If You’re Like Me & Haven’t Read Divergent

Hello Readers!

Well, if the title of this post caught your attention, because you are like me, and HAVEN’T read Divergent, that both you and I should really check out this article. 

Calling all kid-lit loving ladies out there: isn’t this train case A-DORABLE?! I want it, but don’t necessarily want to make it? Will any of you, dear readers make it for me? (just kidding … not really)

A few days ago, my bff and fellow blogger Miss Print blogged about this great holiday (I know it’s not the holiday season just yet, so I’m considering it more of a pre-holiday season swap) swap, where participants swap, not books, by nail polish! I don’t know how she found this, but I’m thankful she did, and that she was kind enough to share it. So if you want it, check out the swap, and sign up here!

Before we know it 2014 will be upon up. And with that comes World Book Night. Check out this SLJ article about the 9 children’s and YA titles that made it to this upcoming years list!

Dear Readers, does anyone own one of those “Wreck This Journal” journal? Is it as awesome as it seems in the Little Book Owl’s video?  Please leave feedback on if you own one of these journals and if you love/hate it! I’m interested to find out your thoughts.

And last but certainly NOT least: Book Bloggers, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR THE GIVING THANKS BOOK BLOGGER BOX SWAP that Miss Print and I are hosting!

BookBandit’s Beauty Basics

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Hello Readers!

How are you on this lovely Tuesday? I hope everyone is doing well! I know I am, because I have some exciting news to share with everyone.

The BookBandit Blog is branching out!

What does that mean? Well it means that this blog, as it always has, will focus on books, but as of now, not just books. You see, I love reading, I love books, and I love sharing my thoughts/opinions with you readers. But I love a lot of other things, and want to share those things with you as well.

As you can tell from the above picture* The BookBandit Blog will feature weekly posts about everything and anything beauty related. I’m calling these posts: BookBandit’s Beauty Basics (thanks to the one and only Emma/Miss Print for coming up with such a catchy name!) . Once a week – every Sunday – I will feature posts about beauty related topics. I plan on featuring product reviews, monthly fave lists, beauty/cosmetic hauls, maybe a giveaway or two, and (don’t hold me to this) I’m going to try to feature interviews with beauty bloggers and/or vloggers!

At this point I just want to say a few things about my new blogging venture. I am in no way, shape, or form a beauty and makeup expert. I am not a certified or professional cosmetologist. I am just a woman who enjoys makeup. I enjoy playing with it, applying it (to my own face that is), and very obviously buying it.  I want you, dear readers, to know that first and foremost.

Besides that, I just want to take the time to mention, that yes I will be reviewing beauty/makeup products. I will not love every product I try. I will give an honest review, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. I want you all to know that this new blogging venture is simply to spread the joy of makeup. I am not being compensated in any way to post these views and opinions.

Readers, I hope you are excited about the BookBandit’s Beauty Basics! I have a lot of ideas, and I can’t wait to share them all with you! And please, if there’s a beauty/makeup feature you want to see covered, please either comment or feel free to e-mail at: bookbanditbeautybasics@gmail.com

*The above photograph was taken by me. It was altered by me using: Pixlr.com and Picmonkey.com Please do not “borrow” the above photo without asking permission first. That’s just rude!

A Wounded Name

A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchinson (Recieved ARC from BEA 2013)

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Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan isn’t the only girl at Elsinor Academy. But she is the only one who can see and communicate with the spirits of the dead. In the public world, the one in which her overbearing father and brother keeps a close eye on her, this is a very bad trait to possess. But in the comforts and the privacy of her four bedroom walls, Ophelia finds it intriguing.
So when she sees the spirit of the newly deceased Headmaster, Hamlet, Ophelia knows something isn’t right. Instead, something is wrong … terribly wrong.  Only troubled spirits are bound to this Earth, living a torturous life after death. But Hamlet isn’t just one spirit, he’s two separate spirits – one that’s full of anger and rage, the other the real Hamlet that she knew and loved.
Hamlet didn’t just die, he was murdered. As Ophelia struggles alongside Dane, the Headmaster’s grieving son, to piece together this mystery, she finds herself slowly but surely slipping further and further away from actual reality and into a world unknown and unseen.
A Wounded Name is a debut novel written by author Dot Hutchinson.
Judging by the above mentioned characters, you’ve probably already guessed that Hutchinson’s debut is a retelling of the Shakespearian classic Hamlet, set within the walls of a privileged boarding school. Hutchinson’s writing is strong and lyrical. She doesn’t just tell a story, she shows it.
From the start Hutchinson’s writing has readers wondering in what direction she’s going to take this already familiar story? But as the pages progress readers soon find that A Wounded Name is a retelling, just not as modern as they’d like.  Sure it’s be framed by a new setting, but the mindset hasn’t been changed.
Ophelia, in both the classic and Hutchinson’s version, is unreliable.  But the thing is: she didn’t have to be. Hutchinson had the chance to, not only flesh out this flat character, but to breathe a new, independent life into her. Instead, as a main character Ophelia falls short. I found myself often agitated by her, wanting desperately to shake some sense into her.
Yes, I wanted to shake sense into her. Especially when it came to her love for Dane, the Headmaster’s son. Ophelia loves Dane, and it’s blatantly clear that she will do whatever it takes to keep him close to her, even if that means letting him choke her. Their relationship isn’t healthy, neither is Ophelia’s acceptance of this kind of abuse.
Beyond that I found my real issue with A Wounded Name was that it’s labeled as a “modern” reworking of a classic tale. In today’s modern world women are considered a man’s equal. But this wasn’t the case for the world in which Ophelia lives. While her brother Laertes is free to sleep around, Ophelia is closed up in her room.
Beyond that, I found even the curriculum at Elsinor Academy was sexist. Girls were forced to take classes that would prepare them to be successful wives and mothers, classes that told Ophelia and her female classmates that their role within society is to – literally – stand behind their accomplished men.
For so many reasons I wanted to love Hutchinson’s A Wounded Name. But the truth is, for me as a reader, there were way too many moments – between the obvious sexism and abuse – that I couldn’t turn a blind eye to.

In Which I Blog About Ryan Gosling

Well … not really. But he is mentioned somewhere within this post.

On a totally non-book related note, in honor of  one of my most favorite holidays – Halloween – I thought it would be fun to include an fun, family craft. Who here loves Mod Podge?!? I know I do, it’s so … handy! Well, check out this blog to learn how to Mod Podge your own (plastic) pumpkins!

Calling all Hunger Games fans! May I have your attention! This is freaking awesome (and I really, really) want one of my own!

While wasting time of Pinterest I came across a pin from, I think (I’m not one hundred percent sure, so don’t go and quote me) from author Kami Garcia, about some splendid bookish items. How would you proudly show off your love of books?

Any children of the 90s out there? Even though I was born in the 80s, the 90s own a piece of my heart – the music, the movies, the clothes! If you feel the same way about all things 90s, here are some 90s inspired Halloween costumes!

As I mentioned above Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love watching anything scary and spooky. When I was little, I loved Are You Afraid of the Dark (even though, honestly, they weren’t very scary). This was my favorite episode.  And speaking of Are You Afraid of the Dark, did you know that Ryan Gosling was on an episode?

Enjoy!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Character Names That I Love

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(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The above photo was taken and was altered by me*)

1. Atticus (To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee)

2. Penny Lane (The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg)

3. Clarity (Clarity/Perception by Kim Harrington)

4. Lola (Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins)

5. Delaney (Fractured by Megan Miranda)

6.  Alaska (Looking For Alaska by John Green)

7. Cather (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)

8. Mackie (The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff)

9. Blue (The Raven Boys by The Raven Boys)

10. Gemma (A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray)

A to Z: YA Edition

A few weeks ago, while I was on the road to Oz (North Carolina, that is) I put a my friend in charge of the tunes. At some point we listened to some stand up comedy and finally we landed on Slacker Radio (via my friend’s phone – it’s an App) and on a playlist called 90s A to Z.

In short it was absolutely great! Everything from Nirvana to TLC was accounted for. Seriously, great playlist! So much so that when I got home I made sure to download the Slacker App (and have listened to the 90s A to Z several times already.

But here’s the thing about this playlist, there wasn’t any rhyme or reason. Genres were intermingled, and sometimes it didn’t even make sense why a certain song and/or artist corresponded with the letter. For example, when we got to the letter P I swore it was Pearl Jam. I mean, how could it not be!? Pearl Jam’s Jeremy was a quintessential 90s jam! How could it not.

Well, guess what? Pearl Jam was not for letter P. Instead, it was Peppers, as in the Red Hot Chili’s. I like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And yes, the completely deserve to be on the 90s A to Z play lists, but under P, really?!!

The thing is, with this playlist, anything goes.  The song title didn’t have to begin with the letter it was representing.  The band name (judging by the letter P, and the example above) It just, in some conveluded way has to circle back and relate to the letter it’s representing.

So, I thought I’d have a little fun. First I thought I’d put my own 90s playlist together.  But where would I post it? This isn’t a music blog. Then! The good ol’ light bulb lit up. What if I put together my own A – Z My Best of the Best YA Booklist!

Each letter will be represented by a book or an author. For example, M can be Devilish by Maureen Johnson (get it, M for Maureen?!).

I read a lot of YA, but I also read a lot of children’s (picture) books, so I decided that I’d do two lists – the YA Edition (this one) and next week I’ll post the Children’s Edition.

Without further adieu…

A is for All I Need by Susane Colasanti

B is for Bray, as in the one and only Libba and her 1920s smash The Diviners.

C is for cycle, The Raven Cycle # 1 The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

D is for The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

E is Eliot Schrefer’s Endangered

F is for, what else, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

G is for Green, as in John. The Fault in Our Stars is easily one of my most favorite books!

H is for Harrington, Kim Harrington’s Clarity.

I  is for In, as in in love, as in Falling In Love With English Boys by Melissa Jensen

J is for the J in Ilsa J. Bick and her awesome book Ashes

K is for kill, as in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

L is for Little Blue Envelopes, all 13 of them by Maureen Johnson

M is for Ms. Myracle’s Shine

N is for Nirvana. Not the band, but the book Adios Nirvana by Conrad Wesselhoeft

O is for kicking it old school with R.L. Stine’s One Evil Summer

P is for Perkins, not the restaurant but the author Stephanie and her book Lola and the Boy Next Door

Q is for the Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker

R is for the “r” in Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

S is for Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron

T is for Tara…Tara Altebrando’s Dreamland Social Club

U is for adventures in Underland, and A.G. Howards Splintered.

V is for Violet & Clare by Fancesca Lia Block

W is for the wonders to behold in Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby

X (intentionally left open, because … well I don’t have a have book/author/character that begins with X)

Y is for Brenna Yovanoff’s The Replacement

Z is for Zevin’s All These Things I’ve Done

Shorty Review: The Little Prince

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Title: The Little Prince

Author(s): Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Why Did I Read This Book: I love, love, love the film counterpart. I grew up watching it (on a daily basis might I add). I’ve wanted to read this book for quite some time, mainly to see if it holds as much magic as the movie does (surprise! it does!). But time has never been on my side. So when I did my self-imposed read – a – thon challenge I knew this was my chance!

Thoughts, Likes, and Dislikes: There was so much I liked about The Little Prince. I loved how imaginative this book is. Author Antoine de Saint-Exupery descriptive imagery draws readers into the book, and captures, not just their imaginations, but also their hearts. I also really loved the fact that the plot is original. The Little Prince was originally published in 1943 and there isn’t anything on bookshelves like it. Beyond this, I was very happy to learn, after reading, that the movie was close to the book – because don’t you just hate when you love a book and the movie it’s based upon is a total let down!?

Would I Recommend This to Other Readers: In short, yes!