Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist Review / Transferred from old blog.

A friend of mine gave me Present Over Perfect last week as a gift. She knows me well; I don’t even have to tell her when something is wrong, she just knows. She knows my deepest struggles, which is why she bought me this book.

The struggle with having it all together, trying to please everyone but those who I truly love, and not having enough time in the day for God is very near to me.

I picked this book up at the perfect moment. I’d just finished having a meltdown, thinking about next semester and all that it will bring. I teared up, but I didn’t let them drop down on my cheeks. I simply blinked the pain back until I could contain it, numb it.

Little did I know that this book would hold the answers. Or maybe not the answers, but a path. A path that I believe God wants me to be on. I’ve been paving a way for myself that I thought met His needs, when I actually didn’t have enough time for the most basic thing God asks of me: to walk with Him, to talk with Him, to have a relationship with Him.

I haven’t been doing that.

Shauna Niequist wrote the book that tells people how to slow down, how to appreciate life for all that it is and not all that we want to make it. She shows us how to focus on our body, soul, and relationship with God. She emphasizes relationships with our family and friends versus a “busy” life that prevents us from cultivating meaningful relationships.

This is a book about living life the right way, they way that I’ve struggled to pinpoint for so long.

I highly recommend it to anyone who feels like their life is too hectic, who regrets not creating meaningful relationships with those who matter, or anyone who just wants to slow down.

It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. And not everyone is going to agree with the decisions you make regarding making peace in your life. It’s not about them, though. It’s about you and God.

The one thing I didn’t like about the book was the unorganized feel it had to it. I understood the goals of each chapter, but not necessarily how they were interconnected within each part of the book.

Besides that, I give it 5/5 stars. What a great way to start the New Year.

And yes, that is my mermaid blanket underneath the book in this photo.

I was featured on Epic Reads???

Last week, I was going through various stories on my Bookstagram account and I saw that a few accounts I follow were featured on Epic Reads, which is basically a site run by HarperCollins for YA readers.

Wow,” I thought, “That would be so cool. To be featured on a site like Epic Reads really puts you at the top of the Bookstagram game. You can call yourself a pro once you’ve accomplished that.” And I wistfully stared into my screen, wishing that I could be as good as the accounts I follow. I didn’t bother checking the page, because there wasn’t a link so I didn’t have easy access.

BUT THEN, I found a comment on one of my Bookstagram posts the other day that read:

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So I went to Epic Reads and sure enough, I had been featured in the same article that some of my favorite Bookstagrammers were in. I couldn’t believe it. Epic Reads thinks I’m swoon worthy??

Here is the post. 

I wanted to tell Epic Reads that I didn’t deserve it, that other accounts were far more lovely than mine. I’m just a 21 year old who works at a cherry store and substitute teaches part time; I wanted to tell them that I’m not some professional book person.

But then I realized that BAM! I am a professional book person, because Epic Reads thinks I’m freaking swoon worthy. That’s right.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my small moment of fame with my fellow book bloggers. Check out my Instagram here. This is the photo that got me featured:

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Have a lovely day!

I hope that we can all be featured by our favorite book media outlets some day.

Sincerely,

The Biblio Princess

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Review / Transferred from old blog.

I began this book after seeing it countless times on Instagram. Around Thanksgiving I visited my aunt and uncle’s house in Ohio only for them to send me away with books upon books that they didn’t want anymore. The Night Circus was one of them.

This is a very peculiar book to describe, because it is a quite peculiar book indeed. What you must know is that it is unlike any other book you’ve ever read. The narrative is beautiful, as well as the story that it tells.

The premise of the adventure is that two “magicians” have been battling for years over which format for performing magic is best. They challenge each other by teaching students their methods and then placing the students in some type of an arena (not often a typical one) where they must see who can perform the longest. The winner of the challenge is proven to have the best method of teaching magic. Celia Bowen is only six when she’s taken to her father, Hector Bowen. Hector decides to make her his student, and challenges Alexander, otherwise known as the man in the grey suit, to find a competitor. When he does, marvelous plans for a circus evolve. The circus is magnificent and stands apart from other circuses. There are many tents, all filled with amazing and breathtaking acts and talents. There is a draw to the circus, so much so that some people never want to leave. However, the circus is the arena, and Celia and her opponent, Marcus, must hold it up until the other cannot do so anymore. You must be warned: this is a story of unrequited love that may or may not be solved.

I found this book to be magical, for lack of a better word. It simply was. The circus is described in a way that makes your mouth water. The characters’ relationships keep you hanging on for what’s at stake. There is an ever-present air of mystery around every action that happens in the book.

Here’s how I rate it:

The writing – Simply wonderful. I haven’t read a book this poised in so long. Morgenstern makes the circus real to the reader, even when such a spectacle has never existed. When she describes the food at the circus, it is almost like reading J.K. Rowling describes the feasts at Hogwarts. And that is a high standard. What exists in that aspect exists in others. Morgenstern makes you want to be at the circus, just as her characters cannot stand to be without it. I’m amazed at how her descriptions came to life. 5/5. 

The plot – The plot was magnificent toward the end of the book. I felt that it was a bit slow at first, and had trouble reading through this as fast as I could other books. However, this is because there had to be a lot of buildup in order to get what needed to be done set up. I did feel that some parts could have been taken out to shorten the book, but I may not have as deep an understanding of the plot as the author does. Surely, everything in this book happens for a reason. 4/5. 

The characters – I loved the characters in this novel. They felt real, full of life, and I was drawn into them from the beginning. The love between Celia and Marcus felt so tangible, like I too could feel the tension that followed them wherever they went. I also loved Poppet and Widget, who became a part of the circus the day they were born- they quite literally started and ended their lives with the show. Even the characters that I didn’t like- Hector, Alexander, Isobel, and Chandresh, were still so well developed that I had to admire the author’s work. 5/5.

In total, I give this book 4.5/5 stars. I highly recommend it to lovers of well-told stories. It is not a book you read to quickly pass the time, or one that you can read mindlessly. Read this book with the intention of being amazed.

As for age-related content, please note that this book does contain one scene involving sex. However, it is not realistic. I believe it could be handled by ages 14+.

First & Then by Emma Mills Book Review / Transferred from old blog

I watched Elmify (Author, Emma Mills) on YouTube in middle school, when I attempted to make my own channel inspired by hers. That was, undoubtedly, a preconceived failure. My middle school years turned to high school years, and I didn’t have time to watch my dear Elmify anymore. Little did I know that I’d turn right back into a more mature, sophisticated (or so I like to think) version of my middle school self once I reached the college level. What I’m trying to say is, I spend a lot of time with my nose in a book, my fingers with a pen or on a keyboard, or my eyes on a screen, watching booktube or, like, the vlogbrothers. I’m basically just a better looking, more mentally, emotionally, and physically stable version of my middle-school self. And I’m so fine with that.

So here I was, perusing Booktube, Elmify and her wit not having crossed my mind since the day I received my eighth grade diploma and award for perfect attendance, and moved on to “bigger” and “better” things. One of my favorite booktubers holds up Emma Mills’ book and says something along the lines of, “This book is by Elmify, another youtuber,” and I was struck dumb. My Elmify had published a book. What a dream. I always knew I loved her.

I put First & Then on my Christmas wish-list and it was a done deal. Now I’m here to tell you about my experience reading it.

Summary – 

First things first, the book centers around Devon Tennyson, a particularly apathetic and ordinary senior in high school. She silently watches her best-friend and forever crush, Cas, from the sidelines of the football field. Her normal life is flipped when her family takes in her cousin, Foster. Foster asks a lot of questions and doesn’t seem to fit in quite the way the other kids do, but he has a secret talent that Ezra Lynley, the star of the football team, cannot ignore. Ezra takes a liking to Foster, and maybe someone else, when he realizes the freshman’s potential as a kicker on the football team. First Foster, and then Ezra, are thrust into Devon’s life without her control.

How did I feel about it?

The writing – the writing was inexplicably witty and intelligent. I recall this from Elmify’s videos, and really enjoyed reading her style of writing. She’s smart, but at the same time laugh-out-loud funny. Seriously, I haven’t giggled into the creases of a book since I read The Rosie Project. 5/5.

The plot – I’m not going to lie. I felt that the first 150 pages, though incredibly well written, were a little slow. No much was really going on for a while. I pushed through because I had faith in the quality of Emma’s writing. Eventually, though, it does pick up and from there it gets very interesting. There are a lot of small aspects from the beginning woven into the end, and I enjoyed that. 3/5.

The characters – I can’t say I’m surprised since I’m in love with Mr. Darcy, but I’m also in love with Ezra Lynley. First of all, he’s sultry and comes of as a total asshat. No kidding, in real life I’ve always thought that the man I fall in love with will probably somewhat of a jerk to others, but a sweetheart to me. But that’s not up for discussion right now; I’ll save it for another blog post, I promise. Besides Devon, the characters all had some sort of backstory that brought a bit of mystery to the book, just like real life. You never really know what people are going through or have gone through. This existed for Ezra as well, which drew me into him even further. Ugh. I just. Can’t. Woah. I was slightly bothered by how apathetic and seemingly boring Devon was, but that was sort of the point of a lot of the book, so I can’t be too bothered. 4/5.

While it took me a while to really start flipping the pages, I liked this book a lot. It gave me a lot of smiles, laughs, and thought-provoking moments. I look forward to seeing what else Emma Mills, perviously known to me as Elmify, writes in the future. I know that she has two more books signed with her publisher thus far. 4/5.

Forewarnings to a younger audience reading this book: a lot of underage drinking, talk of sex, talk of parental drug abuse. Besides that, there’s some kissing and swearing, but it really isn’t obscene. I’d recommend for 13+.

If you’re looking for a cozy, funny, relatable read, this is a good one to pick up.

Carry On Book Review / Transferred from my old blog.

Searching for a fantasy book that is equally warm, fuzzy, and hysterical? I’m writing to tell you about Rainbow Rowell’s new novel, Carry On. It fits all of the above to a T.

What’s interesting about this novel, is that the cast of characters actually exists in her last young adult novel, Fangirl. Rowell decided after finishing Fangirl that she had to tell these character’s stories. And boy, did she ever. The plot was originally a fanfiction of various existing published fantasy series.

Simon Snow is back for his last year at Watford, a magikal school in the midst of a Normal world. Upon return, he expects many things – delicious scones, reuniting with his girlfriend and best friend, Agatha and Penny, and, of course, his horrible, vampire roommate, Tyrannus Basilton “Baz” Pitch.
Simon hates Baz with all he has, despises him to the point of obsession. When Baz fails to come back to Watford that year, Simon wonders what plan he has up his sleeve.

There are dark forces in the magikal world. The Insidious Humdrum, a villain leaving behind areas void of magik whenever he attacks,  took Simon and Penny the year before. To their shock, the Humdrum looks exactly like the one chosen to defeat him, Simon. Back at school this year, the Mage (the head of the school and the magikal world) thinks Simon should go away for the year to be in hiding. That’s the last thing Simon wants to do. He needs to stay at Watford to enjoy his last year and find out where Baz is and what he’s up to.

In a story that is equally funny as it is mysterious, Rowell captivates her readers. I have loved reading every single one of her novels, and was hesitant that this was her first fantasy genre book. To my pleasure, it was just as good, if not better, than her previous books. The plot-twists and backstories are well thought out, the characters are diverse and likable, and the world of her creation is one you wish you lived in.

I give Rainbow Rowell 5/5 stars for Carry On.

I recommend this book to Harry Potter lovers, those who enjoyed any of Rowell’s other YA books, fans of light fantasy, and just any teen in general. I do warn that the book contains bisexual characters and a few descriptions could be considered graphic depending on what the reader has been exposed to in the past.

Thanks for reading,

21 Proms Book Review / Transfer from my old blog

Hi guys, so before I start this I just want to say that I’m going to be queueing my old book reviews from my old blog before I delete that one. So if these reviews seem like old news, that’s why 🙂
ONWARD, MY FRIENDS:

Phew. So I have had a long day. Here’s a book update for you all. If you weren’t aware, I’m studying to be a high school English teacher – mostly because I love books, talking about books, want to get kids excited about that passion too, and would like to make a difference in their lives. I read a lot of Young Adult fiction. You can check out my Goodreads account to get updated on what I’m reading and what I like.
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I’m currently reading: I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Just finished: The Heir by Kiera Cass, and of course the book this post is about…
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So as I’m writing this I’ve just finished reading 21 Proms by various young adult authors*. It’s a collection of short stories about, you guessed it, prom. I know that this review doesn’t really matter to the authors or anyone looking for a professional review, but I think I can give a good recommendation to fellow readers.

There are, in fact, 21 short stories in the collection. I found some of them that I liked, and some of them that I didn’t. That’s very typical of short story collections for me. There are always the ones that I really, really adore and those that I can’t stand to continue reading (though I do anyway). A few that I loved include: You Are A Prom Queen, Dance Dance Dance (Elizabeth Craft), Better Be Good to Me (Daniel Ehrenhaft), Three Fates (Aimee Friedman), How I Wrote to Toby (E. Lockhart), Apology #1 (Ned Vizzini), See Me (Lisa Ann Sandel), Chicken (Jodi Lynn Anderson), The Backup Date (Leslie Margolis), and The Great American Morp (John Green). The Great American Morp was my personal favorite.

I can’t talk about every story individually, but I can speak for them all as a whole. Even when I didn’t like a story, I could see the truth of it peeking out and telling me something. There are stories about gay couples, lesbian couples, troubled teens, sex, and more, which are all topics that deserve to be talked about or read about. It’s the truth of the situation, sometimes.

A lot of the stories talked about prom being a rite of passage in life. I went to one prom, not even my own schools prom, and didn’t feel like it was the best thing ever. But do I regret going? No, I think I needed to experience it to know what it was all about, to understand that prom wasn’t my kind of place to be at. It was actually my idea to go to my boyfriend-at-the-time’s prom, not his. I wanted to be the kind of girl who got all dolled up for the prom, met her friends in someone’s big front yard for pictures, showed up and had the best time, then went to someone’s fun after party. I figured out that I’m more the type of person who enjoys sitting at home and reading books about prom than the person who actually goes to the prom and likes it (there are two types of people in this world…).

Overall there were only nine stories out of the 21 that really stuck out to me by the time I was done reading it, not that I didn’t enjoy most of them – I did, I just really loved these ones. For this reason, I gave 21 Proms 3/5 stars. There were some that I loved, some that I liked, and some that I just didn’t want to read. They all gave me the pleasure of experiencing 21 different types of proms, though, and touched on some serious issues.

Before I close, I want to point out something important that I found in the back of the book. All of the authors of 21 Proms donated their portion of the proceeds from the book sale to “Advocates for Youth”, an organization that raises youth and adult awareness of reproductive and sexual health issues,  as well as promotes public policies that support rights, respect, and responsibility for young people, and develops youth-friendly programs in the United States and developing countries. 

Happy reading! What book(s) have you been loving lately?

*Authors: Jodi Lynn Anderson, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Rachel Cohn, Elizabeth Craft, Melissa de la Cruz, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Aimee Friedman, John Green, Brent Hartinger, Will Leitch, David Levithan, E. Lockhart, Leslie Margolis, Billy Merrel, Sarah Mlynowski, Lisa Ann Sandell, Ned Vizzini, Cecily von Ziegesar, Adrienne Maria Vrettos, and Jacqueline Woodson

April 2017 Owlcrate “Head over Heels” Unboxing

Hey everyone!

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted. It’s harder to keep up with blog posts, but I’m usually on Instagram so you should keep up with me there as well.

This week I’ll be showing you my Owlcrate box! The April box has been super hyped so I decided to check it out. Here’s what was in the box:

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli:

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This book has been talked about so much pre-release. It sounds like it’s pretty diverse, so I’m excited to read it. I didn’t read Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda, so I’m excited to read Albertalli’s writing.

Next up we have a candle by Novelly Yours. There were three candles made exclusively for the April Owlcrate box, all inspired by Rainbow Rowell’s YA novels. You could either get a Raspberry scented Baz & Simon Candle, a Vanilla Park & Eleanor candle, or a Pumpkin-Chocolate-Coffee Cath & Levi Candle. I got the Cath and Levi one, which I’m super excited about because I relate to Cath on an unreal level and Fangirl is my favorite of Rowell’s books.

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Another item in the box was this art print by Evie Bookish. This is from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.

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There is also a key-chain with a quote from Simon and the Homosapiens Agenda on it.

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The best thing, in my opinion, in this box is the Pride and Prejudice headband by StoriartsPride and Prejudice is one of my favorite classics and I’m SO geeked about this. I can’t wait to wear it and feel the nerd-pride surge through me.

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Finally, there was also an Anna and the French Kiss inspired tea in the box, cherry-chocolate flavored. I’m so excited to try this because cherry chocolate is MY FAVORITE. All of the granola bars that I buy are cherry chocolate flavored, if that says anything about how much I’m going to love this tea.

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The box also included a sample chapter from Umberland by Wendy Spinale. I’ve never heard of this one, so I’ll have to do some background searches on it and check it out!

This Owlcrate box was honestly one of the best, I think. I love candles and headbands, and it makes it even better when they’re related to some of my favorite books. I’m for sure interested in getting more Owlcrate boxes sent to me in the coming months.

*This review