Here is my review on Youtube :) Thank you Tea Sparrow team for letting me try it out!
Here is my review on Youtube :) Thank you Tea Sparrow team for letting me try it out!
From award winning author, Jonathan Friesen, a contemporary story dealing with mental illness and an unexpected friendship.
Elias Phinn copes with his painful reality by slipping into the imaginary realm of Warilia, a world that colors his every waking moment and feels more real than the actual one around him. When his carry-on luggage is switched with that of the beautiful and mysterious Clara, Elias becomes convinced that she is a Warilian diplomat’s daughter. But as the two become friends and their carefully constructed worlds begin to crack, Elias must save them both before everything falls apart.
Poignant, heartrending, and powerfully real, Both of Me is the latest young adult novel from award-winning author Jonathon Friesen. As it explores themes of friendship, mental illness, and self-discovery, this gripping novel will catch—and keep—the attention of teen readers.
About the Author
Jonathan Friesen is an author, speaker, and youth writing coach from Mora, Minnesota. His first young adult novel,Jerk, California, received the ALA Schneider Award. When he’s not writing, speaking at schools, or teaching, Jonathan loves to travel and hang out with his wife and three kids.
Note: This following post contains A LOT of spoilers from the show. Please, if you haven’t seen all of the seasons please READ THIS POST INTEAD. When you watched all five seasons of Chuck you are welcome to return back. You have been warned.
Season 1: 2007-2008
A lot happened in the first season… I was really hooked in on this point. Also being an avid watcher of the HART OF DIXIE, I was more than pleased to see Rachel Bilson in a couple of the episodes as Lou, the sandwich maker in the strip mall and also Chuck’s real girlfriend. I also couldn’t help but feel the distance starting to form between Chuck and his family and friends. I almost wanted to tell them that Chuck was a spy myself, but that wouldn’t be professional. (Like I said before, I almost felt like I was part of the show after a while lol. You could also see the friendship starting to form between the characters. John Casey and Sarah Walker as partners and handlers of Chuck. Also the first time that you meet Carina (who initially I didn’t quite like). Also Bryce Larkin too cool for school right?…(can all my “White Collar” buddies give a big whoop) (I realize that I watch a lot of TV shows on Netflix haha) Also you meet the crew of the Buy More and get familiar with the Nerd Herd. I thought it was so awesome that one of the biggest nerds was turned into one of the country’s biggest asset. And how no one knew about it. Although I felt like the covers were kinda a stretch (like really no one would suspect anything, really?) I thought it almost added to the comedy and made a nice effect.
Season 2: 2008-2009
Here we learn a lot more about Sarah Walker’s past. An old childhood rival and her geeky husband are also apparently working with bad guys. I thought it was strange how EVERYONE Chuck seemed to be in contact with was a master evil person with a plan to destroy the world. Kinda makes me fearful of random scary looking people I occasionally see at CostCo…I may need an intersect of my own. We also meet Jill, the ex that broke Chuck’s heart. And how she betrays him again as working for Fulcrum. Although I did kinda feel sorry for her…seemed like she didn’t really want that and was drawn in against her will. A lot of betrayal is to come when Casey learns that his former sensei is really EVIL now and using his forces in such a way. Of course the team saves the day (of course). Also happy for Morgan that he finally had a girlfriend. So he doesn’t feel so left out…almost a distraction. And then more on Chuck’s past and future with Orion and the intersect. Despite all of this Chuck believes one day he can have a normal life…but if I know anything about spy life, is that once you get started…your life will never be the same again. Also…did anyone else totally hate Emmett? Sad to say I wasn’t sad that he was terminated from the show (quite literally). The love story and Ellie and Awesome is, well, awesome. They are so adorable together and I loved them as a couple.
Season 3: 2010
Chuck is now a legit spy! Way to go Chuck. It was nice to finally see him as an actual spy! It made me feel more safe for him too because now he had the skills to protect himself and not have to wait in the car all the time. It was amazing how the new intersect was programmed so that he didn’t even need to learn all the new skills or languages… he just knew them… AWESOME. At this point I was well aware of the FLASH FACE and always waited for it when trouble arises. Awesome also gets to be a spy with his dashing good looks. I was glad that at least some people started to know the truth about Chuck. First Awesome, then Morgan. It was nice that his friends and family started to know the truth, although that made them be in more danger. Then comes Shaw… lets be honest. At first I really liked Shaw. A new member of the team. Very handsome too I might add. But when he goes crazy after finding out that Sarah killed his wife, he kinda turned kinda scary. After trying to kill Sarah, Chuck saves the day. I was so happy when they finally started dating for reals. Made me sad though that he had to end it with Hannah, whom he met on the flight to Paris. Shaw comes back…very not dead. And is also an intersect where him and Chuck battle. The end result is that Shaw is shut down and thrown into prison. Finally Ellie learns about the spy hood. FINALLY! She’s an awesome sister. I was relied when she finally learned the truth.
Season 4: 2010-2011
Chuck begins the search for his mother and the CIA bought out the Buy More. Now the Buy More is teaming with agents…finally though the whole crew of buy more employees are restored. Now that Fulcrum and the Ring are gone…a New enemy arises. Volkolff Industries. Ellie and Awesome have a baby (thanks to Jeffster and thier “push it” song in the delivery room.) Chuck also finds his mom and left me questioning whether or not she could be trusted or not. The point I started trusting her was when she gave the blade to Sarah when her and Volkolff were going to blow them up in the cellar. Finally Chuck and Sarah plan to get married. Their engagement was so touching. Well the second time finally. I literally cried when they practiced their vows..so cute! Vivien Volcolff turns out to be crazy evil and then not…TOTALLY CONFUSED HERE. Also I didn’t understand how they were like “Here are new identities and you will never see us again if all things go right but then somehow it ended up being okay that they didn’t have new identities. Still confused with that one.
Season 5: 2011-2012
So Chuck comes to a completion. I wasn’t a big fan of Carmichael industries. I thought it was kinda weird and that the producers were just trying to stretch it along. Although the family bond that is formed is quite evident. Somewhere at some point Morgan gets the new intersect with flaws and accidentally downloads it. Making him a total Jerk! I always like Morgan but not when he was like this.
Which brings me to the finale…which was kinda two parts. First, Sarah downloads the Intersect with ends up damaging her brain and what Quinn uses to destroy all of Sarah’s memories. She forgets about Chuck and all of their plans together and how they fell in love EVERYTHING. I was literally very sad when all this happened and found myself hysterically crying that she couldn’t remember. I was so sad how EVERYONE was leaving. EVEN JEFFSTER!!! I feel that I didn’t get real closure at the end….DID THE KISS WORK!
FOR ANYONE IMPORTANT THAT IS READING THIS. CAN YOU PLEASE BRING BACK THE SHOW….IF NOT THE SHOW>>>A MOVIE TO CLOSE THINGS UP. I WANT TO KNOW IF SARAH AND CHUCK LIVE IN THAT HOUSE OKAY? I WANT TO KNOW IF JEFFSTER BECOME FAMOUS! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO CLARA AND THE HEIR CHILD MOLLY. PLEASE DO SOMETHING.
Anyone agree? How did you like Chuck? Leave a message in the comments below.
Here is my video review of the Chalk O La Liquid Chalk I got to try out. I loved the quality of this product! It really helped to revamp my room! The chalk dried quickly which helped me to add more details and outlines quickly with my “art.” I put art in quotes because I am not an artist and I doubt you can call my terrible palm tree art, but you know what I mean. Someone with real talent or just home DIY-ers like me can get real use of this product!
If you are interested in purchasing, please visit Amazon!
I received this product for free (thank you) but I was not paid to give an opinion.
5 of 5 stars
My basic review of the book (no spoilers):
Wow just wow. I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this book. Morton’s style of writing is truly refreshing and the thought and details that she adds to the story and to the characters really bring the story to life. I love how she went back and forth from the past to the present while the characters were starting to learn more about what happened. I LOVE MYSTERY. The whole plot line was strong. A woman’s quest to find the truth of what happened that day she witnessed something terrible. It was one of those books I didn’t want to put down! I was sucked right in!
A couple of things I was confused about though, especially towards the end. If you already read this book and had some concerns too, PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MY QUESTIONS (CAUTION:CONTAINS SPOILERS). The PASSWORD IS: Jimmy
But I would recommend reading this book!!!
Bottom line: Read it
For those of you that don’t know… I just finished season 5 of Chuck on Netflix. At first I was overly suspicious of the show’s almost 5 star rating, but after watching the shows to its completion I have to agree that it is a great show.
Here is some info on what “CHUCK” is all about according to the internet:
Computer geek Chuck Bartowski opens an e-mail that has been encoded, subliminally, with vital government secrets, triggering a massive download of critical information to his brain. With assassins and international terrorists eager to nab Chuck’s noggin, it falls to Maj. John Casey and his partner, CIA agent Sarah Walker, to protect the government’s newest and most-unlikely secret agent.
First Episode Date: September 24, 2007
Last Episode Date: January 27, 2012
Here is my formal review about the show:
All in all, this was a fantastic show! Not your typical spy show…These spies CARE! I was instantly drawn into the characters and was sucked in as if I myself was a member of the Buy More family. When I saw this on Netflix and started watching the first show it took me about a month to complete all 5 seasons. Five years in one month almost makes me feel like the Intersect! HAHA…it is okay if you don’t understand everything I am talking about now… just watch the first episode and you will see for yourself. Although trust me, you won’t feel the same about spy shows anymore….my only question now is, When’s the movie?
Did you know all of this already? CLICK HERE TO READ MY SPOIL FILLED REVIEW OF CHUCK AND THE SEASON FINALE. (Beware of spoilers- read only if you have completed all 5 seasons!!)
From the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding novel of family secrets, murder, and enduring love.
During a picnic at her family’s farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson witnesses a shocking crime, a crime that challenges everything she knows about her adored mother, Dorothy. Now, fifty years later, Laurel and her sisters are meeting at the farm to celebrate Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this is her last chance to discover the truth about that long-ago day, Laurel searches for answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past. Clue by clue, she traces a secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds thrown together in war-torn London—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—whose lives are forever after entwined. A gripping story of deception and passion, The Secret Keeper will keep you enthralled to the last page.
I am looking forward to it!
Yes I do realize that it is not Wednesday (I usually post book related material on Wednesdays). BUT I wanted to post my review for this book already so I can start on another one this month. So without further ado…..
2 out of 5 Stars
Basic Review (Getting to the Point):
Although I do like the “idea” of the theme of this book (washed up child actress trying to live a normal life and find happiness despite past horrid circumstances and uncaring parents), I felt like the characters needed to be developed in a better way. My main problem was that I didn’t get enough details on certain main characters enough to accurately picture them in my head. It also seemed like some characters were dropped in the middle of the book which seemed a little weird to me. (Like what happened to Randi?)
I did start to like the book more towards the ending where I got some closure with some characters. Thats why I didn’t give this book a flat 1 of 5 stars.
Now I will go into more detail about the pros and cons of this book.
My problem with the characters
Something I always enjoy about reading is being able to visualize the characters and being able to figure out what kind of people they are. Am I going to like them? What are they like? What do they look like?
Even with the main character Fia (or Fiona), I didn’t really feel a connection with her. I don’t even know what this 30 something year old looks like…. I always felt that there was something missing in the beginning that would have really drawn me in to want to relate to Fia. Instead I found myself saying “what?” a lot.
My problem with the relationships of the characters
I was actually disappointed with all of Fia’s relationships….they all seemed really unrealistic and dysfunctional.
From the back of the book summary of the A Thing of Beauty, I had imagined the relationship between Josia and Fia to be different. But Josia isn’t really mentioned as much as I would think. Plus it almost seems to me as if Fia was taking advantage of him. And while having a strict “Don’t bother me ever ” type of rule, in the end somehow they become really good friends. Which makes no sense to me because it wasn’t properly developed. It felt like it was “Don’t come into my kitchen” and then next it was “Please redecorate my whole house and make yourself comfortable” ALSO, HOW OLD IS THE GUY? I still don’t know.
Without revealing too much about the overall plot, I do feel the need to discuss my thoughts on her relationship with her parents. I never knew there was even such a thing as “divorcing” your parents. Like what? Totally weird.
And then there is Jack. Basically a “no booty” booty call. Such a strange relationship…and believe me… it will leave you wondering the whole time about what the point is. The conversations that they had didn’t really feel like it made much sense and didn’t really help move along the story.
Randi, the barista and coffee shop owner, seems like one of the only normal relationships in the book. Although I felt this character was neglected in the middle of the book and is almost thrown in at the end in what seems to be an after thought.
And don’t even get me started on Tony and Big Mike…
Let me just say…. I very rarely DONT like things. I wanted to be honest with this review though. When I read the summary of this book I was very excited because I really liked the plot line. I felt it really didn’t live up to what I thought it would be like. I think if the characters and their relationships had been more developed then this book would be a grand slam.
Now for some good measure I will answer the questions from the Reading Group Guide
1. Although A Thing of Beauty isn’t meant to be read as an allegory, who or what does Josia represent for you?
For me, Josia represents hard work and helping others. His character almost never is sleeping and is always doing something to improve the quality of life in others. He is an all around good guy.
2. What is the difference between running away from your circumstances and reinventing ourselves or our lifestyles? How do we know if our choices denote healthy change or refusal to address the past?
In my opinion, real adults face problems squarely and head on. Running away from problems is impossible. Like the case with Fia, if you wait too long to address the past, it can haunt you for the rest of your life. You will also develop a longing for answers to questions that never had been answered. Do you want to know why somebody did that? ASK THEM! Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere. Be the change that you want to see in the world. Do something about your lifestyle. Don’t expect all the answers of the world to be handed to you on a silver platter. Remember, nothing GREAT in life is easy. It requires effort.
3. What does Fia’s house mean to her, and to you?
To Fia it means all the things that she cannot let go of. All the clutter in her home is all the resentment she has for her life and her parents. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. You are only hurting yourself. Fia was really the only one holding herself back.
To me her house reminds me that I need to clean mine.
4. How do you think you would fare living out your life under a microscope, whether it’s of your own choosing or not?
You make your own life. I guess for those that are born in the spotlight it is harder to choose. But let me just say, if you are boring people probably won’t pay too much attention. The reason they get all that attention is because they make drama ( just like Jessica) to get publicity. Any kind of publicity is good publicity right? Me personally? I wouldn’t like it. Sometimes I get my mail in my PJs and I wouldn’t want it in the section “Stars Are Just Like Us” in People magazine.
5.Social Media: Good or bad?
Depends on how you use it.
6. When must we stop blaming our parents?
When you point your finger at someone, remember that three fingers are pointing back at you. Take responsibly for your actions.
7. Have you ever dealt with a narcissist? If so, have you been able to free yourself? Why or why not? If you have, how?
I think to a certain extent, yes I have. Not to the degree of Jessica. But people like that are almost like leeches. The best way to get rid of them is stop letting them feed of of you. If you don’t baby them like how they want you to, they will eventually find someone else to do it.
8. What character did you most relate to and why?
Randi, she seemed the most normal in the book. Although I do like to go thrift shopping….
9. How much of what you believe is taken at other people’s word? What does it take for you to be certain about something? How much or how little? Are you naturally skeptical or accepting? Why?
I feel that if you believe in something you should know why YOU believe it, not why others believe it. I am usually more skeptical. I want to make sure something is true before I accept it as my own.
Okay so that is my review of this book. Have you read this book before? Do you want to read this book? If so leave a comment below giving me your thoughts!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Let me just say… my favorite books have to GRAB my attention. I guess it is because of my short attention span or something else but I really need to feel like I can relate to what the characters in the book are feeling.
I am always looking for new additions to my library…but I have also ended up with a million (almost literally) books that I only read once (if that…if it is super boring). So in efforts to expand my library while also getting rid of some books, I have stumbled on a couple websites that I think you will enjoy hearing about.
The first website I stumbled upon was Paper Back Swap. Basically on PaperBack Swap what happens is that you upload some books into your bookshelf that you no longer want. A customer then can purchase your book for a credit (paperback and hardcover books are 1 credit. Audio books are 2 credits). Then after they purchase your book then the credit(s) go into your account that you can then use to purchase another book. You are responsible to pay for shipping of the book that was sold.
I think the whole idea of PaperBack Swap is awesome! I love how you can just trade in gently used old books for someone else’s. Such a great idea! I just started using this website and the sister sites (CD SWAP and DVD SWAP- Although a personal note is that those sites do not get as much traffic since many people are not using CDs or DVDs anymore…I have traded a CD on there before though) but so far I am loving it! I encourage you to try it out!
The next thing I wanted to mention was something a lot more local…And that is LITTLE FREE LIBRARY!!! The concept of Little Free Library is similar to Paper Back Swap except it is local! If you visit the website you can look up “little free libraries” in your area and take a book/give a book with your fellow neighbors.
Okay the final tip for changing up your bookshelf with little to no cost is BookLookBloggers. This website is for bloggers that write reviews on their blogs and they get to choose a free book from their website to do a review on. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE REVIEW I AM DOING FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY.
Hope that helps some!!