Supa Mini Update & Review

Oh man, my MIAness is kind of ridiculous.   I am slowly becoming acclimatized to being a full time employee again, and I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know how I had time to accomplish anything before I took my leave.  PLUS, just, life – you know?

This blog has not been abandoned, in fact, it is something I really miss doing, I just need to get some life stuff sorted out before I can commit the time to it that it deserves.  I really am missing writing though, and organizing my thoughts.

Really quickly, I powered through both A Court of Wings and Ruin & Lord of Shadows this month.

A Court of Wings and Ruin: Good, ACOMAF was better, and I think that is the general consensus on it.  ALSO, Maas was so clearly setting up the story to continue (PLEASE PLEASE CASSIAN!) that I kind of feel like the ending lacked some finality for Feyre and Rhysand, which may be the point.  Either way, obviously, it was good, but I was hoping for more (though really I just blame ACOMAF being so good, that how could you really go up from there?).

Lord of Shadows – OK, trying to stay away from spoilers, but my emotional response may inadvertently give something away.  HOW, HOW, DO YOU END A BOOK ON THAT NOTE?! You’re gonna make me wait how many years to see some resolution? It is because of moments like that that I stand by my decision to NOT READ SERIES UNTIL THEY ARE COMPLETE.  Anyhow, I’m pretty sure I raved about Lady Midnight earlier this year, and I loved LoS just as much, if not more.  Definitely continues to be my favourite work by Clare, but she’s got a lot of stuff coming out over the next few years, so we’ll see if that sticks.

This is super short, I hope to be back on a more consistent basis soon, though likely not for at least another month!

Still actively on Instagram @hopesbookmark.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K.Rowling et al


I am a die hard Harry Potter fan, it is (by leaps and bounds) my favourite series, a series I can confidently say I have read through at least 5 times.  I have read Rowling’s other books and just by the basis of it being Rowling, I enjoyed them.  (Though, her Cormoran Strike series is exceptionally entertaining).  So, why I haven’t read this book until 24 hrs ago, I honestly don’t know.  I remember when it came out thinking I had to go and get it, but just…didn’t.  Anyhow, I finally picked up the book at the library yesterday, sat down to read it at about noon and did not move until 3 hrs later when I had finished the book.  It is freakin’ spectacular.  I LOVED it, I mean, full on loved it.  I haven’t felt that enthralled by a book in so long, and it’s not even a book story, it’s a play!
I’m not sure, how with minimal description you can connect with a character, but Albus and Scorpius are just brilliant together.  I think the relationship they have is incredible, a modern day bromance if there ever was one, yet with out being super “dude!-bro!-y” (do you follow me?) .

Rowling is able to flawlessly bring back all your favourite, and not so favourite (cough Umbridge cough), characters.  Seeing Snape was possibly one of my favourite moments, particularly when he finds out that Voldermort, in another world, kills him.  The relationship between Ron and Hermione changing with each world was also pretty entertaining, because you know that in every world, even if they aren’t, they’re meant to be together.  (More so than Harry and Ginny if I’m being honest).

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Final thought: this book makes me happy.  If you haven’t – find a copy and read it!

What did you think of this book, I know when it was released there were definitely mixed reactions to it.

Also, a moment of appreciation for Slytherin representation.

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Book Review: The Girl Before by JP Delaney

I went into this book with some pretty high expectations, and while I enjoyed the book, it wasn’t as spectacular as I had hoped it would be.

The Girl Before follows two women: Emma and Jane, as they live in a very unique house, One Folgate Street.  One Folgate Street has some very unique conditions attached to its lease as well as an equally unique landlord.  Emma is the past tenant and Jane is the current.  The chapters alternate between characters and so you quickly begin to see similarities in their stories as it is told.

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This book in its writing style and storyline is definitely in line with books like: The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, etc.  (which, as you know from this blog – I love).  I’m not sure why it took me so long to get into this book, it had a slower moving beginning, and I also didn’t really connect with any of the characters.  I think it’s a personal thing that kept me from just loving this book as I have no problem with the writing or the premise of the story, so I can’t judge it too harshly for that.  I think a lot of people would love this book.

I did enjoy it, just didn’t love it the way I had wanted to.  Emma as a character is just…..crazy, but you figure that out pretty quickly, and Jane, I just think she lacked personality.  Edward was intriguing, you never quite knew where he stood on certain issues, and he is definitely the character that was portrayed in multiple different lights with no consensus among other people as to who he actually was.

One thing I really did enjoy were the random questions that popped up throughout the book.  These are questions that are asked of a potential tenant by the landlord, and it’s interesting to see what the multiple choice answers are.  They give you a bit of a peek into Edward’s brain and the way he sees life.  Also, reading them personally and wondering how you yourself would answer them could be a bit of a trip.

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So, I would say this is worth the read, and hopefully it doesn’t disappoint – it shouldn’t.

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Book Review: How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

“We’re not arguing for the whole world.  Just our share.”


Last week (or the week before) I did a post on feminist books I had picked up, here’s a review on one of them.

Moran is able to write about feminism in a way that kept me reading.  Each chapter was essentially some story or period from her life that she was able to infuse with the discussion of feminism and why we need it, or what it looks like.  It was witty, edgy, and very smartly written.

Here’s the thing, it made me uncomfortable, Moran didn’t shy away from any topic, and I think that’s part of the reason I had a bit of a reaction to reading it, because she discusses things with such frankness, and they aren’t easy topics for discussion.  Nor are they popular, nothing was off limits.

She has one chapter called “I am a Feminist,” and I think that was the chapter that really kind of propelled me into the think space of “holy bananas, I am so out of the loop.”  She tells the reader to get up, stand on a chair and say “I am a feminist!.” I can’t do that, it just makes me uncomfortable, but then that is what the point of this venture is for – for me to figure out where I stand on feminism.

6174602656_img_0087I would say, that Moran presents a very pointed argument for feminism, but it doesn’t always seem like it’s open to other opinions.  Kind of like, there are many different points of view to a story, and while we may all want the same outcome, it doesn’t mean we’re all getting there on the same road.  I felt that on certain positions, she argued like there could only be one way, and I don’t necessarily agree with that.

However, for a beginners book on feminism, I think this one did really well.  It wasn’t dry, it made me laugh, it made me cringe, and it definitely made me think.  I would highly encourage reading this if you’re looking to start wading into the waters of what feminism is and why we need it.

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If I Could Be You – Who?


Have you ever wished you could live a fictional characters life? Or maybe not their whole life, but at least experienced something in their life.  Whether it is a friendship, or location, or characteristic quirk, there’s just something about them that makes you want to be them.

For me, I have definitely experienced that, in most cases because what is going on is just so outside the realm of possibility in my life that I think, “yah, that’d be cool.” Though, let’s be real, most of the time our favourite protagonists are going through some sort of unpleasant experience that we don’t actually want, so I’d preface this by saying, I just want the good parts, and probably only for 24 hrs.


I’m going to start this list off by cheating (good job!) I would want to live a hybrid of the following two characters:

Adam Parrish (by day) and Ronan Lynch (by night) – because, who doesn’t want to have magic and then be able to pull things from their dreams?! (This here is, obviously, an example of just wanting to experience the good and cool things in a characters life, I have no desire to experience the lives either of these people had to live through.)

Elizabeth Bennett – just to experience life back in the day while being just a little left of acceptable.  There is this romantic ideal about the time period that Elizabeth Bennett lived in, but also, let’s be real, it was pretty classist and repressed, so it’d have to be lived with a grain of salt.

Cormoran Strike – because the idea of solving mysteries while your life is in shambles intrigues me.  The man’s life is always in shambles, but he gets to solve mysteries and that is pretty cool.  I don’t have the mind required to solve mysteries, which is why living this characters for 24 hrs greatly intrigues me.

Feyre – because frankly, the girl has seem some cool stuff and it would amazing to experience a different world and the different courts.  Also, she has the ability to just be a badass chick.

Claire Randall/Fraser- time travelling?! Yes please!  Hop through a couple time periods, see if you can butterfly effect happenings in present age, why not?!

Who would you want to be if you could?

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Book Review: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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I was not in the mood to read this book – but I am so glad I read through my funk and kept at it. It’s funny, because it’s not like I had actually heard anything about this book I had just seen it everywhere.  I picked it up on a whim when I saw it on the “New Releases” shelf at the library.  This book is spectacular.

The Plumb siblings have been counting down to the day when their youngest sister, Melody, turns 40 because that is when “the nest” – or money put away by their father – comes into their possession.  Unfortunately, their eldest brother Leo gets into some trouble, triggering the need for most of the money to be used to clear up that situation.  The problem is that most of the Plumb children were depending on that money to help them out of difficult financial situations.

Can you imagine? Thinking you were going to be gifted a substantial amount of money, planning your life accordingly, only to have it taken from you at the 11th hour? Gah, stressful.  What you can learn from that, unless the money is in your account, maybe don’t act like it is.

Leo, Jake, Beatrice (Bea), and Melody are the four siblings who are meant to be coming into the money; however, the story is told from multiple points of view including: children, partners, neighbours, and friends.  For the many different perspectives it is actually a very well told and cohesive story.


The Plumb family is described as “spectacularly dysfunctional” I didn’t see that, I just saw a typical family that needed to work through some issues.  It’s the working through the issues that is actually where the majority of drama comes from, it’s what happens before the money the starts the events of this book, but is so worth it when you get to the end and resolution has been granted.  That is one thing I really appreciated about this book, it wrapped the story up really well.  You know where people stand at the end of the book there’s not guessing about where people’s lives headed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it took me too long to read, only because as I said at the beginning, my reading attention wasn’t really with it when I began, but I think typically reading on and off this book would maybe take 3-4 days if you’re an evening after work reader.  Or, and afternoon and a bit on the weekend.

Either way, have you read this? What did you think?

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#feminist book haul

I have recently come to the realization how limited by understanding of feminism is – in how gender inequality still impacts women’s lives and the actions being taken today to level the playing field in every aspect of life.


So, I did what we all do when we want answers – I googled it! Well, I googled best books to read on feminism and then went to my handy dandy library (which hey! has a feminism section) and picked some up.  Here they are in no particular order, along with my first impression thoughts on them.

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Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg – I have heard really good things about this book and she wrote the forward to Originals by Adam Grant so this book has actually been on my radar for quite awhile.  I don’t know that it was on my “need to read” radar but it was at least a book I was aware of.

 

 

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I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb – Probably the most well known book that I picked up.  I have seen the documentary I am Malala and remember just being blown away by Malala’s story.  (I had also seen her on the Jon Stewart show, which, if you haven’t seen that interview you must do so).  TBH when I think books on feminism this actually wouldn’t have been one that jumped to the forefront, I would put it under biography, which it is, but I don’t think you can argue with the fact that the work Malala is doing could be categorized as feminist.  This is the book that I am currently reading, it was the one I was most excited to pick up

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How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran –  What do I know about this book? I recognized the cover…that’s about it.  What sold me was the front blurb that said “The British version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants” which just means if I like this book, I’ll have to read Bossypants.  I like that this book seems to be a fusion of humour and truth, you know that moment where it’s funny buy not ha-ha funny.  I feel like there are going to be many moments of that in this book.

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Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay – This book appears (at a very preliminary and quick first glance) to be the most “academic” of the books I have picked up.  But, it was on just about every list of books to read regarding feminism, so I figured it was worth checking out (ha, get it?! ’cause it’s a library book?).

 

 

 

So tell me, are there any #feminist books out there that you think should be on the must read list? Or what are your thoughts on any of the above mentioned books?

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My Life: Quarter Year Reflection

NOTE: This isn’t a book entry (or, it isn’t meant to be) so if you’re here for books, please check out my other posts!

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As I write this I am in sunny, warm, beautiful California. It also marks the 5 week countdown (minus a day) until I return to real life in BC.  The last 4 months have been an incredible experience, and I am pretty devastated to now be counting down single digit weeks until the end.

Arriving in California, after THE LONGEST (!), day of travel on January 1, 2017 was a moment I will never forget.  The opportunity to relocate to the US (beginning with Nevada in August) was one that my husband and I didn’t want to lose out on and fortunately I work for some very understanding people who allowed me a leave from work to get down here for a little while.  So it’s crazy to me that our little adventure is quickly coming to and end.  Yes, I know 5 weeks is still a really good amount of time, but as this was an (all together) 8 month trek, 5 weeks seems quite short in comparison.

This time off has been great, it’s given me an opportunity to take the time and figure out what I want to do with my life.  Well, given me the time but not yet the answers.  Here’s what I do know.  I am so thankful to have been given the chance to live in California, even if for just a short time.  I love saying I live in California, there’s just something so fun about it.  Also, to be commuting distance to San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Monterey, it’s just something I never imagined would happen.

Here’s something to know about me, I suffer from wanderlust in the most ridiculous way.  I think I could relocate to somewhere new every couple of years and be OK with it just because I want to experience the world.  I want to see it all.  Being able to live in CA has definitely helped quench that thirst for a bit, because everything I do is new here.  It’s amazing.

Anyhow, as I reflect on the incredible opportunity afforded me to have time off from work, with zero obligations (no kids, pets, responsibilities) it just makes me realize how badly I want to find that thing in my life that makes me excited to get up in the morning.

I started this blog/bookstagram late 2016 but didn’t really think too hard about it until 2017.  I just wanted to see what I could do, I have always wished I could be a creative person but never felt that I had that in me.  I am THE LEAST artistic person you will ever meet, but I have come to realize that creative doesn’t necessarily equate to artistic.  There are so many different forms of creativity, you just need to figure out how to express yourself.  That is what I want.

So, there you have a bit of a 1/4 year wrap up on my life.  Pretty brief, but life isn’t slowing down anytime soon!

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Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

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“Are you telling me…that even though I am the last living Galathynius, my throne does not yet belong to me?” – Aelin

 

 

 

 

I don’t even know where to start with this book.  But, before we really get into anything can I just take a moment to complain about the end! How can you leave us high and dry like that until May 2018?!?!?! Not cool, so not cool.

When I started reading this series a couple of weeks ago I knew nothing about it, I didn’t look online, so I was completely clueless.  When I went into book 5 I actually thought maybe it was the last book in the series. So wrong, so very very wrong.  The closer I got to the end of the book the more I realized there was no way the story was wrapping up by the end.  Ugh! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sometimes getting into a series when it hasn’t be completed is the WORST!!!

Anyhow, of the 5 books in the series to date, I think this one was definitely my favourite (except for the lack of Chaol).  The story moved really well, the characters were fun – it just worked.  Maas is just a really great story teller and this book really highlighted that.

As a heroine I thoroughly enjoy Aelin – she’s witty and strong but still a girl, she’s so young and you don’t really forget that (um, except for those couple of scenes with Rowan – I wouldn’t call her a girl for those).

The one thing I did notice is that there were definitely some similarities between this series and Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series.  Not in a particularly bad way, just that there were some things that happened that I though I should have seen coming because I had read that plot twist previously (in her other series).

One final note, I ship Dorian and Manon so hard.  From their first meeting in the previous book I was on board.  I have no idea what to think will become of it, but I hope we see more of it in the next book.

Anyhow, as a new discoverer of Maas, if you haven’t read her stuff, pick up one of her series and enjoy being immersed in the world of magic, fae, and witches.

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(Sorry about the pic, I try to post different ones on here and on Instagram, but I seem to have deleted all the other pics I took!)

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