#FridayFive, Episode Two | Songs That Pump Me Up

Good afternoon, readers!

As you know, it is Friday! While it’s already tag Friday for me, it’s also the day that I get to discuss some musical things with you as well.

friday 5

The Friday Five was created by Sara Crawford on YouTube. The idea is quite similar to Top 5 Wednesday in that each week we talk about specific topics, but this one is all about the music. Check out her video and the Tumblr for more information about the topics.

Today, we’re talking about the songs that pump us up. Now, I spent a few years as an RA at the university I attended. Most of my residents were residents who were overly excited about partying, so I’ve heard a lot of pump-up music while they were getting ready on weekend nights. It was a lot of hip hop and dance music, which does not pump me up.

For this post, I’m thinking about the music that I listened to when I was a teenager before softball tournaments and games. I was really into rock, especially classic rock at the time. I don’t have a lot to say about them, but songs got me in the zone and ready to kick some butt.

#5 – Black Betty by Ram Jam

#4 – Don’t Look Back by Boston

#3 – Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

#2 – The Pretender by Foo Fighters

#1 – Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria

I definitely had a thing for prominent and memorable guitar riffs, didn’t I?

Thanks for reading (and maybe listening) and I’ll see you tomorrow for an edition of Weekend Reads!


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TAG | Mid-year Book Freak-out!

The year is half over, which means we are halfway to Christmas and even closer to Halloween and the summer is almost over. Can we just freeze time for a moment and let me catch up?

Really, though. Can we?
Really, though. Can we?

During the month of this blog’s existence, I noticed that I am really bad at keeping track of tags. I know that I’ve been tagged more, but I was away for the weekend during the tags and I can’t find them anymore. I’ve developed a better system for the future. I’ve also noticed that my “Reader” doesn’t want to display every single post and I don’t know why. Does anyone else have this problem?

On this tag Friday, I’m completing the Mid-Year Book Freak-out Tag! I was tagged by Jasmin from Bookcorners and I’m pretty sure I was tagged by someone else but I cannot find it. If you also tagged me, let me know and I’ll edit this and give your blog some credit!

Time to freak out about the fact that we’re in the second half of 2015 already.

"Ahhhhhhhh!" - Pleakley
“Ahhhhhhhh!” – Pleakley

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2015

The best book that I’ve read so far is Another Day by David Levithan. This is the companion novel to Every Day by the same author. Even though I have not read Every Day, I absolutely loved the companion. I desperately need to pick up a copy of the original story. Now that I know Rhiannon’s side, I want to know more about A!

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2015

I am going with Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas.  I liked this sequel a lot better than the first book. The first one focused too much on the romance and Celaena’s clothes and I didn’t feel like she was the badass that she is supposed to be. The second book brought a lot more depth to the characters and their backstories. I enjoyed this book quite a bit.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

I have two books for this challenge and they were both released on the same day:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of my favorite books and I’ve been excited ever since hearing this was going to be published. I need to wait for the price to go down or for this to become available in my library. As for Armada, I’m not really sure why I am as excited as I am about this book. I haven’t yet read Ready Player One (but I now own it!) so I don’t really know much about Ernest Cline’s writing. But the premise of Armada sounds very intriguing to me!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

I’ve already talked about this because this seems to be a popular topic for the middle of the year, so I won’t say too much about it. I’m excited for The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, a novel about the best friend of the hero. This book is set for release on August 27, 2015.

5. Biggest disappointment

If you’ve followed me from the beginning or have binge-read my posts, then this will be no shock to you. I hated The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I wasn’t expecting a lot because one of my school friends didn’t like it and talked about this a lot. To my surprise, I was still disappointed despite my low expectations. This book just didn’t do it for me.

6. Biggest surprise

I wasn’t so sure about this book. I read its summary on Goodreads and thought it might sound interesting, but I wasn’t intrigued enough to go out and get it. I remember standing in front of my library’s YA shelves and grabbed it on a whim. I was quite surprised with the result. This book is Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The idea of a cyborg Cinderella kinda threw me because I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but I figured I’d give it a whirl since it was a re-telling of a well-known fairy tale. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

7. Favorite new author – debut or new to you

I’ve been really getting into Gillian Flynn’s books. I read and loved Gone Girl and Dark Places. I recently bought Sharp Objects since my library doesn’t carry it and I’m excited to read it, but I’m waiting until I’m in a reading lull. If this book excites me as much as the other books did, it’ll pull me out of a slump!

8. Newest fictional crush

I honestly don’t know why this is because I’m not even that into these books, but I guess my newest fictional crush would be Chaol Westfall from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I dunno. Maybe because I’m picturing Hugh Dancy in Ella Enchanted in Kingsguard clothing from Game of Thrones.


9. Newest favorite character

This one is a hard thing to choose. There isn’t one character that’s jumping out to me as a favorite. I’ve been reading a lot of new books and series (at least to me) and there are some that I really like but do not consider them favorites for some reason. However, I have made a decision on the “most favorite of my liked characters.” I’m going with Thomas Hunter from The Circle series by Ted Dekker. The reason I’m going with Thomas is because he has a lot to deal with his in story and and even though I’ve only read the first book, I really want to know what’s going to happen to him next.

10. Book that made you cry

No books have made me cry this year! There was one that made me feel a wide range of emotions, so I am deeming it “close enough.” This book was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. As I’ve said about a million times lately, I like to think about the reasoning behind the things that people do. This book is about why a young girl committed suicide, something that is very hard to understand. I felt pretty much every emotion I have while reading this novel.

11. Book that made you happy

Black by Ted Dekker. This is the first book in The Circle series. It is about a man named Thomas Hunter who got into some pretty bad stuff while living in Denver, Colorado with his sister. As he’s running from the bad guys, he receives a head injury and loses consciousness. When he wakes up, he is in a completely different world filled with colorful woods and amazing talking creatures. Every time he falls asleep, he wakes up in the other world. Which world is real? Are they connected? And if they are, can Thomas use his discoveries in both to save the human population that’s about to be wiped out completely?

Doesn’t sound like a happy book, but it’s one of those Good vs. Evil books that just made me smile.

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year

I didn’t see many, but I guess my favorite would be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I liked how close to the book the movie adaptation was, but I didn’t really like some of the characters in the movie version. They delivered some lines directly out of the book, but the way they said them were so different than how I perceived them that it seemed off to me. I still liked the movie, though.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year

I choose my review of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This review got the most feedback, even though the book hasn’t been released yet. I really enjoy discussing books with people so it’s always a treat when you faithful readers leave me comments!

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Again, I’m going with Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I won this book in a giveaway and my goodness this cover is beautiful.


It’s also really soft, which is a weird description for a book. The title lettering has texture and if I remember correctly (as my book is in another room) it has spot gloss so it’s not an entirely glossy cover. It’s so pretty!

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Absolutely, without a doubt, I need to read A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I’ve gotten about halfway through before, but my college coursework and student teaching got in the way. I’ve had this book since its release. I even pre-ordered it! I need to finish this book (since I’ve pretty much been spoiled to death anyway) before the next season of Game of Thrones. Also, there’s a rumor that the next book might come out before the next season so I need to be ready for that!

Phew, that ended up being quite a post! I think I’ll end it with another freak-out GIF.


This tag has been floating around and I don’t know who has been tagged and who hasn’t…so…I TAG YOU, READER OF THIS POST. Let me know if you end up doing this tag! I’d love to read your answers!

Feel free to leave me a comment. I’d love to talk to you!

As always, thank you for reading! I’ll see you later today with the second edition of The Friday Five.


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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

Book Haul #2 | July, 2015

It’s time for a book haul!

book haul

Hello readers! I said before that this would not be a monthly feature, but I got a few books this month and thought I’d share it with you.

I decided to do another haul post when my mother handed me three books last night.


  • A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy by Thomas Beurgenthal – My mother went through a period during which she only read books about the Holocaust, fiction and non-fiction. This book is a nonfiction account of a young boy’s experiences in Auschwitz. I’m really interested in reading this one.
  • Calico Joe by John Grisham – Mom was helping me print a photo last night and this book was sitting next to the printer. She picked it up and said, “This is a good one!” and handed it to me. It’s a short read and I’ve liked the other Grisham novels I’ve read. This one is about baseball, which is my favorite sport!
  • Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris – This is supposedly a really funny book about working in an office. I loved the move Office Space and I love the television show The Office, so I’m sure this will be a fun one. Bonus: Rainbow Rowell apparently loved this, according to her review on Goodreads.

As I mentioned before, Mom was really into books about the Holocaust for awhile. The other day, I asked her if she has a copy of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne and she immediately started looking for her old eReader. So I’ll be reading that one soon as well!


This is where the “free” part of this haul mostly ends. I bought a few books on Kindle this month.


  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – This was a book that I was really interested in reading because of the dark subject matter. I like to read books about the darker aspects of life and this topic was as taboo as they come. I liked the idea of the book, but I did not like the end result. I gave this 2 stars. I don’t know if I’m going to post a review or not. If you’d like to know more about what I thought of the book, let me know and I’ll do a write-up. This book cost me $8.99
  • Progeny of Gods: Vertuem Destiny by Geoffrey Storm – This book was published at the beginning of July and it was written by a Booktuber! I picked this up on Amazon for my Kindle for a whopping $0.00! Yay! I’m excited to read this one. I also want a physical copy of this book because LOOK AT ITS GORGEOUS COVER.
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab – I’ve never read a book by this author, but from what I hear, I need to. From what I’ve gathered, if it was written by “V.E. Schwab,” it’s adult fiction. “Victoria Schwab” is YA and children’s. Did I get that right? Regardless, I’m excited about this one. I picked it up on Amazon for $2.99.

And lastly, the physical book that I purchased this month:


  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I am late to this party, but I hear this is a wonderful book. It’s got video games and 80s references…and if you know me, that pretty much sums me up! The back cover says it’s “the grown-up’s Harry Potter.” Oh man, I am SO excited for this book. I might be reading it with a buddy during August. I’m sure you’ll hear about it. I got this on Amazon for $8.44!

That brings my total books for the month of July to 8 and the total cost of the books to $20.42! Not bad!

Have you read any of these titles? Tell me what you think!

See you soon!


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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

Top 5 Wednesday #6 | Favorite Character Tropes


Hello, readers! Welcome to another addition of Top 5 Wednesday. I can’t believe this is #6 because that means that my blog has been alive for six weeks. Time flies, doesn’t it?

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at gingerreadslainey. For a complete list of Wednesday-ers and topics, please visit the Goodreads group!

Today we’re talking about our favorite tropes in the books we read. What’s a trope, you ask? A trope is a commonly used device to advance the characterization or plot in a story. They’re commonly used because we the readers tend to love them. They are what makes a story familiar and often are how we describe the books we like.

  • Do you seem to love dystopian novels that feature a kick-ass female lead?
  • Do you like fantasies in which the fate of the world rests on one person’s shoulders?
  • How about novels that pit the characters against each other in competitions to be the best?

I can think of a few examples for each of the above bullets and that is what makes them tropes.

For today’s list, I am going to feature my favorite tropes I’ve come across in my reading. This was a hard topic for me because I tend to be very picky about how a trope is done. For example, love triangles are everywhere in YA fiction. Honestly, I am quite tired of seeing love triangles, but they don’t bother me if they are done well. As I was looking up some popular tropes, I found more that I dislike than I like, but I was able to think of a few good ones.

So, without further adieu, here are my favorite tropes that I tend to enjoy while reading:

#5 – Parental abandonment that leads to tragic backstories

Parental abandonment can lead to some fantastic backgrounds for characters. Without this popular occurrence, how will our dark and twisted heroes be dark and twisted? We wouldn’t have Batman without the death of his parents and we wouldn’t have Harry Potter without the loss of his.

With this, we also have the main character being an orphan, but it’s not a clear situation like Harry Potter’s. The event that orphaned does not define them. But hey, growing up in an orphanage and competing with other children all the time all while dealing with the fact you’re an orphan in the first place has to be difficult, right?

Just to make things clear, I am not talking about books that the parents are alive, but seem to be perpetually somewhere else instead of watching their kids. I tend to hate that in books. I mean, there should be many more adults at Hogwarts than there are, right? I mean, what is the student to adult ratio in that school?

Books I’m Thinking Of: Harry Potter, Shadow and Bone, Throne of Glass, The Golden Compass

#4 – A Fate Worse Than Death

I love this trope.

This is the one where there is a character that we hate so much and we wish the worst upon him/her. Then, we triumphantly watch as this evil character gets what he/she deserves. Not death, because that would be too easy. Instead, the character lives the rest of his/her life in pain, disfigurement, or even living a cursed life.

There are also books in which there is a punishment that is agreed by society that is indeed worse than death, i.e. the dementor’s kiss from Harry Potter. There are just some things that could happen that the characters would rather die than experience.

Books I’m Thinking Of: Harry Potter, The Princess Bride, A Song of Ice and Fire

#3 – Good vs. Evil

This one is pretty simple. There are definitive sides in the conflict; one is good and one is evil. Will good triumph over evil? Probably. It’s still fun to read how it’s going to go down.

Books I’m Thinking Of: Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Black by Ted Dekker

#2 – Point of View switching

Some people view this as an easy way out of tricky plot development.

I agree in some cases. If the perspective is going to change every chapter, there better be a good reason. For example, I didn’t like the point of view switching in Throne of Glass or Crown of Midnight, but I’m seeing it used more for a purpose as I’m reading Heir of Fire. Don’t get me wrong, I think some of it was necessary in the first two books, but not for their entirety.

If the characters are very far away from each other, we need to see opposing views of the same event, or if we need to understand what’s happening across the world simultaneously, then yes. I love the changes in point of view.

Books I’m Thinking Of: A Song of Ice and Fire, Heir of Fire, lots of Stephen King novels

#1 – The Hero Complex

This is my favorite trope to see if it’s done well. This is when the hero/heroine of the story constantly feels like he/she needs to be the hero and save the world.

I don’t like it when the hero/heroine is successful in each attempt.

love it when their need to save everyone brings about some sort of downfall. I love when it’s a trap and they fall right into it.

Books I’m Thinking Of: Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire

If you liked reading about the tropes that I like, then just wait until I write about the tropes that I cannot stand. Look for that in August!

What are your favorite tropes? I’d love to talk about it with you! Thank you for reading and as always, I will see you soon.


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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

Tuesday Talks! | How do you feel about tall mass market paperbacks?

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s almost Wednesday, so it’s almost the halfway point of the week, so it’s almost Friday and the weekend.

I like to think positive.

Tuesday Talks

Tuesday Talks is a Goodreads group created by Janie and Janelle. Each week, we discuss a bookish topic on our blogs or YouTube channels. Join in the discussion here.

On this lovely Tuesday, I’m talking about mass market paperbacks. More specifically, I’m talking about how I feel about the tall mass market paperbacks. You know, those paperbacks that seem to be really tall compared to how skinny they are?

Can you tell how I feel?
Can you guess how I feel about them?

hate tall mass market paperbacks, but I own several of them. In the independent bookstore in my college town, sometimes it was the only option.

But why do I hate them?

  • They hurt my hands. Because they are so skinny, there’s not a lot of width between the binding and the sides of the pages. There’s just not a lot of leverage, so I end up putting a lot of effort into holding the book open wide enough that I can see the pages. It’s fine at first, but after a hundred pages or so, my hands are cramped beyond belief.
I feel ya, buddy.
I feel ya, buddy.
  • They’re taller than everything on my bookshelf. This is just a fussy thing, but I sometimes I want to organize my books a certain way and only a few of my books are inches taller than the rest. Also, I don’t like when one book in a series is different than all the rest.
  • Spine breaking. The easiest way to keep these books open is to break the spine. Now, I don’t mind a broken spine here and there, but when the spines of my books are broken, it means that the book is well read. The spines of the tall books break immediately giving the appearance of a well loved book, even when it’s not.

Do they have any redeeming qualities?

  • Cheap. As with any mass market paperback, they tend to be pretty cheap. I don’t think they’re cheaper than the more proportional paperbacks, but I could be wrong. I haven’t done a side by side price test. But, if I have to choose between a $30 hardback and an $8 freakishly tall paperback, you can bet which one I’m choosing..even if I don’t like it.


What do you think about tall mass market paperbacks? Let me know in the comments below!

If you’d like to join in on the discussion, check out the Goodreads group HERE.

As always, thanks for reading and I will see you soon!


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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

Weekend Reads | July 24

weekend reads

I’m so glad it’s the weekend.

If you’re reading this, that means that I am up in the mountains somewhere. Maybe I’m in a kayak, maybe I’m on the porch with my book, or maybe I’m even watching a bear walk through the backyard. All of this has happened before. Just know that I am away from my keyboard and this post is scheduled.

Time traveling is fun!

I might post some pictures of my weekend getaway. Feel free to check those out on my Instagram!

Here’s what I’m reading this weekend.

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

I picked this up from my local library, but haven’t really had the chance to read it. I got sucked into Black by Ted Dekker for a few days, but I’m really excited to crack this Throne of Glass novel open. I really enjoyed Crown of Midnight and I hear the third one is even better. I’ll start this one on Friday evening while I’m in the car.

When I finish this novel (if I finish this novel), I’ll be bringing a back up book along.

2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I’ve read Gone Girl and Dark Places and I loved both of them, so I’m really excited about this book. I don’t really know much about it, but if it’s anything like her other books, it’ll be a page-turner for me.

If I finish both books, I need to get out of the house more. We’ll see how the weekend goes.

Question of the Week

I recently joined another group on Goodreads called “Weekend Reads.” It’s a blog/YouTube vlog group in which we answer a different question every week when we let you know what we’re reading.

This week, the question is:

Christmas in July! What are some pre-orders/new releases you’re looking forward to for the remainder of the year?

This was a recent topic for Top 5 Wednesday, but that’s alright.

I’m getting really excited for The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I actually didn’t really know about this book until the aforementioned Top 5 Wednesday. This novel is about the best friend of the local hero of the city. He’s just a normal guy trying to live a normal life while his best friend has to save the world. I really like the premise of this novel because I like to think about what it’s like to be the side character! It is expected to be released on August 27, 2015.

See you when I get back!


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Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!

The Friday Five #1 | Songs That Remind Me of Summer

Happy Friday!

As you can probably tell from my blog already, I love music almost as much as I love books. I’m one of those people that still buys physical CDs from my favorite artists. I love a wide variety of music from rock, to pop, to bluegrass. When I saw this weekly Friday meme, I knew I had to jump right in.

The Friday Five was created by Sara Crawford on YouTube. The idea is quite similar to Top 5 Wednesday in that each week we talk about specific topics, but this one is all about the music. This is actually only the second week of The Friday Five! Check out her video and the Tumblr for more information about the topics.

friday 5

This week, we are talking about songs that remind us of summer.

For the past several years, I’ve been a summer employee at the university I attended. For two years, I was on the orientation team to welcome new students to the school. The following year, I was behind-the-scenes at orientation. For both jobs, we listened to music a lot. Any time there were students in the auditorium waiting for the next item on the agenda, you bet we had a Pandora station playing. This happened all summer long. Naturally, all the songs that we heard on this station make me think of summer.

So, without further adieu, I give you the top five songs that remind me of summer.

#5 – Imagine Dragons – It’s Time

This was my jam during the summer of 2012. My mother is awesome when it comes to music tastes and she often texts me about new songs and bands that she thinks I’ll like. This song went viral in the fall of 2012, but I had been listening to it all summer thanks to my very excellent mother. It’s one of the first popular songs that I plucked out on the mandolin.

#4 – Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

This song was over-played during that same summer! It became the anthem of the orientation team.

#3 – Ball Park Music – It’s Nice to Be Alive

Another song I only know because of my mother. I listened to this song a lot while working on hall decorations for the following semester. (Fun fact:  I was an RA at my university!)

#2 – Led Zeppelin – Over the Hills and Far Away

This is actually my favorite song of all time, but it has a nice summery feel to it. I think it’s the guitar intro that starts that feeling and then the main riffs that really remind me of summer breaks during high school.

#1 – Icona Pop – I Love It

This song took over our team and my friend group the summer of 2013. I was lucky enough to see them live at school! It will always remind me of summer fun with my best friends.

That’s it for this week! Tune in next Friday for my top 5 songs that get me pumped up!

See you soon!


Find me on:

Want to purchase any of the books that I’ve talked about? Use this link to buy books from the Book Depository, who will send me a small commission so that I can buy more books!