Monday, March 30, 2015

Versatile Blog Award!!!

versatile blogger.png







Hey guys! So I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Maureen @ Diaries of A Book Lover (THANK YOU, sorry it took so long!!) Here are the rules of nomination:


The Rules:



This is what must happen now:


1. Nominate other bloggers relatively new to blogging.
2. Let the bloggers know that you've nominated them.
3. Share 10 random facts about yourself.
4. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day Four: BOOK REVIEW: All The Bright Places



All The Bright Places

I don’t even know how to start this review, because I know whatever I say will not possibly be worthy of the book itself. This book… it’s one of those books that changes your outlook on life, how you see the world. It breaks my heart to see one star reviews on Goodreads, because I don’t think some readers get what this book is actually about. This isn’t just a story, it’s not just words on a page. So many people have the same experiences as Violet and Finch in their day to day lives, and they have to deal with that pain for the rest of their lives. This, if you read my interview with the author, Jennifer Niven, you would already know that she has inserted some of her personal experiences and feelings into this book. These are real feelings, and this is a real story, a story that so many experience every day.

Sometimes there’s beauty in the tough words—it’s all in how you read them.

This book is about a boy named Theodore Finch and a girl named Violet Markey, both who come from different backgrounds but have one thing in common- pain. Theodore is an outcast at school that gets made fun of and called a freak. His home life is especially difficult since his father left for a better life and a new family. He goes from day to day, trying to keep himself Awake instead of Asleep, a dark place where he sinks into an abyss of sadness and despair.

We are all alone, trapped in these bodies and our own minds, and whatever company we have in this life is only fleeting and superficial.

Violet, on the other hand, is popular and liked by many people. She was generally happy with her life, with plenty of friends, until the accident. About a year before the story takes place, she is in a car accident with her sister, who does not survive. Violet is supposed to carry on without her best friend, having the guilt that it was all her fault on top of everything else- the pain, the sadness, and the longing to have her sister back.

What if life could be this way? Only the happy parts, none of the terrible, not even the mildly unpleasant. What if we could just cut out the bad and keep the good?

They both meet on the edge of the end of their lives- literally. Finch is up there because he has been carefully contemplating what would be the best way for all of it to end, and Violet is simply there on a rash decision to end her pain. Call it a coincidence or fate, they find each other on the top of a ledge, and as a result, both of them are saved.

And within that moment, Violet Markey, the sister who survived, and Theodore Finch, the freak, bond over something special. Their story starts on that ledge. Soon, over a school project, a few odd sight seeing trips, and a few messages through a Facebook page, they both begin to feel something deeper.

This is not a book that is simply about love- it is about pain, and heartache, and being broken and hopeless as well as loving someone who is broken and hopeless and how the two can combine to create something lovely. This review did not do this story justice, because there are some feelings that are so important- so personal, that simply words will not even describe them.
I loved this book. Some people hated it and said that it was just another love story of two tragic backgrounds, and maybe it was for them. But do you know what it feels like when a book clicks with you? When you feel like some parts of it were written just for you to read over and over again? Because this book changes you as a person? Because the words are things that you have been saying in your mind for years?
That book for me was All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 3: Interview With Jennifer Niven!


Introduction:
The beautiful lady you see to your bottom right is the author I will be interviewing today. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, she has written one of my top favorite books of all time, and one that I will be recommending to every single soul on the face of this Earth forever and ever. [My review is coming tomorrow, for those of you who are utterly confused.] Although she has written other novels, the one we are particularly interested in today is entitled All The Bright Places, a story of two teens who find one another at one of the oddest places to say hello, who start to find themselves in the process of finding each other. None of these questions should have any spoilers, [I think] so please go ahead and enjoy. Thank you, Jennifer, for stopping by today!


The Basics:

Favorite Song: "Dancing Queen" by ABBA or any One Direction song, especially “One Thing.”
Favorite Ice cream Flavor:  Cookie dough
Ideal Super Power: I'd love to be able to move things with my mind, but teleporting would be really, really cool too.
Favorite Quote: Is it awful to pick one from my own book? Because I love "You are all the colors in one, at full brightness." It's true of everyone, and we all need to remember that.

The Interview:

Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most exist, that’s all.” At the beginning of the book, Violet and Finch think they have little to live for, and are simply existing. How do you think, during the duration of All The Bright Places, that they help each other find a reason to live instead of simply exist? How do you think they change throughout the beginning until the end?

Finch tells Violet the reason he wanted to work with her on their class project is because she smiled at him, but it’s so much more than that. Violet is the first person who truly sees Finch. As he says, she’s able to look past everything else and love him anyway so that, for the first time, he feels like “A boy who belongs—here in this world, here in his own skin. He is exactly who I want to be… The boy Violet Markey loves.” As for Violet, by the time she meets Finch, she has closed herself away from everyone and everything as she struggles in the wake of her sister’s death. But Finch gets her back on the camel, so to speak, by challenging her, by not coddling her like her teachers and her parents and her friends have done, by forcing her to engage with life, and in doing so he teaches her to see the people and places around her in new ways. Together they learn the importance of making it lovely and leaving something behind. They learn firsthand about acceptance in spite of everything, and they realize that you can be your own bright place in the world.

In All The Bright Places, Violet and Finch both quote various works of literature, (especially Violet) from the classics to the infamous Dr. Seuss. What is a quote from a piece of literature that you’ve always liked?

There are too many to choose from, but here is one I love from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  I also love: “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” (From Little Women.)
Finch has a wall full of post it notes with random words that he rearranges into lines or song lyrics. Choose at least fifteen different words and list them. If you can, try to rearrange them into a line of a song or poem.
Lovely
Bright
Home
Possibility
Endless
Life
Forever
Together
Two
Choose
Words
Horizon
Celebration
Forgiveness
Resilient
Memory
Hope
Believe
And my poem:
“Horizon”
Believe life forever,
Two together,
Choose Words:
Celebration,
Forgiveness,
Hope.
Resilient home,
Lovely memory,
Endless bright possibility.
In your Author’s note, you mentioned that some of the events that happened in All The Bright Places are based on some experiences in your own life. To all our readers out there who might think that they are worthless and alone, and like nobody loves them, please try to explain how it feels to be the one left behind, how it truly feels to lose someone you love, and how much they really have an impact on your life.
Years ago, I knew and loved a boy, and that boy was bipolar. I witnessed up-close the highs and lows, the Awake and the Asleep, and I saw his daily struggle with the world and with himself. Like Violet, I was forever changed when I lost this boy. It took me years to get past it, to be able to think about him or drive down the street where he lived (and where I found him). It took me years to open up, to forgive myself for not seeing what he didn’t want me to see, for not saving him. As Emily BrontĂ« writes in Wuthering Heights, “I have not broken your heart—you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.” He broke my heart by dying. I still miss him. I wish he were here. I still have nightmares about his death. It is the worst kind of loss because he mattered. He was loved. There was nothing worthless about him. I wish he’d believed that. I want readers to believe that about themselves. You matter. You are loved. You aren’t worthless. You are the only you there will ever be in this world, and not only are you a bright place to someone, you’ll be a bright place to many more in the years ahead.  
Was it ever difficult to write from Finch’s point of view, especially when he was having a particularly depressing time? How did you make these emotions seem real?
Overall, I actually found Finch’s POV easier to write than Violet’s. His voice was always stronger to me, although it was definitely challenging to write his unraveling, simply because it was so personal. A young writer asked me recently, “How did you write All the Bright Places without crying over it?” The answer is that I did cry while writing it, but I also knew that it was okay to cry because that meant I was tapping into all of the emotion that was going to help me write what I needed to write. In the end, I really just wrote the story I knew, based on the boy I loved.
What is the message you hope will touch the hearts of your readers/ the message you hoped to give when you finished writing this book? Do you have a message you would like to leave with us or any final thoughts?  

One reader wrote to tell me that as soon as she read the book, she ran downstairs and hugged her mother. Another reader wrote, “I found after reading this that I wanted to do so much more with my life than just live. This has kick started the bucket list for me.” I hope that the book inspires more of those feelings.  I also hope it inspires us to look deeper at the people and places around us. And I hope it inspires discussions about teen mental health. I want readers to know that they aren’t alone, that help is out there, that it gets better, that high school isn’t forever, and that life is long and vast and full of possibility.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day Two: REVIEW: The One You Love

16029043Okay, you guys know how much I hate giving a book five stars. Because if you give a book five stars, you are saying that this book is the most amazing thing ever and you highly encourage everyone to read it. If they do read it, you are setting them up to be highly disappointed.

I would do it. I would give this book five stars. I was so pleased with this book that I finished in one sitting, and that rarely happens to me. It's incredibly addicting and suspenseful, the writing style is fresh and intriguing, and there are so many plot twists that I never saw coming.

Emma Holden is having her bridesmaid party one week before her wedding when her brother calls her, informing her that her fiancĂ© has not yet showed up for his bachelor party, and he can't get into their flat. She rushes over and they run up the stairs only to find that Dan is gone, but someone is there in his place. It's Dan's brother, Richard, badly beaten and unconscious.

After days of calling Dan with no reply and little help from the police, Emma decides to take the case into her own hands in order to clear Dan's name. But doing such a thing is a dangerous game, and one that she doesn't have all the right cards to play.

Soon she finds that someone has been stalking her and taking pictures, guilt comes where she least suspects it, and even her own family members are hiding deep, dark secrets that could ruin them forever. And right in the midst of all this chaos, Emma gets the chance of a lifetime that she could not possibly turn down- could she? The case is still going on, and their one and only witness, Richard, is in the hospital in a coma. When Emma receives clues that Dan might be in trouble, and they must hurry to solve the case before anything else happens to him.

This book got so many one star and two star reviews, and I will admit that I can see why. If you took away all of the mystery and suspense, you would have the lousiest character development ever and a romance so cheesy that you could eat nachos with it. However, it is my hope that the character development will get a lot better in the next books. For now, I just wanted an interesting and fast paced plot with plenty of twists and turns. I wanted a roller coaster, rushing past at full speed, not stopping to see the sights.

If you like books with good, built up emotion and character development, this book is probably not for you. If you want something light, fast, and mysterious, I suggest you pick it up! Plus, for Amazon customers out there, this book is currently FREE on Kindle. No harm in getting a free book! Drop down in the comments if you do read it and tell me what you think, please!


Note to EVERYONE: 
Please drop a comment with a personal or book related question or fill out the Contact Me Form to the right. I will be answering questions SOON and I don't have very many right now. There is no limit!! Ask whatever you want! Thank you :) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day One: Introduction Post

Welcome!!
I would like to thank everyone, all ninety five of you, for the support you have given me in the past three years. You guys are most definitely the reason I keep doing this. Reviewing is so much fun when I get so much feedback and comments from you guys. Please comment, comment, comment, and have fun looking around! I hope you will genuinely enjoy the next two weeks and have as great of a time as I am having preparing it. As always, let me know what you think down in the comments. If you have any suggestions for next year, what you love, what you aren’t a huge fan of, etc. Also, you can ask me any of the personal questions that you would like until Saturday. I’ve already gotten so many, and they are all so much fun! Send me an email at enchantedbyabook@outlook.com or just use the contact form to the right. I hope you guys have an amazing two weeks. Please note that this schedule is subject to switch around, but I know that I will have something every day, so that will be SUPER great.
Love you all!
Sarah

Thursday, March 19, 2015

EXCITING NEWS

Hello! So, as you guys know, my BLOG ANNIVERSARY is coming up soon! Yipee number three!! The reason I have not been posting a lot lately is because I am getting ready for two full weeks jam packed with fun every single day!! I hope you are all as excited as I am, because I can’t wait for all the fun interviews, guest posts, and reviews that I have planned. Please come back every day from Monday, March 23 to Monday, April 6th. There are some blank spots which will be filled soon. If you would like to participate in this super fun event, please email me as soon as possible at enchantedbyabook@outlook.com. For now, though, here is the basic schedule:


(Note: Those marked with a * are subject to change.


Monday March 23rd- Opening post for Enchanted By A Book’s Extravaganza
Tuesday March 24th- Review of The One You Love by Paul Pilington
Wednesday March 25th- Special interview from a surprise author
Thursday March 26th- Review of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Friday March 27th- Review of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Saturday March 28th- All About Me: I will be answering any questions, personal or blog related, that you have about me. Please submit a question through the contact form to the right.
Sunday March 29th- BLOG ANNIVERSARY


Monday March 30th- Versatile Award post
Tuesday March 31st- Guest post collaboration with a fellow blogger
Wednesday April 1st- Interview with John Green, the author of award winning The Fault In Our Stars and Paper Towns.
Thursday April 2nd- Review of Paper Towns by John Green
Friday April 3rd- Interview with Aimee Carter, bestselling author of The Goddess Test and Pawn.
Saturday April 4th- Interview with Marissa Meyer, the bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles.
Sunday April 5th- **Interview with Heather Dixon, author of the upcoming novel Illusionarium and classical fairytale retelling, Entwined.
Monday April 6th- Closing remarks, end of the Blogaversary.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Last Five Years [Movie Review]

The Last Five Years

The only bearable part of this movie was the soundtrack, especially the Schmuel song. (Note: He is not saying, “You get to be hippie.” Even though I think those are obviously way better lyrics, he is simply saying “You get to be happy.”) The songs, for the most part, were upbeat and easy going. Jamie, Cathy’s husband, has a voice that will give your arms goosebumps. I thought their voices went perfectly together. The only other positive that I can think of are Jamie’s dimples.



This movie was SUPER SUPER disappointing. I was so pumped for it, especially because ANNA KENDRICK is the main character, Cathy. The trailer made it look super adorable and fun.

Cons, cons, cons.
  1. The storyline. They should have done a better job of explaining why the heck the storyline kept jumping around in different points in time. Only after I read the brief summary online did I understand- the events don’t happen in order, both Cathy and Jamie are simply reminiscing the last five years of their relationship.
  2. Character development. Basically all I got from their characters was the fact that Jamie was an author and a jerk, and Cathy was a dreamer and an actress. They skipped around so much that we didn’t get to see Cathy develop on screen. And I swear Jamie has a multiple personality disorder. For half of the movie, he was a hopeless and cheesy romantic. For the other half, he was a self-absorbed, stuck up jerk, And a complete pervert.
  3. Jamie. What a jerk! I am telling you right now, if you want a happy ending, don’t go watch this movie. The entire romance builds up and then Jamie goes and ruins it by being a complete jerk. He does NOT deserve Cathy.

In the beginning, Cathy and Jamie are head over heels in love with one another. Everything seems to click. Soon after their marriage however, Jamie’s novel is bought by Random House, and his career shoots off. Within no time, he is whisked off to parties and events as Cathy stands quietly in the background, watching other girls drool over him- suffering through the pain of rejection and feelings of importance.
    Meanwhile, Cathy’s career as an actress is at a standstill. The movie shows her going through several auditions, including a comical encounter where she sings all of the thoughts going through her head. None of these auditions get her a role, and as her husband is away in his dazzling fame, she feels the distance between them grow further and further apart. At the end, Jamie’s selfishness shows that his hunger for fame overpowers whatever feelings he had for Cathy earlier on. In “If I Didn’t Believe In You”, he sings, “I will not fail so you can be comfortable, Cathy. I will not lose because you cannot win.”
    Overall, if you want to spend any money on this movie, buy the soundtrack, not a movie ticket. The songs are a lot better than the storyline itself.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Musing Mondays #1

MusingMondays5
Today I am doing a meme called Musing Mondays, hosted by Should Be Reading.
Today's question: What is your favorite genre and why?


Answer: I think my favorite genre right now is either murder mysteries or fairytale retellings. I've recently been watching a ton of crime shows, including Monk and Criminal Minds and I am really into this genre. There aren't very many books that I have found in this genre, except for The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson. 
           As for fairytale retellings, my personal favorite is Entwined by Heather Dixon. There are plenty of wonderful authors such as Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles),  Jessica Day George (Princess of the Midnight Ball), and Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted). For a list of my favorite fairytales, click here! 

What about you, readers? Comment your favorite genre below! 

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