Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Jun 27, 2012

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Saving June
(Goodreads)

Summary from Goodreads - "When her older sister commits suicide and her divorcing parents decide to divide the ashes, Harper Scott takes her sister's urn to the one place June always wanted to go: California. On the road with her best friend, plus an intriguing guy with a mysterious connection to June, Harper discovers truths about her sister, herself and life."

My Rating - 4/5 vinyl records
POV - First
Liked - Music was incorporated into the story and the book had play lists at the end (which I always love), the author described Harper's grief really well.
Favorite Quotes - "'Think of it this way,' he says. 'You're experiencing everything she'll never get to. It's like... a tribute, or something. Not living your life won't help anyone.'" Pg 172

"All I can think of is how when I was six, I jumped out of a tree in our backyard with paper wings taped to my back and sprained my ankle. June was only eight, but she didn't freak out. She just held my hand while I cried my eyes out, the whole time until Mom found us. And she told me when I was suspended in the air for just a moment, I looked like a bird flying out of its cage." Pg 292


**Only a small spoiler near the end, nothing majorly revealing.**

First, I want to praise the author on a good job of writing out some of Harper's grieving moments. Sometimes when authors write really intense moments of emotion, it drags and doesn't feel genuine. But, although I've never lost a sister, I was able to feel how Harper was feeling. This book hurt pretty bad, I have to say.

Second, I love that the author included play lists at the end. There was a lot of song and artist names being tossed around, and I really wanted to listen to the songs, but there was no way I could remember them all. In fact, I put off reading this book so that way I could bring it home from my cousin's house to go back and YouTube the artists. But thankfully, I didn't have to go back through every page. So thanks, Ms. Harrington.

I understand that Harper was under a lot of stress with taking care of her mother and everything, but the fight between Harper and Jake was, I thought, too dramatic. It seemed like the author thought to herself, "Oh man, the book's about to end. Hmm... one last twist should wrap this story right up." I felt bad for Jake, and Harper over-reacted majorly. I was quite mad too, especially after everything that he did for Harper. The story didn't need this blowout.
The push-and-pull kind of relationship gets annoying. Like, after the second time. I wish I could erase that part of the book from my memory, because every time I think of it I cringe and then become angry.

I read this book fairly quickly, considering I was on vacation and seemed to be busy a lot. The book was really good, possibly the most tolerable teen angst-y book I've read. When I saw this book on Barnes and Noble the first time, I wasn't interested, mostly because I don't really like reading about suicides and sadness and just general bad feelings. If my cousin hadn't recommended this book and let me borrow it, I would never have given it a second look. But I feel like there are good reasons as to why this book has a 4+ star rating on Goodreads. I feel like the author went about the subject of suicide very humbly. The only thing I had bad feelings about was Harper, so if you can get past an occasionally daft main character, then give this book a go.

Sparkly Polka Dot Bow Nails!

Jun 26, 2012

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This design was inspired by Sarah's post @ Lace and Lavender. Mine didn't turn out as great as hers did :)
Polishes I used:
Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Lively Lilac
Essie in Coat Azure 
A Bon Bons sparkly polish


It took me FOREVER to do this. First, I had to decide which color combos looked the best out of my favorite choices. Then, I decided I liked one shade on paper, but it looked terrible on my nails, so I had to start over. Next, I only had time to paint the base color because it was getting late, so there was one day down the drain. After that, I started dotting the bow out and messed it up every time. Finally, I decided to save my sanity and just do the stupid dots. Some people say I'm a perfectionist, but I'm not sure that I see it.


Anyway, the dots aren't stupid, they're actually really cute. I'm really happy that I tried this out, and I can't wait to try out more color combos.


I have some little nail gems that I got at a friend's birthday party one year, and I really love using them. I have six different shapes, I think, and there's a bunch of different colors. I wanted to use a circle, but I didn't have one. Then I thought about using a square and then turning it so it would look like a diamond, but the colors of the polishes and the gems didn't look good together. The flower isn't my favorite choice, but I think it looks pretty good. To make it stick, I just used a dot of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails (clear).


The finished product:























I think in order to make the bow look really awesome, you kind of have to make the sides parabola-shaped. Maybe it would have been easier for me to start with a dot in the middle and then fill in the nine dots on both sides (kind of like when you're drawing a parabola! Yay algebra!)

Fun to say, not so fun to learn.

















Anyway, if you would like to check out the tutorial for this design and see more awesome stuff, go right here

Musing Mondays!

Jun 25, 2012

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Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB.



This week's musing asks...
Do you set goals for yourself, while reading? For example, “I want to get this book finished this weekend“, or “I will read __ pages today“, etc. Why, or why not?

My answer:
I try not to set goals for reading, as sometimes this discourages me. I can't explain why really, I guess I just start to expect myself to do something and it becomes less appealing. But if I'm reading at night and I'm really tired, I try to make myself read so many pages before I can fall asleep, or finish so many chapters, whatever. If its an assigned reading for school though, I try to set a goal or else I'll get really behind and have to use Sparknotes or something :)

I really need to allot myself some time during the day to do these weekly events! Its almost not Monday anymore!
Feel free to leave a link to your Musing Monday or any other Monday meme!

Friday Finds #1

Jun 23, 2012

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In the final minutes of my Friday, I've decided to do my first event (...thingy)! Today I visited the library with my friend and checked out four books.

Friday Finds is hosted by MizB. Go check out her blog!
FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

Thirteen Reasons Why

I've put off reading this book because it sounds horribly sad, but my friend said it was in a tie for her favorite book ever. I really hope this book is great, and I have a feeling I'm going to be in tears. It has a 4+ star rating on Goodreads, but some mixed reviews. 

The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1)

I was seriously on the fence about reading this book because I think I will become easily frustrated by the main character. But if I don't like it, at least I didn't have to buy it. That sounds bad to say about a book I just picked up today. But still.

Me, the Missing, and the Dead

I'm so excited to read a book by Jenny Valentine. I've wanted to read Broken Soup for months now but the only place I can find it is online, and I don't have money for that. Until I get Broken Soup, this book will do. The story sounds so good, and sometimes its refreshing to read a book from a boy's point of view. This book sounds mysterious, suspenseful, and a little amusing. I can't wait to start reading it, and I hope it lives up to my expectations.

The Nature of Jade

Oh my gosh! Finally I will get to read this book! I'm assuming that the reason I could never find this at a bookstore was because it was so amazing that everyone bought the heck out of it. The plot and the characters sound so interesting and there are elephants, which are possibly my favorite animal. Sometimes I think I have some anxiety, so maybe I can connect with Jade, the main character. I want to start reading this book immediately after I finish a review I'm working on. Whee!

So now its officially Saturday where I'm at (but at least its still Friday in Colorado and the East Coast). Have a great weekend everyone! Also, if you've read any of these books, feel free to leave a comment telling me how you felt about them! 

Liebster Blog Award

Jun 19, 2012

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I have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award!
Thank you outRageous.pages :)

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The Meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome

Photobucket

Here's the rules:

1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves

2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you've tagged.

3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Tell them you've tagged them.
5. Remember, no tag backs.

My 11 Facts:
1. I have two aunts with identical first and last names (that makes get-togethers interesting).
2. I have a dog a two cats.
3. My car is a Pontiac, and her name in Ponti.
4. My favorite color is blue, and I love every shade of it.
5. I play the clarinet and bass clarinet.
6. My favorite academic subjects in school are english, algebra, and science.
7. My favorite place to vacation is Sante Fe, New Mexico. I love it because there's so much culture and art and history stuffed in a city that its unbelievable.
8. I'm an only child.
9. My favorite movie is Dirty Dancing.
10. I still have and use my public library card from when I received it about ten years ago, and it still has my clumsy six-year-old signature on the back.
11. My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate.

Eleven Questions From outRageous.pages 
1. What song could you listen to over and over and over?

Hmm, I really love music by The Head and the Heart, so probably any song by them.

2. What's your favorite genre to read?

"Young adult" is quite broad, but really I like any book that keeps my attention and has great qualities. My tastes change often.

3. What's the longest book you've ever read?

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer, I believe. The book is over 600 pages and I devoured every one of them, admittedly.

4. If you could become an animal, what animal would you be?

I would like to be a bird so I can live in the trees, but I don't want to be run over. Maybe an owl, since I don't think they get squished by cars much.

5. Do you consider yourself "normal"?

Not in my perception of "normal", but maybe someone else's. 

6. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Probably everything. I remember wanting to be a vet, a librarian, a teacher, a firefighter,  and a musician at different points. 

7. What is something you're really good at?

I really like writing, and I think I'm pretty good at it.

8. What do you think of Shakespeare?

I don't have any strong opinions of him. He probably had a really interesting life though. I don't think I really love any of his writing, but I like the ideas and plots behind some stories.

9. Do you ever contemplate the meaning of life?

Not when there's more important things to contemplate :)

10. Is there a book you wish you had written?

I wish I had written a book that's now/will be a classic, because I think being remembered and acknowledged and praised after so many years would be really fantastic.

11. Hey baby, what's your sign? (I just had to...)

Libra :)

People I'm tagging:
10. Paper and Pages (I can't find a way to comment on your blog! I hope you find out about this somehow....)
11. The Headless Owl

If you have already done one of these or you don't want to participate, you definitely don't have to. 

Here's 11 questions for the tagged:
1. What color(s) do you dislike?
2. What is a quote that you live by?
3. Do you have a lucky object? What is it?
4. What is your dream job?
5. Would you rather have a gigantic, extravagant wedding or a small and intimate one?
6. What is your favorite holiday?
7. If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?
8. What is your preferred beverage?
9. What language would you most like to learn?
10. What is your worst vacation memory?
11. What toppings do you like on your pizza?

I'm home! With books!

Jun 17, 2012

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         Hello! I've been in Kansas City for the past week visiting some family. I drove up with my grandparents, and we got home late last night. It felt good to sleep in my own bed :)
         I did a little bit of shopping, and I'll show the books I bought and put the rest under a break.

The one I'm most excited to read is City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) 

         I've heard great things about this book. I really want to start reading it but I should finish all the other books I'm currently reading :(

I also bought The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard.
The Secret Year

         I've already started reading this book and its pretty okay so far. It was hard for me to really pay attention to the story, but that could be because I was hanging out with family and stuff. Maybe I'll start liking it more.

The last one I bought is The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong.
The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)

         I loved the Darkest Powers series by this author so I really think I'm going to love this book too. This book has a pretty good rating on Goodreads so there must be some good things about it. I read that the story line is kind of similar to the Darkest Powers series, which is great because I couldn't get enough of those books.

My cousin also lent me a book which I'm pretty close to finishing. Its called Saving June by Hannah Harrington.
Saving June

           I only have about 30 pages left, so expect a review pretty soon. I really love this book and its really hard to put down. There are some little things I don't really like about it but the story is really great.

         Under the jump is some stories and other things about my trip, if you are interested. Also, have a happy father's day!!

Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

Jun 3, 2012

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Mad Love
(Goodreads)

Summary from Goodreads - "When you're the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother-and she needs one fast.
That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth-that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real."


My Rating - 4.5/5 love arrows
POV - First
Liked - I loved learning about a little mythology since I've never heard the story of Cupid before, the ending is so amazing.
Favorite Quotes - "What is more terrifying-the things we imagine or the things that are real?" (Pg. 72)
"'If it makes you feel better, only sane people worry about losing their sanity.'" (Pg. 128)


Possible spoilers ahead-tread carefully.

Inadequate Synonyms! Sad Stuff! Book Haul!

Jun 1, 2012

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I just want to start out by saying that I hate the way 'haul' sounds, but I can not find an adequate synonym for what this is so I'm just going with it.

Tonight I went out with my parents and grandparents for dinner (exciting life, I know). Just before we started eating, my grandpa got a call from a relative. Yesterday his uncle, who was like a father to him, passed away. I've only met this man once (that I remember), but he left an impression. He was rich with knowledge and belongings, and was always going somewhere or doing something. When he passed, he was in New York visiting family. He was chatting with his late wife's family and suddenly just... died. At any moment, life can be taken away. It can happen to anyone. Make the most of the time you have and do not waste it over silly things. But also do what makes you happy.

Now on to the book haul (ugh)!
After having a sad time at dinner, my parents and I decided we didn't feel like going home quite yet. So we went to the book/music/movie store!
I looked over the 'teen' section for probably 30 minutes and found some good books.
First is:
Vanished: When Lightning Strikes & Code Name Cassandra

Vanished (1 & 2) by Meg Cabot
Meg Cabot is my favorite author and I love everything I've read that she's written, so I figured this would not be money wasted. I also bought this used for $5! So that's awesome! In fact, all the books I got are used. More on this later. Anyway, you can read the description at Goodreads, but I'll summarize really quick. Jessica Mastriani is struck by lightning one day, and along with a kick-arse near-death-experience story, she also gains the ability to find missing children. Chaos ensues. I can't wait to start reading this because every Meg Cabot book I've read is written fantastically and the story lines are suspenseful and interesting. 

Next up:
Dance of the Assassins (The Devil's Dances Trilogy, #1)

Dance of the Assassins by Herve Jubert
I was reluctant to pick this up because the cover really put me off. Not in an offensive way, it just didn't look like something I would read. But then I read the description. The story is set in a virtual city, and Jack the Ripper is running rampant (as he usually did). I'm not too clear on the virtual London thing but maybe I'll figure it out when I start reading. A witch, Roberta Morgenstern, and a rookie policeman, Clemente Martineau, discover that someone is resurrecting history's most villainous villains. Chaos ensues! Ah, gotta love that chaos. Jack The Ripper is horrifying but history is exciting, so I'm really scared excited to read this. I hope it doesn't give me nightmares :(


Finally:
The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)
(Goodreads)

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
To be quite frank, I knew next to nothing about this book when it caught my eye. It was hard for me to decide if I should buy it, but the price was $9.50, so if I don't like it, I did not have to spend $20 on it. We have Will Henry, an assistant to a doctor who hunts monsters. When a visitor shows up on the doorstep with a dead girl and a monster, Will and the doctor must save the world from a hoard of horrifying creatures. I will admit that this story hints to no romance and that is a bit out of my norm. But if this book is suspenseful and enthralling then I am totally willing to read it.


The total for all three of these books was $25.03. I saved $23 by buying them used.

Its June!

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Wow! I didn't realise it was June until I posted that last review!
Happy June everyone! Have a great month!
:)

Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

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Two-Way Street
(Goodreads)
Summary from Goodreads - "There are two sides to every breakup.
This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation.
Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet.
It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care.
But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot.
Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other."



My rating - 3/5 Post-it notes from my cousin proclaiming, "Best Book Ever! Love you, Syd" 
POV - First, alternating between Jordan and Courtney.
Liked - A lot of the lines and situations were pretty funny and added comic relief to an otherwise stressful situation, the ending was nothing very climatic but showed growth in the characters.
Two of my bookmarks holding the places for my favorite quotes fell out so I'm just not going to have one. 


My cousin sent this along with some other books with her parents one holiday because she couldn't come along. On the cover was a post-it from her, reading: "Best Book Ever! Love you, Syd" (I did not get an exclamation point after my name. I see where her loyalties lie.) I decided to trust my cousin on this and finally picked it up a few days ago (her Best Book Ever has most likely changed by now). The opening isn't all that impressive, and Courtney comes off a bit spoiled and... oh man... what's the word? I don't want to say ignorant, because that's not it. Maybe a phrase will convey the message. She seems full of herself. That's not quite it either. But maybe a combination of those two things. She's not someone I totally liked at first. Same thing goes for our co-protagonist (is this a term?), Jordan. He definitely seems a bit full of himself and I couldn't relate to him early on because he mostly talked about hot girls, partying, drinking, etc. So its becoming one of those books.
But wait! Jordan gets caught up in something he was not supposed to find out about. Now it gets interesting. I caught on to what the main conflict was as soon as it was introduced, which left no real surprises, and I imagine for other readers it was predictable as well. It didn't ruin much for me, because I still saw the characters growing from this and I really liked that. As he is fighting with himself internally and we see his thought processes, its easy to understand that things are building up and are bound to get ugly. 
The author switches back and forth from present time to a specified time in the past, which I really liked. I also think the switching helped to show the growth of the characters.
One thing I really didn't like about the writing was that the character would think something and then say it in the exact same way. The first couple of times it was kind of cute and funny, but after that it was just over-used. An example- "I swallow. How does he know about that? 'How do you know about that?' I ask." (Pg. 282) This was probably the last occasion it was used, and I almost threw the book on the floor. I was really tired of the repetition. I promise I'm not usually so almost-violent to my books.
The characters were a little frustrating to me and I got really bored of Jordan describing himself and blah, blah, blah. This book wasn't so good for me. I hope its no longer my cousin's Best Book Ever. Now that I'm thinking back on it, the ending was pretty bland. I've changed the rating from 4/5 to 3/5. I don't think I would recommend this book to you, dear reader. This is not the Best Book Ever.