Thank You J. K. Rowling

Dear J. K. Rowling,

It’s been 18 years of Harry Potter and I’d like to personally thank you for them. When I was a young girl I really wanted to read your books but my mother would tell me no every time I brought them home because she believed they were evil. My father finally convinced her to let me read them. I am so grateful to him for allowing Harry and you to come into my life. Harry has been my constant companion since I was ten years old. Half of my life has been made memorable by you. No matter who you were at school, cool or not, Harry Potter would bring children together. When we weren’t brought together and I was alone and in tears over being rejected, I had Harry. With Harry I learned that doing what is right will not always be easy but must be done. Hermione taught me that being beautiful is not the most important thing but being smart isn’t either. I connected so strongly with Hermione and to watch her grow into an amazing person gave me hope that I would too. You taught me love is the strongest form of magic and you can be brave in small ways. I learned to speak up against injustice even if my voice might not be the loudest and there will be those who will try to silence me. I learned that death is inevitable and those we love most will leave us but that doesn’t mean they don’t love us. You gave me and so many others another home with your words. When this world was scary and unforgiving I had Hogwarts. Even at 2o years old I know I always have Hogwarts to welcome me home and for me that is so comforting. My greatest hope will be to take my own children to Hogwarts and make it another home for them. You helped me grow up into the more open minded and sometimes brave woman I am now.  I am eternally grateful to you and your determination. You inspire me to work hard for what I want and don’t take no for an answer. I do not know if you will ever see this but I just wanted to thank you for 18 years of magic.

A Grateful Reader

The Determined Heart By Antoinette May

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I received this e-ARC for free from Lake Union Publishing through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid and all thoughts are my own.

Hello again friends!!! Today I am reviewing a book in one of my favorite genres which is Fictional Accounts of Real People’s Lives. I always love this genre because it inspires me to learn more about the person and this book is no exception. It’s odd because I only just like Frankenstein. I think its good but its by no means my favorite. That being said I have always found Mary Shelley fascinating.

This book follows the life of Mary from age four till age twenty six and I am in love. I started this book yesterday at 2 pm for an hour and then read it for another couple of hours last night and then finished it this morning. I feel like Ms. May did a wonderful job capturing who these people were. I’ve always thought Percy Shelley was a douche. His poetry and infidelities make me angry. Honestly if a man told me he loved Shelley I’d probably never speak to him again. This book clearly made Percy out to be the douche I always knew he was. I never realized how much Mary Shelley went through in her life and how her depression made her write Frankenstein. After reading this book I might have to reread Frankenstein and read her other works which I did not know existed until this book.

This book flowed beautifully and I can tell research was done extensively to write this book. All the figures mentioned were well rounded and had their flaws. Even though Lord Byron is a cad you couldn’t help but like him. That’s what makes a good novel, is characters with flaws but are still likeable. I highly recommend this book for historical fiction lovers and lovers of Frankenstein. You get such an in depth look at how Mary Shelley became this famous author with much acclaim. It made me appreciate her creation of the Science Fiction genre even more.

The book doesn’t come out until September 29 so you all have a bit of a wait. Put it in your wishlists or to read lists because the wait is worth it. When it comes out you can get it in paperback for $14.95.

Darkhaven By A. F. E. Smith

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I received this e-ARC for free from HarperCollins UK through Netgalley for an honest review. I was not paid and all opinions are my own.

Hello everyone!!! I am so so so excited to be writing this review. When I was browsing through Netgalley this book seemed like the perfect fantasy book for me and was not expecting to be accepted for a copy since it seemed like one every person wanted. But I got it and it is so amazing.

Darkhaven takes place in a medievalesque city ruled by Florentyn who is a Changer. Florentyn’s family is the only line of Changers in the area so when he is murdered his daughter Ayla is accused since her brother Myrren cannot Change. However the murder was not the first attack done by this Changer since a priestess named Serenna was attacked as well. While Ayla is on the run, she meets up with a shamed ex guard Tomas Caraway who is the one responsible for the death of her mother. Myrren is trying to prove Ayla’s innocence by recruiting the help of Sister Serenna since she is the only one who saw the Changer’s form. Myrren and Serenna decide there must me another child of Florentyn born before Myrren. That is how they find Elisse and her bodyguard Sorrow. The ultimate question is Elisse responsible for the murder? If not her then who?

Okay this novel is beautiful. Just the descriptions of characters and places and fabrics are gorgeous. Ms. Smith clearly took time to shape her world with these descriptions. This would make a stunning film. Also the characters are so refreshing and real. The villains are scum but you are given insight into what motivates them which is fantastic. I loved the budding relationship between Myrren and Serenna, I thought it was so naturally created. Tomas Caraway was such a Sydney Carton figure and I love Sydney Carton so he was perfect. I can perfectly see the character of Sorrow played by Gwendoline Christie if it was a movie. This is a stand alone novel which is great because I haven’t seen many of those in the fantasy section for a long time. It’s just lovely and amazing and I wish it was offered in hardcover because I would buy this for its cover in a heartbeat.

The book will be available for purchase on Kindle for $3.99 on July 2. I 100% recommend this book and I am so grateful for this opportunity by HarperCollins to read it.

A Day In The Life Of An English Major

Hello friends!! I thought it would be a good idea to write a post about what it is like to major in English. I figured there are probably people who want to know how others are handling it. I will be as fun and informative as I can. I will be honest and if anyone has anything to add or ask please feel free to do so in the comments. I’m going to do a time sheet type thing for last semester’s courses for me since my English classes were all on the same day. I’ll also cover how I did (or didn’t) do the readings.

Every Wednesday for the Spring Semester:

9:00 AM

I wake up and make myself look presentable. I gather my books and laptop I will need for the next six hours and leave to get breakfast.

9:30-9:45 AM

I eat breakfast and cram finish any readings I have left for the first two classes. I could be finishing a couple of chapters or half the book (oops).

10:30 AM

First class begins. I spent the hour and fifteen minutes with my laptop open maybe jotting down notes or browsing the Internet. This class often has group discussions over passages of significance so I engage in that too. Even if you do browse the Internet while the class is happening its important to participate in the discussion. Your professor will like you more for it and it will make the time go by faster.

11:45 AM

Eat lunch with my roommate and finish any other reading for the next class. Mostly eating and talking though with absent minded skimming.

1:30 PM

Second class starts. No technology allowed in this class so I must write notes and stare at the board. I was notoriously bad at doing the reading for this class because it didn’t interest me or I read it a few years back. My best advice in this situation is learn to bullshit. I would actively participate in conversations with limited knowledge as to what was happening but some how managed to always be insightful. I still don’t know how. As an English major you too will learn the artistry of bullshit.

2:00 PM

I return to my dorm to wait until my night class. This five hours time is used to slack off, nap, watch Netflix, or desperately trying to finish a paper for said night class.

7:20 PM

Night class until 1o begins. I will ultimately spend three hours writing sarcastic notes on Arthurian legends in a class of ten people. By the end of the night I will have felt like multiple books have been stuffed through my ears.

10:00 PM

Walk back to dorm with classmate while complaining about the research papers we have yet to start.

2:00 AM

Finally go to sleep after talking to roommate and messing around on my phone and laptop.

Alrighty now that you’ve seen the daily break down I figured it would be best to talk about papers. As an English major you could be writing anywhere from zero to three or more papers a week. Your friends will ask you why you do this to yourself as they watch you slave over your laptop with books strewn across the bed. You must learn time management and which ones would be best to start when. Always do short papers first and papers that are closest to being due. I always would save my night class papers for last since it was only once a week and I had five hours to work on it before class.

I hope this breakdown and advice helps you all!

Being A Fake Geek Girl

I am sick and tired of hearing the term Fake Geek Girl. It is the most nauseating phrase to come out of the geek community. For anyone that doesn’t know a Fake Geek Girl is a woman who pretends to enjoy the nerdier pursuits of life to attract the male species. It’s bullshit. I’ve seen this term predominantly used by men to elevate their stature of attractiveness or to belittle women who don’t know every piece of info on the fandom in question. 

First off, WOMEN ARE NOT TRYING TO IMPRESS YOU ARROGANT PIECES OF CRAP!! Do not try to elevate yourself like that. Do not think for one minute that a woman is spending all this time in the fandom in the hopes of your attention. She is there because she wants to be there. 

Second, just because your head is so far up the ass of the fandom doesn’t mean someone doesn’t love it too. You can be a fan of something without knowing everything. You can be a fan by just enjoying what you’ve seen. I’ve noticed with the upcoming Star Wars film there has been a lot more gatekeeping by men saying teenage girls say they love Star Wars but clearly don’t because they don’t know about Darth Bane. Puhlease. I will gatekeep you right back because I know something old and bad in the fandom because of my dad. I will take you down. 

Thirdly and most importantly, IF A WOMAN DRESSES UP IN COSPLAY AS A PROVOCATIVE CHARACTER YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SEXUALLY HARASS HER AT ALL. Do not touch a woman’s ass if she’s dressed as Poison Ivy. Do not say sexual things to a woman dressed as Black Widow. Do not shame a woman who doesn’t have the body of Jessica Rabbit for wearing a Catwoman costume. We are not here for YOUR sexual pleasure. We are here to enjoy the Con and have fun. Just cause I like superheroes and am hot as hell does not mean I want you to look at me in that lecherous fashion.

It’s a sad dynamic because when I was little I was ridiculed by boys for liking Star Wars and superheroes and now that I’m an adult I’m ridiculed for not “liking them enough.” I’ve been told the only reason I watch Marvel movies is because I think the actors are hot. Damn right I think those actors are hot have you looked at them? But I enjoy the plot and action and adventure. If I just wanted to look at hot men without a plot I’d watch Magic Mike. 

So here’s the thing gentlemen, I am not a Fake Geek Girl. I am a woman who enjoys nerdy things. I am not any less important because I don’t know what Stan Lee ate while creating Iron Man. If I do know that I did not google it five seconds before I spoke with you. If I do Google things it’s because I’m interested in knowing it. So get off your high horse before me and the rest of the women beat you off of it.

20 Bookish Questions

Hello my friends!! I found the list of 20 bookish questions and I thought it would be fun to the list. I love reading and doing these because I feel like you learn so much about the blogger.
1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

Probably a picture book called Owl Babies. It was my favorite when I was little and I made my mom read it to me all the time.

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

My current read is The Cuckoo’s Calling, my last read was Song of Summer, and my next read is The Silkworm.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?

Twilight series for sure. They’re not good. They’re kind of creepy. My mom didn’t want me to read them because of the unhealthy relationship of Edward and Bella. 
4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I honestly can’t think of one. I usually follow through on these things. 

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?” 
Les Miserables. I own it but I just don’t have that kind of commitment to sorrow right now.
6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Wait till the end. I hate myself any times I look. It ruins all the suspense and fun.
7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

I really like them. I think it’s interesting to see who the author thought was important enough to mention.
8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Probably Diana Bishop from the All Souls Trilogy. Who wouldn’t want to be a witch with a hot vampire boyfriend/husband? 

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

Gone With The Wind reminds me of my best friend in high school because that’s how we bonded. She’s currently living in Scotland training to be an opera singer so I haven’t seen her in 2 years.
10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

I got City of Bones as a joke from a friend because she thought it was a Harry Potter rip off. The first book kind of is though. 

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

All the time. I love giving thoughtful books to friends.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

Inkheart probably has. There’s a line in there about how traveling with books makes them thicker and you remember more things when you read the book. It’s very true.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later? 

Well it hasn’t been ten years since I’ve been in high school but The Great Gatsby really grew on me. I hated it when I had to read it but then I read it for fun and loved it.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

I think it was a breakup note in a library book. 

15. Used or brand new?

I like both. Used when I’m not looking for anything special or for school. New when it’s a book I really want.
16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Both. I actually worry about him. I mean is he okay with all that horror in his brain?
17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

Yep. I hate Atonment the book because I think the author is a pretentious asshole. The movie had the excellent story minus the pretension. 
18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?

Eragon was so bad. Like it hurts to think about how bad it was. The only good thing to come out of that movie was Jeremy Irons

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Harry Potter when there are feast scenes. How are those kids not fat?

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

My mom always knows what I will like and always has. I think I trust the book blogging community as well.

So that’s all for this post. If you all want to do these too I’d love to see your answers.

Song of Summer By Laura Lee Anderson

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I received this e-ARC from Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books through Netgalley for free for an honest review. I was not paid and all opinions are my own.

Hello my friends!!! So summer is now in full swing (good god it’s hot) so I thought it would be the perfect time to read a cute summer romance. That’s what drew me to this book along with it’s unique plot. Our story takes place at the end of summer in a small town. We meet one of our two narrators, Robin who works at the local diner. Robin has just gone through a breakup with her boyfriend Trent who awkwardly works at the diner and plays music at the church with Robin. Robin and her coworkers create a Robin’s Perfect Man list and then walks in a boy that might fit all of those descriptions. There we see our other narrator, Carter who is the typical tall, dark, and handsome who rides a motorcycle. What isn’t typical is Carter is completely deaf and doesn’t care, in fact he doesn’t seem to care for people who can hear. The attraction between the two is immediate and Robin starts to learn pieces of ASL to communicate. Both of them must learn how to manage in the other’s world. Will this blooming love be able to overcome their barriers.

So I liked this book but didn’t love it. I thought it was very cutesy but didn’t have too much substance. I think this book had a lot of potential to be great but I felt like all the main issues were skimmed over. There were parts in the book that made me laugh and even get angry but it wasn’t at the level I was hoping for. Especially with the climax/ending. I felt like there was an attempt to make it Nicholas Sparksesque but I just didn’t like it. It was a nice fluff piece that was a quick read (only 228 pages). Overall I’d give this 3 out of 5 stars.

If you are interested in reading Song of Summer it will be available on July 7th for Kindle for $4.99 (pre order is only $3.82).