Challenge Accepted!

Hiya friends! I feel like I’m forever apologizing on here, but seriously these last couple of weeks have been ROUGH (and that’s putting it mildly). Between my ankle and tons of doctor’s appointments (in the coming week I have three scheduled), LOTS of homework (I HATE MATH), add in that I haven’t been sleeping and I’m currently building a world for a story I’m working on. (Side Note: If you need some help staying organized while building a world of your own, check out Tiffany Crystal’s blog for some hints.) Anyway, add all that together and you’ve got a doozy couple of weeks, but enough complaining, let’s get down to business.

As I have been spending a great deal of my time sitting in waiting rooms, and well…WAITING. I’ve been spending that time browsing Pinterest on my phone, I’ve pinned everything from DIY ideas to nursery themes (funny part is I’m not even pregnant).

BUT, the most exciting thing I’ve found is Rory Gilmore’s reading challenge. Now most of the people who know me IRL know that I am a massive Gilmore Girls fan for many reasons, one of those is Rory Gilmore. She’s a bookworm like me, she’s also extremely funny which I also fancy myself, now if only I could talk as fast as she does. There are 339 books on this crazy list, and I’m setting myself the challenge to read them all, which I’m pretty sure makes me just a hoofin’ crazy.

I’m going to start today, and I’ve already decided the first couple of books I’m going to read. I’m not even sure where this challenge originated, but I’m going to link to the list I found (The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge). Feel free to give me your feelings on any of the books you’ve read, like having the tissues ready for when I read Flower for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (thanks for the heads-up Tiff). Wish me luck my friends. Until next time…

 

Book Review: The Butterfly Garden

Hiya friends, welcome back. As promised here is my review of the book that broke my reading slump. (Oh, happy day!)

The butterfly garden

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The Butterfly Garden

Dot Hutchison

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…(Amazon)

 

Now my thoughts, which begin quite simply with how interesting I found the plot of this story. I’m a sucker for mystery crime novel, and this one did not disappoint me. When I began reading it took some time to get used to how the author jumped between the present interrogation and the past memories. I immediately felt for the main character Maya, you could just tell she had a rough start at life, and being captured by the Gardener was just the latest terrible thing to happen to her. I will say, there are parts that are not for the faint of heart, it’s extremely creepy at points, and I can definitely see how that would be off putting to certain readers, but I’m a weirdo and I just thought it added another layer to the story. Then, as in typical crime/mystery novel fashion, there was a twist. But WHAT a twist! I didn’t see this one coming at ALL, which just made me like it even more. In honor of the tough women, I give this novel four and a half butterflies.

 

Well, there you have it, my review of this incredible novel. I really hope you take some time and maybe give this book a chance, I don’t think you’ll regret it…and if you do you can blame me.  Until next time…

Back from the Brink

Hiya friends, welcome back. So, last Friday I was whining about being in a reading slump, to which I received a wonderful book recommendation. (Side note: I haven’t gotten the book that was recommended yet, but I am planning on getting it this weekend.) That being said, I am happy to report the slump has broken.

I repeat…

THE SLUMP HAS BROKEN!

*insert celebratory dance here*

I had a cheeky midnight browse through Kindle Unlimited on my..well my Kindle (quality writing Nikki), and I found the book that has successfully dragged me from the depths of my despair…

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The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison.

I’m officially half way through, and let me tell you my bookish friends, oh mama it is so good! If you’re into crime/mystery, I highly recommend it. I mean, to be fair, the ending could totally blow it for me but I’m hopeful. Right now, it has just the right combination of what the fuck moments and snarky banter to keep me reading long past my bedtime.

I know this is a super short post, but I have a book to read, people. Stay tuned for a full review next Friday. Next week we’ll finally be back to our regularly scheduled programming, and I can’t wait. Until next time…

Oh, the Agony…(yes, I’m being dramatic)

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Hiya friends, welcome back. Do you ever get in a slump with your reading? I am dealing with this right now, and it’s annoying as hell. I swear it feels like school is taking over my life, and by the time I have a spare moment to read I can’t decide what to read, or can’t get into anything. Ugh.

Seriously, during a good reading stint I can devour A LOT of books, but recently I’m struggling to just pick up and finish one. If you’ve been watching my Goodreads page you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t finished a book since Magic Bites. Which well….BITES dude.

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Usually I can drag myself out of the slump by reading a book I love (not gonna lie, it’s usually Harry Potter) but this time it’s not working. I guess what I’m asking is if you guys have any suggestions, whether it be what to read, or how to break this streak. I’m game, my friends, I’ll do anything at this point.

Please. Help me!

Sorry for the short post, but honestly I can’t write about a book until I finish one dammit! Hopefully, this dry spell is broken by next Friday, otherwise, I am screwed here. Until next time….

Book Review: Magic Bites

Hiya friends, welcome back. Prepare yourself for my first ever book review…dun dun dun. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Magic Bites

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Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

Ilona Andrews

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…(Amazon)

My Final Thoughts:

It’s no great secret, judging by my last post, that I am a massive fan of bad ass female characters, the tougher and mouthier the better. Kate Daniels is the embodiment of that very description, a tough as nails merc determined to find who killed her guardian. Throughout this story, you meet a wide variety of interesting characters, from the Beast Lord to a teenaged werewolf to a creepy vampire. Now I know what you’re thinking if you’re anything like me, “werewolf and vampire, oh hell no I read Twilight, that was enough for me,” but trust me when I tell you to give this book a chance. I adored the witty banter between the characters, and loved even more how Ilona wrote about magic in a way that didn’t leave me wishing for Harry Potter (quite difficult to do with a Potterhead like me). If I had to find one negative in this book it was that it left me with a few unanswered questions, but all in all, that’s not bad because it makes me want to read the rest of this series. On my scale, I’d rate this book 5 feels, it gave me all of them my friends.

There is only one thing left to say, until next time…

Woman Crush Wednesday…

Hiya friends, welcome back. First, let me apologize for how late this post is tonight, my stupid brain has been sabotaging me at every turn this week. In my personal life, some things have been going a little wonky, between the sabotaging brain and a few other things it took me a while to decide what to write. But, alas I caught a break and the brain gave me an idea. I bet you’re curious now so let me explain, in my life, I am surrounded by amazing people, half of which happen to be some tough as nails women. Between the women in my family and the women I am lucky enough to call my friends, I seriously know some real-life superheroes. So, in honor of them, I give you this, my version of Woman Crush Wednesday, some of my all-time favorite bad ass ladies. Enjoy my friends…

 

Hermione Granger

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Yes, this is obviously where I start. Hermione, with her books and cleverness, is hands down one of the best female characters ever written. This witchy genius knows that the answer to any question can be found at the library, that just speaks to my soul. She’s a fierce friend, and not afraid to be herself even when being herself makes her the least popular person in the room.

 

Katniss Everdeen

The Hunger Games

The girl on fire. Who doesn’t like Katniss, even if Peeta and Gale can get a bit annoying (don’t judge me, they seriously annoyed me at some points). I mean she literally sacrifices herself for her sister, if that doesn’t make you bad ass I don’t know what does. She becomes the face of a rebellion and stands up to a corrupt system, all because people needed hope.

 

Elizabeth Bennet

Pride and Prejudice

Smart, strong, and mouthy. In this time women weren’t good for anything except to marry, yet Lizzie bucked against all of that. Yes, she eventually falls in love with the handsome Mr. Darcy, but until that point, she outright refuses to conform to what everyone thinks a woman should be. She speaks her mind and to me that is something that should be celebrated no matter what.

 

Dicey Tillerman

Homecoming

At 13 her mother abandons her and her siblings in a mall parking lot, and instead of waiting to be found and risk being split up into separate foster homes she decides their best bet is to walk to a cousin’s house. Throughout this book, Dicey becomes everything from a caregiver to a protector. I don’t know about you but at 13 I could barely take care of myself let alone three younger humans, that makes her bad ass in my book.

 

Arya Stark

Game of Thrones

I shouldn’t have to explain this one, but I will. She’s tough, smart, and witty as hell. Between you and I, I would not want to meet Arya in a dark alley with her trusty “Needle.” She’s a warrior and makes no excuses for it, she doesn’t want to be like Sansa and sew, she wants to fight like her brothers. Come on people, she’s epic!!

 

Well, there you have it friends, five seriously bad ass female characters who deserved some praise. If you lovely people have any to add let me know. Until next time…

The Riddikulus Post

Hiya friends, happy Monday! So I totally meant to plan a good blog post for today, I was hoping to review Magic Bites, but stupid anxiety had other plans for me. I need something fun and easy to do, so Harry Potter tag it is. The second I saw this tag I knew it was for me, I’m a massive Potterhead and quite proud of that fact. Sit back, grab a butterbeer and let’s see if you agree. If you don’t, feel free let me know what you feel different about.

 

1) Favourite book?

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this but hear me out before ya get all judgmental face. I will stand by this one being my favorite book based simply on the fact that this is where Snape’s loyalty comes into question. In the previous books we know he hates Harry, but Dumbledore refuses to say one false word against him. This book makes it clear Snape is playing both ends against the middle because he’s still one of the big bad’s best Death Eaters. There’s a reason they released book marks with the question, “Is Snape good or evil?”

2) Least favourite book?
This is an annoying question for me, I hate to talk bad about this series. If I had to pick it would probably be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Don’t get me wrong, the whole Triwizard Tournament is pretty cool, I mean dragons, merpeople, and a massive maze full of magical goodness … epic in and of itself. Cool magic aside, this book is so full of teenage angst, I could almost feel the acne forming. Seriously everything from Ron being all hacked off that Harry’s name came out of the goblet, to everyone trying to find dates to the Yule Ball. Ahhh the joys of adolescence.

3) Favourite movie?
Oh, this is a tough one for me to choose. If I’m honest, I love them all in their own special way, yes, I’m a nerd and I am completely okay with that. I would have to say, and I know I’ll get dragged for this, but it would have to be Half-Blood Prince. There are some seriously humorous moments in this movie, “Why is it, when something happens, it is always you three?”

4) Least favourite movie?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, they just left so much out. Where was the sphinx in the maze? No mention of Hermione letting Madam Pomfrey carry on when fixing her teeth? Just really good moments that were missing. Also, Dumbledore asks Harry calmly in the book, in the movie he basically screams it in his face. Winky???

5) Favourite quote?
“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” Thanks for that reminder Ginny.

6) Favourite Weasley?

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Fred and George, or Gred and Forge. They’re basically one person, right? They’re the ultimate troublemakers, and that speaks to my inner mischief maker.

7) Favourite female character?
I have two, Molly Weasley and Luna Lovegood. Molly is seriously badass, everything a female character should be. I just love her! Then on the flip side, you have Luna, this character just speaks to me. I’ve been called quirky and unique, and honestly Luna is the very definition of those two words.

8) Favourite villain.
Oh man! I’d say Lucius Malfoy. When he appears in the Chamber of Secrets, he really is quite a formidable foe. He sneaks that diary into Ginny’s cauldron, causing that entire plot to unfold. Then as the story progresses he pops up at the Quidditch World Cup and is so snippy, reminding you that he really shouldn’t be trifled with. Then as all bad guys do, he inevitably falls from grace when Voldemort strips him of everything right down to taking his wand. He goes from cutting this imposing figure to just being a scared man who wants to save himself.

9) Favourite male character?


Ron or Neville, it’s kind of a toss-up for me. Ron is really the epitome of loyalty, even with the moments in Goblet of Fire and the Deathly Hallows, he is so freaking steadfast in his loyalty to Harry. I mean I think we all want a friendship like that between Harry and Ron. Then there is Neville, the boy who lost everything because Voldemort, was petrified of Snape, and always seemed to have the worst luck, and yet he still found the courage in himself to face them both.

10) Favourite professor?
McGonagall, hands down. She’s tough, but you know she has a soft spot for those kids. Plus, I really love how she never backs down from Umbridge.

11) Would you rather A) wash Snape’s hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself?
I don’t think I could listen to Lockhart drone on about himself for an hour, let alone a day. I’d have to say wash Snape’s hair, I’ll take greasy hair over bleeding ears any day.

12) Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) and angry Molly?

Molly
How is this even a question, an elated Bellatrix does not scare me nearly as much as an angry Molly, and it’s safe to say Bellatrix is crazy.

13) Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car?
Hogwarts Express. Seriously a nice, comfy compartment with all those sweets off the trolley, sign me up.

14) Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath?
Kiss Voldemort. I can’t be the only person who wonders what it would be like to kiss a guy with no nose. Does that make me weird? Probably does, but the alternative is Umbridge in a bubble bath, no thanks. Pucker up Snakeface.

15) Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt?

Firebolt
Easy, Firebolt all day. I’m super clumsy but I’d take my chances just to have a go on that broom.

16) Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies?
Draco. In the books, he comes across as this whiny, spoiled brat, in the movies Tom Felton made him all that but somehow made my urge to punch the character less. It was a pleasant difference.

17) Is there a movie you preferred to the book?
I don’t think so, I love the books, and there are some parts in them that I really found myself missing in the movies.

18) Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?
Not a fair question, both were portraying the same character. Yes, the way they did so was different but both were amazing. C’mon Dumbledore is an epically complex character, and both actors did him justice.

19) Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most?
PEEVES!!!! He was seriously hilarious, and annoying, and just everything! I really wanted him to be in the movies, but alas …

20) If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be?
More than likely Goblet of Fire, I already listed all my missing parts in it so I won’t reiterate it.

21 Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

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Gryffindor. I’m not smart enough to be a Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff just didn’t incite anything in me, and I’d never go dark side so Slytherin is out. That just leaves Gryffindor, the house of the brave, and I’m pretty brave (unless it’s dark, and then all bets are off).

22) Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore?
Gryffindor, see I told you it was meant to be.

23) Which class would be your favourite?
I think I’d totally love Defense Against the Dark Arts. Who doesn’t want to learn how to fight dark wizards? Plus, I’m a brave Gryffindor so that’s like my calling, right?

24) Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

Riddikulus
Riddikulus, come on this one is self-explanatory. I’d love to blast my anxiety like a boggart.

25) Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with?
This is probably the easiest question on here, I’ve said it from the beginning I would most definitely be friends with the twins. I’m always up for pranks and hijinks, like I said mischief makers.

26) If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?
The Resurrection Stone, death is a terrible thing. I know from the story that it probably wouldn’t work out for the best, but it would be nice to bring back the people that I’ve lost in my life.

27) Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change?
Yeah, I would have loved for there to have been a moment between Harry and Draco at the end, sort of like an understanding. That moment of we’ve been through some stuff together, but it’s all in the past. I know they were mortal enemies, but in the end, did it really matter?

28) Favourite Marauder?
I like the three that didn’t turn out to be lying, backstabbing jerks. Mooney, Padfoot, and Prongs! Separately they are all pretty wicked in their own right, put them together and that just sounds fun.

29) If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?
Another easy one, Fred. As much as I ugly cried for Dobby, I would use the resurrection stone to bring Fred back. I don’t think George could ever be truly happy without Fred, I’m almost positive that saying “two peas in a pod” was made for them.

30) Hallows or Horcruxes?

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While horcruxes are cool, the idea of splitting your soul freaks me out a bit, therefore I am going Hallows. Master of Death has a pretty cool ring to it, don’t ya think? I bet I could pull it off.

 

I gotta say this was a seriously fun tag to participate in. I know you’re supposed to challenge people, so I challenge all of you. Until next time…