Monday Catch Up!~ 2/5

Haaaaapppy Monday, wormies!

I don’t know why people hate Mondays so much. Monday offers us a fresh start every week. New goals, new challenges, and new obstacles. Pretty exciting actually.

To prove it to you I’m going to share my goals, challenges, and obstacles for this week with you.

Goals:

-Finish A Million Junes by Emily Henry

– Start a BookTube (lol how does one even do this?)

Challenges:

-I actually joined a read along on bookstagram for the Inheritance Cycle. I am staying up to date on the reading for now but I KNOW that won’t last long

Obstacles:

-Did I mention that I want to start a BookTube? Hello? Earth to Shannon. How am I going to even do this?

-Staying healthy and flu-free while my brother has the flu. (I live with my brother)

What are your goals, challenges, and obstacles for the week? Share them down below 🙂

Until next time,

Shannon

xx

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Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Happy Friday, wormies!!

I am so happy to bring you this review of Ready Player One. I am so sad that it is finished.

Oh, by the way, loves, if you haven’t read this book yet I caution you when reading because…SPOILERS ARE AHEAD!

Ready Player One cover

That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.

-James Halliday, Ready Player One

Book Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Published: 2011

Length: 579 pages

Read dates: January 14 – January 30

Favorite Characters: Wade Watts (Parzival), Art3mis, Aech, and Og.

Least Favorite: ALL THE SIXERS, Nolan Sorrento

Rating: 5 Stars

Book Synopsis: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines – puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win – and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Now, here’s MY synopsis: The world is too busy escaping reality in the virtual reality called the OASIS to fix any of their real-life problems. A teenage boy, Wade Watts, with no parents lives in the OASIS, a place where he can be whatever he wants to be. However, he feels himself at a disadvantage because while he is poor in the real world, he is also poor in the OASIS. This all changes when he stumbles across the first clue, now he has all the money in the OASIS and out. We watch as Wade changes with every clue that he finds. For better or worse? You decide.

After reading my version of the synopsis you may be wondering why I gave Ready Player One 5 stars. Well, I gave it a full star rating because I felt a wide range of emotions while reading the novel. Let me break it down for you.

Sympathy: I truly felt bad for Wade. Both of his parents are dead. His worthless Aunt is the only family he has, but she only cares about the government support she gets by taking him in. He is a sad lonely teenager with no one to confide in except the little old lady a couple trailers down from him in the Stacks. AND THEY BOTH DIE! AND ITS HIS FAULT! Which brings us to…

Anger: The ONLY thing that Wade remotely cares about in this novel is the OASIS. We see this multiple times when he just abandons reality to protect the game that he loves. His only family dies in a fiery explosion because of the Hunt (the search for James Halliday’s Egg) and he doesn’t really show any reaction to this event. Yes, we do see Wade crying in his hideout a few pages after the explosion, but I did not see it as genuine.

He also abandons his OASIS friends for the Hunt. Aech and Art3mis are the only things that he has that can remotely resemble a family and he just drops them like hot potatoes. A complete shutdown of all communications. Yes, he didn’t have a choice with cutting ties with Art3mis because that was her decision but still. This causes Wade to become a complete recluse (just like James Halliday may I add). He dedicates all of his time to the Hunt and still doesn’t get anywhere because he is so filled with self-loathing and self-pity. That is what made me the maddest actually. In the middle of the book where Wade becomes Halliday. A shut-in. He doesn’t really make any progress towards the Hunt AT ALL during this time period. I hate it!

Happiness: All of the 80’s pop culture references left me with a smile on my face. When Wade, Art3mis, or Aech are playing an 80’s throwback I laughed along with them. There were several occasions when reading this book where I had a big old Aech Cheshire grin plastered on my face.

Speaking of Aech. I was SO SO SO happy when Aech (Helen) and Wade met. It was such a pure moment. When Wade realized who Aech was in real life and was, in fact, a girl, it did not change what he thought about her AT ALL. Their friendship continued in reality exactly like it did in the OASIS.

Sadness: When Diato dies is probably one of the worst moments in this book for me. While he isn’t a huge character, it just goes to show how much corruption one person can hold inside if them. Nolan Sorrento is the definition of corrupt and evil. He killed a youth for the sake of a game. Daito, your life was not taken in vain. 😦

Love: Overall, I loved this book. But, I loved the interactions between Wade and Art3mis. Especially the ending. Wade truly loved her for her personality and loved her even more in real life. (Even though he stalked her blog which was creepy)

I love Art3mis as a character. I can still picture the scene when they are at Og’s birthday party and she transforms into a mermaid. Art3mis, you are a BEAUTIFUL mermaid ❤

Final thoughts: I have already recommended this book to one of my closest friends and I have my sister reading it as well. I love books that can make me feel such a large array of emotions. To me, this truly shows great writing, character development, and plot development. I am so happy with this book.

PS. I cannot wait for the film adaptation to come out!

PSS. The film comes out on my birthday! 🙂

Until Next Time,

Shannon
XX

What are you reading? Let me know down below! 🙂

 

Monday Catch Up! (well…Tuesday)

Happy Monday wormies! (I know it’s Tuesday, just let me pretend)

Book Update:

I am still reading Ready Player One – it is so good so far. I’m about halfway through it and I really, really love it. I’m on page 238 out of 579.

Ready Player One cover

I do not remember the last time I have felt such strong feelings for a book. With Ready Player One, I feel like I am laughing along with Wade/Parzival, Aech, and Art3mis. I am so in love with the idea of the OASIS. Imagine just logging on to the OASIS and working your job from your house but in a completely different and virtual place. Like, what. I still can’t wrap my head around how it works in the sense of getting paid in OASIS credits and then being able to use said credits in the real world. If you somehow understand this concept could you comment and explain it to me? That would be so so so helpful 🙂

I plan on finishing Ready Player One before the week is over. Then, I will pick my next book from my TBR jar! I’m so excited to use it finally. Who knows which book I’ll get ;p

Life Update:

I really messed. I was planning on getting emergency certified to substitute teach in the state of PA until I figured out what my next step in life would be. I would find out if I enjoyed teaching or if I hated it. BUT, I missed the deadline. I thought it was at a later date and completely missed the chance.  Oh well, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

With a lot of my friends starting new semesters it is making me think about what I want to do next. Since I graduated in May I have been feeling completely lost both professionally and personally. I want to go back to graduate school in the worst way, but with my student loans being so much a month right now (honestly, I do not even want to tell you how much I’m paying) I just don’t think it’s in the cards. However, my friend just brought up to me that I should look for TA positions that way my tuition is covered. Just something else for me to think about.

Writing update:

This is something that I haven’t discussed with you wormies yet. I love to write. I always have. Back in elementary school, I would write stories where my friends were characters and we went on adventures. Now, I like to write about mental health and struggles that plague us as a human race.

I think I am going to start writing poetry again. I have an idea written out as prose right now, I just have to format it. I’m kind of excited. I know I want to try to publish it when it’s done.

Also, if any of you guys out there are closet writers and would like the chance to get published I strongly encourage you to submit to 1932 Quarterly. It is a literary journal that I help edit that a friend of mine started. We except prose and poetry and I have been published personally by 1932 Quarterly (trying for the second time). We are going to start Spring submissions very soon so give it a shot. 🙂

1932 Quarterly

I wish everyone a wonderful and happy week!

Shannon

xx

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

It has been awhile since I’ve done a book review so bear with me…

Book Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Length: 318

Began Reading: December 22, 2017

Finished Reading: January 13, 2018

Rating: 4/5 stars

Favorite Character: Audrey Rose Wadsworth (of course)

Least Favorite Character(s): Superintendent Blackburn and Lord Edmund Wadsworth

Stalking Jack the Ripper cover

Warning Spoilers are ahead! 

I picked up this book months ago for a few reasons:

  1. I recognized it at the bookstore from bookstagram (yes I realize that is a bad habit and I will end up with millions of books this way).
  2. James Patterson is the publisher
  3. Who doesn’t love Jack the Ripper?

Right off the bat, I fell in love with Audrey Rose and her spunky personality. She is a wonderful lead female character who doesn’t let society or her family influence her decisions which is BIG considering the time period this takes place.

Before I say anything else…THOMAS CRESSWELL. If it wasn’t for bad boy super flirt Thomas Cresswell, I am not sure if I would have made it through the middle of the book. That’s not because I didn’t like the middle of the plot its just I knew what was coming and I wanted it. Maniscalco tried keeping her readers in suspense by getting rid of the killing while Audrey’s father was out in the country, but I just found that part lacking suspense. But, Thomas Cresswell drove me forward because I wanted to know how their relationship was going to continue to grow.

I am 110% without a doubt on Team Cresswell. Why can’t all boys be dark and gloomy and romantic and mysterious like he is? Hands down my new fictional crush.

I was convinced at several points during this novel that I knew who Jack the Ripper was. I was always wrong. I had three characters that I kept switching between Thomas Cresswell, Superintendent Blackburn, and Lord Wadsworth. I NEVER would have guessed or even suspected her brother. Like, I am still not over it. He kept their DEAD mother in their house for YEARS and killed the scum of London for their organs to try to bring her back to life. I can’t even begin to explain how messed up this is, but I loved it. I just feel so bad for Audrey because not only did she lose her mother years ago, she had to basically go through all of that pain again by seeing her dead mother’s corpse being poked and prodded at. Now, she is motherless and brotherless.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars because of how much I struggled to continue to read it in the middle but ranked it highly because I was not able to figure out the ending and I was surprised at the end. I will be buying the next installment of the series: Hunting Prince Dracula.

Until next time,

Shannon xx

Bookstagram and Life Update!

Hey there, Wormies!

I have some super exciting news! I have almost reached 100 followers on my bookstagram!

BOOKSTAGRAM

I don’t think I am going to do anything when I reach 100 followers. I just think it is very exciting. I started Bookstagramming in September of last year so I think this is great progress.  I would probably gain more followers quicker if I posted more often than I do, but it is hard for me to remember to take a picture worthy of bookstagram.

Besides my bookstagram account approaching 100 nothing is really happening right now. We are getting a lot of snow and cold right now where I live so I try to stay warm and in bed as much as possible.

I finally finished reading Stalking Jack the Ripper and I am working on my book review right now. I don’t want to talk about my thoughts on the book too much in this post but I will say I am so glad I didn’t give up on it! The ending really got me.

Today, I read a 4 page eBook online about the Harry Potter series. It is called Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash and it is by botnik. Basically, they entered the entirety of all 7 books into a predictive text keyboard and just let it predict a story. The outcome is hilarious and very entertaining. I added it to my Goodreads Read shelf and counted it towards my reading goal. I feel a little bit guilty because it was only 4 pages long, but I still read it and enjoyed it! I will link it down below if you are interested!

Right now, I am currently reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and I have to say it is amazing.

Ready Player One cover

The movie is going to come out in theaters on my birthday this year! If the book continues to keep my attention like it has so far, I am sure it will be a fantastic movie.

What are you reading this week?

As always, leave me a comment below and let me know whats going on in your life. I love hearing from you wormies 🙂

Until next time,

Shannon xx

PS Here’s the link to the Harry Potter eBook: Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked like a Large Pile of Ash

Hello, 2018!

Ah, the new year!

It’s the time of the year when everyone decides they are going to be better and healthier people. I am not exempt from this crowd.

I know I have been on a bit of a hiatus for a few months and I don’t exactly know what happened either. I think it was the idea of finishing all of the books that I laid out for the month was just too much for me and I gave up. 😦

Now, I’m back and better than ever.

I may be gone for a few days or weeks at a time, but I will always come back to you guys ❤

First, I want to talk about my plans for this year. I want to keep them open so I don’t feel too constricted like I did with my monthly TBR lists.

One of my favorite bookstagram accounts, Jobis89, has a TBR jar instead of a list. I love, love, LOVE that idea. This way, all of the books I want to read are in one manageable place that I can easily add to and I can pick my next book out of the jar. This way I’m surprised by which book I want to read next and I have wiggle room to jump into reading challenges if I want instead of picking a book from my jar.

I want to start off this year by posting at least once a week, every Monday I am going to update you guys on my current read and cool stuff that is going on in my life. Then, when I finish a book I will post my review as soon as it is finished.

Hopefully, as the year progresses I will post more often and give you guys some exciting content.

Until then,

Shannon x

October TBR

Good Morning, Wormies!

There is a chill in the air that I can’t help but welcome Just like every other female, I am “just like so excited!” I have been drinking my Pumpkin Spiced lattes in my leggings and boots that are not Ugg boots because those are just disgusting.

Aaaannnywaaays…I have a rather large TBR for this month. Fingers crossed that I get to them all and I don’t get distracted….

I’m going to be 100% honest with you, I have no clue how to do this. Soooo how about I find the covers on Goodreads and give you the back of the book blurb? Sounds good right? Right?

The Complete Fiction of HP Lovecraft CoverThe Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

I have already started this book, but I feel like I have to read it a little bit at a time.

The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft collects the author’s novel, four novellas, and fifty-three short stories. Written between the years 1917 and 1935, this collection features Lovecraft’s trademark fantastical creatures and supernatural thrills, as well as many horrific and cautionary science-fiction themes, that have influenced some of today’s writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. Included in this volume are The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,” “At the Mountains of Madness,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “The Color Out of Space,” “The Dunwich Horror,” and many more hair-raising tales.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein Cover

Yes, it is true, I’ve never read Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the world’s most famous Gothic novel about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley’s work is considered to be the world’s first science fiction, with Frankenstein’s monster being a symbol of science gone awry. Shelley’s masterpiece has inspired numerous films, plays, and other books. This, the 1831 edition, contains the author’s final revisions.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula CoverCalm down, I’ve read Dracula before. I just really want to re-read it this month.

The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Dracula probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England—an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his “Master”—culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

It by Stephen King

IT coverWhat a better time to read this spooky classic than after I already went to see the movie….

To the children, the town was their whole world. To the adults, knowing better, Derry, Maine was just their home town: familiar, well-ordered for the most part. A good place to live. It was the children who saw – and felt – what made Derry so horribly different. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of every nightmare, each one’s deepest dread. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .
The adults, knowing better, knew nothing. Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT as IT stirred and coiled in the sullen depths of their memories, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.
 

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams CoverNothing says Halloween like a big ol’ stack of King books.

A master storyteller at his best—the O. Henry Prize winner Stephen King delivers a generous collection of stories, several of them brand-new, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story. Since his first collection, Nightshift, published thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection, he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it. There are thrilling connections between stories; themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. “Afterlife” is about a man who died of colon cancer and keeps reliving the same life, repeating his mistakes over and over again. Several stories feature characters at the end of life, revisiting their crimes and misdemeanors. Other stories address what happens when someone discovers that he has supernatural powers—the columnist who kills people by writing their obituaries in “Obits;” the old judge in “The Dune” who, as a boy, canoed to a deserted island and saw names written in the sand, the names of people who then died in freak accidents. In “Morality,” King looks at how a marriage and two lives fall apart after the wife and husband enter into what seems, at first, a devil’s pact they can win.

Take Me to the Start by J. R. Kavit

Take Me to the Start CoverI was asked by J. R. Kavit on my Bookstagram to give her book a read, so here it is, in my TBR.

If you could change one moment in your life what would it be? When Sophia loses her job on one of the worst days of her life, she meets Benjamin King, an enigmatic British Scientist that makes her wishes come true and then disappears. When a big secret comes to light, Sophia and Benjamin’s relationship takes a surprising turn. Frustrated with the disappearance of the socially alienated thirty year old Scientist that changed her life, Sophia who defines herself as asexual and damaged, goes on a mission to find him and when she does, they discover that if they want to be a part of each other’s worlds, they’ll have to deal with their dark pasts. The past they worked so hard to hide. To make it work they will have to overcome their fears… or go back to the start.

Goodness! That’s a lot of books!

Are any of these on your October TBR piles/stacks/lists/shelves/etc?

Let me know! Do you think I’m crazy? Let me know that too!

Until Next Time,

XO

September Wrap Up!

Hey there wormies! I missed you! No, truly, I did.

Since I’m new to this whole book blogging thing I figured I would just do what all the other cool book blogs are doing…for now.

It seems that at the end of the month we are required to report to you wonderful readers (and wormies) what we read this month and what we thought about these books.

I’m going to start off by saying that I have only completed 2 books this month :(. When I went back through my Read books on Goodreads, I was completely and utterly shocked.

Without further ado here are some stats on my completed books:

Books read: 2

Pages read: 528 pages

5 stars: 1

4 stars: 0

3 stars: 0

2 stars: 1

1 star: 0

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Rating: 5 stars

I honestly cannot give this book enough praise. The majority of my month was spent devouring this book. Now, you are probably thinking, “If you liked it so much by bookish Queen why did it take you so long to read?” The answer is simple, I needed a lot of time to process and think about each individual letter. You can read more about my thoughts here: Book Review: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

The Second Season by Heather Chapman

Rating: 2 stars

I don’t even want to begin to go into what I thought about this book. I had such high hopes for it considering it was a romance-esque book set in the Regency period. However, I was highly disappointed. I will go into more detail about this book and my thoughts behind it in a review later this week.

I am currently reading the Atlantis Gene. I tried to finish it before the month ended, but that just didn’t happen. I’m over halfway done though!

I plan on reading tons of books in October. Watch out for my October TBR in the next couple of days to see what I have up my sleeve 😉

Until Next Time,

XO

Book Review: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things Cover

Title and Author: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

Publisher: Vintage Books

Published: 2012

My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads

Read: September 2017

Buy it here: Amazon

Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills. And it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you can get that plum job; you can muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar – the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild – is the person thousands turn to for advice.

Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar together in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond. Rich with humor, insight, compassion – and absolute honesty – this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

-the back of the book blurb

Welcome back to the land of bookish goodness!!

As you can tell from the title and the book blurb…it is book review time, wormies!

Before I begin my review I just want to start off by saying that my first Cheryl Strayed book was Wild. I am glad that I read Wild first because I was able to use insight from her experiences that I already knew about and connect the dots with her advice in Tiny Beautiful Things.

On to the good part…my opinions.

My Review:

I am a sucker for advice columns, memoirs, and heart-wrenching-terrible-but-great stories.

And that’s exactly what Tiny Beautiful Things is.

This collections of goodness is broken up into 5 Parts holding letters with similar themes. I don’t have much to say on the separate parts except that I really enjoyed how she broke up the letters. It really gives you a sense of what these people are coming to Cheryl for.

The letters from the advice seekers are heart breaking in some cases. I found a tiny bit of myself in every single letter.

If you were to creep on my Goodreads, you would see that I added this book to my currently reading shelf in June 2017. That’s not a typo or an error. I did start reading this book in June.

Why did it take me so long?

I believe that it took me so long to really get started with this book is because I was not ready.

I firmly believe that I am a better person after reading this book. Cheryl states many times that she is underqualified to be writing this column and that she is not a therapist of any kind. However, I disagree with her. *GASP*

Without even meeting me or receiving a letter from me regarding my own life problems, Cheryl has some how given me the answers I needed.

Did I open this book expecting a life change? No.

Am I happy that it happened? HELL YES

Never before have I felt so connected with a book and the many voices within it. I laughed, cried, and wondered.

Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, deserves 5 stars more than I can repeatedly tell you.

Don’t believe me? Find our for yourself.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! LEAVE ME A COMMENT. IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THE BOOK, TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE HOT DRINK FOR AUTUMN 🙂

Until next time

XO

PS Find me on Goodreads

 

First Impressions

First impressions are important in many scenarios. For example, when you are on a first date with that super cute kid that sits behind you in Bio. Or, you are interviewing (finally!) at that publishing house and you need to score that dream job. However, we are not on a date (yet) and I am not offering you a job nor are you offering me a job (yet?).

With all that in mind, hello! 🙂 Welcome to the land of all things bookish. Home of literary geeks, bookworms, and me – I suppose you can consider me the mayor or better yet, the Queen of this land.

Every week I plan on providing bookish content to all you lovely bookworms. (Can I call you worms? Is that a good term of endearment? Hmmm, we will work on that.) But, this isn’t a one-way street here in my magical literary land where I am Queen. I need you bookworms to talk back to me. How am I suppose to know that what I am doing here is working if you lovely wormies don’t let me know?

I promise to tell you wonderful, magical, bookish things if you just say hello every once in awhile. Tell me what your TBR books are. Maybe we are currently reading the same book…tell me!

Now, as Queen, I officially decree that this amazing place be open!!

How was that for a first impression? 😉

Until next time

XO