Tag Tuesday: Inside Out

Hi everyone! So I just started a new job last week and as with any new job, I have been feeling SO many emotions! Its such a roller coaster!! That being said, I feel it appropriate to do the Inside Out Book Tag this week so here goes!

Joy: Which book brings you the most joy?
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Joy, for me, is probably The Hunger Games. Any versions, any merch, any anything and I’m just in love! The series means a lot to me and I just love the contents and the characters. Both the books and the movies are excellent, in my opinion. I love THG!

Disgust: Which book grossed you out the most?
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This one is pretty easy for me. Whiskey Sour or any of the Jack Daniels mysteries by J.A. Konrath. I have read the first three in the series and they are good but man, this guy is not shy about putting in details about his killers’ murder methods! Let’s just say, for example, that book 1 is responsible for me never eating bite size candy bars without me cutting them in half ever again. Nope, nope, nope!!

Fear: The book that scared you more than anything?
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I don’t scare easily when it comes to books, but due to the circumstances under which I read it, I am going to choose Amityville Horror for this one. I had to read this for a course in college and I read a few chapters over a weekend when I was staying by myself in a really old building at a camp/forest preserve out in the middle of nowhere! So hearing the creaks and moans of the old building and the wind and all that while reading about a possessed house was NOT a good idea!!!

Sadness: Which book made you cry the hardest?
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Oh Lordy, do I have to re-live this one? While I don’t scare easily over books, I do tend to cry relatively easily over books. So. My top cry books: Allegient (Divergent trilogy), Extraordinary Means (if you haven’t heard of this book, go look it up. If you liked The Fault in our Stars, or even if you didn’t [because I didn’t… #unpopularopinion ] this book was even better!), and The Light We Lost.

Anger: Which book pissed you off? 
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I won’t say it “pissed me off” but it definitely was not up to my expectations. Or maybe it wasn’t what I expected. So for this one I’ll choose Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. My favorite character gets killed off, my ideal ship doesn’t happen, and the trilogy ends!! Pout, pout, pout!

decorative-line-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-gbhglo-clipart2bpinkSo that’s that, my friends! I hope that everyone in the U.S. had a nice, long weekend! If you’re not in the U.S. hopefully you’re having a great week so far. Well wishes to you all!

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover

20160203_091845I.LOVED.THIS.BOOK.!!!!! Yes, the shouty capitals are intentional. If you have never picked up a Colleen Hoover book before and are wondering which one you should try, PICK THIS ONE! If you have read a Colleen Hoover book or two before and didn’t care for them and maybe gave up on her, DISREGARD PREVIOUS OPINIONS AND PICK THIS ONE UP!!!

My heart is so full like no other book has made it before. Oh, the love that is in this story! Fallon and Ben are just the best characters! I just finished the book so my words are so mushy gushy right now…I’ll have to come back later and write a more cohesive and coherent summary/review later but for now, just know that this was probably the best contemporary romance I have ever read. It was AMAZING!

november93((Later)) I am ready to speak more coherently about this book now. When I finished reading (listening, technically) to it, I was a hot mess of love and emotion in the best of ways. November 9 is not just a day on the calendar for Fallon and Ben. Its not just a day of meeting, dating, and falling in love either. For both characters, they are trying so hard to change it from a day of past horrors and dread to a day of joy and love. But of course, its easier said than done.

There is humor, there is (a bit of) mystery, there is joy, and there is heartbreak. There are not many secondary characters, but I do have to say that I fell in love with Ben’s family instantly. I also thought that Ben’s gentleness and treatment of Fallon’s scars was the most beautiful thing. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes the consequences stay with you your entire life. The guilt most certainly does, as do the scars.

Just to wrap up, in case you missed it the first twenty times I said it, read this book. I loved it. Its got a 4.39 rating on Goodreads, which is pretty darn good. So next time you’re looking for a raw, riveting love story, grab this one.

Book soundtrack: Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet) by Des’ree

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Tag Tuesday: Norse Mythology Book Tag

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Its finally starting to feel AND look like spring in my neck of the woods and it is marvelous! Our pattern of snow…melt…snow…melt…snow…etc. is finally over (knock on wood, right?). But anyway, on to the reason why we’re all here: BOOKS!

So this week for *Tag Tuesday,* my friend Sarah posted the Norse Mythology Book Tag and it was awesome!

THE RULES of the TAG

  • Link back to my original post and to Kyera’s post
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you…show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your wondeful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going.

ODIN – FAVOURITE STAND ALONE

Odin is the All-Father, the leader of the Norse gods. He is the god of wisdom, poetry, battle, death, wine and war among other things.

 

 

Going through my list of books there were a couple that jumped out at me to choose as a good stand alone, but then once I found T.H.U.G., all bets were off. If you still have not read this book, get to it! I also highly recommend the audiobook because the narrator is amazing! But really, this book about a teenager witnessing the shooting of her (unarmed) friend at the hands of a police officer will give you a lot to think about. The Hate U Give  is so well-written and its being made into a movie as well so if you’re one of those people who likes to read the book before something hits the screen, then put this on your TBR!

THOR – A BOOK THAT HITS YOU IN THE FEELS

Thor is the god of thunder, weather, warriors, strength, and storms so his might packs a punch. He is married to the beautiful lady Sif.

I didn’t even have to think about which book to choose for this one. Hands down, The Light We Lost was a great book that took me in and went straight to my heart. HARD. For me, this book was a clear 5 star read and I still recommend it to everyone who asks for books to read.

LOKI – BIGGEST BOOK PLOT TWIST OR CHARACTER BETRAYAL

Loki is the god of mischief, thieves and thrives on chaos.

Ok, maybe I should have seen this one coming, but the plot twist in Red Queen  pretty much tore the carpet from beneath my feet! I think I was too concerned with the love triangle/square (which I believe was what the author intended…well played, Ms. Aveyard) to be concerned with any other deeper plots at play and I completely missed the big twist so by the end, I was SHOOK. The book leaves off pretty much ready to go on to book two but unfortunately I haven’t been able to read on yet. I really need to though, because I really enjoyed book 1!!

FRIGG – OTP

Frigg is Odin’s wife, the goddess of love, marriage, fertility and fate.

My next three answers are from the same trilogy–spoiler alert–so sorry not sorry if you aren’t a fan. For this pick, if there is anyone out there who has been living under a rock and doesn’t know how this story ends and who the main character ends up with, I won’t spoil it and give the books/movies away.
So my OTP pick is Katiniss’ man in the Hunger Games trilogy. For the longest time, I was rooting for the other guy but once I reached the end, I could never imagine her with anyone else. Also, it was funny because in the books, I thought she should be with–and I will come right out and say this–Gale, and the movies, I thought she was best off with Peeta. But after re-reading and re-watching and really thinking and being open-minded and trying to be in Katniss’ mind, I agree with the way it all is and its beautiful. *sigh*

HEIMDALL – FAVOURITE SECOND BOOK IN A SERIES

Heimdall is the god of loyalty, faithfulness and it is he who protects the bi-frost, the bridge that connects all nine worlds. 

Not only is The Hunger Games my favorite series/trilogy, Catching Fire is one of my favorite books. I love the new characters that are introduced (oh, hello Finnick!), the development of the ignorance and manipulation of the Capitol, the cleverness of the Games, just….everything!! I absolutely LOVED this book!

BALDUR – FAVOURITE MAIN CHARACTER

Baldur is the beloved son of Odin and Frigg, twin brother of Hodor.

Katniss. This girl perseveres through everything and comes out stronger for it. True, sometimes (ok, a lot of times) she’s flying by the seat of her pants and/or letting other people make her look good but let’s be honest, in order to survive and keep those you love alive, you have to do what you have to do. She is strong, empathetic, compassionate, sarcastic, loyal, smart, etc. I could go on. After all this HG talk, I really feel the need to re-read this trilogy. I’ve got the itch!!!

SIF – MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK COVER

Lady Sif is known for her beautiful golden tresses, although she is also the goddess of the harvest and is married to Thor.

The Forgetting. I love this cover. It has two of my favorite things: a beautiful tree with falling leaves/flowers(?), and gorgeous purple ombre. Silly me has been slacking for years now on reading the book (I have an arc from 2016!!!) but its still on my TBR, partially because of this gorgeous cover!!

FREY – BOOK OR SERIES THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

Frey is the Lord of weather, God of light, summer, master of agriculture, fertility, and brother of Freya.

While I did enjoy The Lunar Chronicles as a series, the Wires and Nerve graphic novels are seriously amazing in and of themselves. I mean, you should read the Lunar Chronicles in order to know what is going on and the back story because truly they go together, but the humor in Wires and Nerve and just getting to see the characters all together is so much fun. I really enjoy those books so immensely!

FREYA – FAVOURITE BOOK SETTING

Freya is the goddess of love and beauty, fertility, war, wealth and growth, and sister of Frey.

 Ivory and Bone is a very interesting and unique book, and I really mean that in the best of ways. It is written in second person, from a male point of view, in a prehistoric type of setting. Yeah, told you it was unique!! But really, it was such a neat setting that all was forgiven for me because it was so beautiful, so natural, and it all just worked together. I really enjoyed it. And like I said, it was just unique and refreshing to me. None of it was forced or out of place so I just really enjoyed it.

TYR – FAVOURITE BOOK WITH A BIG UPHEAVAL/EPIC FIGHT SCENE

Tyr is the god of war.

Travel…death threat…travel…capture…battle…travel…battle…death threat…travel…battle…epic battle…travel…battle…you get the idea. But we all love it. =]

ULLER – CHARACTER DEATH THAT AFFECTED YOU THE MOST

Uller is the god of death, winter, archery and hunting.

Spoiler warning – but after all these years, if you don’t know who dies in Harry Potter, that’s your own fault 😛 Anyway, I’m still not over the deaths of this series. I’m still in major denial. I legitimately do not think that Sirius and Dumbledore are dead. I mean, technically Rowling wrote it but…what’s behind that curtain?? Big D was the master of death! Come on!!!! I’m really not over it….

NJORD – FAVOURITE BOOK AN EPIC JOURNEY ON WATER/OCEAN SETTING

njord2b71yno1_1280Njord is the god of the wind and the sea.

My ‘read’ list is sadly lacking on water/ocean books so I have to pass on this one. I have several on my TBR list though so I’ll get back to you !

VALKYRIE – FAVOURITE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

The Valkyries, much like the Amazons, are strong female warriors.

Well this book just had to be on the list. Eelyn is pretty much the fiercest female character. Well, strictly human character, that is. We could go superhero and talk strong, or emotionally strong, or…basically there are different kinds of strong so choose your strong. To me at this moment, I know I wouldn’t be able to rush into battle wielding an axe in one hand and a sword in another. I wouldn’t be able to watch my brother, father, best friend, and the man I love all risk their lives alongside me. I would be miserable living the cold winters in a tent. To me, that’s a whole lot of strong and fierce!

AESIR/VANIR – FAVOURITE BOOK “CREW”

The Aesir and the Vanir are the two groups of Norse gods, believed to be the old and new gods.

For a moment I considered the crew-fam that is The Lunar Chronicles. They are a fun bunch of misfits come together to save a planet and a moon and I love each of them dearly. I also considered the Grisha trilogy Alina-Mal-Nikolai-etc. crew, but really I just love Nikolai and secretly love the Darkling in all of his broodiness. I know of other crews that I know I will love when I read them. But above all of these, I know my all-time favorite and really first crew love was the Harry Potter crew. So–duh–that’s my final answer!illus_smoke_divider_by_entropies-d4triyr

And that concludes our fun for the day! I now hereby tag Ashleigh, Nicola, and Maggie…plus anyone else who wants to get their Norse on! 😉

Currently listening to: Everytime We Touch by Cascada

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What I Leave Behind by Allison McGhee

39791329Title: What I Leave Behind
Author: Allison McGhee
Pages: 208 pages; 10,000 words
Publisher: Athenium/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Release Date: May 15, 2018

What I Leave Behind is a sweet, heart-wrenching book about a young man named Will who has lost his father to suicide. Going through daily life working at the Dollar Only store, he copes with his pain by being compassionate to those around him, including his kooky boss Major Tom, Superman (the homeless man on the street corner who eats Will’s failed attempts at home made corn bread), Playa (Will’s best friend who is sexually assaulted), and the little boy down the street who loves butterflies. The book is basically a repeating cycle of Will walking, walking, walking (he only walks–no cars, bikes, etc. since his father’s passing) past the Blessings Store, over the Fourth Street Bridge, through his friends’ neighborhoods, to work at the Dollar Only Store, and back home again. The end.

The book is formatted uniquely in that there are 100 chapters, each with 100 words. As a result, I found it to be an extremely quick and simple read….almost too much so. The book felt a bit choppy to me because it was constricted to the 100 word limits. But still, Will is one of the greatest guys on the planet. If everyone treated the people around them with this much thought and care, the world would be a better place. Honestly however, the book was repetitious and, as I said, choppy, but the overall concept was worthwhile.

Book Soundtrack: Appletree by Erykah Badu

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S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett

So I was just going through my list of ‘read’ books for this year on Goodreads and I have read 25 books not including short stories and what-not. That’s pretty much on-track with my reading goals, so YAY for me! Blog-wise I have also made exactly 25 posts, but they aren’t all bookish, some of them are Tag Tuesdays or Readathons or Monthly Wrap-ups or whatever so I have a little catching up to do on my reviews! That’s what my blog is supposed to be doing, afterall! So without further ado, here is one I missed!:

Title: S.T.A.G.S.
Author: 
M.A. Bennett
Pages: 296 pages, Hardcover
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press

35926234STAGS is a boarding school for the wealthy elite. Greer (“Grey-uh” for us Americans who are un-used to seeing this name) is admitted on a scholarship, whereas most other students at the school have had generations of attendees in their families. When Greer and two other new/outcast students are invited for a weekend of “Huntin’. Shootin’. Fishin'” with the Medievals (the elite clique of students at the school), she is warned against going by a former friend, but ultimately decides to go, seeing it as a chance to finally make friends and be accepted. What occurs instead is a weekend of veiled bullying and the thrill of the chase.

I honestly feel that this is one of the better YA thrillers I have read lately. That being said, though, the book certainly has its flaws. However, regarding the genre, I thought M.A. Bennett did a terrific job of setting up a bit of background for the Medievals by showing them flaunting their personal family lineage back to the crusades in class and even around the dinner table. Their shady words alluding to hatred of outsiders was a first clue as to their true motives. However, their talk is so flowery and conversation so natural that who would really think that there was a threat present? Nel just wants to make friends, Greer wants conversation, and Shafeen wants to stand up for himself.

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Borrowed from Alba in Bookland.

The setting in a boarding school and then a large family estate on the moors of Northumberland was also perfect. Beautiful, yet ominous and eerie…much like the Medievals themselves. I could just imagine mists and fog and these elite teenagers showing off their knowledge of “huntin’, shootin’, and fishin'” to the outcasts who had never or who had hardly been exposed to that before. It truly was another world for the three outsiders, or “Savages” as they came to be called. The author’s descriptions were just wonderful and added an extra dimension of creep factor.

Despite the good in the book, I will admit that I never felt fully invested or connected in the main characters. I cared for them, yes, but I was preoccupied with the bigger picture in the book. Greer is a teenage narrator who really reads like a teenager. She is constantly referencing movies–which I didn’t mind much, and it sort of made sense since her father makes films–and jumping around in her telling of the story (“But that was not nearly as bad as what was to happen next,” etc.). I could do without that. I felt that some of the descriptions were too drawn out and the action too underplayed. I wanted a bit more out of those.

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And of course, the ending. I like the concept and how the book wrapped up. Certain aspects I saw coming, while others were a nice touch. If ever there was a book that should be a movie, its this one. I can absolutely see this as a screenplay and I would definitely go see it.

Book Soundtrack: Danse macabre, Op. 40 by Camille Saint-Saens

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