Books Read in July!

Hello all!

July was a particularly fun reading month for me- though I did not read as much as I had wished (IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!)  I still got a few great books in!

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon was a beautiful, lovely, heart warming read. I really loved Dimple and Rishi’s culture and how different they were in regards to it; Dimple, while she does embrace her heritage (not as much as Rishi, of course), she still manages to dance to her own beat without feeling forced to marry young. Dimple also prefers to think of herself as more than just a woman with looks- she values her intelligence and talent when it comes to the world of coding and app building and all that tech-y stuff I wish I understood.

Rishi follows his parent’s lead verbatim while always doing what is expected of him. He plans on going to college to be an engineer because it is a realistic decision in this day and age. He wants to marry young and immediately start on his “forever” with a girl (preferably Dimple.)

Throughout the book, Rishi teaches Dimple to embrace her culture more as well as appreciating her parents. Dimple encourages Rishi to “step out of the box” and purse an art career. Basically, they are both just perfect for each other.

I loved Rishi and Dimple’s relationship. It is clearly portrayed that they are best friends, as well as obviously a couple. They highly support and encourage each other. The relationship may get a little too gooey for me, (so much kissing in front of Rishi’s brother???!!) but, hey, it is a beautiful love affair.

I highly recommend this book to any romance/contemporary YA lovers! Though the large book was somewhat daunting, the story really did flow by quickly.

Ah, Scarlet! #2 in THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer. Here’s a secret: I actually started this book last August but finally finished it in July. Oops, yeah…but I am still counting it towards my books read in July!

So, like most people who have read The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Scarlet are super cool. They are two people who I would want kicking some ass by my side!

While I did enjoy Scarlet (despite my mega-long break from reading it), I still think I enjoyed Cinder more. I really enjoyed Cinder and Kai’s relationship, which you see a lot more of in Cinder. Not only that, but I think I just enjoyed CInder’s personal story more. The fact thats he is 1.) a mechanic 2.) a cyborg. The fact that she is- well, basically bionicle- is super cool and unlike anything I have read before.

Though Cinder’s story is my favorite so far, I did enjoy the relationship between Scarlet and her grandma as well as Scarlet’s fierce dedication towards saving her. There was just something about Scarlet’s attitude that kind of “irked” me a little more than I had wished. BUT! That’s just me, and I know a few other people who actually really love Scarlet’s story! Probably cause she is a badass, independent woman and who can say no to that kind of woman?

I am hoping to start the third installment in the series, CRESS, within the next month or so because I am highly anticipating finding out where the story goes! (And I need more of Cinder and Kai, please!)

So, if you don’t already know, I read ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS, in May after receiving it in my OwlCrate box and I absolutely loved it. Naturally, I had to go read Francesca Zappia’s other book, MADE YOU UP- which, you better believe it!, includes a character with schizophrenia! I absolutely adore books with a mental illness theme, and I am intrigued by all things mental health, so I was very excited to read this book.

(I do not have schizophrenia myself, nor do I personally know anyone else who has it so I am unaware on how accurate the author’s details about this mental illness is.)

I really enjoyed Alex as a character and I appreciated her effort in trying to have a normal high school career in spite of her mental illness. Miles was a dreamboat, to sum it all up. When he finds out about Alex’s schizophrenia, he is very chill about it and does not treat her any differently, despite Alex’s fears about the aforementioned.

In addition to Alex’s story with her dealings of her schizophrenia, I enjoy Miles’ story as well. He is a complex character with, basically, a lot of feelings and a lot of darkness in that mind of his. His home life is not ideal whatsoever, which really makes me feel sad things for him. He experiences something most of us could probably relate to– feeling alone, like no one cares for you, like you do not have any friends. But, he learns- as most of us hopefully do- that there are people out there who love and care for us.

The characters in this book are just so well created, and the story itself reads like a contemporary but will spontaneously hit you RIGHT IN THE FEELS out of the blue. (I literally dropped the book and gaped- mouth wide open!- for at least a whole 3 minutes.)

Anyways- Francesca Zappia is an awesome person and writer and, so far, I have enjoyed everything she has done.

 

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Well, obviously the reason this book is on this list is because this past month or so I have become completely obsessed with Hamilton. (Which says A. LOT. because I rarely become *this* obsessed with anything.) So of course, I had to read the love story of ALEX AND ELIZA and Alex is a wondrous intelligent man and Eliza is who I aspire to be.

Obviously the book had some differences from the musical, but that did not bother me as much as I know it had bothered others. I am always astounded by how ahead of her time Eliza was- I appreciated how she did to put too much effort into her looks, or even finding a husband for that matter. Her dedication towards the revolutionary war and taking care of the injured soldiers says a lot about her character and her empathy and it is just. beautiful. Eliza Schyler is someone any girl can look up to; something I will forever be in awe of.

I like how in the book you really get a deep look into Alex’s deep love for Eliza, which is something you do not really get to see much of in the musical (in my opinion.) It would have been nice to have more history with politics and that sort, but I guess that is what the musical is for– the book is for the romance.  😉

Sometimes I forget how much I love historical fiction.

Definitely a recommend for Hamilton fans who love Alex and Eliza’s relationship as I do!


Here is hoping August brings a lot more great reads! Leave a comment below and tell me what you read in July and if you have any historical fiction recs!

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Brandi Attempts BTAT 2017

Hello all and welcome to my BRANDI ATTEMPTS BTAT 2017 post! If you don’t know what BTAT is, it stands for booktube-a-thon! It goes from July 24 to the 30th, and basically you use the time to read all the books you can! This was created by Ariel Bissett, who is an awesome booktuber and basically the coolest person ever for creating this!

This will be my first read-a-thon EVER, so I am not putting high expectations on myself. I also get my wisdom teeth taken out Wednesday, so I am highly sure that will put a damper on my reading! (Hello, sleep!) Nevertheless! I wanted to take part in all the fun!

There are seven reading challenges and here are my picks for them!

1.  Read a book with a person on the cover

I bought this book recently at Half Price Books because I heard nothing but amazing things about the story! So, naturally, I was eager to pick this to read for the read-a-thon.

2.  Read a hyped book

…and, the whole reason I bought this book was because of it’s mega-hype, so it conveniently fits two challenges!

3. Finish a book in one day

I am not that confident in myself of finishing a normal size young adult novel in one day, especially considering my wisdom teeth surgery and work the days before. So, a good pick for this challenge was of course a manga– Sailor Moon!

4. Read about a character that is very different from you

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: a book centered around a sixteen-year-old boy, Simon, who is gay. Basically, Simon is a boy, I am not. Simon is gay, I am not.  Two simple differences between us, but different enough to count for this challenge!

5. Finish a book completely outdoors

Since You’ve Been Gone is written by Morgan Matson, who writes the most perfect summer books. This was a perfect fit for this challenge! But if you know me at all, you know I am not a huge outdoors person, so this will probably be a difficult challenge for me… oops.

6. Read a book you got because of the cover

Believe it or not, I actually do not often buy books because of the covers- I really solely on Goodreads ratings. A super added bonus about me buying When Dimple Met Rishi was the absolutely stunning cover! So, here it is for yet another challenge because I guess I am kind of a cheater.

7.  Read seven books.

Seven books in seven days: can I do it? Probably not, but that’s okay! To make my final book count up to seven books, I added three graphic novels to the mix! Giant Days 3 and 4, my favorite graphic novel series and Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 2 because Jessica is the coolest superhero!

 

If you have read these books, leave in the comments- what do you think? Are you doing BTAT17 too? Link me to your BTAT TBR!

 

Get To Know Me Bookish Tag

1. What was the last book you read?

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

2. Was it a good one?

YES! I loved it and read it within 24 hours.

3. What made it good?

The “nerdy” aspect of it-the whole story took place at “SupaCon,” which sounded totally cool and I want to go there myself.

4. Would you recommend it to other people?

Yes, especially if you like books centered around some sort of nerd culture.

5. How often do you read?

At the very least I read two chapters before I go to sleep.

6. Do you like to read?

Well clearly! 🙂

7.What was the last bad book you read?

None really, I typically do not finish a book if I’m not enjoying it.

8. What made you dislike it?


9. Do you wish to be a writer?

Absolutely, I have been writing since I was little and I would love to have published work someday. I still have yet to find my writing style, though!

10. Has any book every influenced you greatly?

Not one in particular, but probably It’s Kind of a Funny Story has influenced me the most!

11. Do you read fan fiction?

Nope

12. Do you write fan fiction?

No, but maybe one day I might

13. What’s your favorite book?

My two favorites are Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. ❤

14. What’s your least favorite book?

*see question 7*

15. Do you prefer physical books or ready on a device (like a kindle)?

Physical books 100%!!!

16. When did you learn to read?

I honestly have no idea. I’m assuming at a normal age like everyone else?

17. What is your favorite book you had to read in school?

The Catcher in the Rye! It was one of those books that we started reading in class and I went home that night and finished the book myself… weeks before the due date.

18. What is your favorite book series?

I truthfully do not read a lot of series.

19. Who is your favorite author?

Francesca Zappia! She is a totally cool person and she won me over with Eliza and Her Monsters.

20. What is your favorite genre?

Anything YA!

21. Who is your favorite character in a book series?

Eliza (from Eliza and her Monsters)

22. Has a book ever transported you somewhere else?

All the time. That is why I love reading- it takes me to a different world.

23.Which book do you wish had a sequel?

None, because I’m the type of person who thinks there should be less sequels out there. -.-

24. Which book do you wish DIDNT have a sequel?

The first book that comes to mind is To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before”- it could have worked out to be one single book. But, I do not remember much about the book and  I didn’t read the last two in the series so who knows!

25. How long does it take you to read a book?

It can take anywhere from 24 hours to a month or two.

26. Do you like when books become movies?

Meeehhhh, sometimes.

27. Which book was ruined by its movie adaptation?

Though I haven’t seen the movie, I have heard awful things about the movie “Before I Fall”, which is disappointing because it is one of the books that got me into reading and YA in general.

28. Which movie has done a book justice?

Catching Fire, hands down.

29. Do you read newspapers?

Not typically.

30: Do you read magazines?

Again, not typically.

31. Do you prefer newspapers or magazines?

Magazines.

32. Do you read while in bed?

It is basically the only place I read!

33. Do you read while on the toilet?

Only when the book is really good and I’m eager to reach the last page!

34. Do you read while in the car?

No because I get car sick very easily.

35. Do you read while in the bath?

I do not take baths often and I am usually too nervous I will get my book wet.

36. Are you a fast reader?

When I really like a book, which is often.

37. Are you a slow reader?

See above.

38. Where is your favorite place to read?

In my bed cuddled up with a blanket.

39. Is it hard for you to concentrate while you read?

I usually end up playing on my phone a lot. I also can not read anywhere noisy.

40.Do you need a room to be silent while you read?

Yes sir.

41. Who gave you your love for reading?

Probably my mom and grandma, they are both big book lovers!

42. What book is next on your list to read?

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst! (Psssst… I am doing a giveaway for it on my twitter and Instagram @xobrandilarissa too!)

43. When did you start to read chapter books?

Im sure right around first or second grade.

44. Who is your favorite children’s book author?

Coleen Murtagh Paratore wrote the Wedding Planner’s Daughter series, which I LOVED! I also enjoyed Laurie B. Friedman because of Mallory on the Move.

45. Which author would you most want to interview?

J.K Rowling or J. R. R. Tolkein- I would love how they were inspired to create such amazing fictional worlds. I mean, GOALS.

46. Which author do you think you’d be friends with?

Probably Francesca Zappia.

47.What book have you reread the most?

“Don’t You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey” by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Love love love.

48. Which books do you consider “classics”?

Anything from Harry Potter to Great Expectations.

49. Which books do you think should be taught in every school?

Anything that gets people reading, but are school appropriate. I mean, not everyone is gonna love the same book. (Not everyone is gonna love books period.)  I think more teachers should encourage diverse reading.

50. Which books should be banned from all schools?

Books that include any type of racism, albeism, sexism, etc– actually, no. They should not be banned because teachers could use those books to teach students WHY that book is wrong.

Idk, or maybe like, erotica, but only because that is inappropriate for students at school. They can read it on their own time.

Pokemon Go Book Tag

Pokemon-Go-Book-Tag

Taken from: readatmidnight.com

If you’re reading this, I tag YOU to join in on the fun! And send me your answers so I can see them!

Pokemon-Tag-01Starters

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I had read many books before I initially read this one, but this is the book that made me realize how much reading could help with my anxiety.

Pokemon-Tag02Pikachu For me, I pick A Catcher in the Rye. It’s such a raw, real-to-life book that I loved from the moment I was forced to pick it up for school. I think it is my favorite book I read per curriculum throughout high school.

Pokemon-Tag-03-ZubatMy answer for this is Me Before You. There is so much hype around the book and the movie, I even started reading the book myself. BUT, I never finished it. I just didn’t get completely drawn into it, plus I had the ending spoiled for me so….. :/

Pokemon-Tag-04-Ditto

Well, I know there is lots of controversy after this series, but I am going to choose The Mortal Insturments. The basic premise of the fantasy theme is very similar to other fantasy series, but I still love it.

In consideration to the controversy surrounding Cassandra Clare, that is the reason I still have yet to pick up CoHF & Lady Midnight. I don’t want to talk much about the controversy in this post, because it’s not the right place for it right now, but if you would like me to go into more details we can chat in the comments.

Pokemon-Tag-05-Snorlax

The Percy Jackson & Olympian series and the Heroes of Olympus. Not necessarily the size itself…but… SO MANY BOOKS!

 

Pokemon-Tag06-Gengar

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas- though it wasn’t my favorite of her books, for some reason it creeped me out  and I actually had a nightmare about it.

I’m weird, I know.

Pokemon-Tag07-NidokingQueen

I am sure ALL YOU BOOK LOVERS OUT THERE AGREE WITH ME WHEN I SAY….

 

Ahem, drumroll, please…

Rhys and Feyre.

Pokemon-Tag08-Rapidash

The Unexpected Everything. I BLEW through this book, and it is currently sitting in my top 3 favorite books.

Pokemon-Tag09-Eevee

Unfortunately I can’t come up with an answer to this one, probably because I’m not really into spinoffs of books..

BUT I LOVE EEVEE.

Pokemon-Tag14-Magikarp

Okay, my answer won’t completely fit the description:

The Immortal Series by Alyson Noel. The first two books were surprisingly good, but the rest of the series… not so much.

Pokemon-Tag12-Legendary

I am going to go with a few answers for this one:

  1. The Red Rising Series
  2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  3. The Lunar Chronicles (which I literally just started today.)

Pokemon-Tag15Mew-MewTwo

Eleanor & Park! It’s one of my favorite books ever (also at my top 3) and I am hoping to get the collector’s edition for my birthday!

Pokemon-Tag10-Egg

I am excited for the day I debut my own novel.

Does that count as an acceptable answer?

Pokemon-Tag11-Lure-Module

Lauren Oliver.

Cause she is the person that made me fall in love with writing.

Pokemon-Tag13-Server-Down

I just really want Replica by Lauren Oliver… so badly.

 

heart b

Meeting Jesse Andrews

A few weeks ago, I got to meet Jesse Andrews (author of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) at my local book store- Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, PA.

It’s a lovely, cozy little book store and it’s always a welcoming place to shop with the kind employees!

I went to the signing with my mom; it was my first book signing I have ever been to- and it was a great one!

The evening started out with Jesse Andrews being introduced, and him sort of describing his life growing up in the Pittsburgh area (pssst which is where I grew up and where the signing took place.) He talked about growing up in Pittsburgh, his college experience, and his “adventure” to becoming a writer. Then, he talked about his books and read an excerpt from his new book The Haters. 

Basically, my mom and I spent the whole time smiling and chuckling because Jesse Andrews is a pretty rad and hilarious dude.

Then, I got an author to sign a book of mine for the FIRST TIME EVER ~~~~

He signed both books of his, The Haters and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. As I was chatting with him, my mom decided to let him know that I am “an aspiring writer *blushes in embarrassment* *but is secretly happy mom told him because I was too scared to*

SO I GOT AN EXTRA SPECIAL AUTOGRAPH IN MY BOOK!

 

 

 

Also, a fun little tidbit for anyone out there interested: After the book signing, I went next door to the Starbucks to catch up on some work and some blogging. While sitting there, Jesse walked by and gave me a friendly wave. So, yeah, that’s super cool.

Thank you, Jesse, for writing hilariously heart warming books and for continuing to return to little old Pittsburgh. I will always recommend your books to people, as well as tell everyone how generous, funny, and talented you are!