Thursday, October 27, 2016

Uncommon Criminals

10327303Goodreads Synopsis:    Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. 

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

My Thoughts:

-    These books are really fun! I'm enjoying them a lot.

-    The tension between Kat and Hale gets ramped up a bit in this book. I loved it! 

-    I love that the story keeps the reader guessing. There is always a bit of mystery and suspense. I had no idea how Kat was going to pull off this particular "heist" until it was revealed. I also love the mystery surrounding certain characters.

-    The characters are so much fun! Not only is the main character awesome, but the supporting cast is equally as awesome. I usually don't like characters like Gabrielle, but she makes me laugh, and I can't help but love her. Hale is really winning me over, and I love Uncle Eddie and Charlie. Even the "bad guys" are fun. 

-    I think it is really clever that the author made up pieces of art and gems for these books. I would not be that creative. Ally describes these valuables in a way that makes you think they are legit too.

-    I can't wait to read the third book!

Previous book in the Heist Society series:
(cover is linked)


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blogging Absence Due to Illness

Hey friends! I have been dealing with mastitis this week, so blogging and everything else has been pushed off to the side. I've been lying on the couch and in bed most of the week. I'm starting to feel better, so I should be blogging again soon! I just wanted to let you know I'm still alive and haven't quit blogging. I'm just taking a small hiatus. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Heist Society

6574102Goodreads Synopsis:    When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a really fun story with great characters. It is very reminiscent of any "heist" movie like Ocean's Eleven and The Italian Job. I really enjoyed it.

-    Kat is a great main character. She is smart and has an awesome set of thief skills, but she also struggles with stealing things and how her family operates. 

-    I love Kat's family, and I love that the story is an all around family business. It is great to see a book with strong family ties. 

-    Some parts of the book felt a little slow to me, but I was interested the whole time, and I loved getting to the actual heist. 

-    I really enjoy Kat's relationship with Hale. There is tension there, and they've known each other for forever. I love romances that bloom from friendship. 

-    Very fun book, and it has Ally's humor and style all over it. I'm excited to read the rest of the series. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

One Lovely Blog Award

Kara from Flowers of Quiet Happiness nominated me for this award! Thank you Kara!


Thank the person that tagged you and link to their blog
List the rules.
Share 7 interesting things about yourself
Nominate 10 blogs
List your nominees and link to their blog

7 Interesting Things About Me:

I had chicken pox twice. I had a very mild case when I was about 5, and then I had a more severe case in middle school.

I play the clarinet for the Wasatch Winds. I've been playing the clarinet since I was 11. I also play Tenor Sax. I picked that up in high school so I could play in Jazz Band.

I am a musical addict. I love musicals, especially ones with Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, and Fred Astaire. I always put one on when I do chores because I like the background noise. I used to be afraid to admit I loved musicals, but now I shout it out proud!

I am awesome at Disney Trivia. My family won't play with me anymore, and it makes me sad. I can sing most Disney songs, quote lines, and I love learning new and random facts. I love most trivia games, but I rock at Disney, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings trivia games.

I was born in South Korea, and I was adopted at 5 months old. I don't speak Korean or have any cool cultural stuff, but I can make a pretty good bulgogi, and I LOVE Kimchi.

I love video games. We own an Xbox 360, Wii, and Wii U. We used to have a PS2 as well, but we sold it. I want a 3DS really bad! I also play World of Warcraft. I'd say I'm a fairly good gamer. I can hold my own when it comes to competing. 

I collect Funko Pops. I love them, and I would love to display them tastefully throughout my home. I'm still working on that. I have a love/hate relationship with my house right now. 

My Nominations: (I couldn't come up with 10)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Way to Be!

596258Goodreads Says:    From one of the world's foremost spiritual leaders, an inspiring book that provides young adults and their parents with a game plan for leading a better life. 

This inspiring, upbeat, life-affirming book shows teenagers and their families how to navigate through the moral minefields of contemporary life and how to truly enjoy the opportunities and blessings that the modern world has to offer. 

Drawing upon his faith as well as his personal experience, Gordon B. Hinckley provides his readers with a game plan for discovering and embracing the things in life that are valuable and worthwhile. He shows how our lives are shaped by the decisions we make every day about personal behavior -- and he shows how to make the right decisions with the help of nine guiding principles. 

With its vivid anecdotes, invaluable precepts, and timeless wisdom, Way to Be! will be a source of both inspiration and practical advice for young people everywhere who want to lead better, fuller, more satisfying lives.

My Thoughts:

-    I loved President Hinckley. He was an amazing man, and I will always remember when he first spoke about the Be Attitudes. I was a teen when he gave this talk, and I love how simple and straight forward his 9 Bs are. I think everyone, not just members of the LDS church, could benefit from living by these Bs. 
Image result for Gordon B Hinckley's 9 B's

-    I loved reading the personal stories and lessons from President Hinckley's life. He had some amazing parents.

-    This book is short and sweet, but there is a lot to absorb.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fan Art Friday: Alan Rickman

In keeping with the tributes to actors who have passed on recently, 
I want to spotlight Alan Rickman today. 
He was truly talented, and his voice was so iconic. He wasn't dashing in the traditional sense, but the way he spoke and carried himself made him attractive and charming in his own way.

I was so happy to find SO many pictures of Alan. He had a lot of fans! I hope you enjoyed them.

The last two are my favorite. I like the colors and ethereal feel of the first one, and I just LOVE the scene of Snape and his patronus. I read the books before the movies came out, so I have my own vision of what the characters look like, but Snape will always be Alan Rickman to me.

Which is your favorite?
What was your favorite Alan Rickman character?

If you'd like to see more from a particular artist, or if you want to see the picture larger, click on them. They are all linked to the source.

If you have any requests for Fan Art Friday, please let me know!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Still Alice

23280232Goodreads Synopsis:    Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world--forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest's Ordinary People.

My Thoughts:

-    Wow! I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. I thought for sure I wasn't going to like it, but I ended up liking it a lot. 

-    I loved that this was written from Alice's perspective. I was completely immersed in her story and struggles.

-    There were a few F-bombs that I didn't appreciate, but I think that was the only issue I had with the book.

-    No one close to me has experienced Alzheimer's disease, so I haven't thought about it much. I knew it was a horrible disease and what it did to people, but this book brought a lot of emotion and reality to the disease for me. It helped me understand how awful going through something like this can really be, and I love that about reading and books.

-    When I get immersed in a book, I think about it when I'm not reading, and it finds ways to effect my normal life. I panicked when I forgot something, and I started noticing how much I rely on my planner, Google calendar, and my phone. I started worrying about forgetting my daughter's names, and what will happen to me when I get older. I want to cling on to little moments more.

-    The writing was great! I didn't feel like I was reading at all. I was just absorbed into the story.

-    The copy I read had the movie cover, and I hate movie covers! Why do they even make these? Who buys them?

-    Great book! I'd recommend it to anyone. I'm really glad my book club chose this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility

26591769From Goodreads:    Impulsive Marianne Dashwood and cautious Elinor are as different as two sisters could be, yet both are shattered by their father's sudden Death. Elinor's attachment to the reserved Edward Ferrars is torn asunder by family opposition and his own dark secret, while Marianne's brilliant romance with the dashing John Willoughby comes to a tumultuous end in a devastating public betrayal. Can the two sisters overcome these trials to find true, lasting happiness?

Jane Austen's beloved first novel, filled with romance, redemption and social critique, is brought to life for a modern audience in this gorgeous manga-style adaptation!

My Thoughts:

-    I like all of Austen's stories, but this one is probably my least favorite. The characters aren't as awesome.

-    This was a great adaptation. I loved the artwork and character design. Marianne and Elinor were picture perfect.

-    I've gushed over the previous Manga Classics I've read, but I'm at a loss for words with this one. I really liked it, but I just don't have much to say about it.

-    While I was reading, I kept thinking of the movie, and how tragic it is that Alan Rickman is gone. 
Image result for Sense and Sensibility gif

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall To Read List

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR List

I've got some fun ones lined up! I'm excited!

6574102 24120519
25903764 19486412
10147 32552
16219730 28503651
51428 25440127