Jul 2, 2017

June Wrap Up + Poll and Bunnies!




Hello again, Book Bloggians! It is time for my first reading wrap up! 
 
I’m sorry I haven’t really gotten around to actually talking about the books I’ve been reading the whole 5-ish months I’ve had this blog, but that changes today!



I’ve been really stressing about making the most of this summer and reading and writing as much as I can, because 1) I’m going to be doing Camp Nano this month, which I am so not ready for, 2) My Goodreads goal is to read 40 books this year, and 3) my life has been so insane the last six months that I am currently 13 books behind schedule! Yes, you read that right. 13. Like I SERIOUSLY need to get busy guys! I’m hoping this month to catch up on my goal and read at least 13 books, but at least this month, I finished 3, which is better than nothing I guess.



Anyway, in this post I will “mildly” fangirl about the books I did finish, and if you make it to the end, I will show you pictures of my friend’s adorable rabbits…and dog.πŸ˜‚



Here’s a look at my June reading stats:



Books read: 8

Books finished: 3

Total pages read:1,568

Average rating: 4 stars



Finished Books:






Goodreads Blurb:



"Picture a ballerina in a tutu and toe shoes. What does she look like?"

As the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to become a ground-breaking ballerina.

When she discovered ballet, Misty was living in a shabby motel room, struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. A true prodigy, she was dancing en pointe within three months of taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year: a feat unheard of for any classical dancer. But when Misty became caught between the control and comfort she found in the world of ballet and the harsh realities of her own life (culminating in a highly publicized custody battle), she had to choose to embrace both her identity and her dreams, and find the courage to be one of a kind.

With an insider's unique point of view, Misty opens a window into the life of a professional ballerina who lives life center stage: from behind the scenes at her first auditions to her triumphant roles in some of the most iconic ballets. But in this beautifully written memoir, she also delves deeper to reveal the desire and drive that made her dreams reality.

Life in Motion is a story of passion and grace for anyone who has dared to dream of a different life.



General thoughts:

I really loved this book, I gave it four stars, which is surprising since it’s a nonfiction, since I don't usually enjoy those this much. Misty’s story was so inspiring and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I saw myself in her, especially as she was describing her childhood. I took ballet and jazz when I was little, and even though I’m not a dancer now, I definitely appreciate ballet as an art form and I love to write about dance in my books. 😊 I was so fascinated reading about the training she went through to become a professional ballet dancer and how she braved the trauma of some situations she had to live through. My parents were also divorced and I also was (and still am) a very anxious child, and I definitely consider myself a perfectionist, like Misty does. Reading her book was very encouraging to me because it made me have hope that now as an adult, I was going to turn out okay too.πŸ˜ƒ





This is a little segment I decided I would do for “mini” reviews or monthly reading wrap ups. In my review journal I set it up where I had a page for quotes I liked from the book and more specific notes and thoughts I had while reading.πŸ˜„



Quotes:



“Like the most tragic ballets, there was a central character, innocent and bright, being pulled and pushed between two worlds. Would I emerge triumphant, like the Firebird? Or would I be more like Giselle, who succumbs to a broken heart? My ending had yet to be written.” (Page 126)



And:



“I remembered Paloma Herrera, dancing her pas de deux in Don Quixote. At the conclusion of the ballet, she didn’t take her partner’s hand. Fierce and independent, she stood apart and balanced on her own. I knew that’s what I would have to do now, recover, hold my head up high, and balance on my own.” (page 127)



These are my favorite quotes because they show how much strength Misty had. It also shows that she had to learn to find that strength, she definitely was not perfect. Also, because I’m a writer, I love these quotes solely because of the way they are written. I love how she compares her story to that of the characters in a ballet, I think it’s so creative and has so much truth and it fills my writer heart with joy!



Notes:

I really liked the writing style. I like that she used descriptive words and how she eluded to things that would happen in her future and used examples from her childhood and connect them to what was happening in the book at the present. I also liked how the book started with a scene where she was getting ready to dance The Firebird as a soloist and we don’t go back to that until near the end. I liked the “full circle” effect.


]



My Synopsis:



This is the third book in a middle grade contemporary fantasy series by Ridley Pearson. I gave it three stars. In the first book, five teenagers are hired as models for a new technology at Disney World that turn them into holographic tour guides. Their parents are ecstatic at all the money that will go to their kids’ college funds, and everything seems normal, until one night the kids go to sleep at home and wake up as holograms inside Magic Kingdom. They soon find out that the characters come alive in the parks after closing, and all the villains are banding together to overrun Disney World with darkness. The “Kingdom Keepers” as they are called, are tasked to team up and defeat Maleficent and her minions.



General thoughts:

I don’t remember when I read the first book in this series, I was probably twelve or so, but even though most people would probably say I’m too old to read this series now, hey, I’ve only gotten up to book three because I was busy reading other books, but I really enjoy it enough to try and finish the series, so since I’ve gotten this far, why not? I love the characters’ diverse personalities, their friendship, and even the action. Yes, they’re probably not the best books ever written, but sometimes you need a fluffy middle grade adventure series that you don’t need to go too in depth with, you know? 😊






Notes:

A negative thing about the books was the dialogue. The author so obviously doesn’t know how teenagers talk. I don’t know about anyone else, but I (or anyone else around my age that I know) wouldn’t phrase our words in some of the ways the author wrote it. It wasn't all of the dialogue, just some, but it was definitely noticeable. (I'd find an example, but the book is 545 pages long and it's getting pretty late as I'm typing this.) πŸ˜‚ It was just so obvious that an adult was talking through the characters and it didn’t sound like the characters were talking in their own voices. The author doesn’t know how text lingo works either apparently, which was kind of funny, but also annoying. The texts were easier to find so here's an example: 

jess crosd ovr lst nite. finishd her dream...cll me-pby

I don't know about you, but this just looks strange to me. Does anyone actually shorten their words like that? I don't know, I just think it would be more realistic if he just wrote out the words in full, or at least used an X for crossed? πŸ˜• Also, this is the third book in the series, I'm sure the characters would have each other in their contacts by now. There is no reason that Philby needed to actually sign off the text, or shorten his name that way. It took me a minute to figure out what pby meant, since the author never explained it. I don't know, it just really bothered me. Maybe I'm overreacting though.
Positive things about this book is that from page 259 to the end it was packed with action and I was so engaged I read the last 300 pages in two days, which almost never happens to me! I’m a little embarrassed to say that my heart was actually pounding when I was trying to figure things out. Or maybe it was because I was reading a lot faster than I’m used to? πŸ˜‚ I am definitely excited to read the next book in the series though.😊






Goodreads Blurb of the First Book:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.



General Thoughts:

I like this series well enough, though it’s not my favorite. I usually don’t read romance books, and I don’t really care for the romance that much in this one, (even though it’s kind of the whole point of the series) but I really enjoyed the dystopian aspect and the characters, enough that I gave it four stars. The whole subplot of the rebel attacks are so cool and interesting to me, and I love how it all suddenly comes to a head in this “last” book.





Quotes:



“I took off one of the beautiful earrings that Maxon had given me, then the other…And then-because, if I was truly going to do this, I wanted to give everything-I reached behind my neck and unclasped my songbird necklace, the one my dad had given me…If he wanted to play a game with my character, then I was prepared to answer in turn.” (page 178)



I get really sad and mad when I hear a lot of people say how annoying and terrible of a character America is and how “trashy” these books are, because I don’t understand why. In my opinion, she is one of the strongest characters I’ve ever read about, and if you don’t believe me, this quote above is exactly why. If you need proof, go back and read the whole Convicting scene again. None of the other girls had the strength to defy the system for the sake of real justice, they just wanted to look good. America knew that this wasn’t right, and she had the courage to set a man free, rather than condemn him to a punishment that his crime didn’t deserve when no one else did. She’s constantly speaking the truth, even though she knows it might get her in trouble, and in the end, that’s why the people of IllΓ©a end up favoring her over any of the other girls. And yet, you call her annoying? I don’t get it.



Notes: (LOTS OF SPOILERS)



Negatives:

The whole scene where America and Maxon sneak out of the palace and she gets shot and meets Paige seems so random and unnecessary. Especially that she introduced a new character and they take her back to the palace with them, and then they never mention her again. I mean? What was the point of all that?



Positives: (ish)

I don’t think I’ll ever forgive Kiera Cass for making me actually like Celeste and then killing her off so suddenly and tragically in one sentence! Like WHY!!!!!! It was so sad! And she killed off Anne, the king (thank goodness though, he was a problem) and the queen! NO NOT THE QUEEN I LOVED HER!!!!! And right after America randomly lost her dad too! Like the whole last quarter of the book was crazy with so many things happening back to back and so many people died all of a sudden and Maxon found out about Aspen and was about to get engaged to Kriss then he got shot and changed his mind again and finally in the end he marries America and WHAT? Like WHAT JUST HAPPENED???? What WAS all that? Oh and America’s dad and Kriss being revealed as Northern Rebels? WHAT? (I liked that that explained why he named his daughter America though.) Also Aspen and Lucy are suddenly together??? Which is cute I guess but I was just starting to ship him and Anne when Anne died in the rebel attack.πŸ˜” I feel so sorry for Anne that he apparently liked Lucy this whole time and she ends up dead anyway.

END OF SPOILERS.




Well that’s the end of my crazy ramblings! This probably ended up being way too long for a bundle of “mini” reviews, but oh well. 😜 And as promised, I will now introduce you to my friend Sarah’s rabbits and her dog.πŸ˜ƒ



Yesterday we were playing with them in her backyard so I decided to take some cute pictures.😍



This is Isaac. So majestic! πŸ˜‚ (and so soft and fluffy!)


Giving kisses to his dad, A.J. 😍


Sarah's black lab, Eider wants to join the party. πŸ˜† Eider would lick Isaac's face and Isaac would jerk back; disgusted like Eider has cooties or something. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚



All curled up in Mama's arms. 😍😍😍


What book should I start next? Help me decide! You can find the poll at the top right corner of my blog! πŸ˜€


Isn't Eider, Isaac and A.J. so cute? Have you read any of these books? Do you want to? What did you think of the crazy ending to The One? Do you think reading 13 books in a month + Camp Nano is a little too overambitious of me? πŸ˜‚ (At least I'll only be writing a short story) Don't forget to take the poll!


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