Jan 18, 2013

Review | Mad World: Epidemic by Samaire Provost

Title: Mad World: Epidemic by Samaire Provost
Series: Mad World #1
Genre: YA - Horror
Publication: July 28, 2012 by Amazon
Format: eBook
Source: Chick Lit Plus
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong?

Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what's happening to their families. Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they're forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost - even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death.

A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series. Find out what's got everyone so terrified.

Thoughts: Zombies are my favorite, so when I was given the opportunity to read this, I wanted to give it a shot. I am not the biggest fan of indie books because I haven't encountered too many good ones, but there have been a few gems out there and that encouraged me to give this one a try.

Mad World: Epidemic was engaging from the start; there is so much action in the first few pages. This made me happy because I hate when it takes forever to even get to the zombies. With a promising start, I dived into this book and was taken by surprise.

The book starts off pretty much right when the infection hits California. Our protagonists are in New York City when they hear the news about the evacuations taking place in their hometowns. Worried about their families, the group of teenagers and their coach set off in a van in hopes of finding everything okay at home. While predictable from the beginning, I was definitely curious to find out what would happen next and who was next to die (because in a zombie book people have to die.)

The story is told from Alyssa's point of view, and while I didn't have a problem with her, there also isn't anything special about her or the other characters. I liked them all for the most part, but felt no real connection or loss when a few started dying off. The book becomes a bit repetitive in some parts, but being so short, it wasn't boring at all. I was engaged in the story for the most part.

There were some errors with grammar, contextual issues, and other things that were pretty unrealistic and/or impossible. I was able to look past these mistakes because it was an interesting story with a different take on zombies. The ending felt a bit rushed, like the author got tired and just wanted to finish off the book to start off the next in the series, so this was sort of bothersome.

While not the best written/edited book, it was surprisingly entertaining. It is engaging and kept me wanting to know more, even though the set of characters kept running into the same problems every time they stopped. Hopefully in the next installment (which I do plan to read,) I will be able to connect with the characters and find out more about that sort of twist that we are left with at the end.

Jan 14, 2013

Review | The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Publication: 05.01.2007 by Scholastic
Format: Audio
Rating: ★★★★★
ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery

In a sentence: This is a gorgeously illustrated, magical book that I adored and definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys middle grade books.

Audio book: I made the mistake of picking up an audio book version of this book. Why was it a mistake? Because I later found out that about half of this book is illustrated and I was missing out. But, I have to admit, I don't regret listening to the audio. Since it is such a unique book to read out loud, it is done different than any other book I've listened to. Instead of the narrator just reading the story, there were great sound effects added in. I could hear the crowds of the train station, hear his footsteps as he climbed through the walls were he lived, and even listen to him fix the toys that were broken. It was an amazing story that I immersed myself in and couldn't stop listening to.

Hardcover: I accidentally found this book on the shelves of Book Soup, an independent book store in Hollywood, CA. When I pulled it down from the shelf, I was shocked at the size of it. It's HUGE! I knew I had to look through it. As soon as I opened the first page though, I knew I wasn't going to be able to just skim through it and be satisfied. Instead, I made myself comfortable in the corner of the store and dived in. The pictures in this book are amazing, drawn in pencil, all black and white. I was able to skip through the words, but with the illustrations alone, I was able to hear the story again in my head. For every page of writing, there were several pages of drawings, each providing a vivid illustration of what was happening to Hugo along the way. I didn't put the book down until I had looked at every single picture and afterwards, I felt as if I had just read the book again.

Final thoughts: I am really glad I randomly picked up The Invention of Hugo Cabret from the library, because it is a wonderful read that I am glad I didn't miss out and recommend to others, if only to look at.

Jan 11, 2013

Book vs Movie | Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Release Date: October 3, 2008
Cast: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Alexis Dziena, Ari Graynor
Director: Peter Sollett
Movie trailer: Youtube

Yesterday, I posted my review of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan and today, I will be sharing a few thoughts on the movie. First off, if you've read the book and seen the movie, you'll know that there are quite a few differences. I saw the movie first and loved it, and then I decided to read the book. After reading the book though, I felt a little differently about the movie.

Cast: My first complaint after reading the book is that I don't think Michael Cera is a good Nick. Before I read the book though, I absolutely loved him. He's dorky and awkward and pathetically still in love with his ex-girlfriend, Tris (Alexis Dziena.) Kat Dennings on the other hand  looks just like what I think Norah would look like. She's not as complex as the character, but does a great job at portraying her, especially with how unsure she feels around her ex.

Without comparing it so much to the book though, I think all the actors played their roles well and I loved the  chemistry between Michael and Kat, as well as the dialogue around the whole cast.

Plot: Again, comparing the movie to the book, after I read the book I realized how little of the book there is in the movie. They are both pretty consistent in how the story goes...Nick and Norah do pretend to be boyfriend/girlfriend for five minutes, and do head off on an adventure, it happens rather differently. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that in the movie Norah actually asks Nick to be her boyfriend, and in the book they find Where's Fluffy? in the first few chapters and stay for the performance; the rest of the night happens after that instead of leading up to it, like in the movie.

Without comparing it to the book, the movie is fun and very cute. I really loved the way Nick and Norah hit it off and spend the night trying to find their favorite band and Norah's best friend, Caroline (Ari Graynor.)

Music: The biggest difference, I have to say is the music. If you check out the playlist I made for the book, it is totally different than the movie's soundtrack, which you can listen to below. It didn't bother me at all that they were so different, because they felt almost like different stories, but in the movie it doesn't seem to play as an important role as in the book.

Verdict: While many aspects of the book are downplayed in the movie, I definitely love both for different reasons. They are both enjoyable and romantic comedies, and have their own unique qualities that make them special.

if you had to pick one...
The book, definitely. It's a lot more detailed and you get to read from the perspective of both Nick and Norah. It's also relatively short and easy to get through.

Jan 10, 2013

Review | Nick and Norah's Inifinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary/Romance
Publication: 05.23.2006 by Random House Children's Books
Format: Paperback
Source: Goodreads Swap
Rating: ★★★★

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who's just walked in to his band's show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be;and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you'll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

Initial Reaction: I have to start off my talking about the movie first. Because I saw the movie first so I sort of knew what the story was about, right? Wrong. When I started reading Nick and Norah, it was like something I had never heard of before. Sure, all the characters are there, but it's so different from the movie that I felt that they were totally different stories. It was weird.

Nick: The book is written in alternating points of view, so we get to read about both characters, which I absolutely loved. I have to start off by saying that Michael Cera is no Nick. Sure, I love him, and I think he's awesome, but he's no Nick. Nick is just so...unique? He's a sweetheart and he's awesome, and he's a bit dorky but he's not at all skinny or awkward, although he is a bit awkward. He's just this great guy who writes songs in his head, and is kind of still in love with Tris and really just wants to get back with her, but then meets Norah and she's too eccentric to ignore.

Norah: She's this kaleidoscopic of a girl and she has no idea really what she wants except that it's probably not her ex...and she likes Nick. And she knows that they'd be great together but doesn't want to really throw herself at him, but really does just that all night, kind of. She's crazy and thinks so much and is confusing but I could totally relate to her.

The Infinite Playlist: "But now I'm seeing we don't live in a single song. We move from song to song, from lyric to lyric, from chord to chord. There is no ending here. It's an infinite playlist."

Overall: I really enjoyed Nick and Norah. The characters are so well developed, so complex and emotional and insecure. I got to know them in one night, on their 'date' that results in an adventure around the city. The alternating voices added a lot to the story, making it a lot more entertaining. Nick and Norah is a funny, quirky, romance novel with some (almost) descriptive mature scenes, enough foul language to keep it fun and there is plenty of music.

Some of the songs/artists mentioned in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
I made this playlist using this list
*You can find this playlist on iTunes by searching for "Rachel Cohn" in the iMixes section.

Jan 9, 2013

Review + Giveaway | Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult - Horror/Thriller
Publication: 09.18.2012 by Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: SHHHH!
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. House party.
White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Ten Reasons I Loved Ten:

10. This was one of those books that I was super excited about and I could not wait to read it. I'm a huge fan of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and knew I had to read this one once I found out it was inspired by it. Ten did not disappoint, I really enjoyed it from the start.

9. Meg is the protagonist and I liked her from the start. She says what's on her mind and from the beginning begins to question what's happening on the island and discovers clues as the time goes on. While her best friend Minnie is a little...erm, crazy, she defends her and watches over her. Sometimes it could be irritable but it was nonetheless understandable and I would have done the same.

8. While it wasn't exactly scary, it was definitely creepy. So creepy in fact, I couldn't stop thinking about it after putting it down for the night.

7. Being a fan of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, I kind of knew what to expect. The author made it her own, adding a different delivery, surprising me with her writing and definitely creeping me out with the twists in the story.

6. I knew who the killer was. Really, I did. Not because I read a spoiler or something, but because I figured it out. But the awesome part was that as the story developed, I second guessed myself. By the time the book was winding down and there were only four or so characters left, I didn't know who it was anymore and I enjoyed trying to figure it out. (I was right though, and had an "Aha!" moment when the killer is finally revealed.)

5. The way each character dies is pretty awesome. Not as bloody and gory as I had hoped...but still gruesome and detailed. I loved the descriptions and was really looking forward to reading how the next person would die (I'm a sicko, I know.)

4. Things got so intense, I had to put the book down and take a few breaths. Actually, I ended up taking a break for a few minutes before I could continue.

3. I was freaking out by how it would all end.

2. The ending wasn't at all what I expected. It was probably the only part I didn't totally love (the reason why there is a half star instead of full star.) I don't know, it was resolved too nicely for me to be happy with it.

1. Fast paced, action packed, mysterious and creepy: my kind of book!

Overall: I am glad I pushed all other books out of the way and finally gave into reading Ten. It is easily one of my favorites of the year and I definitely recommend it to fans of suspense and mystery. This is a quick, creepy read that I am sure many will enjoy.

Jan 7, 2013

Review | Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Publication: 08.30.2011 by Tor Teen
Format: Hardcover
Source: Tor Teen - For review
Rating: ★★★★

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
Thoughts: Anna Dressed in Blood was the book I was most anticipating in 2011. I wanted to read it so badly, I actually requested it. That's kind of a big deal here. Why? Well, it's the only book I have ever requested. Seriously. This book sounded and looked awesome so I wanted it as soon as possible. But of course I didn't get to read it over a year later. Anna was a terrifying fun read that I definitely liked.

The characters: We meet Cas, a ghost killer, like his dad before him. He follows ghosts around different towns so he doesn't have friends and never really connects with anyone. I can totally relate to that, not because I move around a lot with a witch of a mother like he does, but because I tend to keep myself isolated. So I immediately like him. He's nice, yet snarky, good-looking but not annoying and generally nice. He is determined to avenge his father one day and I felt was a great narrating voice.

We then meet Anna (and yes, she is dressed in blood...sometimes) and I liked her too. Sure, she was at times so terrifying I was afraid I might have a hard time sleeping, but she was a great part of the story. Cas is curious about her, partly because she spares his life instead of killing him like she has done so to hundreds others, and also because so little is known about her death...and when we find out it's oh so sad and I hurt for her! Anna doesn't exactly play the role I expected though and this was disappointing because the story takes a new direction I wasn't expecting.

Cas' mom, Tybalt (the ghost sniffing cat,) and a few friends he gains (despite his efforts to keep them away) play vital roles in Cas' hunting and become quite important, without being overwhelming or too annoying, to the story. I enjoyed getting to know each one and particularly enjoyed the relationships that were formed along the way.

The writing: Blake's writing is easy to sink into and I loved her descriptions of the towns and characters. While the story wasn't overall what I expected, she added some elements into the plot, like voodoo and unexpected romance, that were very interesting. Some of Cas' thoughts and  the dialogue was a little too much, and I found myself almost rolling my eyes, but I was able to overlook it. I was surprised with how creepy things were and am looking forward to reading the next one in the series.

The plot: This was probably the part that I liked least...and it's not that I hated it! I totally didn't, but I guess I had different ideas of where the story would actually go. If I hadn't expected the story to be all about Anna and killing her and her being evil, well maybe I wouldn't have been the wee bit disappointed that I was when we find out that there is a bigger, badder thing out there. Obviously Cas has to defeat whatever that is and that's where the story sorta changes and focuses on other things. Not that it's a bad thing, really. The gore and the blood and the unexpected violence makes up for it. It does because it's so awesome.

Oh and then there was the athame? I got a little confused about it's power and all but it was a unique idea that I look forward to learning more of. Just had to throw that out there.

Overall: Okay, so Anna wasn't everything I thought it would be. That's my fault. I think that overall, this is a great book and I recommend to anyone looking for something creepy and unique. This is definitely one of the better books I read this year and look forward to the next installment: Girl of Nightmares. 
This review turned out to be quite long and I think I may have enjoyed Anna more than I claimed to. This review was originally going to be 3½ stars. 

Jan 5, 2013

Short Story Saturday: As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old by Nina Berry

Early last year, I took up Lauren's feature (from 365 Days of Reading) and began reviewing short stories. I didn't keep it up too long, but decided to attempt it again with the new year. I am currently reading Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes, which was published in October 2012.

As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old
Author: Nina Berry
Rating: ★½

As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old is a retelling of the rhyme Taffy was a Welshman.

The story definitely grabbed my attention at the start with an intriguing beginning and mysterious characters that I wanted to learn more about. But about halfway through the twenty-one pages of this story, I became pretty irritated with the main character, Aderyn. I liked her at first since she seemed pretty tough, but then she stupidly leaves school with a strange guy mainly because she is captivated by his good looks and blue eyes.

The story is fast-paced, but the actual "retelling" doesn't exactly make sense until it is plainly explained by one of the characters when he brings up the rhyme itself. There was potential to the story but I was unsatisfied with the development overall.

Jan 4, 2013

Review | Gimme A Call by Sarah Mlynowski

Title: Gimme A Call by Sarah Mlynowski
Series: N/A
Genre: YA - Contemporary/Fantasy
Publication: 04.27.2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: A new life is just a phone call away!

Devi's life isn't turning out at all like she wanted. She wasted the past three years going out with Bryan—cute, adorable, break-your-heart Bryan. Devi let her friendships fade, blew off studying, didn't join any clubs . . . and now that Bryan has broken up with her, she has nothing left.

Not even her stupid cell phone—she dropped it in the mall fountain. Now it only calls one number . . . hers. At age fourteen, three years ago!

Once Devi gets over the shock—and convinces her younger self that she isn't some wacko—she realizes that she's been given an awesome gift. She can tell herself all the right things to do . . . because she's already done all the wrong ones! Who better to take advice from than your future self?

Except . . .what if getting what you think you want changes everything?

Thoughts: I picked this up without reading the back or even recognizing the author. The cover just looked fun and I needed a new audio book for my car. I was caught off guard with how fun Gimme a Call was and the lighthearted way it was written was definitely something I was looking forward to.

I was intrigued from the start, especially drawn in by the characters because they were so normal, so relate-able. Devi, both her younger self and older self, reminded me of myself and I instantly connected to her. She was a silly girl who had no idea what she was going to do with her life, yet is determined to change it once she finds out she can. Not expecting the inevitable consequences, she starts demanding her younger self to do everything differently and really doesn't expect exactly how much each action will change the future. Bryan, her three best friends and her family play important parts in her life, and I thought they were all a great set of secondary characters that I learned to adore just the way Devi does.

The writing is easy to read and I got so caught up in the story, I wanted to go drive somewhere just so I could listen to the story more! I loved that the book alternates from Devi as a Freshman and as a Senior because it I was able to see how differently each one thought from the other, but how much they didn't change; it was definitely one of my favorite aspects of the book. I am looking forward to reading more of Mlynowski's work and will be on the lookout for another one of her books.

I really can't express how much I enjoyed this book. It is a fun take on second chances, growing up and making mistakes, all which are what make life such a great adventure.

Overall: Surprisingly captivating, Gimme a Call is an entertaining, funny book that can be enjoyed by many chick lit and contemporary fans out there.

Jan 3, 2013

Review | Would You by Marthe Jocelyn

Title: Would You by Marthe Jocelyn
Series: N/A
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Publication: 07.08.2008 by Wendy Lamb Books
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Synopsis: WOULD YOU RATHER know what’s going to happen or not know?

A summer night. A Saturday. For Natalie’s amazing older sister, Claire, this summer is fantastic, because she’s zooming off to college in the fall. For Natalie, it’s a fun summer with her friends; nothing special. When Claire is hit by a car, the world changes in a heartbeat. Over the next four days, moment by moment, Natalie, her parents, and their friends wait to learn if Claire will ever recover.

Thoughts: This was a quick book to get through, but sadly, it turned out to be quite disappointing. The summary gave me the impression that this was going to be an emotional and powerful story, but it turned out to be rather "meh" and not as engaging as I had originally hoped.

First off, Natalie was not a very interesting character. She doesn't do much during the summer except work as a lifeguard at the local pool and hang out with her best friends. Her older sister, Claire, is leaving to college in several months and Natalie is still trying to adjust to the idea that her sister isn't going to be around. Natalie is such a flat character with little personality though, that I had a hard time liking her. The story is really set on her thoughts only, and her inner turmoil is understandable, but I still couldn't connect with her.

Once Claire's accident happens, the story picks up the pace a little, but doesn't make an extraordinary comeback. Natalie learns to deal with things, doesn't seemed too overly sad except for the first scene, and finds herself looking over her parents who are in a zombie-like state of shock. As the story continues while they wait to find out what will happen to Claire, Natalie sort of just goes on with her life, doing her everyday thing and all.

I can't really say much else without revealing the ending, so I will leave you letting you know that while there are a few sad moments to this book, it is not overall anything special. I definitely want to try Jocelyn's writing in the future (I have my eyes set on Folly) and hope I like it better.

Jan 2, 2013

Resolutions & Goals

Since last year, I made a quick list of my goals and resolutions, I decided to go ahead and do it again. While I didn't accomplish all my resolutions last year, I did try my best.

Reading goals for this year:

Read 100 books
Okay, so I haven't really accomplished this goal ever. But this might be the year!

Read for fun
I tend to join in on way too many tours and accept so many review books that I am usually overwhelmed and then never finish anything that I actually want to read.

Read only 1 book at a time
I did really well with this one for most of the year. Around October, I found myself reading four books at one point. I definitely want to go back to only one book at a time. I'm reading three right now though.

Blogging goals for this year:

Don't break
Last year, I took several breaks because I was too bored or tired of the blog. I plan on keeping this blog fun for myself so I won't feel I need to take a break.

No challenges
Okay, I might not do so well with this one. I love challenges and I've seen a lot already. But last year, I signed up for a few and then dumped them early in the year. So I think I'll stay away from those this time.

Comment & Comment back
I love checking out blogs and leaving comments. Last year, I didn't do so well, but I definitely want to get back to commenting. Also, I want to comment back to those of you who actually comment here!

•  Keep up with reviews
Like last year, I want to keep up with my reviews because sometimes I fall behind on the books I've read and then I don't even want to talk about them anymore.

Personal goals for this year:

Get healthy!
I eat a lot of fast food and don't work out. I am really unhealthy and I know it. This year is the year I am going to change that. I also weight at least 10 lbs more than I have ever weighed and I definitely don't want to keep gaining. I am planning to take up running to start off. I joined a gym last year, but didn't go enough to make it worth the money, so I quit. Instead, I've decided to try something new.

Write in my journal at least once a week
I was really good about this until this past year. For some reason, I only filled out a couple of pages throughout the year and I was sort of sad about that. I still need to get a new journal though!

Improve my credit
Let's just say that my credit is under 500. Yep, that bad. Definitely needs some improvement for obvious reasons.

Spend more time outdoors
I tend to stay in and watch too much television. I enjoy that a lot, but I would also like to get out more. I live close to the beach, but rarely go, and I'm also close to some great hiking areas and parks. I definitely need to take advantage of those.

Make some friends
I've always been a loner, but it hadn't really bothered me as much as this past year. I noticed that others make friends easily in class, to chit chat with and I always sit alone. My boyfriend has a few friends contacting him throughout the day, every day, and I don't hear from "my" friends for several weeks. I love spending time with my man, but I get lonely. I miss having girlfriends/best friends.

Attend author events
I got to meet some awesome authors this past year, and even went to ALA! It was awesome. I definitely want to continue this. I already have three events that I am planning to attend this month!

I went to Las Vegas, Nevada twice and Mexico City & Guadalajara, Mexico this year. The trips were lots of fun and amazing experiences. I also went to a few new places I hadn't been to in California. I love traveling. I want to do more of it this year.

Lots of goals this year! I don't feel like I am putting a lot of pressure on myself with these though, because they seem so simple. I am looking forward to what this new year has to bring! 

Jan 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
Oprah Winfrey

I hope everyone has a fantastic new year's day filled with joy and memorable moments. I have been waiting for this day specifically to get back to blogging and it feels good to be here. I have missed blogging so much and look forward to what this new year has to bring. See you soon my friends and thanks for sticking around.