book reflection · Book Review

Beautiful Disaster By Jamie McGuire| Review

15749887Synopsis: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match. (Goodreads)

Review Reflection: 

This was a reread for me. I remember reading this book a few years ago and being completely goo-goo-gaga over Travis Maddox. This book is a love story, following a dysfunctional relationship between Travis and Abbey. Travis is known for sleeping with all the girls on campus and when he meets Abbey, for some reason he wants to change his ways and just be with her. Although, the two struggle with their past selfs and entangle in a dysfunctional abnormal relationship.

If you are looking for healthy romantic representation this is not it. This book shows everything that a relationship should not be, however, the writing and storyline are addicting to read. On a 5 star scale, as an older adult, I would rate this book starsstars/5 stars.  If you are reading this for the entertainment purposes I think you won’t be disappointed, if you are dissecting the book like a science experience, better hold your breath and were your safety goggles.

Initial Thoughts (2013) +Commentary

I loved this book from beginning to end. Although many people compare Jamie McGuire to E.L. James, I think that these two authors are nothing alike.

I really liked watching our female character Abby, grow from being just Travis’s best friend to girlfriend to a girl who stands up for her believes to Travis’s savior. (I still enjoyed this aspect of the book. I really liked how for the first half of the book, the main characters were just friends. It didn’t seem as insta-love, as a lot of young adult books are. )

Man, was Travis something else too. I loved his character. I enjoyed seeing his dark side and how Abby brought out the good in him. ( I still enjoyed seeing the chemistry between Abby and Travis. ) He is impulse and possessive. (Marina, what in the world?? Impulsivity and possessive is now a major turn off for me. In the book, Travis pretty much threatened anyone male who came within 50 feet of Abby. Those situations could have been dealt with in a much classier way.) But, something about his nature makes him sexy. He is afraid of losing the one thing in the world that means the most to him, Abby. He makes stupid decisions and sometimes says the wrong thing but, is willing to give up anything not to lose her. (The thing that makes their relationship irresistible is they go through so much shit together and yet at the end of the day after they decide to be together. I think that was a part that was important to see. Half the book the two main characters are not even together, then they get together and mess up only to break up again, but in the end that work out their differences. I think that in one way it is important to show that it is easy to walk away from something, but with your head on straight it is important to note how important a person is in your life and not be judged for giving second chances or wanting to try again. ) 

The minor characters were really great as well, Shep and America, try their hardest to protect both water and fire elements of Abbey’s and Travis’s personalities. (Still relevant) 

The ending of this book was shocking and unexpected. Overall, I was sad when it all came to an end. I can’t wait to read the story from Travis’s point of view in “Walking Disaster”. (Still, have not read this story from Travis’s point of view)

Book Review

Slayer by Kristine White | Book Review

By Kristen White
Pages:416
Published: January 18, 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse

SYNOPSIS:

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard. (Goodreads)

REVIEW:

This book was not what I expected. I was so eagerly waiting for a Buffy-verse book. I was disappointed that there was not as much interaction with Buffy and the original characters. With that said, lets talk about the book.

I really liked that there was a continuation of slayers post-Buffy. This was also the first Buffy-verse book that has been published and it gained popularity from Buffy fans recently. The reason I personally picked it up was that I loved the Buffy-verse so much. It was a no brainer for me that I will be reading it because I was an original Buffy Fan.

My disappointment came from the lack of interaction that happened between our main character Nina and Buffy. For an action/ adventure novel there was not a lot of action events that occurred. There was a lot of information on the Watchers, which is the main characters of the book.

I felt that there was a little confusion involving who the main evil was. The book messed with your head a little because the person that you thought it was, ended up not being it.

I liked the family tension in this book and how it ended up being more of a mystery that Nina had to solve without even knowing. Nina, always thought that her mother hated her but she had no idea why. She resented her mother for events that occurred in her childhood, among her looking for answers she finds information that changes her outlook on her life and her family.

I thought there was a lot of different events that were occurring that were action packed but they were very short and seemed to have an easy resolution to them. I am hoping to see Nina, the slayer fight a danger that is harder to resolve. I think I am comparing the book a little with the tv show in the sense that there were vampires that Buffy killed off easily but there usually was a bigger evil that was planning something. It would have been interesting to see the story play out at the same time from the evils perspective to understand that when Nina, is not fighting it isn’t because something isn’t brewing.

I really enjoyed that there was LGTBQ+ representation and it was done in a very nice way. The characters really cared about there partners and they were willing to risk their lives in order to save them.

Clearly, this is a series and I think the next books are going to get more in-depth of slayer action and Nina stepping into her role as a slayer. However, the ending of the first book left me with questions that I didn’t expect to have in the last 2% of the story.

I am hoping that the next book brings back more of the old characters because I think this generation of watchers can learn a thing or two from the scooby-gang.

Advertisements
Book Review

Girl Who Played with Fire | Review

Pages: 630
Published: March, 2010
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Synopsis:

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend, the troubled genius hacker Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.
(back cover) Goodreads

Review:

It had been a long time since the first time that I visited the world of Lisabeth Salander. Her world does not disappoint. I enjoyed the second installment of “the millennium” series. The book starts with a series of murders of which Lisabeth is being accused of. Our main character Mikael Blomkvist, is determined to prove Lisabeth’s innocence. 

This book gives a better glimpse into who Lisabeth is. Essentially, all of Sweden thinks she is guiltily but there is only one person who believes her innocence and is willing to go to hell and back to prove it.

It was interesting to see how even through the strained relationship that Blomkvist and Salander had throughout the book, he never stopped believing that she was innocent. He didn’t have much proof but, he knew her character. He had so much faith in her innocences that he stopped at nothing to prove it to be true. 

The story is connected with past events that begin to show why Lisabeth is the way she is. Everyone is portraying her as a nutcase but is she really or is someone trying to cover up their wrong doings? 

The second half of the book is extremely fast paced, as the mystery of the murders is being resolved. I personally loved Lisabeth’s character. I think that she is so strong, for how many events occurred to her that were not part of her doing . I also liked that her character was not seen to be painted in angelic form. She had a lot of flaws, but she never tried to pretend that she didn’t. 

This is a slow burn book- the events take time to occur and in the meantime the author gives little glimpse of our protagonist. There are a lot of side characters, who provide a lot background information to our main characters. At first I felt like there was way too much information about them but once you hit the resolution of the book it is so worth having all the side characters and story lines. Every single character in this book plays a role in making the story come together at the end. 

I love thriller novels, this one did not disappoint. The slow burn was very much worth it. The time that I spent reading this book, made me feel as if I was in Sweden. It was extremely nice to escape reality with this story, even though the content did have heavy based material such as rape, abuse, and prostitution. I thought it was written in a way that supported the novel and gave the reader a backstory to the events that occurred in the book. It was written in a very classy way. The ending was everything that I wanted and more. The book resolved so well. I can’t wait to read the next installment. 

Rest In Peace Mr. Larsson! ❤️

0 by 2020 · Book Review

Ignite Me | Book Review

Pages:421
Published: February 24, 2014
Harper Collins

Synopsis:

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her. Goodreads

REVIEW:

I loved this book. I shipped Warner and Juliette so freaking much. I honestly, did not expect to like this book as much as I thought I would. But, honestly, Warner made it so worth. Clearly, we already know that I am team Warner. I really enjoyed how Warner and Juliette’s relationship was portrayed as if they were equals. I noticed that Warner has always thought that Juliette is such as strong and independent character. He sees that she doesn’t need his protection and his belief in her makes her a stronger individual. I loved that he empowers her and doesn’t bring her down.

I struggled liking Adam, he seemed like such a little whinny character. He tries to protect Juliette while not letting her live up to her fullest potential. I loved Kenji so much, I thought that he can totally be my best friend. He is such a light and fun character. I think that he makes all the tough situations a little lighter. I also enjoyed seeing that he stands up for what he believes even though some of his actions can cause tension between the people in the Omega Point group. Oh my goodness, can I just give a shout out to James. I loved Adams little brother and I love his connection to Warner. James is such a light-hearted individual. I love that he wants to be part of the action but he is also so loved and protected by the others (Juliette, Kenji, Castle, Adam).

Also, there were some steamy romance scenes that I was just living for. I also really enjoyed that this book shows progression of mental health. When the series began you can see that Juliette has a lot of anxiety but as the series progresses she has some great quotes that she says that really show how she is dealing with her mental health and becoming a strong individual. I really enjoyed that Warner owns his flaws. He knows that he has done some bad things, he knows that he is not perfect and he never claims to be. I love that about him. I feel like Adam contradicts himself so much in this book, he claims to love Juliette but the moment that she does something that he is not happy with he shames her for it and makes her out to be this delicate person.

Genuinely enjoyed this book. I hope to get into “Restore Me” soon. I hope that romance between Warner and Juliette continues because I a 100% living for it.

Book Review

Leah On The Offbeat | Becky Albertalli

35820414Pages: 368

Synopsis: Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended. (Goodreads)

Review:  stars stars stars /5

This book was one of my most anticipated reads this year. This was a book I bought on a release day. This very rarely happens. However, this book was over hyped for me. I wanted more from this book.

I really enjoyed our main character, she was such a kickass, firey, female lead. I saw a lot of myself in her. I enjoyed that this character was portrayed as a larger girl. I really enjoyed that there was a lot of LGBTQ+ representation which played a huge role in this story as the main character is trying to figure out her own sexuality.  I think is important to have LGBTQ+ representation just to be more aware of and know about because it is something that our society is open about. I also think that young adult and middle-grade books and media need to be putting out LGBTQ+ content because this is the most confusing age for people when they are coming out, or having feelings about the same gender. I think that books are a good way to offer support and make people feel like they are not alone.

I struggled to get behind the main character love interest. I loved it when the characters finally got together, but the process that made them get together was extremely long and overly dramatic. It also hurt a lot of people, which took away from the whimsical feel that I had after reading “Simon and the Homosapien Agenda”. I also felt that there were a lot of loose ends at the end that were not tied together. I was left with a lot of questions about what was going on with the other characters in the book.

I think that a major reason I gave this book a 3/5 is that it went back and forth on the development of relationships. The character would make progress in their relationship and then a few scenes later take a step back. It seemed that the relationships were constantly being started over, and although I enjoyed that this whole book is not a fluffy love story. I think it did do a good job of showing how one may be unsure of their sexuality and it supported that idea really well. I just didn’t agree on how that influenced the other characters I felt that a lot of the characters got hurt, and some of the hurt could have been lessened if the events played out differently.

I also did not like that there were a lot of loose ends at the end. There were many characters that didn’t get the proper closure that they should have. However,  I was pleased with the end result of the book between Leah and her love interest.

Leave me a comment down below letting me know if you read this book and if you liked it.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

Book Review

Now or Never: 5 Steps to an Epic Life| Book Review

Now or NeverAuthor: Alexi Panos & Preston Smiles

Pages:  240

Format Devoured: Audio Book

Synopsis: Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles, the internationally recognized next generation thought leaders, redefine what’s possible in relationships, career, and life.

Alexi and Preston went through periods in each of their lives where they felt like they were doing all the right things, but never got the desired results. They read all the best books in self-empowerment and positive thinking, took classes, and sought advice, but there was always something missing. After all of their soul-searching and personal development, they realized that they were missing a connection between mind, body, and soul.

Based on their 12-week successful online program The Bridge Method, Now or Never combines the couple’s years of training into five principles that can help you navigate the real world, learn how to overcome your inner obstacles, and become your best self. Filled with narratives and stories from the duo’s own lives as well as from those they have helped along the way, Now or Never shares exercises, insights, and challenges to help you attain the personal freedom you have always been seeking.

If you want to lead an ideal life, you must become the best version of yourself. Alexi and Preston can be your guides. Choose your life. It’s now or never.

Bookish Thoughts:

This was good. It had a lot of great information and easy to follow prompts to get you thinking about the ideas that were presented in this book. I would love to own the physical copy of this book to mark up all my favorite lines and go back to reference information.

This was a book that was realistic in terms of how you can use the information in this book in your day to day life and it got you thinking about the things you would like to change while prompting you with how you can make those things a reality. I really enjoyed the little prompt questions at the end of each chapter because as a reader you are able to physically use the information rather than just absorb it.

The audiobook was enjoyable and read like a light radio show.

Fitness Journey

Oh, Hey!! Let’s be Vulnerable|Fitness Journey

I have been sitting on this idea for quite some time.  If you follow any of my social media you may know that I have been working on my own fitness journey for about a year now. This is something so personal to me, that it takes a lot to share this. But, I think its time to share, the good, the bad, the dark and the ugly. It scares me to be transparent about this. But, I feel since I do share a lot of my fitness routines on social media, I feel like I should share this as part of the blog.

This blog has always been my safe zone, my outlet for expression and although it terrifies me to share things other than books on here, I feel like this is an important journey that I would like to have documented.

I guess we should start at the beginning. As a child, the youngest I can personally remember myself is being around is 3 or 4, when my family took me to a summer home. To be honest the details are a little fuzzy. But, I remember clearly that eating food was not my idea of fun during that tender age. I was more interested in the butterflies that were flying around, or the bunny that hopped by. I would not sit still for a single moment. My mom likes to say that she would run after me with a spoon in her hand (in the literal sense- this actually happened) while I would be running around. Can you just imagine how long it took my poor mom to feed me a spoonful of soup? But, I sure kept her lean, as she ran around after me.

The food in Ukraine was so different from food in America. As I am told apples were a treat and hard to come by. But, the account of food that I do remember is lots of different soups, soups for all occasions. Chicken noodle has and will always be my favorite, and not that fake chicken noodle out of the can- the chicken noodle soup made of fresh ingredients and boiled carrots with thin little noodles. There was always a spoonful of love in that chicken noodle soup. The beautiful part of food in Ukraine there was no preservatives, a lot of the food was homemade and sold at the local markets. For example fresh made cottage cheese, let me tell you that stuff is to die for when made right.

I remember that for my fifth birthday- the first Mcdonalds opened. That is where I had my birthday lunch. My first happy meal- the food tasted so much different than the McDonalds food I would later try in California. I don’t know how Mcdonald’s food is distributed but I am a strong believer that the European McDonald’s food quality is a lot better than in the United States.

Then, a couple weeks later after my fifth birthday, we moved to San Diego. McDonald’s was on every corner, Pizza was served at every birthday party – no more glorious Russian food feasts, and very few people who drink tea after every single meal. My taste buds adapted very quickly and after a few weeks the tears that were cried because I refused to eat pizza, burgers etc, became pleas to be taken to Wendy’s as a treat. Life sure began to be different….

Stay tuned for the next installment!!

With warm cups of tea and a few more bites,

Rina

Lifestyle

Life Changes & Rebranding| 2018

Knights and Ladies,

I think there is something in the air, something wonderful.

I want to start this post by saying thank you, thank you for every single person that is subscribed whether by  e-mail, or wordpress. Thank you to every single person who has ever read any of my posts. I have been so blessed to have this space as a creative outlet.

However, you may have noticed there have been a few slight changes being made to the site. You will still be getting book content if you subscribed to me for that, that is not going away. However, I want to add more lifestyle and fitness journey entries here as well. I have contemplated starting a completely different site for all my fitness updates however that just sounded silly to me as I am not a one-dimensional person and have a lot of different things that I am curious about and interested in. I want this to be a safe space.

When I started this website, it was with the intention to inspire people to read more and read more diversely and although that is one of my purposes in running this site. I am finding that I am human and I use my time not only reading but taking a bunch of classes, working out, cooking, traveling, etc.

Which brings me to the following- I haven’t been reading as much as I used too. I have been traveling and going to events. Especially, this current summer I feel like I have an event almost every weekend. So, I would like to create more vlogs- event and travel vlogs and add some reading vlogs in the mix of things. I don’t want to have to limit the things that I can talk about on this platform just because this started as a book blog.

If you are here for book content only there is a tab at the top of the page for book content, this also goes along for fitness and lifestyle. I think that we all have a lot more in common than we think and by merging all my interest together, I feel like I will have a better space to share my adventures.

Thank you for all your support and love,

With warms cups of tea and just a few more  chapters  adventures,

Rina

 

#booktube · currently reading · weekly goals

Weekly Goals and Currently Reading #1 | June 2018

Hey Bibliomanics,

I went to vidcon and came home extremely inspired. Since my 3-month hiatus, I have created a new video and I am excited to start creating more content. Thank you to everyone that has stuck with me through this crazy wonderful journey. I love editing videos and being creative while sharing my creativity with the world. I am still learning my elements but I am blessed to have this outlet.

Today’s video is a weekly goal’s and a currently reading, where I share with you what my goals are for this week and what I am currently reading as getting a lot of reading in is always a goal for me.

With Warm cups of tea and just a few more chapters,

Rina

 

Book Review

Matilda by Roald Dahl | Book Review

MatildaPages: 240

Published: June 1, 1998

Publisher: Puffin Books

Synopsis: Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Miss (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts: 

This is one of my rereads for this year. I have always loved this book, and it is so near and dear to my heart. I have read it several times in my life. This book tells a story of a young girl named Matilda who is a lot wiser than her age.

I feel like this particular book is very much character driven. I initially connected with Matilda through her love of books. I visually can picture the first few chapters of the book so vividly in my mind and how Matilda goes to the library while her mom is out playing bingo. This book has stuck with me from the first time that I have read it back in elementary school until now.

I love how whimsical characters are. Matilda plays a lot of pranks on the evil Trunchbull. Matilda likes justice and throughout the book whenever the Trunchbull does something that seems to be unfair Matilda is the one to try to get revenge on the Trunchbull.

I really enjoyed the magical element in this book it really ties everything nicely together and gives the book a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed having Kate Winslet narrate the audiobook. She is such a fabulous narrator for this particular book. She brought all the characters and situations to life and it was very enjoyable.  If you have not read this, what are you doing? You are literally missing out on a childhood favorite. Go check it out. Right now!!!

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina