Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone! 

The month of December is notoriously crazy. I know many of us are running around cooking, cleaning, wrapping gifts and preparing for the big day. 

I wanted to pop in to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday, but also to remind you to stop and breathe. Allow yourself to soak in the wonderful and don't be too stressed. It's easier said than done, but please enjoy your holiday! 

Wishing each of you peace and love. 


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ten Years Later... The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Anyone who has followed my blog for some time has more than likely heard my gush about The Truth About Forever on more than one occasion. I read this book at fifteen. I was a sophomore in high school and life felt so... hard.

I'd previously read Just Listen on a whim and at this time my story searching went as far as the bookstore shelves. I read TTAF next and it was the first time I'd ever stayed up all night reading a book. I still remember the awe I felt, closing the pages at five in the morning, school looming in two hours... I was so caught up in the story that I felt as if I was still in a daze.

Now its been twelve years later and life gets so out of control. From high school, to college, and then to working full time things get difficult. Life becomes harder and harder to juggle until you lose yourself and have to remember the things you enjoy.

Reading The Truth About Forever was my way of remembering me, and I hope each of you has a favorite book that draws you back every time.

The Truth About Forever 
By: Sarah Dessen 

Macy’s summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy’s plans don’t anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or … Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn’t fit Macy’s life at all–so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So … happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together.

On my third re-read of The Truth About Forever, I stayed up until 3am, with work looming the following morning WHEN I ALREADY KNEW WHAT HAPPENED. To me there is no higher praise. 

Macy Queen is completely ordinary, but longing for the ellusive idea of perfection and the badge of approval. 

What I love most about TTAF is the amount of things happening. We have Macy's library day job, the chaos of Wish, the memories of her father, her mother's townhouse development, and each storyline is tied together perfectly. 

Wish catering is my favorite reminder that perfection isn't all it's chalked up to be. I long to work for Wish, to serve meat balls to over eager guests and ride in the Bert-mobile. I love the backdrop of catering to contrast Macy's otherwise search for perfection. While striving to be perfect amongst her mother, her library job, and her complicated relationship with Jason, Wish catering becomes our chaos. 

The slow build between Wes and Macy is one of the sweetest build ups I've ever experienced. Each time I've become swept into it their game of Truth and the development of their story. The relationship they build based on trust, truth and a true understanding of the other person for who they really are. 

The Truth About Forever is every bit as perfect as it was twelve years ago. Upon this re-read I was reminded of my fifteen year old heart, and reintroduced to friends who have always stayed with me, if only on the page. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Revisit! Nine years later... Graceling by Kristin Cashore [Book Review]

I've been a reader for a very long time, and as such, I often find myself remembering titles that I read years prior. What often happens with me is I remember liking a book but beyond that I remember NOTHING else.

I've recently come across a new favorite app (guys, apps weren't even really a thing when I first started this Blog -- how times have changed) called SCRIBD which has a wonderful selection of audio books.

Graceling was amongst the audiobook selection so I decided to feast on the memories of years prior and OH was it a wonderful feast.

Here is my review of Graceling, (nearly) ten years later, nine years older, nine years wiser.

Kristin Cashore

Length- 512 pages

Publisher: HMH for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 07, 2009

Graceling tells the story of the vulnerable-yet-strong Katsa, who is smart and beautiful and lives in the Seven Kingdoms where selected people are born with a Grace, a special talent that can be anything at all. Katsa’s Grace is killing. As the king’s niece, she is forced to use her extreme skills as his brutal enforcer. Until the day she meets Prince Po, who is Graced with combat skills, and Katsa’s life begins to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.


After the first time I read Graceling I remember thinking to myself that this book, more than any I had read prior, was truly epic fantasy... at least in the young adult genre.

Graceling is fantasy done right -- the world feels large and all encompassing. The story is gripping and while in the world I found myself truly in her world and fully entranced by the story.

Some fantasies lead me to eye rolling when the plot becomes too convenient, but with Graceling this was not the case.

We begin the story with Katsa showing her colors, and one thing I truly loved about Katsa is the fact her imperfections are not hidden. She's a killer. She's killed many, many people and this has led her character to be different than the typical YA heroine.

The idea of Graces was a nice addition to the plot line and it made sense to the world, and I especially loved that the author did not use a blanket opinion of Graces the same for every land or culture. While this world is incredibly large, we also find out that different members of it see the Graced differently.

The relationship between Katsa and Po was slow building making it feel more genuine.

If I were to have a complaint -- it would be only that the end in some ways did feel rushed. For such a long story the end and completion seemed to come quickly and end swiftly. There was very little finality with the end which did leave me ever so slightly dissatisfied.

All in all, nine years later I agree with my previous rating of 5/5.

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