4 Bookish Facts About Me

What better way is there to get to know a book lover than having them share bookish facts about themselves?

1. My favorite genres are YA contemporary and fantasy

I have always preferred and adored young adult books, and it is rare that you can find me reading a new adult or adult book; something about young adult just excites me (maybe because I am a young adult!)

My two favorites genres of young adult are contemporary and fantasy. I love both tremendously, but typically I tend to be drawn more towards contemporary YA because I tend to prefer quick and easy reads, which is what I receive with contemporary books. I always SPEED through contemporary books!

I do love a good fantasy book, too-It just normally takes me a little longer to really be grabbed by a fantasy book as compared to a contemporary book.

And sometimes fantasy books intimidate me, (sorry not sorry.)

2. The book that really made me fall in love with reading

I mean, I have always really loved reading- but I permanently fell in love  with this hobby, lifestyle- whatever you wanna call it- my sophomore year of high school with Before I Fall.

Before this book, I had a little “break” from reading, and Before I Fall got me out of that dreadful break and reminded me how great reading truly is. I had a lot of issues with anxiety at that time in my life, (fun fact- I still struggle with the anxiety) but this was when I learned how helpful reading could be so helpful for me.

3. Favorite Book(s)

It is very difficult for me to pick *one* favorite book, but I have been able to narrow it down to two books.

Eleanor & Park: It was the first book I read by Rainbow Rowell, so I did not know what to expect but of course I fell in love with Rainbow Rowell’s writing and story-telling abilities. I loved the total 80’s vibe: reading comics on the bus and listening to a Walkman. It was total pop culture, which I am an absolute freak about.

For some reason, I am a sucker for stories about characters who do not have a favorable home life (probably because I love to torture myself with tears.) The whole book I was hooked on Eleanor and her story as well as what was going to become of her. (This book also somewhat gave me a Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs, Dunphrey vibe– if you haven’t read, I totally recommend!)

Eleanor & Park’s relationship was sweet, romantic, and I love how they shared music and comics with each other– that alone reminds me of my own relationship.

Basically, the story itself, the writing and the characters were so beautiful it scotched it’s way up to my top two favorite books. (For now at least- ugh, so many great books out there.)

It’s Kind of a Funny Story: If you do not already know this about me, I suffer from anxiety and depression. This leads me to being very critical about myself- not just academic wise but with literally everything. In this novel, you see a lot of this in Craig who is putting a whole load of pressure on himself to do well– wait, not just “well”, EXCEEDINGLY well– in school. This gets the best of him and leads him to being in a mental hospital.

The story goes through with Craig being in the psychiatric hospital after calling 1-800-SUICIDE to report himself for suicidal ideation (which is so super admirable that it makes me love and appreciate Craig even more.) You meet the other characters who are also in the hospital; they make you laugh, they make you cry. You fall in love with them. You feel Craig’s emotions as he ventures through this difficult part of his life.

I loved Ned Vizzini’s writing; he told the story like he actually knew what Craig was going through. I did not realize it at the time I was reading the book, but later after finishing I learned that Ned committed suicide seven years after the publication of this book–I cried, it is absolutely heartbreaking, but it brings a new light to this book.

4. Favorite childhood books

Most of my favorite childhood books are ones that my parents would read to me when I was young:

1. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

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2. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

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3. Wacky Wednesday by Dr Seuss (as Theo LeSieg)

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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!

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.

Life Update: School, Reading, Music, and Disney

Something amazing happened today.

I actually logged onto my blog.

I have been meaning to blog since, like September… yikes, I know.

Because of school, my life had gotten so crazy. Fall semester of junior year of OT school is known for being one of the most difficult, and after experiencing it myself I do not disagree. Each day of last semester was spent studying, studying, and more studying. I barely had free time at all; even when I was home on break I still had studying to do. SO not fair, but ’tis life.

However, I made it through- and successfully, if I may add. *pats self on back*. I got the highest GPA of my college career and made it on Dean’s List. Now, to only keep the aforementioned study habits up…

It probably goes without saying, but both writing and reading was put on a back burner since August. The only book I finished since August was Leave Me by Gayle Forman. (Which was pretty great! I got to meet Gayle in October and have her sign this book- right before I scurried over to my local coffee shop to start it! It took me two months to finish it, but, I finished it.)

I started several books, including The Princess Diarist and Thirteen Reasons Why, but never felt the urge to finish them, even though I had really been enjoying the books. It is quite the awful reading slump

***I think it is important to mention I am still buying books ugh of course THAT does not stop***

Christmas break was absolutely wonderful. I finally got a break from studying and got some hours in at work, so I wasn’t *as* broke as I had been in the fall. It was nice to finally relax and not worry about when my next exam was.

Then… DISNEY HAPPENED.

It was one of the most wonderful weeks I’ve had in a long time, and my weeks back at school for spring semester have been spent wishing I was back in the happiest place on earth.

Spring semester brings me with less of a course load, but I will also be tutoring and starting my first level 1 fieldwork. So, my schedule is busier, but here I am madly hoping my stress levels are not as high this time around.

I am hoping to get more reading done this semester, but I am also trying not to put too much pressure on myself to do so because I have found that stresses me out even more. My goal is to control my emotions, anxiety, etc more- because in the end, you are in control of how you feel. (Yeah, I know, I am still learning this myself…)

One thing that has been kind of by my side throughout the whirlwind that is junior year is music. It sounds silly I know, but it has been there for me through it all. When I’m stressing over finishing a research paper, when I am studying for an oral practical (THOSE ARE THE WORST BTW), or when I’m just feeling lonely, music is there. I have discovered more artists and bands that touch my soul and it has been glorious. (The Rolling Stones are proving to be wonderful writing music, btw.)

There is just nothing stressful about just simply putting on your headphones and letting the music take over from there. It is the best.

Anyyyyyway, thanks for reading this ramble of a blog post and I hope it was at least somewhat interesting! I hope to be posting more, but if there is anything you want to see from me just let me know in the comments! What music do you like? How do you like to de-stress? Leave me a comment!