Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rehabilitation~C.B Stone | Review

Title: Rehabilitation (Unbelief #1)
Author: C B Stone
Genre: YA Dystopia
Length: 138 pages
Publication: October 2014
My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Short Synopsis
In a futuristic society where the Elites rule and belief in God has been outlawed, Sinna Reardon tries to hold together the life she has been able to build. Along with her best friend Jacob, Sinna goes into the Old World to scavenge for valuable items that can be sold or used. Jacob is a believer. Sinna is not. In the After World the Elites choose citizens at random to complete trials. Sinna has faced, and passed, many trials in her short sixteen years. If you fail trial you are taken to Rehabilitation. The problem is, most who go in never come out. 

My Thoughts
When I started this I wasn't sure how I would like it. I've become somewhat burned out on Dystopian stories recently, but I really wanted to read and review this since I've had it sitting waiting for a few weeks now. And I am so glad I did!

Sinna lives in a society where belief in God has been strictly outlawed and those who continue to believe must be rehabilitated to trust only in science. Sinna's father was taken years before when he failed his trial and her mother went crazy with grief. Now love itself is banned, nearly at least. Even once you have chosen a partner you aren't supposed to love too deeply. Love leads to war and war is bad news. 

Sinna and her best friend Jacob go out to the Old World searching for anything valuable. Jacob wants to find a church, but they have yet to do so. When Jacob is taken to Rehabilitation Sinna is devastated and Jacob's younger sister Samantha is taken and given to another family-one that plays by the rules. 

The writing in this novel was beautiful. There were a few missing words here and there, small things like to and a, but that's to be expected. I really enjoyed being in Sinna's head. I didn't find her over the top like I do most of the protagonists in dystopias recently. Her struggles were realistic for a girl trying to hold together the small semblance of normal she has been able to find.

The set up for the After and Old worlds was very interesting. The idea of the Elites and the wars that wiped out the belief in God and the new role of science in society seems almost too realistic. I like the fact that Stone kept the novel short and to the point. I feel like many dystopias could be much shorter if they just got to the point and this one does just that. 

The ending is a perfect cliff hanger and I cannot wait to read the final two installments in this trilogy. I am eagerly awaiting the release of book two! If you enjoy dystopian tales, or good writing in general, then you should go pick this book up now! You can find it on Amazon here. You can find more information about C.B Stone and her novels here.

Until next time. Your book loving friend, 


Afraid To Be | Original Poem

I'm afraid to close my eyes
Afraid of what I might see
Afraid that all I've been running from is now inside of me

Living an empty life
with shattered hopes and busted dreams
Questioning everything

I don't know how to say the things on my mind or in my heart
I'm getting worried 
that I'll always be left out in the dark

I whisper, but no one's there to hear
I cry, but no one's there to see
Maybe it's all in my twisted dream.



Friday, November 28, 2014

In The Afterlight~Alexandra Bracken | Review/Thoughts

Title: In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: YA Dystopia
Length: 535 pages
Publication: October 2014
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Brief Synopsis
In the midst of the catastrophe that destroyed their underground headquarters, Ruby and Cole must take charge before even greater wrongs are committed. While Ruby struggles with her own inner demons and confronts those that reside within Cole, they uncover secrets that could lead to the cause of IAAN and begin planning the ultimate mission: to free all the kids still in camps. Struggling with the aftermath of tampering with Liam's memories Ruby must try to rebuild her life, hoping that she doesn't lose herself in the process.

My Thoughts
This novel drove me crazy. Honestly I just did not feel much at all for any of the characters. I thought that it was slightly better than Never Fade, but only just. Ruby was so frustrating and back and forth. Her actions throughout did not make a bit of sense and seemed to change drastically from page to page. Her self loathing was over the top and the way she kept pushing her friends away-particularly Liam-only to pull them back in was annoying on so many levels.

Although not superb, the writing does flow well. Much of the novel was just fluff though, lacking any kind of substance. It seemed as thought Bracken just jotted down every thought in her head and never went back through to change or delete the bad points. 

The characters were all over the place. None of them were very consistent with the previous views I had of them. Ruby was all over the place, as previously stated. Liam was jaded in a way that he didn't seem to be before. Chubs was more consistent, but still seemed somewhat off. Zu changed much more than I thought made sense, although not in particularly negative ways. Vida seemed a little too soft in some respects and too hard in others. Cole, while annoying in many respects, was one of the only characters I actually felt much of a connection to throughout the story.

The idea that no one ever really did anything about the camps, aside from a couple of "rebel" organizations, and then suddenly thousands of people are caring and wanting their children back just seems completely implausible to me. Where were all of these people before? They had to have known what was going on. They had to have at least had an inkling that everything was not as great as the president was making it out to be. So why only jump in when children start fighting their battles for them? It just makes no sense. It was too polished of an ending, even with the hinted at problems. 

The only time I actually felt emotionally invested in the story was in Cole's dealings with the other Reds. If you've read the novel, then you likely know what I'm talking about. For some reason this is the only point that hit me emotionally. And then to not even have this discussed just made me so irritated. It was just brushed over with only a few sentences thrown in here and there. And Sam? Where was our closure for Sam? She just disappeared. No explanation. Ugh. 

This series could have been written in one volume. Too much filler without enough substance. This novel was just ok, nothing special. The first was definitely the strongest of the three. 

Let me know what you think of this novel in the comments. I'm interested to see the differing views here. 

Until next time. Your book loving friend,


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Talks | The goodreads Rating System

You can find more information about Tuesday Talks on the goodreads group page here.

Today we are discussing the goodreads rating system and how we use it. When I first started using goodreads I was surprised that you could only give whole star ratings. You can only rate a book 1-5 stars, with no in between. This means that you have to round ratings either up or down if you want to give a rating somewhere in between.

Now I tend to use this rating, giving them a rating between 1 and 5. Rarely do I round. I tend to think only in terms of whole ratings.

The main thing I try to do is not compare ratings of one book with the ratings of other books. Just because I rate two books 4 stars does not mean that I find them to be equal in any way. I try not to compare books, which can get very annoying when people are asking me to pick favorites.

This was an odd little post, but these were some of my thoughts on the goodreads rating system. Let me know how you use the system!

Until next time. Keep reading.


Night Watch~Linda Hall | Review/Thoughts

Title: Night Watch (Em Ridge Mystery #1)
Author: Linda Hall
Genre: Mystery
Length: 247 pages
Published: 10 October 2014
My Rating: 4/5

I received an electronic copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Brief Synopsis
Em Ridge has just received her captains license and is on her first job: transporting Blue Peace, a luxury yacht owned by a powerful millionaire. When a girl goes overboard, Em's dream job becomes a nightmare. Now all the ghosts from Em's past are coming back to haunt her. With her husbands death still fresh in her mind, Em has to face the reality that the suspicions surrounding her husbands untimely death and the mystery unfolding around Blue Peace are somehow connected.

My Thoughts
That cover is pretty cool, right? Definitely intriguing. The story sounded very compelling, so I was really excited to read it. And it did not disappoint. There are many things I liked about this novel, but here are some of the broader, more general areas that kept me interested. 

The writing: While not as polished as many authors I've read before, this novel was well written and the sentence structure was fluid and kept me reading. Hall is definitely an expert at Cliff hangers. I would get to the end of a chapter thinking that would be my last one, only to be pulled in more deeply. A skill that many authors could use more of.

The mystery: I love the ocean. I am no expert on boats and the technical lingo used throughout this novel, but getting caught up in the world of a ship captain was wonderful. The mystery surrounding the girl overboard and Em's late husband Jesse and how those stories intersected was very well thought out and presented.  An observant reader can spot the bigger picture of where the story is heading from near the beginning, but the finer details give the story enough suspense to keep you on your toes. 
The characters: The story is told in first person from Em's perspective, so the reader is inside her head the entire time. The narrative has a very casual tone, like Em is just telling her tale to an old friend. The supporting characters (both good and bad guys) are well developed and plenty is left open to explore characters more in the future installments. Kricket-the daughter of the yacht owner-while not involved very much is rather intriguing, Tom-another captain that Em knows from only brief meetings-is, well you will just have to form your own opinion of this smooth talker. Ben-the detective in charge of the investigation-has his own demons and I'm interested to see if we find out more about him in the next novel. All of Em's neighbors on Chalk Spit are the exact neighbors I wish I had! I love every single one of them. The coroner is also a great character and provides an easy way for the two interwoven mysteries to come together for the reader.  There are more characters, but these are the ones that stand out. 
Now, for the reason this novel is getting only a 4 instead of a 5 star rating. Em. I know, I know. I just said I like Em, and I do, I really do. But goodness can this woman be frustrating. It's not that she's too realistic, although, I admit, she does seem very real. There are times when her character seems to slip back into teenage mode, questioning her experience. Everyone has insecurities, but this seemed over the top to me. I could, however, overlook most of this because of her still aching heart after her husbands suspicious death.
What I could not overlook was her inability to read people. Not necessarily inability, but to misread or see only what she wanted to see. There were times when I literally shook my fist at the screen saying "what are you thinking!? It's obviously a lie!" and similar things. For being as smart as she is and working so closely with people like she does (even if they are mostly solitary individuals) should have equipped her with a little more sense in regards to those around her. This was my only drawback, Em was just too oblivious to what was right in front of her so many times.
Overall this is a great novel and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery novel. Particularly if you like mysteries set on the coast/water. Definitely an intriguing setting. This novel could easily be either adult or young adult, depending on your preferences. Happy reading! Let me know if you read the novel and what you think. 
Until next time. This has been your book loving friend,



Sunday, November 23, 2014

Legion~Brandon Sanderson | Review/Thoughts

Title: Legion
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Length: 88 pages (about 2 hours audio)
Publication: 31st August, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Thriller (ish)
My Rating: 5/5

The sequel, Legion: Skin Deep (being released 11/24/14), is currently free from audible.

Brief Synopsis
Stephen Leeds is completely sane; his hallucinations, however, are not. Stephen is known as "Legion" because of his rare condition that has many similarities to schizophrenia-manifesting through his couple dozen "aspects," or hallucinations. Stephen leads a semi normal life, helped along by the genius of his hallucinated friends (most of whom accept the fact that they are not actually real). 
Stephen is pulled into a plot by Monica, a woman who works for a company that funded the development of a very special camera: it can take pictures of moments from the past. The inventor of the camera, Balubal Razon, has taken the camera and disappeared. Stephen, along with Ivy, JC, and Tobias (three of his aspects) and a fourth picked up along the way, must find the camera before it ends up changing the fundamental structure of society.

My Thoughts
I downloaded the audio of this novella (although I prefer to read rather than listen) because I could never find a copy to buy at a reasonable price. The concept was very interesting and I must say did not disappoint. I was very happy with this little work-I only wish it were a full length novel. 
  • Stephens "condition"-This rather extreme version of schizophrenia is a very interesting concept and some of the things discussed and highlighted throughout the novella has insightful thoughts on this condition. The condition is closest to schizophrenia rather than dissociative identity disorder because the aspects appear to Stephen as other people-they don't manifest to others through him. He is always himself, just with a few tag along imaginary friends who will give him advice and steady his hand when he needs to aim a firearm. 
  • The characters-I loved every single character throughout this story. Although it is not very long we were able to get to know each individual very quickly and the development, as is standard for Sanderson, was beautifully done.  
    • Stephen Leeds: The main protagonist and extreme schizophrenia- a genius who places his genius within each hallucination which requires him to have their near constant companionship in order to access certain forms of information. He hates being a lab rat, but students and scientists continue to try to pull him onto their studies. 
    • Ivy: One of Stephen's hallucinations who acts as his psychologist. She is really fun and great at reading people. The only downside is that she often needs Stephen to place himself within range of needed sensory information. She often feeds Stephen information that helps him to solve mysteries.
    • Tobias: An older, scholarly aspect who helps Stephen keep a level head no matter the situation. He also gives valuable advice and guidance. 
    • J C: A retired Navy Seal who is another of Stephen's aspects and is obsessed with carrying firearms. Of the three main aspects in the novella, J C is the only one with major issues regarding his status as a hallucination. He plays a key role in the final confrontation scene which is really interesting (read it and let me know what you think). He and Ivy butt heads a lot and their relationship is super funny (and, admittedly, kind of weird with their both being hallucinations and all).
    • Monica: The woman responsible for getting Stephen and his aspects involved in this hunt for the past revealing camera. Her reactions to Stephen, and the aspects she cannot see, are very funny as well as thought provoking.  
  •  Another, less prominent feature, is that of Wilson. Bruce Wayne had Alfred, Stephen Leeds has Wilson. Wilson is the housekeeper who accepts-for the most part at least-Stephen's oddities. I hope to see more of him in the sequel.
  • The overall story-I found this novella extremely thought provoking. The views, although limited, on schizophrenia and this extreme version of it brought to mind many questions. I found the entire idea both fascinating and headache inducing. I will definitely re-read this novella in the future.  
  • The length. This novella could easily be a full length novel. I was very satisfied with the contents, but a longer, more complete novel would have been even more satisfying. A great idea that deserves more attention. Very excited for the sequel novella to shed some more light on Stephen and his aspects. 
Let me know if you have read this novella and what you thought. Also, connect with me on other forms of social media. You can find me on goodreads, YouTube, and Twitter. I love connecting with fellow book lovers, so feel free to chat with me!
Until next time. This has been your book loving friend, 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Billion Ways to Die~Chris Knopf | Review/Thoughts

Title: A Billion Ways to Die (Arthur Cathcart #3)
Author: Chris Knopf
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publication: November 2014
Length: 272 pages
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I received this as a first reads giveaway on goodreads. These are my honest opinions.

Brief Synopsis
Some time previous to the beginning of this novel, Arthur Cathcart's life was turned upside down when he came home to a man with a gun to his wife's head. Arthur and his wife were both shot through the head; he survived with extensive brain damage. She did not. 
Now Arthur and his partner/lover Natsumi Fitzgerald are living in exile aboard their boat the Detour. The two believe themselves safe, if outcasts of society, until they are roughly kidnapped, tortured, and nearly killed. Their life of exiled bliss comes to an abrupt and violent end. They embark on a mission to find their attackers and reclaim their lives.

My Thoughts
I really enjoyed this novel. I was pulled right into the story from the first sentence. Having not read the previous two novels I was unsure if I would be able to keep up with the story. Luckily it can stand well on its own without too much missing information. All of the important events (or so it seems to a new reader) from previous novels were explained as the novel progressed and I never felt lost due to lack of information.

Here are some things I liked about the story:   
  • The characters-Arthur ( who goes by many aliases throughout the novel) and Natsumi are very complex and intriguing characters. I found myself able to relate to both in many ways. The supporting characters are also interesting and each plays a key role in the story; no character is there without a reason. One of my favorites is Strider-the young hacker Arthur enlists in his search for information.
  • The Story-the overall plot of the novel was a great mystery/thriller that had me intrigued just based on the synopsis (and was the reason I entered the giveaway in the first place). It did not disappoint.
  • The writing-Chris Knopf has a beautiful style with complex, but not complicated, sentence structure and his ability to write dialog is excellent. I love a novel with writing that pulls me in and keeps me reading. This novel definitely had that.
  • Arthur and Natsumi's relationship-I really enjoyed the way these two characters worked together and loved each other. The ease with which they adapted to new situations and read each other so well spoke of deeply rooted emotional connections that few people ever have the privilege of experiencing. It was a nice change from much of the young adult novels I read where the love story is over the top. Here the love was muted, but no less powerful. 
These and many other things are the reasons I enjoyed this novel so much. It is a short, fun read that had me interested from page one. There is only one reason this novel did not get a full 5/5 from me. That reason is that I do not enjoy overuse of swearing/vulgarities/obscenities/profanities. There was very little use of any of these with the exception of the f-word, which probably appeared 20 or so times. To me this often signifies a lack of imagination and I find it unnecessary, particularly in the amount of times that one word was used in this particular novel. I know not everyone has this opinion and overall I found the novel very enjoyable.  This was my only draw back to the story.

I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys mystery/thriller novels. It's a great read and I will likely read more of Chris Knopf's stories if the chance arises.

Until next time, this has been your book loving friend,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday Talks | Writing In Books

Tuesday Talks is a weekly meme hosted by Janie (check out her BookTube channel here) and Janelle (find her on goodreads here). You can find the goodreads group for Tuesday Talks here. Check it out and join if you want! It's a lot of fun to talk about random topics every week.

The topic for today is all about writing in books. Do you write in your books? Do you not write in your books? Why? That type of thing. So now I'm going to tell you why I write in my books.

Why I Write In Books
If you had asked me a few years ago about writing in books, my answer probably would have been drastically different. I used to find it "abusive" to books to have people their beautiful pages. I didn't like to see people just jotting down random things in their books or highlighting passages. To some extent I still believe these things. But there are so many ways that writing in books can be a positive thing. 

First of all, I am not a fan of highlighting. No matter what type of book or material, a highlighter is generally last on my list of marking tools. I prefer to use pencil to underline or annotate my novels and school texts. That way I can always go and erase it if I want to. I also don't like the way ink smears. I generally use a pencil to write anything that needs to be written, no matter where I'm writing it. Being a mathematician, I tend to have a pencil handy at all times. And paper. 

I used to feel that people were abusing or mistreating their books by writing in them. Sometimes I still feel that way. If people are just jotting down unrelated notes in their books (no matter what kind of book), I still find this insulting to the book and its integrity as a piece of art. 

When I was a college student, I was required to annotate my texts for several courses. At first I didn't really want to, but since it was for a grade I forced myself to participate. It was not as traumatic since I was not already attached to the book (aside from it being a piece of written word). Once I started writing, jotting down my thoughts about the passages, underlining points I liked or didn't like, I found myself to be engaging more with the work. 

At first I only wrote in my school texts. I would underline and annotate anything that I found interesting or important (in pencil of course). I started doing this for multiple subjects. It was initially started in an English course, but as a math major I quickly started scribbling in the margins of my math texts. And you know what I discovered? The math I was working on started to make more sense! I would jot down notes about why certain things were done a certain way and rework problems in the margins and it started helping me understand the material much more deeply than I had initially. 

Eventually I found myself wanting to underline and write notes in my novels. I don't own a lot of novels that I have written in due to the fact that I tend to read library copies before I buy books (unless I find them for very cheap). I love to mark passages that I enjoy so that I can easily find them again. I also like to jot down connections to other parts of the story, or where I think that particular revelation/scene might be leading me as a reader. I love being able to go back through my favorite stories and re-experience some of my initial feelings and reactions.

The connection I feel with the story when I underline and annotate my favorite passages and quotes just makes me happy. I feel like I'm getting even more invested in the story and into the mind of the writer. Writing in books is not for everyone, but I think more people should try it out. You never know, you might find a deeper, stronger connection by scribbling down those thoughts right there on the page!

Let me know what you think about writing in books!
Connect with me-YouTube, goodreads, twitter.

Until next time, my friends. 
Your book loving friend, Courtney    

Friday, November 14, 2014

NaNoWriMo Update!

I thought I would write a quick post about my NaNoWriMo experience thus far. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days (the month of November). I excluded Sundays and a few days for Yallfest (a book festival in Charleston SC) and another day for Thanksgiving. After taking out all of these, I was left 22 days. My goal was to write 2500 words every day that I write.

I hit a slump where I was having a hard time writing for about a day. I forced myself through it and have reached my goal every day. On most days I have surpassed my goal. I currently have over 34 thousand words and I am feeling exhilarated.

Today's writing session was great! I got so much done and really started to feel like my story is going somewhere great. I've also started to come up with a plan to continue being very productive throughout the rest of the year. I'm really excited to be completing this years NaNoWriMo challenge and the push it has given me to continue to improve my consistency with my writing.

After this month I will be setting monthly goals for myself that will either have to do with planning, research, or word count. I'm a person that does really well when I know I have deadlines, so all I have to do is set some. I'm really excited to see where the next few months take me on my writing journey.

Let me know how your NaNoWriMo experience is going. I may be posting writing excerpts and things here on my blog if you are interested in checking them out. If you are participating and having a hard time, just push through. Even if you don't hit the goal, just set your own smaller goal to meet.

This is a bit of a messy blog post, but I just wanted to give some general updates about my progress thus far and how it has been inspiring me.

Connect with me on YouTube, goodreads, and Twitter. You can also find my NaNoWriMo page here.

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend Courtney.

The Hostage Heist~Jorge Ortiz | Review/Thoughts

The Hostage Heist by Jorge Ortiz.
Length: 97 pages (double spaced)
Genre: Young Adult
My rating: 1/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this novel from a giveaway on goodreads. These are my honest opinions.

The Hostage Heist follows Brian, a freshman in college whose father abandoned him, his mother, and younger brother ten years previously. While working and going to school, Brian also races his Dodge Charger in local races with the help of his best friend Erick.
After beating the local racing king in a match race Brian's mother and brother are forcefully taken from their home by Ben, a criminal who knew Brian's father. Ben demands that Brian start an illegal street race in order to gain the attention of the local police while he and his cronies rob a nearby bank. If Brian fails to keep the police on his tail and way from the bank he will never see his mother and brother again.

My Thoughts
I really wanted to enjoy this novella. It sounded like a somewhat intriguing (if cliche) story. I enjoy helping unknown/unrecognized authors get their work out there if I can. After winning this giveaway I was looking forward to reading and reviewing this novel. Unfortunately, it was not the enjoyable read I was hoping for.

The writing is all over the place. I honestly felt like it was something that would have been written by a much younger author. It seemed more the rough outline of a story idea from a middle school child than the work of an adult. There were many misspelled words, typos, and misused words. I would think these mistakes would have been caught by an editor, but apparently they were not (since I noticed afterward that an editor was listed in the novel). 
The writing also switches randomly between tenses within sentences and paragraphs. The beginning of a sentence/paragraph will begin in past tense and suddenly switch to present tense halfway through.  It was very confusing and I found myself trying to edit the story in my head as I read. Punctuation was another shortcoming. There was very little punctuation used throughout dialog, forcing me to reread several sentences to make sure I understood what the characters were trying to convey. Semicolons were used many times throughout the novella and often not correctly. 

The story itself had many holes and inconsistencies that I found it hard to overlook. Brian and his friends and family seemed to live in a rather small town making it seem unlikely that a criminal like Ben would target the bank (for what I believe was the second time). The small town just didn't seem like the target of someone after a lot of money. 

Brian was all over the place as a character. One minute he was angry and the next he was willing to forgive everyone in order to finally have a "normal" family. He had weird outbursts of anger that didn't make sense. His thoughts were jumbled and all over the place (it was a first person narrative). His ability to race seemed almost nonexistent and it made no sense that everyone around him thought he was such a fantastic driver. It seemed like he was just a teenager who occasionally went out and raced other teenagers in their somewhat nice (but not particularly fancy) cars.  The rest of the charters were equally underdeveloped.

The ending of the novella was completely illogical. Instead of going to prison for illegal street racing (and perhaps murder, but I won't get into that) Brian along with his friends and family are recruited by the police to help them catch criminals they can't keep up with because they themselves are not racers and have never participated in street racing. The whole conclusion to the story just doesn't make any sense.

The concept could have been made into a story worth telling, but needed much more work and detailed planning. I hope that Jorge Ortiz continues with his writing and is able to improve. I strongly believe in doing the things you love. I also strongly believe in improving in the things you love and this could use much improvement. A more developed plot line and better editing would help the story tremendously.

Where to find me: YouTube, goodreads, Twitter.

Until next time. This has been your book loving friend Courtney.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Legend Trilogy Read Along

As I have mentioned in many posts and videos, I love the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. In honor of the love I have for these three novels, I have decided to host a read along starting in January. You can find my video about this here. I would love for anyone and everyone to join, whether this is your first time reading or a reread. You can find the goodreads group here.

The Details Thus Far
To kick off the read along I will be doing an associated giveaway in December. The dates/rules and such are not yet set, but I will be updating the goodreads group once I have it all figured out. 

After the giveaway we will be kicking off our read along starting in January with Legend. We can discuss as a group if we want to all read at the same pace and discuss as we go along. We will follow this with Prodigy in February and finally, my favorite, Champion in March.

As we read I plan to do video/blog updates of our progress. We can also update each other using Twitter (I've become rather addicted recently). 

If there is anything you would like to have happen as a part of this read along or something you would like to help make happen feel free to comment here or on goodreads, or message me. I hope we can get a nice group involved and have a great time. I can't wait to see what people think of this series! 

You can find me on goodreads here, Twitter here, and YouTube here. I hope that you join me in this read along!

Until next time, this has been your book loving friend Courtney.     

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday Talks | My Thoughts on Non-Readers

Tuesday Talks is a weekly discussion hosted by Janie and Janelle. You can find the goodreads group here. This weeks discussion topic is non-readers. Here are some of my thoughts.

This next part may seem like random rambling, but it really does have to do with my thoughts on non-readers. Promise. 

First of all, you know that old saying that reading makes you smarter? Yeah, I thought so. We all know that one. Most of us also know that this isn't the case. At least not entirely. I think that reading has the potential to improve the mind of every person. However, it's up to the individual to gain insight and further their intelligence through reading. I don't necessarily mean that you have to read literary texts or great historical accounts to attain knowledge growth, you just have to open yourself to new possibilities. I, for one, tend to feel sharper mentally after finishing a particularly engaging novel. The subject matters much less than the questions raised in the story.

So for my thoughts on non-readers. I love discussing novels and my reading with others and I think there is much to be gained from reading, so it's difficult for me to accept the fact that many people don't enjoy reading. Both of my parents were avid readers when I was growing up. They read a wide range of works and we always told each other stories when I was a child. I know that not everyone had the same background as me and that to many other families books were not as essential as they were to mine. Often I think that people have not found a genre or type of book they enjoy reading. I've met many people who have told me that the novels they were forced to read for school turned them off from the idea of reading. That, my friends, is extremely unfortunate. 

I don't mind that other people don't enjoy reading as much as I do. I do, however, dislike when other people try to tell me that my reading is a waste of time. For me reading is something mentally stimulating and relaxing, so non-readers telling me I'm wasting my time can tend to be annoying. Particularly when these people own and watch thousands of movies. I don't really understand the difference between my love of reading and their love of movie watching.

Often I encourage people to try out the books I'm reading. This is particularly true of my family. I love a certain novel so much that I have to tell all my sisters about it and hope they like it as much as I do so we can discuss it together. I also encourage others to read when the topic comes up. I don't try to force my reading habits on others, but I will let them know about authors and books I particularly enjoy. 

I'm personally not a huge fan of audio books, but I even tell non-readers that they might enjoy a book on tape. I know a lot of people who listen to books while driving who rarely just sit and read. It's a great way to experience a story for those who like to listen to things in particular. 

While I have many friends who are non-readers, I find it more difficult to have lasting relationships with people who don't read or like to talk about books. My everyday life is so infused with reading, writing, blogging... that I have a hard time not relating everything to a story of some kind. I constantly jot down new story ideas or poems and I want those around me to appreciate the art as much as I do. 

So non-readers, just try it out. Find something you think you might be interested in and give it a go. You never know when you might find a new passion. People change every day. Just because you didn't much enjoy reading in the past doesn't mean it's off limits in the future.

Sorry this post has been mostly rambles, but these are some of my thoughts (if you can make sense of them). You can find me on YouTube, Twitter, and goodreads. I would love to connect with you and talk about books!

Until next time, this has been your book loving friend Courtney.      

Sunday, November 9, 2014


As some of you may have noticed, I've been kind of MIA from the social networking/book community over the past few days. The main reason for this absence is my trip to Charleston SC for Yallfest (a young adult book festival). The trip was great and I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you guys through video and blog! So here are some of the things that are coming up from me:

  • Signed books video/blog-mostly from Yallfest this year with a few from last year thrown in! 
  • Book haul! While at Yallfest I visited some thrift shop and bought some used books! I also have some I recently bought at the library and will probably be collecting a few more over the next few days using store credit at a local book store. 
  • Tuesday Talks-either a video or blog post for this weeks topic (non-readers), this could be interesting!
  • Top 5 Wednesday! I'm really excited about this upcoming video for T5W, so stay tuned and let me know if you post one!
  • NaNoWriMo update! I will be doing a video or blog telling you guys about my experiences thus far with NaNo 2014! I'm so excited!
  • I will be hosting a read along of the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu (one of my favorites!) starting in January with an associated giveaway coming at some point in December. I would love to have anyone and everyone participate! You can find the goodreads group here. A video will be coming soon. Feel free to share with others if you decide to join in! :)
So excited about all the upcoming videos/blogs/events! Connect with me on twitter here. YouTube here. And goodreads here. My NaNoWriMo page here.

As usual, this has been your book loving friend Courtney. Until next time.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was nominated for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Emma, whose blog is lionsandtigersandbooksohmy and youtube is lionstigersbooksohmy (you should check them out, she's super awesome). Thanks so much Emma for nominating me! I really appreciate it!

How It Works
My understanding is that I include Emma's links and such (see above). I include this image, 
I answer the ten questions Emma asked me in her video (which you can watch here), I give ten questions I want answered and then I nominate others to do a blog/video where they answer my questions and include the image above. Let's get started!

Emma's Questions
1. What is your favorite book?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer! First off I'm going to only consider fictional works. Second, I'm going to cheat and give two (which are actually the beginnings of series' so...), they are Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. 

2. What do you think is the best book to movie adaptation?
I don't generally like movie adaptations. There are a couple that I have thoroughly enjoyed however. The two main ones are Holes by Louis Sachar and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. While not perfect, I thought these two were excellent adaptations.

3. What is your favorite book cover?
 My favorite book cover is the original Odd Thomas cover:
I just love the way you can see Odd walking toward you, but the rest of his body just kind of disappears into the shadows. It's just beautiful.

4. What is your favorite color?
My favorite color has been red ever since I can remember. I also really like blue and green.

5. If you could live in any book universe which would it be and why?
I would live in the Mistborn universe. The magic system is just so interesting and I would be fascinated to live among people who could push/pull using metal alloys. It would be even better if I were mistborn myself. :)

6. What is your favorite TV show?
I don't watch a lot of TV, but I do love Haven-the Syfy show loosely based on a Stephen Kind novella. It's great. Also Studio C-a sketch comedy series that comes on BYUtv.

7. What do you do in your spare time other than read?
I love to ride horses. I own several horses with my family and riding them is one of the best things in the world! I also love to write. I hope to become a full time author someday. When I'm not working (teaching math, which I also love) I like to ride my horses and think up new story ideas.

8. What is your favorite genre?
I love many different genres and will try stuff from just about any genre out there (except maybe straight romance). My absolute favorite is fantasy though. Nothing beats a great fantasy novel for me.

9. Who is your favorite author?
This is two, but Dean Koontz and Brandon Sanderson. They just write so beautifully. You should read their novels if you haven't already. :)

10. What is your favorite word and why?
Horrendous. I'm not completely sure why, but I just love saying this word. Whenever anything insane happens I just sat "That's horrendous!" It's just a fascinating word. 

My Questions For Those I Nominate
1. What is the first book you remember reading?
2. What is your favorite opening line from a novel?
3. What is your favorite book series?
4. What is your favorite music genre?
5. Why did you start a booktube and/or blog?
6. What is your favorite movie and why?
7. What is your favorite form of social media?
8. Who is your favorite book character or what is your favorite character name?
9. If you were to write a novel, what would you name it?
10. What is your favorite animal?

People I Nominate
If you've already been nominated, feel free to disregard this (or do both, I'm not completely sure how this thing works anyway). 

Thanks again, Emma, for nominating me! And to those I nominated: I really enjoy your blogs/booktubes! Hope your able to do a post and let me know when you do so I can check it out! 

This has been your book loving friend, Courtney.