February was the first month that I participated in The Pretty Books’ 2016 Classics Challenge, which is where each month you read at least one classic book of your choice.

February’s Book:

29797

Check it out on Goodreads

Originally Published: 1678

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: Often rated as important as the Bible as a Christian document, this famous story of man’s progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim’s trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City.
Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.
An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim’s Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language. 

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

I’m not exactly sure when I discovered The Pilgrim’s Progress.  I think someone at my church mentioned it a couple years ago, and it was one of those books I was always going to look into, but never bothered to until years later.

WHY I Chose to Read It

I’ve had several people tell me this book was the perfect allegory for the Christian faith, and it was free at the Nook store, so I thought why not?

WHAT Makes It A Classic

Well for starters, this book is over 300 years old.  It’s also a book that is thought very highly of in many churches, and many other Christian based organizations.

WHAT I Thought of This Classic

This book was okay.  For me, I’d say it was about 2 1/2 – 3 stars.  I gave it a 3 star rating on Goodreads, because 2 stars seemed too harsh.  Plus, the lessons that can be learned, and the reminder this book gives you on what it means to be a true follower of Christ are just as meaningful and important today, as they were in the 17th century.  The issue I had was that, while I’m sure this book was very influential and amazing when it came out, its pace and style is pretty clearly from the 1600’s.  This book was definitely written for Puritans.  Honestly, it took me almost 6 months to read this book, and it’s not even 200 pages.  I’m glad I read this book though, just because this story has been read by so many generations, and it’s interesting that despite all this time, this book is still being read, and influencing people, and is still being talked about.

WILL It Stay A Classic

Well, this book has been around for over 300 years, so I think it’s safe to say that this book probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  However, I feel like it’s become lesser known throughout the years, so it may continue to decrease in popularity.  Despite that though, there are too many people who still really adore this book (I would imagine this especially so in the very strict Christian denominations, such as the Amish) for it to ever completely disappear or lose its “classic” status.

WHO I’d Recommend It To

I would recommend this book to Christians who are interested in reading classic, Christian literature.  Or, this book would be interesting for anyone who is curious to read about what the Puritans read.

 
Today is Top Ten Tuesday – A weekly bookish list created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books If You’re In The Mood For Dancing

As a ballet dancer, I love to read books involving dance. This week I’m going to list five books/series involving dance that I’ve read, and five books/series involving dance that are on my TBR.

First up, the top 5 ballet books that I’ve read: 

  • On Pointe by Lorie Ann Grover

This book was so, so good! It’s about a girl who is an incredible ballet dancer, but she doesn’t have exactly the “right” body to get accepted into the program she wants. This book is all about learning to accept what life gives you, and if you’re passionate about something, never give it up.

Next on my list is:

  • The Dani Spevak Mystery series by Amanda Brice

This is such a fun, cute, mystery series. It’s about a girl who gets accepted into a performing arts boarding school, and she is always stumbling across mysteries. I love the way dance is so incorporated, and if you don’t know a whole lot about dance, that’s okay, because this series really explains different dance styles and steps. It’s really a lot of fun!

After that:

  • Bunheads by Sophie Flack

This book is about 19-year-old Hannah Ward, who works in the corp de ballet for a prestigious ballet company. It deals with all the joys and struggles of dancing.  This book was actually written by a former dancer of the NYCB, too!

Fourth on my list is:

  • The Dance of Shadows series by Yelena Black

The series is about a girl named Vanessa, who gets accepted into the very same prestigious ballet academy where her sister, Margaret, went missing. This series is a mystery, with a paranormal twist.

Last on my list of books I’ve read is:

  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

This is such a lovely book about three orphaned sisters trying to make a name for themselves. Don’t be fooled by the tween-y cover, while this is a children’s book, it is one of those books that, I think, could be enjoyed by all.

Now onto the top 5 books I want to read:

First up:

  • Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while now, and I actually own it. I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet! Check out it’s synopsis here!

Second on the list is:

  • A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin

I’ve heard this book is quite good, but I’m hesitant to read it, because I know I’m going to cry! Check it out on Goodreads!

Next up:

  • Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem

This series sounds really mysterious and interesting!  Check it out here.

Fourth:

  • Tour De Force by Elizabeth White

I actually just checked this book out of the library, so I will be reading this one in the next week or two! Read about it here.

And finally:

  • Up To This Pointe by Jennifer Longo

This book was just released in January, and it just sounds really interesting! Check out its synopsis here.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s list. Let me know what you thought!

 

*The Pilgrim’s Progress not pictured

 

This month wasn’t a spectacular reading month, but that’s okay, because this month I actually created this blog!  Making a book blog is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, but I never got around to it before, or I couldn’t think of a name, or I’ve always had some other excuse, but I finally made one. So, I’ll excuse my lack of reading for this month and just celebrate the fact that I finally made this blog. 😊

BOOKS READ

Overall, I read three books this month:

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan ⭐️⭐️⭐️

BOOKS REVIEWED

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

CLASSIC READ

I’m participating in ThePrettyBooks’ 2016 Classics Challenge, which is where you read at least one classic book per month. This month I read:

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Click here to read the full post about this month’s Classics Challenge book!

  
Summary

What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable. 

Goodreads

What I Thought

I want to start by saying, I have heard really good things about this book. So many people absolutely adore this book. In fact, the high praise involving this book was one of the biggest reasons I even bought it. I’ll be honest and say that I really had very little knowledge of what this book was about when I purchased it, but I saw it at Target, on sale, and signed by the author, that, on top of all the praise it had gotten, was enough for me! Actually reading the book though, I was a little underwhelmed.  I did not dislike The Rest of Us Just Live Here, I just did not love it like I wanted to. 

Something I really did enjoy in this book were the Indie Kids.  Indie Kids are the characters who would be the main protagonist in any typical YA novel. I loved the way they were portrayed, and I actually thought it was really funny!  I really liked that at the beginning of each chapter, you were given a glimpse as to what was going on in the Indie Kids’ lives. This book really shows us what is going on in the lives of everybody else, while the hero (aka the Indie Kid) is out saving the world again. 

I also appreciated the way mental illness was portrayed. The main character, Mikey, has OCD, and his sister also is recovering from an eating disorder.  I felt it was a very honest portrayal of these mental illnesses, and it was very interesting to to read about what it is like to experience them. 

I also enjoyed the various friendships, family, and romantic relationships.  They were all very realistic, and I really liked that. 

Honestly, this book wasn’t bad, but I just found it a bit…boring at times. I get that the characters were supposed to just be living their life like an average high schooler, but let’s be real, that’s boring sometimes. Aside from the ending, there was just a little too much everyday life in this book.  Maybe if  I was in high school still, I would have found it more exciting and relatable, but I’m not. So, it just ended up feeling uneventful a lot of them time, for me anyway. Like I said though, I’ve heard many great things about this book, so maybe it just wasn’t the one for me!

Overall, this book features a very unique storyline with good characters. It was just a bit boring for me at times. 

  

Waitingonwednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature started by Breaking the Spine, that puts the spotlight on upcoming releases!  While I’m not sure if I will be doing this every week, I would like to try and feature an upcoming book that I’m excited for at least once a month.

Today’s pick is:

Awe by Travis Thrasher

Releasing late March 2016
awe

Pre-order it here!

Synopsis:

After his best friend disappears and his girlfriend abandons him, Brandon finds himself alone with few answers about what’s happening in the small town of Appleton. Nobody knows the whereabouts of Devon, so Brandon decides to get the help of a private investigator who warns him of bad things ahead. At every possible turn, Brandon seems to meet a roadblock. With Marvel’s dangerous uncle, Carlos. With the mysterious Otis Sykes. Even with Marvel herself. What darkness awaits them as the story unfolds?

The third in The Books of Marvella series after Marvelous and Wonder. Watch for the final book, Glory.

So far, this series has been incredible! I am very eagerly awaiting book #3! Also, can we please take a moment to admire the cover?  This entire series has had really unique, beautiful covers!

 


Today is Top Ten Tuesday – A weekly bookish list created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Books Outside of My Usual Reading Type

It’s actually going to just be Top 5 this week, because I don’t read outside of my comfort zone enough…lol

First up is:

  • On Pointe Lorie Ann Grover

I love dance books, so naturally I was interested in this book. What made this book unique though, is the fact that it was written in free verse.  I’ve only read one other book written this way (If I Stay, which I loved), so I was a bit unsure. This book is so beautiful though, and having it written in free verse really adds to its beauty I think. I really, really loved this book. I borrowed it from the library, but I would love to own this one someday. It’s been almost a year since I’ve read it, and yet I still think about it. On Pointe was definitely one of the best books I read in 2015.

Next on my list is:

  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed

This book is a memoir of sorts, and I never read memoirs. Honestly, I don’t read a whole lot of non-fiction to begin with, so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into with this one. This book was good though; really good, and really well-written also!

Another unique read for me was:

  • The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

This is an adult fiction novel, and for the most part, I read YA. I do, however, like to expand past that sometimes, which is why I decided to read The Book of Speculation. For the most part, this book was really mysterious and intriguing, and was quite enjoyable!

After that, I’ve got:

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

I don’t read a lot of classics. I’m trying to read more of them, because I want to experience and read books of all types, but in all honesty, classics are not my typical go-to genre. This book was a good one though! I read it around Halloween time, which was perfect because this is a very spooky and mysterious book!

And lastly:

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic

I never read compilations like this. Despite that, this was still a rather fun, easy read, and a very Christmas-y book, that I enjoyed reading over the holidays. 🙂

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little list of mine! Let me know what you thought, and thanks for reading. 🙂

  
Hey everyone! The lovely people over at Bookidote nominated me for The Infinity Dreams Award!  They have been super nice, and very welcoming to me as I’ve just recently joined the book blogging community. I definitely recommend checking out their blog. 👌

You can check out their answers 👉 here 👈

RULES

– Thank and follow the blog that nominated you
– Tell us 11 facts about yourself
– Answer the questions that were set for you to answer
– Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them
BOOKIDOTE’S QUESTIONS

1.What was the best dream you’ve ever had? (If you remember any)

This probably sounds pretty silly, but the best dream I’ve had (that I can think of right now) would probably have to be when I dreamt I could do 10 flawless pirouettes. In real life, I, unfortunately, can only do 2 pirouettes on my best day…😔😜

2.On the bad days, how do you cheer yourself up?

When I’m upset, I have to be by myself. So, usually I find some place I can be alone, and then I read, listen to music, pray, etc. Fresh air always helps too, so if I can, I’ll either go outside or at least open a window. 

3.If you had to sum up your life in 10 or less words, what would they be?

Jesus, family, pets, books, dance, food, sunshine, sleep, schoolwork – that’s about it. 😂


4.What books would you like to see become a movie?

I think The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart would make a good movie. Also, I’m still waiting for Uglies by Scott Westerfeld to be a movie…Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and The Dreamhouse Kings series by Robert Liparulo would both make great movies too, I think. 


5. What book character do you feel the most connected to?

I’m not really sure! When I read any book, I find myself connecting to at least one of the characters, so I can’t think of one character in particular. 


6. What is one song that you know the lyrics by heart?

I know a lot of songs by heart, but I’ll pick Year 3000 by the Jonas Brothers, because that was the coolest song ever when it came out! 😂


7. What is your favourite form of social media?

Probably Instagram. Feel free to follow me also! 😏


8. Name 3 objects you can’t live without.

  1. My phone
  2. My books
  3. My inhaler (literally cannot live without that!)


9. What is your favourite drink?

Chocolate milk! 😋


10.What powers would you like to have to rule the world as a super villain?

The power to fly! 


11. Give me a new song to listen to on spotify LOL. THANK YOU. 😀

Lately, I’ve been enjoying The Outsiders by NeedtoBreathe! 😊
MY QUESTIONS

  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. Favorite fictional villain?
  3. Paperbacks, hardcover, or e-reader?
  4. Book you never get tired of reading?
  5. Song you never get tired of listening to?
  6. (Other than reading) what do you like to do in your spare time?
  7. Favorite book series?
  8. Favorite store?
  9. If you could teleport right now to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  10. Favorite movie/TV show?

I’m not sure who to tag, so, if you’re reading this, and this sounds like fun, I tag you! 🤗

  
 Summary

A boy with extraordinary powers. An army of deadly monsters. An epic battle for the future of peculiardom.

The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

Goodreads

What I Thought

I feel like I’ve just completed a long journey!  I want to start by saying the Peculiar Children series was the first series that I actually read where I was there from the very beginning. I read the first book around the time when it was originally released (it came out in June, and I read it Sept/Oct) and then had to [impatiently] wait years for each sequel’s release. I waited for every tidbit of info, from title names, to movie news, to cover reveals – I’ve been there for it all.  So, I feel like I’ve been very personally invested in this series and the characters for almost five years now. Because of that, I wanted this final book to be perfect. While this book wasn’t perfect, the ending made up for everything else. 

I’m just going to start with discussing what I didn’t like first, so then I can just talk about all the good stuff.  First, I’d have to say my biggest disappointment with this book was the pictures. I’ve always loved the vintage photographs and how they incorporated into the story so well. For me, that was what always separated this series from other books that feature old photos. This time, however, I feel like they didn’t really add to the story or enhance it in a way the previous two books did. In fact, there were times where I felt they were added just for the sake of adding them, because that is what the series is known for. 

Another thing that bothered me a bit was the death of a particular character. I kept waiting for some sort of closure involving their death, and unfortunately, we never get that. Then again, that does happen in real life as well. So, I may just be feeling a bit greedy about wanting everything perfect. 

Aside from those things, I really can’t think of anything else that I really didn’t enjoy, except for the fact that the series is now over. I want to know what happens next! 

Now, onto what I loved!  Like the rest of series, the characters were so good! I just loved all of them so much. I think Ransom Riggs comes up with such creative and original characters.  I loved Addison even more than I did in Hollow City; I think he is just so funny, and even though he’s peculiar, he’s ultimately still a dog, and I just loved that. I also really enjoyed all the new characters introduced in this book as well, particularly Sharon and Mother Dust.  Jacob also had some really good character development in this book. I particularly liked reading more about his peculiar ability. 

Another thing I liked about this book, and really the series as a whole, was the setting.  Too many series only have the protagonist venture out in the last book of the series, but that is not the case with this series! Each book features a fresh, new location, and I loved that. 

One final thing I’m going to talk about is the ending. I won’t say much, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I just have to say I had no idea how this series was going to end in a way that would 100% please me. Library of Souls ended in, what I think, is the best possible way.  The more I think about, the more I love it, too!

So, overall, this book was lovely. I can’t believe this series has come to an end. I’m really going to miss the characters; the peculiar children have become my friends!  I definitely plan on seeing the movie for Book 1 this December (and crossing my fingers it will be as great as the book) and reading Tales of the Peculiar, which, I think, is coming out this fall. 

I recommend this entire series to anyone who loves adventure, fantasy, and is interested in a unique read. 

  

Top Ten Tuesday.jpg

Today is Top Ten Tuesday – A weekly bookish list created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Songs That I Wish Were Books

 

First up on my list is:

The whole premise of the song revolves around a girl sneaking into her ex-boyfriend’s wedding, because she believes he is marrying the wrong girl. I think Speak Now would make such a cute, chick lit-esque book. It would definitely be one that is read poolside, on a hot summer day.

Next on my list is another T-Swift song (honestly, I could have made this whole list Taylor Swift, but I kept it to just these two):

Everything about this song is just so sweet (the music video is just as cute too)! It’s an innocent little love song about meeting someone for the first time and just wanting to get to know them better.  I think it would make such a cute love story!

After that, I’ve got:

This song is beautiful, yet heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. It tells the story of a young boy whose mother died, and his father has left him to be raised by someone else because he can’t handle it. Yet despite the unfairness of life, it talks about light being found even in the darkness. I could just imagine Uneven Odds as a really great book.

On my list next is:

Fine Fine Life features some interesting scenarios to think about. If this were a book, I think it would have a lot of double meanings, and would be one that could really make you think.

Another song is:

This song has a really interesting, and descriptive storyline to begin with! After searching for the meaning behind this song, I discovered it tells the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in Greek mythology, and involves lost love. It sounds like it definitely already has all the ingredients for a compelling read, and re-tellings of classic tales and myths are quite in right now, so this would be a perfect song-to-book adaptation to me!

Next up:

This sweet song is all about falling in love with the right person at the right time. It definitely has the makings for a perfect contemporary book!

After that is:

This song deals with the hurt and pain in lonliness and life, and also offers hope. I think this song would make a really great YA contemporary novel.

Up next is another Britt Nicole song:

This song talks about staying true to yourself. Even though life can be hard, don’t lose yourself. You’re still in there. I think this song would make a really great YA contemporary novel as well.

Another song is:

I discovered this song while watching a Tinkerbell movie with my niece. 😂 But, seriously, it’s a pretty emotional song about love and saying good-bye. I think those are just the right ingredients for a bestseller to me!

Last but not least:

  • Roar by Katy Perry

I could definitely see Roar as a book. It could be about a shy, self-loathing girl who learns how to find confidence and empowerment and be proud of who she is.  If you’ve seen the music video, you could just make that the book too!

Well, that’s it for this week. If you enjoyed this post, let me know. Thanks for reading! 😊

  

Summary

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. 

Goodreads

What I Thought

This book!  This. Book! I had heard very good things about The 5th Wave ever since it was released, but I was always a bit hesitant to give it a try.  However, I’d always been intrigued by it, so when I got it for Christmas, I knew it was time for me to read it, and oh, am I glad I did!

Where should I start? I’ll start with the characters! The characters in this book were so well-rounded, and realistic to the situation. The relationships the characters shared with each other were so great to. The friendships, the rivalries; everything was so good! Basically, I loved them all. 

I really like that Cassie was always aware of the situation. Too many times in sci-fi or futuristic YA novels the protagonist gets way too caught up on their love interest(s) instead of the actual danger around them, and that’s not realistic at all. Like, if you’re in a life and death situation, now is not the time to make out with your boyfriend, and I loved that Cassie never acted like that.  Yes, there was some romance, but saving Sammy was always what was the most important to her.  That was always made clear.   

Staying sort of on that topic, I loved Cassie’s sarcasm. She was very self-aware, and it was refreshing to me for her to be able to see how ridiculous it was for her to care about appearances when she was around Evan, even if she did care. 

Another thing I really loved was the different perspectives. When I first started this book, I didn’t realize there were so many different perspective, so I admit I was really confused the first few perspective changes. 😂 But once I realized they were there, I really appreciated them. And, unlike some multi-perspective books, there wasn’t any part of the story that I didn’t want to read about. I wanted to know it all!  

This book was really action packed! The 5th Wave is a bit of a bigger book, but don’t let its size intimdate you! There is not a dull moment from the first page to its last.

I really, really enjoyed this book. That being said there was something I didn’t enjoy. Like I said, this book is very action packed, and because of that there were certain parts, especially in the beginning of the book, that were quite hard for me to read. I’m a pretty sensitive person, so the violence and suffering might not affect everyone the same way it did to me. Plus, reading about Sammy made me think of my little nieces, so I took his part of the story a bit too personal, I think.  Because of this, I’m not sure if I’m interested in seeing the movie. It’s one thing to read about the death and violence, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually see it being played on a screen.  So, we’ll see…

Overall, The 5th Wave is a really good book. I would definitely recommend it to any alien/sci-fi fan, or just anyone who is looking for a good, action-filled story. I look forward to reading book 2 in the series, The Infininte Sea!