Friday, February 26, 2016

Fan Art Friday: Little Women


Since we are doing a read along right now for Little Women, I naturally wanted to feature it in a Fan Art Friday! I was surprised with the lack of fan art I found. I thought there would be a ton, but I had to do some digging. I still found some good stuff though.

Fun huh!?

My favorite are the last two. I love that depiction of Jo a lot. It is perfect! I love the last picture cause it is so warm. It is the perfect portrayal of the girls with Marmee. I like that the art is simple, but the picture says so much.

Which is your favorite?

The pictures are linked to where I found them. Some of them came from Google Images, so they are just linked there. The others are linked to their artist.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Spinning Starlight

24565038Goodreads Synopsis:    Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.

Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.

Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home—a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?

Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.

My Thoughts:

-    Great retelling of The Wild Swans!

-    This wasn't as good as Stitching Snow, but it was still good. 

-    The culture and setting were a bit confusing at first. I caught on after a while, but there was a bit of a learning curve.

-    I liked the flashbacks between chapters. I got to know Liddi and her family better. 

-    I could really relate to Liddi's anxiety and feelings. I have 3 older brothers, and I care about them immensely. Liddi's brothers reminded me a lot of mine. They were protective and caring over their little sister, and that is exactly how my brothers are with me. 

-    The tech was SO cool! I loved all the gadgets and things. I wish some of this tech would become a reality.

-    The story starts out a bit slow, but I was still entertained. The pace really picks up about halfway through, and I enjoyed it a lot more.

-    The main characters were very similar to the Stitching Snow characters. The relationship between LIddi and Tiav was almost the same as Dane and Essie's. I wish there had been a difference. It would have fun to read something new!

-    I wish there had been more on the antagonist and what her motives were. That part of the story was really underdeveloped, and I would have liked more depth to that aspect of the story. 

-    I loved all the alien races introduced in this book. The universe that Lewis created was really fun. I hope she writes more books in this same setting.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Stitching Snow

20706656Goodreads Synopsis:    Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

My Thoughts:

-    JENNI!! I did it! I finally read it!!

-    This was a really fun sci-fi retelling of Snow White! I enjoyed it a lot. I thought it was unique and clever.

-    I loved that Essie had 7 drones instead of dwarves! HA! Dimwit was cute and funny. I loved his devotion. I wish we got to see more of the other drones and their personalities. It would have been fun.

-    The characters were really great! I really liked Essie, and I felt for her. Dane was so hard to figure out at times, but I really liked him in the end. The King and Queen were people you just love to hate! They were EVIL! I love that this story had great heroes and villains. It gave the story that fairy tale feel. 

-    The romance was a good one! I loved seeing Essie and Dane go through struggles and times of distrust. I liked their slow growing frienemy relationship.

-    The story didn't have me glued to the pages, but it was compelling and enjoyable.

-    I really like that this is a stand alone. It could have easily become a series, but I like that it wrapped up everything in one book. Some parts seemed a bit rushed, but it was still a great read.

-    I really excited to read the companion novel! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed Out of My Comfort Zone

Ten Seven Books I Enjoyed Recently (last yearish) That Weren't My Typical Genre/Type of Book

Hmmmm. . .interesting topic!
I could only find 7 that I've read in the last year.

463780 25735157
16059410 Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
23129712 104
100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love

Monday, February 22, 2016


12942010Goodreads Synopsis:    Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs.

Or so he thought.

But now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled with hauntingly familiar faces. People from Maxfield he saw die. Friends he was afraid he had killed.

They are all pawns in the school’s twisted experiment, held captive and controlled by an unseen force. As he searches for answers, Benson discovers that Maxfield Academy’s plans are more sinister than anything he imagined—and they may be impossible to stop.

My Thoughts:

-    I was SO disappointed in this sequel! Ugh! It was very underwhelming. 

-    The story starts exactly where Variant left off, and I really liked that.

-    Nothing really happens to progress the story until the very very end, and even then I don't think the story concluded or progressed much. The characters mostly stand around and talk about escape, and Benson just worries about what he should be doing. It was slow and aggravating.

-    The ending is SO anti-climactic! I'm not even sure what the crap or who the crap was behind all the experiments. I need more answers!

-    Benson really annoyed me in this story. His character never got any better.

-    I felt like Benson and Becky were constantly being beat up and re-injuring themselves. It was annoying!

-    The whole story seemed very underdeveloped, and so were the characters. I wish there had been more on exactly what Maxfield was and who was behind it all. I also want to know why? Why were they testing androids? What was the point of all this?

Previous Variant Book
(linked to my thoughts)


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Little Women Read Along Update

We are heading into the last stretch of reading!
I'm sad this has to end, but I'm excited to finish the book!
We are starting Chapter 34 today!

Jenni will be hosting Chapters 34 - 47
Discussion post will be on February 29 (leap day!)
Twitter chat on Feb 29 @ 7:00 PM (MST)

We're still using #LittleWomenRAL. I love all the quotes and comments I've been seeing! Keep it up!

In my edition there are only 136 pages left! That is about 15 pages a day!

Hang in there everyone!
If you are behind, don't give up! 
You can still read into March and post your answers to the discussions anytime!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Little Women Read Along: Chapters 18 - 33 Discussion Post

Hey friends! How is the reading going?
Can you believe we're almost finished!?

Before we delve into the questions, let's take care of some housekeeping items.

Twitter Chat:
Tonight @ 7:00 PM (MST)

Movie Watch Along:
March 4 @ 7:00 PM (MST)
If you live nearby, let us know, and we can guide you to Suey's house.
If you live far away, get a copy of the 1994 version and watch with us. We'll be using #LittleWomenRAL for comments during the movie.

Okay, enough chit chat, lets get to the good stuff!

Chapters 18 - 33 Discussion Questions:

1.    What would be your dream cast for the March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy), Marmee, Laurie, and whoever else you'd like to cast.

2.    How do you feel about Meg and Mr. Brooke's relationship?

3.    How do you feel about Jo's reaction to Meg getting married?

4.    The girls are growing up and changing, do you feel differently towards them now than you did at the beginning?

5.    Two important men were introduced in these chapters. What are your impressions of Mr. March and Professor Bhaer?

6.    Do you think it was fair that Amy got to go to Europe instead of Jo?

7.    What are your thoughts on the time period and setting of the book? Do you like it? Why do you think a very important historical event like the Civil War is hardly mentioned in the story?

8.    Louisa May Alcott supposedly patterned the March sisters after herself and her own sisters. How accurate do you think she portrayed her family? Do you think a lot of the book is an idealized version of her and her sisters?

9.    Why do you think Louisa May Alcott later added Part 2 to the book?

10.    What is your favorite adaptation of Little Women and why?

I look forward to your answers and insights!
I'll be posting my answers later. It is late, and it took all my brain power to write this post.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


12912273From Goodreads:    Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Acadmey would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he's trapped in a school that's surrounded by a razor-wire fence, where video cameras monitor his every move and where breaking the rules equals death.

All Benson wants is to find a way out. But when he stumbles upon the real secret the school has been hiding, he realises that escape may be impossible.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a really fun story. It had a lot of similarities with Maze Runner.

-    The story was definitely a page turner. I read the whole book in only a couple of sittings. I was immersed in the story.

-    There are some jaw dropping twists that I did not see coming! Whoa!

-    I liked the characters, but I felt like they could have used some depth and  bit more development. I wanted more overall from the story. The book seems to skim the surface of something more.

-    I loved the paintball wars. They were fun to read, and I liked the whole idea of all the students looking forward to paintball and saving points to get better gear. 

-    The end was mind blowing. I still don't know what to think of it. I can't wait to start the next book so I can find out what is happening!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day 3: Blame a Blogger

Day OneIntroduce yourself (16)

Today's prompt is to talk about books we've read and loved because other bloggers have recommended them.

18090093I have never read a recipe book before, but my friend Jessica from The Bluestocking Society wrote a really great review for this one. I had been trying to figure out how to cut out processed foods from my diet at the time, and this seemed perfect for me! Let me tell ya, THIS BOOK HAS CHANGED MY LIFE! I read it a year ago, and I still don't look at food the same way. I've tried a lot of the recipes in the book, and they have become favorites for me and my family. Most of the meals I make are from this book. I love it!

13330943My book club consists of a lot of book bloggers. We have quite a fun group around here! My first book club gathering was for The Night Circus. I would not have picked this up if it hadn't been the book club book that month. It was fabulous! It was so unique and fun. I has a kind of Tim Burtonish feeling to it which is right up my alley! 

8664353I'm not a big non-fiction reader. It is very rare when I read one, so when my book club was going to read Unbroken, I was going to pass. I was little intimidated by the content, and it just wasn't something I thought I'd be interested in. Then Suey and Jenni kept talking about how great it was, and how the movie was so good, so after listening to them rave and asking them questions, I finally gave in and read it. I LOVED it! It was so moving and powerful! The writing was SO good. It was one of my favorite books last year! After having an amazing experience with this book, I don't shy away from non-fictions anymore, at lest not as much.

Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir

25111012Goodreads Says:    In this gorgeously illustrated, full-color graphic memoir, Stan Lee—comic book legend and cocreator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other Marvel superheroes—shares his iconic legacy and the story of how modern comics came to be.

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. The most legendary name in the history of comic books, he has been the leading creative force behind Marvel Comics, and has brought to life—and into the mainstream—some of the world’s best-known heroes and most infamous villains throughout his career. His stories—filled with superheroes struggling with personal hang-ups and bad guys who possessed previously unseen psychological complexity—added wit and subtlety to a field previously locked into flat portrayals of good vs. evil. Lee put the human in superhuman and in doing so, created a new mythology for the twentieth century.

In this beautifully illustrated graphic memoir—illustrated by celebrated artist Colleen Doran—Lee tells the story of his life with the same inimitable wit, energy, and offbeat spirit that he brought to the world of comics. Moving from his impoverished childhood in Manhattan to his early days writing comics, through his military training films during World War II and the rise of the Marvel empire in the 1960s to the current resurgence in movies, Amazing Fantastic Incredible documents the life of a man and the legacy of an industry and career.

This funny, moving, and incredibly honest memoir is a must-have for collectors and fans of comic books and graphic novels of every age.

My Thoughts:

-    I LOVE the cover so much! I also love what was under the dust jacket!

-    The double spread of Stan's favorite books in the beginning was so awesome! I loved it! It was fun to see a collage of so many great characters.

-    This was a brilliant graphic novel, and it seriously is the only way for Stan Lee to do his memoir. 

-    I love the artwork and page layouts so much! It was like reading an old 60s comic. I loved it!

-    There was SO much to ooh and aah and geek out over! There were so many great people named and talked about, like Jack Kirby and Roy Thomas. I was sad to learn that Jack and Stan had a sort of falling out. 

-    The book had a lot of history on what happened with the Marvel company. It was interesting, and I learned a lot.

-    I love what Stan had to say about his marriage in the end. Not all marriages last, and I'm glad his is. 

-    This was a very Stan Lee book. It was full of his charisma and humor. I like he broke the 4th wall and talked to the reader. I also like when he spoke to his younger self.

-    A must read for all Marvel/Stan Lee fans!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

BBAW: Blogger Interview

Day OneIntroduce yourself (1)

On a whim, I decided to sign up for Book Blogger Appreciation Week. 
It is being hosted by The Estella Society.

I missed the prompt for the first day, so I'm not off to a good start, but I have been having a great time getting to know Tif!
She came up with this great idea to do an interview on the run. We asked each other a couple of questions, wrote answers, and asked more questions. It was really fun to exchange emails this way, and it made the interview more of a conversation.

Interview on the Run

For your convenience I'll color code who is who.

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging almost 9 years ago because it was the new thing among my IRL friends. They were blogging about their families, but I decided to go with books instead because I didn't feel comfortable sharing so many details about my babes on the internet.  I had no idea that the book blogging community existed, but I eventually stumbled upon it and the rest is history!  

What are your favorite kinds of blog posts to read?

All about books, of course!  I love to hear other's thoughts on books that I have read, but I these days I tend to gravitate more to book discussion posts in general, whether it may be book lists or thoughts on the literary community.

Now, your turn . . .

Tell me about your blog.  How long have you been blogging?  What are your favorite things to write about?  

What do you do in your spare time, when you are not reading or blogging?

I have been blogging for 4 years now.

My favorite things to write about are going to author events with my friends, and I enjoy doing my Fan Art Fridays.

I love video games, I play the clarinet, and I cross stitch, but since we recently bought a house, I've been spending a lot of time on home projects. We are remodeling my daughter's room, and I need to get a nursery put together before my baby is born. I also like to watch movies.

How about you? What do you do when you aren't reading, blogging, or writing?

Tell me a little bit about your family. Siblings? Kids? Spouse? Pets?

We have a bit in common!!  We just bought a house in September, and let me tell you ... It is a fixer-upper!  We have been working every chance we get to paint, remodel, clean, unpack, etc.  I won't even tell you how many boxes we still have laying around unopened or partially unpacked.  I can't even unpack many boxes because the rooms are simply not ready yet! Someday . . .

Besides the house, I also love to spend time with my family, especially playing outdoors and in the mountains.  I usually take my camera along and snap a few (okay, a LOT) of pictures along the way as well.

And, speaking of my family ... I have been married to my amazing husband for almost 16 years and we have two kids, a boy and a girl.  We also have a dog named Lily Harper, and yes, she is named after literary characters!  

You're turn again!  

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books that you think everyone else should be reading?  

And, since you mentioned that you love to attend author events, can you share a favorite or two of the ones you have attended?

To see my answers and the rest of our Interview on the Run, head on over to Tif's blog.

p.s. Don't you love her heading? So colorful and fun!

p.p.s. Thanks for this awesome idea Tif! It was SO much fun chatting with you!

Monday, February 15, 2016

David Copperfield

392289Goodreads Synopsis:    David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy & impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora; & the magnificently impecunious Micawber, one of literature’s great comic creations.

In David Copperfield—the novel he described as his “favorite child”—Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant & enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy & comedy in equal measure.

My Thoughts:

-    I've been wanting to read this for forever! I was always intimidated by it, but I didn't need to worry. I was captivated from page one. I really enjoyed reading this!

-    I love the way Dickens describes things. It is so vivid, and he makes everything so interesting. I love the way he describes Mr. Peggoty's house. It sounds amazing, and I want to visit there.

-    In the first half of the book I felt so bad for poor David! His whole world was turned upside down, and things just kept getting worse and worse. It made me want to hold my daughter and be extra kind to her. Why did David's mother marry such a creep!?

-    There were so many great characters in this story. I loved Mr. Peggoty, Mr. Micawber, Miss Mowcher, Traddles, Mr. Dick, Agnes, but my two absolute favorites were Peggoty and Betsey Trotwood. They were different, but they made huge impacts on David's life. I loved Peggoty's devotion and love. Betsey Trotwood made me laugh. I loved her stern kindness.

-    There were some unsavory characters as well. Uriah Heep was a creep from the beginning! His "humble" attitude and disposition just grated on my nerves, and I wanted to smack him. Steerforth bugged me, but I couldn't really say why until towards the end. He was haughty and wasn't a true friend. He was very self-centered.

-    I LOVED the old school illustrations. I want to frame one and hang it in my house. It would be so cool!

-    I loved when David broke the wall between author and reader and spoke directly to the reader. It was so interesting to see in a book this old. 

-    I don't understand David's devotion to Steerforth, even in the end. David idolized Steerforth and put him on an undeserved pedestal to worship. It was weird and drove me nuts.

-    David Copperfield is such a romantic. He romanticizes everything! He really sees the world through rose colored glasses, but he does get a few reality checks thank goodness. 

-    Dora bugged! I think David and Dora had a very shallow relationship. I don't doubt their devotion to each other, but it was a silly marriage. Dora was SO childish!

-    Mr. Micawber's letters were a bit tedious to read at times. He is SO wordy! But at the same time, it makes him so endearing.

-    I loved how ALL the character's individual stories were wrapped up. It was a nice and tidy ending. 

-    Great read! I'm not going to shy away from large Dickens books anymore!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lindsey Leavitt

On Wednesday, I went to see Lindsey Leavitt with my friends!

Here is Jayne, Tori, and Suey

Me and Jenny

Lindsey was at the Provo Library promoting her new book The Pages Between Us. She did a good job promoting it cause I wasn't going to buy a book that night, but I ended up buy it anyway. I also bought a copy of Sean Griswald's Head! I'm such a sucker!

Erica introduced the author.

Lindsey was really funny and energetic. She knows how to win over a crowd.

Since Lindsey co-wrote the book with Robin Mellom, Lindsey called up Robin and they did most of the presentation together. Lindsey held the mic to her phone so we could hear Robin. She was on a train to LA.

Some things Lindsey and Robin talked about:

-    The book is written notebook style. The two main characters write notes to each other in a notebook.

-    Lindsey and Robin emailed the story back and forth. They each wrote for one of the MCs, and they wrote back and forth like they were writing in the notebook.

-    The whole book took about 4 months to write.

-    The project was supposed to be a secret, but Robin let it slip to her agent.

-    The book got a lot of interest, so it went to auction. They chose to have it published by Harper because Harper was the one that would produce the book the way Lindsey and Robin wanted it.

-    The book is very visual with notes and lists and stuff. Lindsey and Robin are very pleased with how it turned out.

This is Lindsey signing her books with her daughter on her lap. Her daughter broke her arm, and she wasn't feeling good.

Here is our group picture with the author. The person who took our picture didn't zoom in. Grr!

Jayne and Jenny ditched us, but the rest of us kept tradition by going to JCWs for yummy food!

It was a fun night!