Sunshine Blogger Award

I was nominated by Mybookworld24. Thank you so much for nominating me. Make sure to check them out!

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Rules for the award

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Their Questions


Favourite book?

I have a lot of favorite books but I guess my most favorite book is The Outsiders by S.E Hinton. I think I’ve read it about 30 times.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

If I could live anywhere, it would be Italy.

Favourite blog design?

I really love Novels & Waffles blog design.  It’s so cute.

What’s your best life advice?

I’m 21 years old and I never really heard any good life advice yet. I don’t know what I’m doing half the time but if I had give some it would be “don’t worry about what other people think, be you no matter what.”

A quote to stand by?

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I have this on my vision board.

Your dream job?

My dream job is to be a clinical psychologist. When I graduate with my BA in psychology I’m going to take a gap year or two before I attend graduate school for clinical psychology.

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What’s one thing you think the world needs to work on?

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If you could live on one food, what would it be?

Honestly, pasta.

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One post that you enjoyed doing?

I loved doing My Year In Books post. It was so fun making all the charts and seeing everything I read spread out like that.

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind right now?

I can’t believe that my last semester starts Tuesday.

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A blog you just started following?

The Quiet Pond!


My Questions

  1. If you had to choose a super power to gain and any color to alter your eyes to, which would you choose?
  2. If you could fly somewhere for 24 hours and money wasn’t an issue, where would you go?
  3. Which shows and/or movies can you watch over and over without being tired of it?
  4. What is a book that you’ve read that you will always remember?
  5. What is your favorite way to relax?
  6. Is there a food you’ve never had but always wanted to try?
  7. What kind of books/authors/genre’s do you like reading?
  8. What is something you used to do regularly and miss?
  9. Cloud watching or stargazing?
  10. What is one mythological creature that you wish were real?
  11. Is there something you refuse to eat no matter what?

My Nominees

Flowers In The Brain

What Rebecca’s Read

The Orangutan Librarian

Jenniely

marvelousbookishtomes

The Library at Woodring Estate

The Bibliophagist

heyyitschloejade

I know I only nominated 8 people but I wasn’t sure who to nominate because I know a lot of people have already been nominated for this and I thought it would be repetitive. If I nominated you and you’ve already done the Sunshine Blogger Award and don’t want to do it again, please don’t feel pressured to answer. If I didn’t nominate you personally and you like the questions then feel free to answer them!

Meggan

 

#StartOnYourShelfathon: Reading The Unread Books on My Shelf

What is #StartOnYourShelfathon?

#StartOnYourShelfathon is a 2020 star-themed readathon hosted and run by CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of #StartOnYourShelfathon is to read as many unread books on your bookshelf as you can between December 13th 2019 and December 31st 2020.

#StartOnYourShelfathon isn’t an ordinary readathon too! The mascot of #StartOnYourShelfathon is Castor the Star Collector who is also a sloth friend of The Quiet Pond, who has lost all the stars he has collected over the years and needs your help to find them again.

For every book that you read as part of #StartOnYourShelfathon, you collect a star that you can add the star to your ‘star map’. Read books, collect stars, give yourself an amateur star-collector name, and create constellations! You can read Castor’s story and find information about and resources for the readathon here.

Information about Joining #StartOnYourShelfathon

  1. Join the StartOnYourShelfathon anytime between Dec 13th 2019 to Dec 31st 2020!
  2. To join #StartOnYourShelfathon, create a blog post, bookstagram post, booktube video, Twitter thread, or whatever medium you wish, with ‘#StartOnYourShelfathon’ in the title or your tweet.
  3. In your post/video/thread, announce that you will be participating in the readathon. List your readathon goals and the books you plan to read! (Post templates and readathon banners can be found in the readathon resources below!)
  4. Link back to this post so that others can find this readathon and join in.

Share your updates on your blog/bookstagram/booktube and social media. You are more than welcome to tag @thequietpond on Twitter in all your updates! We would love to see your progress and your star maps – in-progress and completed!

My #StartOnYourShelfathon Goals

 

  1. I want to read ten of the books on my shelf that I haven’t yet by December.
  2. My overachiever goal is to read 25 of my books because I’m sure that I have that many.
  3. I will read two books a month during 2020 that I have on my bookshelf..
  4. I will check out 1-2 books from my library because I still want to clear my tbr.

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Join #StartOnYourShelfathon!

If you want to join #StartOnYourShelfathon, you can read more information in the readathon information post at The Quiet Pond.

I’m excited to take part in my first ever readathon. I hope you guys decide to join me on this adorable star collecting journey! Make sure to check out The Quiet Pond!

 

Meggan

Book Review: Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

51bOlTAJkVL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Goodreads

Source: Owned


Synopsis

In this prequel to Ella Enchanted, which can stand on its own, young healer Evie is transformed into an ogre by the meddling fairy Lucinda. She’ll turn back only if someone proposes and she accepts!

Returning to the land and many of the characters from her beloved Newbery Honor–winning Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine has written a delightful tale about a clever and endearing heroine who is determined to defy expectations.

Evie is happiest when she is healing people, diagnosing symptoms, and prescribing medications, with the help of her devoted friend (and test subject) Wormy. So when Wormy unexpectedly proposes to her, she kindly turns him down; she has far too much to do to be marrying anyone. And besides, she simply isn’t in love with him.

But a certain meddling fairy named Lucinda has been listening in, and she doesn’t approve of Evie’s rejection. Suddenly, Evie finds herself transformed from a girl into a hideous, hungry ogre. Evie now has only sixty-two days to accept another proposal—or else be stuck as an ogre forever.


Review

“Ella Enchanted” is one of the best fairytale retellings I’ve ever read. This retelling is full of romance, feminist ideology, compelling world-building, and memorable and diverse characters. It’s a beautiful novel that I’ve cherished since I was ten years old. I was so excited to see that Gail Carson Levine revisited the world with this prequel. “Ogre Enchanted” was almost as phenomenal as it’s predecessor, but it just didn’t hit the mark like “Ella Enchanted” did. I loved that it was a retelling of “The False Prince and the True,” which is a reversed “Beauty and The Beast.” It was so refreshing to read. I feel that many of the fairytale retellings today do the same story over and over again which can feel redundant. However, some things bothered me about this novel that I’ll get into later because it has to do with spoilers from “Ella Enchanted” and “Ogre Enchanted.”

The beginning of the novel was a little bit weak. The character introductions happened a little too fast. We don’t really get a feel for the characters or get to know them very well before the curse happens. As readers, we understand that Evie is a healer, and Wormy is her best friend who helps her time to time. We don’t get much background on Evie’s family and why she only has her mom or how their apothecary came to be. Their were just minor details that I felt were excluded for word count or redundancy but they needed to be included to help the story. I thought that the curse happened too fast as well. It was only a few pages in before Lucinda showed up and bestowed her curse on Evie. I wish that there was a better build-up to it, but I did l like how Lucinda made it so no one could tell anyone about the curse. That was a great callback to Ella’s curse. I think that made it harder for Evie to break the curse in the two month deadline. I felt that magic system to be well thought out. Levine explored human prejudice and ogre culture more in-depth than she did in “Ella Enchanted,” which appreciated. It answered questions I didn’t know I had.

There were many likable and well-developed characters, and there were a few who weren’t. Evie had the most definite character arc even though her character introduction was weak. As the story progressed, you began to really understand her character. I did find her a little bit frustrating at times I felt that Wormy’s character arc was a bit weak. He tended to pop up at random times, looking for Evie. We don’t learn much about him or get a feel of who he is. Evie’s mom didn’t have a character arc. She was just a character that was there and felt two-dimensional. I thought it was great that Levine gave the ogres’ personalities instead of just depicting them as bloodthirsty beasts (they are, but she showed that they were more than that).

I loved reading about the backstory of the characters from Ella Enchanted. Sir Peter (Ella’s father) was a selfish bastard (please excuse my language), and I wasn’t surprised that he was one as a young man. This novel made me hate him more. I found Lady Eleanor to be delightful and I could see Ella in her. Sir Peter did not deserve her at all. Mandy was the same as always. Jerrold’s backstory and family history were very intriguing. I wish Levine talked about why Lucinda started bestowing “gifts” on people and using big magic when the other fairies didn’t. She would show up and disappear again in the novel, which was somewhat annoying. I did enjoy the romance and relationships in this story. I felt that they were very strong.

*ELLA ENCHANTED AND OGRE ENCHANTED SPOILERS*

There were many inconsistencies between Ella Enchanted Ogre Enchanted that irritated me. Technically, Lucinda should have never been able to curse Ella but she was. The Faeries felt almost villainous with “oh we don’t do big magic and just letting Lucinda turn people into squirrels and bestowing terrible gifts onto them.” Since King Jerrold and Evie were friends, why didn’t he do anything to stop her? Wouldn’t everyone have known about how dangerous Lucinda was? Since Evie and Lady Eleanor were friends, wouldn’t Evie have known if Lady Eleanor was sick? Evie would have shown up to Frell with the dragon urine to cure Lady Eleanor, so technically, Lady Eleanor didn’t have to die.

I did enjoy the many callbacks to Ella Enchanted that Levine included like:

  • Unicorn Hair.
  • Angulen: great elf artist.
  • “I resolved never to marry.”
  • Ella not being able to tell anyone about her curse and Evie not being able to tell anyone about her curse.
  • Big magic

 

* END OF SPOILERS*

“Ella Enchanted” was still the better of the two books. I do wish that Levine had chosen to do a sequel rather than a prequel. I feel that maybe the two different stories would have flowed more smoothly or that Levine did a better job at making the stories connect better. Overall, this novel was a delightful read. There were many breathtaking and strong parts of the story that outweighs the weak.

Meggan

 

 

My Year In Books: 2019 Edition

Happy New Year!  Since 2019 has come to an end, I thought it would be cool to look back at my reading year.


Total  Number Of Books Read

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New Reads VS Rereads

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I’m not really surprised by this. I wanted to make a dent in my TBR pile so I took the full advantage of my university’s library system and my public library.


Ratings

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Average Rating: 3.9

I had a really great reading year in 2019. More than half of the books I read I really enjoyed


Age Category

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I kind of lost interest in YA books in 2019. I had a lot of trouble trying to find books that I felt like reading in that age category. I’m sad about that, but I’m happy that I’ve expanded my reading preferences.


Genre

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This is pretty cool. I was surprised that read so many contemporary/romance novels in 2019. I thought I read more magical realism novels.


Page Numbers

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Average page length in 2019: 332


Shortest Book

 

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I actucally got to meet Clay McLeod Chapman this past year in my creative writing class. He’s a really cool guy and I got to hear him perform his short story “Rest Area” which is from this anthology. It was one of my favorite experiences. Fun fact: I bought this book from him and he signed it. 😀


Longest Book

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My Favorite Books of 2019 aka All My 5 Star Ratings


My Favorite New Authors

  • Sarah Addison Allen
  • Madeline Miller
  • Adam Silvera
  • Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • V.E Schwab
  • Clay MclLeod Chapman

 

My Least Favorite Books aka My 1 Starred Books

  • I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
    • DNF
  • The Hundred Lives of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti
    • DNF
  • The House by Christina Lauren
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
    • This book was a reread. I had originally given it 5  stars 4 years ago, but when I reread it the poetry wasn’t very good. I know that this is controversial opinion, but I stand by my decision to change my rating.

Most Popular Book

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Least Popular

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😦


Highest rated

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Lowest Rated

  • The Hungry Stones  and Other Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

My Favorite Book Cover

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It’s so aesthetically pleasing! I love it so much.


 

 

Meggan

Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Goodreads

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press.

Source: Borrowed.


Synopsis

France, 1939
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real–and deadly–consequences


Review (Not Spoiler Free)

The Nightingale was a spectacular book that tugged at my heartstrings more than once. I was almost in tears near the end of the book. This just wasn’t a story about World War II but a story about the women’s war. Hannah did a fantastic job of depicting what women in Nazi-occupied France may have gone through. Vianne had to deal with her husband leaving for war and taking care of her daughter. At first, I didn’t like her, but as the story progressed, I saw her as a mother who was going to do anything to survive and protect her daughter. She went through so many hardships like losing her job, not having enough food, being raped by the second Nazi officer to occupy her home, and helping French Jewish children avoid being sent to concentration camps. Isabelle was such a strong character. She hated the Nazis and wanted to fight her country. She did everything she could to rebel against them, even if it put her life and others in danger. The Resistance allowed her to save as many people as she possibly could. I can’t list everything she did, but each time she risked her life. All of the characters were absolutely amazing and well rounded.

Kristin Hannah’s writing has beautiful prose that is evocative and vivid. I felt myself being transported into the story, and it felt like I was watching a move in my mind. I felt so many emotions that ranged from anger to sadness to bittersweet happiness. I loved that the romance in the story didn’t overpower the storyline. This story was compelling and beautiful. If you love historical fiction, I highly recommend this novel.

 

Meggan

 

 

Recent Reads #2

Hey everyone!

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that you all are enjoying your respective celebrations.  😀 Here are some of the books I’ve read between November and early December. I was supposed to have this post up a month ago but I was so busy with university and finals that I had no time to anything but eat, sleep and study.

November

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars.

Mini-Review: I was really excited to read this book because I heard it was a wonderful dark academia book. This plot gave me Pretty Little Liars vibes due to the group of friends who were all keeping a secret. The secret was alluring and kept me guessing until about halfway when I figured it out. However, I still was surprised at the whodunit reveal at the end of the story. I did enjoy this story, but there were parts of the plotline that I didn’t really like.

 

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Check out my full review of this novel here.

 

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury 

Rating 4.5/5 Stars.

Mini-Review: I read this book of short stories for my very first book club meeting. This book was filled with a lot of creepy, weird, and gruesome stories that I adored. It was cool seeing how the time period Ray Bradbury wrote these stories affected the plots of each story. I gave this book 4.5/5 stars because one of the stories reminded me of the original Jumanji movie, which gave me nightmares as a child.

The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller 

Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Mini-Review: This memoir was hauntingly raw and beautiful. This memoir chronicles Lori’s battle with Schizophrenia from the age of 17 until well into her adult years. It painted a picture of how debilitating the disorder can be and how difficult it can be to treat. This book took me two days to finish because 1. it was an entrancing story, and 2. I had a project due in a few days that revolved around this book, so I had to kick it into overtime.

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Mini-Review: Okay, so I was really into the plot line for the first half of the book, but by the second half, I was starting to lose interest. Then the reveal of the killer in this novel disappointed me because it didn’t make sense and was very confusing. The end had so much potential, but it fell flat. Overall, this was an excellent concept for a novel, but it just fell short.

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella 

Rating 2/5 Stars.

Mini-Review I didn’t finish this book. I tried to and made it about halfway when I just stopped. I was not fond of any of the characters in this book at all. They felt bleak and were just annoying. I feel that Kinsella writes the same main character over and over again in her novels that I read. They all have that same personality with that one little quip that sets them apart from each other, so it’s boring for me to read. I don’t hate Sophie Kinsella as a writer and have enjoyed the 3/4 other novels I’ve read by her. I guess her books aren’t my cup of tea anymore. 😦

December

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Rating: 5/5 Stars.

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Be on the look out for the full review soon.  

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Rating 4/5 Stars.

Mini-Review: When I checked this novel out, I had no idea it was set around Christmas, so that was a cool coincidence I loved the concept of the phone being able to call the past, but I hated that we never got a reason for why the phone was able to do that. I loved that the novel had flashbacks to the past because it really helped me understand Ned and Georgie’s relationship and why they were having issues.

Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes 

Rating 4.5/5 Stars.

Mini-Review: This was such a fun read. All of these stories dealt with troubled relationships, but they were amazing. I didn’t rate this a full five stars because I didn’t love every single story. All of the characters, especially the female characters, were well written and engaging. The stories were so engaging that I finished it in an hour…okay two hours. My favorite story was “Paris For One.” It was the longest story out of the nine, which make me label it as a novella. That story was so romantic, cute, and heartwarming. I can’t wait to read more by Jojo Moyes.

The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman 

Rating 3/5 Stars.

Mini-Review: The writing in this book was absolutely stunning. Hoffman writes so eloquently that it almost feels poetic. I loved that the main character was a librarian and came from New Jersey. I loved the cat and the other characters as well. However, the magical realism in this novel was so confusing. And I missed a lot of the emotional aspects of the novel due to my confusion.

 

What did you read recently? Let me know in the comments below!

Meggan

Waffle Book Tag

Hey everyone!

I saw this tag on The Orangutan Librarian‘s blog the other day! I thought it was a fun tag and wanted to take a crack at it.  Make sure to check out their answers to this tag as well (check out their blog while you’re at it! They have really awesome posts!).

The Rules

➽ Link back to the original creator, Kat @ Novels & Waffles.

➽ Feel free to use any of the waffle graphics in this post, just make sure to credit Kat!

➽ Tag as many people as you want (or don’t want) to. No pressure here, folks! ♡

belgian-waffles-classic

 

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One of my favorite classic novels!

whole-wheat-waffles

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eggo-waffles

I’ve been an avid reader since I was a little kid. There are so many picture and chapter books that I read that I had trouble remembering the ones that I loved. The first book was my favorite picture book when I was about 5 years old. When I was in elementary school I loved the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne. I vaguely remember Tonight on The Titanic being my favorite one out of all of the books.

chocolate-waffles

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Lara Jean is super sweet and not just because she’s a baker!

blueberry-waffles

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Even though I knew what was going to happen in this book due to the title, I still cried.

waffle-cone

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maple-syrup

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The Raven Boys didn’t grab my attention right away but I’m glad that I stuck with the series because I really did end up enjoying the story.

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This may be a lame answer but my favorite bookish accessory are bookmarks. I have two bookmarks that I love. I was going to take a picture of them and insert it here but I left them in my dorm. 😦 I have a magnetic Dobby bookmark  that my friend gave me from this set:

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My other favorite bookmark is made with that material that creates a 3d effect. It’s a celestial print of a golden sun and stars on a dark blue background.

 

I’m tagging anyone who wants to do this tag!

 

Meggan