Top Ten Book Gifts for the Adult YA Reader

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sadly, I have reached the point in my life, where I have no choice but to admit that I'm an adult. I mean Im now in my upper 20s and I have kids running around that depend on me to keep them alive. I haven't borrowed money from my arents in years, and my husband and I actually take our 401k into account. So, yeah.. I'm officially all grown up. I'm not sure when it happened, but it did. However, I still love YA. However, I have found that some YA books can get on my nerves because they are just a little bit too immature. I get it, they are meant for teenagers.. not me. However, a growing number of adults are falling in love with YA every year... or maybe all of of original YA lovers are just growing up. Who knows. But, I have compiled a list of books that, although they have the YA genre, I think any adult could greatly enjoy. Here they are.

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1. The Wrath and The Dawn - This duology is a fabulous retelling of 1,001 Nights and the writing is truly poetic. This is just a truly beautiful book.
2. Half-Blood - Even though her books are labeled YA, Armentrout reads like grown up paranormal romance... only without indepth fun stuff going on. Plus, her books are so addicting. It's like chocolate. You just can't get enough.
3. Six of Crows - This is a well written, very detailed duology. I liked her first series, but this one just blew my mind. Very much worth the read.
4. Just Listen - Admittedly, I stay away from Contemporary YA... The characters just always feel so immature that they annoy me. But, I had to include my favorite Sarah Dessen. I read this one way backw when it first published and I was in high school. It is still on my bookshelf. I just adore this one.
5. Angelfall - As far as dystopian YA goes, this one has a great creepy, spooky feel. I devoured the entire trilogy in a weekend. This is just wonderful.

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6. Slammed - I think this is the only Hoover bok actually considered YA. Most of her books are NA. And, it is her first book... so not as strong as her later books.. but it is Colleen Hoover and as far as I am concerned she can do no wrong.
7. Illuminae - I'm not a Sci-fi person. I don't even like Star Wars *ducks head from thrown rocks.* I just can't seem to get into it. But, I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I loved everything about it. It is definitely a book you need to read an actual hard copy of, not ereader friendly. I bought myself Gemina for Christmas a couple of weeks ago. It was signed at Target. I cannot wait to unwrap it and dive into it after Christmas!
8. Throne of Glass - This series. Oh this series. Some people hae issues with it. I understand their problems, but I love these books. This series made me fall back in love with YA again. I'd pretty much gone straight to adult books, then picked this book up on a whim and loved it.
9. Cinder - Another wonderful series, no matter what age and gender you are. These books perfectly mix humor, action, friendship, and just a taste of romance without being overpowering to the actual plot. I'm actually planning to lend these books to my 50 year old father when he flies out for Christmas... I know he will really enjoy them.
10. The Sea of Tranquility - Wow, 3 contemporaries made this list... maybe I read it more than I think. This book is deep, and sweet, and unforgettable. This is on my favorites list, for well forever. I keep waiting for Katja Millay to release another book.. I want a million books by her. But, it has been so long, I'm wondering if I will ever get even one more book.

Top Ten Favorite Fictional Families

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme is Thanksgiving freebie

For me, Thanksgiving is all about family. Spending time with my family, enjoying a special meal with my family, and being thankful for the lovely little family I have. So, I decided to do my top ten favorite book families. All too often, I feel as if book characters aren't lucky enough to have a good family. But, here are some of my favorites.

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1. The Bridgerton Family - This series is a regency romance series based on the Brdigerton family. There are 8 children and they are all so close and loving and fun. It is really a family I'd love to spend time with.
2. Lara Jean's Family - It is so rare to get a close knit family in contemporary YA, but Jenny Han did it beautifully. This is such a cute book with a cute loving family. I adore them.
3. The Weasley Family - Guys, the Weasley's are my dream family. I LOVE them. They are probably my absolute favorite. I chose the 4th book because I feel like it is the book where Harry really feels adopted into this loud, large, loving family.
4. The O'Malley Family - The O'Malley family consists of 7 kids. All orphans that adopted eachother during their teen years. They love each other unequivably. They truly are a family in all the most important ways. And, I think the fact that they chose each other makes it even more special.
5. The Ingalls Family - I adored these books when I was a little girl. I wanted to be a part of this family. The fact that this was a real family is just beautiful to me.
6. The Murry Family - This was the first fantasy book I loved. The Murry family is just wonderful and quirky and they love each other and science just so much. They are so comfortable with themselves.
7. The Everdeen Family - Katniss quite literally offers her own life for the safety of her little sister. This family has problems, they are broken, but they are also so willing to drop their own lives for eachother.
8. The Sargent Family - Another quirky and unique family. Blue's family is made up of her mom, her aunts and cousins and family friends. They are all seers and quirky and loving, and just so much fun.
9. The O'Brien Family - I think what I love about this family is that they are so so so broken at the beginning of the series. Completely broken. But, as the series progresses, you get to see them slowly knit themselves back together at a realistic pace. The family doesn't come together overnight. It takes time, but they all do love each other so much.
10. The March Family - Can you make a list of fictional families without including the March family. Another family I dreamed of being a part of. Four sisters all completely unique, but they are all best friends... and such supportive parents. I don't think you can create a better family.

What are you thankful for this year? I'd love to hear for you, and I hope everyone has a fun, safe and happy Thanksgiving week!

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Friday, November 18, 2016

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When I heard they were making the Fantastic Beasts movie I was thrilled, like ecstatic. When I heard there would be 5 movies I was even happier. 5 more garaunteed movies in the Wizarding World?! Sign me up! So, to say I went into this movie highly biased to enjoy it... would be an understatement.

So, Last night after putting my 2 year old to bed, I drove out in a blizzard and hit the premiere. I just could not wait. On the plus side, the whole blizzard thing kept a lot of people home so I had a great seat in a fairly empty theater. 

And, well I LOVED IT! I've heard some people say it was slow. It isn't crazy like the 8th Harry POtter movie, but I think there was enough action to keep me happy. And it was hilarious. I cannot wait to take my husband to see it. He had to stay home with the baby last night while I had a just me date night. I want to watch it again and again. I have been gushing about it all day. It was adorable. 

Let's start with our main character. Newt Scamander played by Eddie Redmayne. Gosh, he was fabulous. He was so sweet and adorable, and so just perfect. I could watch him all day. He has this awkward quirkiness going for him... and it was just perfect. After all, his grandson is married to Luna Lovegood.. so quirkyness runs in the family and it as too cute.

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Newt was definitely a winner, but I loved the side characters just as much. Queenie anyone?! Ah! I want ot be her. So sweet, and loving, and sure of herself. Her willingness to risk anything for those she cares about was beautiful. And Jacob the No-Maj was just perfect. He also stole my heart. I really really hope he will be in the future movies because he was perfect. Honestly, I had no qualms with any of the characters. Creedence was great... they were all great. There is an EXCELLENT cast in this movie. 

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I think what really made this movie for me is the creatures. I'm a huge animal lover, and I've always been particularly interested in the magical creatures of the wizarding world. They get plenty of screen time... and they are all fantastic! I'm not sure which was my favorite... maybe the Niffler or the bowtruckle.. maybe all of them. Their devotion and adoration for Newt was sweet. They became like real animals. 

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Now, like I mentioned some people said this movie was slow... and I will agree to a degree. This movie is similar to The early HP movies. It is laying the ground work for something big. I do not want to go into details, because some of this stuff was all new.. while I enjoyed the storyline of the movie good enough, I this was a very character driven not action driven movie. Personally, I love character driven movies... I feel much more connected to it. But be warned.. there isn't really a big adrenaline rushing battle scene in this movie. There is some action.. the Wizarding World always has action.

Over all. I recommend this movie to you and your friends and your family and that weird kid in your class that picks his or her nose and eats it. Seriously, everyone watch this movie. It was so cute. You do not need to know a thing about Harry Potter or the Wizarding World. You could go into this blind... but I highly recommend meeting my best friend Harry Potter, because he is wonderful. But yes go see this movie. If you were waiting to see if it was worth it... it is! I cannot wait to see where this movie series goes!

Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

28318522The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
Mariana Zapata
Published on Februar 29, 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary (Taken from Goodreads)
Vanessa Mazur knows she's doing the right thing. She shouldn't feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she's beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn't find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He's asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

My Thoughts

I picked this one up because it was in the semifinals for the Goodreads Choice Awards. I've been on a YA book kick all year, and had only read one book on the list. So I grabbed a few more before I voted. But I digress. I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Correction: I did not expect to love this book as much as I loved it. It was without a doubt one of my favorite reads this year. Since I finished it, I've been wanting to go back and reread it all over. It was just splendid.

I expected this to be. Girl has unrequitted love with her boss, hot man football player. Girl gives up and quits leaving him behind. Player man football player realizes he misses her and begs her back, the fall madly in love happily ever after. It was not. Well, they did get their HEA... but there was no unrequitted love going on. There was no crushing periof for the first half of the book. You just see these two interacting and developing a friendship first and love second. And it was sweet, sweet, sweet. Like gives you a toothache sweet, and so beautiful.

Vanessa was such a strong female lead. She knows what she wants in life, and she isn't afraid to go for it. She has overcome a lot to get to where she is, she is the perfect image of a woman that knows who she is and has learned to love herself. Aiden is much more reserved. He doesn't know how to socialize. How to treat people. His life revolves around one thing and one thing only. Football. Until, Vanessa's openness helped him learn to come out of his shell and care about others. It was a sweet sweet ride watching him become this wonderful man... a slow, beautiful ride. Because this is a very very very slow burning romance. Seriously. I don't think there was even a real kiss between these two until the last 100 pages... but damn is it worth the wait.

I will admit the first 50-75 pages or so was slow moving. Very slow moving. I almost gave up. But, stick it out. Once Vanessa quits, the story picks up a lot. This is a long book. Especially for a contemporary romance. But, I think it needed the length to really give the reader believable character growth... and the growth is so much fun to watch. 

Basically, everyone needs to go read this book like now. It made it to the semifinals, sadly not the finals.. but it deserves it. This is not a book you want to miss!

Top Ten Favorite Movies

So, I have a bit of a confession to make. I don't actually watch a lot of movies. Like at all. I don't really watch alot of tv either. Except in October, which is why I disappeared for awhile. But yeah, If I have free time.. I prefer to be reading. So, movies especially tend to get pushed to the side. I typically can't spend more than about 30 minutes concentrating on tv before I get bored. I'm strange. But, I do have some favorites that I love to watch over and over again. Here they are.

1. Beauty and the Beast
My all time favorite Disney movie, maybe favorite movie period. I just love it. I have seen this countless times. When I was 3 and the movie first came out, I'd watch it on repeat. Like, finish the movie, rewind it, and start it all over again. We wore out 3 VHS copies of it.

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2. Titanic
This movie caused an obsession with the actual event. When I was in middle school, I probably read half the books published about the Titanic. I had the victim list memorized, and I became obsessed with shipwreck history in general. I was a strange kid.

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3. Secret Garden
I just adore this movie so much. My mom was fabulous and had me hooked on all the classics as a kid. The friendships in the movie are just beautiful.


4. My Girl and My Girl 2
So, a lot of people only like the first, and I'll admit the 2nd had a different feel... but I love this movies. They make me bawl my eyes out... actually every movie so far makes me cry. Maybe I'm a sucker for tearjerk movies.

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5. Harry Potter Series
Really, did you think I'd get through this list without these ones?

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6. Little Women
Another one based off of classic kids books. I just love this movie. I watch it every year around Christmas.

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7. Lord of the Rings Movies
Confession time: I'm in love with Aragorn. Confession time 2: My mom had a full size Legolas statue in our house. Yeah, we like us some men from Middle Earth in my family.

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8. Breakfast Club
Ugh this movie. Just makes me the happiest person in the world. This one leads to number 9.

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9. Pitch Perfect
Any movie that pays homage to my number 8 and is all about singing is a win in my book.
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10. Quidam
So, this last one isn't technically a movie. It's a recording of my favorite live Cirque show. I adore this show. It is my favorite show by Cirque Du Soleil. I was lucky enough to see it live a few years ago, and I love my DVD of it.

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