Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Life Right Now



Hello dear friends,

How are you all doing today? It's been awhile since I just wrote a post talking to you all about life, so I'm here today doing just that. Life has been extremely hectic lately. So many things have been happening in such a short amount of time. It''s been overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. I'm so pumped to see where God is taking me, my friends, and family in the next few chapters of our lives. A lot of change is happening, but I trust His hand is going through it all, even if I don't always understand His reasoning.

finally graduated// Guys, I graduated high school!! I'm so beyond excited to be done with this chapter of my life, but also extremely terrified because that means more responsibility and life decisions I'm not ready to make. But not only did I graduate high school, I was able to get my first year of college done through the program "Running Start" that Washington has. It basically allows students to take college courses for free while them still counting as high school credits as well. So I'm kind of going into my sophomore year of college next year too, along with graduating high school. Exciting stuff ya'll.



the wedding// As many of you know, my older brother Zachery went into the Air Force last November, and this June, he came back and got married. I have a married brother. My brother has a wife. It's weird, really really weird. But the wedding was absolutely beautiful! Honestly, I can't think of any other person more perfect for Zach than my new sister, Nicole, and I cannot wait to see where married life takes them (and what their babies look like). They left on Monday to Montana, as that is where Zachary is being stationed, so I already miss their cute faces, but I'll be seeing them again soon, and I know they're on their own little adventure, which is more important.

working lady// For the last two years, I've been a nanny for different families and I've absolutely loved it, but with my dreams of transferring to university and traveling to new countries, I've realized I need a more stable job that gives me solid hours. So here I am, a new, stressed out host at Red Robin. I've been working at Red Robin for over a month now while continuing to nanny, and it's actually worked out super well! Granted, it can be tough and I have to deal with some not so happy people at times, but it's worked out great with my schedule and I've learned a lot! But guys, I could totally do an entire rant post on what it's like to be a host. Honestly, it's only been a month and I already have a couple crazy stories.



next steps// With graduating and completing my first year of college at my local community college, I've been really contemplating what do to next with my life. Should I stay at home for another year and get my AA? Should I transfer to university right away? Should I take a gap year, travel, and do volunteer work? I have a lot of options right now, but I feel kind of stuck. It's hard for me to discern between my own emotions and desires, and God's ultimate plan and His words. So right now, I'm trying to be flexible and at peace: waiting to see where He takes me as I journey on through the high school-free life.



Long time no see, what's new with you? Any exciting news or upcoming decisions? Leave me a comment down below and let's talk about our lives together. 

Have a wonderful day,

Elizabeth 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Hey There June


Hello friends,

As always, I come to you with another wrap up post days later from when June actually started, but hey life is busy and who has time to be on time for everything? Certainly not me. May was a very busy month, but full of a lot of exciting news and June will be even more busy and full of wonderful events, so I'm excited to share with you all what's been happening. Hopefully in a week or two I'll be having some more in-depth posts on my life, but for now, this brief little update will have to do.

Currently// Gathering all the customer nightmare stories at my new job, graduating high school and realizing people know me really well (all my gifts were coffee related-YUM), preparing for my brother's wedding this Sunday, enjoying the sunshine Washington has been blessed with, writing like crazy for all my college classes because finals, trying to post on my Instagram more, and realizing my little brother's 16th birthday is in a week and I've got nothing for him (yet). 

Reading// The Good Rain by Timothy Egan because in my lit class we're studying creative nonfiction written about the Pacific Northwest, and honestly, it's not half bad! Also, Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery. There really is nothing more whimsical than being back in the lovely world of Anne. And Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, which is a super cute summer contemporary that I'm very surprised hasn't disappointed me yet. So far so good.

Listening// To my summer playlist on Spotify, which is currently still a work in progress, but be my guest if you'd like to check it out. My little brother keeps making fun of me, saying each song is basically all the same, but I'm enjoying it so that's all that matters, right? :P He'll just have to put in his own headphones when I play it in the car.

Enjoying// Amanda's post, Enough: my battle with the hustle, the stress, and the busy, and how I found rest (because i think we can all relate and find the beauty in the busy). Julia's post, Glimpse Into Humanity // A Poem From Things I've Seen + Pretty Shadows (because wow have you read her writing because it hurts in every good way possible). Cally's post, core to my lips (because ouch it's like i'm there and feeling all the feelings). And Raquel's post, When You Don't Feel Like Loving God (because so much truth in this).

Loving// The warm weather that has finally arrived in Western Washington, the fast that school is almost done, receiving a mini french press for graduation, picking wildflowers while walking in the forest, afternoon badminton games with my lil bro, my big brother returning from the Air Force tomorrow, car rides with the windows down, Taco Bell's dollar menu, and quiet Saturday mornings reserved for reading and sipping coffee.

Disliking// Being the newbie at work and figuring out life, having a receipt thrown in my face, road work that disappears for a week then surprises you again and makes you late for everything, leaving for class when my dog is still asleep, the fact that coffee costs so much money, swimsuit shopping, and the tragedy of flies getting in your room and not being able to catch them.

Blogging// Hey There May, where I talk about what happened in April and my hopes for May; Travel Diary: Multnomah Falls and Beacon Rock, where I invite you to explore two beautiful places with me; and Five Ways to Have the Ultimate Family Night, where I share all the ingredients for having the perfect family night without spending too much money.

Hoping// To pick up all the things I need for the wedding, finish the rest of my home subjects, figure out work without too much confusion, finish my college classes with a bang, learn how to make relatively easy and healthy dorm room meals, explore the outdoors more, be kind even when it's difficult, and grow more in my relationship with the Lord.



How was your May? Any exciting changes happening or coming up? Leave me a comment down below and tell me about your life (please, I'm nosey and want to know).

Have a wonderful week,

Elizabeth

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Five Ways to Have the Ultimate Family Night



Hello friends,

How are you all doing on this lovely Wednesday? Today I'm here to bring you the ultimate list of how to have an awesome family night without spending all your dough. Now I've been very fortune to grow up in a wonderful home with a family that supports me, and it's really important for me to spend time with them. But sometimes, it's hard to come up with something new to do. If you have that issue too, don't fear because Liz is here! I have a decent amount of experience so hopefully I can help a friend out.

1. explore the outdoors// Okay so if you don't already take advantage of this beautiful world God has created, then grab your family and start doing so! Living in the PNW, I am surrounded by beautiful scenery and easily accessible hikes, but I know a whole lot of other places are too. So find an interesting hike or park you and your family are interested in exploring, grab the camera, and go find a new favorite spot. Trust me, you'll be so glad you did.

2. have a movie night// This awesome idea is just a classic, and it never fails to be a lot of fun. Make a run to the supermarket, or just your pantry, grab you classic movie snacks, and pick out a movie the entire family will (hopefully) all enjoy. Personally, my family and I take forever to pick a perfect movie, but we normally find something for everyone. And don't forget about movie dialogue, unless your family forbids talking while watching a movie, in that case we really can't be friends.

So recently Pureflix.com was brought to my attention and I was asked if I'd like to make my readers aware of their free trial. If you don't know about Pureflix, it's kind of like Netflix, but provides family friendly movies about love, faith, and friendship. It's an awesome resource for families, so if you'd like to check out their free trial, click here for more information. (Seriously go check it out because it's awesome).


The Prince of Egypt. An animated classic and a childhood favorite, you cannot go wrong with this awesome movie and its amazing soundtrack. But warning: the movie will leave you with "Through Heaven's Eyes" stuck in your head for days.
October Baby. Now a completely different feel from the Prince of Egypt, this movie is an emotional heart breaker. Honestly I have cried so many times while watching this movie. The story itself is so raw, but really important. Definitely recommend. 
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Another childhood classic, you can't not enjoy this beautiful tale. Fans of the book will definitely love this movie, and it's done wonderfully. The acting is amazing and the film itself is so beautiful. It's hard to believe someone hasn't seen this movie, but if you haven't, go now and do yourself a favor. 
I'm Not Ashamed. Another heavy story, it's about Rachel Joy Scott, the first student to be killed in the shooting at Columbine High School. The movie focuses on her life and events that lead up to her death, but also share the inspiring message of remembering to put our trust in God and sharing kindness to those around us.
The Secret Life of Pets. A super funny imagination of what a pet's life might be like when the owner isn't around. Totally worth the watch, even if your entire family "claims" to be too old for animated movies.

3. play backyard sports// If you have a big enough family, go outside and get some exercise. My brother's and I especially love starting a game of baseball or football in our yard. But any sport will do! The nice thing about just chilling with you family, is that it doesn't have to get too formal, you don't even have to have a super large yard, just some energy and maybe some sports equipment.

4. pull out the board games// Now this is a risky choice, because if you pick the wrong board game (cough cough, monopoly), you might be there for awhile. But there are a lot of fun board games and card games that don't take years to finish, but can still create a fun atmosphere for you and your family.


Life. This game is a lot of fun, as it's really interactive and entertaining, without taking hours to finish the game. You start off the game fresh out of high school, and through a series of events you must chose, or land on, you end the game with retirement. Basically, whoever wins with the most assets, wins. Is it the best representation of life? No, but it's still a ton of fun. 
Clue. The classic, whose done it? This is great for the competitive family, because you get to suspect each other and figure out clues. Basically, you're trying to figure out the murderer and the weapon of choice before anyone else.
Apples to Apples. Now if you have a larger family, this game is perfect for you! Bound to create lots of laughter and "friendly" debate, this will for sure entertain you for quite a bit. Plus, if you get sick of playing Apples to Apples the traditional way, the directions includes all sorts of ways to mix it up so you're really playing a game with multiple possibilities. 

5. try a new recipe// If your family is anything like mine, you probably have a cupboard dedicated to unused cookbooks just waiting for flour to be spilt on them. Plan an evening with your family to sort through those books and find a recipe you want to experiment with! Not only is it fun, but it's practical and might cause you to find a new favorite meal.



What kind of activities do you enjoy doing with your family? Did I leave anything obvious out? As always, leave me a comment down below and talk about what your ultimate family night is. I'd have to say mine is anything that means ice cream is involved, let's be real.

Have a wonderful week,

Elizabeth

Monday, May 15, 2017

Travel Diary: Multnomah Falls and Beacon Rock


Hello friends,

On our way home from Portland (see travel diary here), my mom and I stopped at Multnomah Falls and Beacon Rock to explore and take some cool photos. We thought that after all the Thai food, hashbrowns, and doughnuts we ate that we better get a couple hikes in to balance it all out. I'm glad we made that decision, because we saw some really beautiful sights and got a couple awesome pictures. Plus Beacon Rock was a workout, so let's keep our fingers crossed that the balancing out thing really worked. ;)



Multnomah Falls is a really popular place and I've seen so many pictures of it on my instagram feed, but I haven't gotten the opportunity to see it in person until this trip. It was really beautiful! Sadly, it was kind of cold and pretty busy, but we were able to get a few good pictures, and afterwards picked up some coffee from their overpriced but amazing coffee stand. I also got one of those collection pennies, which always makes me happy. I've been collecting those pennies for years now and I never fail to buy one if I see a machine.








Beacon Rock was so beautiful! Granted, it was very steep and took the breath out of me (it was...breathtaking. hah hah hah), but the views were amazing and the trail itself was really cool. I'm kind of afraid of heights, so for portions of the trail I was sort of shaking, but for the most part it felt pretty safe and it was just really cool to observe how it had been constructed. My mom and I took a lot of breaks on the trek up, which led to a lot more pictures and another selfie. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad my mom and I took the opportunity to hike it.




What kind of trips and cool adventures have you been on lately? Are there any interesting landmarks or secret hiking trails around where you live? Impromptu adventures are often the best kind, so leave me a comment down below about yours!

Have a wonderful week,

Elizabeth

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hey There May


Hello friends,

How are you on this beautiful May day? Currently it's about 60 degrees and sunny here in lovely Washington. Yes I complain about the weather here a lot, but at the end of the day, I do love where I live and how green and clear spring days can be. But enough with the weather, April has been a crazy month and it's time to talk about it. And yes, I come to you with another monthly wrap up post a week late, it's just a pattern I'm sticking to apparently. I feel like every post ever on my blog this year has been talking about how busy I am, but guys it's just that it's senior year and I really am SO busy. It feels so good to be writing again, though, I'm glad to be back.

Currently// Job searching because I need to afford college, preparing to graduate from high school, collecting a giant sweet n sour stash, reading more PNW literature than I ever imagined, listening to Jim Dale's Harry Potter audio books, celebrating my puppy's first birthday, writing excessively for school and then writing some more, and preparing for college because GUYS I GOT ACCEPTED INTO MY DREAM SCHOOL. *shoots off all the confetti*

Reading// The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven by Sherman Alexie. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit skeptical when going into this short story collection. First off, I had no idea what it was about, but mostly I just don't really enjoy short stories. I'm reading this for my lit class, and I've ended up really enjoying it. All our discussions are fantastic and Alexie's stories have so much to unpack. I'm also reading Dizzy In Your Eyes: Poems About Love by Pat Mora. I just recently read a poetry collection and was super unsatisfied with it, but this collection I'm enjoying quite a bit more.

Listening// Thanks to Miss Elissa, I've now been obsessed with listening to the Broadway soundtrack of the Little Mermaid because wow, it's so amazing. Elissa was involved in a local theater program that was redoing the show, so after watching the performance I just become obsessed with the music and characters. Definitely worth taking a listen.

Enjoying// Sophia's post, Lonely Friday Braids (because the pictures but also everything she says is just like yup, i get it). Clara's post, I Never Really Knew If You Were My Lighthouse or My Storm (because so much emotion and beauty). Lindsey's post, 4.28.17 (because i can so relate and yes he is so so good). Sami's post, Fireproof (because she's an amazing writer and the imagery is just so perfect). And Julia's post, The Crutch (because wow i love her and she's always challenging me).

Loving// The beautiful days Washington has been getting, drinking iced lattes, learning new skills, belting out to awesome musicals in the car, Tuesday morning breakfasts with my grandpa, kind strangers, awesome finds from the thrifstore, a dress that makes me feel like Tinker Bell, and evenings full of laughter, friends, breadsticks, and dancing.

Disliking// Awkward interview happenings, being a klutz and spilling water on my desk three times in one week, having another cold and having to sniffle 1000 times while in class, having a super awesome person live all the way across the country from me, and giving up one great thing in exchange for another.

Blogging// Hey There April, where I talk about my March happenings and April goals, and Travel Diary: Portland, Oregon, where I discuss how my trip to Portland went and share some pictures.

Hoping// To find a job with enough hours, spend less money on food, do well on my upcoming midterms, procrastinate less and have more time to sleep, figure out college registration, deep clean my room, and find more time to read outside of school assignments.



How was your April? Any exciting news to share? I'd love to hear it! Guys I'm so excited to be accepted into my dream school, but preparing to leave has been so crazy, so I apologize for being so absent recently. Hopefully all is going well in the blogging world and I'll be jumping back in soon.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Elizabeth

Monday, April 17, 2017

Travel Diary: Portland, Oregon


Hello everyone,

During the last week of March, I was able to leave for a pretty exciting trip over spring break. Over finals, I was talking to my mom and telling her how bummed I was about not being able to plan a fun trip over break. A couple days later she came to me with a plan: road tripping it down to Portland and exploring the city. Of course I thought that was a pretty solid idea, thus we set out on March 27th and spent four days exhausting our feet and feasting our eyes while exploring the beautiful city of Portland.



So you can't really go to Portland and not eat lots of food, right? Thanks to a friend of mine, we were reccomenned an adorable local breakfast place called Gravy. It was very popular, as the wait time was quite long, but the food was pretty good and the place itself was adorable. My mom and I filled up on coffee and breakfast, then we explored the town around the diner we ate it. Sadly I didn't think to take any pictures, but it was the cutest little community, I would definitely revisit. 




Quite a lot of our time was spent exploring downtown Portland and checking out the different shops. One of the highlights was visiting Powell's, a three-story bookstore that takes up an entire block. it was probably the mostly beautiful place I've ever been, but I was an idiot and didn't take one decent picture (yes so much shame). 

But Portland overall is just a really lovely city. There were so many interesting looking buildings all over, just randomly in the middle of the city. It was really cool to see all the contrast from street to street, and of course attempting to take some pictures of them. I was also really struck by how clean the city was. I've been to a few well known, large cities and more often than not they smell a bit funky and have quite the amount of garbage along the streets. Portland was quite nice and felt very safe to walk wherever, which is always a plus. 





Another really cool place we got to visit was the Portland Art Museum. I really enjoy art, even though I'm a terrible artist myself, so it was really cool to see all different paintings and artists under one roof. There are so many different expressions of art, some I find quite breathtaking and some I am completely confused by, but all in all I had a good time. Plus, I got to see a Monet and Van Gogh painting! I was pretty excited about that, not going to lie. 




Again, I just really really adore the variety of buildings here in Portland, they're all so beautiful in their own way. I especially loved this pink skyscraper, isn't it just adorable? I have no idea what goes on in there, but I would love to work/live in a pink-tinted skyscraper.

After exploring the art museum for a bit, mom and I continued to explore downtown some more. We may or may not have done a bit (or a lot) of shopping. I don't know what it is, but there's something about being on vacation that makes spending money on yourself a lot easier than it is at home. I'm proud to say I didn't go too crazy, but I did buy a few things I probably didn't need. Even so, it was a lot of fun shopping with my mom and walking around the city.




Another really beautiful thing about Portland is its park along the water. As it was spring, it was the time of year when the cherry blossoms are blooming, making it even prettier than normal. It made quite the beautiful spot, and we were able to get some cool pictures. I thought it was a pretty cool spot, if I lived in Portland, it would definitely be a place I would go to often.




One of the last things we did before heading out the next morning was stop at Voodoo Doughnuts. It's likely you've heard of this place, as it is quite popular and actually part of the reason I wanted to visit the city as a whole (hey no judgment, people do crazy things for what they're passionate about). And I'm happy to report that these doughnuts are so worth the hype and trip down. No joke, they are without a doubt the yummiest doughnuts I've ever tasted. They were so fluffy and like eating something an angel made and dropped from heaven. Okay so I might be exaggerating, but gosh they were good.

All in all, I may have completely fallen in love with this city. I mean, how could you not? Beautiful buildings, a giant bookstore, super duper clean, and heavenly doughnuts, what's not to like? Aesthetically, it's quite the beautiful spot and totally worth the trip to visit. I may or may not be considering going again sometime this summer...we'll see. ;)




Have you visited Portland yet? If not, why?? Because you totally should and then let me know so I can meet you and we can go book shopping and eat doughnuts. Speaking of doughnuts, what are your favorite flavors? Are you a traditional person, or do you put weird things on your doughnuts, like cereal or bacon?

Hope you had a lovely Easter,

Elizabeth

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hey There April


Hello,

Wow, it's April, April!! I'm not quite sure where all the time has gone, seriously it feels like March went by in a flash. The first half of March was spent stressing over finals and the SATs, and then the second half was spent working and enjoying spring break. Now it's April and I'm back at it with school. But March, although as fast as it went by, it was quite an enjoyable month. Even with stressful finals, it was nice to check off a lot of stuff off my to-do list. I'm quite looking forward to April as well, along with the upcoming months. A lot of exciting things are happening (awesome classes, weddings, new jobs) and I'm pretty pumped to share a few of my life happenings with all you lovely people this spring.

Currently// housesitting for Elissa's family and chilling with her adorable dog, taking some awesome new classes at my community college, face timing Julia just because she's awesome, low key in love with my new blog design, attempting to create a pretty note-taking system for art history, trying to catch up on school so I can graduate, taking senior pictures, and writing a mini novel in verse (maybe).

Reading// A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and let me tell you, I'm really not a fan. The writing, although not bad, is not the type of style I enjoy, the main character is very distant and the narrative is just super odd. The story itself is also just not my favorite. I then started Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte and wow I'm in love and only 40 pages in. I adore Anne's style of writing and Agnes herself is such a real character. So far so good.

Listening// I've been listening to the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack nonstop lately. I went and saw the movie a couple weeks ago with a friend, and then my mom and I went and saw it again while on our trip in Portland, and I fell in love with it even more. Classic music, plus the 2017 version has Obi Wan singing so obviously it's fantastic. 

Enjoying// Julia's post, where is the beauty (because whoa she is so talented and gives me all the feels). Elissa's post, hey there tired soul (because everyone needs to hear these words). Addy's post, two months (because everything about this was breathtaking). Raquel's post, The Righteous In This City (because God is good and it was so thought provoking). Cally's post, hope (because everything she writes makes me cry and I love her). And Clara's post, fragile (because so much scary truth).

Loving// spontaneous facetimes with awesome people, sunny days giving me excuses to wear sandals, road-trips with my lovely mother, bookstores that take up an entire block, buying new sweaters because discounts, Carl's Jr.'s waffle fries, starting new art journals, and spring break allowing me to sleep in and relax a little bit.

Disliking// rush hour traffic, yummy french fries making me fat, starting school again and forcing myself to wake up early, scaring myself by watching criminal minds before I go to bed, forgetting to pack food and my stomach making scary noises during class, headaches, and excessive ammounts of rainy days. 

Blogging// Hey There March, where I talk about my February happenings and March goals. Blessed is the One Whom God Corrects // Job 3-5, where I talk about Job and how God uses trials to shape us. And Top Five Winter Reads + Reading Stats, where I talk about my favorite reads of the past few months and how my reading year is going.

Hoping// to figure out how each of my classes work, get my SAT scores back, find out if I get accepted to my top college, force myself to work out more, eat out less, join a small group and dig deeper into God's word, and laugh more than I roll my eyes. 


How was your March? Any exciting spring break trips coming up (or ones that already happened?) And seriously can you believe it's April already? Guys where is the time going, this year is going by crazy fast.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Elizabeth 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Top Five Winter Reads + Reading Stats


Hello friends,

First things first, I finally redesigned my blog!! I've been wanting to do this for awhile and I'm so happy with how it turned out. As you can see, I even renamed my blog. Thoughts? Thanks to the beautiful and wonderful Julia, I was able to get something on the blog that I really love and I'm super excited for this new look, so I'm really hoping you guys like it too.

Today I'm discussing my top five reads of the winter. I thought this would be an easier way to discuss my reading life versus giving an overview of every book I read during the month. My winter reading season was pretty decent, so I'm really excited to share with you the new books I discovered and enjoyed during the past couple of months.

1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent



  • THE WRITING IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. Hannah Kent writes in a way that is so completely raw. At times it was so formal and stoic, and then other times completely atmospheric and haunting. She wrote in a way that placed you in the middle of the story, in the center of the characters' minds. It was phenomenal. 
  • COMPLETELY RAW IN EVERY WAY. Like wow, Kent weaved together a story the was so dark and bleak and kept nothing out. She was not shy about including the messy, grittiness of 19th century rural Iceland. My heart broke multiple times, let me tell you. So much hurt and human endurance were within these pages.
  • SO CHARACTER DRIVEN. This might not be a plus for some people, but I adore character driven books, so this made me even happier with the story. We follow the life of Agnes, who she is, who she was, and how she got to the point of killing her master. I was so deep into her life, it was difficult to put the story down.
  • HISTORICAL GOODNESS. I adore historical fiction and am so excited I found another one that I love. Kent actually was inspired to write this story from her travels in Iceland, which I find so awesome.
  • DESCRIPTION GALORE. As a person who has never been to Iceland, I don't know exactly what the countryside looks like, but that didn't matter with Burial Rites because Kent had such a strong descriptive voice. The characters, landscape, and environment were perfectly illustrated,

  • OCCASIONALLY A LITTLE TOO GRAPHIC. As I said, the story itself is extremely raw and Kent doesn't sugar coat anything, thus giving an occasional violently or sexually graphic scene. 
  • A LITTLE DRY PLOT WISE. You sort of know what the outcome is going to be when you start the book, so there's not a huge complex plot you're following. 



The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss



  • SO MANY HUGGABLE CHARACTERS. Kvothe is my baby, I adore him. He's sassy and smart and flawed and just adorable. And all the side characters are just precious little cinnamon buns (you know, except for all the evil people) and I want to be friends with them all. 
  • MAGIC. Umm this is a really solid reason and doesn't really need explaining, but the magic system is so cool!! Plus there's a magic school so obviously it's a pretty awesome read.
  • ACTION AND PLOT GALORE. So much was going on in this story and it really worked. I loved following Kvothe's life, rooting for him. and uncovering secrets. You span so many events with Kvothe, so it's just really cool and exciting. 
  • MUSICALLY TALENTED PEOPLE. There was so much focus on music and the importance of it. All I want in my life is to listen to Kvothe play his lute and sing. 
  • ALSO THERE WAS A DRAGON. Which is amazing and worth all 700 pages right? 

  • A BIT SLOW AT TIMES. Although I really loved the characters and there was quite a bit of action, there were a few times the story dragged a bit, but that's to expected in such a chunky book. Because of those slow moments, it took me longer to finish this book than it normally would have. 




An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir



  • SUPER DEVELOPED CHARACTERS. Like wow, all of them were so amazing and fleshed out. I adored our two main characters and their butt kicking friends. The evil characters were also nicely done and villains I enjoyed reading about. 
  • SO MUCH ACTION. Action after action after action. This was such a fast paced read and I couldn't put it down. Events were always going down and Sabaa Tahir was constantly keeping me on the edge of my seat. 
  • STELLAR WRITING. Tahir is a wonderful writer! She was descriptive without over doing it and created really natural characters with real dialogue. Nothing about the story and characters seemed fake-like, Tahir did such an amazing job of creating a fictional story that seems so real, I was fully immersed in the lives of these characters and the events that were happening. 
  • INFLUENCED BY ANCIENT ROME. Umm how cool is that? It's dark and violent and full of action and fighting. It's cool.

  • NOT ENOUGH WORLD BUILDING. Tahir was super descriptive with characters and setting, but there was not a lot of background information.
  • MISSUSE OF VIOLENCE. I like dark and suspenseful books, and there was a ton of awesome action from this book in particular, but at times it would use violence as shock factor without it doing anything to the plot, which was just annoying. 



The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith


  • SO MUCH CUTENESS. I don't smile or giggle a lot while reading books, but this book had me laughing and grinning all the time. The characters are little adorable cookies and wow I adored them.
  • SET IN AN AIRPLANE. They meet at an airport and then sit next to each other on the plane and have adorable conversations and fall asleep on each other's shoulders. *cue fangirl squealing*
  • THEN SET IN LONDON. And people have British accents so it's cool. 
  • ACTUALLY REALLY REAL. Although it sounds like it would have insta love and unrealistic characters, everything about the book seemed really natural. The situations and feelings each character went through were all relatable and the dialogue was actual human dialogue.
  • A SUPER FLUFFY READ. This was just a super easy read and I flew through it. It's a nice story to indulge in when you need something that isn't too heavy and has a happy ending. 

  • A LITTLE TOO MUCH CHEESE. Cute story, cute guy, but lots of cheese piled on top of it. 
  • MAKES YOU WANT TO MISS ALL YOUR FLIGHTS. Because if that happens you'll meet an adorable British dude named Oliver who will fall in love with you and buy you chocolate and bring you to London. Right?



Hidden by Helen Frost



  • WRITTEN IN VERSE. Which for some people this is not a plus, but I love anything in verse so this was a huge deal for me (If you have more recommendations on books in verse hit me up friends). 
  • POWERFUL STORY. It's about a girl who was accidentally kidnapped and the daughter of the accidental kidnapper. Their stories are really interestingly interwinded and there is so much development that goes on within the pages about dealing with your past, abuse, social status, and friendships. 
  • SUPER SHORT, FAST READ. I believe I read this in a day, I completely flew through the story. Helen Frost was able to create a powerful punch in such a short amount of time, which I really admire.
  • BEAUTIFUL WRITING. Hidden really reflects the kind of writing that I just really love. Everything about it was super atmoshperic and placed you into the character's minds, which I think is really important with writing in verse when trying to portray emotions and hardships.


  • OVERUSED TROPES. Rich girl with a group of rich friends vs. the poor girl. Rich girl realizes poor girl isn't that bad. Cute boy rich girls like falls in love with poor girl. Not necessarily bad or unrealistic, just a bit uncreative. 
  • ENDING BEGAN TO DRAG. The plot began to slow as the ending drew near since a few problems get resolved early on.


Reading Stats

  • 16/70 books read in 2017
  • six 5/5 stars read this winter (City of Heavenly Fire, Burial Rites, An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, The Name of the Wind, and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
  • five 4/5 stars read this winter (A Little Something Different, The Stonekeeper, Anya's Ghost, Page by Paige, and Hidden)
  • five 3/5 stars read this winter (Graceling, The Horse and His Boy, Three Dark Crowns, Stalking Jack the Ripper, and The Pacific Northwest: An Interpretive History)



What books have you read this winter? Any recommendations? I would love to discover more historical fiction novels or books written in verse, so if you have any floating around in your head, let me know! Don't forget to friend me on goodreads so you can get daily updates on what I'm currently reading and enjoying.

Have a wonderful week,

Elizabeth 


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