Monday, February 27, 2017

Jams of the Week 2/27/17

Guten tag and welcome to jams of the week!

this music video is super weird but I love the song.

Empire Of The Sun - High And Low


A current favorite to yell in the car while driving.

The Wrecks - Favorite Liar


Still can't decide if I like the new Andrew Album or not... it feels wrong to not like it you know?
Either way I do like So Close.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - So Close

till next time,

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jams of the Week 2/25/2017

Hi and welcome to Jams of the Week!

Obsessed obsessed with "Something Just Like This". Super into all the colabs Coldplay/Chris Martin have been doing.

"I want something just like this"
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

My boo came out with a new song and a new tour. Sadly no Wisco shows even though he normally gives us two! Get it together Jack.

Fragments - Jack Johnson

I really like Chiddy Bang and they took a short break and did some solo stuff but they're back together with a new song and it's pretty good. Kind of reminds me of Kid Cudi?
If you're interested check out "Clouds" By Cisco Adler for solo Chiddy.

Chiddy Bang - Full Speed Ahead

Imma gift you with this wonderful video if you haven't seen it before. 
My favorite song +SNL

SNL redoes the "Call Your Girlfriend" video

till next time,

Monday, February 20, 2017

Uppercase Book Subscription Review!

I've had good and bad luck with subscription boxes lately, but I think I've finally found one I love. 

Uppercase is a monthly YA (young adult) book box. With each subscription you get:

- Incredible Brand New, Hardcover Young Adult Book
- Signed Book or Bookplate Signed by the Author
- 1-2 High-Quality, Exclusive and Custom Bookish Items
- Uppercase Reading Experience with Exclusive Content
- Special Hand-Written and Personalized Note to You

Since I'm a little weary of boxes I had to really check out what they were about before I ordered. Luckily I was able to check out all their past boxes on their website. That's totally awesome because not all boxes let you see what they've done before for some reason. Uppercase has all of their past boxes that they've had since August of '14, so out of thirty something boxes a good majority were books I've read or have on my Goodreads to-read list! Plus the goodies they send are cute! I would totally buy some of the things they send so to have them included for basically free is awesome. Some stuff comes from publishers and others come from small businesses. Remember "Beautiful Book Quotes with Simini Blocker"? She put her art into a 2017 planner you got for one month, but you can also buy her stuff  in their store which is awesome. It helped that they had a first timer promo code for 10% off, which isn't a lot, but it was a nice touch.  Also, if you don't want the goodies, you can do a books only monthly plan which is cheaper and still comes with a signed book.

Other added bonuses, each email comes with a fun gif or pic that made me smile, like this month's your box has shipped:


One thing I like is that they recommend you don't buy any new new books before you get your box in case you buy the one they're sending, so it actually helped my horrible impulse book buying least until I got the book

So what did I get this month? Here was Feb '17's box:

Cute reusable bag!

Whats inside!?
It's "By Your Side"

 and it's signed! woot!

True love.

and for some reason a 221B Baker Street door key which I loveeeee.

 A friend was just telling me about Novelteas and now I can finally try it. 

OK So the goodies are awesome, but one of my favorite things about Uppercase is the reader connection. In the box, are codes to use to enhance your reading the book. You go to the Uppercase website, enter the code for the part of the book you're on for different awesome bonuses. Example for Feb, the first code gave you an exclusive Youtube video from Kasie West to start you off reading. Plus you get access to the Uppercase book club so you can talk about the book with other YA lit lovers. You can do it from home in your pajamas anytime and they'res no pressure to read it by any date. Lovely! 

A little about the book, via goodreads:

"When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?"

I found the book to be super predicable but well done. It kind of has the feel of a Sarah Dessen know how it's going to end but it's short and sweet and sometimes you want that kind of story after a long dramatic book.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this box and I can't wait to see what the March pick is going to be! =)

Till next time,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Jams of the Week 2/15/17

Howdy neighbor and welcome to jams of the week!

Marian Hill is an awesome duo who's music I think I've put on here before? Other favorites include "One Time" and currently popular because of a commercial for Apple (and because it's awesome) "Down." Her voice is so special and light it draws you in. 

I Want You - Marian Hill


Current earworm:
"Would you die for this?"

Break Over You - Draper feat. Prides 


This song reminds me of Boston by Augustana in the best of ways. 

"It's time to make mistakes
It's time to move on
And shape this love
The way it should be"

California Song - Patrick James


and now to end on something completely weird and different

Wizard Wig - Chousand

kinda makes ya want to jam out while wearing a wizard wig,
juuuuust a little,
doesn't it? =)

till next time,

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February YA Book Reviews!

One plus side to having your hands be useless for a month is I have plenty of time to read all the books. I picked three super popular ones to start the month off which always makes me nervous. I don't know if anyone else is the same way but the more people tell me to read or watch something the more unlikely I am to do that. Since I have nothing but time currently I picked some I wouldn't normally pick and I'm mostly glad with all my choices.  Let's go best to worst! Allons-y!

A Study in Charlotte
By Brittany Cavallaro

At the end of last year I decided to delve into BBC's Sherlock and became obsessed pretttttty quick as I tend to do. So when I saw this at the library I was hoping it would have my favorite aspects of YA and Sherlock in one little package. 

We start the novel meeting Jamie Watson, the great-great-great-grandson of Doctor John Watson. He's attending Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school on a rugby scholarship. Of course somehow Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes also attends this school. Shocker. Charlotte has been groomed since childhood to be the best Holmes she can be: she plays the violin, is a genius, interacts poorly with others and even has a slight drug problem.

Jamie is pretty obsessed with Charlotte but doesn't get the chance to become her friend until some classmates are murdered in imitations of Holmes' most famous mysteries and they're framed for the crimes. The begin to work together to solve the crimes and clear their names.

Sherlock being a girl was one of my favorite parts of the book. She has a great mix of fierce mysterious sherlock-ness and real teen girl problems. I also enjoyed the way Cavallaro played out the story. She says shes a huge Sherlock fan and I think you can tell by the way she writes the crimes. I can't decide weather or not I liked the Watson/Holmes romance? I think I just kept thinking of Johnlock though... I didn't love it anywhere near the BBC show or even the RDJ movies but I liked it well enough that I am excited to read the next book. If you like the Sherlock world I'd encourage you to pick it up. 

4/5 Stars

Sidenote: is there anything better than reading a older book
and finding out the next one comes two week later? Small victories. 

Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo

I'm going to be 100% honest, I tried to read this book and put it down because there are SO MANY WEIRD NAMES and the first chapter is basically full of people you never hear of again. So I was trying to keep track only to find out I didn't even need to remember them. Sigh...either way I picked it back up because the ratings and reviews it had really recommended it, so I tried again and I'm glad I did! Once the book gets going it's much easier to keep track of the same people. 

The book starts off in Ketterdam "a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price." The hub is run by a bunch of different gangs, and the main one we focus on are the Dregs. The leader Kaz Brekker is made an offer he can't refuse by a rich merchant to rescue a scientist from the impenetrable ice castle in the north. He assembles basically an Oceans 11 type group that has a range of skills. Each rag-tag member of the crew has complicated histories and personal agendas.  You have:

"A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes "

I really liked the book. It had adventure, betrayal, revenge and romance. It had a few drawbacks: the crazy names like I said, the fact that it's a cliff hanger, and also it's a little dark. Sometimes I had to remind myself these people where supposed to be teenagers? But overall I was a fan. 

4/5 Stars.

Sidenote to my earlier sidenote: Yes, I lied, there is something better than reading an older book with an upcoming second book...ITS WHEN THE SECOND BOOK IS ALREADY OUT! Or like when I read Cinder and there were 4 more books available...that's really a wonderful thing.  The library has the second book on hold and I can't wait to read it.

Carve the Mark
By Veronica Roth

I was given Carve the Mark by my good pal Chloe, otherwise I wouldn't have ever picked this one up. I never read the Divergent series or saw the movies because it really didn't seem like my kind of thing. This type of YA sci-fi is confusing to me because it's old school classicism but in space? and I feel like by the time we get to space I hope we'd be past that? Also this was hard to get into because like Six of Crows the names in this book are ridiculous. I swear she was trying to be difficult. 

Anyways, the story takes place on a planet divided by two waring nations. Certain people in both nations are given fates that no matter what they will fulfill. While only some will have fates, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape their future. Most people have gifts that are helpful but our two main characters have gifts and fates that make life very difficult for them. 

First we have Cyra, who is I think technically the princess of the Shotet people. Her brother Ryzek  is the current ruler after the death of their parents. He's crazy for power and uses Cyra's gift for giving pain to torture his enemies. Cyra's gift not only causes her chronic pain but also emotional pain from being her brothers tool. 

Our second main character Akos and his brother are kidnapped by Ryzek from the more peaceful nation of Thuve and taken to Shotet. Ryzek hopes to use them to his advantage after learning of their currentgifts and fates. Akos' currentgift is the abilty to neuitalize others gifts, so Ryzek gifts him to Cyra so she won't be in constant pain but will still be useful to him. In a pretty predictable way Cyra and Akos have to learn to co-exist to overthrow Ryzek and save Akos brother. In the process they eventually start to fall for each other. Meh.

Overall I found the book a little confusing and slow. The parts you wanted to be longer were short, and the areas you didn't care for went on too long. I didn't know it wasn't going to be a stand-alone book (I should have known) so that was annoying to have a cliffhanger again, and then I went on Goodreads to rate it where I found a whole can of worms I didn't realize in the story regarding racism and disrespect towards individuals who suffer from chronic illnesses. 

I'm giving it a pretty generous 3/5 stars. 
If you liked Divergent you'll probably like it, but if that wasn't your thing I'd say skip it.

Last sidenote: I read that as part of their marketing plan Harper Collins paid people to read and review the book shortly before the release. I find that creepy and sad. I know galleys and arc are always a thing but to give people contracts and payments seems like they're trying to push this book way to hard to make up for it being less than stellar.

So now you tell me, what awesome books are you reading this month??
Did you read any of the above three? Agree or disagee?
Let me know in the comments!

till next time,

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Jams of the Week 2/1/17 - British Invasion

Howdy and welcome to jams of the week! So I've been planning an epic trip to London with my bestest buds Beth and Chloe for a year now and it's finally coming up! So I've been jamming to a lot of British artists so I thought I'd share three I love. 

Double feature, Calvin + Tinie!

Calvin Harris - Drinking From The Bottle feat. Tinie Tempah


Rizzle Kicks are an adorable duo and I've posted their awesome jams here before. 
Plus the video is hilarious and totally true life, I'm always late.

Rizzle Kicks - Always Late


I think I've said here before how much I've loved Dizzee's voice since his colab with Florence. Here's another Calvin Harris duo (he actually has two tracks with him, "Here to China" and this, but I chose Hype since it's on his record and not Calvin's).

Dizzee Rascal - Hype (feat. Calvin Harris)

hit me up in the comments with more British wonderfulness!

till next time,