Trick or Treat Book Tag

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With Halloween night tomorrow, what better tag to complete than the Trick or Treat book tag? This tag was created by Alyssa at Pucks and Paperbacks. Here are my answers:

  • Kit Kat Bar: An anticipated release (break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar)

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite authors and I can’t wait to see what she writes outside of retellings. I’m a little hesitant towards this book because the plot sounds similar to a lot of books that I’ve read, but hopefully Marissa Meyer can put her own twist on this story like she did with The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless!

  • M & Ms: A book with a colorful cover

Windfall

Although this book only has a few colors on it, they are so bright! I’m not used to seeing YA books with such vibrant colors that this book immediately stuck out to me. Luckily, I enjoyed what was under the cover as well.

  • Milky Way: Name a book that makes you feel gooey in the middle

My Life with the Walter Boys (My Life with the Walter Boys #1)

This book made me feel gooey in the middle… but not in a good way. I had to trudge through the middle of this book to finish it was almost like I was melting along the road until the finish line! I think my biggest problem with this book was that it was littered with tropes and unlikable characters.

  • Sugar Babies: An underrated book or character

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerves, #1)

Even though people who love The Lunar Chronicles typically love Iko, she isn’t so loved in the world where she lives! I loved seeing Iko get her own adventures in the Wires and Nerve graphic novel even if I didn’t enjoy the story line as much as the original series.

  • Sour Patch Kids: A book that started sour but ended up sweet

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this short story collection (see my review here). However, I’m glad that I powered through because I remember liking the last few stories in this collection, especially the story by Jennifer E. Smith which included a romance that involved a character with autism.

  • Hershey Kiss: Your favorite first kiss

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the first kiss Cress gets in this book is straight out of a movie!

  • Favorite book to read during Halloween time

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

There’s not any particular book that I liked to read during Halloween time, but I definitely find myself picking up more fantasy books during the fall.

 

Happy Blogoween!

Bookish Halloween Pumpkins

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One activity that I love in the fall is decorating pumpkins. Last year, I created a donut pumpkin inspired by If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff (see how I created my pumpkin here). This year, I decided to share some bookish pumpkins that I loved from Pinterest. Here are five of my favorite book-inspired pumpkins:

I love the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and this pumpkin represents it well! I love how the person who made this got creative and even made the body of the mouse.

  • Fancy Nancy from Pinterest

Fancy Nancy is one of the most fabulous picture book characters… so she makes an even more fabulous pumpkin! I love the use of the wig on this pumpkin and all of the accessories throughout the hair. Fancy Nancy would approve of this pumpkin!

I love all of the touches on this Tin Man pumpkin from everyday household items. I think what really drew me into this pumpkin was the shiny silver paint. It’s perfect for the Tin Man!

  • Pinkalicious from Pinterest

Pinkalicious is such a fun book and the person who created this pumpkin really captured the spirit of the book. From the tutu, to the wand, to the crown, this pumpkin is perfectly pink!

  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! from Pinterest

The pigeon from books by Mo Willems is such a cute characters and this is such a cute pumpkin! This pumpkin actually looks very similar to the pigeon plush I bought at Kohl’s not too long ago. Like with some of the other pumpkins above, I like how the person who created this pumpkin thought bigger than just the pumpkin.

What book inspired pumpkin would you like to see?

Halloween Book Tag

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Happy Halloween, everyone! Today is the last day of Blogween, so I thought it would be perfect to end with the Halloween Book Tag. Here are my answers:

1.) Favorite (scary) must read for Halloween?

I don’t read scary books!

2.) Scariest book cover, like ever?

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

The cover for Fairest always freaked me out a little bit! It definitely looks like it could be a movie poster for a scary movie.

3.) If you could go trick-or-treating with one author, who would you pick?

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If I could go trick or treating with any author, I would choose Meg Cabot! She writes a lot of fun characters and maybe we could dress up as princesses together.

4.) If you could dress up as any bookish character for Halloween, who would you be?

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

I’ve actually dressed up as Katniss as a few times, but if I had to choose another character to dress up as I would probably choose Cress from The Lunar Chronicles. She’s my favorite so far in the series and it would be cool to dress up as a futuristic Rapunzel!

5.) If you could find anything (from any book) in your trick-or-treat stash, what would you hope to find?

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

I loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians, so it would be cool to find any of the objects from the gods in my bag. I might get in a little trouble, but it would lead to a great adventure!

6.) In what fictional world would you like to go trick-or-treating?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! There would be tons of candy to choose from, I would just have to be careful of some of the side effects.

7.) What book villain would you not like to meet alone in a dark alley on Halloween?

Stealing Snow (Stealing Snow, #1)

I would not want to meet Snow’s father from Stealing Snow in a dark alley! He is cunning and ruthless, plus he has magical powers!

8.) Would you rather dress up as a Vampire,  Zombie, Werewolf, or Shadowhunter?

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I’ve never read any of the Shadowhunter books, so I probably would not dress up as one. Out of the remaining three, I’d probably dress up as a zombie. Since I watched The Walking Dead for awhile, I’d probably get some friends to dress up as the characters from the show!

9.) Pick a candy (just one) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that you would love to find in your stash.

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I would love to have the gum that tastes like a full meal in Charlie and the Chocolate factory! I think it would be great to have on a road trip. Hopefully, I wouldn’t turn into a blueberry because then I wouldn’t fit in the car.

10.) What is your favorite Halloween candy?

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I love Reese’s Cups! I always got excited when one ended up in my trick or treating bag.

 

What are you doing this Halloween?

My Halloween Costumes


Tomorrow might be Halloween, but I started dressing up early this weekend at my college. Unlike many other colleges, Halloween is not that big of a deal. I made the most of my weekend, however, by dressing up in a costume at a campus-wide event and the cornmaze with my sorority.

On Friday night, I didn’t plan on attending the dance held at my college, but was dragged by some of my friends. I had to think of a quicky and easy costume to throw on at the last minute. I decided on a frat boy costume. Luckily, my sister is super preppy so I could borrow a lot of her clothes (you can check out her fashion blog, The Queen Bre, here!).


For my frat boy costume, I paired a white button down with pastel blue shorts. i completed the look with a Vineyard Vines hat, boat shoes, and gray socks.

For the corn maze, my sister and I decided to do matching costumes. After scrolling through Pinterest for HOURS, we decided to be aliens! I was really happy that it was around 70 degrees the day we went to the corn maze because I didn’t even need a jacket!

For our look, we decided to wear galaxy print leggings and black sweaters. Luckily, the day we went to the corn maze it was warm outside! We finished our looks with black combat boots, space buns, and sliver glitter hair spray.

Since this was my last Halloween as a student, I was really sad! Luckily, I really loved all of my costumes.

What will you be for Halloween this year?

#SelfieSaturday: My (Somewhat Bookish) Halloween Pumpkin

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Last week, I went to the Pumpkin Patch to find the perfect pumpkin to decorate for Halloween. After procrastinating all of my homework by spending longer than I would like to admit on Pinterest, I finally decided on how I wanted to decorate my pumpkin. While I loved all of the pumpkins that showed off my favorite book characters, I opted to create a donut pumpkin instead! To make my pumpkin somewhat relate to my passion for books, I decided to use my dog as a model to resemble a book by one of my favorite children’s book authors: If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff! Here’s how I created my donut-inspired pumpkin:

First, I went to a local pumpkin patch to search for the perfect pumpkin. After circling the patch for about thirty minutes, I picked the perfect pumpkin!


After finding the perfect pumpkin, I headed to Walmart to find supplies to decorate my pumpkin. I settled on four different paint colors from the brand Apple Barrel: Blue Cloudless, Pink Blush, Lite Mocha, and White. Each cost 50 cents, except for Pink Blush because it has a gloss finish. There were pink colors in the 50 cents range, but I opted for Pink Blush because it was the closest to the shade that I envisioned for my pumpkin. For paint brushes, I used painted brushes that I already owned.

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After laying out newspaper on my living room table, I painted several layers of Lite Mocha on the bottom 2/3 of my pumpkin. I also painted a circle of Lite Mocha around the base of the stem and on the stem of the pumpkin. I started off by painting from side to side, but had more more successes painting up and down.

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Next, I painted several coats of Pink Blush on the top third of the pumpkin. This paint was VERY sheer so it took many coats to get the perfect amount of coverage.

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I finished my pumpkin by using a small brush to paint blue and white lines using Blue Cloudless and White.

After my pumpkin completely dried, I snapped a few pictures of the pumpkin with my dog and me!


Fall Activities Book Tag

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Last week, I had fall break for my college. When I went home, I got to do so many fall activities such as going to a pumpkin patch, taking a scenic drive, making an apple bar, and finding some fun accessories for my costume. Since I’ve done so many fun fall activities, I thought it would be the perfect time to complete the fall activities book tag! Any book that I have a review for will be linked to the book’s title. Here are my answers:

  • Apple Picking: A book on your TBR that looks so delicious you can’t wait to take a bite out of it.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

I’ve wanted to read this book so bad since I finished Cress in August, but I’ll probably have to wait until winter break to read it. This fits perfectly with apple picking because it has a beautiful apple on the cover!

  • Corn Maze: A book that’s so fun to get lost in.

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

I had my reservations when I picked up The Winner’s Curse, but quickly got immersed in the world as I was reading. I can’t wait to see how the world changes as the series progresses!

  • Haunted Houses: A book that scared you silly.

I don’t read scary books!

  • Pumpkin Patch: The latest book that you picked up (purchased). 

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey!

I actually didn’t purchase this book myself, but I will count it anyway. At my college, they have a book fair every homecoming. This year, they allowed student teachers to create a wish list of books, so anyone visiting could purchase a book for a future teacher’s classroom library. I already have a few books in this series, so I was excited when I found out someone bought this book off of my wish list!

  • Scenic Drives: A book that is lyrically beautiful. 

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

As I read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, I was blown away by the writing style. I think this is one of Sarah Ockler’s best books in terms of plot and writing. The writing perfectly fits with the novel’s setting.

  • Pumpkin Carving: A book that you didn’t like and wouldn’t mind carving up.

How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You (Aurora Skye #1)

I was very disappointed after reading How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You. From unlikable characters to a ridiculous plot, I felt completely frustrated! Even though I didn’t like it, I couldn’t imagine carving up a copy of any book.

  • Drinking Apple Cider: A sweet book to curl up under the covers with.

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson is one of my favorite books of the year. I think the romance is absolutely adorable and unlike many other YA books, it happens pretty early on in the book. Seeing Andie and Clark’s relationship develop and grow was one of my favorite parts of the book.

  • Jumping in a Leaf Pile: A book that reminds you of your childhood.

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!

The Biscuit books always remind me of my childhood! For every holiday, I can remember my parents buying me a different Biscuit book.

  • Scary Movie Night: Your favorite spooky read.

Rush

I haven’t read many “sppoky” books, but an Rush by Sara Bennett Wealer* contained a little “spooky” element that I didn’t expect.

*Rush by Sarah Bennett Wealer will be available November 15. 

  • Bonus! Costume Party: A book with an eclectic cast of characters. 

My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane is full of eclectic characters! Every character had their quirks, whether it was being a bookworm or a horse for the part of the day.

Which fall activity do you enjoy the most?

Throwback Thursday: Happy Halloween, Biscuit! Review

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Woof, woof! (That’s Biscuit talk for “great book!”)

In Happy Halloween, Biscuit!, Biscuit and a little girl travels through various fall activities including a pumpkin patch, choosing their Halloween costumes, and Trick or Treating. Throughout the story, Biscuit interacts adorably within the environment, like knocking down a scarecrow and crawling in a sweater as his Halloween costume.

One of the best aspects of this book is the construction. The pages of the book are tougher than paper, but not as think as a board book. This is the perfect construction for the target age range because it is more mature than a board book, but sturdy enough to not easily be ripped. The flap are also a nice touch because it allows readers to predict what Biscuit is doing before opening the flap.

Another aspect of Biscuit books that I love is the repetitive aspect. By creating a sentence structure that repeats so frequently, readers quickly familiarize themselves with many words in the text. This allows the reader to read at a fast, but accurate pace because they can predict the sequence of words coming up in the sentence.

Biscuit is also one of the positives in this book–he is so cute! If a child has read other books in this series, they will be excited to see Biscuit and all the fun activities he completes throughout the story!

Overall, Biscuit is a fun and appropriate book for its target age range. While this consistency is great for younger readers, older readers might become bored with the predictable sentence structure and situations. I give Happy Halloween, Biscuit! four out of five stars.

ARC Review: The Kindness Club

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Release Date: November 1, 2016

They always say if you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say it all… luckily, I have many positive things to say about The Kindness Club by Courtney Shienmel.

The Kindness Club follows Chloe Silver, who despite her parents’ recent divorce and moving to a new school, stays determined to remain positive and find great new friends. Upon arriving at her new schools, Chloe catches the attention of the popular girls, also known as the “It Girls.” Before Chloe can call herself an It Girl, she must do whatever they want until they ask her to officially join the group. Their biggest request is for Chloe to be mean to her science project group.

I’ve read one other book by Courtney Shienmel (Sincerely) and one thing I really appreciate about her books is how realistically she portrays characters and relationships. Chloe struggles with many real life issues–she wants to be accepted, her dad is dating someone besides her mom–and reacts to the situations as you would an expect an 11-year-old to react. As a reader, you can feel Chloe’s pain and easily identify with many of her experiences.

I also love the dimensions that Shienmel adds to her characters. Monroe, the It Girls’ ringleader, isn’t just a stereotypical mean girl with blonde hair, pink wardrobe, and rich parents. With the glimpses you see into different characters’ lives, you can clearly see how their experiences impact their attitudes. That being said, I do think Lucy and Theo, the other Kindness Club members, could be fleshed out more because they came across as a little cartoonish. Since this is the first book in a series, I suspect readers will learn more about those two characters.

While I loved many aspects of this book, there were some aspects that could be improved. Some readers may find the book’s message as a little too overstated and juvenile. Having a popular girls club and Kindness Club seems a little too young for fifth grade, but since the target audience of this book is a little younger, it is not that big of an issue. I also think that their are many other books out right now dealing with the same subject. While Shienmel’s writing is definitely stand-out, the plot may not be exciting or new to readers.

I really appreciated the writing quality and realistic characters in The Kindness Club, but was slightly disappointed by the predictable and overused plot. I give The Kindness Club three out of five stars.

I recieved The Kindness Club from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. 

ARC Review: The Row

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Release Date: October 11, 2015 

On the counts of underdeveloped characters, a slow-moving plot, and predictable ending, I find The Row by J.R. Johansson guilty as charged.

The Row follows seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett, the daughter of an infamous serial killer who just exhausted all of appeals. Her whole life, Riley believed her father’s innocence… until he admits to the crimes during a visit a few weeks before his scheduled execution. With only days before her father’s death, Riley searches for the truth.

One of The Row’s greatest weaknesses lies in the cast of characters. Riley is a described as a tough girl who survived school without any friends, death threats from neighbors, and numerous trials that repeated the gruesome details of her father’s alleged murders. Riley’s actions, however, suggest otherwise. Riley spills out her father’s biggest secret to the first cute boy she sees (who just so happens to be the police chief’s son), attempts to interfere with a crime scene that could prove her father’s innocence, and agrees to meet people in sketchy places at odd hours of the night. The persona that the author tried to push for Riley never really matched up with her character.

The other characters in the book were cardboard cutouts or extremely underdeveloped to where their motivations made absolutely no sense. Riley’s love interest, Jordan, fell into many young adult cliches. He experienced some traumatic event that he felt responsible, he accepted everything about Riley without question, and had an adorable little brother in tow. The other characters–Riley’s mom, dad, Stacia, and Mr. Masters–were never really developed so I never understood their reactions in certain situations or their motivations at the end.

As for the plot of the book, it moved extremely slow. From the book’s description, I expected fast-paced action with thrilling and heart-stopping moments. I expected Riley to take daring chances in order to prove her father’s innocence. Instead, she spent the first 3/4 of the book taking notes from newspaper articles. This made it really difficult for me to get through majority of the book.

While the action picked up at the end of the book, the ending seemed to come out of nowhere and definitely reminded me of some bad Lifetime movies. Throughout the book, the mystery is never very complex because the author offers very little information about the crimes or any of the characters. At the end the “plot twists” are cliches that would appear in many books of the same genre. If you’ve ever seen a Lifetime movie, think of an ending for any given movie, and you have the end of this book.

One positive aspect of this book were glimpses given of how the crimes psychologically affected Riley’s family, especially after the verdict given after the new crime. I wish the author would have focused more on this than Riley’s lackluster romance or online “detective” skills. Since this book missed the mark for me in many different areas, I give this book two out of five stars.

I recieved The Row from Net Galley for free in exchange for an honedt review.