't want to have anything too spoilery in this review, but I'm loving that there's finally some progress with the characters' feelings for each other. Like I said, I won't go into detail, but I'm really excited for volume ten and on after that episode.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Life Post: Preparing for Project for Awesome

Today has been pretty tiring. I filmed and edited my Project for Awesome video today, and it ended up taking quite a lot of time. That made me behind on everything else I planned to do. I ended up not getting as much writing done as I had planned because of it too. I could still write, but I'm so tired at this point that don't think I could focus. I'm struggling to even write this.

I'm not really tired because of today though. It's more last night/this morning. I'm home for break, but my brother, sister, and the exchange student we're hosting are all still in school. My sister Regina and Jenny both use the bathroom connected to my room in the morning while getting ready, so I pretty much can't sleep at all in the mornings. That led to me being tired this morning, and the long list of things I needed to do just added to that. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll actually sleep through them getting ready.

I'm really excited for Project for Awesome to start tomorrow though. It's a great couple of days every year, and I feel really good about being a part of it. I highly recommend that you participate in any way you can, even if that means only watching and commenting on a couple of videos. It's an amazing thing to be a part of, and I'm excited to see what happens this year.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Author Guest Post: Meet the Characters of the Spellbound Universe!

Today author, Sherry Soule has some exciting news to share with us! All the previously published books in the popular Spellbound series have been rewritten and republished with more epic romance, sizzling character chemistry, and thrilling suspense. The new versions also include exclusive bonus material and brand new scenes. Even additional scenes from bad-boy, Trent Donovan’s point-of-view! To help promote the new editions, she is doing this awesome book promo to share the update with fellow booklovers.

The Spellbound series is a great mix of Pretty Little Lairs meets Buffy, the Vampire Slayer!
In this fun guest post, you can learn more about the intriguing characters from the first book, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN that populate the eerie world of Fallen Oaks, where everyone has something to hide. Discover what skulks in the fog of this Silent Hill-esque town and hides within the dense forest.

Meet the teenage residents that have good looks, lots of teen angst, and a fair share of supernatural intrigue. Discover more about Trent and Shiloh’s love story, which began with a mixture of lustful teen hormones and beguiling attraction. When Shiloh and Trent first meet, they both feel an instant connection, but at its core, it is a tale about the power of first love and the courage of two hearts that were meant to beat tremendous odds just to be together. But will fate try to split them apart?

First, Meet the Star-Crossed Lovers…

Shiloh Trudell

A quirky girl (whose favorite shoes are her Doc Martens boots) has a habit of engaging her brain before her mouth. She has seen shadows for as long as she can remember, and they always turn up when something bad is about to happen. Shiloh was born with an unusual mix of Native American Sioux and French ancestry. After learning about her family's duty as demon hunters and her role as the prophesied Thirteenth Daughter, Shiloh decides that's up to her to protect the town. Once she awakens her "inner-witch,” strange things start happening. And she still needs to understand the mysterious significance of the Devil’s Mark carved on her wrist.

But is Shiloh worthy to combat the forces of darkness? Or is she just another teen destined to befall the town curse?

Trent Donavon

After seventeen years, Trent and his father return to this coastal town and move back into their rumor-to-be haunted mansion, Craven Manor, and become instantly under speculation. Trent has been recently kicked out of military school, and although, Trent can be arrogant, he really harbors a deep insecurity. He was deeply hurt that his mother took her life when he was still an infant, and later he is crushed after being repeatedly rejected by his father, who stuck him in boarding school at the age of five. Becoming rebellious and angry, he gets into fights and has a quick temper. When Trent meets Shiloh—sparks fly. Shiloh makes him want to mend his bad-boy ways. As their friendship changes from mutual lust to real affection, he still has a hard time expressing his feelings.

Will Trent be able to survive the curse in time to tell Shiloh how he feels? Or is he hiding a dark and dangerous secret of his own? 

Meet The Diverse Cast of Characters

DARRAH BROUSSARD is Shiloh’s mother, a beautiful, yet cryptic woman. And she has never really been the “motherly” type. She is keenly aware that she struggles with vanity and jealousy. There is a dark, tempestuous side to Darrah that lies just beneath the surface of her Stepford-facade. Will the cost of her driving ambition come at a deadly price? 

ARIANA PRESTON is Shiloh's smart and feisty best friend. Upon learning that Shiloh is actually a powerful heritage witch, she dedicates herself to aiding her friend in the battle against evil. But after uncovering her otherworldly heritage, Ari develops a taste for the mystical. When she discovers her family's dark deeds, will it only cause more havoc in a town that is already cursed?  

LAUREN BROUSSARD is Darrah's sister and Shiloh's aunt. Though she wears a brave face for the world, she hides a deep personal loneliness. She has enough perspective to recognize that her self-reliance separates her from the other witches in town. Intense arguments about Shiloh's upbringing finally resulted in her being estranged from the family. But what will Lauren do when a dirty little secret from her past is uncovered?

JACKSON TRUDELL is Shiloh's father, and he only wants peace within his troubled family. Jackson is quick, decisive, and he’s every bit the epitome of a good man. He thinks the rumors about supernatural activity and witches are totally ridiculous. He's more worried that Shiloh will discover his secret. Will he finally find the courage to tell Shiloh the truth surrounding her birth?

MADISON DONAVON is painfully shy and deemed mentally ill, but under that childlike pretense, there is much more than meets the eye. She is overly protective of her family, especially her brother Trent. It's no secret that she dislikes Shiloh. But is Madison really as slow as she’d have the others believe? Or is there a dangerous side to this mysterious creature?

ANTHONY EVANS is the resident ghost hunter and an infamous Bay Area Victorian restoration specialist. After the death of his wife, he moves in with his brother-in-law, Maxwell Donovan to help cleanse their haunted house. When he hires Shiloh to be his assistant, he decides that it's his duty to educate Shiloh in all things supernatural. But will teaching her magic be enough to stop the evil from killing the other residents?

BRITTANY LAU-WITHERIDGE is the mayor’s daughter. She is the Queen Bee at the local High school. Always calm and poised, and perfectly coiffed. She is Shiloh’s frenemy. But after Brittany discovers she has a paranormal-side, she relishes in her darker instincts. Will she eventually put aside their differences to join forces with Shiloh?

KAYLA BENNET is Brittany’s best friend and captain of the cheerleading squad. She is extremely shallow, insecure, and often clueless. At times, she can be either spontaneous or cautious. But will Kayla surprise everyone with her insightful contributions to the fight against evil?

DANIEL RAMÍREZ is a local football jock, known for being an all-round good guy. Daniel and Ariana share a strong attraction and enjoy flirting with each other. But Shiloh fears he might be dangerous, even though, he seems to sincerely want to help them discover what's causing the recent attacks on the football players. But does he have his own personal agenda to fulfill? 

MAXWELL DONOVAN is a millionaire yuppie, and shares his son Trent’s intensity, articulacy, and conviction. He was born to a wealthy California state assemblyman and he has five sisters. Maxwell was married to Catarina and not only stole her heart, but her sanity as well. Rumors abound after he is accused of murdering his wife. Is he really a heartless killer or is there more to this enigmatic man? 

JADA MARTIN is Shiloh's good friend and believes that Craven Manor is haunted. Jada wants to help Shiloh discover the manor's dark secrets and why kids are mystically disappearing. However, her daring attitude might get her into serious trouble...

PAIGE JONES is an intellectual girl, who has no ideal goal, but to spend time in after-school programs studying. She is one of the few people not afraid to speak her mind, or afraid of the curse. Yet will her fearlessness only get her killed?

MRS. BAYLOCK is the housekeeper at Craven Manor. Most people see her as an eccentric old woman, but she knows a lot more than she lets on. She often helps out behind the scenes without anyone knowing. She seems to enjoy spouting deadly quips. Mrs. Baylock is fearless and it doesn’t bother her to work in a haunted house. But like most of the residents, she isn't what she seems...

SHERIFF THOMAS BOYD is best friends with Shiloh’s father, Jackson. Perceptive and diplomatic, he has an easy rapport with everyone in town. On several occasions, Boyd has concealed evidence when otherworldly forces attacked the residents in an effort to prevent mass hysteria. But was it really to protect the town or to protect his own family's involvement?

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Official Spellbound Series blog:
Twitter @WriterSherry:

Deadly Witchcraft. Ghostly Threats. Doomed Romance.

They say every town has its secrets, but that doesn’t even begin to describe Fallen Oaks. The townsfolk are a superstitious lot and the mystical disappearance of a local teen has everyone murmuring about a centuries old witch’s curse.
When sixteen-year-old Shiloh Trudell takes a summer job at Craven Manor, she discovers a ghost with an agenda. That’s where she meets the new town hottie, Trent Donovan, and immediately becomes enchanted by his charms.
Finally, Shiloh’s met someone who is supercute and totally into her, but Trent is immersed in the cunning deception that surrounds the mysterious Craven Manor. So much so that he may lose sight of what is truly important to him. And she can’t decide whether she wants to shake him or kiss him. Yet neither one of them can deny the immediate, passionate connection growing between them.
But underlying everything is the fear that Trent may be the next victim on a supernatural hit list, and Shiloh is the only person with the power to save him…
With cryptic messages from a pesky wraith, Shiloh will finally begin to understand the mysterious significance of the strange mark branded on her wrist and decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the other teenagers in town.
Unfortunately, for Shiloh, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.


ISBN: 978-0976180425

Amazon Paperback:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Review: A Writer on Writing by Sally Jenkins

Published: March 23rd, 2013
Publisher: Tango Press
Read from November 30th to December 4th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A writer who earns money from his work is not merely a wordsmith. A profitable writer knows how to manage his time, produce ideas from a blank mind and create a web presence, plus many more things besides.
A Writer on Writing will introduce you to these and a range of other skills useful to anyone hoping to make cash from their words.
Using her feature articles that have appeared in the UK writing press, Sally Jenkins looks at:
The self-discipline needed to write and stay focussed
A method of getting ideas
Tips on writing flash fiction
How to choose an educational course to help with your writing
Tips on writing anniversary articles
Tips on creating a backup of your work
How to decide on pseudonym
How to create a good first impression with an editor
Tips on starting a blog
The benefits of a writing buddy
How to write a novel in a month!
Above all, this little book will inspire you to get writing!


This book is a collection of articles that the author has written about writing, and all of them are great. There are a wide variety of topics covered, and I found every one of them to contain great advice. Each article is also relatively short, so it's easy to just read one whenever you have a small bit of time instead of having to set aside a large chunk of time to have to read something. If you're interested in writing, then I would highly recommend checking this book out. It has a lot of great advice.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review: Silent Influencing by Michael Nir

Published: December 26th, 2012
Publisher: self-published
Read from November 26th to 28th
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Are you tired of not getting your message across? Of not being heard? Of having your boss always ignoring you and your spouse not caring what you think?
Silent influencing is THE guide for you. It will enable you to change how you interact with others, how to influence them and how to lead to results. With Silent Influencing you will succeed.


This book is meant to teach you how to influence those around you by paying attention to their body language. It also gives tips on how to use your own body language in order to influence people to think a certain way.

Overall, I thought it was a good book. It's rather short, so it doesn't take long to read at all. Plus, I enjoy learning about body language and the influence it can have without us even realizing it. I will probably not put anything in the book into practice, especially since it's mostly business related, and I'm not usually in a position to use any of it. Still, I found it interesting to learn, and I can see the information in this book being useful to those who work in an office setting.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Life Post: The Last Day of the Semester

So, kind of new thing I'm going to do: When I do posts about my day and stuff, I'm going to put "Life Post:" in the title like I did for this one. I already label book reviews and stuff similarly. It'll just make them more distinguishable from other posts. If you like reading the other posts, and not these kinds of things, then you can just skip over these.

I woke up in an amazingly good mood today. Even though I have a final today, it's my last one. After it I will be going home for winter break! I'm so excited. I can't believe that it's now less than two weeks until Christmas.

Today's my adolescent literature final, which is entirely essay. I'm sure my hand will be worn out by the end, but I love literature, so writing about it for a while doesn't really bother me. I think that helps with the good mood thing.

I really don't have anything else to say since I just woke up, but I wanted to post because I was in such a good mood. I already wrote a Catching Fire review before this, and now I'm going to go film a Naruto review. I may or may not get it edited before the drive home. I probably won't, but we'll see. I still have two hours until my final, so it all depends on how fast the video wants to upload and all of that. Either way, it'll be up sometime today, even if I have to upload it when I get home.

Hopefully I'll manage to get all caught up on reviews and stuff over Christmas break. I'm insanely behind right now. That's why the Catching Fire review came two weeks later. I have so much to do over break! I'm still looking forward to it though because it's all stuff I enjoy doing.

Movie Review: Catching Fire

It's been more than two weeks since I saw Catching Fire, and at this point I feel like absolutely everyone has already raved about it. Still, I feel like I need to review it because I'm not lying when I say that it's the best book to movie adaptation I've ever seen. It's typical for me to have those thoughts immediately after seeing a movie, but those feelings have stuck with me for two weeks. And I'm not alone. I've seen countless other people say similar things. Catching Fire is just an absolutely incredible movie. It's amazing on its own just as a movie, and then it's just as amazing as the adaptation of a book.

There is honestly not one thing that I'm upset about being cut. I think they kept everything important in. The only time I noticed something missing is when Prim went to get morphling for Gale, and I had a brief thought of, "I wish Madge was here." Since they cut Madge out of the first movie though, they couldn't really bring her back for the second one, so I don't count that as a fault of Catching Fire.

I don't want to get into specifics because it's been two weeks, and I know I'll leave things out. If you're one of the few people who haven't seen Catching Fire yet though, you should go. It's amazing. A couple of the people I saw it with hadn't seen the first movie or had only seen parts of the first one, and they still enjoyed the second one. It's just an amazing movie. (Watching the first one is still recommended, of course.) I'm absolutely in love with it.

Catching Fire was actually my least favorite book of the Hunger Games trilogy, but I definitely prefered the movie over the first one. I'm really excited to see what they do with Mockingjay. Hopefully it's just as good.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Almost Finals Week

Today is the last day of classes this semester. Next week is finals, and then it's winter break. That's so hard to believe. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for winter break, but this semester flew by. It honestly doesn't feel like it should be this late in the year, but the fact that it's supposed to snow tonight has me convinced that it really is.

Tomorrow is what my university calls reading day where we get a day off from classes in order to study before finals. Maybe other colleges and universities have it too, but I don't think it's a universal thing from talking to my friends. It's nice though because a lot of people use it as a day to relax before starting the studying and final madness. I usually study but not the whole day, so I still get some time to relax before everything becomes about finals.

I honestly don't think my finals will be too bad this year. For one of my classes, we're just turning in a portfolio and not even having an actual test for a final. I don't have a ton of work in order to complete the portfolio (our professor purposefully made it a somewhat easier portfolio since it's finals time), so that shouldn't take too much time. Other than that, I have three other finals. Two of them I'm not really worried about at all, although I know one of them will kill my hands. Our adolescent literature final is entirely essays. Our midterm was five essays, so I'm assuming this one will be too. I'm not really worried about writing the essays, but I'm sure my hand will be aching just like last time.

The only final that I'm a bit worried about is humanities. I've done well in that class all year, but each test has been a ton of information to remember. Now I have to remember the information from every single test for the final. The music and art professor always want us to remember composers and artists names, and I'm always struggling with that. I can remember information fine, but I need context or something. I don't have that with artists or composers names. It's even worse when it's the Greek or Roman names. The vast majority of the time I just cannot remember them, and those are typically the questions that I get wrong on tests. Now I'm expected to remember the names from the entire semester, and I can tell you right now that it's going to be a disaster. I'm just hoping that it's not a huge portion of the test or that I can remember enough to make up for it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Seeing One Direction in Chicago and Finals

I got One Direction tickets yesterday! I'm officially seeing them in Chicago with my sister Regina and best friend Haley. I've actually never been to Chicago before. Regina and I are both going to school in Indianapolis, so Chicago was the closest show to us. However, we're from southern Indiana, which is relatively far away from Indianapolis, let alone Chicago. It'll be fun to finally see Chicago, especially since it will be the largest city I've ever been to. That doesn't overshadow the fact that I will be seeing One Direction though! That's still what I'm the most excited for above everything else.

School is less stressful than you would expect the week before finals. My professors made the large majority of our papers and projects due before Thanksgiving, so nothing huge is happening now other than studying for next week. I also have a humanities test today, although I'm not really sure why they want to give us a test in our last class before our final. Nothing I can do about it though. It shouldn't be that bad.

Overall, I don't think the remainder of the semester will get that stressful. Maybe I'll change my mind next week, but there's really only one final that I'm worried about at all. For the most part, I'm pretty confident that I'll do decently, so I don't really feel stressed. I hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

HIMYM Review: Season 9 Episodes 10, 11, and 12

It's been far too long since I last reviewed How I Met Your Mother, so I'm just going to review three episodes as once. We're at the midseason break though, so by the time episodes come back, I should be all caught up again.

I'll start with episode ten "Mom and Dad." This episode was basically Barney and James each trying to get their mom back together with their dads. I honestly wasn't a big fan of how that played out to be quite honest. I got why James and Barney were both trying, and I liked that Barney had to learn how to deal with the fact that his parents weren't getting back together. I'm just not sure if I liked the fact that James' dad really did get back together with their mom. I think I would have prefered if both James and Barney had to deal with the fact that their mom and dads had moved on. Still, overall I thought it was a fun storyline, and I liked Barney coming to terms with it.

Billy Zabka also tries to "sabotage" Ted as best man in this episode. I thought it was amusing when he went on about how everyone always viewed him as a villain. It was a bit exaggerated, but amusing all the same. I thought it was nice how Ted felt sorry for him and let him take credit for getting the signed picture, but I'm also happy that Barney didn't make Billy his best man again.

I thought it was absolutely adorable how Marshall convinced Daphne to go see her daughter speak. I loved that storyline. This episode also marked the end of their road trip together. Now let's see how many episodes it takes Marshall to actually get there from here.

I was really interested in seeing "Bedtime Stories" before it aired since the episode was going to be all in rhyme. It was really cool to see them pull it off too, and I thought it was done very well. Not much really happened in this episode, but I feel as if the rhyming itself made it worth watching. It was a fun thing to do. I liked how they did it through Marshall telling Marvin a bedtime story, and then we got various flashbacks that made up the episode. Even if not much happened, I enjoyed the episode.

I loved the episode "Rehearsal Dinner" overall. Barney is really good at pulling tricks on people, and while I don't really like it a lot of the time, I also thought the end of this one was cute. It would probably annoy me more if he hadn't told Robin that he would lie to her sometimes but only to surprise her (only worded better than that). It kind of bugs me that he got her to the point of tears before revealing the truth to her, but I'll look past that.

Lily also reveals that Marshall took the judgeship to Ted and Robin, and I'm happy that Robin stops then to tell Lily that she has time for her drama. I enjoy little friendship moments like that. The issue still wasn't really addressed, but I'm glad that it was at least mentioned.

The Canada praise at the end of this episode also made me really happy. HIMYM has made fun of Canada for basically the entire course of the show, and it always made me feel a little uncomfortable. Not because I have any particular attachment to Canada, but just because I felt it was unnecessary a lot of the time. It was nice to see them turn that around in the last season and have Barney praising Canada for a change. That along with the entire cuteness of the ending made the episode a good one in my opinion.

I'm not really sure when new episodes start again, but whenever that is, I will see you guys again with HIMYM reviews.

Buying One Direction TIckets

Today is the day I buy One Direction tickets, and I currently have a little more than half an hour. I'm freaking out so much. I'm scared the site will crash because so many people are on or they'll sell out or who knows what else. I seriously can't do anything else because that's all I can think about. It's a miracle I'm even writing this. I'm freaking out so much that typing is hard.

Hopefully buying them goes smoothly, and I have them before my first class. Then I can go through the rest of the day on a high of knowing I have One Direction tickets and my stress will finally be gone. Seriously. Finals are next week, and I haven't thought about those at all because these tickets have taken up every ounce of stress that I possess. I don't think I can focus on studying until I've bought tickets. So here's hoping for the best.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Late Start Throws Me Off

The first day of classes after a break always feel a bit off. Today was even worse because I forgot to reset my alarm clock and woke up an hour later than normal. Somehow I managed to get dressed in seven minutes and make it to class on time, but I was still half asleep when I got there. It wasn't the ideal way to start a day.

It's also weird coming back and having one week of lectures before finals. It also feels right though because I can definitely tell that it's the end of the semester. I'm excited to get through it and get to winter break. At this point, I'm done with basically every project, and I just have a lot of studying to do for finals. Right now though I have less than half an hour before the new episode of How I Met Your Mother comes on, and I want to go finish up editing my last paper of the semester.