The Happiness Tag

Thank you to both Nadwa @ Painfully Fictional and Holly @ Nut Free Nerd for tagging me in the Happiness Tag! Both wonderful girls with wonderful blogs. So check them out if you don’t already have them on your follow list!

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1.Good Food

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I could eat forever and ever and ever and ever. Street food, 5 star restaurants, Mama’s homemade recipes…food makes me happier than anything.

2. Books

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This obviously gif is much too aggressive, but I love me a good john krasinski gif. Couldn’t help it. Sorry guys.

3. Muay Thai

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If I’m not working, eating or reading, guaranteed the gym is where I’ll be. That’s me kicking it up there with one of my favorite training partners and closest friends. *le kick*

4. Doggos and Kitties

I am one of those people that see a dog or cat and instantly squeals. I can’t help it. They have my heart.

5. Tea, Rain and Happy Plants

I’m like a little old lady. I just like to garden and read and sip tea on rainy days.

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This is super hard for me because my music tastes changes drastically depending on my mood or what I’m feeling like at the moment…but here are songs that bring me back to specific moments in my life that make me smile.

Dancin’ by Aaron Smith ( Kronos Remix)

Intro by The XX

Awesome Mix Vol. 1

Someone Out of Town by Yuna

Love For That by Mura Masa

 

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In celebration of the fact that I just broke a hundred followers, I’m tagging some of my most recent ones! 100’s probably not a lot to some of you, but for an inconsistent hobby blogger that honestly doesn’t try too hard and doesn’t write too well, I’m pretty honored to have you all here. Much love to all the wonderful book friends I have here. ❤

Rendz @ Reading with Rendz

Heather @ Heather Lauren Reads

Lyndsey @ Lyndsey’s Book Blog

Hannah and Lindsay @ Untamed Shrews

Bits n’ Pieces | June 2017

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Holy Moly friends. It’s been ages. If you noticed I didn’t get around to posting a May Book Reviews post, it’s because….drumroll please…I didn’t finish any. 

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I know, book blogger blasphemy. It’s not that I haven’t been reading, life’s just been really really nutso over here lately so didn’t quite knock one out last month. In the past couple of months…

  • I got promoted! Woo! But work’s also been banana pancakes.
  • My go-to muay thai gym caught on fire D: We’ve since rebuilt in a new location, but stuff was madness while I was helping out my coach for a little while there.
  • I moved! Finally out in my own apartment with no roommates. Feeling like a real pretend grown-up, but man, there is sooo much to do when you move. (I may or may not still be surrounded by boxes).
  • I sprained my knee. It’s all better now, but April through May was just weeks of slow healing. Patience? Not my forte.

I think that’s the jist of it. Needless to say, I just haven’t had too much downtime as of late. Things are starting to settle though and I’m really looking forward to catching up on my TBRs and all of your lovely posts, comments and tags. More coming soon friends!

Happy Reading!

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April Book Reviews

A wee bit late, but here’s my April wrap-up! Every month I say time has gone by too quickly, but April in particular just disappeared. Seriously, where’d it go? This has been an interesting month for me. Injuries and lots of life changes have kept me rather preoccupied so I haven’t been posting or reading very much lately. I only got through two books this month, but they’ve been waiting on the TBR shelf for a while. So feeling rather satisfied to check them off the list.

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Read it? Dear Lord, yes.

I loved A Darker Shade of Magic to pieces. Really, really loved it. I was worried AGOS would let me down. The plot pacing was much slower in this one. So much time was spent on the Essen Tasch and various romantic side stories in this one, while the real dangers brewed and festered slowly in the background. Not to say there weren’t some epic moments along the way, but we don’t get much real excitement related to the central plotline until right at the very end when we’re left with an excruciating cliff-hanger. Nonetheless, I was still drowning in feels and I very much enjoyed this sequel. Schwab has a way of writing such brilliant, real, lovable characters that it really makes up for any of the other issues for me. I’ve already started reading A Conjuring of Light and am already sad because this series is coming to an end all too quickly. Please stoooooop.

 

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The Night Circus by Erin Mergenstern

Read it? Sure, why not.

Whimsical, but unsubstantial. The Night Circus is full of vivid imagery, unique ideas and rather curious circumstances. But underneath all the flowery writing and mysterious characters, we just don’t get a lot. I expected a “duel” similar to the Prestige, if you’ve seen that movie. Intense, and obsessive, but it’s all very mild. There’s really hardly a sense of competition at all and the conflict seems kind of forced, the ultimatums full of loopholes.  That combined with all the time skips,  perspective shifts, and various sub-stories, The Night Circus can be difficult to follow and fully grasp sometimes. I’m somewhat tempted to re-read it and see if it changes anything. Overall, I thought it was an entertaining read. Discovering the world of the circus is definitely enchanting, but there’s nothing to invest in here really. You don’t get to intimately meet your protagonists or feel the tension of their struggle. Fun ideas, but it read one-dimensionally to me.

March Book Reviews

Holy cow, has it really already been a whole month already? This year is literally flying by. Please make it stop. This month was pretty uneventful for me up until I sprained my MCL a few days ago. Pretty bummed about that, but at least I don’t need my knee to read. Here’s my wrap-up for March!

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Read it? Stick it out. 

Fayre is prejudiced, single-minded at times and I found her narration to be repetitive at the start. While everything leading up to Prythian was well-paced, the stories slows to a drag once she’s actually there. It picks up significantly once we start to meet the other types of faeries though. Not graceful creatures, but decrepit monsters, which are infinitely more interesting to me. Monsters + more lore kept me in race. And I’m glad I did. While the first 75% of the book is a rather standard retelling of Beauty and the Beast as we know it, the last quarter of the book elevates it to another story in its own right. Action-packed, the end is where I really started to like Fayre as a character. I ended up loving Lucien and the introduction of Rhysand.

So while a little slow at the start, let it simmer and finish it out. I’m glad I did. My only disappointments were that we didn’t get more complexity out of Amarantha as a villain and surprisingly, Tamlin’s character. I found him to be rather flat, he doesn’t grow nor is he memorably characterized. In a way, what happened with Tamlin is what often happens with female love interest characters.

Also as a full disclaimer, the story is surprisingly dark. Feyre endures a fair amount of violence and humiliation. It’ll be interesting to see how those cracks will change her character in the next book, but if any of that is off-putting to you, definitely do not pick this up. There are also a good number of unnecessary sensual or sexual scenes, not all of them consensual, that may not be your cup of tea. While it added nothing for me, it wasn’t a terrible turn-off. Overall, I’m hopeful for the rest of the series and I’m intrigued to see more of the world.

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Read it? Yaaaaaaaas.

My God, I love this book. I am already sad because I know there are only two more left in the series for me to read. I loved the dynamic between Kell and Lila. Their slow-brewing friendship and respect for one another was a much needed breath of fresh air from all the crazy instalove in NA and YA nowadays. In fact, romance takes a seat on the back burner altogether and I loved that. Their partnership and chemistry made so much sense. Kell, despite being one of the most powerful beings in the world, is rather gentle-hearted, timid with his power and just so good. Lila on the other hand, is at first sight, just a human, a starved weak one at that. But she’s fiery and bold with a reckless desire for adventure and that little something more in life. She gives Kell a sense of fight and urgency. In return, Kell anchors her morality and selflessness, turning her from a wannabe pirate into an unlikely hero. I love the pair. And that’s just our protagonists. I loved all the characters surrounding them, too. Prince Rhy, Holland (oh, Holland), Astrid, etc. I do wish we saw more female characters aside from Lila and Astrid, but nonetheless, I felt like we got a genuine cast of characters.

The three Londons we get to visit are in drastically different universes that combine the best parts of the popular YA genres. In White London, we get that dystopian feel with a militant government and disgruntled, dangerous population. In Gray London, we have a historical, but otherwise real-world setting. And in Red, we get all the vibes of a classic fantasy adventure. I’m hoping we get to see even more of the worlds in the next installation.

The plot was creative and compelling. The treatment of magic was different than most of the fantasy books I’ve read and while I’ve read other reviews, I don’t think the pacing was slow to start. It felt action-packed with the right amount of build up. It’s honestly a great read for all fantasy buffs.

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This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Read it? Skip. You’re not missing out. 

I had trouble getting into this one. I just find Kate unmemorable and I’m kind of detached from the story. The mystery is barely kept me in for the ride, that and it’s a fairly easy read.

I’m so disappointed with this read. I really wanted to become captivated by this mystery and fall in love with the River Point Boys and Kate the way Maggie Stiefvater made me fall in love with Blue and the Raven boys. But the characterization was so poor, I could barely differentiate between the boys. Elston just barely scratched the surface of their personalities and I wasn’t invested at all. Kate was literally the most bland narrator. She was so unimpactful, I didn’t even dislike her. I felt nothing towards her at all. The writing style and the story is so straight-forward. There’s no surprise or twist at all, it just takes a long time to play out. Far from gripping, this lacked all semblance of suspense. Overall, just not a winner in my book.

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WWW Wednesday #5

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

 

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I had actually never heard of this book until all the hype about Caraval kicked up, which often referenced this novel. It’s whimsical and intriguing so far, albeit somewhat hard to follow. Eager to see where it goes.

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What did you recently finish reading?

 

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This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Underwhelmed and disappointed by this one. I think it actually put me into a reading slump because I didn’t really feel compelled to finish it. Sad face. That’s it for the past couple of weeks though. Things have been pretty slow on the book front for me.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

A Gathering of Shadows. Rare that I have a definite answer to this part of WWW’s, but my book hangover from A Darker Shade of Magic has finally faded and I’m ready to move on with the series. You guys ever get that? Where you get so sad about a series eventually ending that you refuse to read the next one? So bittersweet when that happens.

Happy Reading!

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WWW Wednesday #4

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

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This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

I’ve had this one in my peripherals for a little while now. It’s popped up quite a few times on other bloggers’ underrated lists and the cover and synopsis sound intriguing. I also felt like I needed somewhat of a fantasy break, but wasn’t feeling a contemporary romance type novel. So hoping the mystery element keeps this intriguing for me.

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What did you recently finish reading?

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Guys, help. I  think I am in love…with this book. I want more, but I’m also stalling at starting the next one because I don’t want it to end yet. I’ll have a full review up in a couple weeks, but it’s basically just gushing. Fangirling over here.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

A Court of Mist and Fury is still on the list as is the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows. I think it’s mainly between those two and I’m leaning AGOS, though there’s been much push from all of you guys to get into ACOMAF already hahaha. So I guess we’ll see!

Happy Reading!

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WWW Wednesday #3

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Finally starting this series and I am loving it so far. Really quite a cool world Schwab has built. Can’t wait to see where it goes.

 

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What did you recently finish reading?

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Whoo! This one was a slooooow burn for me, but I’ve finally finished it. Full review will be out end of the month as always, but safe to say my feelings on this one are positive.

 

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What do you think you’ll read next?

So many options. Ugh. This section of WWW’s are always super hard for me. I honestly never decide what I’m going to read in advance. My TBR is really only a muggy mental list and I never know what’s coming up until I’ve started. That being said, I want to pick up A Court of Mist and Fury because everyone says the series just gets better, but I also have been reading a lot of fantasy lately. I may need a change of pace, so maybe I’ll look into a NA contemporary novel. Any recommendations?

Happy Reading!

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