Tuesday, July 1, 2014

happy Canada Day!

I know, I know, I missed the June blog post. ARGH. MY BAD.

Firstly, Happy Canada Day to my fellow humans! Canada is the true north strong and free and simply the best place to live ever ever ever. For realsies, why don't you believe me? If you don't believe me, believe Patrick Ness:


I always loved that tweet ;)

Anyway, while you're here, I might as well give you some life updates to make up for my two month absence.

I've started a new job at a lab for the summer, and it's going really well. The best part so far has been the fact that everyone (including me) is obsessed with the World Cup, so for the past two weeks, there's always been a game on and it's exciting, fun, and hilarious. I'm cheering for Argentina and France because I bet 5 bucks that they'd make it to the finals (before this year, I had no interest in soccer whatsoever, ha!). If you're in Canada, CBC has FANTASTIC coverage (huzzah, Canadians!), they streams all the games for free online and even on mobile/iPads/etc.

Which of course, brings me to the next point: the World Cup!!! WAY TOO EXCITING. WHEEEE ZERO PRODUCTIVITY! Huzzah for rain + white jerseys = distinctive abs ;)

I went skydiving on Saturday! It's a lot of fun, but I wish there was a more intense "freefall" sensation, because it felt like as soon as I jumped, the air resistance was pushing me up... I know this might be an unpopular opinion but I liked bungee jumping a bit more, just because there was more time of falling. Skydiving was a blast though.

I've watched a ton of movies last month, and I'd REALLY recommend Edge of Tomorrow, even if it includes Tom Cruise. It's entertaining as heck, has a great plot, character arcs (yes, they exist!), and excellent action. Definitely underrated but trust me, it's really good! How To Train Your Dragon 2 was also a bundle of fun (god, I want a dragon so bad), and 22 Jump Street was everything it promised to be. So yeah, if you're bored, go watch movies :) If you have any recommendations for movies that are out on DVD right now and are really good, I'd LOVE to know.

In terms of books read, I most recently finished Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. I think LaCour is an author I can count on for solid four-star reads-- there's nothing really detracting about the book, it's quite enjoyable but not quite on the favourites list. So yeah, recommended. The book I read before that was Raging Star by Moira Young, which sucked so bad it makes me angry thinking about it. And before that was We Were Liars by E. Lockhard, which was well written. I know, I'm so descriptive, right?

I'm not sure what I'm reading next, I want to get around to The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch but I haven't been in a fantasy mood recently. As usual, I'll say follow me on goodreads, it's where I update most frequently in regards to reading. You can also observe my failure to read a hefty number of books.

Courtney Summers is releasing an e-novella sequel to This is Not A Test!! It's called Please Remain Calm and I AM ANYTHING BUT.

My mum sent me pineapple cakes from Taiwan and they are delicious.

OKay, I think that's all for now. Again, apologies for not updating last month... oops. Life, am I right?


Friday, May 2, 2014

BR: Open Road Summer

by Emery Lord

I can’t believe I’m writing a review, I swear it is really only because Goodreads is down at the moment and I had a lot of thoughts.

Summary (goodreads):

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.
**

My Thoughts

I’m not exactly sure what drew me to the book initially, maybe it was the Taylor Swift-ness, the promise of female friendships, or the very specific vibe set by the cover, but I borrowed it from the library and gave it a shot. And was very disappointed.

So like, 70% of it is an “it’s not you, it’s me” type of deal. Because while it certainly has many redeeming qualities I’ll discuss later, the biggest deal was that I just didn’t have the patience to deal with Reagan, the main character and narrator. It boiled down to me not giving a shit about her, to put it bluntly, so while her life escapades might be exciting (but I liked Dee’s more), I just wasn’t into it at all. The only reason I finished was because I’ve already read like 200 pages and I wanted to know how it would end.

I found the writing clunky and not to my taste, I remember a few years ago when first-person POV was my favourite because it made everything feel so much more intimate, so I’m not sure if this is an isolated case or I’ve “grown out of it”, but Reagan’s narration seemed really expositional and I just felt like I was constantly hit over the head with things I ought to know, like, I get it—you’re ~edgy~, please, do bring it up every 10 pages just in case I forgot. I can appreciate the how Reagan’s a girl with flaws, but it manifests in a way that I just find super annoying and shallow, her bitchy act and hate for other females was just grating and incessant.

Another thing— I felt absolutely nada for Matt, the love interest. So. Boring. Well, I'll give him a few points because I really like Bob Dylan and guys who are nice to their moms. BUT... boringly charming is how I’d describe it, the type of cookie-cutter love interest that just feels unrealistic, unattainable, and an amalgamation of what an ideal boy should be like. Bleh. And because of that, scenes between Reagan and Matt always fell into either the forced-sassy territory, or eye-rolling because of the “cuteness that unfortunately I did not find cute” area.

The bright spot was the friendship between Reagan and Dee, which I found hit most of the right notes and was more interesting to read about. The music lyrics were also cute in the rhyming department.

Rating in HP Terms: Poor
Recommended for: I dunno, One Direction fans? People looking for books about friendship?
Acknowledgements: 2.5/5

6.8/10 – because I had originally rated it a wee bit higher but writing this just made me realize that I really didn’t enjoy this book that much at all. The characters weren’t my thing, the narration was really not my thing, and the bright spots didn’t make the read feel worthwhile. So yeah, sorry for a mini-rant, blame the fact that goodreads is down. But some last words from this old hack—it’s a decent summer read and it’s got a pleasant vibe if you’re in the mood, so if that sounds like your thing, give it a shot.








source: library
author website / twitter

Sunday, April 27, 2014

several mini-Reviews + misc things.

Hello, lovelies!

Firstly, I finished third year of university! My last exam was on Friday and then I went to Wonderland (Canada's super-duper awesome amusement park) on Saturday, and now I'm finally relaxing and celebrating the end of the semester. I really, really enjoyed this term (well, most of the time), I took some fantastic courses and really just felt like I was learning things that I wanted to learn, which was a great feeling. Plus I'm happy with my marks, and the fact that those hours and hours of studying paid off. But now I'm so ready for summer, except my summer will mostly be consisting of working full time with some down-time in August, so fingers crossed that the job goes well. I don't think I've ever mentioned this on my blog-- you can follow my Instagram where I'll probably post more regularly than once every two months. If you want. No pressure.

I fully intend on spending my free time between now and mid-May catching up on TV, watching Breaking Bad (maybe? because I've been talking about it/meaning to watch it for YEARS), reading more books, and waiting around for actual decent movies to come out.

Also, I actually read books in April! Crazy, right? Some mini-reviews:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (7.7/10)
-click for summary-
I've heard of this one quite a bit, and there was quite a healthy mix of critique-- I've read both raving reviews and very critical ones. I wasn't going to pick this up originally, but I was wandering around a bookstore one day and decided to try this one out.
I liked it, mostly. I thought the plot was interesting, the characters were pretty good, the action was well-written... but everything felt kind of forgettable. I read this maybe two weeks ago, and I can probably only tell you the bare-bones of the plot and the fact that there's a love triangle and the main character is very perfect (but I must add a disclaimer that I have a terrible memory for books nowadays). Throne of Glass entertained, but just never stuck with me. If I get around to continuing this series (in which there'll be six, yes SIX, books, I can just hope it gets better. I've heard great things about the sequel, but it seems like only hardcore fans of book 1 end up reading book 2, so that says something).


The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (8.8/10)
-click for summary-
Honestly, if Eden didn't feature a giveaway of this book and mention in passing how much hype it has gotten, it would have completely slipped under my radar (my hype radar is really defective, okay? It picks up everything TFIOS and nothing else, to my great dismay). I read her review and a few others on goodreads, and while I remained a bit skeptical about the plot and the themes, it piqued my interest.
These days I really just look for books that I can escape into, and The Winner's Curse satisfied all my expectations and more. I was thoroughly entertained throughout, I thought the world-building was well done, the characters were engaging, and the fact that 'big plot things' happen (plus we see the aftermath, not just end on a cliffhanger) was a bonus. I don't really rate or discuss books objectively, but subjectively, I really enjoyed it.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (7.9/10)
-click for summary-
Look, an adult book! I'm not exactly sure where I first heard of this one, but once again, I was wandering through the bookstore and saw an empty seat. I can't just sit down without a book, so I grabbed The Rosie Project and started flipping through it.
This book caught me by surprise because it was more fun than I expected, plus it was a really easy read. The main character, Don, provides a unique narration (someone compared him to Sheldon Cooper), and albeit I liked Rosie, I never really loved her. I thought their connection, while cute, felt a bit stale at times (Rosie often just seemed like a well-constructed foil), but there's some laugh out loud moments, and I enjoyed the subtle tint of science. Not the most brilliant book ever, but a fun vacation read.

--

Alright, I think that's all for now.
If you have any book recommendations, I'd love to know! Something fast-paced and action-packed, preferably... these days I'm not so into reading about serious issues.

Sunshine and more sunshine,

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

oh no, the streak Ended

Ahhhh I didn't get a post up for March!! I feel terrible, mostly cause I feel like I let myself down (who reads my posts anyway?) since it was like, the ONE THING I promised for this blog. You had one job, Audrey, just one job.

It was just such a crazy hectic end to the month though, my classes were wrapping up and with it, came loads of in-class exams, assignments, and papers due. But alas, class is over on Friday, I've got a paper and three final exams left for April, then summer!! Here's a belated post for last month...

1. The How I Met Your Mother finale. I don't really know what to think... I don't think I hated it as much as a LOT of people did, but it was definitely a roller-coaster of emotions. Definitely had a few teary moments, and it'll always be a series I'll look back upon fondly (despite this very meh final season).

2. Gosh I'm just so freaking excited to be done classes. To be honest, I really enjoyed my courses this semester, I learned a lot about things I was (mostly) genuinely interested in (I mean, I learned Python. What. But it was a great experience), and it reminded me about why learning is so important and enriching, despite being accompanied by too much stress.

3. Game of Thrones starts on Sunday! Eep :)

4. I keep meaning to start reading more books, but every time I want to pick up a *serious* book, I just stop. I want to read something light, thrilling, action-packed, and not too mushy but still emotional.

5. My favourite new TV show this year was Brooklyn Nine Nine. It's actually a really funny sitcom, and I'd definitely recommend it (brought to you by the people who made Parks & Rec, another one of my favourite shows!)

6. Goddammit Toronto, you are far too cold. You've smartened up this past week, but still, thanks for that miserably cold, snowy, gross March weather. Can't wait to put away my sweaters....

7. I was grocery shopping yesterday and my cart consisted of yogurt, granola bars, frozen perogies, animal crackers, Dunkaroos, and "crumpets". Why is adulting so hard? I don't even know what the call "real food" anymore... I mean, I don't eat meat, I don't know how to *cook* vegetables, I'm too lazy to buy fruit (they always go bad before I can eat them)... which just mean I eat a lot of carbs (hell yeah, carbs!) and Tim Horton's.

8. lol canucks

9. lololololol leafs

10. Here's to a happy April, to my fellow Canadian uni friends, good luck on finals! There's light at the end of the tunnel! :)

--xx Audrey

PS- I promise to post something at the end of April, too!

Friday, February 28, 2014

on the last day of February..

A long time ago I promised to always post something every month to this blog, but like, February is missing three days so I'm in a bit of a bind. Nevertheless, here is some brain vomit!

1. I read two books over reading week, Also Known As by Robin Benway, and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. Both are solid 4-star-ish books.

2. There has been a squirrel invasion in my house (okay, that's a bit of an overexaggeration) but it's been stressful :( One of our ceiling panels fell down because the squirrel thought it'd be fun to do laps above the living room. 

3. I can't believe there's only like a month of classes left, where has third year gone?! What is adulthood? What is life? 

4. Did anyone watch the Olympics? .... *crickets* 
Only time in four years I care about bobsleigh.

5. Roll up the rim at Tim Horton's is going on... I'm 1/5 right now. 

6. This update is pathetic. I wish my life were more interesting. It's probably cause I have barely read any books.

7. IT IS SO COLD, GODDAMMIT TORONTO.

I think I'll just quietly post this and not tweet it or anything, because like, what even did I write? 

Also, is it the day after Easter yet, because I seriously want to get those Cadbury eggs... on sale.

Here's a cute video. 


Cheers. 
Audrey