Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Liebster Blog Award: Nominated by Etheral Book Reviews and My View Points!

Hey, I've been gone for a while!
I've mainly been getting back into the swing of things with school. 2 weeks off is not the best for a seasoned procrastinator.
I'm still reading thought! I've been reading ibooks on my phone and taking a break from regular books, but its giving me an appreciation for turning pages, and actually bookmarking books. I can't wait to start back with real ones again!

Liebster Blog Award

Rules of the Liebester Blog Award:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Thank you for nominating me! I'm actually obsessed with answering questions about myself. Which tells you a lot about me. Anyways! 
Onto the questions from Etheral Book Reviews.

1. What kind of books do you like to eat?
Young Adult and Romance! 
2. Are you usually organized?
This is the first, and probably only time you'll see/hear me say this, but NO! My gosh. I am literally so unorganized. It's kind of a problem.
3. Who's your favourite author?
Jodi Piccoult made me re-fall in love with reading after I read 19 minutes.
4. How tall are you? (just to figure out whether I'm short or not :P)
5 ft 2. Shorty status<-----
5. What are your hobbies?
Reading, going on tumblr! (mine is and I follow back!), and watching horrible reality shows.
6. Do you like stickers?
I love stickers!
7. Are these questions getting boring? (I'm really running out of them!)
Ha ha ha no.
8. Which is your favourite Disney character?
Rafiki from the lion king. Who doesn't love witty baboons?
9. Canada or the United States?
Well, I'm from the United States, but I liked Canada a lot when I visited!
10. If you wrote a book, what would the title be?
And Here We Go...
11. Can you think of better questions than these? 
Probably not....awkwarrrrrd.

Now Questions from My Viewpoint on Books

1 What is your favorite child hood memory?
When I was a kid, I would climb into our laundry basket, and my dad would carry it with me in it down 2 flights to the basement. It was always so fun to be carried. I miss my childhood a lot!
2. Do you gravitate toward certain characters in books?
I usually don't gravitate towards certain characters. Well....I guess you could say I do towards the main characters, but I feel like thats the point.
3. What is your favorite genre?
My current favorite genre is Young Adult. Original, I know.4. Why did you start blogging/
One day I stumbled upon astridthebookworm's youtube and then was led through the book tube community. I fell in love, but knew I wasn't exactly ready to start making videos yet, so I decided to start off with a blog.
5. When did you start blogging?
End of 2012/beginning of 2013. (During my winter break)6. When was the last time you read a good book? What was it called?
The last time I read a truly good book was in December of 2012. It was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.7. List a book that you liked in the comments?
I thought Mysterious Benedict Society was a good book.
8. What was/is your best subject in school?
English is now, History used to be. My how things change.9. Who's your favorite character in any book?
I honestly disliked Jacob from the book version of Twilight so much. Yes I read twilight. I was in the 6th grade. Sorry, not sorry.10. Least favorite book?
New Moon is the only one that comes to mind.11. Least favorite author?
I can't really get into Nicholas Sparks books. I feel like I committed a sin by saying that! But I'm just a 16 year old blogger!

11 Random Facts about me:
1. I'm knock kneed
2. I have a 9 year old Beagle named Whitney
3. I can never go to bed before 12 on a school night
4. Every school day I run on 6 or less hours of sleep
5. I don't try in school. I don't try to study or do my homework
6. I've worn glasses since elementary school
7. Never had a boyfriend
8. Never been kissed
9. A book has never ever made me cry. Only tear up.
10. I haven't ever failed a class
11. I like summer school!

I don't have enough to nominate! THough I will probably end up nominating people by the end of this week.
Til next time!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart

Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Genre: YA
Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children-two boys and two girls-succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help. 

I loved this book! Even though this was a "kids" book, it kept me well entertained! But, being close to 500 pages had its shortcomings. This great idea/plot could have easily been done in 300 pages or less in my opinion. At points I found myself extremely bored, wishing for some excitement.. Since the bookstarted off quickly, I expected it to continue onward that way. It sadly disappointed me.
However! Almost every time after a boring part, a very exciting new something was discovered! It felt great to be able to contribute to these discoveries.
The Mysterious Benedict Society was almost a puzzle that allowed the reader to solve it along with the characters. From learning Morse Code (some) to switching around numbers, this book was definitely FUN!
I recommend this to all ages! But beware, 500 pages is very long and can be very frustrating at points. Be prepared to be sitting down for a while if you pick this book up. Love it, hate it, even eat it! Just as long as you read it.

The Mysterious Benedict Society gets 4/5 stars from me (losing a star for length and pacing).

Some of my favorite quotations:
-“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn't depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.” 
― Trenton Lee StewartThe Mysterious Benedict Society

-“One problem with being a leader, is that even among your friends you are alone, for it is you -- and you alone -- to whom the others look for final guidance.” 
― Trenton Lee StewartThe Mysterious Benedict Society

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Can we please talk about: Bookstores

The first bookstore I ever went to was Borders. I don't remember when, or who took me, but I do remember it being an extremely good day. I loved Borders! When it shut down and closed all of its book stores, it nearly killed me! Watching each store have going out of business sales was like watching Jack sink into the ocean at the end of titanic! (Only there wasn't anything we could do about unlike someone who had plenty of space on her piece of wood...)

Anyways, my dad and I have both tried to get into going to Barnes and Noble, but it was pretty evident that our hearts are were still with Borders.

Until...! We went to a Bookstore in Bloomingdale, Illinois (and many other places around the country, I'm sure) called Half Price Books. I never adopted an appreciation for this Half Price Bookstore until recently when I picked up 3 books to read this january. Literally every book (besides the popular/recent mini shelf in the front) was half off. They also buy your old books and DVD's and CD's and such for half off. It was like giving crack to a crack addict. I literally had to calm myself down with the reminder that it wouldn't be long before I was back there again.

So through the death of Borders, I found Half Price Books!

And this post was pretty random, and unnecessary.

I just felt the need to share my excitement!

For all those Borders lovers like me who are too stubborn to accept this tragedy, there are some bookstores out there besides Barnes and Noble!

Anyways, I'll be back soon with a review of The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. Only about 150 pages to go! See you soon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy Elisa is Happy (+ January TBR!)

Recently it came to me that my mom had sold almost every book I owned, this summer at a yard sale. At the time I was not aware that I would start a book review blog, and I don't know, WANT TO REREAD SOME OF MY BOOKS. So, I'm starting from scratch, if you can call about 10 books scratch) and again building my book collection.

Another tragic event happened! The Borders bookstore in my neighborhood closed, along with all the other Borders anywhere else *insert sad/annoyed face*. We have a local bookstore, and a Barnes and Noble downtown Chicago, but they will never fill the void in my dear old teenage, Borders loving heart. Half Price Books however comes VERY CLOSE! How did I not grow to appreciate this before? Almost as many books as your heart desires for literally HALF of the original price. *faints*. This is a godsend for the wallets of my parents and myself, and I could not be happier.

So there you have it. Half Price Bookstore made this chick extremely happy.

I'm starting off this beautiful January 2013 with 4 books on my to be read booklist.

Book 1: The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart
Price (Original): $6.99
Price (Half Priced Books): $3.49
Genre: YA
Pages: 485
Why?: This book simply caught my eye! They all say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I'm guilty. That's like saying you shouldn't judge a car by its body style! Sure it could have the engine of a porsche, but the thing that draws you in isn't the cracked up outer shell of a Beater! It's the glossy petite finish of a good sports car! I don't know if I can ever change! Anyways, as I went down the aisles looking at books, I would scan them and lookup reviews and stars given on goodreads. This one was highly praised and I gave it a try! This is my first read of 2013 and its safe to say that I am very excited.

Book 2: The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Perilous Journey - Trenton Lee Stewart
Price (Original): $6.99
Price (Half Priced Boks): $3.49
Genre: YA
Pages: 440
Why?: Again, the cover grabbed my attention. But hello! This is the sequel! I was, however, standing in front of this series for a good 10 minutes deciding whether or not I should buy the sequel or wait to see if I loved the first one. With that price kids, I couldn't pass it up, and had to buy it! I also looked it up on goodreads and it had about the same praise as the first! I didn't buy the third because I just wanted to be safe (even though I may be going back this Saturday!)

Book 3: Revolution - Jennifer Donnelly
Price (Original): $18.99
Price (Half Priced Books): $6.99
Genre: YA
Pages: 472
Why?: This was the first book I decided to buy. It deeeeeeefinitely caught my eye. And the very detailed description on the inside cover helped tremendously. It was very appealing, and the reviews on goodreads helped my purchase. I look forward to reading this and reviewing it. Hopefully it will be worth the time it takes to read almost 500 pages!

Book 4: The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton
[Previously Owned]
Genre: YA
Pages: 180 (praise jesus)
Why?: My brother (he's 21) got this book when he was in high school. It's always been sitting around in my dads book cases and today I decided to give it a chance. This was kind of an act of desperation seeing as I didn't have any books as my mom had sold almost all of them. Even though I have newer books that I'm actually interested in, I plan on at least finishing this one before going on to even newer books (save for the 3rd or 4th books to the Mysterious Benedict Society series). I plan on reading this and getting a great story out of it.

So there you have it. Four books to look forward to this January (including a grueling high school schedule) and many more, knowing how fast a reader I am. I plan on reviewing each of them, so keep an eye out! Three 400+ page books in a row. I must be crazy! But, I have faith in myself good people. And hopefully you do too.

A Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: YA
Diagnosed with Stage IV Thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs...for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen year oldHazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel  lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being withAugustus is both an unexpected destruction and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I made a mistake prior to reading this book; listening to hype, and reading other reviews about it.

I discovered this book through tumblr and youtube, and all I heard were great and high praises. This impaired my thinking prior to reading The Fault in Our Stars and increased my expectations tremendously. And now that I have finished this book, I can truly say that for the most part, it lived up to then.
Having never read a John Green book before, I was thoroughly impressed. I found myself almost rooting for Hazel as she lived each day on "borrowed time". I could relate to her teenage ways, and her attitudes towards certain things her mother, and others wanted. Hazel's non-cancer emotions and experiences were also very relatable, and that really drew me in. By the time Augustus entered the scene, I felt like I knew Hazel, and absorbed every emotion she felt towards him. I appreciated her relationships with everyone around her as well. Warning: This is definitely a tear inducing tale. 

This book is not a horribly tragic cancer novel, nor is it a sappy completely predictable love story. With a fair share of twists and turns, this book is the story of life, love, and realization.

The Fault in Our Stars gets 5/5 stars from me.

I recommend this book to all ages! Young adult and more. I feel that the message is great, and well needed. So, go out and read this book, but try not to read too many reviews! Go in with a clear judgement, and not an idea of what everyone else wants you to believe. I feel like if that was what I  would have done, I would have grown to have even more of an appreciation for it. Love it, hate it, even eat it! Just as long as you read it.

Some of my favorite Quotations:
“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

"The world is not a wish-granting factory.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars