Top Ten Tuesday— REWIND

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.

I keep forgetting to do these posts! I remember when I started my blog, I was so excited to be able to start my own lists, and I’ve only done one so far. I’m happy that this week is the Top Ten Tuesday Rewind, where you can pick to do a previous topic. I have chosen my Top Ten Childhood Favorites. This topic makes me happy, because I love to reminisce and get all sappy-book-nostalgic. So, here we go!

Top Ten Childhood Favorites

10. Beezus & Ramona by Beverly Cleary. 1450682
I remember being so conflicted, because I loved Ramona and her spunk, but as a big sister I was really able to relate to Beezus’s pain.

29724909. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
I remember reading these and wishing that I had more siblings and that we could go take care of one another, but then at the same time I would always realize how lucky my sister and I were to have a family and NOT have to take care of ourselves. I loved the whole series, but the first is the one that stands out the most after all these years.

 

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08. Meet Samantha by Susan S. Adler
I’ll never forget the Christmas when I opened up the box that contained my Samantha doll and the first book in her series. I absolutely adored Samantha. I read most of the other American Girl books, but as I was so obsessed with the early 1900’s it was clear Samantha would be my favorite. I still have my doll, even though she is not in tip-top shape anymore. I love her anyway.

130465107. Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal
I was so jealous that I didn’t have a twin sister…

 

06. Sweet Valley Jr. High by Francine Pascal1476378
I moved on to these when I was in middle school, because they seemed a bit more modern and similar to my own school experience. I got made fun of once for reading these in seventh grade and I remember crying in the bathroom. Sad, but true. Reminder that middle school is not fun for anybody.

 

55839405. Babysitter’s Little Sister by Ann M. Martin
I was obsessed with Karen and her exploits. She was such a spunky little thing, and I remember always being jealous of all the interesting things that she had going on… even when they were mostly because of her overactive imagination. I loved all the books, but the first one, Karen’s Witch, I can still remember almost word for word. I read it a million times.

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04. Babysitter’s Club by Ann M.Martin
Well, obviously, if I was obsessed with the Little Sister series, I must have read the actualBSC. I feel that these books were a staple in many a young girl’s book collection growing up. I was even a member of the BSC club, where they would send me four books a month and other goodies. I remember having so many of these books that they circled the perimeter of my bedroom!

3998803. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Is there really anything to say about this one? I think we all relate a little bit to Matilda and her love of books. I think we all wish we could have the powers to punish the wrongdoers in our life. We all wanted a teacher like Ms. Honey. I am still trying to convince the fiance that we should name our daughter Matilda.

 


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02. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Oh dear god, I wanted to BE Harriet. I was obsessed with her, and I started carrying around my own spy notebook and writing down everything about everyone; the kids on the school bus, the teachers, people in the grocery store. And I was much more careful with my spy notebook. Nobody ever read it.

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01. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Yeah, I know. Shocking, right? What can I say? I wouldn’t be the person I am if it weren’t for the Harry Potter series. I love those books with all my heart and soul.

 

What are some of your favorite childhood books? Do we share any? Comment and let me know!

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Oh, the feels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish. This past month as I was contemplating bringing the blog back, I was checking out all the different lists people came up with, so I am very excited to finally have my own!

So, without further ado:

Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

  • The entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, with emphasis on Prisoner of Azkaban, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly HallowsThis whole book series was my childhood. I wouldn’t even be the person I am today had it not been for the Harry Potter series. Out of the seven books, these were the three that took the biggest emotional toll on me. 
  • Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. The first book (besides the Harry Potter books) that I was able to read after my dad passed away. I wasn’t able to finish anything I tried to read for months after his death, but this book pulled me back.  
  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. A very interesting love story with time travel and art and mental illness throughout. The ending was, in one word, breathtaking. I loved it. 
  • I Know this Much Is True by Wally Lamb. This was a hard one to get through, due to size and content. A very difficult yet touching read.
  • Night by Elie Wiesel. I remember reading this in high school, and I finished the book in one night. My teacher didn’t even believe me when I said I was done. Knowing the truth behind the words in this book made it one of the biggest tearjerkers of all time. 
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I felt that this book was written for me when I was in high school. I was a socially anxious loner who needed someone to relate to, and Charlie was that person. 
  • The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank. The one book that I make sure to re-read at least once every year. Without a doubt one of the most touching things I’ve ever read. 
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Trying to imagine myself as Claire in this book and wondering how I could live with what she lives with? Impossible. 
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. One word- Prim. 
  • The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. A book that still haunts me to this day. 

This list is actually not in any particular order. Also, it was very hard for me to only pick ten, because I am highly emotional and become completely invested in a great story. 

Back to the book reviews…

This past month, I’ve given much thought as to why I had let this blog go. I have come to the conclusion that I just wasn’t writing the type of reviews I was meant to write. I am not the kind of person who reads books with the intention of paying attention to what makes something “good” or “bad”. Whether something is a good or bad read is so subjective! I just can’t stress about that anymore.

I have decided to create a review policy based on how I recommend books to the people I know in real life. To me, a book is something you stay up late to finish (super amazing BEST THING EVER type of book), finish the next day (it’s good … but sleep is better), or just read it whenever (maybe finish, maybe not. not holding my interest enough to worry with it).

That is it. That’s basically the way I think of books. Also, I REFUSE to force myself to finish something I don’t like. I am the absolute WORST person in the world when it comes to this. I feel so bad if I don’t complete a book, but I will sometimes hate every second of it. I can’t do this anymore. Life is too short.

So, here’s to the revamped blog. Hopefully I will have a couple reviews up within the next couple of days. =)

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

A+ 10/10 WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND!

I have to start this review off by saying that I don’t normally read these types of books. Paranormal romance has just never been my thing. When I accidentally stumbled upon this book, I was immediately intrigued by the Poe aspect of the story; I’ve always been an Edgar Allan Poe fangirl. I happened to glance at some of the reviews, which generally seemed pretty positive. I took a chance, and let me tell you what, I am SO happy that I did. 
This book tells the story of Isobel and Varen, a cheerleader and a goth who end up being paired together for an English project. Neither one of them is very happy about this arrangement. Isobel’s possessive, football playing boyfriend isn’t happy about it either. 
This book doesn’t have that immediate opposites-attract, love-at-first-sight aspect (THANK GOD). We slowly see Isobel become aware that you can’t judge a person by what they look like and what others think of them. At the same time, Varen doesn’t just see her as a dumb cheerleader anymore. You can tell, even with his aloof mannerisms, that he genuinely cares about her and wants nothing more than to protect her. It is so refreshing to see a romance that develops in a realistic way. Just about when you are ready for them to start admitting their feelings for one another, strange things begin to happen. Isobel begins to have intense dreams that seem all too real when she wakes up. She is hearing voices. She is being chased by invisible adversaries through the woods. Why did all this begin as they started this project? What does Edgar Allan Poe have to do with this?
I am so impressed by the writing of this book. This is one of those stories that could have definitely had a crash-and-burn if it wasn’t executed perfectly. Kelly Creagh managed to weave the story of Isobel and Varen seamlessly with her references to Poe and the mysterious circumstances that surrounded his death. She has given her readers a so-crazy-it-just-might-be-true explanation, and that is one of the greatest things about the book. You are left sitting there wondering…could something like this have really happened? 

I think the only bad thing I could possibly say about it is the cliffhanger ending, and I truly don’t know how anybody who read this when it first came out was able to handle waiting for the second book. Thankfully, I have already downloaded it onto my Nook, and plan to begin reading it after I post this review. 

Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near


THIS BOOK WAS FANTASTIC!
Isola Wilde is a sixteen year old girl living in England with her parents. She is considered quite strange by most of her acquaintances, but she does have her two very good friends, James and Grace. She also has friends that only she can see, who she has dubbed her ‘brother-princes’, guardians straight from a fairytale. They do everything in their power to protect Isola, which is good, because things are about to get a little crazy when she is walking through the woods and runs into a dead girl in a birdcage. 

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The best thing about this book was the absolutely mesmerizing way in which Allyse Near writes. She has such a unique style, and I truly hope to see more books from her in the future. There was not a single instance where I felt bored while reading this story. 
The second best thing about this book was definitely the main character. Isola is now one of my all-time favorite characters from any book ever. Seriously. She was loving and unique, and it was impossible not to be on her side, hoping for everything to work out for her. 

I don’t know if I can properly express just how great this story was without being excessively gushy. It was truly magical, so I highly suggest you do yourselves a favor and give it a read.

P.S. If you are in America, you can order it through fishpond.com. They have free shipping 🙂

Book Review- The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith

This is a unique and engaging self-help book, perfect for any fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Noble Smith encourages readers to take a step back from their hectic lives and the many problems that they deal with on a day-to-day basis, and live in a more simplistic manner, just like the hobbits of Middle-Earth.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have been completely enamored by the hobbits and their way of life ever since I first picked up Tolkien’s books. Good food and cheer, what could be better than that? It seems that Noble Smith shares my thoughts on this matter, and really gives us a handbook to following the Hobbits’ example. One of the chapters has such a simple, yet overlooked message. Sleep well. Yeah, that’s it. As simple as it sounds, how many of us actually turn off our TVs and computers at a decent hour and go to bed? Noble even says, “If you’re reading this book right now and you’re tired, put it down and go to bed.” I also thought that the chapter on love was brilliant. Noble has us think about where we currently base our ideas of ‘romance and love’. How many of us are constantly looking at celebrity gossip magazines and acting so surprised when these people split up and both go after ‘the next best thing’? Smith writes about Tolkien and his wife, Edith, and the obstacles they overcame to be together. “The Wisdom of the Shire tells us: True love must be defended bravely with the soul of a warrior, and yet tended with the patience of a gardener.” 
I was very happy with this book, and I sure hope others will decide to pick it up and add some Hobbit wisdom to their lives. You won’t be disappointed.  

Rating: A+
Will I read it again?: Yes, probably quite often