Happy Halloween!!!

 I hope Halloween turns out to be a festive, wonderful day for all of you! I for one will be spending the day reading and doing lazy-butt stuff like eating caramel apples, pumpkin shaped peanut butter cups, and drinking hot cider. But when the evening rolls around I will dress up as a witch (I think….I haven’t quite decided yet) and will then go trick or treating with my family (what sane person turns down free candy?). In honor of this fun holiday, I decided to post some songs that remind me of Halloween. Some obviously have a Halloween influence, others may not but I like them anyways. Enjoy!!!

Caution: There is like HEAVY cursing in the “Let’s Go” video, it is so bad it almost makes me feel uncomfortable…but I still love the song!

Let’s Go by Lil Jon

Something about the background noises in this song creep me out. It has always reminded me of some super cool Halloween song!

Disturbia by Rihanna

Do you see this video??? It is one of the creepiest music videos out there!

Thriller by Michael Jackson

It is pretty much illegal to not be thinking of the song/video when you think about Halloween. It’s a classic!

Call Me When Your Sober by Evanescence

The wolves, the scary-looking castle, her hauntingly beautiful voice, what DOESN’T remind you Halloween?

Bring Me To Life by Evanescence

I dare you to find a bad Evanescence song because I certainly cannot. This one definitely has the freak factor too!

Dragula by Rob Zombie

I rocked out to this when I was a little girl. It practically shouts HALLOWEEN!

Lullaby by The Cure

It is the whispering that totally freaks me out in this song.

The Devil Went Down To Georgia by Charlie Daniels Band

I memorized this song when I was little. Looking back now, I wonder why I was so obsessed with it but hey, it is still dark and freaky!

Don’t Fear The Reaper by Pierce The Vail (Blue Oyster Cult cover)

Oh I just LOVE my Punk Goes Classic Rock CD. This is one of my favorites from this particular volume!

The House on Shady Lane by Plain White T’s

I LOVE that The Plain White T’s made a Halloween song. They make me all sorts of happy!

Welcome To The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance

I love this whole song, the video, and of course THE PARADE!

TGIF (22)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Spooktacular Reads:

Which books do you consider festive Halloween reads? Which stories have chilled you to the bone?

I would like to think that I am a tough person who can handle scary books but in reality I am a big, big baby. However, I have managed to sneak in a few creepy books and by somewhat of a shock, I actually enjoyed them. The first couple are books that just really freaked me out. The rest are ones that have Halloween-ish elements in them (a.k.a. Paranormal books that I find to be totally, freaking awesome!!!)

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

I just read this one. HOLY FREAKING CREEPY!

The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way

I read this one over a year ago and I STILL think of how twisted that story is!

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Of course fighting off demons with swords can be considered a great Halloween read!

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

This is a book about a girl who can sense dead bodies, FREAKY!

Bone Dressing by Michelle Brooks

This book is more of a love story but the main characters do spend quite a bit of time in the cemetary which is ALWAYS good for freaking people out.

Beautiful Creatures + Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Both of these books a million times YES! Everything about them shouts great Halloween read! Plus Ethan and Lena…I <3 those two!

The Childe by C.A. Kunz

This is the PERFECT book for this time of year. It definitely makes me think of one of those cool made for TV movies that ABC Family always has this time of year. It could totally be right up there with Hocus Pocus!

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

I love me some Stacey Kade! You can’t have Halloween without a friendly little ghost (or in this case, a spoiled little ghost who wants things to go her way!)

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

I was so surprised by how much I loved this book that is based so heavily on Edgar Allen Poe. This story is dark, creepy, and twisted, what more could you want?!?

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

I don’t think this one has anything to do with this time of year but I think it is a phenomenal paranormal book!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Oh yes, definitely a great paranormal book that is perfect for reading this time of year!

Released by Megan Duncan

Demon slaying people on the run? YES please!

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Oh how I love this book! Another great paranormal book that has NOTHING to do with Halloween but you should read anyway!

So what do you think? Are any of these on your list of books to read during Halloween time?

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (10/21-10/28):

TGIF (21)

Life As Kate (4)

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Tune In Tuesday (31)

Destined by P.C. & Kristin Cast Book Trailer + Giveaway!!!

Giveaway: Destined by P.C. & Kristin Cast

I am sure many of you have heard of the House of Night series! I mean, who hasn’t? I first started this series a while ago and was quickly sucked into the world of Zoey Redbird. These novels have continued to grow in popularity over the years and authors P.C. and Kristin Cast are releasing their NINTH book in the series! How awesome! You guys lucked out because I am giving away one copy of the latest book, Destined!

Title: Destined

Authors: P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Breathing hard, Aurox stood there over the bodies of his vanquished enemies. He turned to Neferet.

“Very good,” she said in her emotionless voice. “Let us leave this place before the authorities descend.”

Aurox followed her. He walked heavily, his hooves gouging furrows in the dirty alley.

Weak. He felt weak. And more. There was something else.

“What is it?” She snapped at him when he hesitated before entering the car again.

“I do not know. I feel–”

She laughed. “You don’t feel at all. You’re obviously overthinking this.”

“Yes, Priestess.” Aurox got in the car and let the world speed past him.I do not think. I do not feel. I am a weapon.

Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet — which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx’s gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together — if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow.

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia’s handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there’s the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more — or possibly less — than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there’s something strangely familiar about him . . .

Will Neferet’s true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

I love the visuals in this book trailer. I think they got great people to play the characters and the attention to detail is impeccable. I probably could have done without the girl talking but hey, it is still a great trailer. Now you get to tell me what you think and also enter for your chance to win the book!


Rules are simple this time (aren’t they always?)

-MUST leave a comment with name & e-mail address

-MUST have U.S. or Canadian mailing address

-MUST leave comment before 11/2

-Spreading news about this giveaway is not required but you will get an extra point for every time you tweet the giveaway (up to 5 extra points). MUST leave links!

Good luck to you all!

Tune In Tuesday (31)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the fourth week of a month-long feature titled Favorite Soundtracks.  We can post from our favorite movies, TV shows, musicals, commercials, etc. Last week I went country and featured songs from the movie Country Song. I already know what I am doing for the  next week (1. I am a cheater. I like to bend the rules. That is why I am extending my Soundtrack Edition an extra week. You’ve got to make the last one EXTRA good, and that is exactly what I’m planning to do. 2. Really, next week is going to take some creativity and I didn’t have time to plan it out so my FINALE of Soundtrack Edition is a week late. Deal with it.) so I was kind of drawing a blank as to what to pick for this week. There are so many great songs from movies & shows left to pick so it is going to be a week of randomness! All of these are great songs leftover and most of them have been from favorite TV shows and movies that I used to watch ALL the time and still do to this very day. Let’s get started!

Boy Meets World: Theme Song

I am nearly positive that I have seen every episode of this show AT LEAST three times! I love it like no other. Even now when I catch an episode or two, I feel a sense of pure happiness.

Full House: Theme Song

Even now, listening to this song, I am reminded of all the great family lessons I learned while watching Full House. My sister and I would plop our little butts down in front of the TV and watch episode after episode. This theme song brings up so many GREAT memories!

Growing Pains: Theme Song

Kirk Cameron still owns my heart…or at least a large portion of it <3

Con Air: How Do I Live (Trisha Yearwood)

I was probably the only 7-year-old head over heels in love with this movie PROBABLY because I was the only 7-year-old allowed to watch this movie. I think I fell in love with the soundtrack and that is the reason I would watch time and time again on our itsy bitsy TV. Years later, when I was old enough to actually comprehend what was going on, I found that I like the story line almost as much as the soundtrack!

Step by Step: Theme Song

Do you want to see an extremely more tamed version of my family? Watch this show! It is full of crazy, wacky, random family moments, much like my life right now!

Hope Floats: To Make You Feel My Love (Garth Brooks)

[livevideo id=8A688D3D335844228272B76B0B0B5DEB]

If I could describe to you the perfect scene in the perfect movie it is the moment that Harry Connick Jr. pulls in Sandra Bullock nice and close and then slow dances to this song. It is just simply AMAZING!

13 Going on 30: Why Can’t I (Liz Phair)

This movie is just the most adorable things ever! I love the songs they picked for it because they capture the movies cuteness PERFECTLY! After this movie, I listened to this song like 5 million times (give or take a few million)! Also, Razzles are the BEST candies ever!

Post Grad: One Day (Jack Savoretti)

Even though Jack’s voice is music to my ears (literally & figuratively) I would much rather picture Zach Gilford performing this as it is in the movie. I am pretty sure my heart was his after that moment (if it wasn’t already his when he told Alexis Bledel “You, me, that dress…”) He is just too cute for words <3

The New Guy: Play That Funky Music

My dad likes to save Christmas shopping until the very last-minute which is why one year us kids got a strange mix of DVD’s. The New Guy was one of those movies and it soon became a family favorite. It is just so dumb but so freaking hilarious. After this movie, my brother, sisters, and I became extremely obsessed with funk music. To this day, our parents wont let us live it down.

Holes: Dig It

This movie….it is just so great! I think this was the first movie we had to replace not because of scratches but because it was worn down too much. I still watch it every time it is on TV.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

They just don’t make Disney shows the same anymore which deeply saddens me but I am so glad I was able to experience them when they were on. This was just one of my favorites as a kid <3

Meet the Robinsons: Little Wonders (Rob Thomas)

I can say without a moment of hesitation that this is one of the greatest cartoons EVER CREATED! It makes me happy whenever I watch it and the message behind the movie is just so fantastic!

Phineas & Ferb: Gitchi Gitchi Goo

This is the only cartoon I will willingly turn on when my younger brothers AREN’T home. For some reason, I find it fun, quirky and totally adorable. When this particular episode came on, I rewound the TV so I could sing the song over and over again!

High School Musical 2: Everyday

Okay, I am letting out a deep, dark secret right now. I was and forever will be a High School Musical fan. I don’t care what haters have to say, the music really is pretty good. This song in particular is beautiful and it has a great meaning behind it.

Sorry I went a bit psychotic on this Tune In Tuesday post. Like I said, I wanted to fit in so much soundtrack goodness before it was too late. As always, let me know what you think of my choices and I will be sure to check yours out as well!

Book Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Title: Past Perfect

Author: Leila Sales

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 322 Hardcover

My Rating: 5/5 stars

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

HOLY. FREAKING. ADORABLE! Those were the words flying through my head from the second I picked this book up. I knew from the cover, the summery, and the brilliant reviews of this book that I would absolutely adore it, and you know what? I totally did! Funny, realistic characters, a unique setting, and hilarious situations make this book a total winner!

First let’s start off with Chelsea, the main character! Her honest, snarky personality had me laughing uncontrollably by the first page. Just to prove my point, here is an example “Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and all. But my father and I have the sort of loving relationship in which, whenever he says more than one sentence in a row to me, I want to stab myself in the heart with a recently formed silver knife.” (Past Perfect, page 3). How could you NOT laugh at that!?! In fact, as I was typing this, I was giggling like a schoolgirl. Now I know to most that must sound morbid but coming from the mouth of this character, you will find it to be one of her most endearing qualities. Her sense of humor is quite similar to that of my best friend, which is why I think I love her, like A LOT! She is pessimistic, negative, and she isn’t afraid to be honest to people’s faces but that is all what makes her special in a crazy kind of way. Her relationships with others around her, especially her hilarious best friend, Fiona, are genuine and true to life. Things don’t always go Chelsea’s way and that is especially the case with her and Ezra. Her train of thought regarding Ezra is something so many girls (myself included) can completely relate to. It was her first “love” and more importantly her first heart-break. Every time they were around each other, my heart hurt for her obvious pain over the break-up but I must say, Chelsea stood her ground and tried to prove to everyone, Fiona ESPECIALLY (and herself) that she was a tough cookie. Chelsea’s parental relationship is what you can expect from a teen and after reading the quote above, this teenager in particular! I kind of loved that this book wasn’t so centrally based on her relationship with her parents! They were good parents, loved her dearly and had hilarious quirks that made for some good laughs but that was it. Plain and simple. This book was so fun and light-hearted, that the author steered clear of major issues with the parentals which I found totally awesome in a kind of weird way. It is hard to explain but here it goes: Parents have such a big influence over our lives but they are not the only influence. Past Perfect is more about a girl growing up, healing, and finding love again all with her kick-butt personality perfectly in tact!

The fact that this book takes place in a historical village made it all the more amazing! I loved hearing of the costumes, the way they had to stay in character and how insanely serious many seemed to take their jobs not to mention a war, yes I said war! Of course, there just happens to be a Civil War reenactment village right across the street so the two villages fight every year for bragging rights (only the teens of course because parents would have a fit over it!). Every time there was a sneak attack on the enemy I got all excited and often time laughed over how the situations panned out. Even though I enjoyed this aspect of the war, I must say the conflict that it caused between Chelsea and Dan, a potential love interest was far more entertaining.

After the Civil War people capture Chelsea, something sparks between her and Dan! The constant “Yes I want to kiss you but you are the enemy,” moments were utterly adorable. I loved that their relationship was simple (1. Boy likes girl 2. Girl likes boy) yet completely complicated at the same time (1. Boy and girl are sworn enemies 2. Girl needs to get over a past break-up ASAP 3. If girl can’t even admit to herself just how RIGHT she is with Dan, then I am about to go take him for myself). The moments that these two were together were some of my favorites in the book. Chelsea has a hard time expressing her feelings for others to understand but Dan just GETS her not to mention that he listens to her without judgment. I prayed and hoped she would get over Ezra soon because a cutie like Dan was just too good to pass up. Also, I feel that I must mention a special scene on the trampoline. I will not give away any major details but just keep your eye out for it when reading. It is so full of cuteness that I think I squealed and awed out loud…at the same time!

As you can probably tell from this review (more like endless ramble of fan-girlness), I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK HARDCORE! It is a sweet, adorable, and totally wonderful book that isn’t weighed down by so many issues that are ever-present in YA contemporary books out there today. Don’t get me wrong, I love those types of books like no other but it just felt so good and refreshing to FINALLY read something so light and fun, something that could make you laugh and smile with complete ease! I definitely recommend this book looking for a good laugh!

Life As Kate (4)

Welcome back to my blog! This is a new(ish) feature here where I ramble on for any amount of time in hopes of teaching you guys a little bit about the blogger behind the blog. This week has been full of pure awesomeness so let me get started!

Well, Sunday was dumb because I worked BUT once I got out of work, my stepmom took me out to lunch (so sweet) and then once we got home she surprised me with new SUPER CUTE boots, a swimsuit (I LOVE swimsuits like no other), and some jewelry! Yay, I love her (even when she doesn’t buy me cool stuff!)

Monday was my first REAL day off in over a month in a half so you think it would be filled with a whole lot of nothing. Heck-to-the-NO! I ended up babysitting for a family friend from 5:50 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon. Yes, I am being totally serious. But it was pretty easy because babies are cute AND I got paid for it!

While I was babysitting I got a message from a friend asking if I liked We The Kings. Uh, HELLO!?!?!??! Do you see the picture of me right over there >>>>>>>> It is of me smiling like a fool, giving two thumbs up, and wearing a We The Kings shirt. Yes, I am a fan to say the least! Anyways, she then goes on to tell me that they were playing a free acoustic performance that night. I called Kati, told her to drop her plans (which she gladly did; she <3’s them too) and along with my younger sister we were off to see the epicness that was about to go down. Nearly 300 people were there in attendance but I didn’t even care! This was the 6th, yes I said SIXTH time I’ve seen them perform and they only get better in time. Afterwards we were able to get in groups of 10 to take a picture with the band. Well me, being the psychotic fan that I am, quickly walked (okay, sprinted) to Travis (the lead singer) and latched myself to his side so no other crazy fans could be by him. I then proceeded to hug both him and Hunter (guitarist) and told them it was the best moment of my life. Embarrassing, yes, but I don’t even care.

Tuesday SUCKED MAJORLY in comparison to Monday. I had dumb class where I sat by dumb people and pretended like I wasn’t falling asleep every 5 seconds.

Wednesday I had another day off. Hold the press! Did you hear that right? Two days off in one week! I don’t think that has happened to me in almost 4 months! This day off was a considerable amount different from my other day off. I sat on my bum for the full day and did nothing but eat, sleep, watch Pretty Little Liars, and read. It was the most productive I have ever been.

Thursday also SUCKED MAJORLY in comparison but that is only because I had class and there are no redeemable qualities concerning my schooling.

Friday… what can I say about Friday except that it was simply amazing yet utterly horrible at the same time. Let’s get the bad out of the way first. Karma sucks. I paid for my two days off by working from 12-9:30. If you are a mathematician, you’ve figured out that I was on my feet, running around like a crazy person for NINE AND A HALF HOURS! (I need sleep!) Now on to the good part, TGIF (a meme hosted by GReads!)made me realize just how awesome the book blogging community is! I love seeing all the book blogging love going around. It makes me super excited for a special event I am planning for February. Be prepared for no sleep and LOTS of blogger love!

Now it is Saturday and Karma is still being a big meanie. I have to work… again but don’t you worry. In hopes of preserving what little sanity I have left, I have requested Halloween weekend off. No work=one happy Katelyn!

Hope you enjoyed this week’s Life As Kate post. Tune in next week for what is sure to be more randomness!


There is me and my future husband Travis. Don’t we make such a cute couple?

Here is the group shot! I only know my sister Kari (girl on the other side of Travis), my best friend Kati (girl on the other side fo me), and Hunter (that cutie pie on the other side of Kati).

Last January I decided to grow my hair out to donate it. This has been the HARDEST thing for me because my hair is like my most prized possession. I like to do unique stuff with my hair so not being able to do anything with it has been killing me. While I am staying strong and not allowing myself to get anything done, I have at least chosen what I will get done when it is finally long enough to donate. I LOVE THIS HAIRCUT! I cannot wait :)

TGIF (21)

There once was an awesome blogger named Ginger and she decided to create a super fun feature where fellow bloggers would answer fabulous questions via blog posts every Friday. TGIF was born and we all have Miss Ginger at GReads! to thank for that! This week’s question is:

Book Blogs That Make You Smile:

Pick 5 book blogs you visit often & think others should, too.

Oh goodness Ginger! I love this question like no other because 1) I like books 2) I like blogs 3) I LOVE blogs that talk about books!!!! Now before I begin to list of the wonderful bloggers who brighten my day, I want you to keep in mind that I love and appreciate every book blogger out there! The time and energy it takes to read and review books not to mention all the social networking, is a TON of work and I just think we are so full of awesomeness for making the book blogging community such an amazing place to be a part of. Now on to blogs that make me grin like a fool!

Obviously, I cannot do this post correctly without mentioning Ginger. I mean her blog is just so freaking amazing there are pretty much no words! Her reviews are so heart-felt and awesome, almost too awesome if there is such a thing. Right now I am at the point of screening what I read on her blog. My wallet just can’t take it anymore! I end up wanting to buy almost EVERYTHING she posts about. Even if it is a review of a sucky book I somehow convince myself that I need to buy it for the sole fact that Ginger gave it a chance as well. Yeah, it has gotten THAT bad. And as if Ginger’s blog wasn’t great enough with all the book talk she is also a music fan, a HUGE music fan!!! I love talking about good tunes almost as much as books and I know for a fact that Ginger always has a great music recommendation. Her Tune In Tuesday feature is one of my favorite features ever, it has made Tuesdays the best day of the week! Every time I look at her blog, I stumble across another thing I love whether it be a new author, a new book, or even a new band! Her blog brightens my day every time I stop by!

Oh my darling, darling Ashley! Ashley & her blog rock my socks off on a daily basis. She is pretty much one of the greatest bloggers ever, FOR SERIOUS. I can say with admiration and deep respect that she puts even some of my best reviews to shame. Her words are so wonderful and well-thought out. She can go on and on about any book, talk about the characters, the plot, what she likes, what she doesn’t like and I never get sick of reading about it. She has such great, deep thoughts about everything, that normal people (such as myself, although many may argue that I am NOT normal but any means…) would not even consider, and I love her for that. I sincerely appreciate EVERYTHING she puts on her blog because I know how much time she takes to really think about and gather her opinions on something. Her wonderful mix of seriousness and utter foolishness brings a smile to my face every day :) She is well, for lack of a better word, Basically Amazing!

Cyndi is SO GREAT! We have recently been talking more and more and more on Twitter and I have come to the conclusion that she is one of the biggest sweethearts ever! She is continually making me laugh about anything and everything! Also, she is a HOTTIE and you better not let her forget that! On a more serious note though, she is a super great go-to person when you need a book or music rec. I love that her eclectic taste in music is so different from mine yet no matter what she shares with me, I instantly love it. Her book reviews make me want to buy more books than my bookshelf can hold and I have picked up so many great, new bands from her!

Sarah is one of the greatest teachers I have ever met. Whether I become an English teacher like her or a math teacher (ehhh, according to my Trigonometry score, I just may be leaning towards English), I can only hope that I am as good as she is. Her blog makes me smile for the simple fact that you can tell just how dedicated she is to her job. The interviews she set up between debut authors and her students is the most amazing feature I have ever seen! Really, if you check it out, you will understand EXACTLY what I mean! She is always, always thinking about her students. I love that nearly all her reviews, meme posts, etc. contain the words “my students.” She is truly an inspiration!

How could I forget about my blog’s number one fan??? Mandie puts a smile on my face every single day. She supports my blog so much and I appreciate that more than she could ever know! All the comments, RT’s, Tweets, and the fact that she is just there for me are all perfect examples as to why I think she is so awesome. Through weekly memes like Tune In Tuesday and TGIF, I have been able to really get to know Mandie. We talk quite often on Twitter, usually about books or music (are you catching on here? I OBVIOUSLY like to talk to people about books and music) but no matter what the conversation is about, I ALWAYS leave it smiling. She is the nicest, most wonderful person…oh, and she is writing a book. Yay!!!! It will be awesome and I can’t wait to read it so make sure you cheer her on through her writing process!

As I said before there are so many great, awesome-tastic book bloggers out there. For the complete list of blogs I like to check out every now and then, please refer to my “Bloggers To Check Out” page! That list is so full of great talent!

This week on Katelyn’s Blog (10/14-10/21):

TGIF (20)

Life As Kate (3)

In My Mailbox (27)

Squalor, New Mexico by Lisette Brodey

Tune In Tuesday (30)

Changing MY Wardrobe by Deb Hanrahan

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Book Reviews: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Publisher: Quirk Publishing

Pages: 352 Hardcover

My Rating: 4/5 stars

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Every so often, I say just how surprised I am by certain books and after reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, I can now add it to the list! When my friend first suggested this for our book club pick I just about died. I was thinking there was no way in heck that I would actually enjoy a book that looks like that. The cover creeped me out like no other and I was sure I would begin to get nightmares after reading this. However, once I actually got started, I found it to be a highly more enjoyable book than I could have ever anticipated with many twists and turns included throughout to help grab my attention.

The main character, Jacob, was hard to connect with near the beginning of the story. He seemed distant and unattached from reality. The way he talked with his friend and interacted with his parents, all just seemed off for me. However, once the storyline got rolling, I was able to understand and appreciate the character and all of his quirks.

Jacob’s trip to the faraway island with his father was a very special trip meant to give Jacob a break after the death of his grandfather. However, the trip also means that Jacob finally gets the chance to hunt down Miss Peregrine and hopefully find some answers regarding his grandfather’s death. The trip served a much higher purpose then just that though! Not only did Jacob get to solve the mystery of his grandfather’s life and death, but he allows himself to grow as a person. I loved seeing how quiet and awkward he was before the trip and then during the trip he becomes adventurous and more confident with himself. It was definitely during this trip that I really began to care for Jacob as a character. I was rooting for him and wishing he would be able to find out everything he was in search of.

The sense of mystery regarding Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children kept me guessing for a majority of the book. I was desperately trying to put the pieces together right along with Jacob. To say I was surprised when learning the truth about the long-gone peculiar children, is a bit of an understatement. I hate to call this a paranormal book because it just doesn’t have that type of feel, instead I think it is more of a twisted reality. The way the author takes reality and mixes it with these crazy things that are so out-of-this world they almost seemed possible, is really quite genius. The idea behind what the peculiar children actually are and how they can still have contact with the world after years and years of their alleged death just astounds me. You can tell the author put a whole lot of thought and creativity into making this world.

Even though the mystery was a huge part of the story, what really stole the whole show were the antique photographs throughout the whole entire story. I mean adding the pictures to this book (or maybe adding the book to the pictures. It just depends on how you look at it) was the most brilliant idea ever! It is through these photographs that we get to meet most of the peculiar children. A young girl who floats, another girl with a mouth on the back of her head. An invisible boy who can sneak around undetected. The author placed pictures that fit character and scene descriptions so well at all the right places in the story. I enjoyed “meeting” each and every character in the story but having a picture in there of them just made it a bit more special. I have long out-grown picture books but now I just may have to pick a few up especially if they are anything like this book! I would say the story would be enjoyable without the pictures in it but in reality, the pictures bring something new and unique to the table. Never have I read a young adult book that used so many odd pictures to help tell a story. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is a book I will likely never forget!

Book Review: Changing My Wardrobe by Deb Hanrahan

Title: Changing My Wardrobe

Author: Deb Hanrahan

Publisher: Philyra

Pages: 258 paperback

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Source: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review

Incoming freshman, Lindsey Ames, wants to take Italian, and she wants to join the National Honor Society.
She wants a new image, and she wants better clothes.
She wants Avery to stop tormenting her, and she wants Marco to ask her out.
She wants Jocelyn to go away, but she wants Grouper to be happy.
She wants to save Teeny’s reputation, but she doesn’t want to lose everything.
Will Lindsey find the courage to stand up to her enemies before it’s too late?
Changing My Wardrobe explores the ups and downs of life as a high school teen while addressing the issues of bullying, drug abuse, and violence. If you’re looking for a little teen drama and a good cry, this book is for you.

I knew before reading this book that it would be something that I wanted to share with my younger sisters. Even though I had a few issues with this book, for the most part, the main story line was great and something that needs to be covered more in YA books.

First I will start off with what I didn’t like about this book, the main character and the dialogue between the characters.  As much as I had in common with the main character Lindsey, I found her extremely hard to connect with. I was part of National Honor Society, I am the older sister, I have had crushes, and I have had moments where I just wanted, needed a change. It would make an incredible amount of sense if I could connect and feel something towards this character, however, there was something about her that didn’t sit well with me. She is meant to come off as a smart girl with a good head on her shoulders, which she totally is but her personality felt completely flat. Her thoughts, feelings, and even the conversations she had with other characters was just lacking something. She obviously loved her friend, Teeny dearly (and I did too but I will get to that in a moment) but the thoughts she had about other characters seemed harsh and rather snotty. When she thought about her oddball friend, Jocelyn, I couldn’t believe how resentful she was! So without the connection of the main character, it was hard to truly LOVE this story. Also, the dialogue between the characters was a bit awkward. Most of it flowed nicely but some of what they said to each other kind of made me scratch my head in confusion. The dialogue wasn’t terrible, I have definitely read much worse, but it just didn’t seem all that genuine. Even those I had these few issues with the book,there were a few positives that I really liked!

Lindsey’s best friend, Teeny was remarkable! In fact, I think Teeny could have just stole the spotlight on more than one occasion in this book. Her personality was charming, fun, quirky, and original. She brought a certain brightness to this story exactly when we needed it. Had the book been from her point of view, there is no doubt I would have enjoyed it a bit more. She was so fun to read about!

Another part that I loved about the book was the topic that it revolved around, bullying. We see the victim’s side of bullying in this heartbreaking story. I can honestly say that even though I wanted to read this book to gain a better understanding, it made me extremely sad. At first the bullying is merely an afterthought in the story. We are just seeing how Lindsey interacts with her friends, family, and crush as she happens to hear a few random, hurtful comments from a girl in class. However, about midway through the story, the bullying that Lindsey and her friends start receiving begins to escalate at an alarming rate. The bullying in this story is not the physical kind. It is name calling, reputation ruining, cyber bullying. This type of bullying can be so harmful to so many people and I really commend Deb for tackling such a tough subject. I have seen first hand just how painful and damaging a mean text message can be. Or when an inappropriate picture of you is spread around to everyone, that can just ruin someone. It is not an easy subject to talk about, it can be very painful, but Deb really did a good job at it.

Yes, there were some things I didn’t like about this book, but in the end there is still a great lesson to be learned from Changing My Wardrobe!

Tune In Tuesday (30)

Tune In Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger @ GReads so you should head on over and link up! It is a great way to bounce from blog to blog and discover what others are listening to! I love music but there is so much out there that I haven’t heard of before. That being said, feel free to leave a link to your Tune-In Tuesday post!

This is the third week of a month-long feature titled Favorite Soundtracks.  We can post from our favorite movies, TV shows, musicals, commercials, etc. This week I decided to go country! I occasionally post country tunes on my Tune In Tuesday posts but never quite enough. I grew up listening to country so it only makes sense to pay some sort of tribute to it. Recently, a wonderful movie was released called Country Strong. I quickly went and saw the movie and I must say, it was truly the soundtrack that made the movie so great. The story line was just fine but if we didn’t have one great track after another included in it, it just wouldn’t be the same. Here are a few of my favorites from the movie:

Timing is Everything by Garrett Hedlund

Oh, this song. Oh, this guy. Oh, his voice! I just love listening to it, it brings me a sense of calmness.

Words I Couldn’t Say by Leighton Meester

This happens to me all the time although not in a romantic way. As soon as a situation calling for a snarky remark comes up, I fail every single time to come up with one. Once the situation has passed, I can think of a million different things I could have said.

Hide Me Babe by Garrett Hedlund

I love it. It came at such a perfect time in the movie and it honestly made me cry like a little baby.

Give In To Me by Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester

This is my favorite song from the whole soundtrack. Something about it is just so beautiful! I love that it is a touching love song but they are kind of challenging each other at the same time. Also, the video includes some sexy time. You may choose to either ignore or enjoy those few moments, I don’t judge.

Obviously Garrett and Leighton weren’t the only performers in this movie but the songs they sang seemed to go perfectly with their characters and they really stuck with me. Hope you enjoyed!