Friday, October 31, 2014

I absolutely love fall and with that comes Halloween! To be honest, I don't dress up very much any more and it's probably been a few years since I've actually done anything for it, but I still love the holiday! I'm a little bummed that we're not around for Halloween this year, but since I'm in GREECE (eek!) I suppose I'm not that bummed ;) But I still wanted to share some of my favorite Halloween things since I'm not here to celebrate!

Hocus Pocus
Haunted Houses
Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds
Ghost stories

What are your favorite things about Halloween? I love hearing from my readers!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Non-Bookish Hobby

Other than reading and writing about books, one of my favorite past times is crocheting! I feel like an old lady sometimes when I sit down with my bins full of yarn and start making hats, scarves, blankets, etc. But the more I do it, the less I care if it's an 'old lady' hobby. I love making things for my family, my friends, their kids, and friends of friends. My mom taught me how to crochet years ago... I was probably around 10. I did it for a while with her, but lost interest in it during high school. I finally picked it up again last year and have made so many fun things! 

Some of the designs and things I've found are definitely old lady-ish, but you can find some really cute things! I've made fingerless gloves, scarves, hats, blankets, headbands... There really are endless amount of things you can make crocheting, and I can't wait to keep making more! I've had a few requests from friends to make certain things. Sometimes they pay me, sometimes I just do it for free. Usually if I get paid, its just the price of the yarn it cost; sometimes a little more.  

Crocheting is definitely more of a winter hobby for me. I pick it up a few times throughout the summer, but for whatever reason, I just like doing it in the winter more. The only downfall? It tends to take away from my reading. I usually pick up whatever I'm in the mood for though. If I want to watch a TV show, its the perfect time to crochet since it's a pretty mindless activity for me. If I want to take break from crocheting because my hands are getting tired, I might switch to reading. Just depends! 

I'm always looking for new suggestions and inspiration! Lately, my mom and I have been making things in anticipation to donate to hospitals. We have baby blankets and hats. It really just comes down to the fact that we love crocheting but there are only so many people who we can give it to in our lives! So why not donate! Below I've posted a few things that I've made over the last year or so. Let me know what you think!

Hungry Caterpillar
I love this design!
Fingerless gloves
Comfy Infinity Scarf
Favorite Infinity Scarf
Newest baby blanket!

What things do you enjoy doing other than reading and blogging?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday 10.14.18

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site.

This week's question: Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit (whether fictional or real)

1. England - specifically 1500's or 1800's - I'll credit that to Jane Austen and Phillipa Gregory books!
2. Ireland - One of my dream vacations! Meave Binchy and Tana French have only increased my want need to visit! 
3. Hogwarts (no surprise here!)
4. New England states - I've never actually been here, but pictures, movies and books describe it as a beautiful place. 
5. South Africa - despite the turmoil that seems to plague this area, it sounds beautiful, and I'd love to go on a safari! Most recently I'm reading Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult and there's so much talk about elephants and the wild animals. It sounds amazing. (But I think I'll put this on hold for a while... at least until Ebola slows down or stops) 
6. France - Another one of my dream destinations. Anna and the French Kiss rekindled my love for France and the french language
7. Germany - I really want to see the concentration camps since they're such a huge part of our history
8. Switzerland - I read The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and although the book is dark, Switzerland sounds amazing
9. Middle Earth - specifically The Shire! 
10. Any little town - I love little country towns that are in the middle of nowhere; I'm definitely more of a country girl than city! So every time I read books with these settings, I fall in love with it

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Book-to-Movie Review


Summary: Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.
Rating: 8.1/10
Time: 126 min 
Rated PG-13
Shailene Woodley as Hazel
Ansel Elgort as Gus
Nat Wolff as Isaac
Laura Dern as Frannie
Sam Trammell as Michael
Willem Dafoe as Van Houten

So, for those of you who read my review of The Fault in Our Stars, you probably know I liked it, but didn't think it was as amazing as everyone else hyped it up to be. I still definitely feel this way, but I wanted to see the movie anyways. I really like watching movies after I've read the book to see how other people interpret the book and to see it actually played out in a movie.

A lot of times, the movie isn't quite what I had in my head, and that's true for this movie as well. The actors, although great, weren't what I had pictured. But that doesn't mean I didn't like the movie, it's just different. I really like Shailene Woodley as an actress. I know some people don't for various reasons, but I do! I also think she's an interesting person; I've seen her appear on a few shows and she talks about her lifestyle. I think she played a great Hazel; she's shows Hazel's personality well and shows how cynical she is regarding the outlook of her life, how she's a grenade and is going to blow up and ruin people when she dies.

This character is complemented really well by Gus, played by Ansel Elgort, but he's not what I pictured Gus looking like! Still, he played the character well, showing Gus' playful and serious side. On a side note, I think it's awesome he and Woodley played brother and sister in Divergent! And Nat Wolff as Isaac was great! I loved Isaac's character and thought Wolff was perfect for the role. I know everyone is lusting after Elgort, but I personally think Wolff is better looking (:

Dern, Trammell and Dafoe were wonderful supporting actors in this movie. Van Houten is awful in both the book and movie, but he definitely adds a lot to the story! I often found myself just wanting to slap him and make him face the real world. Haha!

And I hate saying this, but I think I may have liked the movie better than the book...*gasp* Yes, I know. Everyone loves this book and says its SO amazing, but I just didn't feel that way about it, but I thought the movie was enjoyable. This rarely happens for me, but it's okay when it does. Although I didn't think the book was as amazing as everyone else said, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I'm glad to have read it.

Read my review of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green here!

Have you seen the movie after reading the book? What did you think? I love hearing your thoughts! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Home Libraries and Book Nooks

I don't know about you, but it's my dream to have a library in my home some day. I'm slowly building up my collection of books and I'm at about 400 right now. My fiancé and I live in an apartment in Wisconsin, and after we get married (this week! eek!), we're going to start thinking about buying or building a house. Now, if it were up to me, I'd build a house and have a room dedicated to my library. If we buy a house... not quite as easy, but I'll make it work! Right now, my books are scattered throughout our apartment on various bookshelves, so it would be nice to have them all in one place! Plus, if I had a library, I'd have the perfect place to read, preferably with a big, comfy, over-sized chair, a cute nook, or window seat. These are some of my favorite personal library and book nook ideas that I've found online - mostly Pinterest! (Click here to find me on Pinterest)

Seriously! How cute is this?
Secret doors!
No explanation needed
A little reading room off the main library!
Would need to be bigger, but looks so cozy!

George Lucas' library! Will never afford it but it's gorgeous!
Gorgeous window and view
This would just be plain fun!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gone Girl Movie Review


Summary: With his wife's disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

Rating: 8.6/10
Time: 149 minutes
Rated R 

Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne
Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne
Neil Patrick Harris as Desi Collings
Tyler Perry as Tanner Bolt
Carrie Coon as Margo Dunne
Kim Dickens as Rhonda Boney

I first read this book so long ago when I borrowed it from my aunt. I loved it but didn't remember most of it when I went to see the movie, which I was actually happy about to be honest. Sometimes, if I read a book and see the movie shortly after, I concentrate too much on what's different in the movie. But this time, I had forgotten a few things that happened, so when it happened in the movie, I was surprised! It definitely makes the movie more enjoyable.

Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike were great in the roles of their characters. I loved Affleck's character because you want to feel bad for him; I mean, his wife's missing! But then you learn he's not quite so innocent and isn't the greatest husband, and you want to hate him just a little bit. And Pike did great as Amy. I loved her in the beginning, but the more you learn about Amy, the more you hate her too! I thought they portrayed their personalities pretty well. I was quite surprised how much I liked Tyler Perry playing Tanner Bolt. I was a little worried at first since he tends to appear in comedies, and I wasn't sure how well he'd do in this dramatic thriller, but he did great. I also enjoyed Kim Dickens as Detective Rhonda Boney. She annoyed me in the beginning (which she was supposed to), because she made the evidence fit her viewpoint, rather than letting her view be changed by the evidence. But she began to grow on me, much like she did in the book.

Read my review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn here!

Have you read the book and seen the movie? Tell me what you thought!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Feature and Follow Friday! 10.10.14

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
- Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
- Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
- If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

Book Merchandise! Show off some of your stuff! Posters, t-shirts; whatever you've got!

I've only got a few things but I love them (: Book coffee mug I got from my friend as a bridesmaid gift (she knows me so well!), coffee mug from Candis Terry's Sweet, Texas series, and a Harry Potter t-shirt! My friend got it for me when she was at HP world in Florida!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

[Review] *Blog Tour* Alex by Sawyer Bennett

Cold Fury Hockey # 1
by Sawyer Bennett
Releasing October 14th, 2014


USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett scores big-time with the first novel in a sexy new series hot enough to melt the ice. 

Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

My Review

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to get a copy and couldn't wait to participate in this tour. I’m a HUGE hockey fan, and I haven’t found too much fiction with hockey being an important piece of the story (though admittedly, I haven't looked too hard either). I grew up watching my brother play hockey, so this story was really fun for me to read.

I really enjoyed Sutton and Alex’s characters. Sutton is a genuinely sweet girl who’s overcome so much in her life. I love the career path she’s in and think it fits her character really well. And Alex, he’s the bad boy of the NHL. He’s amazing at what he does, but he hates it. When he and Sutton meet for their project, he’s rude and egotistical. But they start getting to know each other and Alex’s true character finally shines through. He’s tough on the outside, but a good guy once you get through all those walls he’s built around him. Through his friendship, and later romance, with Sutton, he learns to love the game of hockey again. But he still struggles with his past demons, and can’t seem to let them go enough to live a happy life.

Once I started reading this story, I was hooked! I couldn’t put it down and finished it in two short days. It’s a fun read and has many steamy scenes that keep you coming back for more. Sutton and Alex complement each other really well and I love how the story turned out. I also really loved Sutton’s little brother, Glenn. His character is the perfect supplement to the story and you just can’t help but love him!

I was also looking to see what the next book in the series is, and when I saw it was titled “Garrett,” I was so excited! We learn a little about his character in this story and I can’t wait to dive deeper and learn more about him! He seems like a charmer and player with the females, so I can’t wait to read it.

Buy Links 

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett is a snarky Southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Author Links

Rafflecopter Giveaway 
(Alex Crossman/Carolina Cold Fury Hockey Jersey)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Stacking the Shelves 10.4.14

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews. Its all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, whether physical or virtual books. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course, ebooks! Tynga posts this meme on Saturdays, but you can post on any day that works best for you! Check out the guidelines by visiting Tynga's blog! 

Review Copy

I was thrilled when I came home from work one day to this beauty on my steps! I'm such a big fan of Jodi Picoult's and I can't wait to read this next book of hers! I just finished reading Where There's Smoke, which features a character that appears in this novel. I can't wait to start and love getting review books at my door! In all honesty, I forgot I asked for this copy, but so glad I did (:


Friday, October 3, 2014

[Review] Where There's Smoke by Jodi Picoult

Where There's Smoke by Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publishing Date: Mar. 19, 2014
Format: ebook, purchased
40 Pages
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage—to both her reputation and her show—Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

My Review 

I first downloaded this book because it was free on Kindle and because its written by Jodi Picoult. I'm a huge fan of hers and have read almost everything she's written. I didn't know what it was about at first, but when I found out it the main character, Serenity, appears in her next book, I knew I had to read it. 

This is a short story, and while I don't often read them, I find that I enjoy them. I still think they're way too short (though I suppose that fits the name!).  I'm not sure what I believe about psychics or mediums, but I found Serenity's story fascinating. I want to read more about her and her 'gift' and how she comes into play in Picoult's new novel, Leaving Time. While I certainly don't think this is Picoult's greatest work, I think it has a lot of potential to develop into something great in Leaving Time!