reading

What I Read: March 2017

Well friends, this is an incomplete What I Read written in the penultimate week of March.  I’ve got 14 books to tell you about at this point, and you can bet the 13 hour plane ride I took last week added at least another to the list.  Since 14 is a lot to get through, I’ll (try to) be brief!

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In attempts to stay brief, I’ll only give full reviews for a few, and share general thoughts/ratings for others!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

The writing style definitely takes a bit to get used to.  Browsing some Goodreads reviews, you’ll see some hilarious yet accurate examples of how people struggled with this.  For me, the beginning took quite a while.  There were several scenes of pure description repeated and juxtaposed with different connotative language which I liked the first time, but was annoyed at by the third.  By the time we learn the main character’s name (and yes, this takes a while) the story starts to get going.  We follow Mia on her quest to become an assassin.  Mia is a darken who controls shadow.  She has a cat made of shadow as a companion.  The world is fairly reminiscent of Assassin’s Heart, but the story quite different.  I find Mia quite likable and gave this one 4 stars.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

I had heard a lot about this and knew it wouldn’t be a real serious read for me.  I went into it expecting a fluffy book, so to be disappointed even with those expectations is saying something.  It’s about a high school student named Harper who suddenly has supernatural powers thrust upon her.  This is NOT Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I think it’s the southern belle things that really bothered me… perhaps it’s just not something someone who grew up in suburban Boston can understand.  Beyond that, everything was too easy without any real world implications.  Everything felt frivolous.  The death of her sister was casually thrown in there for what reason?  1 star.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Again, I kept hearing so much about this book!  It’s a compelling adventure with a healthy dose of mystery and a dark, dangerous feeling.  It’s about a girl named Scarlett and her sister, Tella.  Their life hasn’t been the best with their abusive father.  They’ve always dreamed of going to Caraval– an immersive festival/show/game.  Now, there are some things that don’t work for me, mainly the lack of character development, but it’s a fun and quick read.  4 stars.

(more…)

Long Flight Essentials

After 6+ months of planning, we are off to Japan in just two short days!  I couldn’t be more excited for my dream trip, but I’m not terribly excited about the 13 hour flight we’re taking to get there.  I’ve prepared myself the best I can, and today I want so share some ideas to make long flights as painless as possible!

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Kindle | This trip is the reason I bought my Kindle.  The fact that I’m absolutely in love with it is a fortunate by-product.  I entertain myself by reading and find myself bringing at least 2 books on normal trips.  With such a long flight, I knew I needed a lot of reading material!  My Kindle is preloaded with a handful of books to make the hours fly by! [I recommend this one.]

Juice Pack | You’ve got to have a fully charged phone when you’re going to be out & about for a while.  While I always hope planes will have somewhere for me to recharge my devices, this has yet to be the case.  It’s great to have an extra charge on hand!  [I’ve used this one before.]

Headphones (or earbuds!) | This one I learned from my fiancé who always has a pair of headphone handy when we travel.  I happen to think that noise canceling headphones are completely worth the investment– you’ll take care of them instead of letting them get tangled in the bottom of your bag, plus you won’t have to deal with the plane’s excess noise.  Of course, if you’re packing lighter, earbuds will do!  [Try these or these.]

Lip Balm | This is another one I picked up from Matt.  Plane travel will leave you dehydrated feeling and in need of moisturizer.  It’s good to have a lip balm handy (This is my favorite, but I also recommend these guys!)  to feel a little more human.  On a shorter trip, I recommend grabbing a water bottle to fill once you’re past security! [Currently obsessed with this one— and dachshunds!]

Snacks | A 13-hour flight guarantees we’ll be getting some food on board, but since we’ll be landing in a time zone with a 12-hour difference, there’s no guarantee we’ll be getting food when we want it.  We’re big on snacks!  [Try a Quest bar for something substantial!]

Hoodie | Literally, this is my number 1 must-have on a plane.  It’s always so cold, or suddenly so warm.  You need to layer, and a hoodie is my favorite way to do this.  Past flights have also had me reaching for Matt’s coat as a blanket, so a blanket scarf is a great idea if you’re flying when into/out of appropriate weather!  [Please tell me you have one, but just in case.]

What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on?  How did you keep yourself busy?

Februarygrams

I couldn’t be more excited to get out of February and launch into March!  I’ve got a biiiig trip coming up and I’ve been counting down the days!  Let’s revisit some of the great things that happened in February, though.

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[1] a trip to the MFA!  [2] lots of amazing books [3] a trip to Philadelphia and an indulgence in Federal Donuts [4] Valentine’s day gifts from my love [5] trying out Pokeworks [6] the sun’s setting later, making for beautiful walks home [7] green tea ice cream [8] testing out Burberry’s Liquid Lip Velvet [9] amazing spring weather!

What were your favorite February moments?