Bookish Scenarios Tag

Hi everyone! I’m super excited because my hubby and I decided to make this weekend a long weekend. I plan to spend lots of time with him but also get a lot of stuff done (like reading the books on my TBR for this month!). I wanted to do a quick tag tonight before diving back into reading. I found this tag on Katytastic’s YouTube channel.

Bookish Scenarios

1. You have to get rid of all your books and you can only keep one from each of these genres – contemporary, fantasy, non-fiction and one other genre of your choosing. What books do you keep?

Contemporary: I don’t read a ton of contemporary, so I am going to go with The Fault in Our Stars because it’s one of the only ones on my shelf.

Fantasy: Hmm. Tough one, but I will go wit The Lord of the Rings. Can we pretend the entire series is one book?

Non-Fiction: Six Days of Creation. Cool Christian science book.

Sci-fi (genre of my choice): Illuminae. Hands down. It might be my favorite book.

2. You’re at the bookstore and you hear a teenager telling their mom they don’t like to read, but their mom insists they pick something. You walk over and recommend a book you think is great for people who aren’t big on reading – what book is it?

Hmm. Good question. Maybe Harry Potter? It’s a fun read and I don’t think it’s too challenging.

3. You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which book do you read to put yourself in a great mood?

Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci. It’s such a kick-butt book. I love it.

4. You go back in time for a day to your teenage years. What book would you most likely have caught yourself reading?

Twilight. Yeah, I was one of those.

5. Your friend surprises you with a 4 day trip and you have 1 hour to pack. Which book do you bring to read on the way?

I’m bringing Passengers, because I just started reading it and I can’t wait to finish it.

6. Your house has been robbed! Don’t worry – everyone is safe, but your bookshelf has been raided. What’s the book you really hope is safe?

Eve: The Awakening because it’s a signed copy and I don’t want to loose it. (Yes, I used this book for multiple answers).

7. Your friend borrows a book and returns it in awful condition. Do you a) Just pretend you haven’t noticed b) Ask them to repurchase it or c) Secretly do the same to something of theirs

I’d say something, and ask for them to repurchase. If you’re borrowing my books, you best be nice to them.

 

That’s all I have for you tonight. As always, I tag you if you want to participate. Let me know in the comments if you do, I’d love to read your responses.

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No Turning Back.- A Poem

Hello! Happy Monday. This weekend didn’t quite go as planned. I didn’t get chapter one of Alter Reach revamped enough to post, and I didn’t finish Dreams of Gods and Monsters (but I still am on track with my September TBR challenge), but that’s okay. Not every day will be perfect and I had a great weekend.

I wanted to do a quick post today, so I thought I would share another poem. Enjoy ☺

No Turning Back

Like a fallen star,
on a cold winter’s day,
wandering, waiting,
I have lost my way.

Like a broken tree,
covered in thick ice,
I have learned my lesson,
and paid the price.

Like a winter wonderland,
suddnely turned black,
I have reached my fate,
there’s no turning back.

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It – Movie Review

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great Saturday. I saw IT tonight, and couldn’t wait to get home and write a review.

As always, I will try not to spoil, but you should see the movie first if you want to go in without knowing anything.

Enjoy 😊

Summary

IT follows a group of bullied kids, dubbed as “The Losers Club,” living the town of Derry, Maine, in the summer of 1989. After recent cases of disappearing local kids, including Georgie, main character Bill’s little brother, the group discovers a terrifying, shape-shifting, demonic clown, Pennywise, who feeds on fear.

Review:

You’ll float too!

I love Stephen King’s work. His writing is brilliant, and his novels, manage to give me nightmares with just words on a page. The same cannot be said for most of the movie adaptations of his work. Until now. In my opinion, IT ranks among the best King movie adaptions so far.

The first chapter of IT is set during the main characters’ early years and is led by some super talented young actors. Jaeden Lieberher (Bill), Finn Wolfhard (Richie), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben), Sophia Lillis (Beverly), Wyatt Oleff (Stanley), and Chosen Jacobs (Mike).

These kids are FANTASTIC. The chemistry among the group felt authentic. It very much reminded me of the kids in Stranger Things. The character development was strong and each character stood on their own as an important member of the group. I enjoyed how the film gave us just enough back story to give us an understanding, but never spent too much time focusing on one specific character. We were able to love and know each individual, which made watching their experiences that much more terrifying.

Speaking of terrifying. Let’s talk a little about Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise, the demonic clown who feeds on fear. Holy crap. He delivers an intense and frightening character who never ceases to scare. A clown could easily fall pray to cheesy and funny, but not Pennywise. There isn’t a single moment where you feel like this is a friendly clown. His facial expressions, voice and lines are all equally scary. Skarsgard definitely did his job in this movie.

I give this film a lot of credit. The special effects never felt forced. A little weird sometimes, but I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie. The movie didn’t rely on gore for scares, which I love. Hack and slash doesn’t scare me, it just makes me nauseous. I enjoyed that this film didn’t need to hack up someone to make me afraid of IT.

Going back to the kids for a second, I have to give some credit to the script. I loved how the film would get super intense or gloomy, and then one of the kids would say something hysterical to give you a little breather before jumping right back into scary mode. I also loved how there were minimal fake jump scares. For the most part, if the music got intense, the movie delivered a scare.

The movie was on the long side, but that didn’t bother me at all. We were able to get a well rounded and well paced movie. I enjoyed that the ending, while leaving the story open, didn’t leave us with a cliffhanger.

As I said in the beginning, this is one of the best Stephen King adaptations I have ever seen. I’m really looking forward to the second chapter of IT.

Rating:

5/5 ☆

What did you think of IT? Let me know in the comments below.

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Need to contact me? Email me: jessicarachow15@gmail.com

Light of Hope – A Poem

Happy Thursday! I’m so happy it’s almost Friday. This weekend is going to be dedicated to finishing up Dreams of Gods& Monsters, the second book in my September TBR, as well as getting a ton of writing done on my WIP, Alter Reach. If I can complete both of these goals, expect to see a review blog and, possibly, a revamp of Chapter One of Alter Reach.

For now, here’s another poem. Enjoy 😊

Light of Hope

A light of hope flickers,
in silence of the night,
vivifying this somber room,
crushing eager darkness,
and masking all misery,
beyond these four walls.

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Writer Tag

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday. I’m currently reading through the second book in my September TBR challenge, so I thought I would do a quick tag.

On another note, I’m super close to 100 followers on this blog. I wanted to say thank you for the support. I’m trying to plan my 100 subscriber blog, so stay tuned for that (hopefully soon! 😊)

As always, I tag anyone who wants to participate.

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TAG Questions:

W- Wherewhere do you do your best writing?

At my desk in my living living room. In the apartment, I don’t have a ton of options but it’s my own space.

R- Ritualsdo you have any rituals you have to do when you want to write?

Not really. The only thing I need to do is shut down Twitter…because Twitter is the downfall of my writing progress.

I- Irritatewhat irritates you most when you struggle with writing?

Lack of ability to write what I’m seeing in my head. The visuals are there, but the words aren’t flowing. That is just so disheartening.

T- Talentwhat aspect of writing do you feel you’re most talented at?

Creating relatable characters. I love creating diverse, relatable personalities.

E- Essentialwhat part of writing is absolutely essential to who you are?

All parts of writing? I don’t think I can pick one part of writing. Writing in general just means so much to me.

R- Reflections- what is something that you’ve written that is a reflection that something that’s happened to you in your life?

Almost every piece of poetry I’ve written has been a real story.

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Well, that is all I have for you tonight. I hope your week is going well.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: @JessicaInspired
Instagram: @JessicaInspired
Facebook: @AuthorJessicaRachow
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Need to contact me? Email me: jessicarachow15@gmail.com

Frozen – A Poem

Hi everyone. Another poem for you to enjoy. 😊

Frozen

The warmth of your embrace
melted the pain away.
Whenever I felt cold inside,
I turned to your love’s flame.
But now that you’re gone,
the fire has been extinguished;
Sorrow is frozen in my soul
and my heart has been covered with ice.
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Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor – Book Review (September TBR)

I flew through the first book in my September TBR challenge. As promised, I will be reviewing each book upon completion.

The next book I’ve chosen to tackle from my list is Dreams of Gods & Monsters – Laini Taylor; the last book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I’m excited to see how the story wraps up, but let’s get on with the review of Days of Blood & Starlight.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Synopsis taken from GoodReads:

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Review:

This book picks up right after the events of Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Karou has vanished, and Zuzana, her best friend is worried. Okay, more like terrified, that Karou has met her end. Meanwhile, the media is in a frenzy and Kaz, Karou’s ex is profiting off her disappearance, much to Zuzana’s dismay.

She tried to pray, but she had only ever prayed at night, and it seemed to her that the moons made poor protectors when angels chose to hunt by day.

Karou is of course, alive, because what kind of trilogy would kill their main character off page? She has joined the Chimera vs. Seraphim conflict; aided by her memories from her previous life as Madrigal.

Akiva is wrought with guilt. Without spoiling too much, what he did destroyed Karou’s life and aided the Angel’s advances. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. His goal remains the same though, and the dream of peace Madrigal and he had so long ago is what he is still fighting for now.

The revelation of Akiva’s betrayal at the end of Daughter of Smoke & Bone, could have gone two ways. Karou could have unrealistically forgiven him and continued to persue their relationship, or hated the very thought of him. I love that Laini Taylor was brave enough to make this story real instead of giving into fan desires of a relationship. How unhealthy and annoying it would have been for Karou to easily forgive such an atrocity. Thank God for YA writers who still craft meaningful stories.

What are we fighting for? What are we killing for? What do you see when you look into the future?

As with her first novel in the series, Taylor’s writing is beautiful. The vivid images I am able to imagine by reading her words is incredible. She provides a consistent, complex world that never ceases to amaze me.

Karou is an interesting and complex lead. She is frustrating and weak at times, and then comes out of nowhere with all of this strength and power. Her choices are never easy, and her character gets more and more compelling as she grows.

A dream, dirty and bruised, is better than no dream at all.

Zuzana plays a more critical role in this novel, which is great. Her personality is a joy to read and when the story gets heavy, she is there to give you a bit of humor and lighten the mood a bit. I also enjoyed Mik. While not as critical, he is great to keep Zuzana level headed and I love their relationship.

Once upon a time, a girl lived in a sandcastle, making monsters to send though the sky.

Akiva’s character has me conflicted. I want to root for him. It’s clear he is stricken with guilt and only wishes to atone. At the same time, I’m so angry with him for Karou’s sake, I’m not sure I want her to forgive him. I enjoyed getting to know Hazel and Liarz more in this novel as well.

As long as you’re alive, there’s always a chance things will get better.

Thiago is utterly terrifying. I won’t say much more for fear of spoiling, but he is a very well written character.

I will give them nightmares to haunt their dreams long after I’m gone.

I enjoyed getting into a few more character’s heads this time around. It was interesting to see the perspective of different sides of the war. Like the first novel, this story is very character driven and it stays gripping and entertaining throughout.

Mercy breeds mercy as slaughter breeds slaughter. We can’t expect the world to be better than we make it.

This book is heavy and intense, with themes of atonement and mistrust. While there are brief bits of joy, the majority of the time, you feel the bleakness the characters are feeling. This will not be an easily won battle. The enemies are too great, and smart. Hope is all anyone has left, and it will be interesting to see if it’s enough to generate the peace many are longing for.

Bitter, bitter, this desolation of angels.

Final thoughts:

Many times, the second book in a trilogy only serves one purpose: bridge the gap between the first and the third. This is not one of those books. If anything, I actually found this book be stronger and more compelling. An interesting look at how each choice has a repruccsion, and not all choices lead to happy endings.

Rating:

5/5 ☆

What did you think of Days of Blood & Starlight? How are you doing on your TBR list?

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter: @JessicaInspired
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Reading Habits Book Tag

Hello there! Since I’m working through my SSeptember TBR, I thought it would be fun to do a reading book tag. I came across the tag here.

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Either on the couch or in bed. Some day, I will have a special place in my house for reading and writing, but for now, I make do with the apartment.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Normally, I use a random piece of paper, but I purchased a few pretty bookmarks from our church’s bookstore, so I use them.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I have page number goals for my September TBR challenge. If I don’t have a page number goals, I need to stop at the end of a chapter. I definitely can’t stop in the middle of one.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Water, mostly. I am trying to lose some weight, so snacking while reading or writing is out of the question at the moment.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I can listen to music with no lyrics, but that is it. As with writing, TV or songs with people singing will distract me from the task.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

One book at a time. When I attempt more than one at a time, I don’t finish any of them.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

At home or on break at work. I don’t sit in a restaurant to read, but I will read anywhere that’s appropriate.

8. Reading out lout or silently in your head?

Silently in my head…unless I want Paul to hear a sentence for some reason.

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

No way.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Like new.

11. Do you write in your books?

Nope. If I’m taking notes for a review, I write them down in a separate notebook. I love my books too much to do anything to them.

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Well, that’s all I have for you today. Per usual, I tag anyone that would like to do the tag. I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend if you have it off. If you don’t, I hope work is going by quickly for you.

You can keep up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @jessicainspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

Until next time –

Jessica

Phoenix- A Poem

Hello and Happy Labor Day weekend. Here is another poem for you. Enjoy. 😊

Phoenix

Embrace the chaos,
as a white dove awakens,
on the red horizon,
of bleached reality.

Silence the destruction,
as a white dove falls,
on the cold stone of earth;
another fatality.

Reach across the moon,
to the birth of a Phoenix;
a breath of fresh air,
and an end to brutality.

What are your Labor Day weekend plans?

You can stay up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @JessicaInspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

You can still read chapter one of Alter Reach here.

Until next time –

Jessica

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor- Book Review

Hey there! Two posts in one night. Crazy right? I just finished reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. This book isn’t part of my September TBR (because I finished it before September), but I still wanted to review it since I plan to read the other two books in the triology during September.

Review

Karou, a blue haired, 17 year old, Prague art student lives a double life. Juggling her human life and her life with the Chimera who raised her proves to be a difficult task. And while this fact sets her apart, she is and struggles to find the answer the one question that has haunted her, her entire life; who is she?

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.

I had pretty high expectations going into this book. I’ve heard and read a great deal of positive reviews, and let me just say, I was NOT disappointed. This story is the age old “forbidden love” story, but it is so unique in its mythology.

Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war or does war make monsters?

Laini Taylor created such a diverse world that captivated my attention through the entire book. There was not one page that left me bored. Every word had me on edge, waiting to find the answers to the many questions posed through the chapters.

Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic.

The language in this novel is beautiful. It really sets apart Taylor as an author. She weaves such a vivid picture into the readers mind without drawn out descriptions. This is a very character driven plot, which I love. Every character introduced has a unique personality, and I never felt like I was reading the same person over and over again.

Love is an element.

This is one of those novels where you aren’t really sure what is going on through the majority of the book, but you’re just so invested and intrigued, it doesn’t matter. You keep flipping the page with the hope and expectation that you will understand in the end. And you do…sort of. Taylor ends the first book in this trilogy in the right way. I had planned to read a different book outside of this series next, but I changed my mind. I need more of this world.

Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is accord. Harmony.

I recommend this book to anyone who is into mystery and fantasy. The names take some getting used to, but once you get past that, you’re in for one beautiful experience.

Rating:

4/5 ☆

Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

You can stay up to date with me on Twitter & Instagram: @JessicaInspired and on Facebook: @authorjessicarachow

You can still read chapter one of Alter Reach here.

Until next time –

Jessica