Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

TTT: Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors
Review: "The Dead List" by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Review: "The Shining" by Stephen King

I've wanted this book for two years now and it finally went on sale for one day this week at Amazon, so I knew I couldn't pass it up. I was really trying to hold off and buy the hardback (because I mean, just look at that cover- so gorgeous), but I'd rather be able to read it than have it sitting prettily on my shelf. Not to mention, I'm totally running out of book space in my house.

Mom life has pretty much made me in love with Audible/ Audiobooks. While I'm cooking or cleaning, I can leave one ear phone in (and one out to hear River) and actually get some real reading done. And as for Doctor Sleep? It's amazing. I already highly recommend it.

Okay, so this wasn't really a purchase because it's free on Kindle, but still. It's a novella to the Starbound series.

Friday, August 21, 2015

"The Shining" by Stephen King

Genre: Horror
Format: Audio
Narrator: Campbell Scott
Publication: Anchor in 1977
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control. 

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive? 

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine...

My Thoughts: Oh, Stephen King, you creepy, creepy man! I'm going to keep this review short and sweet. Basically, if you enjoyed the movie, you're going to love the book. If you love horror, you're going to love this book. If you love Stephen King, you will love this book. So with that said, here are some things that I particularly enjoyed while listening to the novel:

  • The narrator. Campbell Scott does an *excellent* job of making each character distinct. When you're listening to an audio-book, it's important that each character has their own "voice". Mr. Scott does a wonderful job at this.
  • The Creep Factor. Obviously, Stephen King is, well, the King of Horror, so of course this book was going to be terrifying. I just didn't realize how terrifying. There were so many times that I actually had to cut off my phone to stop listening because I got so creeped out.
  • Danny and Jack. While I just wanted to punch Wendy Torrence in the face for being an idiot, I did love Jack and Danny's characters. Jack was just this insane ball of intelligence and violence. He was constantly trying to do the "right" thing, and always failing. Danny was just as interesting with his interactions with Tony and his psychic talent. I was so thrilled to know that King picked up Danny's character again in his novel Doctor Sleep. He's definitely one character I'm not ready to leave behind yet.
  • The Comedy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that while, yes, this novel could be considered absolutely completely horror, it also had some laugh-out-loud moments (although very few and in between). There were times while I was cleaning my kitchen that I would snicker out loud while my husband looked at me like I was crazy.
Bottom Line: While Pet Sematary will always be my favorite King book (at least until I read It anyway), I would definitely recommend The Shining to any horror fan.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"The Dead List" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: YA Thriller/ Mystery
Format: Wattpad
Publication: April 15, 2015 by JLA
Cover Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts: The Dead List is a precious gift from the Awesome One (also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout or JLA) to all of her fans. It was published a few months ago on the site Wattpad and it's FREE for however long the Awesome One so feels inclined for it to be.

But for real, on to the review. I'm a huge JLA Fangirl (in case you couldn't tell) and there's a reason for that. She cranks out novels like nobody's business and they never disappoint. They're always good and delicious and leave you wanting more. The Dead List is no different.

Meet Ella:  She's your average high-school girl, who's just trying to move on with her life after a mutual break up with her boyfriend/ best-friend. But someone doesn't want Ella to move on. Someone knows about Ella's tragic past, and they're not about to let her forget. After narrowly escaping an attack herself, Ella watches on the sidelines as her peers start to disappear, only to show up dead later. But then she starts to notice a trend. Something... or someone actually, connects them all. Someone who Ella failed when she was young and naive. And now someone out there wants revenge on all of those involved.

Here's the thing: If you like those 90's campy pyscho killer horror flicks (like Scream), you will love The Dead List. Of course, there's great character development and the plot has plenty of twists and turns, but what I really loved was the nostalgia of it. It's no secret that I love cheesed horror films and the 90's, so this was like getting a Godivia Chocolate Cheese Cake (because they're boss) AND a glass of your favorite wine!

Bottom Line:  I would definitely recommend this book, and I would also tell you to read it ASAP. Because while JLA hasn't mentioned taking it off Wattpad anytime soon, why would you wait and chance it?

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks topic, Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors, was kind of difficult for me. If I really love an author's first book, chances are I'm going to put them on my auto-buy list. But here's my top ten, hands-down, must have their next book no matter what (in no particular order):

1. Jennifer L. Armentrout
This lady can write directions to children's toys and I would probably be fangriling to read it. Seriously, everything she writes has just been five stars for me. I'm never bored in her novels and they always leave me wanting the next book. Not to mention she cranks out novels like every month. She's pretty much a rockstar in my book.

2. John Green
I just want John Green to be my wise long-lost uncle. Uncle John. I would set there and listen to him and soak up his awesome wisdom and be content with life. Because Uncle John would know how to deal with life and all it's problems.

3. Colleen Hoover
Because she's the master of romance, and sometimes I need a little romance.

4. J.K. Rowling
Despite having not read The Casual Vacancy or her Cormoran Strike series, she is still on my auto buy list. I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet sadly.

5. Cassandra Clare
There's going to come a point eventually when I WILL get bored with the Shadow Hunter world. I thought it would happen with the last book, but then freaking Cassandra Clare sucked me in again with new characters that she is making a spin off series about. So until that day comes, I will have CC on my auto-buy list. Probably forever.

6. Richelle Mead
Richelle Mead is the OG of YA paranormal for me (okay, I know she's not really, but her books are really what started my YA PNR and UF obsession). This lady will always be on my auto-buy list. I have yet to read a series by her that I haven't been obsessed with.

7. Tana French
My love of mystery novels stems from Tana French's In the Woods. Her Dublin Murder Squad books do *not* disappoint.

8. S.C. Stephens
This lady wrote my favorite romance novel ever... Thoughtless. It's filled with lots of angst and Kellan Kyle (who is my #1 book boyfriend). Everything she writes I just become obsessed with... I promise, I'm not stalking you SC Stephens!

9. Stephenie Meyer
IF Stephenie Meyer ever writes anything again, I will definitely buy it. While Hollywood pretty much ran Twilight into the ground, I still loved Mrs. Meyer's writing and her stories.

10. Jim Butcher
Okay, so this is more for my husband, Zack, then for me. You want to see a grown man fangirling, just come to my house when Jim Butcher comes out with a new novel. While I am a fan of The Dresden Files, I still haven't completed the series. Zack however finishes each book the night it comes out.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Feature & Follow Friday

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?

1. That my daughter would live a long and happy life.
2. That my husband and I would have our dream home (a four bedroom house set far back in the woods with no neighbors) paid for.
3. And to magically blink and be anywhere in the world that I wanted!

*Let me know the way(s) in which you follow me and a LINK back to your blog so I can follow you back in the same way(s)!*

When You're Not Always a Good Person...

It's hard to admit, but sometimes, I suck at being a good person. A good bit of the time I fail at being a Christian. I have flaws. I'm not perfect. I can be really selfish. I get caught up in the world or in my own little bubble and I don't try to see others or what's going on around me.

I'm sad to say, this is a post about me failing.

A few months ago, right before I had River and was in third trimester misery, I was in my hometown doing a quick stop at Dollar General. It had been a rough week for me. I just had to replace two tires on our car along with some major service updating to it. Basically, I forked out a lot of money we didn't really have because we were trying to save for my maternity leave. I was ill. I wobbled when I walked. Sleep was not easy. And I had a baby using my belly as her own personal kick boxing ring. So when a haggard girl with black teeth came swerving up to me and asked to borrow money, my automatic response was to roll my eyes and sneer "No".

I then watched as she went up to the two ladies parked next to me, both of whom where dressed in their Sunday best, and talking about church for that night. I watched, putting my bags of cleaning supplies in my trunk, as the both shook their head no and then returned back to their conversation. I then got in my car and drove home, my mind already forgetting the girl and back on to how we were going to make it without me working for six weeks.

Last week, I ran into this same girl on my way to take River to her four month check up. She again came swerving into the gas station I was at. Her hair was matted, she was now missing a tooth and she looked like she hadn't slept in days. She quickly hopped out of her car and asked me "Do you have $4 I can borrow?" I didn't even pause before saying no. I got back in my car, opened up my Cherry Coke and started to drive off when I saw her quickly leave the store empty handed and speed off once again.

I'm ashamed to say it took me getting half-way down the road before I realized that I failed. Not just at being a good person, but I failed God. Twice. Instead of letting my brain make swift judgments on this person, I should have stopped. I should have paused long enough to at least ask her what she needed the money for. Maybe it was for food, or for her kids, or for gas. Whatever it was for, I should have stopped and looked at her as an actual human being asking for help, and not someone who was just annoying me or interrupting my life briefly. But I didn't.

I'm going to get honest and say that life, financially, hasn't always been easy for me. My father passed away when I was three, leaving my mom to raise me by herself. There were times growing up that I can look back on and now realize that we had help from family, friends, and even strangers. As a kid though, I never noticed it. I always seemed to get what I wanted no matter what. Until of course, I became a sulky, moody teenager. There was one year right before high-school that my mom and I were having a particularly hard time. I was outgrowing all of my clothes, and on top of that I thought I "needed" a bunch of excessive junk to complete my life. Unfortunately for teenage me, my mom had just told me school clothes shopping was going to have to be put on hold for a while. I was being your typical hormonal 14 year old and selfishly thinking how I was going to "make it" in high school with what I had, when the most bizarre thing happened: I opened my Bible. Later, this wouldn't be so strange, but at the time I wasn't much of a church goer. In fact, I had become pretty angry with God and questioned His whole existence. But something that day made me want to open my Bible, so I did. And I ran across Matthew 6:25-33:

25“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26. Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29. yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Afterwards, a huge weight lifted off of me. I knew God was speaking directly to me. I felt it in every fiber of my being. God was telling me to chill. 
And he was right.
Later on that week, we mysteriously had much more than enough money to buy my school supplies, clothes, and even make-up.

So why am I posting about this? Because God has humbled me. Because this has stayed with me all week. Because I want my daughter to grow up to be better than me. Because I want to be the kind of person who admits when they've made a mistake and fix it. But mostly, I just don't want someone else to make the same decision I did.

The only person who lost out in this story was me. I robbed myself of a blessing, simply because I had become too selfish. Not about the cash, but about my time. I didn't give this girl even a minute of my time. I forget sometimes that God wants to use me. I constantly let opportunities to serve him pass me by when I become too arrogant or self absorbed. This is just one other reminder that I still need work. I'm not there yet. I can't put my relationship with God on the back burner. It's not worth it.

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