Saturday, March 31, 2018

Captain's Log: March Wrap-Up

Holy crap, we are already at the end of March. I have no idea where this year went, but here we are and with it has come some awesome changes.

Before we get into that, let's do a quick recap of what I played, watched, and read this month! 

| Top Ten by Katie Cotugno | All About Mia by Lisa Williamson | I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil | The Sister by Abigail Barnette | The Baby by Abigail Barnette | The Ex by Abigail Barnette | The Bride by Abigail Barnette | Wonder Women by Sam Maggs | Meet Cute by various authors | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black | Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira | Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee | Autoboyography by Christina Lauren |

 This was an excellent reading month for me! I read a total of 13 books, by far the largest amount this year. I continued The Boss series' and am super excited for the new book coming out later this year. I feel like this month also allowed me to branch out from my reading comfort zone as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the books this month and I look forward to reading more next month.

| American Dad (Hulu) | Glee (Hulu | American Housewife (Hulu) | Bob's Burger's (Hulu) | Family Guy (Hulu) |

| A Wrinkle in Time | Ready Player One* |

*at the time of writing this, I haven't seen RP1, but I have tickets to see it at the end of the month!

I don't really watch a whole lot of stuff. I want to watch more movies but I think I spent the entirety of my viewing on Booktube. Although, I think I'll be hitting the movie theater more next month.

| Mother Simulator (Steam) | Viridi (Steam) | TsumTsum (Android) | Emoji Blitz (Android) |

I didn't play a whole lot of video games this month, though I did find two adorable mobile games that I love. Most of these games were time wasters more than actual games, but I enjoyed wasting my time.

Other Stuff

- I'm treating my depression!

- We celebrated Jonathan's birthday (and St. Patrick's Day = wicked hangover)

- Spring Break!

This month was a big step for me especially, because I am finally treating my depression. My doctor got me on some anti-depressants and though I'm nervous, I feel good that there is a chance I won't have to live under this dark cloud of doom forever. A lot of days have been spent under the blankets, skipping dinner, and staying unshowered with piles of clothes around me. I'm already feeling a bit more of myself and I can't wait to see how I do next month.

I hope your March was fabulous! Now onto April!

Always, Raineedayze

Thursday, March 29, 2018

March Goals Update

I decided to change things up a little bit this month because things were getting a little too redundant having two goals posts every month. So I think I am going to condense all my goals into one post instead. 

1. Write 2 Book Reviews - SUCCESS

I wrote 3 book reviews this month and I loved it. I planned on writing a few more, but because the content of the majority of my books was a little....risque, I stuck to only reviewing a select few. However, I remembered how much I loved it and I'm super stoked to write more in the coming months.

2. Deep Clean the House - Kind of?

I didn't really hit the house hard this month, but I did clean out my wardrobe and got rid of a TON of clothes that were just taking up space. I'm not gonna lie, I may have cleaned up just to make room for more clothes, but whatever works right?

3. MCU Movie Marathon - FAIL

I honestly forgot about this goal. Life kind of got in the way and I haven't been in the movie mood lately. However, I won't say I never will do this. Hopefully, I can catch up before Infinity War.  

All in all, I think I did a pretty decent job this month. I may not have completed all my goals, but I did enjoy what I was able to accomplish.

1.  Play More Games - FAIL

Is it really a surprise at the moment that I keep failing at this goal? I just haven't been in that mood. I dunno. Maybe things will change next month. Though, I don't feel too bad since I am enjoying my free time.

2.  Get Out More - SUCCESS

I'm super excited that I continue to do more for this goal each month. This month we headed to Six Flags and Sea World, and we got membership passes! So I can definitely see this becoming a usual thing! I also went out of my way to head to the movies instead of staying in with Netflix and junk food.

3. Create - SUCCESS

I bought a sticker machine this month, and I am so excited to use it. I also spent time taking photos and sketching when I could. I'm pretty stoked to do more next month and I have a few ideas. 

4. Treat Yo' Self (Better) - SUCCESS

Okay, so this one was a big one. I finally started working with my doctor and managing my depression with meds and I am so stoked. If you've been a follower on here for a while, you might remember how I was pretty happy to be off meds for years. However, I realized I couldn't deal with it alone and I needed help to get back to myself. It was truly the best decision for me and I am super excited about that. I feel this is best to treat myself and I am very happy.

Overall, this month was pretty good for goals and I am super stoked to continue on in April.

What do you think of the new post format? How have your goals been achieved this month? Let's chat!

Always, Raineedayze

Monday, March 26, 2018

Raineedayze Reads: Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Recently, I've been on a pretty good reading kick. I read a whole bunch of books that were all fabulous, so I had pretty high expectations for this one.

Sad to say, it disappointed BIG TIME.

This book is about two best friends, Gabby and Ryan, and their relationship as it flows and changes throughout their high school years. This book was told in a top ten list, with the timelines shifting back and forth through their relationship.

The premise sounded super intriguing and since Spring is here, I was all ready for light and fluffy romance but that was not what I got at all in this book.

The timeline shifted way too much. It also didn't seem to have a reason for the shifting. One chapter focused completely on the resolution of a fight, only to have the next be the beginning of the fight. It was super hard to keep track, and since the characters fought ALL THE TIME, I never knew if they were friends or not in the current timeline.

The characters in this book were super one-dimensional, and I hated both of them. Ryan was pretty cool for a little bit but after awhile, he came off as super stubborn and defensive. Gabby was just bitter for the majority of the book, and I wasn't even really rooting for them to end up together because they both kinda sucked.  

This book had some good moments. It described anxiety attacks very well, and Ryan's enthusiasm for consent was awesome (seriously, YA authors, take note). Unfortunately, these things didn't save the book for me. 

Katie Cotugno's writing is fundamentally awesome, but for some reason, her stories have a way of being forgettable and having characters who are super bland. I enjoyed Fireworks, liked How To Love, and was decently into 99 Days. I won't say I will stop reading her books, but I don't know if I will be putting her much higher on my TBRs. Her plotlines are fantastic, but the execution is just done a little weak. 

Overall, I gave this book 2/5 stars.

Always, Raineedayze

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Raineedayze Reads: Meet Cute Anthology

This month, I finally was able to get my hands on Meet Cute, a romantic anthology filled with stories about YA meet-cute themed tales.

I've been waiting forever to finally read this book, because there were so many awesome authors involved in this book.

Sadly, I was pretty disappointed. (Warning: Mild spoilers)

With anthologies, it's pretty difficult for all the stories to be 5 star reads. That being said, there were so much more hits than misses in this book.

Now, I'm not going to review each story individually, just hit the highs and lows. Let's start off with the hits.

The Unlikely Likelihood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies
Adorable. Most of the stories required a high suspension of disbelief because they were all "love at first site". This story, though unrealistic, was absolute adorableness! Plus, statistics!

The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton
This story was my absolute favorite, though I have to admit it had a pretty slow start. It was based in a sort of fantasy/sci-fi world but the love story was the most realistic to me. I couldn't say much about the characters in this book, since the authors didn't have a very long time to build them up, but the love was magical. 

259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan
This was a sci-fi based story (are you seeing a pattern?) and I really enjoyed the world around the story. This story didn't have a conventional ending, but I enjoyed the premise. I will say, this love story wasn't the best LOVE story but more of a good short story.

Now, let's go to the....not so great stories.

Say Everything by Huntley Fitzpatrick
One of the main issues with not only this story, but a couple of others, is that I HATE love stories that  are between someone at work and a customer. It creeps me out a bit because when you are working, you are stuck there, forced to be cordial which is often misinterpreted as flirting. Aside from that, the story had too many creepy vibes and at the same time, I had absolutely no idea what the point of this story was.

Print Shop by Nina Lacour
Another story that dealt with meeting at work, this story was also creepy for the main character using a business Twitter account to stalk the love interest. I just didn't vibe with it.

Siege Ettiquette by Katie Cotugno
I love Katie Cotugno but this story made no sense. The main character would randomly get really mean, and then quickly apologize. This story also seemed to do something a lot of the other less than stellar reads did. It seemed like the authors tried to leave a lot of unanswered questions in order to make the reader want to read more of it, therefore convincing the reader that they liked it more than they actually did. 

In all honesty, this book didn't veer too much towards really good or really bad. I rated it a 3/5 stars. It was meh, though I enjoyed the LGBTQ representation in many of the stories.

Have you read this? Let's chat about it!

Always, Raineedayze

Monday, March 12, 2018

Raineedayze Reads: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I finally was able to read The Cruel Prince after MONTHS of lusting after it. It had been on hold at my local library for nearly 2 months, so I had nearly given up hope on reading until April. Here's my non-spoilery review.

This book was FANTASTIC.

The Cruel Prince follows Jude, a mortal girl thrust into the world of the Fae. After her parent's death, Jude and her sister Taryn are brought along with their fae-born sister Vivienne into the world of Elfhame.  But in a world where mortals are seen as inferior, Jude is determined to forge her own destiny.

This book has been described as Game of Thrones meets faeries and I have to wholeheartedly agree. A fight for the throne, a kingdom of secrets, this book was filled with so much drama and magic. I couldn't put it down and finished it in 2 days.

Holly Black has always been one of my favorite authors so I am so excited for the rest of this series! 

Jude is such an interesting character because throughout the book, we glimpse a little more of her true personality and it makes her more of your typical fantasy character. 

The secrets, betrayals, and eclectic cast make for a book that keeps you turning the page, desperate to figure out the truth of who is good and who is hiding behind a mask.

I gave this book a 5/5 star rating. It is definitely a new favorite for me.

Have you read The Cruel Prince? Let's chat about it in the comments!

Always, Raineedayze

Friday, March 9, 2018

March Mini-Goals

It's March and the world feels a bit greener today! 

This month, I have so many things I'm looking forward to! Jon's birthday, A Wrinkle in Time, and spring break, just to name a few. 

I've been doing monthly mini-goals in addition to my yearly goals, because I feel it keeps me on track. February had a few stumbles, but I feel pretty good about this month.

1. Write 2 Book reviews

I miss reviewing books. I loved writing them because I feel they help connect me to the book community. I always feel a little behind when I do them because I rarely read new releases, since most of my books are from the library. However, I want to do this more for me and for my personal enjoyment. 

2.  Deep Clean the House

I have a really cute makeup vanity in my bedroom that I adore. For the past 3 months, it has taken the place of a nightstand, closet, medicine cabinet, and art supply crate. My kitchen is filled with stain build-up and the floors are in desperate need of a scrub. My car is filled to brim with wrappers and receipts. I feel like the mess in my life is being exacerbated by the physical mess in my life. So I really want to deep clean the apartment and start fresh.

3. MCU Movie Marathon

Infinity War comes out April 27th, and I am so excited to see it. That being said, I need to catch up on the MCU so I can be completely up to date on the complete storyline. I've seen all the films, except for Doctor Strange and Spiderman: Homecoming, so I plan on marathoning MCU to refresh and get pumped for Infinity War.

I usually like to have 4 goals for a month, but this month, I know I'm gonna be pretty busy with finishing up school stuff in preparation of graduation, so I'm gonna stick to these three ambitious goals. 

What are your goals for the month of March?

 Always, Raineedayze

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March TBR

I actually have a bit of a TBR this month that I'm super excited about. 

If you've been a regular reader, you know I usually don't make a TBR for the month because I like to read based on my mood. But there are actually a few books that I am so ready to read this month.

1. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black 

This book has been on my TBR for the past two months because it came out in January. My library copy finally came off hold so I can finally take a look at it. I hear so many awesome things about this and my year has been pretty lacking in terms of fantasy. 

2. The Bride by Abigail Barnett

This is the third book in The Sofie Scaife/The Boss series. These books are very much like the 50 Shades of Grey books but with way more consent and healthy relationships. Is the series amazing? Not particularly, but it is the kind of easy drama to get sucked into and I love that I just fly through them.

3. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 

This is one of the books for March for one of the book clubs I am in. I am pretty excited because I just finished American Gods last month and absolutely loved it. Anything Neil Gaiman is an automatic insta-read for me so I know this book will happen soon.

4. Meet Cute by Various Authors

This is another library book that came off hold this past week. This was supposed to be one of my February reads for the cute love story vibes, but in a big city, library holds are pretty long. Either way, I am super excited to get into this book. It is an anthology of meet-cute short stories by authors like Nicola Yoon, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Katie Cotugno, Sara Shepard, and more!

I hope to read more than four books this month, but these are the ones that I want to get to first this month. What's on your TBR?

Always, Raineedayze

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Yearly Goals Check In: February

I talked about my monthly mini-goals last week, but for my yearly goals, I feel like I've done a bit better.

1. Play More Games - FAIL

I talked about this a bit before, but this month was not the month for me doing anything, including playing video games. I still have barely made a dent in my pile of shame, but I know once spring break comes in March, I will be able to finally sit down and enjoy myself.

2. Get Out More - Success 

Jonathan and I have been spending way more time out of the house instead of in front of the TV every weekend.  We actually found a few places we love to go and it's been really nice to not be cooped up in this house 7 days a week. 

 3. Create - Success

I've been steadily working on switching between traditional and digital media and I am loving how much more natural it is becoming. I'm also loving how much I can see myself improving.

4. Treat Yo' Self (Better) - Success

 Between drinking more water, eating less carbs, and cooking at home more, I've been feeling so good. I feel more energized and my skin and hair are feeling great. Mentally, I finally started some progress on getting myself back in therapy, and that's gonna be really good for my soul. SO this is definitely a win.

February was actually pretty good to me in this journey. Let's hope March allows for more goodness.

 Always, Raineedayze

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Captain's Log: February Wrap-Up

I talked a little bit about my month in my monthly goals post, but in short, February wasn't the most productive of months, especially when it came to free time.

With graduation looming, I am spending most of time finishing up school and related college things instead of doing anything fun. But I am told it will be worth it.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman | Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier | The Boss by Abigail Barnett | The Girlfriend by Abigail Barnett

This month wasn't the best reading month numbers-wise, but the overall quality was pretty good. I had planned to read 9 books, but the 5 I read were generally great. Any month when I read Neil Gaiman is a good month for me. Also, I fell into The Boss series by Abigail Barnett. It's like the 50 Shades series but with more consent and actual healthy relationships. 

The only book I wasn't a fan of was My Sister Rosa. I left a review on Goodreads that you can check out here, but in short, the book was just so dull. I'm kind of bummed it took up so much of my reading time this month.

Heroes of the Storm (PC) | Cat Goes Fishing (Steam) | Kitty Powers: Matchmaker (Steam) | Orwell: Ignorance is Strength (Steam) |

This month, I did a lot of small gaming sessions when I had free time, usually only for an hour or so. Luckily, Cat Goes Fishing and Kitty Powers, were both pretty short daily games that I could kill a few minutes with. The new Orwell game came out halfway through the month and I was able to spend a day with it. The rest of the series comes out later in March but since the game is so short, I may wait until the whole game is out to play it. Overall, the games were mostly just time-wasters and nothing I really immersed myself in.

How I Met Your Mother (Hulu) | Daria (DVD) |

Harry Potter (rewatch) | Black Panther |

The stress of this month extended to my media habits. No matter how many times I've seen it, I am always bingewatching HIMYM, especially in times of stress. 

I also picked up the Daria box set and have been rewatching the episodes with Jonathan. The show has been one of my absolute favorites for years, and I love the nostalgia. 

For movies this month, we finished up our Harry Potter rewatch and many tears were shed. I also saw Black Panther and wrote a review for it, which you can find here.

Other Cool Stuff This Month

* I turned 23!

* Valentine's Day was a thing!

* More dates!

* Healthier diet and upping my water

* Starting the process of getting back into therapy!

All in all this month was stressful, but I feel like the gave me a chance to reflect and make March even better. 

Always, Raineedayze