Friday, January 18, 2019

My Worst Reads of 2018

We talked about the to talk about the bad. 

And by bad, I mean the WORST reads I read in 2018. Obviously, this is all ~my OPINION~ so if any of these are your faves, more power to ya! These just were not the books for me. (Plus I read tons of trash so you can roast me about that).

So grab your teacups kids, because it's gonna be a doozy.

In no particular order...

10. Things I'm Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni

  This book...was trash. I'm sorry. The characters were awful and the story was so boring that I was almost gave up on it about 50 different times. I could barely make it through a page without getting tired because absolutely nothing in this book was interesting. Not only that, the things that did occur were so wildly unrealistic that it just made no sense to write about them. Just not a great read.

9. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

  I feel like this book was more disappointing than anything else. I went in expecting a creepy thriller a la Gone Girl and instead I'm just given an annoying protagonist, bad parenting, and nothing interesting. The book got better towards the end but it took so long to get there that it couldn't save the story for me.

8. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

   Ugh this this book was just really...something. I'm not intersex so I can't really speak for the representation provided in it, but it came off pretty derogatory. The main character, who is intersex, uses a lot of slurs even after being told to like, not. Also this book normalizes not getting a period as being okay because you are an athlete. Which is not accurate and super dangerous. 

7. Scream All Night by Derek Milman

  This book wasn't the worst book I read, but again it was more of a disappointing read than anything. I had been really excited to read this book in October hoping for some spooky story but instead got a lot of angst and oddness. I loved the background cast but the book was just a miss for me.

6. Reality Check by Jen Calonita

   This book did not go through an editor or a proofreader or anything. Besides a really weak plot and 2-dimensional character, so many grammatical errors took over this book and many times there were passages printed twice within two pages, just worded slightly differently. i.e. she walked through the door to the cafe sighing....*three pages later*..Jane walked through the cafe door, sighing to herself. WHAT EVEN??

5. Jay's Journal by Beatrice Sparks

  Okay, okay I do not read Beatrice Sparks' books, ahem I mean ANONYMOUS, books for good writing but more to read some sad after-school special and just enjoy it. Well...this book was actually compiled from a journal and the editor turned this depressed kid into an occult member on drugs. Besides that insanity, the book was just incoherent and had no real timeline. If you want to look more into the scandal behind the real story of Jay's Journal, you can read more here.

4. Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters

   Not gonna lie, I had to look this book up again to remember what it was about. Basically, it follows a girl whose girlfriend dies. After her death, she finds out her girlfriend had been cheating on her with another girl and then more starts to come out about who her girlfriend really was as a person. All the characters were absolutely terrible, and Swanee (yep that's her name) was abusive and manipulative even before the cheating. Plus one of the characters is in a pretty sketchy situation that is just swept under the rug and the story is so ridiculous.

3. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

  I really wanted to like this book. I loved the main character and really connected to her bookish tendencies. However, this book DRAGGED so much. I felt like it was almost over and then realized I was only halfway through it. Which, in a good book, would be great to have more story. But so much of this was filler. The love interest was absolutely terrible and the book had tons of grammar issues as well so it was just not for me.

2. Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

  Katie Cotugno has been kind of a hit or miss (I guess they never miss huh?...sorry...) author for me and I wrote a full review of this book here that you can check out, but in short, this book was just...meh. Nothing great about it, the characters were the absolute worst, and they were always fighting. It had some high points but not a real winner for me. 

And the worst book of 2018...

1. Ship It by Britta Lundin

  Honestly, did you guys not see this one coming? I DESPISED this book which sucked because I was so, so, so hyped for it. I wrote a full review here about it, so I won't rant too much here, but iasudhfaisdhfakljsdfh this book was just a huge NO from me. In the review I said I gave it 2 stars but I had to drop it to one because I am still so salty about this book and it's been months since I read it. So there's that.

Those were my worst reads of 2018. Did I roast any of your faves? What were your worst reads of the year? Let's chat about it!

Always Raineedayze


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

My Best Books of 2018

Let's all pretend that I'm not super late to this post okay? Cool.

2018 was a pretty great reading year for me overall. I was able to read so many different books and genres and even though I didn't hit my reading goal (by 7 books!!! *sobs*), I still had a total blast pushing myself to read books that were out of the box for me. 

So, to honor some of the best books I read in 2018, I decided to name my top 10 reads of last year! These aren't books that were exclusively published in 2018, just books that I happened to read in 2018.

And don't worry, my salty readers...I will also be making a Most Disappointing Reads of 2018 post VERY SOON, so keep an eye out for that!

In no particular order...

10. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

  This book was one of the last books I read in 2018 and it was absolutely fantastic. I love fairy tale retellings and the story was so wonderfully written. It was dark and heart-wrenching and dramatic and overall just a fantastic read.

9.  Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix quickly became one of my absolute favorite writers in 2018 and I am so stoked to read more of his work. This book sounded hilarious and weird and like a perfect Halloween read and I absolutely devoured it. It was creepy and spooky and wacky, just like a cheesy horror flick. 

8. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  I know this is a huge book but until last year, I had never read it. This book was haunting and Ray Bradbury is just an incredible writer. As a person who works in maintaining free speech, this book really tugged at me and I was in LOVE with it as soon as I read it. The movie was pretty disappointing so I definitely recommend picking up the book instead.

7. Animal Farm by George Orwell

  Again another book that it seems like everyone but me has read. I was in an alternative school when my class covered this book in high school so I never got the chance to read it until last year but as a MASSIVE Orwell fan, I knew I had to finally read it.  I am so glad I did. Without getting too political, I feel it really summed up a lot my feelings towards modern day America and was a great, chilling read.

6. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

  This really was the year of reading books on my forever TBR and I was so grateful to get through so many of them. This book was SO beautifully written and I could not put it down. I experienced an immense mood shift when I finished the book, so much that I had to just lie down for a bit. This book hit me hard and I loved it so much for that.

5. IT by Stephen King

  I really love Stephen King and I wanted to make sure I read the book after seeing the new film last year. This book was absolutely incredible and is probably one of my favorite books of his. One thing I like about his books is that the normalcy of things makes them so much more disturbing. If you are looking to pick up a Stephen King novel, I highly recommend this one.

4. Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

  It's no secret, I am a HUGE Nirvana fan. They've been my favorite band since I was young and I have always been fascinated by Kurt Cobain. This book was a fictional tale of a girl who reminded me so much of me in middle school/high school and it brought back so much nostalgia for me. This is probably one of the most personal choices on this list for me, as it wasn't impeccably written or an instant classic like the other books here, but it resonated so much for me personally that I had to include it.

3. All We Have Left by Wendy Mills

  I still think about this book so much. I went into this book knowing nothing about, just picked it up from the library with no prior knowledge. This book deals with 9/11 and is told in dual narrative from different time periods, so even though you know part of the ending from the beginning, you cannot put it down just to see how the story will play out. Also, it made me ugly cry. 

2. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

  Neil Gaiman is essentially THE writer extraordinaire. You guys know my love for him is insane so I finally read this and was so in love with the story, the characters, the setting....everything. I really love books based in mythology so this was already going to be a huge winner for me, but his writing style just immediately gets me. Plus the show is FANTASTIC and I can't wait for Season 2.

1. Geekerella by Ashley Poston

  This list wasn't really in any order but this was absolutely my favorite read of the year. I fell so hard for this book and wrote a more detailed review that you can check out here, but in short, this book was everything a fangirl could ask for. I needed so much more from that universe when I read it and definitely consider it one of my favorite books of all time.

Have you read any of these? What were your top books of the year? Let's chat about it!

Always, Raineedayze

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

My Favorite...Music Video of 2018

Already on week three and this time, I actually had an answer as soon as I read the prompt. And then I found out the song technically came out in 2015 and I am just super late to the party.

So this week we are talking about music videos of 2018 and I have to be completely honest here. I am not a huge music video watcher nowadays. I used to be. I remember having three hours of just non-stop music videos before class in high school and I would do my makeup in the living room just to watch the new videos.

But in the age of Netflix and Hulu, I haven't really been a watcher of many music videos unless they show up on a Buzzfeed article. Maybe that should change.

So originally, I was gonna pick Russian Roulette by my absolute QUEENS, Red Velvet. I don't know how I just found this video but clearly I need to be a bigger fan because this video is like 3 years old!

But still I'm linking it because....we all need this video in our lives.


Lucky for me though, my queens delivered another amazing video for their song Power Up that came out this year and guys it's just so great!!

Like...can you not imagine D.Va blasting this in her Meka while she's shooting down bad guys? 

Also worth mentioning is this parody of Power Up which I just couldn't stop laughing at.

As an honorable mention, I feel like I have to shout out Ariana Grande's "God is a Woman" because it's just that good. Like, she took so much female imagery and SHE DID THAT THING.

 Okay, I'm done talking about music videos. So now it's your turn. What was your favorite music video of 2018? Let's chat about it. 

And make sure to check out Becca's post here and find some other amazing blogs and music videos!

Always, Raineedayze

Friday, September 7, 2018

How World of Warcraft Saved My LIfe

I've been thinking a lot about writing this post but it was very hard to put exactly into words everything I have been feeling. I've never really shied away from talking about my mental health, both online and IRL and lately I've been having a hell of a time dealing with my anxiety and depression.

I've talked a little bit in the past about how I've had days where I barely could get out of bad, with my house piling up against me or how I've struggled with anxiety attacks in school or at work. For me, my anxiety and depression tend to ebb and flow with severity so I can have a great couple of weeks or even months with minimal issues and then have chunks of time that are just really bad. Lately it's been one of those times, but I've been trying to cope and working to get back to a more manageable level. 

One of the things that has actually helped me cope is video games, more specifically World of Warcraft. 

I've been into WoW for years now, but I struggle a lot with playing games consistently (as evidenced in previous posts). I've had plenty of abandoned characters, never to be seen again. This time however, things just felt so different.

I had gotten off work one day and looked at my game list, scanning the same list that I've seen a bunch of times when I noticed that I hadn't played WoW in months. I opened it up, and decided to start fresh with a new character. Jonathan soon joined me with a new character as well and we just jumped in.

That night, I played for 4 - 5 hours. 

The next day, I woke up for work and felt...accomplished? I headed to work and during breaks at work, found myself looking forward to jumping on WoW later that night. Usually, although I'm grateful to be going home, I never really look forward to anything specific since I usually am just exhausted and dreading the next day.

I headed home and booted up WoW, playing for another 4 hours. 

This cycle continued for the next few weeks, and I started spending my free time at work studying guides and character wikis, trying to piece together pieces I had missed and learning about new things. I even picked up copies of the game novels and started reading them. 

I started looking forward to learning and reading more about the game at work. There between calls, I'd be taking notes and reading about different game mechanics, figuring out different ways to do things I wanted or try new things. I'd then head home and play for hours.

I even created another character to maximize playing time so I wouldn't get too far ahead of Jonathan on my main, since we were working together every night.

Having something to distract me and look forward to each day gave me more motivation. Having a passion, something to be excited about, had me managing my stress because I was focused on something bigger and better than whatever I was dealing with.

Playing also gave me a sense of accomplishment. Doing quests and seeing the rewards helped motivate me to do IRL quests (like cleaning out my house) to get IRL rewards (new figures). Having something to throw myself into and being able to spend time with Jonathan and my friends online also helped me be less inside myself. I used to just get out of work and shut myself in my room. Now, I was texting my friends again and raiding dungeons while chatting in Discord, making plans to visit each other soon.

Every day is a struggle. But World of Warcraft helped make the struggle a little bit easier to get through.

Always, Raineedayze

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

My Favorite...Book I Read This Summer

This month I wanted to try something new and also support my best friend Becca as she is now the host of "My Favorite", a weekly blog prompt challenge! So, if you haven't yet checked her blog out, definitely go to it as she is just so awesome and then you can also join us in this really cool blog post challenge and we can all follow and read each other's stuff and life would just be great... okay?

This week the prompt is My Favorite Book I Read This Summer. This summer I read about 27 (?) books. I am only counting June - August books even though technically "summer" began for me in May.

I think my absolute favorite book I read this summer was probably Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

I've always wanted to read Vonnegut and in July, I went on a pretty big binge of reading books that I had wanted to but been intimidated by. Slaughterhouse-Five was just incredible and I absolutely loved Vonnegut's writing. That book just got me in so many emotions and I just can't describe how moved I was by the book.

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. His writing is so lyrical but amusing while still throwing some heavy feels at you. I also know his books do tie in a bit to each other, so I'm really excited to read more of his work.

 Overall, I think it was a shoo-in for my best book of the summer and definitely one of the top books ever so I'm happy!

What was your favorite read this summer? Let's chat about it and make sure to check out Becca's original post here for the prompt list and to find other cool blogs!

Always, Raineedayze

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Captain's Log: August Wrap-Up

I know every month I am surprised that the month has ended. But it's super weird that we are already in the fall. It's so surreal that this year has already held so much and it's almost over. So let's recap on August.

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn | Reality Check by Jen Calonita | Gone by Stacy Claflin | Held by Stacy Claflin | Over by Stacy Claflin | Annie's Baby by Beatrice Sparks | Almost Lost by Beatrice Sparks | Calling Maggie May by Beatrice Sparks | The Book of David by Beatrice Sparks | It Happened to Nancy by Beatrice Sparks | Fallout by Ellen Hopkins | The Dirty Book Club by Lisi Marrison | Push by Sapphire |

This month I read a total of 13 books. As you can tell there was a bit of a pattern with my reading this month. For some reason I was just super in the mood to read dark and PSA type stories. I have a very guilty addiction to Beatrice Sparks' books. She wrote Go Ask Alice and toted it as an anonymous diary but things were pretty shady surrounding it so I usually take her books with a grain of salt. But they are addictive and super cheesy sometimes. Also, this month I finished the Crank series by Ellen Hopkins. Jonathan was super into the books and would ask me to recap them while I read so he could enjoy them as well. Another series I read this month was the Gone series by Stacy Claflin. I actually got the first book free on Amazon last month and I read them at work. Man, they weren't excellent writing-wise but the story was again so dramatic and addicting, that I devoured the last two books in one night! 

Overall, this month's books weren't the best rating-wise, but entertaining nonetheless.

The Darkest Minds | To All the Boys I've Loved Before | Ocean's 8 | I, Tonya |

Little Witch Academia (S1) | Disenchantment | Daria | 

All the movies I saw this month were stellar. Ocean's 8 was so badass and empowering. TATBILB was amazing (I even wrote a review of it) and The Darkest Minds was really interesting. I had never read the series but it really made me want to pick up the books to see if the movie did it justice. I also saw I, Tonya this month even though I had been super against it after seeing an interview with Nancy Kerrigan done during the premiere. However, the movie was entertaining to say the least, regardless of where you stand on the actual case. Also the soundtrack was 

As for TV, I finished Season 1 of Little  Witch Academia. I really adored the show as it kind of felt like Sailor Moon meets Harry Potter which is just a great pairing. I started watching Disenchantment which has been really good so far. I am doing another rewatch of Daria as well since sometimes I just want to cuddle with Jonathan and have something familiar on the TV.

World of Warcraft | Overwatch | Project Zomboid | Pokemon Go | 

This month I had a lot of stress pushing me down and what better way to de-stress then video games? I started getting back into WoW and it's really helped me push work and life stress away because it's kind of hard to be stressed when you are a hulking Orc woman on a quest. I also started getting back into Pokemon Go now that you can add friends and send gifts to them. I've been catching some great Pokemon with it as well and I bought a Pokemon beanie from Hot Topic this month which I wear while hunting, which totally gets me in the zone.

Other cool things this month:

- I got a full-time job. (Not super cool but money is fantastic!)
- I started drawing again!
- IGGPPCamp!!
- I finally picked up a new headset and fixed my computer issues!
- I bought the DVa Nendoroid and DVa Figma!

How was your August? Let's chat about it!

Always, Raineedayze

Saturday, August 25, 2018

To All The Boys I've Loved Before - Movie Review

In case you somehow haven't heard, Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before has been made into a Netflix Original Movie and it just came out last week!

The book series is one of my absolute favorite trilogies EVER and was one of the first super-hyped books I started reading when I started getting into book blogging. I actually buddy-read the series with Becca and we would constantly text back and forth about the characters (mostly sobbing and heart emojis).

So of course I immediately watched the movie as soon as it came out and I frantically texted Becca to see if she was watching. She wanted to do a watchalong on Friday the 24th, so since I was already 80% into the the movie, I decided to host a rewatch for me/new watch for her and OMG you guys!

So I wanted to talk a little bit about this movie and I know it says review up there but let's be honest. This movie was golden. Literally nothing was wrong. It was flawless. Lana Condor and Noah Centineo are literally Lara Jean and Peter and I was just so good.

Also spoilers ahead for both the movie and books at your own risk.

As far as casting goes, it was just spot-on. John Corbett as Mr. Covey was just amazing. I loved him as Aiden in Sex and The City and he actually was my dreamcast for LJ's dad while I was reading. So that just made my entire life. Kitty was so adorable and spunky. I honestly liked her better in the movie than I did in the book (at least the first one). Janel Parrish really acts like Margot and embodies the big sister vibe from book-Margot. 

And obviously, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo. Yes. Just so much yes.

Like...look at these cuties.

Okay let's talk about THAT scene at the end of the movie. It's no secret I am a HUGE John Ambrose McClaren fangirl (sorry Peter). I loved him so much in the book and the scene in the book with the 1940's dress up party thing.....asdfgksfgajksd. Okay. So what does this movie scene mean?? To me, it really pushes for a sequel and given how much people are loving this movie, I think it may get one. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but I really need some more John Ambrose, and the love triangle between him, LJ, and Peter "whoa whoa whoa" Kavinsky will seriously just break me. I need this. 

As far as differences between the movie and books, there wasn't a huge difference. I loved how cool Chris was in the movie as she was kinda (hella) flaky and meh in the book. Also, a girl who sneaks out of school to get Subway is literally the coolest. I think the movie  did a great job of sticking to the source material and with Jenny Han being so involved in the project, I think it really helped. Also, the Jenny Han cameo was literally the best. 

I really loved that they brought Lucas out more in the movie. He is a little fleshed out in the book but he was absolutely amazing and supportive in the movie. I need more Lucas St. Clair in my life like now. 

Of course, I couldn't talk about TATBILB and not dicuss the outfits. I mean...




The outfits were so great and Lara Jean is #fashiongoals.

As you guys can tell, I absolutely LOVED this movie. What are your thoughts? Let's chat about it!

Also, check out my review of the book series here!

Always, Raineedayze