Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Book Review- The Fixer



In complete honesty, YA has been frustrating me lately. I haven't found any really good books in a while. As a result, I haven't spent a great deal of time reading recently. Let's not even talk about my Goodreads challenge..I'm so behind it's ridiculous. 

In August, I picked up The Fixer at a used book sale. If I remember correctly, it was under $3, so despite the fact that I knew nothing about it and usually like to research books ahead of time, I grabbed it. Junior year has been crazy, though, so I never actually got around to reading it. Life finally started to chill out towards the end of April, and so I wanted to start reading again. My sister had read  The Fixer a few months before, and said that I should definitely give it a try, so I did. 

Less than 15 hours later, I was online looking up the sequel. 

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a YA political thriller. Now generally speaking, I'm not a fan of anything super political, but bear with me. When sixteen year old Tess Kendrick is forced to move from Montana to D.C. to live with her estranged sister, she has no idea what it will truly entail. She certainly doesn't expect to end up surrounded by murder, bribery, secrets, and espionage. 

Oh my gosh. This book. I cannot properly put into words just how much I love it. Where do I even begin?

The characters were impeccable. There was not a single one that I didn't just fall head over heels in love with. Tess, the main character, was fierce, spunky, and kicked butt like nobody's business. She was strong and independent, and while most of the time I find myself not being a huge fan of main characters, I adored her. Her sister, Ivy, was basically who I want to be in life. She was cool, collected, and poised, and I swear to you, ice runs through her veins. She is a shark who knows exactly how to work any situation, but at the same time was so passionately loving towards the people in her life. These two were the epitome of strong female characters. 

Then we had the supporting cast. Oh my goodness, how I loved them. Asher, Vivvie, Henry, Bodie, Adam- the list goes on, and they all were absolutely perfect. They all were so quirky and lovable and different, but just SUCH well-written characters. When my sister and I were talking after I finished the book, we honestly couldn't pick a favorite character because they were all so well done. Even the "bad" characters were intriguing and beyond well-written.

(Speaking of which- William Keyes? And the president's wife? I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THEM.)

On top of the amazing characters, the plot drew me in from the very beginning. It was so intriguing and full of twists that I couldn't put it down. Not even kidding guys, this was a reading by flashlight at one a.m. book. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what was happening next. I fell into every one of the author's traps, only to be shocked the next page when something completely different from what I was expecting happened. I was so invested in this story. It was fantastic.

My biggest beef with this book? IT ENDS ON A BABY CLIFFHANGER. Like, excuse you? Thankfully, I am in possession of the sequel, and am quite anxious to read it. My sister already read it, and seemed to be slightly emotionally destroyed, so I'm curious, albeit a bit terrified, haha. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is an incredible author, and I can't wait to read more of her work. Go read this book. You won't regret it. 

RATING- ⭑⭑⭑

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Have you read The Fixer? If not, YOU SHOULD! What have you been reading lately?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

a couple reminders


/ hey there friend /

it's may. arguably one of the most stressful months of the year. and i know that right now, nobody's got the time to read long blog posts. so i'm just popping in with a few quick reminders for you. 

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1. the semester is almost over, i repeat, the semester is almost over. take a deeeeeeeeep breath. in. out. repeat. you've got this. 

2. take five minutes to organize something. anything. your desk, your purse, your brain. you'll feel better, i promise. 

3. if you haven't moved around lately because you've been studying for the past five hours, fix that. get up, walk around, even if it's just around your room. it will help your brain unfog.

4. if you haven't stopped moving lately, sit down. take a break. answer that text that you got from your best friend six hours ago. eat a piece of chocolate. regroup. 

5. you rock. you freaking rock, and nothing is going to change that. so keep going. i believe in you.

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p.s. if you're like me and you're currently procrastinating and you want to do that a little longer, i'd love if you would check out my latest post on Burning Youth. ♥

Friday, May 5, 2017

Hello, May!


Well, here we are. May.

April was a good month. A really good month. A month of theatre and prom and finishing classes. Of getting nails done and birthday parties and choreographing for the best group of girls. April was full of lots of late nights and early mornings, intense coffee consumption, and a healthy amount of ice cream. Some of the best memories that I've had all year took place this month.We celebrated Easter, and all of the endings and beginnings that come with this time of year. Spring can only be described as a season of bittersweetness, and April fit that description to a t.

May seems to typically follow that pattern of bittersweetness even more closely, for May is always full of 'lasts'. It's the month of recitals and of graduations, of seeing people off and hoping that they don't go too far. This May I'm going to watch my best friend graduate, and know that a year from now, I'll be the one graduating. I've always looked at all of the events this time of year with a bit of wonder, and the fact that soon I'll be the one having to worry about senior photos and graduation dresses doesn't quite feel real. I'm trying not to think about that too much yet.

- - - - -

D I S C O V E R I E S

-Fiddler on the Roof and Next to Normal have taken over my life. I swear, it's a different musical every month, and I'm so okay with that.

-I read The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and it completely restored my faith in YA. Expect a review coming very soon...

-My beautiful, grace-filled friend, Hannah, wrote an incredible post about when hard times come. 

-NEWSIES IS GOING TO BE AVAILABLE FOR DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!!!!! My life is complete.

-I found a really awesome bagel place in town, and I kind of want to live there. I also accidentally had fully caffeinated coffee that morning and kind of didn't stop bouncing for three hours.

-The girls over at Burning Youth had some absolutely incredible posts this month.


- - - - -

M A Y   G O A L S

-Successfully finish up junior year! Only three classes left!

-Spend more time outside. The weather is so nice right now, I want to take more walks and just generally get out more.

-Buckle down on my novel

-JOURNAL

-Finish putting together graduation gifts

-Post a review of The Fixer

-Generally get more involved with the blogging community again

- - - - -

T H I N K I N G

About how crazy that it is that another year is already wrapping up. It's been a different year, but a good one, a really good one. I'm also thinking a lot about prioritizing different projects and hobbies, and how to get the most done that I possibly can. I really want to do a lot this summer- it's going to be good.

- - - - -

B L O G G I N G

-I wrote a lovely post about how, despite dropping off the face of the earth, I was still alive. ...And then proceeded to pretty much drop off the face of the earth again. Go me.

-You are worth the waitPlease please please, never forget that. 

-Since I hadn't yet done so, I had to rant about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Because..Harry Potter.

- - - - -

Thanks for all the amazing memories, April '17. 

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How was your April? What do you have planned for May? Any interesting discoveries? Have you read any good books? How's life treating you? Let's talk!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Despite the fact that the book in the photo is Deathly Hallows, today, we're talking about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

You guys know that I'm a huge Harry Potter fan. I think that J.K. Rowling is absolutely brilliant, and I'm thoroughly obsessed with the Harry Potter books. I can quote from them far more accurately than I probably should be able to, and I'm deeply attached to the characters. I still want to be Luna Lovegood when I grow up. 

Keeping all of this information in mind, you shouldn't be surprised to hear that I was thrilled to learn about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I mean, really. More Harry Potter?? Plus, it's a play, and you all know how I feel about theatre. It's basically the perfect combination for me. 

Somehow, however, I didn't end up actually reading Cursed Child until March. I got a copy for Christmas, but life was so busy that I didn't feel I had time, and I really wanted to savor this one. A friend kept telling me that I had to read it so that we could discuss it, so I finally gave in and read it. It's not a long book, and the fact that it's a script makes it shorter, so I breezed through it fairly quickly. When I put it down, I really didn't know what to think. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features Harry's son, Albus, and tells the story of what it's like to be the polar opposite son of the most famous wizard in the world. Together with his best friend, Scorpius, Albus tries to "fix" a problem that he believes his father has created, but ends up with an even bigger mess on his hands- one that could result in the destruction of the wizarding world altogether.

Now don't get me wrong, this book wasn't terrible by any means. I loved getting to go back into Harry's world. But I was a bit disappointed by it overall. 

I think that the biggest issue that I had with Cursed Child was that it just wasn't realistic. Yes, I realize that we're talking about a book series that revolves entirely around wizardry, but hear me out. The majority of the book was based around time travel, which is all well and good, but the whole book kind of just turned into going back through time again and again and living out different scenarios. It was a bit confusing, and I almost felt like it lacked Rowling's usual creativity and spark. In certain aspects it was absolutely brilliant, but in other ways it fell short. There were also parts of it that really just jumped the shark for me. I don't want to delve too deeply into spoilers, but one part of the book in particular left me staring at the page like, "..really?"

The other major issue that I had with Cursed Child was the characterization. The characters are what made me fall in love with Harry Potter to begin with, and several of them just didn't seem to be in character, in my opinion. The way that Harry treated his son at times just blew my mind, and Ron was dumbed down to an extreme. I will say that this book made me love Draco even more, and even helped me not to hate Snape so much even though I still loathe him with every fiber of my being, but I felt that the Golden Trio fell a bit flat, which was disappointing. I remember thinking the same thing about a few other characters as well, but at this point it's been a while since I read the book and I really don't remember. I know that some people have blamed the character issues on the fact that this was a play and not a book, but I don't believe that for a split second. Theatre is filled with some of the strongest, most complex characters I have ever seen, sometimes more so than most books that I read. So I can't say that it's due to the fact that Cursed Child is a script. I really don't understand it, to be honest. 

That's not to say that Cursed Child didn't have it's good points. There were some absolutely hilarious one-liners, Scorpius is the most precious character on the planet, and I adored being back at Hogwarts. Overall, it was a fun book. I'll read anything as long as it takes place at Hogwarts. ♥

 I would definitely recommend for people to read this, although I would say to be sure that you've read the entire Harry Potter series first, and to take it with a grain of salt. It's a good book though, super interesting. I'd love to see it performed. I feel like that would be the absolute coolest thing. The entire time that I read it, I just wanted to see how it would be staged! Well, one more thing to add to the bucket list, I suppose!

RATING- ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒

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Have you read Cursed Child?? What did you think??

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Worth the Wait

Hey there, love.

I know, you're tired. Your mind is in a million different places right now. Just listen to me for a second.

You.

Are.

Worth.

So.

Much.

And I know that you're constantly fighting and it feels like the world is about to crush you and you don't think you'll ever live up to everybody's expectations. And sometimes, you just want to settle. You don't want to keep fighting. It's exhausting. So you want to settle.

Please. Please please please please please please.

Don't.

You are worth so much more. Please, don't settle. Don't settle for that mediocre life that you're just ready to fall into. Don't settle for that person who you know darn well is not good enough for you, but hey, he likes you a lot and he's kind of cute, so why not, right?

Please.

Don't.

I cannot even begin to tell you how difficult it is to watch someone that you love settling for something when you know that they deserve so much better. Allow me to let you in on a little secret.

God has so much better in store for you. 

And maybe you can't see that right now. I get it. But He does. He has such an amazing plan for you. I get that the waiting is hard. But it's worth it. 

Don't settle now for something mediocre when you could end up with something amazing later.

Trust me.

It's gonna be worth the wait.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

I'm Alive (!!)


Hey there! Yep, I'm alive. I really didn't intend to take a two and a half week hiatus from blogging, and I even had a post drafted and ready, but it just kind of...happened. I'm okay with it, though. Life has been crazy but wonderful, and sometimes you just have to take a break from the internet, y'know? I think that sometimes it's good for the soul to take a break from emptying your brain onto a screen, and just letting all those words swim around in your head for a bit. It's kind of freeing to give up on keeping up. I've missed you all, though! It will be good to get back into blogging more consistently. This has been a weird blogging year for me, but I promise I'm not disappearing completely. Just working on finding that perfect balance.

Since I've been gone for forever and a day, here's a little life update for you-

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-Theatre has come and gone, and it was beautiful. It was one of the best experiences of my entire life, and I miss it already more than I could put into words.

-I met my dear friend Mary Shelley in person, and can now confirm that she is in fact one of the cutest human beings in the world and an actual sunflower. She also sent me snail mail and it absolutely made my life. If you don't follow her blog, what are you doing with your life???

-Life in general seems to be swirling and changing faster than I can get a grip, and it's kind of overwhelming and a bit terrifying. But I know that it will all be fine, so I'm just working on breathing and letting go.

-Writing is..um..exhausting? I'm trying so hard to finish my novel, but it's just been almost excruciatingly difficult. I'm mainly just making things harder than they need to be. I've finally reached the end of the story, and it's kind of technical, and I think that I'm just psyching myself out. This story is my baby, and I'm scared to mess it up, y'know? So I'm trying to push past that at the moment. I've had some really great writing days lately, though, and I feel like I'm finally getting back into the groove of it again. It's exciting.

-Spring is here and I'm loving the warmth, even if pollen continually makes me die.

-I got my prom dress (!!!) I found it at a thrift store for $7.50 and it's exactly what I wanted which makes me really happy.

-School is making me want to claw my eyes out. It's amazing how one horrendous teacher can ruin everything. As much as I don't want the year to end, I will be beyond thrilled when this English class is over.

-Semi freaking out about finishing up junior year? Like, the thought that next year will be my senior year absolutely blows my mind and breaks my heart all at the same time.

-Bagel dates just generally make life better, no matter what's going on.

-I'm battling the post-show depression by working on lots and lots of projects, and it's going quite well. Let's just say, I'm definitely never bored, haha! But hopefully some of them will have some really cool results, and I might even have a few things in mind for this blog. ; )

-I am supremely behind on all of your blogs, and I'm so sorry about that. I'll be catching up as soon as I can!

-I'm planning to do tons of reading, which is making me happy. I'm so behind on my Goodreads challenge, it's ridiculous. What's your current favorite book?

-EASTER IS TOMORROW!!! I'm so excited, y'all. I love Easter. ♥

-I would love to write more here but I am drawing a blank due to the fact that I've written for seven hours today and now have to go and write more. School + novel = exhaustion.

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So, there's a mini peek into my life! All that to say, I'M BACK! So now I want to know, what have I missed out on?? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! And I want to hear all about YOU! Tell me some exciting stuff going on in your life. I want to hear ♥♥♥


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How To Work Out When You Hate Working Out

obviously what i look like when working out. lol not

I hate working out. 

There you have it, the flat out, honest truth. I hate working out with a fiery passion. The thought of getting up from my nice cozy writing nest and murdering my body with push-ups is not a thought that tends to bring me much joy. I'm sorry to all of you wonderfully healthy people- I wish that I was a member of your ranks. But I'm not, I'm really not. I love pasta. I have never tasted kale. And up until recently, I had never worked out on a regular basis. 

Then, theatre happened. 

I've mentioned on here that I am going to be playing Zaneeta in The Music Man. And oh my goodness, am I excited. Zaneeta Shinn is the dream role that I never knew existed. She is sassy and doesn't have to sing (which means I don't have to confront my deepest fear), and she dances like crazy. This is the most that I've ever danced in a show in my life, and I'm loving it. Music Man has infiltrated my life like no other, and it's wonderful. I dream about this show at night, guys. I am so freaking excited. 

But at the same time...a part of me is terrified.

When the show is over and I'm looking back on it, I don't want to say, "Well, if I'd just stretched a little more, that would have looked better," or, "If I'd just practiced that a few more times it would have been perfect". I don't want to give myself any opportunities to think about what I could have done better. I want to be able to know that I did everything I possibly could have.

So, out of this freakout, something new was born.

Since the beginning of March, I've been working out to some extent every single day. I am so determined to do everything that I can to do as good of a job as I can. And I can't believe that I'm saying this, but.....I. Actually. Enjoy. Working. Out. 


I am completely shocked to be able to type that statement, but it's true. I've gotten to the point where I'm actually disappointed if I can't work out for a day. It's the most bizarre thing on the planet, but it's true. 

So, in case you happen to want to jump of the cliff of crazy and join me in becoming a fan of exercising, HERE ARE SOME LOVELY TIPS I SHALL SHOWER ON YOU!!!

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1. Find Something You Like

I hate weight lifting. Running absolutely kills me. And let's just say anything that involves a ton of upper body strength just doesn't go well. But I love long walks. Hours upon hours of dancing is my favorite thing on the planet. Yoga is my go-to. And I stretch and stretch and stretch until I cannot stretch any longer. I've found things that I enjoy doing, and that are good for me, and so I do them. Find what works for you. If there's a form of working out that you enjoy, it won't seem like such a chore anymore, and you'll find yourself actually looking forward to working out. Maybe you love zumba, or swimming is what makes you feel alive. Figure out what works for you. 

2. MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC

You've heard it a thousand times, but that's because it's true. Music makes SUCH  a difference! If you have a playlist that you love, it will make working out so much more fun. I love making high-energy playlists to jam out to while I work out. 

3. People or Nah?

Maybe you adore having a workout buddy to keep you accountable, and to have someone to joke with through the pain. Or maybe the thought of someone crashing your alone time makes you want to bash your head into a wall. Figure out what works better for you, and go for it! Personally, I tend to like working out alone best, but if I'm going on a walk or doing yoga, I like doing it with my mom. It's totally up to you!

4. Rewards

I tend to try to avoid food-related rewards (because sadly going and eating twelve brownies seems to ruin the fact that you just worked out. 'Tis an unfair world.), but coming up with a way to reward yourself for working out really helps. Say something like, "If I finish this workout, I'm going to go read that book I've been wanting to finish for half an hour" or, "If I walk one more mile, I'll watch a movie on Netflix tonight". It's a fun little way to encourage yourself to keep going. 

5. Make a Tracker

You can do a month by month tracker, or you can just do it up until a certain point that's your "goal time". For me, I took a sheet of paper and made rows of boxes counting down the days until tech week for the show, and every day that I've worked out, I've checked the day off. So far, I haven't missed a day! It's really fun being able to check that off and see your progress grow.

6. Multitask

Do crunches while you binge your favorite TV show. Go for a walk while you talk on the phone with a friend. Do some jumping jacks while you wait for your food to warm up. Squeeze some extra exercise in whenever you have a chance, and it won't feel like a chore. Just keep moving! 

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Why You Should Do It

Whenever I used to hear people say "I feel so much better when I work out!" I would honestly just laugh. Getting all hot and sweaty and exhausted can make you feel BETTER? How could that make any sense? But yet..it's true. When I'm consistently working out, I really do feel so much better. I have more energy, and I'm not as tired. Sometimes doing yoga will even get rid of headaches! It's the weirdest thing, but I finally kind of like working out. It definitely hurts the first few days, but it ends up being worth it. I swear this isn't me talking anymore I've been brainwashed send help.

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So, what do you think? Are you ready to join me? What are your thoughts on working out? Let's chat!