Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cast a Harry Potter Spell Tag

Stealing this from Layla, who proclaimed it "the best tag ever." This was super fun to write, and I invite you all to join in with me! :)

Fixes damaged objects
A book that needs some serious fixing: The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. The names were impossible to pronounce, the main character had no personality, and everything was confusing and unorganized.
Creates a narrow beam of light
A book that deserves more attention: The Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill. It's the kind of series I'd shove into your hand. Every teenage writer who wants to get published should read it.

Counters the effects of Lumos
An overhyped book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm sorry, but after the 150 pages I read, I couldn't get through the rest. I was so, so bored. I'm sorry, but where was the plot? People keep saying how cool it is that it's narrated by Death, but half the time I forgot that Death was even narrating the story!

Summons an object from a significant distance
A book you’re anticipating: The Seeker by Stephenie Meyer, Compulsion by Martina Boone, and Landline by Rainbow Rowell. :)

Opens unlocked doors, unless bewitched
A book you want to be more open about: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I'm planning on reading it at some point so I can form valid opinions on the books, but every time I think about it, I groan a little. But my best friend loves them and I figured I should see what all the fuss is about.

Expecto Patronum
Conjures an incarnation of positive feelings
A book that made you cry, or at least want to: Allegiant by Veronica Roth caused me to fall into an incurable book hangover that lasted for three days. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (which I reread recently for my book club) make me cry for fifty-three pages straight (no lie--I counted). There's a circular spot on page 260 near the binding that's worn out because a tear landed there. Though there were many others (which you can read about HERE), those two take the cake.

Conjures the Dark Mark
A book you wish to mark as one of your favorites: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

Petrificus Totalus
Petrifies victim
A book you wish to keep forever: See above.

Used against a boggart
A book with a deceiving synopsis: Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner. This part right here made me snort: "In the course of one year at San Paulo Junior High, these four lives will intersect in unique and hilarious ways." This book wasn't remotely funny, and the four main characters hardly crossed paths at all.

Lacarnum Inflamarae
Shoots fireballs
A book you wish to burn out of your mind completely: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I couldn't finish it. I hated it way too much to continue reading it. The characters were mean and catty and gross. I didn't care about any of them. I did read it when I was younger (11 or 12, I think), but looking back, I don't think I'd like it even now. I can't relate to any of them.

Wingardium Leviosa
Levitates objects
A book you wish to reread: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, and These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, to name a few. ;)

Avada Kedavra
Causes instant death
Worst book EVER: The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander, Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner, and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
Puts victim in an unconscious state
A book with a chapter you couldn’t seem to get over: Besides the obvious ones I previously mentioned (Allegiant and The Fault In Our Stars) The epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is enough to make any loyal fan cry, simply because it's so perfect.

Causes befuddlement or forgetfulness
A book that generally confused you: Going Bovine by Libba Bray. It was good, but totally bizarre. It's hard to even describe it.
Inflicts unbearable pain
A book that was a pain to read: Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner. SHOOT ME NOW.

Heals relatively minor injuries
A feel good book that you enjoyed: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Also, books like the Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and the Calvin and Hobbes books by Bill Watterson are great books for those days when you need a cup of hot chocolate and a big hug.

Impedes target’s progress
A book that kept you up all night reading: Well, all books keep me up late reading if they're good enough, but some that I've read recently that stand out in my mind are the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and Panic by Lauren Oliver.

Immediate silencing
A book that left you speechless after you read it: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I finished it, reread the last page again (and again, and again, and again . . .), closed it, stared at the ocean (I finished it during our family's beach vacation last year), and kept thinking about it until we left. I tried and failed to get into several books soon after I finished reading it.

Allows you to delve into someone’s mind
A book with well-developed characters: All the characters in Rainbow Rowell's books are fantastic, especially considering that all of her books are written in the third person (which I know is hard to do). The characters from Harry Potter are wonderful, of course, but Melinda from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Wanda from The Host by Stephenie Meyer also go through significant changes through the books.

A spell that turns you upside down
A book that changed your mind about a character from its prequel: Hmm . . . I liked Chase in The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill, but after something happened in The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, I couldn't stand him. I only liked Isabelle okay in City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, but I really liked her after reading City of Glass. In Dungeon Crawlin' Fools (the first book in the Order of the Stick series--or OOTS--by Rich Burlew), I thought Haley was kind of a boring character, but you really start getting to know her in No Cure For the Paladin Blues. (I highly recommend the OOTS series if you're a D&D fan.)

Used to hide memories
A book with a story you can’t remember: Defiance by C.J. Redwin, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and What the Dog Said by Randi Reisfeld. I read these books a long time ago.

Peskipiksi Pesternomi
Useless spell
A boring book that had absolutely no effect on you: Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner. *slams head on desk*


Breaks through solid objects
A book that convinced you to reconsider a certain genre: I generally don't like hardcore sci-fi (with the exception of "Doctor Who," of course), but These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and Cinder by Marissa Meyer helped me to give it a second chance. I still can't get into Ender's Game, though.

Tickling spell
A book that made you laugh: The OOTS books and The Fault In Our Stars are both incredibly hilarious. I've almost woken up my parents before because I was laughing so hard late at night.

Offensive spell that violently wounds the target
A book that may have scarred you for life: Allegiant by Veronica Roth and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green have both caused me to cry hard until all I want to do is curl up under the covers and stay in bed all day.

Makes you dance uncontrollably
A series finale that made you feel giddy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. No explanation necessary.

Bombarda Maxima
Causes an explosion that breaks through obstacles
A book that made you explode with the feels: The Harry Potter series, Allegiant, The Fault In Our Stars, Eleanor & Park, the list goes on.

Finite Incantatem
Nullifies other spells
A book you thought you’d dislike, but ended up loving: The Host by Stephenie Meyer. If it weren't for my BFF, I would never have picked it up. I'm so glad I did!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The pages are FINISHED! :) What do you think? Can you see them all right? All suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

New Design

I'm going to be making some changes around here over the next few days. So far I've only changed the header (do you like it?), but I'm planning to add tabs that I think will make the blog more organized.

Is there anything you feel is missing from here? Anything you'd like to see reorganized? (While I can't make any promises, I'll definitely take your ideas into consideration.) Don't hesitate to leave a comment with suggestions!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Top 14 Tear Jerkers

At first I was just going to make it about books, but then I kept remembering these movies and TV shows that made me cry just as much as all of these books did. So I split them up into two categories: Top seven books, and top seven movies/TV shows. I put them in order from the ones that made me sniffle to the ones that made me go through a whole package of tissues. They're mostly spoiler free, but I'll warn you before I give something away. Here they are.

Top 7 Books:

#7. Bridge to Terabithia

I'd heard this book was sad, but I never thought it'd be that sad. I definitely didn't see it coming with it being a kid's book and all. It's a very sweet story.

#6. Wonder

Is there anything that could make this book more spectacular? It makes you cry, it makes you laugh, and then it makes you cry some more. Guaranteed to make you feel good.

#5. Harry Potter 5-7

For those of you who have read the books, I don't think there's any need for explanation here.

#4. These Broken Stars

What happened in this book was completely unexpected. Never in a million years would I have thought it could be sad just based on the back of the book. Definitely have your tissues handy for this one.

#3. The Host

Ahhh, I can't even begin to tell you how much of a hangover I had after this one. The beginning's a little slow, but the payoff is worth it. I'm positive you'll get a little teary-eyed. (The movie has the same effect, too.)

#2. The Fault In Our Stars

This is one of those books that people disappear into their rooms for hours after they finish reading it. John Green is a genius. I can't wait for the movie.

#1. Allegiant

This series had the best ending of any dystopian trilogy I've ever read. Oh, you'll bawl like a baby and get a massive book hangover after reading it, but the ending is much more satisfying than, say, Mockingjay's ending. It's much more realistic and completely and totally fantastic.

Top 7 Movies/TV Shows:

#7. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

That scene in District 11 is enough to make anyone tear up. Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress.

#6. "Up"

Darn you, Pixar!

#5. "Saving Mr. Banks"

What? A movie about the making of "Marry Poppins" is sad? Um, yes. You've been warned.

#4. "The Help"

Gah, that scene at the end with the little girl banging on the window broke my heart. This is one of the few movies that is actually on par with the book.

#3. "Toy Story 3"

It's Pixar, so it's to be expected that you'll cry, but this was different. I'm very attached to my stuffed animals, so it really hit home. My mom forgot to bring her tissues when we went to see it. Big mistake.

#2. "Gilmore Girls: Bon Voyage"

One of the best series finales I've ever watched. I want to move to Stars Hollow.

#1. "Doctor Who: Doomsday"

Spoilers ahead!!!

I can't tell you how excited many of my blogging friends were when I said I was going to start watching "Doctor Who." After the tenth recommendation, I finally gave in and started watching. I wasn't sure what to think at first, and I didn't really believe that I could get as attached to these characters as everyone else was, but after the fourth episode or so, I was hooked. I absolutely loved the ninth Doctor and Rose and cried when he regenerated. I'd heard that David Tennant was a fan favorite, but I didn't think I would like him as much as Christopher Eccleston.

Well, it took me half a season, but the tenth Doctor grew on me. His chemistry with Rose that made me giggle right along with them had me worried for when Rose had to leave. I knew I was going to be a mess, but I wasn't nearly as prepared as I should've been.

The last twenty minutes of "Doomsday" had me bawling. I went through an entire package of tissues and it still wasn't enough. The scene where Rose and the Doctor had their faces pressed up against the wall made me lose it, almost as much as the beach scene. (I've got to tell you, I think "I'm burning up a sun just to say goodbye" might be the most romantic line I've ever heard on TV.) This episode is guaranteed to make you cry really, really hard (unless you're a Dalek, in which case you won't feel anything).

What are the saddest things you've read/watched? Leave a comment!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Fictional Life

I'm stealing this meme from Zoe at "Bookhi." Her blog is super fun, so be sure to check it out! :)

1.What fictional world would you live in?

Definitely the wizarding world. Definitely.

2. What fictional being would you be?

A witch. :) The good kind from Harry Potter, not the evil, warty kind.

3. What fictional animal/creature would you keep as a pet?

Ooh, that's tricky. I think I'd like an owl, because it's so much better than e-mail. But I'd also really like a pet unicorn, because how cool would that be?!

4. What fictional couple would be your Mom and Dad?

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley! :) (Can you tell I like Harry Potter yet?)

5. What fictional characters would be your brother and sister?

Hmm. Probably Hermione for my sister. For my brother it's a tie between Jamie (from The Host) and Max (from The Mortal Instruments series). Hermione and I have a lot in common and Jamie and Max are both super sweet.

6. Which fictional character would be your best friend?

I think Hazel from The Fault In Our Stars would be a close friend. She seems like someone I could easily hang out with.

7. Choose 3 fictional characters to be your close girl friends?

Other than Hazel, I'd say Cath from Fangirl, Luna, and Tris from Divergent, though Melanie/Wanda from The Host, Lilac from These Broken Stars, and Clary from The Mortal Instruments series are close seconds.

8. Choose 3 fictional characters to be your close guy friends?
Ron, Neville, and Peeta.

9. What fictional character would be your girlfriend/boyfriend?
Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars or Levi from Fangirl.

10. What author would pen your story?

J.K. Rowling. Definitely.

I tag you all! :) Feel free to post your answers in the comments and/or on your blog.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January Wrap-Up

Books I Read

John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth by Elizabeth Partridge


Recommended to anyone who likes biographies and the Beatles. (That one was kind of obvious . . .)

Panic by Lauren Oliver (Can't believe I got an ARC of this!!!)


Recommended to fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher. A great contemporary that feels like dystopian, with touches of romance.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


I'm sorry, but I don't see what the big hoopla is over this book. I tried and failed to get into it for two months and 120 pages. I might pick it up again eventually, but right now I have other books to read.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who loves a good slow-progressing relationship (much like Hazel and Augustus's relationship in The Fault In Our Stars, but with much more dislike at the beginning. The character's practically hate each other for the first 100 pages.) and sci-fi that doesn't feel like sci-fi (much like The Host).

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein


You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who loves games and riddles. It's a great book to read as a family.

The Order of the Stick: No Cure For the Paladin Blues by Rich Burlew


Recommended to anyone who loves simple cartoons, Dungeons and Dragons, and laughing out loud.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis


(I know, I know, I should've read this a long time ago. That's what everyone has been telling me.) Recommended to anyone who likes fairytales and looking for symbolism. (Anyone else think that the scene where the queen kills Aslan is supposed to represent the crucifixion of Jesus?)

Movies I Watched

 "Apollo 13"


You can read my review HERE.

Recommended to anyone who likes space, suspense, and historical fiction.

"The Croods"


Recommended to anyone who likes Pixar movies (though this movie isn't Pixar, it's DreamWorks), prehistoric times, comedy (especially slapstick humor), and people of all ages.

"Saving Mr. Banks"


Recommended to anyone who likes to write and doesn't mind a good cry.

Quotes I Wrote

Flynn smiles. “We won’t get hurt. We’re with you.”

“That’s a dangerous way of thinking.”
“Everything’s dangerous nowadays.”
--Flightless Birds

Obsessions I Acquired

"Doctor Who" (I've only seen Christopher Eccleston and part of David Tennant so far, so no spoilers please! So far Eccleston is my favorite.)

Rediscovered my love for Flightless Birds, which I had gotten stuck with in December around Christmas.

Chocolate Mocha hot chocolate.

Picture of the Month

(Psst. If you'd like, you can grab my blog button on the sidebar of my blog.) Thank you to the Notebook Sisters for showing me how to make it! :)

How was your January?

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Book Blogger TMI Tag

Thanks for tagging me, Boquinha! :)

How old are you?

13, turning 14 in April.

What book are you reading?

This answer will probably change by the time this posts, but currently I'm reading Girl, Stolen by April Henry (for my book club), an ARC of No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale, City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling.

What are you wearing?

I'm sick right now, so I'm staying in my pajamas: a comfortable T-shirt, blue yoga pants, and fuzzy, rainbow socks.


(This means, One True Pairing, which is your favorite fictional relationship).

Ron and Hermione, Eleanor and Park, Katniss and Peeta, Hazel and Augustus, Wanda and Ian, Lilac and Tarver, Tris and Four, and Ellie and Palmer. I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones off the top of my head. ;)

Blogger or Wordpress?

I'm a Blogger girl, through and through. Wordpress confuses me. Also, I find the commenting system too complicated. It's hard to subscribe to comments without having to go through several verification e-mails and links.

Going outside being active or staying in and reading a book?

Can I pick going outside and reading a book? ;)

What is the last book you read?

Panic by Lauren Oliver. It didn't even come close to the brilliance of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, but it was a quick read and helped me through my hangover. ;)

What is the book you're going to read next?

I'm going to read I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai for my book club, but other than that I'm not sure. I found this really cool thing online that helps people to pick what book they're reading next. You take a jar, write down the names of all the book on your TBR pile (that took me a while), and put them all in the jar. When it's time to pick your next book, you reach in and pull a name out. So I have no idea what I'm reading next. :) Although several people have been begging me to read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater for a while now, so maybe I'll cheat and go with that. ;)

eBooks - yes or no?

I'm going to go with a sometimes. If I'm dying to read a book, but it's only in hardback and our library doesn't have it, I'll go with an eBook. I love taking my Kindle on road trips, because it's light and can easily be squeezed between my stacks of notebooks and pencil cases, but it annoys me to no end when it runs out of battery. I made the mistake of reading Catching Fire on my Kindle. Boy was I mad when I had to wait until it charged to find out what happened to (spoiler alert) Katniss and Peeta in the arena.

Where do you prefer to read?

My bed, my reading corner, the car, wherever. As long as I have a good book with me, I'm happy.

Who is the last person you tweeted?

As of now, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner about a giveaway of These Broken Stars.

Whose blog did you look at last?

My mom and dad's blog, "Sushi and Pizza."

Who is your favourite blogger?

I have to pick one?! Sorry, can't do that. I'll pick a few: my mom, my dad, my brother, my BFF Kirsten, nevillegirl, storytellergirlgrace, Karoline Kingley, Layla, Cait and Mime, Sherri, Christine, Martina and Jan, Joe Bunting, Bryan Hutchinson, Lydia, Charley, Kristin, Bethy, Joe McGee, Stephanie and Jill, and much, much more! :)

Who is your favourite booktuber?

I don't really follow any booktubers, although I love John and Hank Green's videos on YouTube.

What do you do when someone tells you reading is boring?

Say something noncommittal, like, "Hmm" and change the subject.

Who is the last author you spoke to?

A.S. King in real life (she's awesome), but I'm pretty sure I tweeted back and forth with Rainbow Rowell last (she's also awesome).

Who is the last person you texted?


Who is your all-time favourite book character?

Again, just one?! I have a soft spot for Hermione from the Harry Potter series, but recent character discoveries that I've loved are Katniss from The Hunger Games, Tris from Divergent, and Lilac and Tarver from These Broken Stars. I also love Clary and Simon from the Mortal Instruments series. And Eleanor and Park from Eleanor & Park. And Melanie, Wanda, Jamie, Ian, and Jeb from The Host. And Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac from The Fault In Our Stars. And Ellie and Palmer from the Ellie Sweet series. (See? I have a hard time picking favorites!)


Both. ;) Harry Potter is from the UK, but most of the other books I read are from the US.

What is your preferred drink whilst reading?

Hot chocolate or a chocolate and peanut butter milkshake. Anything chocolate, really.

If you hated reading, what would you be doing instead?

That's such a sad thought! :( Um, if I hated reading, I'd probably hate writing, too (and I just can't imagine that), so I'd probably be playing more board games/video games and watching more TV. I'd also probably interact with real life people more often instead of fictional ones. ;)

How many bookshelves/bookcases do you have?

I personally own one, but I stuff books in all sorts of places. Whenever there's an empty corner, I stick a few books there.

If you had the choice to meet all of your favourite book bloggers or all of your favourite authors, which would you pick? You can only pick one.

I can't pick. I want to meet all of them!!!

Insta-love: yes or no?

Meh. I don't have a strong opinion on it, though I think it's rather unrealistic. I prefer a slow progression in a relationship, like Eleanor and Park, Ron and Hermione, Lilac and Tarver (one of the best slow-progressing relationships I've ever read!), and Katniss and Peeta.

Favourite author?

J.K. Rowling, but Rainbow Rowell is a close second.

What is the number-one book on your wishlist?

The Host by Stephenie Meyer and the Ellie Sweet series by Stephanie Morrill.

Do you prefer books with female or male protagonists?

While I love strong, but realistic and complex female protagonists (like Katniss, Tris, Lilac, Hermione, etc.), I don't care if the main character is a boy or a girl. I just want to be able to like and root for him/her.

Which is your favourite book-to-film adaption?

The "Harry Potter" movies instantly come to mind (of course), but "The Hunger Games" and especially "Catching Fire" are also fantastic. Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress!

What is the last song you listened to?

I don't remember, but I know that I was recently listening to my soundtrack for my novel Flightless Birds while I wrote a particularly tense chapter involving massive dehydration and hallucinations. On second thought, it might've been "All Too Well" by Taylor Swift.

Which do you enjoy reading more - negative reviews or positive reviews?

While negative reviews can be hilarious, I much prefer positive reviews. I'm left with a better feeling after reading one than I am after reading a negative review.

Who are you going to tag?

Sticking with the theme of not being able to choose just a few people, I tag all of you! ;) Feel free to complete the meme on your blog or in the comments. Have fun!