My Hero Academia

the anime has been around long enough to have everyone talking about it but i’m always skeptical of shows with a ton of hype. after finally hearing enough people talking about it and michael being on board, we decided to watch the anime. it’s currently in its second season and funimation posts the simuldub on saturdays crazy early, so we would actually be able to watch the show week-to-week if we got into. and boy did we ever.

first off, we binge watched the 20 episodes (now 21 since saturday has passed) in only a couple of days because we got sucked in from the very beginning. its hard not to love midoriya from the start, he’s such a pure cinnamon roll who gives every situation his all. in a world where 80% of the population has a quirk, a special ability, poor midoriya was left without one and he had the biggest dream of being a hero. all he wanted was to help people like his favorite hero, all might. pretty quickly, we became attached to midoriya and all might.

once we started making up hero names for people, things got interesting. especially when some of the other characters would end up calling them by those names in the actual anime. i still don’t like the name icy hot for todoroki but one of the other characters did actually him that at one point. he’s definitely my favorite, besides midoriya. i am always a sucker for a complex character with a tragic backstory. i can’t wait to find out more about him as the show progresses. michael’s favorite seems to tsuyu for some reason. she’s adorable and i feel like there’s more she can do with her quirk than we have seen so far.

on that note, what really struck me about this story is how involved we got in a matter of days. so much so that we decided to read the manga and get as current as possible because we were just so desperate to know what happened. sure, we will still watch the anime because we enjoy how the story is being told there as well. but we already love so many of the characters so much that we needed more than the anime had currently. its not that weird for me to love an anime so much to start reading the manga, in fact that’s usually what happens when i like something enough. the thing that shocked me most was that the suggestion came from michael who doesn’t overly like to read and especially doesn’t generally stay current on any manga, even the ones he loves.

needless to say, i have a new obsession. i’m sure i’ll have caught up on the manga in a couple of weeks. it only took me a month to read all of fairy tail.

plus ultra!!

A Court of Wings and Ruin

who is surprised that i binge-read this on the day of release? anyone? yeah, me either. but i do have some regrets. like the fact that there is no more. sigh. let’s talk about this rollercoaster.

i should have read it slower but i just couldn’t put it down. there were some slower paced sections but the book moved at a steady clip for the majority. i felt like i was barely dealing with each new emotional situation that was thrown at me. there were so many characters who i did not expect to be involved and who turned out to be very different than i had assumed. overall, this was a great closing to the trilogy and let things open to a new trilogy to be written in the world. i look forward to learning more about the characters and the world that this series made me fall in love with.

from this point on, there are spoilers.

i am so glad that feyre was not in the spring court for very long because i could not have handled that. i need rhysand, its why i’m reading this series in the first place. however, i was expecting lucien to be even more suspicious than he was but i still like that he was not trusting feyre’s bs. also so thankful that he went with her, he needed to be away from how toxic tamlin was getting.

so who was expecting that face-turn from tamlin? from jurian? i mean come on, who could have guessed that would happen. i mean tamlin is still the biggest tool but i was certainly not expecting him to come to the summit or to help them. like that was insane. i’m still trying to process that jurian was a good guy. i think that might have been pushing things too far. it was just too much of a face-turn, i don’t trust it at all.

i know i’m skipping a lot but this is what stands out to me the most. rhysand fucking died. he died. and then made a joke about feyre knowing what he went through. no dude. not acceptable. no one should know what that feels like. i am so thankful that she got him back because i would not have been able to finish the book or read any other books in the world without him. he is literally my favorite.

can we just talk about cassian and nesta for a moment? or the rest of my life? that was such a beautiful progression of their relationship. but poor cassian getting his wings messed up not once but twice. poor baby. but he got nesta out of it. i really thought both of them were going to die, i really did. i was even ready for it because they were together and they had basically admitted their feelings. i can’t wait to see what happens with them going forward now that they have admitted they want to be together and regret all the time they wasted.

i know this is unpopular, but after the reveal with mor, i really like the idea of azriel and elain. it doesn’t seem like lucien will be a good fit for elain, he just doesn’t know how to handle her. she’s mysterious and far more powerful than anyone has probably realized. and he is very focused on the fact that they are mates, he doesn’t even know if she is worth fighting for. i think this would be a good time to show that the mate bond can be rejected and things will be okay. i love the friendship that developed between azriel and elain. he cared deeply for her. and she trusts him. i mean, he gave her his weapon. the one no one has been allowed to touch, not even morrigan who he has been in love with for hundreds of years. that right there says something. i really think this is a good opportunity to show the different paths the mate bond can take.

i can’t even think about the suriel without crying so i’m not going there. but damn.

overall, i loved the book. there were some parts that felt rushed. i may reevaluate my feelings when i get around to re-reading it a little more slowly. but i felt this was a good end to the series. i’m even more rhysand trash which i didn’t know was possible after acomaf.

The Handmaid’s Tale

commonly described as a feminist horror story, i would 100% believe that. this book terrified me and gave me chills from the moment I realized what was going on.

this book follows a woman named Offred who is a handmaid to a couple who can’t have children of their own, it’s her responsibility to produce a child for them. i won’t go into the details of this arrangement because its one of those things you find out about naturally through the course of the story.

the main i have to say about this book is its phenomenal story-telling ability. tbh not a lot actually happens in the main story until the very end of the book when things go crazy. throughout most of it, you are switching between present day and the past, leading up to how this society of Gilead was formed and how Offred – that’s not her real name – became a handmaid in the first place. this is the big mystery of the book, they feed you in scraps of information that you slowly piece together until about 75% of the way through when you get a lot of her personal story at once. i was enamored and actually read the 200 pages of it in one sitting because i couldn’t put the book down, i was absolutely hooked.

i read this as part of a buddy read with a coworker who will probably finish the book tonight, i can’t wait to see what she thinks of it. i will warn you that the ending is not really so much an ending, it felt more of an exit stage right that never had closure. but oddly enough, i was okay with the end.

i am looking forward to the show, they are rumored to have added more material that isn’t explicitly shown in the book. i can’t wait to see how they adapted her story-telling style of switching between present day and the past, it was a unique way of keeping the reader hooked. i think the show will shock a lot of people, there’s a lot more going on than the surface originally shows. the more you think about all of it, the more horrified you become at what they have done to those women. the scariest part of all of it is how real it feels because Offred is so honest with the reader, she doesn’t really hide anything from them about how things work in Gilead. however, she seems to have passively accepted this dystopian society while the reader just stares at the book in horror that this could ever become a reality.

also, trying a new style. this is how i’ve been writing my goodreads updates and reviews for the last couple of weeks. i know its silly but the lack of capital letters is oddly calming, hope you don’t find it too difficult to read. until next time, stay lovely!

First Quarter Wrap-Up

Reading has been a strange experience for me recently. I either don’t read for a few days or blast through ten volumes of a manga in a couple of hours. I feel like I’ve been swinging between extremes since the beginning of the year, its been frustrating. I thought I would do a quarterly wrap-up of some of my favorite books and some I plan to read this year.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – This was my first read of the year, it kicked it off to a good start. While it was nothing like I expected, having seen it compared to Night Circus; I still enjoyed the story and world it created. I even got a chance to review this in a regional magazine (Panama City Living) which was a fantastic experience. I have been recommending this to a lot of coworkers, none of them could work out the twist either which made me feel loads better.

A Game of Thrones: The Illustrated Edition by George R.R. Martin – I had read this a few years back but received the anniversary edition for Christmas so I decided to start at the beginning of the series. This was a new way of experiencing the book, the illustrations added so much more than I anticipated. I found myself wrapped up in the world and falling in love with the series all over again. I read the next two books in the series but have yet to pick up the fourth. I quickly got burned out on 1000 page (or more) books so I had to move onto other things. Still have no interest in watching the show though.

Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima – This is where my reading got a little messed up. I had read the first few volumes and decided to give myself a break from The Song of Fire and Ice series with these. Then I read the remaining volumes out of the 59 currently out in the United States. I became obsessed. Still am to be honest. It also started me on reading many other mangas this year. Its not a bad thing, I just tend to balance my manga with longer books usually. But I have gone down that rabbit hole and don’t see myself crawling out anytime soon.

Fairy Tail Zero by Hiro Mashima – On that note, this part of the series in particular got to me. Its only a single volume. While you could read it without reading the rest of the series, I wouldn’t suggest it. This shows the foundation of the main guild in the series and the backstories of a few key characters. It was absolutely heart-breaking and made me feel for a character that I never thought I could care about. Definitely one of my favorite parts of the entire series.

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Allison Weir – I just read this book recently but I absolutely adored it. Finally, a portrayal of Anne that I can get behind. She was manipulative but also vulnerable, it was nice to see all the sides of her through her seduction of Henry and her downfall. It got me back into the Tudor frenzy – so I started rewatching the series for the millionth time. I also plan to pick up more of her books, and other Tudor-based books soon. I think that might get me out of the slump.

There are so many good books coming out this year that I want to read but I will contain my list of things I want to read in 2017 to books that are already currently out. Maybe I’ll go on a reading spree in the next couple of weeks.

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – How I haven’t already picked this up, I don’t really know. Part of me is so scared to read the end of the trilogy though.

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – My favorite fantasy series has a new book and I haven’t read it yet. I read the last book the day it came out. Why am I procrastinating? Also, the art for the cover is even more beautiful than usual.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – I read the first few pages and then had to put it down – though I can’t remember why – but they were enthralling. Definitely need to pick this one up soon. They just revealed the cover for the sequel and damn.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman – I am so far behind everyone else. I know the book is going to be amazing, I even own it already. I just need to read it and all of his other amazing books.

How do you book? I am having a hard time doing the book thing right now. I have so many books staring me down from my shelves, waiting to be read. Sometimes it can be intimidating to just pick one to read. This year, I want to reduce the number of unread books that I own. That will probably entail more purging than reading but we shall see, here’s to  hoping I go on a reading binge in the next quarter.

What’s your favorite book so far this year? Any anticipated releases coming up?

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they must decide, themselves, whether they are the hero or the villain.

Anne Boleyn most likely thought of herself as the hero of a story, a martyr even. Manipulated by her family and forced into a situation she never desired, she chased the King of England, Henry VIII. First her sister, Mary, was offered up to him. Their family gained favor and money through her dalliance with the King, the fact that she bore him a child was just considered shameful. When he became interested in Anne, her family wanted to play for the longer game. The one that would bring their family to the top and gain them the positions they felt they had deserved from the beginning. Their plan worked, for a time.

The story of the six wives of Henry VIII is nothing new to me. One of my favorite historical fiction subjects, I have read as many of the books as I can get my hands on. In the past, I had read one of Alison Weir’s books and did not find I liked it as much as other authors. However, I have always found Anne Boleyn the most interesting of all of his wives and could not resist giving this title a chance. How happy I am that I have.

The book opens with Anne as a young girl and takes you through her life, one year (or group of years in the beginning) to give you an idea of how she was raised. Bounced from court to court, as it pleased her family and gained them a better reputation; Anne was exposed to a number of revolutionary ideas. Mostly about the status of women and religion. These early influences shaped her into the tenacious woman she became later in life, they also aided her downfall. You start the book in love with Anne, all of her youthful exuberance and love for knowledge. She was someone any girl could see themselves in. Someone who wanted to marry for love, not for political alliance. All she wanted was to learn more and be respected as a person, not just a lowly woman who meant nothing without her father or a husband. Constantly, she is reminded of her age and that she is getting past the point of marrying.

Even when Anne meets Henry, she wants nothing to do with him. Especially after his affair with her sister. She hates him. But he is interested in her. Henry sends her gifts and raises her family up. This her father cannot ignore. He implores Anne to play the game with Henry, to act interested without compromising herself. They seek more money and a higher position at court. This game goes on for years as Anne slowly coaxes him away from his lawful wife, Katherine. All this time, you remain on Anne’s side because she is doing what she has been told to do. In truth, she has little other choice. She can play the game with Henry or she can sleep with him for a short time, either way she ends up in ruin if he ever tires of her. Then Henry begins speaking of divorcing Katherine and marrying Anne, this is where everything changes.

In the beginning of the King’s Great Matter, Anne remains much the same person we have loved from the start. She still does not really want this marriage, she’s had her eye on someone else all along. However, she knows this is what is best for her, her family, and her future children. She seeks a better life for all involved. But she has grown bitter against Katherine which changes her. I cannot pinpoint the moment I started to hate Anne, to think she was a wicked person for the things she was doing. But it happened so seamlessly along the way.

That has been one of my favorite things about this book. It takes you along the same journey her family and Anne most likely walked. Starting (mostly) innocent and turning into people who wished – and plotted – for the deaths of their enemies. They became like the people they hated, all to gain more power. And what did it bring them in the end? When the King was finally done with them all, he had them killed. Do not get me wrong, King Henry VIII is just as much to blame in this, he is the man with six wives who could never have enough power. He destroyed so many people – women especially – in his quest for power and a son.

My favorite quote from the book was: “There was a certain irony in the fact that it had taken minutes to dissolve the marriage that Henry had striven and schemed for six years to make.”

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir comes out May 18th, I urge you to pick this one up if you have an interest in history or scandalous tales.

After reading this book, I just want to binge watch the Tudors and pick up some more historical fiction. Any suggestions to fill this Tudor void?

101 Things in 1001 Days

This is my third time attempting this challenge and probably not my last. In case you haven’t heard of it, 101 things in 1001 days is exactly how it sounds. You set yourself 101 goals or tasks to complete in the next 1001 days. Sometimes people get too ambitious or make the tasks too easy. I prefer a mix of both. Some of my tasks I quickly complete and others take me a while, sometimes they don’t even get checked off by the end of the challenge. Most of the time, I forget about the list after a couple of months unfortunately.

This time I’m taking a slightly different approach. I have not finished my list but I will add more as they come to me. In the past, I have scoured the site Day Zero Project, where I first came across the idea, to find things to fill up my list during the first days of making it. This leaves me with a complex list, usually half-full of things I don’t even care about. So this time around, I’m only adding things I definitely want to accomplish in the next 1001 days. That means that it might take me close to that amount of time to even come up with a full list of 101 things to even do. Hopefully this method will have more success than my lists have in the past.

Currently, the list stands with:

1. Read 100 books
2. Complete a coloring book
3. Not log into Facebook for a whole week!
4. Clean out my closet
5. Graduate College
6. Kiss someone at midnight on New Year’s
7. Get rid of 100 things
8. Learn to count to 10 in 10 languages
9. Complete a ‘Walk To Mordor’ challenge
10. Reach my goal weight
11. Read a book with more than 500 pages
12. Read a nonfiction book
13. Learn Hangul (Korean alphabet)
14. Learn the alphabet in sign language
15. Learn basic Japanese
16. Catalog all my books
17. Reduce my owned TBR to 25 books
18. Complete the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up program
19. Buy a Wreck This Journal and finish it
20. Read all the books currently on my shelf
21. Learn origami
22. Write a short story
23. Read a book with more than 1000 pages
24. Read a poetry book
25. Buy someone my favorite book
26. Purge iPhoto
27. Read the entire bible
I started this particular list on Christmas of 2016 and it will end on September 22, 2019. I have plenty of time to come up with more tasks and complete them all. For the first time, all of these feel like something I could reasonably accomplish. Though it will still take some work. I will update this list periodically and cross off the tasks as I complete them. It seems odd to post this with tasks already crossed off but I have been busy for the last two months.
Have you ever kept a 101 things in 1001 days? What are some of your favorite goals you have set or accomplished? Anything you suggest I add to my list?

January Favorites

Where has the month gone? I feel like the first month of 2017 has just flown by without me even realizing. There were so many tasks I had hoped to accomplish this month and never even started, I just didn’t realize how quickly the days where disappearing. Even now, trying to write this post, days have gone between each section added because there is so much to do. I can feel the weight of school getting heavier as I get closer to graduation. Despite all that, I managed to read some awesome books this month. Maybe one day I will get reviews out for all of them.

Travel with a book

I’m traveling today and trying to get as much done as possible, hopefully some reviews will get written in between assignments.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber ☆☆☆☆☆

My first read of 2017 was magnificent. There was so much hype around this book that I was worried it would fall flat for me. While I did have a few issues with the book, it was overwhelmingly a positive experience. I won’t be writing a review for this blog as I already have one coming out in a local magazine (you can’t hear it but I’m screaming on this side of the screen).

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon ☆☆☆☆

Buddy read with Allison, she has a review up that you could go check out. I haven’t gotten around to writing mine yet even though I read it three weeks ago, one day I will get it together. I really loved this one though, I had heard some mixed reviews previously but was glad that I ended up liking it. Warden is bae. I could tell I was going to like him by the end of the book even though he was a total douche for the majority of the book. I haven’t picked up the sequel yet but I do plan to soon.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin ☆☆☆☆☆

Before you call bandwagon, I had read the first two books in the Song of Ice and Fire series years ago. When they first announced the show, my mom and I were going to watch it together so we read the books. We never got around to watching the show and I never got around to finishing the book series. However, picking them up year later, I love them even more this time around. I was gifted the Illustrated Edition of this book for Christmas which made the experience even more amazing. I binge read this and quickly went onto the rest of the series.

I only DNF-ed one book this month and I saw it coming from the first couple of page. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James was just so boring that I couldn’t subject myself to the rest of the book (only 87 pages) so I had to set it aside. I don’t see myself ever finishing it or picking up any of his other books in the future.

Aside from books, I had some other favorites this month.

Cinderella and Four Knights ☆☆☆☆

Great k-drama. Heavy on the drama but I loved every moment of it. This girl gets kicked out of her house and ends up living with four insanely rich (and hot) guys. She falls for one as three of them fall for her. I really loved the story it told and wish the drama was longer, like I do with basically all of them.

Bob Ross ☆☆☆☆☆

Can I just give this a million stars? Michael and I started watching him New Year’s Eve and that was a great way to start my year. Now we watch it whenever we need to calm down or just want to relax. Even watching him make every stroke, mountains and trees seem to appear out of nowhere.

Resident Evil 7 ☆☆☆☆☆

We’ve only had the game a week and we are almost done. This is one of the scariest games I’ve ever experience but I can’t stop playing. I’ve never played any of the previous games or watched any of the movies. Come to find out, this will basically start the series from the beginning so I actually didn’t need to know anything to start with. There are so many swerves in this game, it was a terrifying and amazing experience. Though I mostly enjoy watching someone else play because I’m super easy to scare.

Bullet Journal ☆☆☆☆

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While it takes a lot of work to set-up, I find myself looking forward to my time each day to work on it. I especially love setting up the next week on Sundays, its nice way to relax after turning in all of my assignments for the week. However, this has led me to start hoarding stationery again. Target dollar spot, I’m looking at you.

Though the month zoomed by, I feel like I still managed to stay ahead of my assignments and not getting completely overwhelmed like I have in past semesters. As for my extra goals for the month, I will carry them over to February and hope I have more time to work on them this month. I’m just trying to remind myself that I don’t have to do absolutely everything to be productive and happy.