Mini Book & Movie Reviews: Fairest, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Theory of Everything

The Books

minireviews-fairesthpFairest

This backstory on Queen Levena was certainly illuminating. You can understand why, with the family that she has, that she would turn out so twisted, but that certainly does not excuse what she does. What she did to Evret Hayle made me extremely uncomfortable, and I was so sad for him and Winter and everyone else who was really involved. It was also really interesting though to see how everything tied in, and I think that helped me enjoy this book a little more. I think this is definitely an interesting addition to The Lunar Chronicles and have to hand it to Marissa Meyer for not pulling any punches with Levena’s character.

Rating: 4 stars

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

So I rated this one 4.5 stars on Goodreads, and I stand by that rating, but this has been one of the more forgettable books for me so far I think. I mean, what happens? Going to class, SNOGGING (I hate that word so much, especially since it sounds make up, but I guess it’s British?), Harry trying to spy on Malfoy, more snogging, Dumbledore sessions, and then SADNESS. Yeah, I had not been spoiled on that so I did not see that coming.

Ron was ridiculous in this book. I mean, I know he’s a teenage boy but wow, I wanted to rattle him. And then Ginny. I thought I was supposed to like Ginny? Actually, I did like her in the end and what she says to Harry, but I don’t like the Ginny who makes out in public and yells at Ron about it and just acts annoying. I was thinking what the heck does Harry see in her? And not only that, but I don’t feel Harry having feeling for her, I’m just told that he does. I’m not buying into the Harry-Ginny or the Ron-Hermione romances the way I hoped I would.

But I adore Luna. And I did like this book, overall, it just mostly feels like another stepping stone to the grand finale.

Rating: 4.5 stars

The Movies

minireviews-hptheoryHarry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

This is definitely my second favorite movie of the series so far now, as I felt it did a much better job of sticking with the highlights and not making too many unnecessary changes, except for a couple of glaring exceptions. First, what the heck was with them burning the Weasleys’ house?! And then that’s it, no follow up?! Maybe it will make sense to me later, but right now I’m just perplexed. That’s a big thing to just add in there! And then of course there’s Ginny…

I’ve seen where a lot of people complain about movie Ginny, which at first I wasn’t understanding, because, as I mentioned before, I found her kind of annoying in the book, and she seemed sweet in the movies, including this one… UNTIL IT GOT WEIRD. What was with her in the Room of Requirement when she’s like, “Close your eyes,” and kissing Harry and “I can stay if you’d like me to.” I mean, really?! That was the weirdest crap ever.

But I loved that scene with Harry and Hermione when she asks Harry how it feels to see Ginny with Dean, and he responds to her crying, “Like this.” So sweet. And I liked Luna saving Harry in the beginning, not that I had a problem with Tonks doing it in the book, but this way we got less Snape and more Luna. (I HATE THAT MAN.)

Rating: 4 stars

The Theory of Everything

This movie was not what I expected. No doubt that Eddie Redmayne did a phenomenal job playing Stephen Hawking, but I felt very hollow at the end. I didn’t feel I really got the “point” of the movie, and all the triumph in Hawking outliving his life expectancy is overshadowed by the brokenness of his family. If you’re expecting this movie to simply be a feel-good love story of Stephen and Jane and how they deal with Stephen’s conditions, then you’ll find yourself as disappointed as I was. This story ends with the deterioration of their marriage, which made me just feel sad for them, even more so than the diagnosis had.

Rating: 3.5 stars

What are your thoughts on any of these books and/or movies?

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Bookish Wedding Inspiration: Magnolia

I thought it might be fun to try creating themed wedding ideas based off of books, and how the main character’s wedding might look with our modern sensibilities, and thus, Bookish Wedding Inspiration was born! This is my first time to do a bookish wedding post for a contemporary, which was kind of nice for once because I didn’t have to worry about time period, just personalities and setting! If you want to read more about my thoughts on Magnolia, feel free to check out my review.

bookish-weddingBride and Groom Look

The Tux and Dress

bride-dressDress Source

I spent a lot of time narrowing down a lot of beautiful dresses, trying to find something that was classic, elegant, and had a touch of vintage. Ultimately, I felt this picture was really just the whole package for Jemma and Ryder. I think it definitely evokes the feeling of a classic Southern wedding.

Bridal Veil

bride-veilI feel that Jemma would refashion a vintage veil, and perhaps end up with something like this Juliet cap style veil.

The Bouquet

bouquet-magnoliaSource

I thought it would be fitting for Jemma to carry a magnolia bouquet, and I found this one simple magnolia that I felt would be perfection for her.

The Boutonierre

Lisa Lefkowitz, Snippet & InkSource

And of course, Ryder needs a magnolia too.

The Bridesmaids

Dresses

bridesmaidsSource

I felt that with Jemma’s taste for retro styles, these Alfred Sung dresses from Nordstrom would be a good fit. I figured with five bridesmaids, they could each have a different style, like above, but all in the same champagne color. (Yes, they’re all supposed to be the same color, but we all know after that blue/black/gold/white dress incident that the appearance of colors can be deceiving.) Anyhow, I love how these dresses have a classic look with just a dash of an early 60’s feel to them. Plus they look like they would be great for wearing at a Southern spring or summer wedding!

Bouquets

bridesmaid-bouquetAnd to go with their champagne dresses, I envision the bridesmaids carrying bouquets of champagne hydrangeas.

The Portraits

portraits

www.sunglowphotography.comSource for bridal and wedding party portraits

The Venue

weddingSource

For whatever reason, I picture the ceremony at Jemma and Ryder’s home church, and the reception outside, probably at one of their family’s houses. These pictures really evoked Southern charm for me, I mean, check out those stained-glass windows, that willow, and those magnolia leaves on the table!

Reception Details

Lighting

lightingI love quaint lighting, and I thought this magnolia chandelier and these mason jar lights would both set the mood nicely for Jemma and Ryder’s wedding reception.

Place Setting

magnolia-leaf-place-settingSource

The Cakes

cakesMagnolia wedding cake/Groom’s cake

I loved how this cake had the same simplicity of the magnolia bouquet I chose for Jemma, and then how perfect is this cake for Ryder and his love of astronomy? Except the flavor would be caramel cake, his favorite.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of bookish wedding inspiration! What would you expect at Jemma and Ryder’s wedding? 

Discussion: Books from Childhood/Teen Years

Two things prompted this for me. The second was this week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic that I honestly feel too lazy to try to work out, which is Top 10 Books From My Childhood (Or teen years) That I Would Love To Revisit. The first was an interaction I had on Sunday morning. My mom works in the library at our church, and I always go in there to chat with her after service.

So this Sunday, there was a family who came in and one of the girls in this family came straight up to the counter and asked my mom if she had any recommendations. My mom was really sure, and then deflects the question to me. This girl was obviously young, and I was thinking geeze thanks, Mom, I have no idea. I asked the girl how old she was and she said 11. That didn’t really help me at all except now I know what an 11 year old looks like (there’s a blur between about 6 and 12 where all kids look the same to me). She ended up walking away with nothing, and I spent some time after that looking at the middle grade/YA section we have there, if you can call it that. I mean, the selection was fairly decent considering I don’t see much more (maybe even less sometimes) in this age category at a Christian bookstore. Obviously, there is a better selection at like a Barnes and Noble when you’re going beyond just Christian reads, understandably, but it really got me to thinking.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this girl goes through a similar experience than I did. When I was a kid, I was reading things like American Girl, Babysitter’s Club, Boxcar Children, and I also read some Christian books aimed for younger audiences, and thanks to looking at the shelves at the church library I remember some of those books: The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle by Bill Myers, Dixie Morris Animal Adventures by Gilbert Morris, and others I don’t remember the names of. But at some point, probably close to 11, is when I came across an awkward stage of life in my reading where I discovered:

– The books for younger kids weren’t cutting it for me anymore.

– The books for teens were annoying because they were all dating and drama.

– While I had the reading ability for many adult books, most of them dealt with adult problems.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this is where this 11 year old girl is at.

It does seem that there is a decent selection of middle grade/younger YA books out there now, that maybe there is a good selection that is appropriate for an 11 year old, but I feel I know I certainly missed that boat. I spent years struggling not knowing which books were worth picking up. And I know this isn’t a genre that most of my readers read, but I feel that there is definitely a black hole in the middle grade/YA market in Christian fiction. There really needs to be more options.

But then again, maybe there are plenty, I honestly don’t really know since I’m not seeking those books out. Maybe instead the problem is that all these books are just titles on a shelf. This 11 year old girl just wanted to know what we liked. What had been tested and approved by someone else? How do you get this sort of feedback when you’re 11, from someone other than friends? 11 year olds aren’t reading blogs or on Goodreads. I think the best option they have is book fairs, and even that only helps so much.

I think it’s easy for people to overlook this age group. I remember some of books from my younger childhood years, and I remember some of the books from my teen years, but there is a bit of a void in the middle. I guess what I want to know is: do you remember what books you read when you were in that preteen/tween age? Do you remember feeling an awkward stage between kids’ books and teen books?

Star Trek TNG Season 3: My Top 5 Fave Episodes

As my husband and I are going through our second full watch of Star Trek as a couple, I thought it would be fun to report on the highlights along the way. So I decided to copy the same format as Charlene at Bookish Whimsy, who is going through her first-ever run of Star Trek and sharing her favorite episodes for each season. To compare, see her top 5 favorite episodes of season two of The Next Generation.

Season three is definitely when TNG picks up, and I had a harder time narrowing my selection because of good options this time! I also wanted to be sure to mention an honorable mention, The Ensigns of Command, since I did have a hard time choosing it or my #5 choice.

5. The Defector

tng3-thedefectorThis was one of those episodes that left me feeling kind of depressed in the end, but it was pretty poignant. It reminds me a bit of the DS9 episode “Duet.” I really don’t want to say too much to spoil the episode for those who have not seen it, but there are some interesting twists in it.

4. Sins of the Father

tng3-thesinsofthefatherI’m not a big fan of Klingon episodes, so I was surprised how much I liked this one. I have a feeling I got much more out of it this time around than I probably did the first time, simply because now I’m familiar with Worf’s journey, and his family is a big part of that journey (and I don’t just mean blood family). I also love what Picard does for Worf in this episode.

3. The Hunted

tng3-thehuntedI have a definite love for the psychological episodes of Star Trek, and this one explores the fascinating psychological idea of engineering a group of people a certain way, in this case, to be soldiers.

2. Yesterday’s Enterprise

tng3-yesterdaysenterpriseFirst off, from a purely productional standpoint, I love the dark lighting of the other timeline’s Enterprise. Second, we see another version of Tasha who is just so much more awesome for some reason. And third, there’s just something about this story, that I can’t really explain, that is just plain great. It’s a fan favorite so clearly I’m not alone.

1. The Best of Both Worlds

tng-thebestofbothworlds2Just as a note, this is a wicked cliffhanger two-parter that comprises the season three finale and the first episode of season four. For the sake of simplicity, I am including both parts in my season three recap (though Charlene waited until season 4). I mean, I don’t know what to say about this episode other than the first time I watched it I was just FLOORED. It was the first really huge risk I feel they took in Star Trek and it worked really well. This time around, instead of watching parts one and two in the same fashion they were originally aired, we watched the enhanced Blu-Ray that edits the episodes together as one seamless film. Even when you know the outcome, you still feel the tension in these episodes. It’s one of the best stories of The Next Generation, period.

What are your favorite episodes of The Next Generation, season 3?

The Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR List. I was lousy at following these lists first, but after a while started doing better. I read about half of my winter list, so not too bad. Only time will tell how I’ll do this time around, especially with long books on my list…

1. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

gr-shadow-scaleThis was on my winter TBR, but I knew that was unrealistic anyhow. I will definitely read it soon though… probably next, in fact! I just got my copy and it’s so pretty!

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

gr-deathlyhallowsGuys, I’m almost done with Harry Potter! I won’t know what to do once I finish! Oh wait, yes I will… read all these other awesome books on my list… though I will also be a little sad it’s over.

3. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

gr-savethecatThis is a writing book that I have heard is helpful with plot. This could come in handy during Camp NaNoWriMo.

4. Do Over by Jon Acuff

gr-dooverI have loved all of Jon Acuff’s books so far and look forward to reading his new book, coming out in April! (P.S. If you pre-order, you get a free copy of the e-book that disappears on release day.)

5. The Well of Ascension & 6. The Hero of Ages, both by Brandon Sanderson

mistborn2&3This spring I will finally follow-up on Mistborn! Nikki said I’ve got to read these back-to-back, so I’m planning to do just that.

7. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

gr-thelasttimeI’m nervous about this one, because I don’t do these intense contemporaries, BUT I think it might be helpful for me as I work on my WIP, and I can get it from the library. At least I’ve heard good things… if you call crushing people’s souls a good thing…

8. All Fall Down by Ally Carter

gr-allfalldownI have this one on hold at the library, so hopefully it’ll become available at a time I can read it. I haven’t read any Ally Carter yet but have been wanting to.

9. Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

gr-firefightI’ve got this one on hold too. I already had to drop it once and put myself back on the waiting list again. One day I will get to it…

10. The Body Electric by Beth Revis

gr-thebodyelectricI bought this one recently and it sounds interesting, so I really would like to check it out sometime in the next few months!

What’s on your spring TBR?

Review: Magnolia

As unlikely as it seems, amidst Harry Potter and my other fantasy reads, I actually picked up a YA contemporary, Magnolia by Kristi Cook.

gr-magnolia

What I liked:

– This book it set in the South! I was born in Mississippi and while I did not live there long, I have family who lives there and I have gone back many times throughout my life. I understood several of their local references, and I also liked the nods to other places in the South that I could relate to, especially when they talked about Houston and things that they did there.

– There were Star Trek references! If you know me, you know that’s a complete win right there. Of course, knowing about said references ahead of time helped me move this contemporary up my TBR list. I was amused that the cats’ names were Spock, Kirk, and Sulu. Though the latter really should have been McCoy, but oh well.

– I mostly liked the story and romance and got caught up in it, but there were issues with it that I will delve into further…

What I didn’t like:

– How the romance ended up. I was all aboard for these two getting together, but I didn’t like how they hid everything from their parents, and were making out and probably more in each others’ rooms for who knows how long without their parents even knowing. I understood why they wanted to keep it a secret at first, like those first few days or a week, but six weeks later and it’s still a secret! When are you going to announce it? When you’re engaged, you’ve eloped, when you kids? When does it end?! Just fess up and let them have their happy dance, and let them be involved in your relationship. I know that sounds weird and old-fashioned of me, and I’m not talking some Duggar-style courtship here, but I think it’s good, at that age, to have some parental involvement, especially under their circumstances where they are already all friends. Also…

– Are their parents that dumb?! Six weeks of hiding their relationship and none of these four intelligent, grown-up people haven’t figured it out? I don’t buy that for two seconds.

– The pacing of their story. So, Jemma has hated Ryder since 8th grade. Senior year, she finally admits when it started, and it felt strangely unnatural, like this would have come up in conversation before. I mean, what have they been talking about for five years when her hatred of him comes up? When she talks about what happened at the dance, it honestly feels to me like this was something that happened 6 months ago, a year tops, not like it happened five years ago.

– In my opinion, there’s too much swearing, and let me explain myself on this because I know I’m more sensitive to this than most. Ryder is portrayed as being such a good guy (he doesn’t drink… but apparently he drops the f-bomb?) and he and Jemma are both raised by well-behaved Southern ladies. I’m not saying they wouldn’t swear at all… I live among people from these kinds of families and I know they do, but I think about a quarter of the swearing would have felt more appropriate. Some of it felt forced, like it was just thrown-in there just to prove these are red-blooded American teenagers.

– There are not enough Star Trek reference or of Jemma’s dad (who is where the Star Trek references really come from anyway)! OK, I admit, this probably would not be a complaint if Debby’s review of this book talking about this aspect of the novel had not sold me on bumping it up my TBR. But I wanted more! And I loved what little we got with Jemma’s dad; he seemed really cool.

– Seriously, two kids from Mississippi are going to go to schools in New York that they haven’t even visited? I appreciated all the sentiment about following your dreams and all that jazz, but this felt like too much of a stretch to me. We never even got resolution that Jemma’s parents could afford NYU. I think these kids are in for a rude wake-up call. (Man I sound so old right now, ha ha.) Jemma’s mom has not even researched NYU enough to know that the campus is sprawled out rather than traditionally more enclosed. Really?

– The Romeo & Juliet parallels felt pointless and really didn’t work for me. There’s the basic premise about the families, except it’s opposite from Romeo & Juliet because the families love each other and want to be united in marriage. But we have Ryder, who has an R name, and Jemma, who has a J name. There’s a character named Rosie (think Rosaline), and I think there might be someone with the last name Montague? There were probably more I missed, but anyway, it didn’t do anything for me.

Final Thoughts

This was pretty much a 4 star book until the ending kind of made it feel a little weak overall to me. Final rating: 3.5 stars.

3.5stars

mccoy-halfsmileWhat are your thoughts on Magnolia? Also, be on the lookout because I plan to do a Bookish Wedding Inspiration post based on Magnolia in the next couple of weeks! 

Agent Carter, Inhumans, & I Have No Idea What’s Happening in the Marvelverse Now

*Warning, if you’re not caught up on Agent Carter or Agent of SHIELD, there are spoilers below!

I watched the first half of this season of Agents of SHIELD excited every single week. The show was finally just consistently good. Then the mid-season finale hit and… I don’t know… I felt like my tires got deflated. It was really hyped up by Marvel, and in some ways it was good, but I felt sort of like I got punched in the stomach and then the offender just ran off. I wrote a long blog post about it that I never published on the blog, because after I wrote it I thought maybe I just needed to get my feelings out and I was actually fine now that the words had been written.

Thankfully, Agent Carter was there to divert my thoughts for a while. If you know me, you know I’m a Peggy Carter fangirl, and I was super stoked about the show. When it started I was… confused… about the direction it was going in and the plot. I thought it was sort of going to pick off where the Agent Carter one shot left off, but it actually feels more like it never happened. I thought Peggy was supposed to be in charge of the beginning of the SSR, I mean, this had been alluded to in the one shot, in Captain America The Winter Soldier, and in Agents of SHIELD. Instead, she’s just the glorified secretary to the boys. But after a few episodes, I decided to enjoy it for what it was. I still loved Peggy, as well as many of the new secondary characters, such as Jarvis, Angie, and Sousa.

I ultimately enjoyed the season. I still never completely understood what the plot of it had to do with the Marvel universe at large, but I hoped for a second season to help sort it out some more. And I still want that.

Then Agents of SHIELD returned, and we’re one episode in and while it was a fine episode, I’m still feeling uncertain about what’s happening. Fitz finds out what’s happening to Skye but he’s going to keep it a secret. Raina’s essentially a demented porcupine. Bobbi and Mack are up to something, but what? Are Fitz and Simmons ever going to talk again? OK, I know they won’t let that drop, but I want it now, dang it. I have a hard time caring about the Inhumans storyline at the present because I’m still very worried about the humans on the show. I am completely not over Trip’s death (that was what my unpublished ranting blog post was about, essentially), I worry about Fitz-Simmons, I worry about all of them.

Except Ward. He wasn’t in this last episode and I did not care or miss him for two seconds. They made me hate him that much. (Or maybe that indifferent to him.) I just don’t like feeling this way. I guess I’m not supposed to like feeling this way. No one said this was a Hallmark movie. But just the thought of him popping up again just makes me feel… ugh. I just don’t care about him. I want him to leave. I want Trip back (not matter how impossible). I want to smoosh Fitz and Simmons’ faces together, and then we can carry on with Hydra and Inhumans and whatnot.

I’m happy that this next episode features Lady Sif, because I love me some Sif (not quite as much as Peggy, but still a lot). I just hope things will make sense soon. When the season ends, I want it to feel like the story is heading in the right direction. The season one finale left us hanging, but it was good and left me wanting more in the right ways. I know there’s some time and I shouldn’t worry, I suppose I just hoped that after such a long hiatus I would get something I was hoping to see, instead of basically nothing at all that I cared about (other than Coulson yelling and bringing down some Hydra folks, because that was good stuff).

Also, how is this going to tie into Avengers 2? What the heck is that movie about anyway? That first trailer really gave me chills in the best way, and this newest one is just not nearly as interesting to me. I’m sure it will all work out, but I’m just curious about what direction the Marvel universe is actually going if there’s supposed to be Civil War and so much other crap going on. I’m sure someone with comic book cred could help me out.

What are your thoughts on Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, and the various Marvel storylines? 

Double Book & Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The Book

gr-orderofthephoenixSo I had heard a couple of people mention this isn’t exactly their favorite of the series, one stating there was something that actually made her upset enough that she didn’t read the last two books until years later. On the flip side, I knew someone else say this book was their favorite of the series. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly, but I was a little nervous.

Most of the book felt pretty typical of Harry Potter, but not in quite the same blase way The Chamber of Secrets did. Harry has a terrible time at the Dursley’s and has no clue what’s going on in the wizard world. Harry nearly gets in trouble but Dumbledore saves him. We meet a new professor, Umbridge, who is awful and I hate her. We meet Luna Lovegood (finally, I’ve been oddly fascinated about meeting her), and we get some more of Cho and Ginny and Neville and Fred and George and others.

Then there’s the point before the climax where things aren’t looking good, our characters take a journey, are thrust into the climax which is pretty dramatic, but for some reason I didn’t quite feel it as much as I would have expected. I think I can blame this at least partially on the time I was reading these scenes, particularly that I didn’t get to read this part all at once, so that probably hurt more than any of the actual writing. And then, that thing that made me nervous even though I didn’t know what it would be until it happened HAPPENED and that kind of shocked me and then once it sunk in for me the way it did for Harry I was just so incredibly sad. Especially when Harry opens that package at the end and you realize so much could have been avoided and it sort of bothers me he doesn’t even acknowledge that himself, but then again maybe it’s for the better he doesn’t think of it? But it bothered me.

And then what is up with Dumbledore? I can’t decide if it’s a character flaw or an author flaw that he didn’t tell Harry ALL THE THINGS at the end of book 3. That really would have been the time. How much of this did Rowling have planned out in advance? I have no idea. I almost felt like Dumbledore was like, “Please excuse my dumbness, but two books ago I honestly had no idea the story was going to turn out this way.” But I don’t know, maybe she really wanted Dumbledore to mess up that badly. I mean, people do that. It just stinks, especially when you think they’re so wise.

Anyhow, I did enjoy it overall, but so far it is my second least favorite. Based on what I hear, that’s probably where it will stay. I’ve been trying to decide between a 4 and a 4.5… and I think I’ve finally settled on 4 stars.

4stars2

The Movie

orderofthephoenixI didn’t enjoy this movie as much as The Goblet of Fire, but I did enjoy it more than the first three. The changes are still there, but I think I’ve become a bit more forgiving of them. And again, the direction in this one was mostly pretty good, though I didn’t love the beginning scene with Dudley and Harry. This one was also shorter than the others, so it almost felt too short, even though I don’t think it actually was.

The only specific thing I really wanted to mention about the movie was that I think the actress who played Luna did a great job. And I love that added scene of her and Harry in the forest.

4stars2What are your thoughts on Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (book and/or movie)?

My Top 10 All-Time Fave Books Since I Started Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years. I decided to make it easiest I would go with books I’ve read since I’ve started blogging, and seeing as I recently celebrated my two year blogversary, it seemed like a good time frame. I was also able to come up with a list very quickly by doing this. I’ve decided to make this week’s list in the order that I read the books, starting with the one I first first down to what I’ve read most recently.

1. Start by Jon Acuff

AKA, the book that started this blog.

Start_jacket.inddThis was the book I was reading when I started my blog, and this book (along with Acuff’s previous book Quitter) got me back to writing seriously again. If you’re out of school and feeling stuck in a job and/or with life in general, seriously read these.

2. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

AKA, the book that changed my worldview.

gr-unbrokenI think most are familiar with the general story of this book thanks to the movie’s release, which focuses on a WWII POW and survivor. I cannot fully express how amazing the story is. You just need to read it. My Review

3. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

AKA, the book that gave me feels like never before.

GR-bookthiefIt’s rare to find a book where the writing, story, and characters are all equally glorious and beautiful. This is one of those books. My Review

4. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

AKA, the book that is quite possibly one of the most “Amy” books ever written.

acrossastarsweptHave you ever read a book that just felt like everything about it was tailored just for you? If not, I hope you find it. This book was that for me. (And I loved the predecessor to this one as well!) My Review

5. Cress by Marissa Meyer

AKA, the book that made me realize this was going to be one of my favorite series ever.

cressThe characters and stories that Marissa Meyer have developed are just spot-on and WOW. My Review

6. The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

(We’ll focus on Shadow and Bone since it’s first)

AKA, that book that made me fall in love with fantasy.

gr-shadowandboneI bought this one on a whim when I saw it on sale, devoured it while on vacation, and haven’t looked back. I had not read much fantasy before this and a whole new world opened up to me after this. My Review

7. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

AKA, the book that made sure I stayed in love with fantasy.

GR-seraphinaI haven’t reread a book since I’ve started blogging, until now; I’m reading this one in preparation for the sequel, Shadow Scale. In my opinion, it is a slow start, but it is 100% worth it for the world-building and the people. My Review

8. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

(Again, we’ll focus on the first book, The Sorcerer’s Stone)

AKA, the book that made me want to go to Hogwarts.

gr-sorcerers-stoneI am now 5/7 of the way through with reading this series for the first time, and yes, I am loving it and totally on board with all the hype it’s gotten for 15 years. My Review

9. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

AKA, the book that made me look at my spiritual life differently.

screwtape-lettersThis is a book that I won’t say that I love quite in the same way as the others, but was an important read for me.

1o. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

AKA, the book that made me not afraid of high fantasy.

gr-mistbornI can’t say I’m ready for The Way of Kings yet, but I’m ready for more of this world and more like it. My Review

What are some of your favorite reads from since you started blogging (regardless of time frame)?