Collect Teables: Agatha ChrisTea & ShakeSpearmint

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Book Review: Knight of Light (The Watchers Book One)

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Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes.

Knight of Light Synopsis“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form, charged with protecting mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, some of these Watchers go bad. In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

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Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts

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Hello my friends!

I have been kind of missing in action the last few weeks because my whole house was trading a horrible cold around for the last few weeks of November. I finally caught it and was sick on Thanksgiving Day which was not fun. Thankfully we are all over the cold and things are back to normal (ish).

While we were all sick, it gave me some time to cuddle up and read. I happened on a mention of this book by M.R. Carey called “The Girl With All The Gifts”. If you are into Post-Apocalypse Survival fiction you need to read this book right now. All I knew about the book when I started it was that it was after the apocalypse and centered on a girl named Melanie. I’m so glad I didn’t read any spoilers because this book is so unique and I loved being surprised by how things turned out.

The summary on Amazon says:

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

I’m going to review the book below and include some spoilers in the review, so STOP READING NOW if you want to know nothing and come back and talk to me about the awesomeness of this book when you are done!

Still here because you want to know a little more before you read? That’s cool! Let’s get into the review!

spoilers

The novel takes place at a military base in England after the zombie apocalypse. The purpose of this base is to study the virus that turns humans into “hungries”.

Melanie and a group of children that live on the base attend school with several teachers. Melanie’s favorite teacher is Miss Justineau. Miss Justineau is kind to Melanie and all the other students and always greets them by name, even though the kids are always strapped into wheelchairs so that they are unable to even turn their heads. Miss Justineau teaches the children about ancient myths and reads them stories and asks them interesting questions and always listens to their answers.

The other teachers and adults are not so kind. Doctor Caroline Caldwell sometimes comes to their cells and selects children who are wheeled out of their cells and never seen again. Dr. Caldwell is 100% focused on finding a cure, so much so that she has zero problems with removing and dissecting the brains of the children from class.

Why are these kids so special? They were found outside the base and are infected, but they can talk and learn and laugh, however as Miss Justineau is reminded by Sgt. Parks (the main military character in the book) after she breaks the rules and comforts Melanie by touching her, the kids are still “hungries”. Parks reminds Justineau of this by removing the scent blocker that all the humans wear around the kids and then holding his arm above a little boys head…the boy of course goes crazy and tries to bite his arm.

Eventually, Dr. Caldwell decides she must dissect Melanie because Melanie is the best and brightest out of the kids they are holding. Miss Justineau is decidedly NOT okay with that and ends up in the lab fighting Caldwell to try and spare Melanie. About that time, the base is overrun by junkers (survivalists who are trying to make it outside the base) and Sgt. Parks, Caldwell, Justineau, Melanie and another military guy are the only ones who escape.

The rest of the novel kind of ramps up into a typical zombie survival story, but it’s also Melanie and Caldwell coming to some pretty serious revelations about humanity and it’s place in this new world. Caldwell and Justineau continue to fight over whether she is a monster for being willing to do whatever it takes to find a cure and they both make interesting arguments.

I’m not going to give away the ending, because where’s the fun in that, but as someone who has read a ton of Dystopian novels as well as quite a few zombie novels, I REALLY enjoyed the ending because it was partially what I was expecting, but also a pretty decent twist on the typical ending. I realize that doesn’t make a lot of sense right now, so go read the book!

I am going to try and feature more reviews of books I’m reading and since I tend to read a little bit of everything, I should have recommendations for everyone’s taste eventually!

Do you have a favorite Dystopian or Zombie apocalypse novel I should read and review? Let me know in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading!

 

Non Beauty Favorites

Hello my friends!

When I first started reviewing products I did a Monthly Favorites post, but that quickly started to feel like a burden of having to purchase, try and desperately find something I could call my favorite for that month, so I dropped the series. I am not going to start up with monthly favorites, but I do want to start doing favorite posts approximately every 3-4 months.

With that said, what I have for you today is random items I have been OBSESSED with since my last favorite post.  This post will only contain non beauty items, but future favorites posts will be a mix of everything. Are you guys ready to get started? Okay, here we go!

First up is The Hillywood Show.

If you have a fandom, chances are they have done an EXCELLENT parody based on it. Supernatural, Doctor Who, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and a ton more! I also love their behind the scenes videos they release after each parody. If you want to be truly sucked into a YouTube wormhole search for Supernatural/Doctor Who/etc Reaction Videos. Fans always film their first watch of the parodies because Hillywood pick the best reaction for a prize. Check these out:

(Spoilers for Supernatural through mid Season 10 and for all of Tennant’s time as The Doctor)

Each Parody from Hilly and Hannah is amazing and I could easily list them all as favorites, but then this post would be super long!

Up next is the Fox Comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Now, I have seen gifs on Tumblr of this show and they always seemed amusing, but how did I not know that this show is insanely laugh out loud funny! Trent and I have been getting caught up on Hulu and it is amazing. If you were a fan of Scrubs and haven’t started this show go to Hulu right now and get busy!

Finally, here are the books that I have been loving:

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Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. She is the writer for one of my favorite faith based blogs. Every time I have read something on her blog or in one of her two other books, I feel myself saying “Yes, me too. Finally!!” Highly recommend!

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Live From New York: The Complete Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live This is a LONG book, but I think they interviewed everyone still alive who had anything to do with SNL. Nobody pulls any punches and it’s fascinating to read what each person in one of the many feuds/firings etc felt about their situation. If you are an SNL fan and love to get behind the scenes info, check this out!

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) Jenny’s first memoir (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) made me cry from laughing the first time I read it and I still laugh a lot the times I have reread it. I’m not sure why I thought reading Furiously Happy in the parent pickup line at Liam’s school would be a good idea because I was laughing so hard, I was gasping loudly for air and had to put the book down, so no one thought I was crazy. If you are an introvert, have anxiety issues or have dealt with mental illness/depression you need to read her books. It’s nice to read about someone with some of the same anxieties I have and recognize bits of myself.

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The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I actually just finished this book and plan to start the KonMari Method next week. The way Marie has her categories laid out is so simple and makes so much sense! Now, there are some cultural differences, she advises thanking each item for their service or lesson they taught you when you get rid of it and I’m not likely to do that, but I love the idea of touching each item in the category you are working on to see if they “spark joy” for you. I plan on doing a post reviewing the book and the KonMari Method after I have finished working through everything, or I may possibly do several update posts as I make progress, I’m not sure yet.

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Echo Prophecy by Lindsey Fairleigh Okay, so was anyone else obsessed with Ancient Egypt and archeology as a kid? I sure was! This is the first novel in a trilogy that deals with modern day archeologists, Immortal Egyptians, time travel and some romance. There is a short novella that has been released that comes after Echo Prophecy and the second novel in the trilogy has also been released (I’m about to start it), the final book hasn’t been released yet, but I’m hoping soon. Echo Prophecy was a very fast/easy read and I can’t wait to finish this trilogy. If you are looking for something fun to read, try this series!

Okay guys, that is all of my non beauty favorites, what did you think? See anything you like? Have any recommendations for things I should add to my long list of “stuff to try”?

Thanks so much for reading!

All images are from Amazon unless otherwise noted.

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2014 Favorites: Entertainment

Hello my friends! It’s that time of year where all the bloggers are putting out their “Best of 2014” lists and I am no exception! I have split my Favorites into two posts. This post will be about my favorite books, cd and tv shows. I will also be posting a makeup/skincare favorites post!

Let’s get started!

(The pictures will take you to the Amazon listing)
(Affiliate Links)

Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans I follow Rachel’s blog and her twitter account because I really identify and agree with her views on religion and faith.

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff This book focuses not on the myth that Cleopatra was a bombshell who slept her way into power via Rome, but on the fact that she was actually very intelligent and made whatever decisions were necessary to protect herself and her country. Great read!

Blood Will Tell by Kyra Cornelius Kramer This book presents a fascinating theory that the abrupt shift in Henry VIII’s personality was due to him being Kell Positive and having McLeod Syndrome. If you are interested in the Tudor Era of history, I would highly recommend reading this book!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler If you loved Bossypants by Tina Fey or are a Parks and Recreation fan you need to read this book.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson Jenny Lawson’s (aka the Bloggess) memoir is just as funny as her blog. I have read this several times now and still laugh out loud.

1989 by Taylor Swift: I have been keeping my love for this cd quiet, but I no longer care if everyone knows of my love for this fun album!

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been BLOWING MY MIND with its awesomeness.  If you haven’t watched it yet, Season One is available on Netflix. It was a little slow going at first because they were waiting on the CA Winter Soldier reveal, but once that happened it jumped into gear and hasn’t slowed down. We are currently on a hiatus in Season 2 (until freaking MARCH) so you have time to get caught up!

Arrow This show is currently in Season 3 and is still jaw droppingly amazing. Seasons 1 & 2 are on Netflix and if you haven’t tried this show, you need to get busy!

Well, that is all for this years Entertainment Favorites! What did you think of my choices? Do you have any Entertainment Favorites I should check out?

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

What I’m Reading: Diggy (Liam Edition)


Diggy Cover

I was recently given the opportunity to check out this Diggy ebook (you can buy it on Amazon). I was happy to have the chance to review it, because 1. Liam loves (LOVES) anything to do with vehicles and 2. I am still in the process of loading up my new Kindle with things to entertain Liam, so it was a Win/Win for me!

On to the review!

In case you are a new reader (Hello!) or an old reader who hasn’t seen a post about Liam here is a quick run down: Liam is my amazing, funny and handsome four year old son. He also has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Communicatively Disordered and Developmentally Delayed. What all that means is that although he is four years old, developmentally his language is around 22 months old.  His language is starting to emerge, so books like Diggy with short and easy to understand language is perfect for him!

Diggy picture

This book has a lot of vocabulary words (on, up, out, down) which we are currently working on getting Liam to understand and use. It is not complicated and would be perfect for any young toddler who loves construction themed items!

I would happily recommend this book for your toddler and will be looking forward to new releases by the author.

Thanks for reading!

 

Fan Girl Friday Vol 4: The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

FAN GIRL FRIDAY

DISCOVERY OF WITCHESSHADOW OF NIGHTBOOK OF LIFE

 

 

 

 

 

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You guys, I just finished The Book of Life: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy 3) which is the last book in the All Souls Trilogy. I am sad it is over and I really REALLY would like more books in this universe please! I don’t want to say too much and spoil someone, but I want to know more about these people!

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If you love Vampires, Witches and Time Travel then you need to read these books NOW. It’s also a great read if you are into history, as the main character, Dr. Diana Bishop is a professor who specializes in alchemy and she spends a lot of time researching it’s history. She is also descended from the first woman executed in the Salem Witch Trials and wants nothing to do with her heritage.

So now that I have finished the trilogy, I am well into the sadness that I may never learn anything else about these characters and:

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I wish I could go into more detail about the awesomeness of these books, but I really want everyone to read them first!

Have you read these books?

Thanks for reading!