I'm so excited to be participating in the Life of a Blogger weekly feature hosted by Jessi at Novel Heartbeat. This week's topic is: Camping.
I'm just going to be really honest here and let you know that I will only ever plan to go camping if either my kids beg me and there is nothing else I can convince them to do instead or if my accommodations look something like this:
Yeah. That's luxury camping at The Paws Up Resort in Montana which I just discovered when I Googled 'fancy camping'. I'd definitely "camp" there.
I have been camping before, just so you know and can't say that I might like it if I try it. I went when my husband and I were dating. You know, to prove I could be outdoorsy and adventurous. I also used to camp with my grandparents in a cabin they built themselves when they were younger on a tiny island that had no electricity or running water and was the only thing around for miles. That was back before cell phones and handheld video games. My brother and I would go with them for a week and bathe in the lake, play Tripoley and Rummikub at night, use the outhouse, read with candles when it was dark, and eat fish that we caught from the lake. I memorized all of the presidents (back when there were only 41) in order one summer while I was there and I was better at catching frogs and fishing than my brother. I loved it when I was a kid. But now that I'm grown, I'm much more of a 'fancy camping' kind of girl. S'mores are also a part of fancy camping, right?
Do you enjoy camping? What's your favorite part of the whole experience?
We just experienced the Oscars and now it's time for more movies! Spring is just around the corner (supposably) and with it comes a brand new group of movies to see. I've put some trailers together of movies releasing in March, April, and May that look interesting and some that don't, some that are already getting a lot of talk and a few that I'd never heard of. And while I love movies and going to the movie theater, there are really only a few in this batch that I'd pay to actually see in the theaters. I hate to sound like such an old lady, but movies are expensive these days! Movies I'm most excited for: Veronica Mars and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Movies I'm most interested to hear what you think about them: Divergent and Noah. Movies we might see in the theatres: The Grand Budapest Hotel and Muppets Most Wanted.
I've listed the movies by release date and can't wait to hear what you guys are thinking about them.
300: Rise of an Empire: I'm not actually even interested in seeing this one but it is by far the one I've seen the most previews for. Are any of you guys going to see it? It's definitely visually interesting, at least.
Mr Peabody & Sherman: If I'm going to go to take my kids to a movie in the theaters, it needs to be one I'm sure we're all going to enjoy. Otherwise, it's just a huge waste of money. The movies we've seen in the theaters I could list on one hand. And while I love Ty Burrell on Modern Family, this isn't a movie I'll be taking my kids to. Are your kids interested in seeing it?
The Grand Budapest Hotel: My husband loves Wes Anderson and all of his movies and is super excited for this one. I'm on the other side of the camp. I think his movies are weird. I'm not hipster enough for them or cultured enough or cool enough or I'm too old or something. Whatever. But I enjoy them enough that I'll agree to watch them with my husband. Which Wes Anderson side are you on?
Need for Speed: I'm not really into this one either. If I want to watch something with Aaron Paul in it, I'll start watching Breaking Bad.
Veronica Mars: Now this is one I'm really excited for! Any marshmallows out there? We're in the middle of season 3 (so I haven't actually watched the trailer yet in case there are spoilers for the last season) but will definitely be finished by the time this comes out. Who's going to see it? Did any of you contribute to the kickstarter campaign? If you did, I say thank you. We wouldn't have started the show without the movie coming out and I'm so glad we've been watching it!
Bad Words: I loved Jason Bateman on Arrested Development but this does not look like my kind of movie. It has a good rating on Rotten Tomatoes so far so maybe it's good, I don't know, I just know that movies like this make me feel old.
The Art of the Steal: I'm only mentioning this because I had no idea there was a Kurt Russell/Matt Dillon movie coming out. I thought for sure the current year was 2014. But I must be mistaken. It seems to be a sort of Ocean's Eleven thing. Let me know how it is if you see it.
Muppets Most Wanted: The last Muppets movie was one that we took the kids to and we probably enjoyed it more than they did. We haven't decided if we'll see this in the theaters yet, but we'll probably leave that choice up to the kids when the time comes. I do love Tina Fey. And an evil Kermit twin? I think this will be good.
Divergent: Tell me, are you seeing this? There is so much excitement for this movie. But unfortunately, I haven't been entirely sold on it. I wasn't a big fan of the book, though, so I was never really sold on it. But along with all of the hype, we're now hearing about how Divergent is the YA book-to-movie adaptation that all future YA adaptations hopes lie on. But I would argue that both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games have done amazingly well. All movie makers have to do is make a good movie and people will see it. Don't try to sell us crap and think we'll buy it just because you make it. That being said, I do hope it does well and more YA adaptations will be made. And made well. I don't know what the right answer is. Will you see this movie because you want to? Or will you see it because you want more YA movies to be made? Or are you skipping it altogether? In all honesty, I don't know what I'm going to do yet.
Noah: The only thing I care about with this movie is Emma Watson. The preview only shows her briefly but I still love her. I won't go see this movie because I'm not a Russell Crowe fan and I have no interest in seeing a movie about Noah, but I'm always happy to see Emma Watson continuing to make movies. I really think she's great.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Oh Captain America. Just another sequel to another super hero movie. I'm guessing this will be a big movie. I wasn't a fan of the first one but I'll still see this one on DVD. Maybe my brother will let me borrow his copy. It's unfortunate because I think Captain America is a great character in the Avengers movie. But alone, he just wasn't that interesting. Except to look at, of course.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Are you a fan of the Spider-Man comics? If you are, how do you feel about this set of remakes? Also, how do you feel about Shailene Woodley's Mary Jane being cut from the film? I never read the comics but I've heard plenty about Spider-Man's story from my husband. I really hope this is good. I loved the first Spider-Man and think Andrew Garfield did a great job with the character. Also, him and Emma Stone are great together. Probably why they cut Mary Jane. To let Peter and Gwen have more time together. I hope I'm not disappointed in this sequel.
Neighbors: Okay, this one actually looks like it might be funny. It might not be. It might be stupid. But I haven't completely counted it out. What do you guys think?
X-Men: Days of Future Past: Can I just say how much I hate that name? Because I do hate it. But besides that, I'm a fan of the X-Men. And I love James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the younger Professor X and Magneto. Also, Jennifer Lawrence. And all the other awesome people in it. But I'm definitely worried about this movie. And I'm worried I've outgrown X-Men over the last 10+ years.
Maleficent: Well, I certainly think Angelina Jolie looks perfect for the role. I'm not convinced it'll be a good remake and it's too scary to take my wimpy kids to, so I'm not sure if we'll ever see it, but I do think Jolie will be great in this role. Is this one you're looking forward to? I need help deciding about this one.
Which spring movies are you looking forward to? Are you going to a midnight showing of Divergent? Or will you be staying far away from the theaters this spring? Tell me what I should see!
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by The Broke and The Bookish and allows us to combine our love of books with our love of lists.
This week's Top Ten Topic is: Top Ten Popular Authors I've Never Read. This was a weird list for me to make because I didn't know where to start. Do I start with popular authors of all time? So many of their books don't appeal to me so I don't really care that I haven't read them. Do I make a list with authors that anyone would recognize? Do I make a list full of YA authors because those are the authors I read the most and am most ashamed of not reading yet? There are so many authors out there that I haven't gotten to and so many books that I still want to read that lists like this always make me feel like I'm not even making a dent in the books that are available to me. And in reality, I'm not. So I just wrote this list of authors that I feel like I should have read at least once but haven't yet. Here they are:
So tell me, which author should I start with? Which should I be most ashamed for not having read yet? What is your favorite book from these authors?
I received this book for free from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-02-18
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Young Adult
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
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Maybe One Day is actually the second cancer book I've read recently but it was by far the best. It was an amazing and emotional book about friendship, love, and living. I highly recommend it, especially if you're looking for a book about friendships and not romance.
Before you read this book, you should know that it is definitely a tearjerker. The emotional moments are written so beautifully and honestly that it is hard not to feel something. I'm not much of a crier when it comes to books but I definitely shed some over this one. Anyone who has loved someone, friend or not, will feel something when reading about Zoe and her best friend, Olivia. Just thinking about their story brings a lump back to my throat. It's a beautiful story but also painful. The two girls have grown up together and spent almost every day together. They are probably closer than most sisters even. Their relationship is the kind everyone wants, they are there for each other no matter what and share everything. When Olivia tells Zoe that she has leukemia, my heart broke. I knew it was coming, but it still broke my heart. I loved how Zoe reacted to all the ups and downs of Olivia's battle and how Olivia was so honest with Zoe. I appreciate how realistic both of their feelings seemed to the disease and everything after. Both had moments of anger, hope, sadness, fear, and happiness. If you've known anyone who has been sick, you've probably felt similar emotions to Zoe. And while her thoughts weren't always good ones, at one point she wished it was Olivia's brother who was sick and not Olivia, I find it hard to believe that anyone else might not think that same thought at that same moment. Zoe doesn't continue to think that and feels bad after she thought it but it felt so real in that moment to me, I liked the honesty, even when it was ugly. If you want emotions, you will definitely get them from this book.
You should also know, before starting this book, that while the emotions felt realistic to me, the diagnosis and treatment of Olivia's cancer did not. She is diagnosed in the morning at a doctor's appointment and by the time Zoe is out of school, she has been admitted to the hospital and is already receiving chemo treatments. I'm not familiar with the treatments for leukemia and I'm certainly not a doctor or oncologist nor did I do any research about treatments while reading this book, but regardless of all of that, I did have thoughts throughout the book about how unrealistic some of the treatment and hospital moments seemed. I'm not saying this because I think it's really important to this story, because I don't. I didn't dock a lot of points from my rating on the book for this because I felt that this book is more about the story of Zoe and Olivia's relationship through the disease and Zoe's journey from before and after and deciding how this event was going to affect the rest of her life rather than Olivia's treatment during her disease. But I completely understand if this would be one of those unforgivables for someone and think you should know that the focus of this book is not the treatments and some did not feel realistic to me. It felt as though the treatment was written to be convenient for the rest of the story and not around it. If you think that will bother you, it might be difficult for you to get through some parts of this book.
This story was crazy emotional. The writing in this book is beautiful and made me feel everything. The end had me balling. The moment Zoe has watching that speech? All the tears. But it's not just the big moments that had an affect on me. All of the other moments we experience between Zoe and Olivia show us how important they are to each other and how much they love each other. Their friendship is truly beautiful. I felt a huge range of emotions throughout this book including happiness and anger and love and sadness and even hope. I really loved Zoe and Olivia's relationship and the realistic way they dealt with Olivia's disease and highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a great friendship book. Just make sure you bring tissues with you.
Reading Queue is a monthly meme hosted by Books: A True Story and Book Tasty where we can get together and talk about the books we hope to read in the coming month and the books we read last month. So write up your own Reading Queue post and then go check them out!
I read 8 books in February and considering it's such a short month (that's what I'm blaming) and I'm still ahead of my Goodreads goal, I'll take it. I didn't quite finish the books that were on my list but have started all except one. I'm still really happy with how much I read and the progress I made in review books. I have only four review books for March, so I'm hoping to get caught up this month and maybe even start on an April book if things go well enough. But we'll see. I may also go totally off list and grab something from my shelf that I want to read. I'm looking forward to many of the books I plan to read in March and while February didn't give me tons of great books, I did read a few that really got to me. So here's my list for March and what I accomplished in February!
Dangerous by Shannon Hale: This was the one February book I didn't get to last month. It'll be one of my first March books, so I hope I enjoy it!
Panic by Lauren Oliver and Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas: I have loved some of Lauren Oliver's books and not loved some of her books. I've seen mixed reviews for this as well but I have a review copy and I will be reading it this month. I'm really excited for Ask Again Later because I need a light, fun read and I'm hoping this will be it!
Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski and Half Bad by Sally Green: Don't Even Think About It is about teenage girls who get the flu shot and come out with telepathic powers. I am so intrigued by this. I hope it will be fun. Half Bad is coming in for me at the library and I'm really looking forward to read it. It's about witches!
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski and Winger by Andrew Smith: Finally!!!!!! This book is finally coming out and I will be reading it. That's all. Also, I'm really excited for Winger because I've heard some great things about it. This is my pick for March's book that my husband and I will read together.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira and The Here and Now by Ann Brashares: If by some chance I get through my other books and no surprises show up, these are next on my list. Both are review books and I'm excited for them, though The Here and Now has some very mixed reviews.
Split Second by Kasie West and Evertrue by Brodi Ashton: I read Split Second and loved it. I was a little worried but I shouldn't have been. I love these characters and the second book was just as good as the first! I got Evertrue on audiobook and am (slowly) making my way through it. I'm not as confident for this sequel as I was with Split Second, so we'll see. Here's hoping I'm wrong.
Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen and White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I finished Lady Thief and holy moly it was emotional. I definitely recommend these books. White Hot Kiss was only okay and may be my least favorite JLA book so far. Sad face from me for that. I'm glad others have loved it, though.
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy and Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott: Side Effects was a little disappointing but I still gave it 3 stars. I just did not like the main character at all. But the dual POV was great. Fire & Flood was very interesting. Such a crazy race and world. I can't wait for more in this series!
Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor and The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu: Maybe One Day killed me. It was so emotional. The whole time I felt like I was either laughing or crying. I definitely recommend it, especially as a friendship book. I'm still reading The Lives of Tao and am finding it very slow. I'm not attached to the story or characters but I will finish it. My husband enjoyed it.
Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn and Salvage by Alexandra Duncan: These were both unexpected reads this month but the books showed up on my door through a tour and I had to read them before shipping them off again. Unfortunately, neither was great for me. Broken Hearts had an MC that I just couldn't connect with and Salvage was too slow with not enough thrill for me. But other reviews have been positive, so I think it's just me.
That's all I have for my list this month. I'm really looking forward to March and all of the great books that are coming out. Especially The Winner's Curse. It's finally time for the rest of us to read it! I saw today that it's being shipped to my library so I'll have it in my hands very soon!
Now tell me: What book are you most excited to read it March? Did you read anything you loved in February?