Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Bought from Half Price Books
Publisher: Random House- Ember
Published: January 1, 2010
Amazon - Goodreads







“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”


So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?


Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own. 

Years ago I tried reading Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and just could not get into it. I think that was the main reason why I was so hesitant to pick up Dash and Lily's Book of Dares since it's by the same authors. Luckily all of the positive buzz surrounding this book convinced me to pick it up.

This book is told in duel point of views: Dash and Lily. I really, really loved Dash's chapters the most. I loved his adoration for words and just his voice/outlook in general I found to be very likeable. He's pretty sarcastic, witty and intelligent. For the most part I enjoyed Lily, but there were some parts of the book where I found her to be a bit annoying and a touch whiny. Now looking back on it though, I think I would have been a bit peeved if my parents were to leave me on Christmas to go to Fiji when I was just sixteen.

I was happily surprised with how thought-provoking this book turned out to be. When I started I was a bit worried that the dares were going to be a bit silly and more on the 'pointless-just-for-fun' side, but it really was so much more than that. The dares in the notebook challenged each character to step out of their comfort zone and really embraced the whole concept of putting yourself out there. With each dare came a written part from each side- personal pieces of their lives were revealed, but never in overload.

The entire book isn't all just through the form of Dash and Lily writing back to each other, most of the book takes place outside of the notebook when the characters' are doing the dares or really just living life. I was really happy that the moleskin was more of an important addition and that it wasn't a crutch in the way that the characters got lost in its shadow.

I loved the whole idea of these two characters passing a red moleskin notebook back and forth. I loved the adventures and new experiences it lead them on. The dares took Dash and Lily all over the city. I live in a small town in the Midwest, so it was pretty cool to 'see' New York all lit up and busy during the holidays.

 Amazing Quote:
"I was attempting to write the story of my life. It wasn't so much about plot. It was much more about character." 


Although some parts felt a little slow, overall I really enjoyed this book. I loved the discussions about fate and the witty sarcasm that was carried throughout the story. The setting was perfect and I was really fond of both the main characters and the supporting characters as well. I know I've mentioned it before, but Dash and Lily's Book of Dares really is the perfect read for this time of year!





Review: Starters by Lissa Price

15797745Received for review.
Publisher: Delacorte Books/ Random House
Publisher: March 13, 2012
Series: Starters
Amazon - Goodreads





HER WORLD IS CHANGED FOREVER

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .


Starter's takes place in a dystopian world where teens are thought very little of. After the Spore Wars the the adults were all killed, leaving only children/teens and super old people. The main character, Callie, is homeless and would do anything to protect her little brother Tyler. In an attempt to earn some money Callie decides to rent her body to Prime Destinations, a body bank that lets Enders (old people) rent out Starters' (young people) bodies for a period of time. It's an underground operation that definitely has its risks, but Starters aren't allowed to work and Callie doesn't really have any other options. While renting, Callie somehow wakes up. She has to figure out what exactly this Ender plans on doing with her body and how she can stop it.

This book is definitely a plot driven story. Price's writing flowed together flawlessly and I thought it reflected the plot's pace wonderfully. For me dystopians tend to get a little heavy sometimes and take me a bit longer to read than other books, but Starters kept me reading super easily. It was one of those book where I kept thinking 'okay, one more chapter then I'll go to bed' then the next thing I knew I was practically done with the book!

I was pretty indifferent about my feelings of liking/not liking Callie or really most of the supporting characters. It felt they were all just there to help enhance the plot, which was definitely the star of Starters for me. I couldn't stop reading to find out what exactly Prime Destinations was up to and how Callie was going to handle this unusual situation. 

There was sort of a love interest, but it a bit unnecessary. To me it was a forced Cinderella scenario (she was the poor girl falling for a rich guy, but she has a secret.) I thought this part took away from the book a bit. I'm curious to see how it's explored more in book two, Enders.

Awesome Quote:
"I guess sometimes there isn't a reason for everything." 



Starters by Lissa Price is a fast paced dystopian that was impossible to put down. It's a plot driven story that's filled with mystery and a touch of romance. Price's concept of an America that has senior citizens and teens as the only occupants due to a prior war is definitely one of a kind.  Then there's the bonus of renting out young bodies to older people and it become one totally awesome and unique dystopian that I couldn't help but love!







*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

The End of a Series

*Don't worry, there's NO spoilers for the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver. I just use this trilogy as a reference, you honestly don't even have to know what it is/ is about to read this post!*


This week I finally started book three in the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver, Requiem. This book has been out for quite some time and was something that I was dying to read, but for some reason didn't pick it up until recently. I was trying to pinpoint exactly what it was that took me so long and finally came to the conclusion of me not wanting this trilogy to end. I'd fallen in love with the characters and watching them survive through less than ideal situations. Oliver's writing is just beautifully addicting and paints such a vivid picture of Lena's world.

As I continued to think about it, I also figured out that I was worried about what would happen. Worried enough that I wanted to leave it with the cliffhanger that Pandemonium,book two, had left me with. I had heard mixed reviews about the ending of our beloved characters' stories and didn't want to read something that would ruin my thoughts of the story as a whole. I didn't want it to mess with this perfect image I had in my mind, a happy ending. The one where the main character ends up with the boy I want for her, the ending that includes a cozy house, an end to rebellion and nothing but bliss.

Then it kind of hit me all at once: Is that really what I want out of a book? 
Only the happy parts of life, even if in reality they're hard (if not impossible) to reach. How could I, someone who's slightly cynical, super sarcastic and rolls her eyes at anything even remotely cheesey,  only want happy endings?

Maybe it's because I've grown to love the characters and want what I think is best for them, but honestly I don't think books are all suppose to be this untouchable perfect world that has unrealistic endings. I want heartbreak. I want places in a book that leave me shaking my head, rereading lines just to figure out how that one part I just can't seem to kick out of my head happened. How did the author let it happen?

I think I finally came to the obvious conclusion that I don't read just to see characters have that happily ever after. I read to learn something, to live a life that's not mine and maybe sometimes that life is something I'm glad I don't call my own. I read to put myself in other's shoes, to live in a world separate from mine.

Sometimes I put too much trust into an author's decision and direction of their story. I definitely think they'll be times where no matter what anyone says, I won't agree with what happened or I won't like it. Then there's those other times where I'm completely in shock and angry at the author for doing something so cruel, but you have to give them credit, it does stick with you. Well, at least it sticks with me. Maybe it'll teach me something right as a read it or the next time I pick up the book years later when my anger has lighten up.

In an odd way I think that's one of the great things about reading, you really don't have control over what's going to happen, just like in life. No matter how much you want a certain character to live or to just be happy, you can't change what's written on the pages that sit unread. The story's already been decided and I think that's both amazing and kind of terrifying all at once.

I'm over halfway done with Requiem, and I may not understand some of the events happening, or why they're happening, but I'm definitely learning something. I'm relating to Lena and I can feel my eyes opening. It might not be a happily ever after (or it might, like I said, not finished yet) but I want more from a book. Yes I want answers, but I want to be left with questions about things that I thought I already knew the answer to. 

My goal is to finish those series that I've neglected to complete all because I was afraid where the plot would go, where the author would lead our characters.

Do you ever neglect to finish a series because you're worried about where the story/ characters will end up? 







Book Trailer: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

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I am extremely excited for Ransom Riggs' new book, Hollow City! (The sequel to Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children)  I absolutely adored book one and seriously can't wait for Hollow City to be out! Rigg's writing is absolutely incredible and it hooked me from the start. I can't wait to go on another adventure with Jacob and his new friends! I plan on rereading the first book right before Hollow City come out, its release date is January 14th

Quirk Books posted the first of three book trailers on their YouTube channel (click here to check out their channel) and oh my goodness, it is amazing! (It was even debuted on Entertainment Weekly, how cool!?)



I am completely in love with this trailer!! It's so hauntingly beautiful and does an excellent job at capturing the feel of Ransom Riggs' books. 



So who else is excited for Hollow City!?






Review: Demonglass (Hex Hall 2) by Rachel Hawkins

I use Grammarly's grammar check because using proper grammar makes me feel like a literary superhero! 

Bought from Amazon.
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Published: March 22, 2011
Series: Hex Hall
Amazon - Goodreads





Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie's a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What's worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.

But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They're demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they're using Archer to do it. But it's not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

*If you haven't read HEX HALL, this review contains SPOILERS*
You can check out my review of book one, Hex Hall, here

I am absolutely loving Rachel Hawkins' Hex Hall Trilogy! I started book two, Demonglass, right after I finished the first book, Hex Hall, because I just couldn't get enough of Sophie's story. I completely adored the first book and was a bit worried that Demonglass wouldn't hold up to the amazingness that was the first book. Luckily, I was once again worrying for no reason, because book two was just as great as book one!

In Demonglass, Sophie, Jenna, Cal and Sophie's Dad all travel to England to stay at the Council Headquarters. With thoughts of the risky Removal in Sophie's head, her father is pretty desperate to get her to see things in his way and to give it more thought before completely getting rid of her powers. Not only does Sophie have to worry about that huge decision, but Sophie can't kick the hunky Archer out of her head.

Even though I definitely missed Hecate Hall, I really loved Council Headquarters. It was a beautiful setting and it introduced awesome new characters, but I was still able to learn more about characters from Hex Hall as well, which was great! I thought Hawkins' did an excellent job at the setting transition and I loved that the story started out at Hecate Hall and then transitioned over to the Council Headquarters.

I'm really enjoying watching Sophie grow as a person and discover more about her family history as the story carries on. While at the council headquarters Sophie gets a chance to really bond with her father and hear his side of the story which I thought was a great addition to the book. I feel like not enough young adult books have enough parental figures incorporated into their story lines, so I was really happy how flawlessly Sophie's father was required in the plot.

The ending was completely insane! I was so incredibly happy that I had the third book on my bookshelf because I totally didn't see any of that coming. One word: cliffhanger!

Awesome Quote:
"Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives, mostly because they're little ones." 



In Demonglass we get to see Sophie really embrace her special powers and start to learn more about her family's beginning. With a beautiful new setting in England and new characters added to the story, I couldn't help but finish this book in only a few sittings. Hawkins' writing is amazing and capture's a teen voice perfectly. I definitely can't wait to find out what happens in the final book of the Hex Hall trilogy, Spell Bound.







*This post was sponsored by Grammarly. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. 

Need to Read


Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone 2) by Laini Taylor
I completely adored the first book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and have this beauty sitting on my shelf just begging to be read. I'm so in love with Laini Taylor's writing; her world building, unique characters and writing style are all so beautiful. I can't wait to see what happens next with Karou and Akiva's story! Karou is one of my all time favorite main characters, I love her spirit and wit!
My review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
I have been hearing about this book everywhere! Whether it's on book blogs, booktube and even tumblr, everyone has something amazing to say about Eleanor and Park. It's in two point of views and it takes place in the 1980's, how much more awesome could it get?! It's about a unique first love and I've also heard incredible things about Rainbow Rowell's writing, I cannot wait to read this one!

Insurgent (Divergent 2) by Veronica Roth
I know, I'm horrible. I still haven't read Insurgent! With the final book in the trilogy coming out earlier this Fall and all of the buzz surrounding the upcoming movie I've been regretting not reading this sequel already. I really love the first book, Divergent, and was thrilled to read book two, but somehow haven't picked it up yet. Yeah, I have know idea how it's been sitting on my shelf for over a year and still goes unread!
My review of Divergent.

How I Found the Perfect Dress (Morgan Rawlinson 2) by Maryrose Wood
I picked up the first book in this trilogy, Why I Let My Hair Grow Out, randomly at Borders one day and it sat on my shelf for a good year or so. As part of a read-a-thon, to help dig into my tbr pile, I decided to read it and see how it went. Oh my goodness it was amazing! I love the main character's humor and it takes place in Ireland! I think book two will be in America, but hopefully there will still be touches of Irish-ness and more about Morgan's connection to fairies. It's a unique read that went between current day and the past, while also adding in a fantasy aspect, loved it!
My review of Why I Let My Hair Grow Out.

Enclave (Razorland 1) by Ann Aguirre
Being totally honest here, I have no idea what this book is about despite the fact that I've read the summary a few times now, I just keep forgetting! However I do remember that it was awesome and that I've heard great things about Enclave. I keep seeing it everywhere and was eyeing it the last time I went to the bookstore and now I'm having major regrets since I didn't buy it! All I know is I need to read this one and I need to read it now!

Altered (Crewel World 2) by Gennifer Albin
Seriously, with the ending of Crewel, I can't believe I haven't bought and read this book yet. It was such a crazy turn of events at the end of the first book that I was left craving the (at the time) unreleased book two. I picked up the first book knowing nothing about it, other than the summary and the pretty cover, and ended up absolutely loving it. The main character has the ability to weave time (how awesome is that?!) and she's taken away from her family by the government along with other spinners to weave under their watchful eye. I think book two, Altered, will definitely offer something totally different than book one, but will still be just as awesome as the first!
My review of Crewel.

Requiem (Delirium 3) by Lauren Oliver
I know, I know. The Delirium trilogy (or at least the first two books in the trilogy) are some of my all times favorite books. I'm absolutely in love with Lauren Oliver's writing, but I've heard mixed reviews on the last book, Requiem. Also, I'm one of those people that just doesn't want to let go of my beloved characters and since this is the last book in the trilogy, I'm already upset that it's going to be over! I have this on my nightstand so I have a feeling this will be the next book I'll be reading, I'm excited and nervous all at the same time!
My review of Delirium.

Where She Went (If I Stay 2) by Gayle Forman
This is another book where I'm super nervous to see what happens next and let these characters go. If I Stay holds such a special place in my heart that I'm nervous the second book, Where She Went, will let me down. Even despite the fact that I've heard this book is even better than the first. I also need to prepare myself (a.k.a. with tissues for my tears) because I balled during the first book. I know it's going to be amazing and then once I finally read it, I can start on Gayle Forman's other series, Just One Day.
My review of If I Stay.

Parallel by Lauren Miller
Two words: parallel universe. AH! I need to read this immediately! What really got me pining over Parallel was Sana's (Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile) review, which you can check out here. The main character had dreams of going to Northwestern and majoring in journalism, but things aren't going as planned. A part of the summary says "Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present." Holy cow!! I need to read this book, I think it will be absolutely perfect for me and will teach me a much needed lesson at staying in the present and embracing the unknown!





Overthinking Things


I overthink things, like to the most possible extreme ever.
For example, just now I sat down to paint some flowers. Just three simple circles that make up a tiny little bloom, easy right? Nope, because not soon after the brush hit the canvas, I started to do the ultimate buzzkill of art, I started to think...

"I really like how these are turning out. Loving the blue! Oh! These flowers would look good on that piece I can't figure out how to finish. Nah, this would look better on a more square canvas. Crap, I don't have anymore square canvases. Should I paint over one, they all suck anyway. Wait! You're not suppose to think like that, stop being negative. Focus. Back to the flowers. I wonder if I can find a quote to go with this. Wait, my handwriting sucks and I don't want to use stickers, scratch that go back to what I was doing first. Ugh, does this elephant look sad, who the hell would want to hang a sad elephant on their wall with flowers on it. Maybe I should clean up my mess instead, Max could trip. I need to move downstairs and work on my stuff, but basement equals spiders, cold, not a lot of light and just lots of work. I don't have enough time to move everything and still somehow master art before the art show. Why did I agree to do that?! It's almost here, Thanksgiving is next week! Crap, I'm suppose to be watching my weight, this oreo on it's way to my mouth isn't helping. Wait, what ever happened to those flowers?!  How am I back on the computer? Why did I start thinking again?"

Am I the only one that's been over thinking things a lot lately?
What do you overthink about?




A Creative Space







Earlier this month I visited the little yarn shop that's part of the fine arts center that my art will be showing at in a few weeks. I just love the entire feeling of this place; so inspiring and encouraging in expressing yourself in a creative way, it' amazing!






Absolutely No Idea

October leaves.

I think I finally discovered something today: I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing and that's okay.
I have time to figure it out. I'm going to make mistakes, I'm going to have regrets, I'm going to try to hunt down things that are disguised as dreams and it'll just take me some time to unmask their true identity. It's going to take time to discover who I am and who I want to be.

I know as I say this today I'll have a hard time believing in these words tomorrow, or even a few hours from now, but for just this minute I'm going to enjoy the unknown. Enjoy not knowing, enjoy being young and having no idea where my life is headed. Enjoy that I have years of learning, beauty, happiness and sadness ahead of me. It's like I'm standing in the sunlight and just absorbing its rays. I feel present right now. I haven't felt that in such a long time, it's just so wonderful.





All the Time

At what point do you give up on a dream? Or just simply realize that maybe it's not all that you thought it would be, that maybe what you thought it was, wasn't really it at all. Maybe the fact that it was an undemanding hobby that you did when you had time on weekends was one of the best parts about it. That you value the process of creating more than the final product. That maybe all that money spent on paints and canvases were only false hopes, just dressing the part.

What if I don't want to be an artist? What if I want something else? What if I'm just chasing after something I only kind of enjoy because I'm too afraid to go after what I really want? Or maybe I just want to grab hold of something, anything, I only slightly enjoy just to have a thing, a something about myself that isn't just darkness. Maybe I just need to know what I want to do with my life so badly, that I'm attaching myself onto the first thing I see. How can I devote my life to something, risk everything for that certain something, when I don't have passion for it? When it becomes a chore, when I can't even look at at my suppose-to-be-dream in the face because I know it's not the one I've looking for.

I've always been one of those people that if I saw something, I wanted to do it myself. I can't just enjoy art, I have to make it. I know I want to live a creative life, that small piece of information is one of the only things I do know, but I don't know what else I am other than darkness and art. It's what people know me as, yet most have rarely ever seen my art. They don't even know my heart lies elsewhere. That it beats for something else.

I just feel so much all the time. I have all these thoughts in my head, all the time. I worry about my family, all the time. I think about how in the hell I'm suppose to survive through sixty more years of  not knowing what I'm suppose to do with this life, all the time. I'm constantly searching for a purpose, for a higher being, all the time. All of my time is being used on thoughts and never enough on whatever the hell people are suppose to be thinking about. I don't understand how life doesn't hurt everyone else so much. I don't understand how people don't feel all the time, how people don't think about everything all the time.


It sounds like I'm sad and I guess I am, but I've come to accept this constant thinking, worrying and overall not knowing. I'm just frustrated. Frustrated that I haven't found my something yet and I feel like everyone around me has. That everyone around me has chosen their path in that fork in the road while I'm just staring at the sign trying to decipher letters and words that I don't even recognize.

I mean are you suppose to question your dream so much? Isn't it suppose to be just this obvious choice where you couldn't imagine your life without this unknown thing in it? I mean I guess art is that in a way, but I don't want that to be my one and only. Why does what you want to be for the rest of your life have to be just one concrete thing? Why do you even have to be a something why can't you just be?





Adulthood & Mary Tyler Moore's Hat Throw

Tonight I randomly turned on The Simpsons and it was a rerun called 'Barting Over'. In this episode Bart decides to get emancipated from his parents and moves into his own apartment, which he later finds out is located directly beneath Tony Hawk's apartment where Blink 182 jams out and cool skater people use those fancy skater ramps to do fancy skater things that skaters do.

Anyways, before even finding out about his unexpectedly cool neighbors, Bart neatly sets up all of his belongings, which only take up a small corner of his new place, leaving the rest of the space empty and dark. To celebrate his new apartment he throws his hat up in the air, all Mary Tyler Moore style. Except there was a fan right above him and the hat just totally shredded and rained down around him in a sad sort of defeated way.

Damn it, I am Bart! My hat is in the process of being shredded by the unfortunately placed fan above my head. Its pieces are fluttering down around me to only rest pathetically at me feet. My 'apartment' is adulthood and I can't figure out where the hell to find my awesome neighbors that play 'All the Small Things' for me on cue. The so called freedom that comes with adulthood is more scary and lonely than anything I would have expected, than anything that I had prepared for. I wanted a victorious throw-my-hat-in-the-air-scene, not busted up hat confetti.

Source

Maybe adulthood can be compared to the scene where Bart sees a huge rat's shadow on the wall only to realize it was his own. Maybe adulthood starts off completely terrifying, only to then realize that with closer inspection, it's not as frightening as it may seem. That maybe what you're suppose to do with the rest of your life isn't a decision that can be made overnight, that maybe we are all struggling with discovering who we really are. Maybe I'm still in the phase of seeing adulthood's scary shadow and I'm not yet to the place of seeing its true form. Maybe I need some time to find the unexpected joys that adulthood may hold, to have time to find the above floors which hold an awesome punk rock band and other amazing surprises that I didn't even know I wanted.

"Encourage your hopes, not your fears."
Sorry for the crummy iPhone photo!

I need to try to remember this: to encourage my hopes and not my fears. I feed into my anxiety way too frequently while I let my hopes stay in the dark, starving for light. I need to look to myself for encouragement and not just rely on other's words so heavily. I need to trust in myself and just keep pushing forward. 







My Love for Fall




Fall has arrived and it feels like meeting up with an old friend. 
I always say that I love Fall, but Fall hates me. 
That may have been true in the past, but I have a feeling that this year, 
Fall and I are going to get along just fine! 
Spent part of my Sunday afternoon helping my dad rake leaves, 
(a.k.a. making piles, picking out the prettiest leaves and then jumping in them.)
What can I say? 
I just love Fall!






Why You Should Be Watching Reign

Okay, so I know I've only really just mentioned some of the TV shows I've watched, but never did a full post on one. I haven't seen too much positive buzz on the internet surrounding this new show, so I figured I'd put my opinion out there, because it's just that awesome! Maybe I'll do a few other television/ movie posts in the future too!

CW's new show: Reign


I hadn't even heard of the show Reign until I saw that the first episode showed up on Hulu's home page. The still from show looked interesting so I went to see what the summary had to say. Once I read that it followed a teen version of Mary Queen of Scots I immediately hit play.

Guys, this show is seriously amazing. I've been waiting for a television show that takes place around this time period. It airs on the CW (same network as Supernatural and Vampire Diaries) and it's full of beautifully ornate clothing, gorgeous accents, breathtaking scenery, royalty and there's even a haunted castle with a creepy dark forest, I love it! The combination of all of that along with this mysterious ghost like girl warning Mary of future misfortune is just insanely awesome! It's the perfect level of scary, well it's more eerie I guess, which is just right for someone like me that scares pretty easily!

Mary's ladies in waiting.

I usually don't start watching shows until they've been on for at least a season. I'm always so afraid I'm going to get attached to the characters and story only to have the show end up getting cancelled! I'm totally crossing my fingers on Reign not getting cancelled. I've definitely heard some negative things about it, like how it's not historically accurate and how it's just another 'silly teen show'. Pfft!

Prince Francis and the King.

-prepare for rant-
The only thing that really bugged me was how a critic described Mary as a loved crazed teenager who's obsessed with marrying Francis, who she doesn't really know, seriously?! She's trying to secure an alliance with France (which happens to be through marrying the gorgeous Francis) all so Scotland will be safe against England! Sure, Mary kind of has a thing for the attractive prince, but geez look at him! Who wouldn't?! She's pursuing this whole engagement/alliance thing with good intentions for her homeland! I honestly wonder if the critics would be saying the same thing if Mary and Francis were to switch sides of the problem. I highly doubt a male trying to protect his country by marrying would be thought of as a loved crazed teenager!
-end of rant-


Anyway...
I highly recommend you give Reign a try, especially if you're a fan of historical fiction! Each episode just keeps getting better and better. I can't wait to find out more about the mysterious that the castle holds and how Mary will protect Scotland!

CW's website has episodes of Reign up online to watch! Click here to check it out and be sure to let me know what you think!

I got all of these photos from Reign's facebook page, you can check that out here!


Do you watch Reign
What do you think of it?





The Lowdown: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Ever want to know just the quick, simple details of a book? The Lowdown is just that: just the gist, just an overview. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to join in on The Lowdown fun! If so, I'll create a linky for next week's Lowdown! 

Spoiler Free!
For both Cinder and Scarlet.
You can click here for my review of Cinder.

 Title and Author:
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Series:
Lunar Chronicles: Book 2

16066971

Mini Summary:
(from book) 
"Scarlet Benoit and Wolf, a street fighter who may have information about her missing grandmother, join forces with Cinder as they try to stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana in this story inspired by Little Red Riding Hood."

Genre: Science fiction

Pages:
452

Point of View:
Third Person
Close third person switches between Scarlet, Cinder, Prince Kai and I believe just one other character (don't want to spoil who!) throughout the book.

Setting:
France, New Beijing, and once again not to spoil anything, a few other places as well!

3 Words/ Phrases to Describe the Book:
Addicting. Adventurous. Absolutely perfect!


Main Character(s):
Scarlet and Cinder

Personality:
Scarlet:  Brave, persistent and incredibly loving.
Cinder:  Sarcastic, intelligent and independent.

Top Supporting Characters:
Thorne  (Cinder's travel buddy)
Iko  (Cinder's best friend and android)
Wolf  (Scarlet's travel buddy)
Prince Kai  (although Kai might be considered a main character during some parts of the book?)

Antagonists:
Queen Levana of Lunar
The Commonwealth (well kind of...)

The Lowdown:
Scarlet is just as, if not more, incredible than Cinder (the first book in the Lunar Chronicles) which I didn't think could be possible. I absolutely loved that I was still able to follow closely along with Cinder's adventure while also being introduced to new characters and their stories. Filled with unexpected twists and action packed scenes, I had an impossibly hard time putting this book down. With Scarlet Marissa Meyer once again creates an amazing world with her incredibly writing style. I'm absolutely dying to get my hands on book three, Cress, which introduces a new character based off Rapunzel that's trapped on a satellite! The Lunar Chronicles is definitely one of my all time favorite series that I find myself always going back to reread. I definitely recommend!

Check out Scarlet on Amazon and Goodreads!







My Halloween Night




I didn't carve a pumpkin last year so this year I wanted to make it a priority. I took all of Tuesday morning/ late afternoon carving this baby, it was huge! We bought it on Monday and all of the medium size ones were gone so we decided on the one that took two people to lift. I thought it would take forever to clean it out, but there was barely anything in there! So happy that it didn't take crazy long! I'm definitely going to make sure to stick to this tradition of carving a pumpkin while listening to Micheal Jackson. Ahh, it was great!


This blur is my dog Max, and he loves Halloween.
Max flipping out.
(A.K.A. what all the picture look like from Halloween night.)
It definitely captures the "OMG IT'S HALLOWEEN!" attitude he has.

To say Halloween is Max's favorite holiday is a total understatement. In my little Max's world Halloween is the day where everyone in the neighborhood get dressed up all funnily to come and visit him. Since this is his tenth Halloween he knows that when we put the jack-o-lanterns out on the front porch that his favorite day of the year has finally arrived! He then runs around the house until we put his costume on, this year just a fun glow in the dark color with bells, then he lays in front of the door the entire night. Every time someone comes up he does his little bark and cute tail wag. 


Snuck up behind him and got the only semi-clear picture of the night!

While Max and my mom were taking care of the trick-or-treaters I was busy painting! I'm working on smaller pieces for the art show with the fun paint colors from the store earlier this week. I'm totally in love with this color pallet, I might even keep one for myself!





Hope everyone had a spooky Halloween!





Halloween, Art Show & America's Next Top Bookshelf


Happy Halloween! 

Can't stop listening to this entire album lately, very fitting considering the current holiday. 
I'm pretty biased since The Maine is my favorite band, but seriously this song is the best, you should totally check it out (the entire album too!)



Little monsters walking down my street
In this place I'll be anything but me
So you be brave and I'll still be eighteen


My posts on the blog have been lacking lately, but this month was filled with multiple math tests (I still don't understand why we need to figure out problems with imaginary numbers, seriously?!) and midterms. 
4 year old me dressed as Belle.

I also was accepted into my very first art show! It's in the beginning of December and I need to get around twenty pieces ready... I have a ways to go! So my posts may be a little art centered in November, but I'm trying to squeeze some reading in between equations and painting! 

I still am reading Spell Bound (Hex Hall 3) by Rachel Hawkins. I started it in September and keep going "Oh! I'm definitely going to read a couple chapters tonight!" Then I end up watching America's Next Top Model. It's a guilty pleasure, I don't get the appeal either, but it's oh so addicting. Although I really need to stop watching it before bed, unless I want to keep dreaming of  America's Next Top Bookshelf. A grueling competition of beautiful bookshelves jammed packed with all the books anyone could imagine. I didn't win, someone girl with a loose bun and big glasses named Pepper did. My shelves out in the woods guarded by fairies and the dreamy Captain Hook (okay I've been watching lots of Once Upon A Time too...) just couldn't compete with the hipster girl's fancy color coded, Beauty and the Beast-esque library. I was totally bummed that Tyra didn't think my bookshelf was fierce!

Yeah, after that I definitely think returning to reading will be for the best. I can't deal with anymore "Is that character on your book cover smizing?" dreams. Anyways...



I'd totally love it if you checked out my guest post over on the amazing Momo's blog, Books Over Boys. You can click here to check it out! It's Momo's three year blogoversary and she's having one epic giveaway too! She's seriously one of the sweetest people ever, I'm so happy to call her a friend!


I hope your day is filled with treats, jack-o-lanterns and everything spooky!