August 2014 Wrap-Up

August has come and gone in a flash, just like every month this year, and I have concluded some books, as well as done some book hauls and tags. I haven’t listed all the tags I did, so I’m going to list them here (be prepared for a larger post).

So in the month of August I have read and reviewed “This Star Won’t Go Out” by Esther Earl and “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell. These two books were fantastic reads and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for sentimental, down to earth reads. Here’s my reviews for each: TSWGO // E&P

Both books received high ratings for the types of books they were and how well they were represented by their respective authors.

That was pretty much it for my wrap-up, though I did include a small snippet about how I’m enjoying “These Broken Stars” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Though I’m still in the process of reading this book, I just wanted to include it in my wrap-up to let you all know what I’m currently reading and that I am enjoying it. A review will be up on it, hopefully, by the beginning of next week, if not the end of this week.

Moving onto the haul of “creepy” books, here’s what I got:

  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” by Michelle Hodkin. This book tells the story of a girl, Mara, and how she was the only survivor in a car crash with her friends. She starts seeing their ghosts and strange things keep on happening.
  • The Merciless” by Danielle Vega. This book includes a lot of blood, demons, possession, and scary things.
  • Asylum” by Madeleine Roux. Some kids with special gifts end up in a dorm that used to be an insane asylum and strange things start to happen. They learn they might have a connection with the asylum’s dark past.
  • The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman. A boy is raised in a graveyard by ghosts and things that are dead – or not so dead.
  • Stardust” by Neil Gaiman. A guy would do anything for this girl, including going beyond the wall that separates their village from the rest of the world. What he finds beyond is something he didn’t expect: the world of Faerie.

Each of these books sound spooky and enchanting in their own way, and I’m intrigued to find out what happens in them. Great reads for October, in my opinion, but we’ll see when I read them (TBR box, you know).

Now, if you’re into doing fun “tags,” then these are the questions to the three that I did (videos and answers linked below):

Booktube Newbie Tag

1. Why did you start this channel? I wanted to share my own thoughts and opinions about books with others, plus it looks like a lot of fun!
2. What are some fun/unique things I can bring to YouTube? I think I can bring more discussion type videos to the table because I enjoy deep, engaging, thought-provoking conversations with others.
3. What are you most excited for about this new channel? I’m excited to just be part of the BookTube community and share with everyone else my love for reading.
4. Why do you love reading? I’ve always loved reading. It helps me to escape reality and enter new worlds – even if the books themselves take place on Earth.
5. What book or book series got you into reading? I’m not quite sure, but one of my favorites as a kid was Stellaluna by Janell Cannon,
6. What question would you ask your favorite Booktuber? What is the best experience you’ve had since becoming a BookTuber?
7. What challenge do you think starting a Booktube channel will be the hardest to overcome? Not getting wrapped up in how many views or subscribers I have or don’t have.

Summertime Madness Tag

1. Show a book with a summery cover. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
2. Pick one fictional place that would be the perfect summer vacation destination. Hogwarts. Do I even need to explain?
3. You’re about to go on a flight to your summer vacation, but you want to read a book that lasts the whole flight. What novella do you pick? Four by Veronica Roth
4. You have a case of the summer time sadness – what happy book do you pick to shine a smile on your face? Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson
5. You’re sitting at the beach all alone – which fictional character is your beach babe/hunk? Tobias from the Divergent series. He’s just… yeah, he’s a hunk.
6. To match your ice cream, you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional sidekick do you pick? Alice from the Twilight saga by Stephanie Meyer. She’s fun, sassy, and can be a great bff.

Social Media Book Tag

Twitter: Your favorite short book. The Life of Saint Margaret, a thirteen page story of a woman martyred for her faith and the man she would not give herself to.
Facebook: A book everyone pressured you into reading. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Tumblr: A book you read before it was cool. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Yeah, that’s right, I read it before all the hype went down.
Myspace: A book you don’t remember if you liked or not. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Instagram: A book that was so beautiful you had to Instagram it. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I love the simplicity of it and how colorful it is.
Youtube: A book you wished would be turned into a movie. Firelight by Sophie Jordan. People turning into dragons? I mean, c’mon.
Goodreads: A book you recommend to everyone. The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. Faeries, fantasy, adventure, romance. So good.

So yup, that pretty much wraps up August. It’s been a productive, fun, busy, long month, but it was totally worth it.

Accompanying videos: August 2014 Wrap-Up + Creepy Haul // Social Media Book Tag // Summertime Madness Tag // Booktube Newbie Tag

This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl Book Review

thisstarwontgoout

Title: This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl
Authors: Esther Earl; John Green; Lori & Wayne Earl
Publisher: Dutton Books – an imprint of Penguin
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
Genres: Non-fiction – Memoir
Pages: 431
Format: Purchased Hardcover

“This Star Won’t Go Out” by Esther Earl, with Lori and Wayne Earl, introduction by John Green, is a nonfiction teen novel about Esther, a teenager with thyroid cancer. In this book it contains her innermost thoughts, her life, diary entries, entries from her parents, siblings, doctors, and author, John Green.

This book was definitely one in which you could hear the voice of Esther, and that you could see how big of a heart she truly had. It was a great read as I was able to see inside her head about her cancer, about her day to day life, and everything else in between.

The book included photographs and colored pages, making the book itself engaging and visually appealing. I think this definitely helped to draw me into reading it and it was also helpful in determining the difference between Esther’s writings and her parents’.

The content of the books was, at many times, funny, but there were also serious moments. Yes, I cried like a baby at the end because, in case you didn’t know, Miss Esther died of her cancer in 2010. She was actually the inspiration for John Green’s book, “The Fault in Our Stars“.

Overall, this book was uplifting, heartwarming, sad, but all over good. I rate it 5/5 stars.

To see the organization made in Esther’s name, visit This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation.

Accompanying video: This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl Review

If you read the book, let me know what you think about it in the comments!

TBR Box

What is a TBR box you ask? Well, technically, it’s supposed to be a TBR jar, but I didn’t have a jar handy so I’m using a small box instead. (It actually doesn’t really matter what type of container you use.)

So, pretty much, a TBR (To Be Read) jar holds slips of paper with book titles on your shelf. Just cut slips of paper long enough and small enough to write titles of books and their authors on it, fold them in half, place them in the container, and when you’re reading to start on your TBR list, choose a slip at random (make sure they’re mixed well together) and voila! You have your book!

It’s a really simple, fun way to get that giant list down to nothing in no time!

Unless, of course, you do book hauls in between reads.

So, when I did my TBR box, I ended up pulling “This Star Won’t Go Out” by Esther Earl, introduction by John Green. I’ve been wanting to read the book since I heard about it and the inspiration it held for John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars,” so I’m really excited that I pulled it first out of my TBR.

My TBR box has many slips of paper, including series, so when I pull a series I’ll read the full series before I move on to individual reads (as long as the first book holds my interest). This doesn’t mean I won’t get more books before then, but they’ll just be added to the TBR.

Accompanying video: TBR Box (Jar)

Anyway, let me know if you have or are going to make a TBR jar! What’s your first pick from it?