Flowers & Lavender Farm

I feel like I haven’t posted any photography on here in awhile, mostly because I haven’t picked up my camera in awhile. I’ve been really busy lately with my work and school schedule, but I always think it’s important to take a time-out from our hectic lives even for a little while, and enjoy the creation around us! The summer months seem way too short, so it’s best to enjoy them before they’re gone! 🙂

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This photo was actually taken at a Lavender farm, where I not only got to see the rows and rows of beautiful lavender, but also got to see how the lavender goes from flower to essential oil – and the benefits of the essential oil for the human body! It was a really amazing experience! I was shocked to see how much lavender makes only a small amount of the essential oil!

 

 

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Book Review

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Hey guys, so I read this book probably about a month ago, but I haven’t gotten around to actually doing the review for it until now, but since this time has gone by it’s really allowed me to develop and collect my thoughts on it.

If you don’t know what it is about I’ll leave the Goodreads description here: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Description.

I have a lot of mixed feelings on this novel. I know a lot of people either really loved it or really didn’t, but I think that I’m one of the rare people that fall into the middle category. At first, I  was really confused while reading this book, because the world is something that I’m quite unfamiliar with. It’s not like any other world I’ve been exposed to in YA literature before. However, once I started understanding the world a little better I did become fond of some of the elements of this world, including the fact that there are different levels of wishes that could be granted. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of mythological books, or novels that deal heavily with mythology so perhaps that is the one aspect of this book that I didn’t love. But that being said, those who do like mythology would really like this book!

I thought that the writing style was really good, it almost had a mysterious element to it that kept the reader intrigued all the way through. The romance was also done very well, and I would say is probably one of my favourite parts of the book. I also did like the description that the author provided with the world itself and especially the creatures that resided in this world. Because it is so unlike our own universe, these descriptions were both necessary and a relief for the reader in understanding and visualizing the plot and the characters.

Overall, I did enjoy this novel, though it is kind of long, it is a quick read and keeps the reader engaged in the story the whole time. I think this novel would be great for anyone who is looking for something that is different within the fantasy genre and likes a little bit of mythology and romance (that isn’t insta-love). I give this novel 3.5/5 stars!

 

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray – Book Review

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Hey guys! I’ve been doing a lot of off and on reading lately due to my really busy schedule, but I’ve finished A Thousand Pieces of You awhile ago and haven’t gotten around to posting the review for it until now.

I’ve read a lot of time travel novels, but I can’t say that I’ve read any books that are based on travel between different dimensions. I feel like that was a very unique and original plotline that Claudia Gray came up with. Though the book incorporates some theoretical physics concepts, I can surely say that I am not a scientifically minded person, and was able to fully follow what was happening in the story because the author explained everything in a way that even if you aren’t into physics, you can understand what’s going on.

I really liked all of the characters in the book, I felt like it was a really quick-paced read that was good for my busy schedule. There are some plot twists in the novel which I liked, and I also liked how the author transitioned between the different dimensions. It was cool to see the small details that changed in each dimension in comparison to the one that the reader starts off in. It is my understanding that this is the first book in a series, so I will for sure be picking up the rest of them probably before the end of the summer because I did find this one enjoyable and I’m curious how everything will turn out for the characters in the book.

I have been reading some other reviews on this, and some people who are skeptical of love triangles have pointed out that there is kind of a love triangle in this book. Though I’m not a fan of love triangles by any means, I feel like this one wasn’t overdone or too over the top. This is because the main character already kind of has a leaning towards one particular love interest than the other right off the bat.

Overall, I give this novel 4/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes time travel books but is maybe looking for something a little bit different and original!

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas – Book Review

Beware: This review might contain spoilers of ACOTAR and ACOMAF.

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     Hey guys! So I finished ACOWAR today and I had so many feelings on this book. Yesterday I sat down for 5 straight hours and literally did not stop reading because I just couldn’t! The whole book from the first page to the last contains so many dramatic events that keep the reader interested. However, I think I liked the last quarter the best of the entire book. I liked that we got to find out so many new things about each of the characters that we didn’t know while reading the rest of the series, but looking back on it, it makes sense now. Sarah J Maas also really included a lot of diversity in terms of her characters in this book, which I know has been one of the things that the ACOTAR series has been criticized on, is it’s lack of diversity, but after finishing the third book you can see that there does remain quite a bit of diversity in the land of Prythian.

I thought that this book was perfect. It met all of my expectations going into it, which were pretty high because Sarah set the bar high with the ending of ACOMAF. I loved the tension between Rhysand, Tamlin, and Feyre and how that all played out throughout the book too. I also liked that we could see more of Feyre’s sisters Elain and Nesta throughout this novel they play a much more significant role than they previously have.

Another addition that I liked in ACOWAR in comparison to the other books, is the new love interests. Not only is Rhysand and Feyre’s relationship the cutest thing ever, but more romantic interests between some of the other characters are also introduced and I loved that element of ACOWAR!!

Throughout this entire series it was so heartwarming just seeing how Rhysand, Azriel, Cassian, Mor, Feyre, and even Amren, were so close and how they all looked out for each other like they were family! I cannot wait for more books with these characters!!

Overall I give this novel 5/5 stars and if you haven’t read it yet, it will not disappoint at all! Be prepared to get emotional over some parts though!

Some of my favourite Quotes from the novel: 

“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.”

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that i do not love with everything I am.”

“We’re all a broken, in our own ways – In places no one might see.”

 

May Wrap-Up & June Reading Plans

Monthly Wrap-Up

Hey everyone! There’s been a lot of exciting things that have happened this month! I would say it’s been a really successful reading month as I’ve met and exceeded my May reading goals of 4 novels, I’ve joined a book club and created my own, and I got a new reading area in my house that is beautiful! (Bookshelf tour to come in June). I also had oral surgery which wasn’t fun but I’m basically recovered now and can enjoy the rest of the summer without my wisdom teeth haha. It was also my birthday so I got a lot of book store gift card money to spend on new books! Overall, it’s been a really busy and chaotic month but I’m pretty excited about the month of May and I can’t wait to see how June goes once I start summer school and my schedule gets more busy!

This month I’ve read:

  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne – 5/5 stars
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick –  4/5 stars
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss – 3/5 stars
  • Coventry by Helen Humphreys – 4/5 stars

I’ve actually done a review on all these books so you can go and check those out if you want to learn more about these novels or are considering reading them.

Currently…

I have to mention the fact that Sarah J. Maas released her third book of the ACOTAR series, A Court of Wings and Ruin! I wasn’t able to get it on the release day earlier on in May, but I did finally get it the other day! I’m currently skimming over and re-reading parts of A Court of Mist and Fury because I read that one a few months ago and I want to refresh my memory on some of the major things that happened because it’s a really long book and extremely eventful. After I’m finished re-reading parts of ACOMAF I’m going to start reading ACOWAR. I don’t know how long it will take me to finish the entire novel because it’s also a big one (almost 700 pages). I’m hoping to finish it by the end of June! I am so excited about A Court of Wings and Ruin, I’ve basically become obsessed with this series and I’ve been telling everyone I know to read it so I can discuss with them my love for Rhysand haha.

I am also currently reading Exit West which is a novel by Hamid Mohsin which was our book club choice!


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**Sidenote** This picture of a wilted wet dandelion fully sums up the month of May. We have got so much rain this month you would literally think that it’s April. I think that’s why I was able to get all the reading that I wanted to get done, finished. I’ve been inside a lot reading on these rainy days.


June Reading Plans:

There is a lot of books that are coming out in June that look so good! I want to read them all but I know that’s not realistic, especially because I have SO many books still in my TBR pile that I keep swearing I will read, but never get around to it. With reading ACOWAR which is a pretty big book and also starting summer school, I don’t know how much time I will have to read but I plan on reading the following:

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
  • Exit West by Hamid Mohsin
  • The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (I’m super excited to read this it’s about Gladiators!!)

I also plan to start a reading bullet journal this month. I have a regular planner but I wanted to try out bullet journalling because it looks really cool for creating visual reading goals and book trackers! 🙂

Coventry by Helen Humphreys

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Hey guys! I have been reading Coventry by Helen Humphrey’s for a book club that I am apart of, and I decided that I would review it. This book is a historical fiction that takes place during the First World War and moves on to the German attack of November 1940. It follows the story of Harriet, a widowed woman who lost her husband shortly after they wed in World War I, and Maeve, a mother who is desperate to find her son amongst the German attack in the city of Coventry. Check out the full description at Goodreads: Conventry by Helen Humphreys.

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The Writing Style: 

This is the first novel that I have read by this author, and I was amazed by the writing. As I was reading this novel, I couldn’t help but think about the stark contrast between the poetic, beautiful writing of Helen Humphreys in comparison to her devastating and dark atmosphere her story takes place in, during the onset of explosions and bombs and wreckage. The author utilizes descriptive language to draw vivid images in the reader’s mind. As I was reading, I could picture the city in which she described, and the ruin that became of it following the German attack.

 

The Plot:

The plot of the story was excellent. I love historical fiction, and I really enjoyed seeing how Harriet and Maeve’s lives intersected. I also liked the way the author was able to carry out this heavy storyline in such a limited amount of pages. I usually prefer long books as I feel that I have time to develop a connection to the characters, but Helen Humphreys accomplishes this by giving just enough detail about each of the characters and their history before the story began, that the readers are able to feel a sense of connection to them, and feel their pain as they experience these awful bombings. The story though was predictable to some extent. Right from the beginning I knew how Harriet and Maeve’s lives intersected, I’m not sure if the author meant to make this obvious to the readers or not, but nonetheless I would have liked more of an element of “surprise” or maybe a few powerful plot-twists along the way.

This novel was really sad and moving. The author did an excellent job of using both her compelling writing style and her plot, to convey the loss and the pain, as well as the fear that would have been present during this scary time in history.

Overall I give this novel 4/5 stars. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves historical fiction, and is looking for a quick and fast-paced read. I would also recommend this as a book club book, as it was for me, because there is a lot of themes to discuss in this novel where people may have different opinions or perspectives.