Fantasy Gypsy © 2011-2017. Powered by Blogger.

In which I turn another year older

Okay. This is late. My birthday was on Tuesday. But technically it is still my birth-week, so I can totally still post this.

Growing up isn't a hard thing to do. You can just sit and do nothing your whole life and you can still grow with no effort.

When I was younger I would wonder all the time what I would look like or be like when I was a teenager. And I would wish with all my might that I could be older right now!

Isn't it funny how much we want to grow up when we are younger, but then when we are 'grown up' we wish we could just crawl back into our little safe world of childhood.
source

When we are little we don't have anything to worry about but who ate the last cookie.

We want to grow up, thinking when we are older we would have it all figured out. I always thought that when I turned thirteen I would be able to do anything. I've been living in my teens for several years now, and, honestly, it's not how I thought it would be.

I used to see teenagers, who seemed like giants to me. They were all good looking, had boyfriends, and could drive cars and work any place they wanted.

Getting older is much scarier than it seems.

When we are young we don't think of the heartbreaks, the insecurities, and trying to fit in. We don't know about the people who will want to hurt us.

Sometimes I do wish I could go back to my firefly catching days. But I know that God is holding my hand through these hard years, and will help me find myself. :)

A (very blurry) picture of my sister chauncea (left) and I on my birthday. 
 

Guest Post // In the Improvement of Her Mind (why start a reading list?)

All this she must possess . . . and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.
            • Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mr. Darcy’s words ring just as true today as they did when Pride & Prejudice was published in 1813. Unfortunately, books nowadays are often completely worthless—the “middle grade fiction” that Hannah so beautifully posted on over at my blog. So maybe you should craft a reading list . . . for it would make finding that “good fiction” oh so much easier!

Reading lists are excellent for keeping you on track, encouraging you in your progress, and setting a good standard. In the summer of 2011, I began my reading list—a list that morphed from the doable to the impossible (thankfully, I weeded it out viciously a week or two back). But this figurative bookshelf, groaning as it is from the weight of several 1,000+-page novels, has so rewarded me. I’ve kept track of the number of books I’ve read this year (fifteen now!), and I’ve been able to look back with pride and say “I’ve read that!”

One of the problems that I discovered, and still am discovering, when crafting my reading list, is that you can’t necessarily fill out every single author with every single book they’ve ever written. You can’t add every classic author simply because they authored a classic. As startling as it may seem, I do know of at least one classic which is inappropriate and which I had to take off my reading list because of it (The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger--if you have read this and you know it's not as bad as I think, tell me please!). So where do you go to find material, when even lists molded for Christians can’t be trusted?

I suggest checking out small (100-200 books) compilations on the Internet (GoodReads is a pretty good source, and so is Google!), mostly of classics. Ask around! If you’re reading this, you probably have a blog—or at least you read blogs. Ask your favorite blogs if they’d tell you their favorite books. To help me in further molding my reading list, I’ve even set up a readers’ forum on my own blog.

I suggest listing a wide array of works. Fiction, nonfiction, classics, modern (just make sure they’re all clean). Of the first eight authors on my list, I have writers of classic fiction, inspirational fiction, young adult fiction, Christian romantic suspense, historical biographies, and classic fantasy. Lovely array!
Thank you so much, Hannah, for allowing me to guest post!

So . . . gonna start that list yet? ;)


Hannah Elise is a sixteen-year-old homeschool student who loves to read and critique books. She is a hugely amateur fashionista, a professional dreamer, and amazing at just being weird. She blogs over at walking in the air.

kick the summer bucket

Before I get into this post I first have to tell you all something. Believe it or not, summer is my least favourite season.

Yeah, I told my siblings this and they all though I was crazy. But when I really think about it, I can't really get myself to really like summer.

I just feel so... useless during the summer. The only thing I really have to do is 4-H, but once the fair is over I enter a time of complete boredom.

The only good thing about summer to me is the fact that I have no school, but, again, once the crazy rush of fair week is over I am ready for school to come back.

Summer just doesn't have the same feel that all of the other seasons have.

It doesn't have the nice feel of fall. The though of curling up in a pile of leaves and running through a corn maze. And not the  cozy feel of winter, when you can just sit wrapped up in a warm blanket with a cup of tea and a book, just watching it snow (and christmas, duh!). Or the new feeling of spring, of new life.

Summer is hot and sticky and... just hot.

I'm not one of those really crazy 4-Hers who is so committed to the fair and everything, I just do my projects, go to the fair, and leave. I don't have a job to occupy my time. And we hardly ever go o vacations, so I'm stuck here all the time. (We are actually going to Kansas this year, but I'll write more on that in another post.)

But, I had seen several other bloggers post a "Summer Bucket List", and I though that maybe making my own summer bucket list would help me actually do something.

So... here we go. I might add some later, but we'll see.

//Get back on track with my reading goal, since I'm like 15 books behind//
//Get at least a blue ribbon on all my 4-H projects//
//Get my drivers permit? Maybe//
//Spend the rest of my clothes money at Goodwill and Plato's//
//finish five book series I've started//
//Start and finish the first draft of my book... or at least start//
//Get a job? hopefully//
//Save up for the new camera I want//
//find a French class I can take for school next year, or something else for first semester//
//have a photoshoot on the bridge with my friends//
//Do something important//

Okay. Well. half of these I know will be impossible for me to do, but I can dream can't I?

Au revior!

bye-bye google friend connect

I have seen this rumor floating around everywhere for quite a while. Google is retiring google friend connect! O.o

I hadn't ever really believed the rumor. Google has been threatening to shut down GFC forever, but they never have. But then I read somewhere that they are officially retiring it on July 1st... which means all us bloggers need to transfer all of our stuff to bloglovin' before we loose all of our followers and the lovely blogs we follow.

I just did all that yesterday, and now I've noticed many other blogs announcing that they too can be followed via bloglovin'! Which is great that you all are hearing about this too.

And, so you can now follow me on bloglovin', as you can see from the button on my dashboard. (sorry, my dashboard is a bit cluttered, I plan to organize it soon)

Follow on Bloglovin

I would really love it if all of you would follow me on bloglovin', but I understand that that's a near impossible request.

In some ways, I believe that starting over with followers will be a good thing. All blogs will be equal again. No judging other blogs because they don't have hundreds of followers. Though it is sad for the bloggers who have worked so hard to gain 1000 followers.

Oh well, see you all on bloglovin' :)

If you could see my brain

source
Imagine if you will, a dirty room... wait, no, a dirty basement. One that has been neglected. Nothing more than a large storage space. You know what it's like, to throw stuff after stuff after stuff into a basement and totally forget about it.

...Or maybe a hoarder's house...

That is how my brain looks right about now.

I have spent the past school year just throwing stuff in there. Filling up my brain to it's full capacity. Yeah.

I am ready for summer!

And here is some good news... I'm done with math for the year!

...Okay, so I do have this one pesky math test I have to take, but the I am finished!

Good riddance to the second worst subject on the planet. (The worst subject is science, but seeing my progress in science this year, I will most definitely have to do science over the summer :( )

So this *points to self* chica is ready for summer. And it better come soon or my brain is going to simply explode!

In which I fangirl over everything

Every once in a while, I get so fangirly, and need someway to vent it all out. Talking to my family about my fandoms doesn't really work, they either have not a clue what I'm talking about, or they think (well, mostly my sister) that I'm obsessive... which I guess I am. Anyway, this is just a post where I get all my fangirlyness out so I can move on.

I guess I could get a tumblr, so I could get it out everyday, but tumblr scares me (sorry to all you tumblrians).  So, I'll just do it here.
sorce


I have joined pretty much every fandom I know about. I have friends who are into all of that stuff, and introduce me to all of it (and warn me off of some things too, because I'm just an innocent child or something...). Thanks to them, I guess I can call myself a full fledged fangirl.

Hannah; "fanning" since 2011 (or around 2011)

I have been introduced to The Doctor, Sherlock, Once Upon a Time, and many others because of them. (Thanks guys, I would link up their tumblrs, but I can't ever remember their usernames :P sorry)

So yeah. But there have been others that I have introduced myself to some fandoms too.

Like LOTR. :)

I have only just found Downton Abbey... and... I can't even. It's so stinkin' beautiful! :')
These two! I love 'em! :)

Yeah. I kind of have a fictional bucket list, which mostly consists of going to all of these fictional settings. Middle Earth, Narnia, the TARDIS, and Downton Abbey (Oh, I want to go to Downton Abbey so badly, to kick Thomas more than anything :P) are all on this list.

Why must everything be fictional!?

Okay, Hannah needs to calm down.

Ugh!

Oh, and the Once Upon a Time season finale just came out, and they are killing me!

Sorry, not calming down.

I'm trying not to give away any spoilers for anything here, but man it's hard.

If you all liked this post for some reason, you can see more of my fangirlyness on my fandom pinterest board, which has everything on it!

Yikes, I think I just admitted I'm a geek.

Oh well, I regret nothing.

Let's be mad scientists!

Normally this would be a post for my book blog, but for some unknown reason I decided to post it here.

I hardly ever really talk about my writing here, do I? I bet only a handful of you guys actually know that I do write.

But, it's true, I am a crazy writer person.

I frantically scribble down things and ideas that come to mind, sometimes on napkins or my arm when I can't find any decent paper.

I stay up late sticking post-it notes on my bed room walls with my outlines written on them, and tap pictures and inspiration in my blue notebook.

We writers (if you are a writer, you should know what I'm talking about) are mad!

Recently, I had this strange realization; writers are like mad scientists! (Wow, I never though I would call myself a scientist in any way... )Come on you can't deny it.

We are passionate crazy, lunatic, mad scientists!

...Except, instead of science it's writing, which everyone knows is waaaay more interesting! :) (so, I guess everyone has figured out that science isn't my cup of tea. Sorry to all my followers who like science. :/)

What do you think of when you think 'mad scientist'? Late hours tinkering with experiments and hypothesis? Crazy hair? Okay, I don't know exactly what scientists do... so why don't we just call ourselves mad writers instead?

We are dedicated!

We take great pleasure in ripping out the characters hearts (and the readers with it) and stomping it it into the ground, then put it back with scars. We twist up the plot until it's not even recognizable anymore!

There is one evening in particular in my memory where I can remember feeling like a real and true mad writer!

I was sitting on the couch, my siblings contently watching tv in the background (every writer needs her background noise... or at least I do.), and me, writing like crazy. My hair was pulled into a very messy ponytail because it was getting in my face and blocking my view of my words (there may have been an extra pencil buried in my ponytail too, I don't know). I was writing away, oblivious to the world. I was sort of in the "zone" where everything was just fitting perfectly and I was just punched in the face with inspiration. (Best. Feeling. Ever!)

This was when I first thought of the connection between  mad scientists and crazy writers.

So what do you think, are we crazy or what?

Well, we might be mad, but as Alice says in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland; "All the best people are." :)

Sister Letter


Dear Leigha,

I know I only just met you, and you don't really know who I am, but I just wanted to take the time to write this little letter for you. And even though this might just very well might get lost in the crowded internet world, I still felt like I needed to write something, for you.

You were born in a very special month. May. The same month I was born. (I will gladly share it with you ;) Though, I must admit, I was kind of happy you were born early instead of late. Not that I wouldn't want to share a birthday with you, but... you know. May 15th is a perfectly fine day for your birthday. :)

The moment I first saw you, while we were all rushing around to get to Grandma and Grandpa's house before the ice-cream melted and Grandma showed me your picture to me, announcing that you were born, I knew you were precious. You are my little baby sister, and I love you!

I can't wait to watch you grow up. To walk, to talk. Teaching you to sing and read. Watch your personality shine.

I'm sure there will be times when we'll fight. (siblings seem to do that quite a bit) But no matter what you say or do, I love you.

I will try to be a good older sister. I'll support you're dreams and goals. I'll sit with you when you cry, and give you advise.

I hope you will learn from my mistakes, and grow up to be the beautiful girl God wants you to be. :)

Love you to the moon and back,

Hannah
***

Wednesday wasn't a normal day for us. I was woken up at around 6:00 (which is early for me) by my Dad, announcing that my mom was going to the hospital to have my baby sister.

After several hours of agonizing waiting, we got to welcome Leigha (pronounced like Leah) Estelle into this big world. 

She just came home yesterday, and she is just the sweetest thing! She is most definitely a people person, and cries whenever she's left alone. 

It's been five years since we've had a baby in the house, and my little sister Emma is quite fascinated by little Leigha. :)   

We are still getting used to her around, but we love her to death, And can't wait to see what God has in store for her.

Before I Fall

First Line: They say that before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that's not how it happened for me.

About: What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death--and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.(Goodreads) 


Author: Lauren Oliver

Pages: 470

Publisher: Harpercollins

Review: When I started this book, I had zero clue what it was about. All I knew was that it was a stand alone, and I loved Lauren Oliver's Delirium trilogy. So i picked it up, and started reading. 

At the start I was a little wary... there were a couple bad words and they were talking about inappropriate things. I was beginning to wonder if I made a mistake in reading this... But then...

The chapters in this book are long! There are a total of seven chapters plus a prologue and epilogue in the whole of the book. In a 470 page book, that means that the chapters are pretty lengthy. each chapter covers one day of Sam's weird experience. And even though she is living the exact same day over and over, each day is super different. 

I would force myself to read, even though I was very scared I would turn to a very inappropriate scene, but the I actually got into the story. Lauren Oliver's writing captured me and wouldn't let me go. I would find myself making excuses so i could read. Once I got into it i read that book in one day! Which is surprising for me with a 400+ page book.

So yeah, there were bad words, the characters got drunk several times and they talked about inappropriate things a lot. I tried to ignore it. But what's sad is you realize that Sam wasn't always like that. 

"Popular" after reading this book, being popular doesn't sound all that great. You're trying to live up to people's expectations of you. People expect you to go to parties, and live up to the "popular" stereotype.

The ending in this book made me want to cry, to throw the book up against the wall. Even though I knew that was how it was suppose to end, it came as a surprise, and I was sad. 

i won't give anything away, but it was beautiful in a sad way.

So once I got into it, I really did enjoy this book. I'd read it again :)  

Just be cautious, there is one chapter I like to call the "Crazy Day". it's when Sam is so annoyed with the whole thing and goes crazy. A lot of not-so-clean things happen, but nothing that bad. I think it was chapter 4 or 5. But it was still important for the story, so don't skip it.

All in all a great book.

Romance: Sam has a really annoying boyfriend, Rob, and really, all us readers want him to die. He's one of those only-likes-a-girl-for-her-body types. Yeah. And there's a bunch of other romantical things. Only a couple of them were the sweet make-you-cry kind. The rest was just strange.

Violence: not really violence, but Sam does die several times.

Other Fun Stuff:
Recommended Age: 14+

Rating:
four apples. :)

100!? What?

source
So, yesterday morning, I woke up, like I always do, and headed down to check all my stuff on the internet. Tired and groggy, I logged into my blogger account, and I was greeted by this little number next to my "followers" link;

100!

Needless to say, that woke me up quite a bit. 

100 followers guys! in Neverland has 100 followers! Someone pinch me, because this all must be a dream, right? 

I had been staring at that 99 forever, just waiting for it to change into that triple-digit number... I think it was having fun with me, waiting until I'd explode or something. 

But finally, it happened, one more person came and followed, making it 100... 

100... I like the number, it's so big and beautiful.

I'd like to give a giant, huge, great virtual bear hug to all of my followers, and thank them so much. 

My little blog now has 100 readers, and I am sososo amazed!  

And now, I kind of have to have a giveaway, don't I? I've been trying to have a giveaway for awhile, but i always have trouble picking shops to ask for sponsorship. So if you guys have any etsy stores or something you'd like to see on the giveaway, let me know, that will help me out a lot. (It sounds desperate  but it will help me, and you guys will get free stuff, so, yeah."

Thank you again. Y'all are the best followers in the whole wide world! :)

My top 10(ish) favorite books of all time

Oh boy.

I got a post request from Hannah Elise the other day. She asked me to post about my top ten favorite books.

I told her how hard it is for me to choose favorite books. My books are my babies, my children. How could I choose a favorite out of them?

But I decided to do it anyway.

I did do a "Top ten books of 2012" post, if you would like to read that too. :)

Here we go...
***

#10: Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath 

I read this book the firs time in forth grade. But the sad thing is, I don't remember a thing about it. I just remember that it was my favorite book that year, and i loved it. I loved it enough to re-read it again when I was 10. And yet, still, don't remember... i think I need to re-read it again... 
***
A Newbery Honor Book By the author of "The Trolls," a National Book Award Finalist. 
My name is Primrose Squarp. I am eleven years old. I have hair the color of carrots in apricot glaze (recipe to follow), skin fair and clear where it isn't freckled, and eyes like summer storms. 
Readers will know right from the start that the narrator of" Everything on a Waffle" is going to tell her story straight and pull no punches. Primrose's parents have been lost at sea, but she believes without an iota of doubt that they are still alive, somewhere. She moves in with her Uncle Jack, but feels generally friendless. Her only real refuge is a local restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, where the owner, Miss Bowzer, serves everything on waffles -- except advice and good sense, which come free of charge and are always reliable. 

Food in general plays an important role in Primrose's journey toward peace and understanding (a recipe dictated in her unmistakable voice is appended to each chapter), and readers will eagerly cheer her on through this funny, bittersweet novel. (Goodreads)

#9: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

My mom was reluctant to read this book to my sister and I at first. She didn't know if she should be reading a book if it has witches in it. But it was on the suggested reading list, so she read it. I was about 10-11 years old. I really, really loved this book. It wasn't really about witches at all. This book is based in the 1800s (at least I think...) around the time of the Salem Witch Trials. The main character, Kit, has been labeled a witch by pretty much the whole town, when really she hasn't done anything wrong. It's a very good book. I own it on my ereader and have re-read it maybe twice since the first time my mom read it to me.
***
Orphaned Kit Tyler knows, as she gazes for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home will never be like the shimmering Caribbean island she left behind. In her relatives' stern Puritan community, she feels like a tropical bird that has flown to the wrong part of the world, a bird that is now caged and lonely. The only place where Kit feels completely free is in the meadows, where she enjoys the company of the old Quaker woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond, and on occasion, her young sailor friend Nat. But when Kit's friendship with the "witch" is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger. She herself is accused of witchcraft! (Goodreads)

#8: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Like Everything on a Waffle, this is one of the books I read back in forth grade and remember hardly anything of. I do remember I really loved this book, though I've never re-read it since my first time reading it, but I am responsible for getting my sister, Erin, totally obsessed with it. I suggested it to her once at the bookstore, and she now owns the first three books of the series. I plan to read them all sometime to jog my memory.
***
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. 

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".

Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space? (Goodreads)

#7: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I read this book two years ago when my family took a trip to Florida, and fell head over heels in love with it! I wouldn't have survived that long drive if it hadn't been for The Princess Bride and my ereader! I was a wee bit confused about who actually wrote it, but I figured it out. This book is funny and totally amazing!
***
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles.

In short, it's about everything. (Goodreads)

#6: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

If you haven't read Ella Enchanted I suggest you pick up a copy immediately! This book is the Great-Grandmother of all fairy tale retellings! it's so clever and creative... ugh... I love it!
***
At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the "gift" of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: "Instead of making me docile, Lucinda's curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally." When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella's life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you'll ever read. (Goodreads)

#5: The Miraculous journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

My sister, Chauncea was completely obsessed with Kate DiCamillo when she was young and read every single book she had ever written. She strongly suggested I read TMJoET, so I finally did. And, obviously, I liked it... a lot. It made me cry, and laugh, and it made me love my dolls even more! (If that was even possible for a ten-year-old girl)
***

"Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . ."

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. 

And then, one day, he was lost. 

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes' camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again. (Goodreads)

#4: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book was my first adult book, and i really quite enjoyed it. My mom read it too, and we both watched the movie, so yeah. We sort of fangirl over it... well, me more than her, but... whatever.
***
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed. (Goodreads)

#3: Heist Society by Ally Carter

This is the book that got me totally obsessed with Ally Carter. I love it, but you can read my review to see everything about it. :)
***
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. (Goodreads)

#2: Artemis Fowl

Read my review to see all my thoughts on this book. :)
***
Twelve-year-old villain, Artemis Fowl, is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. His bold and daring plan is to hold a leprechaun to ransom. But he's taking on more than he bargained for when he kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance Unit). For a start, leprechaun technology is more advanced than our own. Add to that the fact that Holly is a true heroine and that her senior officer Commander Root will stop at nothing to get her back and you've got the mother of all sieges brewing! (Goodreads)




Annnd... #1....

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

this totally counts as one book. I read the whole trilogy in three weeks when I was 11 and loved it, I am now reading it again for school. It is totally awesome. Who doesn't absolutely love LOTR!?
***

Through the urgings of the enigmatic wizard Gandalf, young hobbit Frodo Baggins embarks on an urgent, incredibly treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. This ring -- created and then lost by the Dark Lord, Sauron, centuries earlier -- is a weapon of evil, one that Sauron desperately wants returned to him. With the power of the ring once again his own, the Dark Lord will unleash his wrath upon all of Middle-earth. The only way to prevent this horrible fate from becoming reality is to return the Ring to Mordor, the only place it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for our heroes, Mordor is also Sauron's lair. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is essential reading not only for fans of fantasy but for lovers of classic literature as well...(Goodreads)
***
Thank you for reading through my (not so) little post :)

What am I?

So the other day I finally got the chance to go through all 300 blogs I follow and unfollow the ones that had stopped posting. (If I accidentally unfollowed one of your blogs, please let me know) That's right, ladies, I am back in the following business! :D

What I noticed while unfollowering, that there were a lot of blogs I had forgotten about. Ones I didn't even know I was following.

I would read through them quickly to try and jog my memory, (though most of them had long been abandoned) and it got me thinking. What am I to my followers?


I don't know. But I just stated wondering what exactly am I to you guys? Am I an inspiration? or am I just another blogger ya'll scroll past on your dashboard?

Would I be a person you guys would want to talk to. Whether it be fangirling over Disney princesses, or crying over a heartbreak?

Let me know.

I want to know what I am to you guys. Because if I'm just another blog people would forget, what's the point in all of this? I don't just want to please myself with this blog. This blog is me, and I love it. But I want it to mean something to people. I'd like to know that people actually read my words and understand my voice.

It's silly, but I would love it if you would comment and let me know. :)

The Runaway King


First Line: I had arrived early for my own assassination.

About: A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen's blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE!

Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?
The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King! (goodreads)

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Pages: 331

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Review: *Warning: Review contains spoilers for The False Prince and The Runaway King*

A mother's day post

i'm not very good at writing these sort of posts. I read everyone else's Mother's Day posts, long, touching, heart string pulling posts, and think I could never write something this beautiful for my mom!? I love my mom, but when it comes time to sit down and type up a post that is inspiring and tear jerking... that's hard.

I just don't know what to write... or rather where to start. (plus, I know that my mom is going to read this... which makes it even harder...)

My mom... she sort of taught me everything... as my teacher she sort of had to.

She has supported me through everything. And has always been able to find time for most of the things we've wanted to do.

She has been there through tears, broken hearts, and broken bones.

She's my mom and I love her :)

happy mother's day.

A wee bit of a project.

I've never really had any trouble picking out 4-H projects before. Several projects would always sort of speak to me. begging me to try them out.

But this year not so much.

The only project I was sure of was Genealogy. But nothing else really appealed to me.

I flipped through the little handbook countless times trying to find something else to do, because for some unknown reason my mom wanted me to do more then one project (which I don't understand since she knows how stressful it can be when you do too many projects. I would think she would be happy. oh well).

Before i knew it it was the last day for adding new projects, and I actually thought I was going to get away with only signing up for one.... until...

it was early that morning, I was on the computer, as I usually am before getting ready for the day. And mom sort of, kind of, not really, forced me to choose a project.

I finally settled on Computers.

Why are you telling me this, you ask? Does it alter the universe and change my life, you wonder... eh... not really. But believe it or not, my little tale does effect you guys... mainly this blog... and probably me more than you.

You see the reason I chose to do Computers was because one of the things I could do for the project (like enter it in the fair and stuff) was create a website.

Well I already sort of have a website, (hint: you're there) and so I thought that this would be a good excuse to improve my blog.

I'm going to take my little blogger blog and turn it into a real website!

Post wise there isn't going to be much of a change, you don't have to worry about that. All content is going to be 100% the same.

but there are going to be some pretty sever changes.

During these next couple weeks I'm going to be working on getting a new domain (changing it from a .blogspot.com to just a .com, I'm quite excited about that :), deciding if I should move it to wordpress (still not so sure about that), annnnnd designing! (dat's right! imma getting back into designing) All to turn this place into an honest to good website!

Yep, big news, huh? :)

So, wish me luck. And if you guys have any advise or suggestions for me, let me know. I'd love any input you guys can give me, since i'm sure you guys are going to love this just as much as me. :)

Inspiration Everywhere!

You know that feeling, the one when you feel like you are just itching to write? Ideas are coming out of your ears, and you have to slap them on a piece of paper before you drawn in them. Yeah. I know that feeling.

To me, this is the best feeling as a writer (Since I've only finished one book it can't be the feeling of typing "THE END", and it can't be the feeling getting an agent [Obviously]), you just feel so inspired And you actually feel like your silly little story might be worthwhile.

Unfortunately, then you have those days where you doubt and discourage your story until it looks as appealing as a Mcdonald's sandwich that has been left in the sun for a week. You would never want to write that! You compare your book to other books ("Oh my book won't ever be as big as The Hunger Games; My book is too much like Harry Potter, people will hate me") until it's dead. Then you sit back and try to write a new idea. But, thing is, you will most likely do the same for this book.

So how do you keep up this first feeling? I don't know. I'm no published author, and I've only finished one pathetic 13,000 word book. But I do have tips. And they are working so far with my book. If any of you have read my post Rekindling the Passion, this is sort of my own answer to my question. How do you stick to a book.

*Get Inspiration. Well, yeah! that's what this post is about. But how do you get inspiration, you ask? Well, I guess people get inspiration different ways. I, myself, keep a blue notebook where I have all my character's bios, and even my outline stuck in the pages. I also glue in pictures I've found on pinterest that inspire me to write my book.

Pinterest is a great source for inspiration. When I'm stuck I just scroll through pins and find some that inspire me to write my book, or remind me of my book. Here is my board for my book if you want to see some of my pictures. I would highly recommend getting a pinterest account for writing, or start a book board like I did.

If there is any other way you get inspiration, please tell me. I'd love to know. :)

*Just Keep at it. Of course you will feel like blah about your story every now and then. It happens to the best of us. But what you need to do is fight through it. I have saved my story several times by just keeping it up. force yourself to work on your book. Then you might actually find some way to improve it and presto! you are back in the happy-and-excited-about-your-book feeling. :)

I would also suggest, if you are really truly stuck, just set it aside for a day or two. I've had to do this a couple times, and whenever I came back an idea would pop into my head and I'd be like "Whoa! Where did this come from?" It only hurts your story if you force your brain to think of something quickly. Give your brain a writing vacation so it can think. (Your brain is your friend)
*
So there are my tips.

Again, if you have any other ways in which to blossom your creativity, please let me know. :)

Crossed


First Line: I'm standing in a river.

About: The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever. (Goodreads)

Author: Ally Condie

Pages: 400

Publisher: Speak

Review: Okay, I wasn't planning on reading this book yet. I usually try to space out my reviews for series, but after that cliffhanger ending in Matched, I bought this book and started reading...

The thing I have noticed about Ally Condie's writing, it like hypnotizes you or something. It's so smooth and clear... and addicting. This happened to me when I was reading Matched. I practically read that book in a day, it was very good! And this one... Ugh! You just get to a point where you can't put it down... all you think about is reading the next chapter!

I have read mixed reviews for this book. Most people think that this on is the worst in the entire trilogy. While I did like Matched just slightly more than the first one, I did enjoy this book.

What I did like was how the chapters go back and forth between Cassia and Ky. It was very cool to be able to be in Ky's head along with Cassia (and after reading a preview for Reached, I'm pretty sure we'll get to be in Xander's head too! XD). I actually liked Ky's chapters a bit more than Cassia's. There was nothing wrong with Cassia's chapters, she was just kind of annoying most of the book. She's just living in Ky-Land throughout the whole book, which is good if you guys like gushy romance stuff.

I liked how we got to see more of Ky's story. His back story. It was really cool.

And I loved the new characters added!

Vick. (Is that his name, I don't remember :P) He.... wasn't exactly my favorite, but he was, fun? very reserved, secret. You really only get to see a little bit of his back story, but you do feel bad for him. (Okay, honestly, I don't remember much about him.)

Eli. I understand why Ky decided to bring him, really I do, but I just didn't think he was really important. But I don't know, he might play a big part in the last book. We'll see. :)

Indie. I actually didn't like her that much, except he name. She was pretty nosey, and strange... I wouldn't trust her if I was Cassia.

Hunter. I liked him the most, I think. I don't know how to explain him without giving the book away, but I really liked him! :)

I know it must seem like I don't really like these characters, but together with Cassia and Ky, it makes for a perfect group.

I can't wait to see what they have to do in the last book. :)

I don't think this book was as bad as everyone made it out to be. It was exciting enough for what they had to do in this book, and it set up the next book for me. But I must say, this book has the best (in my opinion) cover in the whole trilogy! And on my little paper back copy, the shattered pieces are textured! I would just sit in my room reading, and stroking the textured pieces without thinking. :) 

I cannot wait to get my hands on the third book! I might read it earlier than I thought I would. :)

Romance: There is most definitely romance in this book. Though most of the book is Cassia trying to find Ky, there is a bunch of kissing. Nothing bad though, which makes me happy! :)

Violence: Actually not that much. A couple people die, and there are a couple bombs and guns, but nothing to gory or violent to give small children nightmares. (though, I do not recommend this book for small children.) 

Other Fun Stuff:




“In the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.” 

― Ally Condie, Crossed

“Everyone has something of beauty about them. But loving let's you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as why's, you can love those parts too, and it's a love at once more complicated and more complete.” 
― Ally Condie, Crossed



I love.

The most reckless thing of all.” 
― Ally Condie, Crossed



“Love changes what is probable and makes unlikely things possible.” 

― Ally Condie, Crossed

Recommended Age: 14+

Rating:
Can't wait for the next book! :)

Say it Loud and Say it Proud!

The funny thing about beauty is most people who are beautiful don't think they are. Everyone feels like there is something wrong about their body or face that just doesn't line up with their definition of beauty.

Everyone has a different idea of what beauty is. Some people think that jet black hair, nose piercings, and dark makeup is beautiful. Some people think that having long hair and wearing long skirts is what makes them beautiful.

No matter what your definition of beauty is, there is always going to be something that you think is wrong with you.

Like me, I strongly believe that I have the strangest shaped nose in existence. And my skin is really pale (and sickly looking if I don't get enough sleep. My arms are so skinny, they resemble noodles. Plus my hair can be a pain sometimes...

Let's just say, if it was up to me, I would probably label myself as one of the ugliest people on the planet. (Okay, maybe not the planet... but I guess I could)

There's just something about us girls. We have been cursed into seeing only our flaws.

I realize that most people who see really don't think I look as bad as I think I do, but that doesn't stop me from freaking out when I have to go out on a bad hair day!

Another thing I have noticed with us girls is that we tend to hate  other girls who are prettier than us.

When another girl thinks that she is pretty, we all label her as prideful and ugly. Well... it's true, that is very prideful, but if she is confident in how she looks, why would we shoot her down?

I don't know, I just feel like we should discourage each other, especially with our looks.

I read a quote that said that if you tell a girl she's beautiful she'll believe it for a minute, tell a girl she's ugly, she'll believe it for a lifetime. I don't think we (even as a girl) realize how true this really is.

I used to be pretty confident in how I look, but it always takes someone's opinion to change ours. Someone at some time told me that my nose was funny looking without thinking how I would take it, now I hate my nose.

Girls try to change the way they look with plastic surgery and dyes.

Why can't we all just trust that God made us just the way he wanted to, and God doesn't make mistakes. there must be something special about it for Him to put it on my face.

So let's say it loud and say it proud; WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!