25 May 2016

Top 5 Wednesday | Characters I Defend

Happy Wednesday!!

Well blogging friends ... I've been doing Top 5 Wednesday for a little while now but I haven't been posting here. I've been adding videos to my booktube channel. However, I've decided that in addition to my booktube I'm going to start adding my thoughts here as well. So for all of my reader friends, if you are booktubers or just like to talk books like me you should check out my booktube HERE and then join the T5W goodreads group HERE! It's really fun, and we get to talk about books. Yay!! So if you are new to booktube or goodreads and don't know what I'm talking about. Top 5 Wednesday is goodreads group that was started by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and is now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. Each  Wednesday we have a new book topic that we blog about or do a video about and then we discuss. :) All the Links are linked above. Join in the fun! 

So this weeks topic I've been DYING to do!! This week's topic is Characters we defend! I love defending my favorite characters and I plan to do a video too for youtube because of how much I love to talk about this topic but I thought I would blog about it too. The more talk about these books the better in my opinion. Let's get started shall we? I'm going to count down from 5 because my #1 I have a LOT to say and I want to keep you in suspense as long as possible. ha! 

5. Chuck Bass. 
So of course ... when I thought of characters I defend Chuck obviously came to mine. I have to admit at the beginning of the series I HATED Chuck ... with a passion. And I know there are quite a few people that would be and still are of the opinion that he is a horrible person but I can not agree anymore. Chuck grew SO much in the series I thought. When we first meet him he is a complete jerk and you are complete appalled by his behavior from his obsession with Blair, to his treatment of pretty much everyone but especially girls but he is such a complex character and I just feel that he grows leaps and bounds through the series. He goes from this arrogant piece of crap who could careless about anybody but himself to really, genuinely caring a great deal for his family, his friends, and Blair. He becomes this very loyal, dependable, loveable character and I hate that he gets all the hate he gets. Yes, he was bad in the beginning but he evolves so much. Love him!

4. Four
Is it just me or does FOUR seem to get a bad rap? I don't understand why everyone hate him! Don't get me wrong, I love Tris. I love her character development, I love the growth she has in the books {I'm not a huge fan of the movies. I watch them of course but the books are oh so much better} but I also think that she is a bit ... no, a LOT selfish. I think she does things without thinking them through and then Four is left to pick up the pieces and put everyone back together and he is SO not appreciated for that. In my opinion. Please, nobody shoot me. Case and Point in the above picture, just saying! 

3. Wolf
I so wish that I was on this bandwagon way before now because I am just now fangirling out to this series and I feel like I'm all alone!!!! I am just starting Winter and so if anyone is with me and wishes to talk about it, PLEASE lets chat! I have so many feels for this series. However, even though I love Cinder, Cress, and Winter, I LOVE Scarlet. I love her and Wolf and I feel like Wolf gets a lot of crap thrown his way. I mean, he has had it rough people, I just want to say to all the haters give the guy a break. Yes, he was on the bad side to begin with but he has more than made up for that in my opinion. He is loveable, he can be distant but he is fiercely loyal to scarlet and his friends and I feel would do anything for them. I love that about him. Btw ... has anyone noticed a pattern with me? Loyalty is a must! I just love Wolf and I defend him even though I've just started shipping. :) 

2. America Singer
So America seems to be the girl everyone loves to hate and I for the life of me don't understand why. Ok, let me back up. First off, I love this series. I just have to warn ya I could fangirl about this series all day. Mostly just the first three books because I just love America & Maxon's relationship. I mean, it was like a real relationship. They had ups and downs, there were times they hated each other but they were still completely and totally in love. I don't get all the hate for this series, and more specifically for America. I mean, first off she was 16 people. She is a teenager and yes ... a lot of her ways of doing things were stupid and if she was older I would have perhaps judged her a little harder but they were both kids. I don't know, I just love her. I love her spunkiness, I love that she could be so open and honest with Maxon, now the thing that drove me nuts was that she went back and forth a lot. I didn't want to smack her for that but I just loved the books so much. I love that she loved her family. she was very family oriented and I am very family oriented. I really identified I guess, with America. So of course I defend her. 

1. Cody Coleman
Lastly, anyone who knows me well will know that Cody was going to be on my list and was going to be my top answer for this. Why you might ask? Well, this is a character I will defend to the death. If I hear you talking about this series and this love triangle and you DON'T ship Cody, we might have a slight problem. ha! I have gotten in heated arguments over this character. I just don't understand how an author can build up a character through multiple books, make him out to be this awesome person and then just DROP HIS STORY and make it seem like all the backstory was NEVER even there??? How do you do that?? Cody TOTALLY deserved the girl, He was so perfectly flawed and he loved her. So what that he had a hard time expressing it, does that mean you just drop him? NO! See?? I don't you .. it gets bad. Have you ever had a situation where the author burned you so bad that you have had to quit them all together or had a very difficult time giving them another shot? I hope I'm not the on;y crazy person out there. Anyways, Cody had to be my top character I defend. I just loved him. He started out with a rough past and life, he really worked his way through, found a girl that he really liked and that seemed to like him. He really made something of himself, he always put everyone else first and then ... nothing. It was horrible people, just horrible. Thankfully I've never had another bad experience like this again and hope to never have another one ever. 

So there you have it folks! My beloved characters that I will defend to the death! ha! So who are your favorite characters, who would you defend to the death? Have you ever had a "Cody" experience with a character? If so, lets chat! :) Until next time! Keep Reading! 

23 May 2016

What I Read ~ May

May, oh May, where did you go? I don't know about you but May just seemed to fly by for me. However, it was a good month all around but most especially it was a good book month! I was about to finish 8 books and I am now up to 37 books read for my 100 books in 2016 Goodreads reading challenge!! I'm excited I've read so much this year so far and I'm glad I've gotten out of my reading slump. After all ... "There's no enjoyment like reading

Top 3 Most Anticipated Books for May

The Crown by Kiera Cass | ★★★☆☆
I was really looking forward to this book. I love the selection series. I loved Maxon & America and I felt that Eadlyn had grown on me in The Heir. In fact I think I gave the Heir 4 out of 5 stars. However, I didn't enjoy this book as well. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone but it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. And although I was ok with how it ended I felt that the story was rushed and that we didn't get to see the characters develop as much as they should have. In my opinion, if she was going to have any more books after Maxon & America she should have done 3 books instead of cramming all that she did into 2 books. There just wasn't enough time to really sink your teeth into the characters, in my opinion. I still gave it 3 out of 4 stars but it could have been better. 

Her One & Only by Becky Wade | ★★★★☆
This series is a favorite for me and I'm very sad it is now over. I really enjoyed this book. I wrote a review here if you care to go and read and see what my thoughts and feelings were on the book. If you haven't picked up with series I would highly recommend it. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer | ★★★★☆
I can NOT say enough about this series! I love it! It's fantastic and if you haven't picked it up yet ... why haven't you??? Go! Go now and get it! I have to admit, I was late to this train so don't feel bad if you are just now getting on board. You are completely forgiven. Another confession I have to make is although I love the series, Scarlet is my FAVORITE character so far. I love her spunk, I love her love for her family and for the people she cares about and that she is willing to fight for them. I loved her & Wolf's friendship/relationship and I like how it grew with the story and how you got more and more info as the book went on. I love when I'm still surprised at the end of the book. Excellent book! I'm reading Cress now and I'm loving it too. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.  

Honorable Mentions

Cinder by Marissa Meyer | ★★★☆☆
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | ★★★★☆
There were things I didn't expect in this!!! I knew how it was going to end but I didn't know how it came about, that was a shocker to me. 
The Crimson Cord by Jill Eileen Smith | ★★★☆☆
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | ★★★☆☆
It took me a while to get into the world in this book but once I did, I was hooked. I have ACMAF on my TBR list. 
The Darcys & The Bingleys by Marsha Altman | ★★☆☆☆
This was a dud, don't read it. I liked the first maybe 10 chapters but after that it was downhill and I struggled to finish. 

So what's on your TBR list? I'm always looking for new books! Let me know in the comments if there have been any really good books you just couldn't seem to put down. I want to read them! 

18 May 2016

After I Do ~ Three Things to Ask Yourself Before Having Kids w/ Amberly

Hello Friends ... 

Welcome to "After I Do" a series where we talk all about marriage. The good, the bad, & the happily ever after. I love writing about marriage and the lessons I've learned along the way so I decided to turn it into a series where we can discuss all kinds of topics on marriage and beyond. I'm glad you decided to join us today. I'm excited to have my friend, Amberly as my guest today. I love reading Amberly's blog, her blog is one I aspire to be more like. I love all the insights, tips, and all around good advise she gives for making a happy and healthy marriage. I knew she would have something good to say about marriage.  Enjoy! Take it away Amberly ... 

Before my husband and I decided to have kids, we thought about a lot of things. Had we done everything on our list that we wanted to do before kids? Were our finances where we wanted them to be and did we have extra money saved up for emergencies? What kind of limitations would having a baby put on our current work, school and life schedules and did we have a plan in place for working around the things that are unchangeable? Etc. There are so many things to consider when you're ready to add kids to your family. Kids change everything in a big way, but that change is definitely a good one.
One of the biggest areas of your life that will be affected by your new addition is your marriage. Often times, couples think about and plan for the changes that a baby will bring to their living space, their budget, their work schedule and their social schedule, but they don't necessarily think to plan for the changes that will occur in their relationship with each other. All of the baby books that I read in preparation for our little one dealt with the adjustment we'd have to make in our marriage. Even though I felt prepared, some of the changes caught me off guard when they actually presented themselves. Looking back on our first year of parenting, I've thought a lot about the things that I wish I would have given more thought to as we were transitioning into this new stage of life.

Do you and can you depend on each other?

After four years of marriage, I thought we had this depending on each other thing down. With both of us working full time, me in school and Joe running his lawn care company six months out of the year, we relied on each other a lot. Ever since our son was born, I've realized that depending on each other is more than sharing household chores and picking up slack when the other spouse has taken on extra responsibilities for a short while. Now we have more than ourselves to think about, we have our child. If I have a paper to write or homework to do, I rely on Joe to entertain and take care of the baby so that I can be productive. If Joe has to work late, he relies on me to pick Bensen up from grandma's after I get off work. Our independent activities are dependent on each other and we wouldn't be able to have any sort of independence in our lives without the other person around.

Do you thoroughly communicate with each other?

Six months into our journey as parents, we realized that our communication needed to change. We've always talked and communicated on a regular basis, but the topics of our discussions had to shift. Like I mentioned before, we have to depend on each other a lot in order to succeed with our personal endeavors. In the past, when things have come up, we'd just let each other know in the moment, but now, it takes a little bit of forethought and planning. If I have a meeting for a group project at school, instead of letting Joe know that I'll be home late the day of, I have to check in with him in advance to make sure that won't conflict with something on his schedule. We have to coordinate our schedules, and when necessary, make sure that we have a babysitter lined up for Bensen. To encourage better communication in our marriage, we've started a tradition of weekly family meetings. These meetings are very informal and usually take place in the car, on our way home from spending time with our families, but they have helped our marriage immensely. It gives us a time to talk about what went wrong the week prior and how that little stumble can help prepare us to be more successful with similar situations in the future. We also talk about our schedules for the coming week, the things that we want to get done, and what we need from each other in order for that to happen. Knowing our expectations creates a happier home and helps us to be a better team.

Do you have enough love to share?

The love that you have for your spouse and even your pets is nothing compared to the love that you'll have for your own child! You will still love each other more than anything in the world, but that love that you have for your baby is a different kind of love. I think most people would answer yes to this question because there is always room in your heart to love another human being. However, I would encourage couples to think about what boundaries need to be in place to ensure that the love for their child doesn't exceed the love that they have for each other. Children deserve a lot of attention and love from their parents, but not at the expense of the health of your marriage. Always make time for your spouse, and do everything you can to keep your relationship strong! Our little one has multiplied the love, joy and laughter that exists in our home and he is the greatest blessing! All of that happiness disappears when their is tension in our relationship, and children can sense that shift, no matter their age. Making your marriage a priority, even as you transition into your roles as parents, isn't selfish. Your family is built upon that foundation that you created as a couple before the children came along. Keeping that relationship solid will keep that foundation from shifting during the trials that come your way, no matter their size. As your little family grows, always remember that your marriage came first and after the children have grown and started families of their own, your marriage will remain. You are partners in everything in life, including parenting, but don't let that partnership overshadow and dissolve your partnership as husband and wife.