The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

the darkest corners

goodreads-synopsis

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

commentary

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas was possibly the book with  the slowest buildup to a plot. The story revolves around Tessa, a teen who lives with her grandmother in Florida. She is forced to return to her old hometown because her father in prison is dying. Almost a decade ago, Tessa was abandon by her mother. Left with no relatives in Pennsylvania, her grandmother takes her out of state, and away from her best friend Callie. Tessa did not have a normal childhood growing up. Her father was arrested, her sister may have possibly been involved with a murder, and her mother had abandoned her.

When Callie’s cousin Lorrie is murdered by a high profiled murderer, Tessa and Callie help incriminate Wyatt Stokes into jail. Tessa has felt the guilt over the case as she grew up. She is still effected by the case, and looks to forums to see what people are talking about it on the internet. When she returns back to Fayette, Tessa is forced to confront her past, and people she has left behind.

It was difficult to trust characters due to several red herrings! I listened to this book as an audiobook. I have to say, that the premise of the story was interesting, but I felt that the pacing took forever. It was slow, but the buildup to the story and the crazy events that unfolded was the best aspect of the book. Yes, there were many twists that I did not see coming. I was gagged!

One issue I had was connecting with the characters. It felt like Tessa had a detached personality. There was something about her personality that threw me off. She did try reconnecting with people from her past, but I didn’t get emotions from her. I am basing this on what I heard on audio form rather than reading the physical book.

This book did get dark, and I liked the many characters that seemed unreliable. I liked that the mystery behind the murders did not get resolved till the very end. It was enjoyable, but I wished that I were able to really get into this book, especially concerning Tessa. The friendship between Callie and Tessa was possibly the best part of this book. It was presented as a fragile, and broken. Callie and Tessa were completely different individuals, but most of all, Tessa failed to realize how much Callie was broken. Solving the murders of the Ohio River Monster brought the girls together. It was good. If you are looking for romance in this book, there is none.

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3 1/2)

ARC: Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

Commentary:

Perhaps, I am getting older because it is hard for me to find a good contemporary YA book that pleases me in this day and age. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert was a choice. The synopsis was intriguing, the plot did seem something out of the CW, so I took a chance on the book. I did receive Finding Yvonne in Yallwest, but opinions are all my own. So, this is a unpopular opinion. Considering the reviews I have seen for the book, there aren’t much negative reviews. This book was an experience, and I was left shaking my head due to certain events that played out. That being said, this will be a rant review with spoilers.
Starting on a positive note, I did enjoy how Yvonne was unapologetic about herself and her sexuality. I have no issues with a character’s sexuality. Yvonne was confident about her body and her choices. That being said, she made a lot of questionable decisions. I will say that the pregnancy aspect of the book did not play a major role as I had anticipated. The pregnancy revelation was placed near the last third of the book. The synopsis presents a story of how a pregnant Yvonne has to chose the right path due to her circumstances…but, the reality was not the case.
It is hard for me to comprehend the actions of Yvonne, especially when it came to her relationships. So, Yvonne was seeing her father’s sous chef, Warren, but it was not an exclusive relationship. The relationship between Warren and Yvonne was secretive because of the age difference between the two. Warren was protective of Yvonne, and did not want to be sexually engaged with her until she was officially 18. It seemed like Yvonne wanted her relationship with Warren to move at a faster pace. I felt myself siding with Warren because she was underage. Though the age difference was not extreme, it seemed that Yvonne disregarded it for the sake of love. I rolled my eyes…but this was not as bad as The Beau and The Belle by R.S. Grey, a book that I had several issues with…
Yvonne was happy in her relationship despite not being official. When she and Warren hang out in Venice Beach, she finds herself completely and utterly drawn by a street musician named Omar. Despite being in a complicated relationship with Warren, she falls completely head over heels for Omar. A major issue I had with this book was the cheating aspect. Yvonne does get into a major fight with Warren because he chose to work on her birthday, and she reacts by destroying the birthday cake that Warren bought her. Yvonne also seeks out Omar, and considers hanging out with him…DESPITE NOT KNOWING THE GUY!
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The story tried to establish a love triangle, but it was lame. I felt uncomfortable with how Yvonne was seeing Omar, while she had her fight with Warren. Yvonne lies about her relationship status to both men. Instead of being rational and calling her relationship off with Warren, she peruses each man. I fully did not trust Omar, he seemed a bit shady…but instead of getting to know Omar, she has sex with him on her first official date with him. It does not help that she continues seeing Warren, and has sex with him a week after she has had sex with Omar. I assumed that she was going to get pregnant by Omar, but I was surprised. As mentioned previously, her pregnancy does not play a major role in this book. NOR WILL YOU FIND OUT WHO THE REAL FATHER IS!
Literally, this book was about Finding Yvonne, and how she was going to deal with her relationships, ambitions, and career choices. I was not the biggest fan of Yvonne because she did have several immature moments. In my opinion, she manipulated both guys. I knew Omar was shady, which did end up being true. Yvonne goes through minimal growth. It seems that she is used to getting praises all the time. For example, growing up she received praises for her violin skills, and then as a teen, she thrived off praises for her baking skills. I really wanted Yvonne to be an awesome character. The only character that I liked by far was her best friend Sabine. Sabine was looking out for her friend, and even warned Yvonne that she could be potentially used. Sabine was supportive, and dealt with Yvonne’s unnecessary drama and antics. Kudos to Sabine for being the true MVP of this book.
Final Rating: ⭐⭐
Publication Date: August 7th 2018

DNF: Wicked Like A Wildfire by Lana Popovic

wicked like a wildfire.jpgGoodreads Synopsis:

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?

Commentary:

I TRIED READING THIS BOOK FOR OVER A MONTH. I AM FRUSTRATED WITH IT. BEAUTIFUL COVER. TRAGIC STORY.  (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━

So, Wicked Like A Wildfire by Lana Popovic has been difficult for me to read. I am not indicating the writing style or grammar, I can’t get into this book. It has been such as a ride. I attempted to read this book back in June…and July is almost over…

I can say that I give too many opportunities for books that I never really like. For example, The Beau and The Belle was HORRIBLE, and I finished it. As for Wicked Like A Wildfire, I couldn’t.

Iris is the MC, she is wild and cannot be contained. She is unnecessarily extra with her attitude towards her mother. She acts like a Queen Bee, and doesn’t give her mother a break. She has a twin sister named Malina, who is portrayed as the perfect child, whereas Iris is the rebellious one. Though the two girls are twins…it seems like they are strangers/roommates living together.

Though this book does have a murder…this book moves at a snail’s pace. It felt like nothing was happening with the characters or the attempt to resolve the conflict. All I know is that Iris and Malina, and their family are witches…they can’t do their magic in public life. They have to conceal their magic in order to blend with society. Iris has fallen for a tourist with a bad boy personality. She is romantically linked with the tourist, despite having major feelings for her best guy friend…

I honestly can’t remember much of what I read. I really had hopes for this book, but I should have read reviews, and I felt I wasted my time. 

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Other than that, the characters weren’t memorable. I love reading books about witches…but please consider not reading this one. There are other memorable books, but I don’t know why this book is getting a sequel to it. Not giving it a second chance. I’m done. (╬ಠ益ಠ)

Feel like reading a book about witches? I recommend Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova.

ARC: Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius The Great is Not Okay Goodreads Synopsis:

Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understand that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

Commentary:

tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo I received the arc for Darius The Great Is Not Okay when I attended Yallwest, all opinions are my own. tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo  ʕ灬→ᴥ←灬ʔ

I am trying to read as much as possible before going back to my fall semester of my senior year at university. I picked up Darius The Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram for my July book of the month. I was immediately drawn to the cover, the colors and details are by far my favorite.

Darius Kellner is a biracial teenager who suffers from depression. He fells outcasted in his school, and his family, especially by his father. Darius understands that he is not normal. He is a bit on the heavy side, nerdy, and doesn’t socialize with people. His father has his own ambitions for his son in order for Darius to fit in with the normal boys in school. In addition, Darius is a victim of being bullied often by the popular boys. I felt quite sad for Darius due his illness, and how it seem like nothing was going his way.

Darius also suffers from an identity crisis because he is biracial. Though he looks Persian on the outside, he is far more Americanized. Darius could hardly speak to his grandparents in Farsi. He feels socially awkward with his Persian family because he does not fit in, and mental illness is not spoken of. He compares himself with his younger sibling who speaks Farsi like the pro.

A family trip to Iran shakes Darius’s world. He is introduced to his mother’s homeland and experiences an overall change because of it. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Darius’s grandfather is slowing dying. The family trip is supposed to connect the family together, and bring Darius closer together to his Persian history. Darius experiences different events in his short trip abroad. He becomes best friends with Sohrab, who immediately accepts him, though Darius completely does not understand why. Darius feels he has multiple flaws, despite being surrounded by people who love and support him. (灬♥ω♥灬)

If you go into this book thinking it is a romance, that’s not the case. For me, I did feel that Darius had feelings for Sohrab because of their connection, and their trusting friendship. What stood out for me was the relationship between Darius and his father, Stephen Kellner. Though both have depression, each character handles their depression differently. Stephen Kellner expects Darius to be masculine, and be normal. He does not want his son to be a victim of bullying. There is miscommunication and tense conversations between Darius and his father. It was hard for both of them to come to an understanding. Another aspect that shone in the book was how older generations treat mental illness. Darius tried keeping his depression a secret from his grandparents. It is hard to communicate with family members when it comes to mental illness. This caused a lot of awkward moments.

The writing was quite interesting to say the least. I was not the biggest fan of the writing style, and it took me a while to get used to…and it honestly seemed there was going to be a romance between Darius and Sohrab. I was expecting it for the very last chapters of the book…and it left me disappointed. I would have loved if the author had explored Darius sexuality more. Some scenes did feel that Darius was flirting, but it was a bit frustrating that this never led anywhere. It also felt that Darius kept reminding readers that he is not fully Persian, nor will ever be. I understand his identity crisis, but it was a constant reminder in most chapters…it did get really annoying. (╬ Ò ‸ Ó)

Honestly, this was a fast read for me. Darius deserved the world and more, he was really sensitive, and he really needed love. Let’s say, I can relate with Darius when it comes to mental illness. It was good, but I am sure others will love it more than me. ٩(๑•◡-๑)۶ⒽⓤⒼ❤

Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.75)

 

Mini Book Reviews: Graphic Novels II

the scarlet roseSynopsis: After the horrendous murder of her father, Maud discovers she has a grandfather, a noble count living in Paris, where she must now live. There she encounters The Fox, a masked Robin Hood-like rogue – a dashing figure she falls for. While her grandfather struggles to tame her wild spirit and introduce her to Society, Maud rebels by secretly becoming the masked Fox-like marauder – The Scarlet Rose!

Maud une jeune fille rêveuse et éprise de justice, vit en France au XVIIIe siècle. L’assassinat incompréhensible de son père l’oblige à rejoindre Paris où vit son grand-père, un noble dont elle ignorait jusqu’à l’existence. Elle y croise la route du Renard, un brigand des grands chemins qu’elle admire. Mais elle ne sait encore rien du secret que lui a légué son père et que convoite un mystérieux individu.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Commentary: I believe the child version of me would have loved The Scarlet Rose. It has elements that I love which are historical periods, sword fighting, and heroic antics. This book is set in France during the 18th century, and it  is a bit of a mystery. Though The Scarlet Rose has elements I love in books, the pacing of the book felt too obvious. I applaud Maud for going beyond and becoming a vigilante due to her obession with the French version of The Zorro, but that’s about it. When reading this comic, I immediately knew who The Fox’s identity was. It could have left some mystery, but that was not the case. Some of the events were a tad dramatic, but a young reader would enjoy it. And by young, I mean like a kid. Though, the costume could have been better. It’s a tad on the gaudy side. None the less, the book was entertaining, but everything was too obvious.

ghost storiesSynopsis: Ghost Stories is a graphic novel collection offering three haunting explorations. Granted the chance to meet three of her dead idols in “Ghost,” the author’s cartoon-self embarks on a journey to remote and unanticipated landscapes, in a story of self-discovery and healing. In “Wallpaper,” a child tells the story of a household move, remodel, and loss through the lens of flashbulb memory. And in “Makers,” two girls with an unorthodox friendship make a rocky transition into adulthood. Throughout each tale, ghosts exist as past selves and remnants of past relationships that are met with inquiry, resolution, and personal rebirth.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Commentary: What kind of comic was this? The stories were not connected, and it was all over the place for me. The only story that was the best written was Makers despite the anti-climatic ending. When I saw the cover, it was gorgeous and simplistic. I wanted to read the book based on the cover. I fell for a cover again. It was a weak story. Assuming that ghost stories was going to be based on ghosts, this book felt like the ideal one for me. Ghost Stories the chapter was okay. I honestly thought that Ghost Stories was going to play a major part in this book. Wallpaper was the weakest chapter. As I mentioned, Makers was a relatable story. It was about friendship and growing apart. I related to it, but the ending didn’t leave satisfaction. Sadly, this book was not my cup of tea.

Fragments of Feminity.jpgSynopsis: This is a collection of portraits of 7 women, of all different ages, backgrounds, circumstances and eras. Each one of them is facing a defining moment in her life. They are bound together by the symbol of their femininity: their breasts. We see an awkward college girl getting to grips with her womanhood; a 1960s house-wife freeing herself from the restraints of propriety; the manager of a small underwear shop fighting against corporate giants; a woman nude modeling for an unexpected reason… Love, illness, sex, liberation, sensuality: Olivier Pont draws us into the lives of these women with astounding force.

Rating: ⭐️

Commentary: This is possibly the worst comic that I have ever read. The stories were all about women obessessing over their bodies. This was not feminist. This was awful. Though each story took place during different eras, this did not add to my enjoyment level. I almost dnfed this book because my frustrations with the lack of structure and the shallowness portrayed by the characters. Truly awful. I never want to experience reading this comic again. Writing about it is giving me a headache. This is mature and not meant for younger audience.

le petiti loup rougeSynopsis: This synopsis is in French, sorry ya’ll. Soudain, une voix douce L’interpella : “Pourquoi pleures-tu ?” Le petit Loup rouge se retourna. Une petite fille blonde, étrangement vêtue, le regardait avec curiosité. Décontenancé, le petit loup se rappela ce qu’on lui avait toujours enseigné, à savoir “rester loin des humains” ! Mais cette petite humaine avait l’air si gentille, si fragile, qu’il lui fit tout de suite confiance.

Il était une fois… mère louve qui envoie son louveteau porter un lapin à sa grand-mère édentée et bien trop vieille pour chasser. Mais attention ! En chemin, il devra se méfier des méchants humains : le terrible chasseur et sa fille. Sur la route, tout désemparé d’avoir englouti par gourmandise le lapin destiné à sa grand-mère, il rencontrera et suivra bien naïvement une étrange petite fille qui lui contera l’histoire de sa famille, d’un gentil chasseur et de sa femme, qui aurait été mangée par les cruels loups… Dans ce conte sombre, relecture du Petit Chaperon rouge où les rôles s’inversent, deux visions, réminiscences d’un passé cruel, vont se confronter. Mais qui, des humains ou des loups, détient la vérité sur ce souvenir douloureux ?

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Commentary: Growing up on Disney and books, my heart is a sucker for fairy tales. Though I am an adult, I’m still a huge fanatic of this genre. Reading The Little Red Wolf was refreshing. It is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood, but in reverse. Instead of presenting wolves as the stereotypical villians, that is not the case in this short story.  Even though humans are presented as evil, you feel sorry for both parties. This is an endearing tale with an ending to shock you all. The artwork is beautifully gorgeous, and eye catching. The Little Red Wolf presents two perspectives to the story, adding agency to the wolves. I can’t wait to read other works by the author, she is very talented.

the tea dragon society.jpg Synopsis: From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever Aftercomes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Commentary: Wow, I was blown away by this children’s book. Let’s start with what I loved and that was the diversity in race and sexuality. I applaud this book. Besides the cover and lovely artwork, this was one of my favorite books that I have read. This is a charming book, and I can see all the love the author poured into this book. I wouldn’t mind other books in the series, and I loved reading about the dragons. The book covers details about each dragon., Greta and Minette have a cute friendship, and their bond was solidfied throughout the book. This is a highly recommened children’s book. I read The Tea Dragon society when I was experincing a book slump, but this one really helped me out through tough times.

 

First Impressions: Love Is Like After The Rain | 恋は雨上がりのように Vol. I by Jun Mayuzuki

Manga First Impressions

MAL Synopsis: Akira Tachibana is a soft-spoken high school student who used to be a part of the track and field club but, due to an injury, she is no longer able to run as fast as she once could. Working part-time at a family restaurant as a recourse, she finds herself inexplicably falling love with her manager, a divorced 45-year-old man with a young son.

Despite the age gap, Akira wholeheartedly embraces his mannerisms and kind nature, which is seen as spinelessness by the other employees, and little by little, the two begin to understand each other. Although unable to explain why exactly she is attracted to him, Akira believes that a concrete reason is not needed to truly love someone. On a rainy day, she decides to finally tell her manager about how she feels… But just how will he react?

*The Goodreads Synopsis is not that good compared to the MAL Synopsis*

I stumbled upon Love Is Like After The Rain while browsing for new manga to read online. I really liked the cover art and read the synopsis. Yes, I understand that the manga might be taboo. The main protagonist is Akira Tachibana who is still in high school and has fallen for a man who is old enough to be her father. I was intrigued, and was still hesitant to read it because I was worry that this was going to be a perversive love story. I still ended up reading Love is Like After The Rain and I really like it.

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Akira is not giving the time nor day for this guy.

Akira is popular among the boys, but she has no interest in them. She often tends to be alone in class and avoid any situations that will put her in awkward situations. One thing is for certain and that is that she loves working at her job. In this first volume there are glimpses of how Akira came to work for her manager. She used to be a track and field star but injured herself and quit her team because of it. I have a feeling that later on in the story it is going to be revealed what cause her injury. I even suspect that once she quit track and field that she had might have ghosted her other team members and lost friendships.

The first volume has comedy, but it focuses more on Akira observing the life around her. What I really liked is how her manager misinterprets Akira’s behavior. Akira might look cold and angry, but she is the complete opposite of that. Based on this first volume, the love is one sided. The manager does care for Akira and even goes out of his way to help her, but are the feelings there for Akira yet? Not in this volume. Am I a fan of the potential romance? At this moment, I can say no. I do believe the more Akira gets to know her manager more, feelings will develop but I honestly believe that as a couple they won’t be endgame. I feel that by the last volume they might end up with completely different people. Who knows, I might be completely wrong and they might end up together living happily ever after. As for now, I’ll continue reading the manga just to see what happens in this story.

Lastly, this manga is getting an anime adaptation!! 

 

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Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

Where Have I Been?

Hey, it’s been a while. The last time I posted on my blog was around the end of December, and since then, I have not been active. I went away due to my wedding that happened in January. I was busy finalizing my family for the wedding and finishing final touches to the wedding. January was a stressful month for me. I had other priorities at the moment. When my wedding day finally happened, I was happy and relieved; I’m not going to lie. Wedding planning at the beginning, but when it gets closer to the date that’s when everything becomes stressful! I’d recommend getting help! You can’t plan your own wedding alone! I was blessed with my sister-in-law who became my wedding planner and coordinator. I could have not done it without her, my family, and friends! And now, I’m married to my best friend, my husband. The wedding was a lot of fun and I will always cherish it. I will upload a couple pictures from my wedding a bit later this month.

After the wedding, came my honeymoon with my husband. We headed out to Portland and Seattle. I explored the Pacific Northwest and loved every moment. I had weather shock! I’m a Californian and it is usually warm down here. I was not prepared for colder weather, but my body got adjusted to the cold weather. And I survived. It wasn’t snowing, nor was it too rainy like I’d imagine it to be. I will say is this, the coffee was amazing!! I went to several coffee shops throughout my trip and explored the city, mostly by transit. I went to several bookstores, and did end up buying books. My honeymoon was a lot of fun. I got to spend every moment with my husband. I want to go back to the Pacific Northwest again!! It was a lot of fun. Next time, I want to go during spring or summer.

I am still getting adjusted to my new living situation. Let’s just say that it is definitely an upgrade. At the moment, I’m at school. Last semester in community college!! I’m taking four classes. I’m trying my best not to procrastinate this semester and pass my classes. When I don’t feel motivated, I watch study videos on YouTube and peruse studyblr on Tumblr. It works for me! Besides that, I’ll start university this coming fall. I am excited and a bit scared, but I will be hopeful about starting upper division courses!! I did get accepted to the university I always wanted to attend. I am so, so happy that I can finally be one step closer to achieving one of my life’s goal! I know that it will be tough, but I will get my BA.

Other than that, I have read a couple books over my absence. Though I have read some books, I had a reading slump. I dropped the books that I was reading such as Heartless and Prince of Fools. Those books were not bad!! But I didn’t feel like reading. I will pick them up again for this month. I have noticed that I find myself reaching for other genres at the moment. I have gotten a bit bored with YA, but that does not mean that I will drop that genre entirely. The books that I have read so far are We Should All Be Feminists, This Is Portland, Snotgirl, and Beauty & The Beast. I have not worked on my reviews yet, but they will be up soon! In order to be more efficient with my time management, I will create a new blog schedule so I can utilize my free time and update my blog more often! I started bullet journaling in order to be more organized. It has helped tremendously when it comes to school, but I will also apply it to blogging. Sorry that I kinda went away without making a post about it. But, I am back and I feel motivated to continue my blog! I have a feeling that 2017 will be a great year for blogging!

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Moana: Movie Review

Moana Movie Poster.jpg

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movie-synopsisAn adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.

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I had the opportunity to watch Moana on Thanksgiving with my sisters. I have been highly anticipating this movie since it was first announced. What I really love is how Disney is finally starting to diversify the movies, ever since The Princess and The Frog came out. I am really loving how modern Disney is becoming, and don’t get me wrong, I still love the classics. I still have hope for Disney to produce a movie with a Latina heroine.

Now, Moana is such a great film. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but this is a movie that I would rewatch in the theaters. I laughed and cried several times throughout this film. I’m twenty five years old by the way, and this movie made me emotionally invested in the characters and the plot. Moana is not a princess, she is the chief’s daughter and she is next in line to become her village’s chief. She is stubborn, independent, and loyal. She is extremely close to her family, especially her grandmother. She is the chosen one to save her village, and she needs the help of Maui the demigod.

The characters were greatly developed, and I liked the interactions between Moana and Maui. This might be a minor spoiler: there is no romance. This is a tale of a young girl risking her life in order to bring back peace to her village. As for the soundtrack, it’s amazing. If you like Hamilton, you will love this soundtrack because Lin-Manuel Miranda created some of the songs. The songs are really catchy, especially You’re Welcome. As for Dwayne Johnson, he killed it as Maui. He was terrific. I couldn’t imagine anyone else portraying his character. Auli’i Cravalho was wonderful as Moana and she has an amazing singing voice.

Lastly, watch the movie. I guarantee that you’ll love it!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

miriam-michelle

Overcoming The Reading Slump

Hello Reading Slump,

You truly suck. I can read my school textbooks just fine, but when it comes to my personal reading time…I can’t. I have tried reading a chapter a day; I have tried reading a couple pages. I have nothing. But, what can I do about it?

I can force myself to read, but that won’t work. I can try picking up another book, though I find it pointless.

Honestly, what can a girl do?

Sincerely, me

All right, so you found yourself in a reading slump and don’t know what to do. I can help you find a solution if you haven’t got a clue. Here are a couple tips to slaying your reading slump.

  1. Take a break: You’re not competing against anyone! Read at your own pace and don’t rush your reading experience.
  2. Focus on reading goals: Make a list of how many books you want to read monthly or yearly. You can also make lists of what books you want to read.
  3. Focusing on your other hobbies: I love playing video games. I used to balance reading and video games, but once I started my blog, I haven’t played as much. When you find yourself in a reading slump, try to do things you love doing! I’ve been playing on my 3DS, mostly Rune Factory 4. (The randomized town events will be the death of me)
  4. Reorganize your bookshelf: I know people have different organizational skills when it comes to organizing their books. I used to organize my books by alphabetical order, but I have found it easier to separate my books by what I have read and what I haven’t read.
  5. Declutter your bookshelf: That’s right, I’ve said it! Getting rid of books that you felt negatively or indifferent can save you shelf space. I’m working on trying to get rid of books that I did not like by donating them.
  6. Try writing: Relax and write about anything! Take 15 mins a day to write down your thoughts and clear your mind. Or you can focus on writing your own story!
  7. Hello Netflix: Netflix has a great selection of shows! Personally, I’ve been watching a lot of Gilmore Girls. The Netflix Originals are my favorite. I recommend watching The Get Down, Daredevil, Stranger Things, and Fuller House!
  8. Reread your favorite book: You can never go wrong by reading your all time favorite book 🙂

If you’re going through a reading slump, it’s natural. Don’t worry about it! I hope that you can overcome your reading slump and happy reading!

miriam-michelle

Recap: Anime Expo 2016

So, earlier this month I went to Anime Expo. I’ve been planning it for almost a year, and I ended up getting the four day pass for my birthday. I wasn’t really on spending much, but I think I got some deals and I mostly went for the experience. My recommendation is to buy the four day pass only when it’s Black Friday since it is the best deal. Anyways, here are pics from my four days. 🙂

Meet Miles Jai

Miles Jai

I knew he was going to Anime Expo, but I never imagined running into him on my last day too!!! Luckily, I took a picture!! 🙂

The Cosplayers

  • Botan & Kuwabara (Yu Yu Hakusho)
  • Snorlax (Pokémon)
  • Yona & Hak (Akatsuki no Yona)
  • Kagome (Inuyasha)
  • Spongebob & Patrick Caveman (Spongebob)
  • Atsushi & Dazai (Bungo Stray Dogs)
  • Shinpachi, Gintoki, & Kagura (Gintama)
  • Captain America
  • Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
  • Emporio Ivankov (One Piece)
  • Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, & Sailor Saturn (Sailor Moon)
  • Sailor Uranus (Sailor Moon)
  • Robin & Nami (One Piece)
  • Zoro & Luffy (One Piece)

Rilakkuma Exhibition

(Part of Japan LA)

One Piece

  • One Piece Cutouts (mostly selfies)
  • Bandai One Piece Figures
  • One Piece Film: Gold (Artwork)

Sailor Moon

  • Moon Panel: Official Viz Sailor Moon panel with English Dub Cast.

    Merchandise

    As you can see, mostly Sailor Moon items. I’m a hardcore fan of Sailor Moon since I’ve been a little girl. The large poster came from the Moon Panel. The other small posters came from the Viz Booth. I got a couple fans, a One Piece print, a Dragonball Z print, Princess Shirahoshi notebook, a Hijikata keychain, and a Sailor Moon water bottle from a scavenger hunt.

Thoughts

I can’t wait for next year’s Anime Expo. I will buy my ticket ahead of time and I will most likely book a hotel reservation. Why? Well, I wanted to stay out longer, but I don’t want to drive tired. Also, having a hotel nearby means that I can drop off merchandise without having to carry it all day, and also rest without needing to worry about leaving early. Lastly, I will definitely invest in a portable charger since my phone kept dying. This year’s AX was great, and I hope next year’s will be even better.