August Book Review!!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Hey guys!! Happy Monday...it's book review day!! This month I read a big mix of books, and I hope you enjoy, and find some good book recs!!

1. March Book Two
2. March Book Three
by John Lewis
If you missed my July book review, then you wouldn't know, that I read March Book One, and I thought that it was so great!!

This is  book series is a graphic novel about John Lewis' life, and his experiences with the civil rights movement. The first book focuses on his childhood, and the start of the civil rights movement. It shows the peaceful protests including the sit-ins. The second book focuses on the struggles of the freedom rides, and more nonviolent protests. The second book also shows what the March on Washington was like. The third book talks about "bloody Sunday," where John Lewis was hit twice, very brutally, on the head. It also talks about voting rights, and the protests surrounding that. 

Like I said last month, this is a great book, and with it being a graphic novel, it is a super interesting way of looking at the civil rights movement. I enjoyed reading this book, and I definitely learned a lot!!

3. Twilight Reimagined by Stephanie Meyers
Okay. This book was definitely strange. But not in a bad way, it was just strange.

For those of you who don't know what Twilight Reimagined is, it is the gender-bent version of the original Twilight. Edward is a girl (Edythe), and Bella is a boy (Beau). Jacob is a girl (Jules). Alice is a boy (Archie). Etc, etc. This was definitely strange, but also very intriguing to read, considering that I loved the original Twilight. 

Comparison-wise, the books are pretty much the same...except the ending...the ending is very different, and very crazy. I mean I was shocked. It was just so different from the original, and I was just not expecting it at all. 

I also felt like the ending of this book felt very rushed. I would've loved a little more detail. 

Honestly, I feel like we did not really need this book. It was very repetitive of the first one, and the only really difference was the characters and the ending. I mean I liked this book, and I really enjoyed it, I just feel like a sequel or something else would've more worth my time. We have three version of this book now, and I know that myself, and others included, would've much rather had a sequel to the original saga. 

I wasn't really disappointed in this book-I mean you get exactly what you bargain for-I'm just still a little salty about the end of Breaking Dawn. 😂

4. On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
This is a book about a 16 year-old named Bri, who aspires to become a rapper. She was the daughter of underground rap legend who died before he became big. Sooo she has some pretty big shoes to fill, but when her mom loses her job, rapping isn't the only thing on her mind.

I loved this book. This was such a beautiful, and inspiring story, and Bri was such a great character. This book really shows how strong words are, and how strong the things you say can be. It shows how easily things can be misunderstood, and the affect it has on others. Angie Thomas did such a great job on this book, and I plan on reading The Hate U Give sometime very soon. 

This book really shows the struggles of racism, and what it's like to live in the projects. I mean Bri's dad was killed. It also shows what it's like to be out of employment, and struggling with money, and living in fear of homelessness.

I loved this book, and I feel that this is s super important story, that everyone needs to read.

5. Find Layla by Meg Elison
This is the story of Layla. A fourteen year-old who has a really rough life. She is bullied, and has very unstable mother, and she has to basically care for her brother all by herself.

This book taught me a lot about how privileged I am to live in a nice house, and not having to worry about my mom constantly. I don't have to make sure that my brother brushed his teeth, or if he had breakfast. 

I really enjoyed this story. It reminded me a lot of Sadie which, I also really liked. I though that Meg Elison did a phenomenal job on this book, and I will recommend this book to anyone. I really, really, liked it. 

6. Misery by Stephen King
Hmmm....I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked it at some times, and disliked it at others.

This is the story of an author named Paul Sheldon, who gets into a car crash and is found and cared for by his number 1 fan, Annie Wilkes. When Annie finds out that Paul killed of her favorite character in his books, she holds him hostage. 

I feel like this book was missing something. It was very inconsistent, and boring at times. There wasn't really anything super exciting in this book. I mean at times there were exciting moments, but for the majority there wasn't. This book is also mainly set in one location, so that was also a contributing factor in why I disliked this book. 

So overall this book just didn't really do it for me. :(

7. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyers
Eekkk!!! Midnight Sun!! 

I know I have mentioned this book many times over the past few months, so you know I have been so excited for it!!

This is basically the original Twilight book told by the perspective of Edward.

This book was sooooo good!! It was so interesting reading from Edward's perspective and getting to see what he was thinking throughout the book!! When he runs away to Alaska, we read about it. When he reads people's thoughts, we read about it. When he is at home with his family, we read about it!!

Can I also just say that this book is a blessing to 2020!! I mean for real!! 672 pages of Edward's thoughts...what else could you ever want!! 😂

So yeah...I loved this book. Much like Edward's love for Bella. 😂 

8. The Queen by Kiera Cass
If you didn't read my May book review, then you wouldn't know that I read The Selection series, and I loved it!! So this month I decided that I would read the 4 novellas that went along with the series!! These are super short, so I knocked them all out super fast!! 

The first one is The Queen, and this is about Queen Amberly's experience with The Selection. So we learn a little about what her life was like when she was competing for a chance at being King Clarkson's wife.

I loved this book!! It was super short, and lighthearted!! Nice and easy!!

9. The Prince by Kiera Cass
The Prince is told from Prince Maxon's perspective of the very beginning of the Selection. It shows what he was thinking going into it, his first impression of some of the girls, and what he was thinking when he met America in the garden. 

I, once again, loved this book!! Prince Maxon was one of my favorite characters of the series, so it was very interesting getting to hear his side of the story!! 

10. The Guard by Kiera Cass
Next up...The Guard!!

This is told from Aspen's perspective, as a guard in the castle. 

I always liked Aspen, I mean I liked Maxon more, but I still did like Aspen, so I really liked hearing from his perspective!! As a guard in the palace, it was very interesting getting to read about what it was like for him.

11. The Favorite by Kiera Cass
This is last novella in the series, and it is told from Marlee's perspective.

Now I really don't want to spoil anything, so I'm not going to say too much about this book, but I will tell you that I really liked it!! Once again, I really liked Marlee, so it was very sad, but also very happy to hear her story told from her perspective. 

Overall I really liked all these novellas, and they were very interesting to read!!

12. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
I'm pretty sure that most of us have heard/seen this movie before. I remember watching it when I was little, and being so scared!! Haha!!

Well anyways, this book was not that good.

I just didn't really like it. 

To be honest, I like the movie better.

I'm not really sure why I didn't like this book, because I have always enjoyed the movie. I just didn't like it, and that's really all I have to say 😕 Coraline wasn't a very interesting main character, and while this was a very interesting book, I really lost interest in it. How many times can you can interesting in once sentence? Haha!! 

13. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series. This book is a retelling of Cinderella, and its about a teenager named Cinder. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing, who is in love with Prince Kai. There is a terrible plague going around, and you can catch the disease at any time. 

This book is....very different. I will say that I've never read anything like it before.

I feel like this book was both a hit and a miss for me. 

I liked the Cinderella part of it, as well as the plague, but I did not like all of the cyborg, and mechanical aspects of it. I just feel like that has never really interested me.

So overall, I enjoyed this book, but its not my favorite by any stretch.

14. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Honestly, I didn't like this book either.

I LOVE The Princess Diaries movie...I mean who doesn't!! Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway are so good!! But, the book...not so good.

I feel like one of the reasons I didn't like the book was because Mia's relationship with her grandmother, is not very good...and that's one of the best parts of the movie!! 

Also...theres so much talk about math. We get it Mia, your failing. But honestly who writes about math in their diary? 

I just didn't like this book. And really I have nothing else to say on the matter.

15. Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For? by Kari Kampakis

This book was great.

Living in the age of social media, there are lots of struggles that come with it. Kari Kampakis does a great job of saying that you don't need the world's approval-you only need God's.

This book is a very important, and much needed resource for girls of all ages. Girls always struggle with wanting to be liked, but we don't need to be liked, because we are loved by God, and this book does a great job of saying that.

16. Deep, Dark, and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn:
This month I was really into scary books!! One of my favorite scary book authors is Mary Downing Hahn, so I read a few of her books this month!!

This book is about Ali, a girl who is spending the summer at her aunt's lake house, and babysitting her cousin.

This book wasn't really scary, but it was mysterious which was really great!! Their lake house has lots of secrets, and the story is a little bit predictable, but I really enjoyed reading this book!!

17. Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
The next book...Wait Till Helen Comes!!

This is about a family that moved into a church that has been renovated. One of the kids all of a sudden starts acting very strange and keeps speaking of a "Helen."

This is another ghost story, and I didn't like this one as much as Deep, Dark, and Dangerous, but I did still enjoy it!! I thought is was a good book, and a easy read!!

I also had no idea that this was a movie!! I'll need to check it out soon!!

18. All The Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn 
All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn
This book...I was not a fan. 

I don't really know why I didn't like this book. I feel like this is the type of books I would love, but I just didn't. I feel like this book just didn't stick with me, and I very quickly fell out of interest. 

That's really all that I have to say about this book...I just didn't like it.

19. The Betrothed by Kiera Cass
Going into this book, I knew it had terrible reviews...I should've listened to them.

Honestly, this book was a waste of my time. 

This is about Hollis, who is to be married to King Jameson. It's the cliche story we all know. The King isn't her happily ever after she always dreamed, and she falls in love with a commoner...pretty predictable.

There are many reasons why I disliked this book. 1) The characters are super bland. When I don't like a book, or a story, I rely a lot on the characters to pull through for me. That did not happen in this book. 2) I'm not the hugest fan of royalty books, but I did love The Selection by Kiera Cass, and that was why I decided to read this book. Huge disappointment. 3) The ending was a mess. This whole book was a mess!! 4) The characters had no chemestry. NONE!!! 

I have no desire (at all!!) to ever pick up the rest of the series. This book was a huge disappointment, and if you liked The Selection, like me, then you will also be disappointed. 

20. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
File:Portada de la novel·la "The Great Gatsby".gif - Wikimedia Commons
I kinda liked this book.

I've never been a huge fan of classics, but like I said in April, it is one of my goals to read as many as I can.

I didn't love it, didn't hate it.

Out of all the classics I've read, this one was by far the easiest to read. The language was not super hard to understand, and it's only about 200 pages. The only thing I have to say about this book, was that it was kinda hard to follow. I hope to watch the movie sometime soon to help understand it better.

I think that this book, and the Little Women tie for my favorite classic!!

21. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I did not like this book.

In this book we follow the main character Jude, who at the beginning of the story witnessed her parents being murdered by her mother's first husband, Madoc. Then she, along with her sisters, are whisked off to farieland by Madoc, where she is bullied, mistreated, and considered an "outcast," because she is a human. In fairieland she learns sword fighting, and is trying to get rid of her "weak" name. She also has a rivalry with the prince, Cardon, where they basically make each other's lives miserable. 

I did not like this book. I liked the first half, but honestly hated the second half. It was too intense, and I got way too lost. The only thing that kept me reading this book was me wanting to know what happens with Cardon and Jude. Nothing interesting happened.

Overall, this book was a TOTAL letdown.  

22. Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott 
I'm sure y'all have heard of the 5 Feet Apart movie. Well I've seen it, and I didn't really like it, but I still wanted to read the book!!

This book is just like the movie, and while I didn't really enjoy this movie, I really liked the book!! I'm not sure why I prefer the book better as it is literally the exact same as the movie, but for some reason I did!!

For those of you who don't know what this book is about, this book is about Stella, a girl with cystic fibrosis, and Will, a boy with B. Cepacia. Well Stella has been going to this hospital her whole life, and one day Will shows up, and you guessed it...they fall for each other. BUT since the both have cystic fibrosis, they have to stay 6 feet apart. 

This is a really sweet book, but it's also very sad. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. 

23. The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry
I loved this book!! 

...except for the ending.

This is a book about a girl named Ariel. Ariel's mom was murdered when she was little, and everyone though that April's father killed her. Well, when April is 17, they find that her dad was also murdered, on the same day as the mother. So basically Ariel is trying to find out who killed her parents.

I could not put this book down. I wanted to know who did it so badly!! But...I was disappointed by the ending.

I don't want to spoil anything, so I will just leave it at that, but I did really enjoy this book, and it definitely kept me on my toes!!

24. Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger
Whoo!! I have a lot to say about this book!!

This book is about a girl named Tessa who suffers from agoraphobia. This book is also about a pop star named Eric Thorne, who is tired and frightened of his obsessive and unrelenting fans. Tessa is a huge fan of Eric Thorne, and makes a Twitter account named @TessaHeartsEric. Eric decides to make a fake troll Twitter account for himself called @EricThorneSucks, to try to get rid of his popularity. Eric then starts talking to Tessa (through Twitter DMs) under the fake name Taylor, and a relationship starts to form.

I couldn't put this book down. However, I did not love this book. There were parts I did enjoy, but parts I also didn't enjoy. 

To be completely honest, I thought this book was written poorly. BUT, it definitely kept me on my toes the whole time.

I didn't really like the characters, I thought the whole relationship was super weird and that Eric and Tessa didn't have any chemistry. But, there is another aspect of this book (I don't want to say anything because of spoilers), that I did really enjoy.

Overall, not the best, but also not the worst.

Well there you have it!! Thank you so much for reading, and I will see you back here on Wednesday!! Have a great day!!
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Virtual School Set-Up 2020.

Friday, August 28, 2020

 Hey, guys!! Happy Fri-YAY!! Today I am talking about our virtual school setup!! I have a few virtual school related posts coming soon, but it's only the second week of school, and we are still trying to get things situated!! But for now, this is our setup!! I hope you enjoy, and if you are considering putting your kid (or yourself), in virtual classes this year, I hope this helps with your decision!!

Hudson:

So I know I've mentioned this before, but if you missed it, Hudson is in the 2nd grade this year, Anna is in 6th, and I am in 8th. 

For Hudson we had kind of a hard time deciding whether to put him in school or keep him home. Most of his friends were going back, and we were a little worried about him missing out. Ultimately we settled on Blended, which is where he goes back to school for a few hours, twice a week, to meet with his teacher. Hudson has one of his best friends living next door, and of course, we were worried about the spreading of Covid. 

So far, Hudson has really enjoyed it!! His teacher is awesome, and has provided him with so many resources!! He has about 2 zooms a day, and plenty of work to keep him preoccupied!! We have an "art table," where he does his work, and so far it has worked great for him!! For still being as young as he is, my mom has to make sure he is following his schedule and doing his work, so she normally sits with him while he does his work, or sometimes he goes over to our grandparent's so she can get some work done herself. 
So far, great!!

Me:
I've loved being virtual!! I am definitely an introvert, I have loved just being able to work from home!! I sit at my desk for the majority of the day, but I also like to join Hudson at the art table sometimes for a new location. I also love the flexibility, but also the structure (if that makes any sense 😂). I love having structured zooms, but I also love that I don't have zooms/class all throughout the day!! For example, I will have 2 zooms in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursday, but none after that until lunchtime!! 
One of the BIGGEST, BIGGEST things that have helped me with virtual is to-do lists. I know I have mentioned these back in April/March when virtual school first became a thing, but making a to-do list each day have helped me SO much!! I write down zoom times, assignments I need to do, and tests I need to study for!! It helps me get my priorities in order, and not get overwhelmed!! I will also use the reminder app on my phone which also works great!!
Another super helpful thing is my planner!! I have the Emily Ley Student Planner, but I also have a Lilly Pulitzer one for personal inquiries!! I write down my zoom times, tests I need to take, and when assignments are due at the beginning at the week, and that way I have a plan for the whole week!! So, so helpful!!

One thing that has definitely been tough is not having a teacher there 24/7. I can't always ask for help and that has been a little tough. (Cough, cough, math) But I also think that I will be a great learning experience in the long run for when I'm on my own one day.

Onto the socializing subject...It is totally possible to be able to socialize and see your friends while doing virtual school!! Like I said on Wednesday, our schedules are very flexible, so you can do many things that you wouldn't normally be able to do with your friends, during the school day!! Kate, Riley, and I have worked out a school schedule were we do school with each other on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and I has worked out great for us!!

Anna:
Anna has also really enjoyed being virtual!! Almost all her friends are, so she is always on zoom with them, when she isn't on an actual school zoom!! This has also been great for her with her softball schedule, and working with my mom!! 
Anna has also been using her Emily Ley Student Planner, which has also been very helpful for her, and keeping track of her zooms and assignments!! 

Anna also has been very social with virtual school. She is always on zoom with her friends, and starting soon, they will start meeting up to do school together!! 
This is Anna's cart where she keeps most of her school supplies!! This is really helpful, because it keeps everything in one spot, and it is easily accessible!!

Well that is our virtual setup!! If y'all want some tips, you can check out this blog post HERE, but that is all for today!! Thank you so much for reading, and I will be back here on Monday for a Monthly Make-Up!!
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What's Up Wednesday!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

, What’s Up Wednesday {06.24.20}

It's What's Up Wednesday time!! 

For those of you who don't know what What's Up Wednesday is, it is this super fun linkup that Sheaffer and Shay always do on the last Wednesday of each month!!

Without any further introduction, lets just get into it!!

1. WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK:

I actually have something for this prompt this month!! Hello Fresh!!

We got Hello Fresh for the first time this week, and we are loving it!! Monday we had Sesame Szechuan Pork Noodles, and yes...They were so good!! A hit with the whole family!! (even Huddy!!) Up on the menu tonight it Beef Bulgogi Noodles!!

I'm excited!! :)

2. WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Since I am virtual this year, I have a lot more opportunities to do fun things during the day, as I don't have classes all the time!! So yesterday all of the virtual girls went out to eat lunch!! 

We had so much fun getting to see each other after so long, and to talk about virtual classes!!

I haven't seen Mary Hayden since March!!

So much fun!!

3. WHAT I'M LOVING:
Virtual school!! It has been so great!! (more about this on Friday ;))

4. WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO:
School is in full swing!! 

5. WHAT I'M DREADING:

World History!! It looks so hard!!

And math!!

6. WHAT I'M WORKING ON:

Right now I'm just trying to get my schedule all organized. Zoom times keep changing, and I am always getting new information, so hopefully by next week my schedule will be completely organized!!

I'm also just trying to get ahead in all my classes!! I really don't want to fall behind, and who doesn't want school to end a little bit earlier?! 

7. WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT:

We have big news!!

My grandparents are getting a new lake house!!

Ahh!!

They have been in their lake house for almost 5 years now, and it has been amazing. 

Buuuuutttt my grandparents want to live at the lake full-time one day, and our current lake house would not be a good full-time/long-time fit for them. 

So we are super excited to hopefully be in their lake house next month/early October!!
We're gonna miss you Oak Cottage!!

8. WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING:

2 things. 

Monthly Book Review next week.

Monthly Movie Review is coming!!

Me and my dad have been watching a lot movies lately, and I am so excited to be doing a movie review!! It's coming sometime soon!!

9. WHAT I'M LISTENING TO:

A whole random mix of things!! My music changes every day!!

10. WHAT I'M WEARING:

Honestly, I am making no effort to look cute at all these days, so I don't really have anything!! Nike Shorts every day!! 

11. WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Anna has a tournament Saturday. Huddy has a tournament Sunday. I'm staying with grandparents. Hahaha!!

Also-I forgot to tell y'all!! Huddy won his last tournament!!


So proud of my little baseball boy!!

12. WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Fall!! Cooler weather!! So excited!!

13. WHAT ELSE IS NEW:

That about covers it!! Thanks so much for reading, and I will see y'all back here on Friday!!


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Sunday In The Life!!

Monday, August 24, 2020

 Hey y'all!! Happy Monday!! I am glad to say that the first day went great!! We were all a little worried at first, but it went pretty well!!

For today's post I am doing a Sunday in the life!! Hope you enjoy!!

I started off the day with a little bit of work in the morning!! Always making those to-do lists!! They help sooo much!!

Then I went on to watch church!!

We always have waffles on the weekends!! One of my favorites!!

Huddy and Ollie...So cute!!
Back to more work...and Gilmore Girls!!
Then we ate some lunch. Haha!! Huddy!!
Then me and my dad finished up the movie we were watching. Ollie was cuddled up on my side!!
More work!!
Then I went to hang out with Huddy for a little bit!! For a little context: Anna had a long softball practice, so that is why she isn't in any of the pictures.
Popsicle's for the win!!
More work...and Gilmore Girls!!
Then I kinda forgot to take pictures, but we didn't really do anything!! Dinner, then bed!!

I hope you enjoyed, and that you have a great day!!
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