Birthday Music Haul

So just like last time, this haul is pretty late. My birthday was August 19, and now it’s three weeks later…oh well.


Anyway, I got some really good music for my birthday, so I thought I would share them with you.

My friend Lauren got me this one, so thank you!! (If you’re reading this).

live_through_thisTitle: Live Through This

Artist: Hole

Rating: ★★★★★

Favorite Song: All of them! I do really love all of these songs, but I’ll try to pick a few faves: VioletI Think I Would DieRock Star and Miss World.

 

 

For the next album, I have a bit of a funny story. Since my parents also know how much I love Live Through This, they went to The Electric Fetus and got it for me on vinyl. Since I already got a copy a few days earlier, I exchanged it for another great album.

foo_fighters_in_your_honorTitle: In Your Honor

Artist: Foo Fighters

Rating: ★★★★1/2

Favorite Songs: Since it’s split in half, with the first half being loud, and the second half being much softer, I’m choosing a couple from each side, because I can’t chose just a couple overall. Fast side: In Your Honor, The Last Song, Free Me and Best Of You. Acoustic side: What If I Do?, Another Round, Friend of a Friend and Cold Day In The Sun. I really like Cold Day In The Sun, because Taylor Hawkins does the vocals, rather than Dave Grohl, and I love hearing his voice as well.


Comment Below: Have you bought any good music lately?

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite First Sentences

Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. To join or learn more about T5W, go to the Goodreads group here. This week, we’re talking about our favorite first sentences of books. There are so many good starts to books I couldn’t mention here, but here are some great ones!


1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J. K. Rowling

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

2. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One) by Rick Riordan 

“Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.”

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.”

4. Binge by Tyler Oakley 

“Go ahead, binge. I’m not saying go out and snort a bunch of cocaine or do anything that’s going to seriously put you or the people around you in danger, obviously.” (Okay that was two, but it’s really good, and I wanted to put it in. I’m sorry. Kill me. *Is way to sarcastically dramatic for no reason*)

5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

“So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.”


Comment Below: What is a great first line from a book you know?

Book Review: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

22055480Title: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

Author: Jenny Manzer

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary: Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and co-conspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go.

On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.”

My Thoughts:

I was pulled in from the very page. Nico, the narrator, starts talking about the day her mother disappeared, which is sad of course. However, it makes me want to know more about her mother and the story behind her disappearance. The pacing is good after the beginning, too. Nothing felt too fast or too slow, and kept me interested throughout the book. Because of the pacing and the intriguing storyline, Save Me, Kurt Cobain was a fun and fast read.

One of the things I really liked about this book are the chapter titles, because they are Nirvana song titles. They helped give an idea of what the chapter would be about in a creative way. Additionally, I liked how there were some musical puns/references throughout the book. It helped tie the book together, and was just cool to read. For example:

I hate myself and I want to die, I thought, trying it on for size. I’m not even sure the words held any meaning. I wondered if that was how Kurt Cobain felt singing the band’s big hits over and over.”

(I Hate Myself  and I Want To Die is a Nirvana song).

The characters in Save Me, Kurt Cobain are nowhere near boring. Every character has an interesting story and quirks, which made them fun to read about. Not only are the characters interesting and intriguing, but they are also easy to relate to.

I haven’t made this disclaimer yet, so I guess I’ll make it now: although I would recommend this book to most people, if you dislike 90’s alternative rock music, I would definitely not recommend this book. (But if you don’t…why?! Not even Smells Like Teen Spirit? Not even Miss World?) Here’s why: (even though it’s pretty self explanatory), that’s exactly what the book is about. That being said, if you like Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, or any other 90’s alternative rock band, you will find yourself right at home here. Other than reminding me why I love Nirvana so much (too much. I think it’s actually bad for my health), this book reminded me that I really need to go listen to Mudhoney, Bikini Kill, Sonic Youth, etc. since I haven’t gotten around to that yet…

As many books do, this book hit me right in the feels. This book hit me in a different part of my feels though. It hit my Nirvana feels over and over again. (And passed them back and forth…)

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Me when making that Drain You pun

(“Chew my meat for you/pass it back and forth in a passionate kiss/from my mouth to yours” are lyrics from Drain You, a song off of Nevermind. Also, the Foo Fighters have a great song called Back and Forth I would also recommend).

Anyway…the descriptions of Kurt and the band as a whole are so good and accurate. It reminded me of how great they really were and made me a little sad, too, because of what I just said. For example:

“When Kurt Cobain played his guitar, he looked weightless, like a blonde marionette. I can still picture the black-and-white concert photos of him. Rising up, slamming down the chords, then smashing stuff.”

Not only the way he performed, but also who he was as a person. For example:

“Cobain had shunned mainstream popularity on one hand while rabidly pursuing rock stardom with the other, berating his managers for inadequate promotion, and dumping Seattle’s Sub Pop for a bigger label. Cobain was, it seemed, the most ambitious twentysomething slacker you could ever meet.”

Overall, Save Me, Kurt Cobain was a good book that tells a unique story about loss, friendship and really good music.


Comment Below: Have you read a good book related to music you would recommend?

Book Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book One)

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Title: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book One)

Author: Rick Riordan

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary: “Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .”

My thoughts: 

The book starts off with Magnus talking about how he died, which is always an interesting start to a story. By starting the book off like this, I was pulled into the story, because not many books start with death. Additionally, the beginning was funny and sarcastic, which is an element I always welcome in books. After the initial introduction, The Sword of Summer continued to move along at a fast and compelling pace. It doesn’t take long for the action to start, which keeps the book going and kept me interested.

As I mentioned a little bit before, one of the best parts of this book, and Rick Riordan’s books in general is the sarcasm. He writes witty and clever characters so well, and I really love it. The humor often lightens the situation or just makes the situation even funnier than it already was. For example, here is an example of Magnus being sarcastic:

“That way if we fall,’ Sam said, ‘We’ll fall together.’
‘Sold,’ I said, trying to tamp down my anxiety. ‘I love dying with friends.'”

But not only is there a lot of good humor in the text, even the chapter titles are super funny! The first chapter is called “Good Morning! You’re Going to Die,” and the 50th is titled “No Spoilers. Thor Is Way Behind on His Shows.” I just thought they were all so creative and fun to read.

Although the book was very funny, I think there was still a good balance of seriousness, given that some hard things do happen to the characters, and it would be unfair to make everything a joke.

Like all of the Riordan books I’ve read, the characters in The Sword of Summer were interesting and interacted in ways that added to the book. (For example, from the quote above, you can tell the characters are funny together). All of the characters feel different and like real people. Magnus and everyone he interacts with feel like I could meet them on the street (if they were all actually humans, not things that exist in fantasy). And not only were the new characters great, but there were a few old ones too! Annabeth Chase from both Percy Jackson and the Olympians as well as The Heroes of Olympus is in the book. I won’t tell you where, so you’ll have to read to find out! (Or spoil yourself elsewhere on the internet). And Jason Grace from The Heroes of Olympus is mentioned during the book. I liked both of these characters (I loved Annabeth), in the other series, so I liked them popping up in this Riordan book as well.

Something else I really appreciated about The Sword of Summer was the diversity. Magnus is homeless, and showing a poor person doesn’t always happen in novels, unless it’s the point of the story. There is also a deaf person and a Muslim woman in the story, which adds to the diversity. Representation is so important, because it helps everyone feel included in literature and writing. Additionally, it helps young readers (and readers in general) relate to the story easier.

My last point is quite short, but being a Nirvana fan, I felt the need to include it: the Kurt Cobain references in this book make me very happy.

If you liked Riordan’s other books, I think you will also like this one. And even if you haven’t read any of his other books, I think you’ll like this. (But do yourself a favor and go read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and then The Heroes of Olympus series).


Comment Below: Have you read The Sword of Summer? If so, what did you think of it?

Oregon Book Haul

For the header I made for this post, I was just going to find a stack of books, but I think this girl looks like me, so I thought it was cute. Just thought I’d point it out because I really like this header 🙂


I visited my family in Oregon recently, and I went to two different book stores while I was there. Here are the books I got:

Smith Family Bookstore – Eugene, Oregon

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Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan and John Rocco

Powell’s – Portland, Oregon

 

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson


Comment Below: What books have you bought recently?

Father’s Day Music Haul

I have no idea why it took me so long to get this posted, and it was from so long ago it might not even be worth posting, but I still wanted to share the two records I got.


The day before Father’s Day, I went to Barely Brothers to find some records for my dad to give him. (We got The Great Escape soundtrack and Roast Fish Collie Weed and Corn Bread by Lee Perry). While we were there, I got some things for myself.

foo_fighters_-_there_is_nothing_left_to_loseTitle: There Is Nothing Left To Lose

Artist: Foo Fighters

Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Favorite Song: I have too many! I originally wrote down half of the album, but I narrowed it down to these three: Stacked ActorsBreakout and M.I.A.

 

 

jacksons-2300-jackson-streetTitle: 2300 Jackson Street

Artist: The Jacksons

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Favorite Song: I have few, but I think Nothing (That Compares 2 U) has to be one of my favorites. (Not to be confused with Nothing Compares 2 U by Prince. I love that song too, though).

 


Comment Below: What music have you bought lately?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Literary Father Figures

First off, sorry for basically ditching this blog for a month! I got very busy in May as school was ending, and then proceeded to run out of ideas of what to blog about when I did have time to blog again. But I’m back! And with a new addition to my blog: Top 5 Wednesdays! I’ve seen this all over the blogosphere, and I’ve really wanted to do it, so I finally am! So this was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. To join or learn more about T5W, go to the Goodreads group here. The theme for this week is: favorite literary fathers or father figures.

1. Rubeus Hagrid 

Throughout the Harry Potter series, Harry has a few different father figures, but Hagrid is the one that never wants anything from Harry. Hagrid just wants him to be happy, and for that reason, he’s one of the best father figures I can think of.

2. Hans Hubermann

In The Book Thief, Liesel Meminger has an amazing foster father, Hans, who is able to make her feel comfortable and safe from the moment she gets to his house, and helps her feel calm, even when air raids are occurring. He cares for her so deeply and understands her so well, which makes him a very good father to her. Additionally, he is witty, funny, and musical which makes him a very fun character to read about.

3. Atticus Finch 

To be fair, I haven’t read Go Set A Watchman, and it seems like Atticus becomes a less positive or good person, but judging from To Kill A Mockingbird, he was a good father. Although he was too old to play with Scout or Jem much, he helped them learn important lessons from a young age, and cared about them a lot. This makes him a good father in my book, and one of my favorites.

4. Cinna 

For Katniss, in the first two Hunger Games books, I think Cinna really acted like a father to her, and helped her through hard times. He helped her rebel and feel safe in a time that was very difficult for her. He was such a kind person, and a strong one too. I loved his conversations with Katniss, and the fashionable yet rebellious outfits he made for her.

5. Arthur Weasley 

Arthur worked so hard for his family and cared so much about all of his children, even those that weren’t his own.*cough* Harry *cough*. This goes to show what an amazing father figure he was. I really loved hearing his attempts to use Muggle devices as well, and his constant wonderment at Muggle life.

Comment Below: Who are some of your favorite literary father figures?

The Bohemian Rhapsody Book Tag

I’m back with another tag! Again, I wasn’t tagged to do this, and again I saw it on Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much‘s blog, and needed to do it. I love “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the questions are great, so I decided, why not?


1. Mama, just killed a man – a fictional character’s death that really upset you? 

If you have managed to avoid reading the Harry Potter series, then SPOILER ALERT!!!! Other wise, continue reading. There were a lot of deaths in this series I got really sad about, but one in particular was Snape. He was a complex character, and he did some bad things, but ultimately, he died for someone else’s selfish need for power. That scene was so sad to me, especially when Snape told Harry to take the tears so he could fully understand the past. It just shows how much he loved Lily, because he was protecting Harry until his last words by helping him.

2. Carry on, carry on – pick a book that was hard to keep reading, but was worth it in the end? 

I really liked Pride and Prejudice, however, I got really busy while reading it, and given that it’s not a super easy or fast read, this one was a little hard to finish. But it was definitely worth it in the end!

3. Sends shivers down my spine – pick a book with a beautiful spine/cover

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I love the beautiful colors on this cover and I think it matches the book really well. (By the way, if you like books that talk a lot about music or other kinds of media, this is a great book for you!)

4. Goodbye everybody, I’ve got to go – a book that you couldn’t finish? 

Dracula. There were parts of that book I really liked, but other parts that really bored me, and in the end, I didn’t finish it. It also took me forever to read, so I just got bored of it because of that.

5. Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening – which book did you find very, very frightening? 

I don’t read very many scary books, but I read Oblivion by Sasha Dawn a few years ago, and it really scared me. It deals with murder and physical abuse, and so at points it got scary. I remember not sleeping very well the night I had finished it. Although, to be fair, I get scared pretty easily.

6. Bismillah, no! We will not let you go – which book/series do you wish there had been more of?

Pretty Little Liars! Just kidding. There are enough already, I would say that for sure. I know this is a basic answer, but more Harry Potter. Are you ready for an even more basic answer? A Marauders’ Spin-Off series. I know everyone says that, but it’s for a reason! It would be awesome! I want to get to know more about their world, because it seems so fun and all of those characters are amazing. Plus, I would be able to see some characters like Snape that I already know except younger.

7. Mamma Mia, Mamma Mia – which book/series should be made into a musical? 

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira, because it already talks about music so much, it would be fun to see them perform it live. Plus, the story line is really interesting, so I think it would make a good play.

8. The head-banging bit – which book made you facepalm? 

The Waiting Tree by Lindsay Moynihan felt underdeveloped in parts and all over the place, so probably that book. There were way too many plots happening and ugh!! It was very facepalm inducing.

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This was me reading this book

9. Oh baby, can’t do this to me baby – pick a moment from a book where you felt like the author was being mean to you?

There were a lot of moments during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (or just the series in general), where I felt like J. K. Rowling was being mean to me, but Fred’s death felt particularly mean. The Weasley twins always made the hard parts funny, but with one of them gone, it’s just not the same.

10. Nothing really matters to me – which character(s) did you not care about?

I don’t know if this counts, because I just didn’t like the book in general, but I didn’t care about any of the characters in Matched by Ally Condie. They didn’t interest me, and felt generic. To be fair, I don’t think I got even halfway done with it, so if it got better, I wouldn’t know.


I Tag: 

…and anyone else who wants to do this tag!

A Guide to Surviving Fictional Character Deaths

As you could probably figure out, there will be lots of spoilers in this post, but if you hadn’t guessed…***SPOILER ALERT***

I love books, movies and TV shows (good ones anyway), but usually, at some point, something bad happens to a character. That happened this last Sunday to one of (if not my) favorite characters on Once Upon A Time. (SPOILER!!) And this time, we know there is no saving Hook, it seems. There are a lot of specifics, but basically, they figured out that even the Underworld had no way to save him. (He gets saved in the next episode actually, but I have yet to see it. Either way, it was still hard to deal with when it happened, so just go with it). And I deal with this kind of heartbreak on a relatively frequent basis.

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A character I really cared about dies, and it’s really hard! Ughhh. I think there are a few kinds of character deaths, and different ways to deal with them all. Below I will help you, and we will survive this pain. Our fangirl and fanboy hearts will survive. Somehow.

A character you really loved a lot: Like Captain Hook, maybe there is a character you really love that added a lot to your movie/book/TV show. For example, Hook added humor, sarcasm, sassiness, romance and character development to the show. He was one of the best characters, and had a very good story line. But another character like this for me is Fred Weasley (SPOILER!!) or Rudy from The Book Thief (SPOILER!!).

Ways to get over this kind of death:

  • Let yourself cry (I cried about Hook while taking off my makeup, for example. Maybe not then, though. It makes the eye makeup remover sting. I’m telling you this so you don’t have to experience what I did. It hurts really bad). But really sob. Let yourself be sad. There’s no point in denying the pain you feel.
  • Talk to people about how great the character was so you can properly grieve
  • Do not under any circumstances you ever re-read or watch the part where said character died. Do you want to cry more???
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I shouldn’t have used this. This scene was too sad, and now I’m thinking about it. Ughhhh NO!
  • Try not to think about it, and when you do, think of the good times. Like when Emma and Hook were together and kissed for the first time, or when Hook had sassy arguments with Regina 🙂

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See? This makes me happy 🙂

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This comeback thooooooo
A character you had mixed feelings about – I think this might be the hardest character to deal with because your emotions are more complex. You are kind of glad, but you also cared about them.

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The best example of this for me is Snape. He was good! But so bad, too! Ugggggh.

Ways to get over this kind of death:

  • Think of all the bad things they did so you don’t feel sad
  • When you’re ready, think of all the good things they did
  • Cry. Cry more.
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Cry until you look like this gif of Leonardo Dicaprio
  • Eat ice cream/other sweets while watching/reading more of the book/show so you can deal with the pain
  • Again, do not re-read/re-watch the part where said character died. Too many feels to handle.

A character you hated – This is the fun one! There’s nothing to get over, you just get to celebrate! For me, this was Dolores Umbridge. I mean, Voldemort too, but especially that pink bitch. She deserved what she got.

Ways to get over this kind of death:

  • Plan a party. Have your friends over, eat some good food, and celebrate! They died! You’re favorite characters are safe!
  • Sing!
  • Dance!
  • Go back to watching/reading your show/book while smiling like a crazy person.

Comment Below: Did you experience a character death recently? If so, did you like the character? (If you want to mention names, please put a spoiler alert first!)

Burn, Re-Write, Re-Read Tag

I didn’t get tagged to do this tag, but I saw it on The Girl Who Read Too Much‘s blog, and it looked so fun, I just had to do it! (You can see her post here).


Rules:

  1. Randomly choose 3 books you’ve read. (Use the ‘random’ option on your Goodreads “read” shelf.*)
  2. For each group of three books, decide which book you’d burn, rewrite, or reread.
  3. Repeat until you complete three rounds (or five!).

Round 1:

Burn: Vicious, for sure. Although I read all 16 books (16!!!), I never thought they were well written. I had fun with them, but I could live without one of the books existing. Plus, there is the first arc of the series, so if I ever wanted to re-read some of the books after burning this, I could just read those.

Re-Write: This is the hard part! I don’t want to re-write either of these books! I guess, ultimately, I would re-write The Princess Bride. I can’t actually think of anything I would change, but I don’t want to re-write any of Like Water for Chocolate.

Re-Read: I read Like Water for Chocolate at what many would probably consider too young of an age. But you can blame that on my mother! She’s the one that told me to read it. I would chose to re-read this book, because when I read it, I think parts of the book went way over my head, and I think I would understand the book better now.

Round 2:

Burn: I know last round was hard, but this round is much harder. I like all of these books for very different reasons, and I don’t want to get rid of any of them! If I had to chose (which is the whole point of this tag!), I would burn Charlotte’s Web. This is because I don’t really remember many differences in the book and movie, so I would be okay with getting rid of the book. I hate that answer! But I would never probably re-read it, so I guess I would be okay with it being gone?! Not really, but this is hard!

Re-write: I really liked Go Ask Alice for the most part, but the epilogue was pretty lame, so I would re-write that. It felt like it was written for a commercial about why not to do drugs. The epilogue had little with the character, and was just a bunch of drug statistics. I would make the ending more satisfactory.

Re-read: I would re-read Stargirl, because I remember loving this book so much when I was in 5th or 6th grade, and I don’t remember really anything about it anymore. I think it would be fun to revisit and remember why I liked it so much.

Round 3:

Burn: I would have to burn a Percy Jackson book?! Nooooooo! This one landed under the burn category for no particular reason. I would never re-write it, because I love it the way it is, but I also don’t see myself wanting to re-read it. (Or at least not as much as The Bad Beginning). So I have to burn it! At least I still have all of the other Percy Jackson books to read! 🙂

Re-Write: I would re-write The Golden Compass, because I liked the story and for a lot of the book, I was very invested in the characters and plot. However, there were a lot of parts that moved too slow for me, so I would re-write parts to make them more exciting.

Re-Read: I would re-read The Bad Beginning, because I have such fond memories of reading this as a kid with my mom. This book is such a fun read, so I can see myself picking it up when I need a easy and adventurous book.

Round 4:

Burn: I would burn Mockingjay. The writing wasn’t as good as in the first two, and I felt like Katniss changed too much. There were parts I liked, but over all, it wasn’t as good as The Hunger Games or Catching Fire. I would rather just burn Mockingjay and re-read the first two.

Re-write: I would re-write The Perks of Being A Wallflower. There is nothing I can think of changing, I just feel that if I dared to change anything in Pippi Longstocking, younger me would be enraged and saddened that I don’t think it’s absolutely perfect.

Re-read: I would re-read Pippi Longstocking, because it’s always so fun to re-read books you read as a kid. I enjoyed reading this so much when I was younger, and I would love to dive into Pippi’s world again.

Round 5:

Burn: I guess I would burn Anything But Typical? I remember liking this book a lot, but this is the option I got stuck with. 😦

Re-write: I would re-write Of Mice and Men, because saying you would hypothetically burn a classic is as bad as actually doing it in some people’s minds, and I would be scared of how mad some people would be at me. Plus, I didn’t hate it, certainly not enough to burn it. But I also don’t really want to re-read it, because I don’t like it enough to do that. Additionally, I did not like the ending. At all. I liked this book for the most part, so I think I would really just change the ending.

Re-read: I would re-read Coraline, because it’s perfect when I want a creepy book. I think the concept is so weird and interesting, so I would love to re-read it, especially around Halloween.


I Tag: 

And anyone else who wants to do it! This tag is so fun, so I highly suggest doing it 🙂