my current thoughts about the book community

When I was in middle school (and even younger than that) I went to the library or bookstore at least weekly, and I picked up tons of books. I chose books simply based on the cover and the synopsis- especially the synopsis. The more involved I become in the book community, the more I find myself doing less of that.

I now tend to pick up books based on what other people think of them without even forming my own opinions or considering if I will like the book or not. I can’t even tell you how many books I bought just because I heard people in the book community like them. I don’t even know what half of the books I buy are about at this point!

I began reading fantasy books more and more often, which I don’t even like. I’m more of a contemporary and mystery/paranormal reader. Sure, there were a few fantasy books I enjoyed reading, but there were so many that I forced myself to read just so I could be part of the loop.

Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be shamed for not reading or not enjoying something that was incredibly hyped by everyone. I also don’t want to attend any book events because I know that there are a TON of books I haven’t read and I don’t want people to think I don’t belong there.

Basically, the point of this post is to say that I want to start reading for myself again. I don’t want to fall out of love with reading because I don’t enjoy what I pick up. I also want to say that this is a criticism of myself, not the book community. There are so many wonderful people and the place is so welcoming. This is just how I am currently feeling!

chat with me

Do any of you feel the same way or am I alone in this one? Have you picked up any books solely because of the book community, without even knowing what it’s about?

ending

books that changed my life

Over the years, I have read many books on so many different topics. A few of them even changed my views on the world completely.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

This was one of the few books that I had to read in school and actually enjoyed. In fact, I loved it. It is now my all time favorite book ever (except I still don’t own it so I need to go buy it very, very soon). It deals with topics such as race, social norms, and maturity. It definitely is a must read for everyone.

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone:

This is my second favorite book of all time. I enjoyed it so much because I could relate to it on a really deep level. The main character suffers from OCD and she also enjoys writing. Since I could connect to it, it left such a deep impact on me. I plan on re-reading this book as soon as I catch up on my TBR pile. The ending left such a deep scar on me emotionally, and it really shocked me.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins:

I am almost positive that all of you have read this book, watched the movies, or at least heard of it. The reason I like it so much is because I read it in a time of my life where I wasn’t very interested in anything. I was very sad, I didn’t focus on school, and I disconnected myself from a lot of people. When I heard about this book, I was so excited to read it and I couldn’t stop talking about it for days. I even convinced my cousin and friends to read it. It was something that I focused my time with and fell in love with, after a long time of being stuck in a weird place.

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour:

This book didn’t necessarily change my life, but it did change my perspective. I gained a new respect for the film industry, and I enjoyed learning about the different fields in film making. A couple of years ago, film was something that I was really interested in, and this book made me regain that initial love. I raved about this book for weeks after reading it because I loved it so much.

ending

signed book collection

Over the years, I have acquired a decent amount of signed books, and I thought I would share them with you guys! I am also working on making my site a lot better, in terms of graphics and design! Let me know what you think of everything 🙂

IMG_6322

  1. The Universe of Us- Lang Leav: I was at Barnes and Noble one day and decided I wanted to finally buy something by Lang. The first book I grabbed happened to be the Universe of Us and it was signed! It seemed like fate.
  2. Temporary Storms- McKayla Debonis: I received this book from the author, and again, it is a poetry collection!
  3. Losing Hope- Colleen Hoover: I actually have about 3 or 4 books by Colleen Hoover signed because I won them all in a giveaway. However, a couple of them are personalized to the previous owner, so they say to Ashley. But, it is still cool to own because I love Colleen’s books!
  4. Bright Souls Empty Minds- Jennae Cecelia: I have a lot of signed poetry collections, mostly because i received them from authors. This one is obviously another one of them. I absolutely loved this book and Jennae is so sweet!
  5. A Work In Progress – Connor Franta: I was able to attend Connor’s book signing a few years back, so that is how I got this one signed! It is actually the first singed book I own.
  6. Can’t Buy Forever- Susan Laffoon: This is a book I got from the author, but I actually ended up DNF’ing it. I’m really thankful that I was able to receive it, but it just wasn’t for me.
  7. The Princess Saves Herself in This One- Amanda Lovelace: I saved the best for last. I attended one of Amanda’s first book signings about 6 months ago (I think) for the release of her traditionally published poetry collection. I was able to bring my previous copy (self published version) and buy the new one! I got both signed.

 

I am so happy that I own a few signed books. I know they can be hard to find or expensive, and not everyone has them. I cherish all the books I own, but these have a special place in my heart.

chat with me

Do you have any signed books? Which ones? Also, I want to do a Q&A when I hit 400 followers, so feel free to ask me questions down below!

ending

how to ACTUALLY prevent breakouts

I never really struggled with acne, but I get multiple breakouts a month, which can be so frustrating. They always pop out at the worst times. With the school year starting, stress can be a big factor in the breakouts I get. There are always some things you can do to prevent them, though.

Today, I have 4 tips that have really helped me.

Change your pillow covers often!!
This is a big one for me. Sleeping on the same pillow everyday can cause tons of bacteria and oils to get on your face. If you don’t have multiple pillow covers or time to wash them a lot, I suggest getting 2 facial towels and putting those on your pillows at night. That’s what I do. They are the perfect size to cover my whole towel, and I can easily wash them at the end of the week, without much hassle.

Drink lots of water
An app that might help you with this is Plant Nanny. This app is the reason I started drinking 85 oz a day, and I have seen a huge difference in my skin. Water will keep your skin hydrated, and it will flush out the bad oils. It is definitely a must.

Wash your face everyday (and moisturize)
This is so so important. I have never, in at least a year, gone to bed without taking off my makeup. That is so so so bad for you and I can not stress it enough. Even if you didn’t wear makeup one day, please wash your face. It can make a big difference in your skin. Try to keep up the same routine everyday. Also, make sure you moisturize. Even with oily skin like mine, moisturizing is still important.

Avoid Dairy
This is my last tip, and the biggest one. Dairy causes so many breakouts, at least for me personally. I love dairy, so I could never cut it out of my life completely, but try to limit your daily intake. If you struggle with acne, and you eat a lot of dairy, try cutting down for a few days to see if it helps!

Let me know if you try any of these tips, or if you have tips of your own to share!

ending

change | journal excerpts

Change has always been a good thing to me. I have embraced it with open arms every time. I can not even imagine a life where I am stuck with the same routine day after day. I do not want to sit behind a desk and watch my life pass me by. I want a career where I can explore different paths daily and have new adventures. I’m not sure where life will take me just yet, but I hope that it will bring me to change. Because change is the only constant that I want in my life.

//

I keep telling myself that my life won’t really start until I’m older. When I have a real job, and I’m living on my own. But life is short. And I don’t know how long I’ve got. So what am I waiting for? 17 years of precious time have gone by. It is time to go out and make something of myself. Live a little more. While I still can.

//

Her eyes lit up when she talked about it. She was so passionate about the art she created, and she couldn’t get her mind off of it. The happiness she felt when a paintbrush was in her hand was enough to make anyone smile.

– jess

august wrap up + september tbr

Before I start, I just want to say I made a Twitter account for my blog! You can check it out here 🙂

Unfortunately the past few months have been pretty bad for me, reading wise. I’m sad that I haven’t read as much as I hoped to over the summer, but I’m only one book away from completing my reading challenge (of 50 books)!

This month I read 5 books, which isn’t horrible.

Anna and The French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins:
People have been raving about this book for YEARS. I have been wanting to read it for the longest time ever. I finally did but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. I don’t even want to continue with the next 2 books, actually.

While this was definitely a super fluffy read, I wish I had related to and fallen in love with the characters. I think this was a little too fluffy for me, and I just haven’t been in the mood for fluffy.

3/5 stars

The Five People You Meet in Heaven- Mitch Albom:
I have heard lots of good things about this book, and when I saw that it was at Barnes and Noble for only $5, I had to get it. This book really got me thinking, and it was an incredible read.

I still find myself thinking about it and talking about it to others. The main character was really interesting for me to read about, and hearing about his life in such a unique way is what made me hooked.

5/5 stars

History is All You Left Me- Adam Silvera:
I was extremely lucky to be sent the ARC of this book by _____ on Twitter, and when I got it in my hands, I read it immediately. However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this one. I couldn’t relate to the characters at all, and I found it a bit too slow for me. I realized in the last few months that I prefer characters over plot, but I still need some action in books. There just wasn’t enough in this one.

3/5 stars

Jane Eyre- Charlotte Bronte:
This book is part of my summer reading for school next year, which may be the reason that I didn’t love it too much.

At first, I really did think I would love the story because Jane seemed like a strong, independent woman and I really admired her for that. However, towards the end I really did not support her decisions and I couldn’t get myself to enjoy the story.

3/5 stars

Weave A Murderous Web- Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks:
I wrote a review for this book a little while back so you can check that out!

3/5 stars

Now let’s get to my September TBR!

Midnight’s Children- Salman Rushdie:
Second book of my summer reading. I am almost done with it and expect to be done in a couple of days.

The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas:
I am almost done with this book. I am actually listening to it on Audible (it’s my first audiobook ever- and I love it). It is soo good.

Everything You Want Me To Be- Mindy Mejia:
I received this book in my Read Dog book subscription box and I am finally planning on reading it! It looks super interesting.

 

That is all for my TBR because I am starting my senior year of High School in a few days. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too many books! What’s on your TBR for this month?

 

the guilty reader tag

Recently I have seen tons of Youtube Videos doing this tag and I definitely wanted to give it a shot. The answers are so funny and interesting to see! Let’s get to the questions 🙂

Have you ever re-gifted a book that you’ve been given?
I don’t think I ever have. I honestly don’t really ask for books specifically for my birthday or Christmas, so I don’t receive that many. I usually just get gift cards to Barnes and Noble, so it is books I actually want.

Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?
Yes, I’ve done it a lot of times. At school I tell my teachers I read the books they assign but usually Sparknotes does the trick.

Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
I just checked all the book I own and no I don’t own any that I borrowed but never gave back and I can’t remember a time where I did.

Have you ever read a series out of order?
No, I can’t imagine that. I would be too confused and way too focused on the fact that I haven’t read the other books to fully enjoy the one in front of me. I did accidentally buy the 2nd book of a series twice without noticing until I was at home, but that’s different.

Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?
Probably, but not on purpose. Sometimes a friend will tell me they don’t care or that they want to hear the ending so I’ll tell them. I would never purposely spoil it though.

Have you ever doggy eared a book?
No, because I am always too afraid to, but I think I want to start. The end result looks so cool and I don’t want to be super careful of all my books. I would rather have them look worn and actually read.

Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?
I don’t think I have. I don’t have any books I am ashamed to own or anything. I don’t see any reason for lying about this.

Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?
I don’t think I have ever done this either. I am usually proud to have read any book that other people are talking about.

Have you every skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
Jane Eyre. I had to read it this month for summer reading but the middle was getting really boring. I just skipped multiple paragraphs.

Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?
Yes. I enjoyed Twilight when I read it in like 5th grade but when everyone started to hate on it, I did, too. I think that’s one of the only times though.

ending

Bookworm Pet Peeves

If you are anything like me and carry a book around with you everywhere you go, I’m sure that this list of pet peeves will make you cringe. Let me know which one you relate to most in the comments!

  1. Stickers on books
    This is my number one pet peeve ever. Who thought it would be a good idea to put stickers on books? Especially when they are hard to come off or leave the glue residue. It makes me so mad.
  2. People who try to talk to you while reading
    When other people listen to music with headphones on, I don’t disturb them. So why do people think it’s ok to bother me when I’m in the middle of a sentence? My sister does this to me the most.
  3. When someone asks “why do you even like to read”
    I need it to live and breathe. The real question is why don’t you read? Reading is an escape for me and it has helped me cope with hard times. That’s why.
  4. When you have to wait a year for the next book of a series to come out.
    *cough cough* To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before *cough cough*
  5. Someone who says they liked the movie better
    I BET YOU DIDN’T EVEN READ THE BOOK!!
  6. Spoilers
    The absolute worst. At least put a warning before you tell someone the ending of a book or movie. It’s just cruel.
  7. Having a friend that doesn’t like your favorite book
    I actually consider not being friends with them anymore. It takes everything in me not to scream at them.
  8. When people ask to borrow your books
    I hate this so so much because I have very little trust in people. But at the same time, I can’t say no because I want them to experience the love I have for the book. I am so afraid that they will ruin it or not give it back though. This one is a huge struggle.
  9. Being judged for not going out so you can read
    I usually have to come up with an excuse, so the only person who judges me is my sister. But it’s worth it.
  10. Books you don’t like that end in cliffhangers
    I hate when I’m reading a book that I didn’t enjoy at all has a crazy ending that has me so SHOOK that I need to read the next one. I need to know what happens next but I don’t want to suffer through another 300 pages of boring writing to find out.

Have anything to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

ending

Weave a Murderous Web- Review

*This book was sent to me to review, but all opinions are my own.

Goodreads Synopsis:
No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support. 

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous. 

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

My Review:
I do think this book was a little hard to get into originally. If court cases and trials really interest you, this will not be the same reaction you have. The beginning is a little hard to get used to because of the lawyer terms used, but it makes sense for the story.

However, a couple chapters in, I was hooked! The story was really well written, and there was a lot of action. It is a murder mystery so you are constantly suspicious of EVERYONE.

The writing was really well done, and I liked the characters a lot. However, I didn’t really like the main character, Jane. She wasn’t very consistent and a little annoying at times, if I am being honest. Also, sometimes I had to stop and think about who each character was, because there were a lot introduced and it was hard to follow along with.

The story was super enjoyable and intense, though. I don’t often read stories like this, but I am glad I read this one. It was easy to get through, and was pretty fast-paced. This is also the second book in the series, which I didn’t know initially, but you don’t have to read the first to follow along, because I didn’t.

Overall, it was a good, quick read. I would give it 3/5 stars.

Check it out if this is the type of story that would interest you!