Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #6: Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is summer reading TBR. Technically speaking, my last book haul post was my TBR list for the summer. So I won't bore you all by rewriting my blurbs about each book. Instead I'll just post the wonderful covers simply because they're oh so pretty.

Top Ten Books on My Summer Reading TBR List

Of these summer book haul books, I'm most excited to read Red Rising, Eon, and The Revenge of Seven. Eon is something that 1) I've heard great things about and 2) Tamora Pierce suggests it. Now I have to read it! Red Rising = adult dystopia! Exciting! And I've been waiting impatiently for The Revenge of Seven ever since The Fall of Five ended. That cliffhanger was pretty bad - not Mark-of-Athena-bad for pretty bad still.
Books not included in my book haul that I also plan to read are:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - I've heard really great things about this book. Half my co-workers have read it already and are raving about it. I must know why. Plus, I really liked Fangirl so I'm expecting to like this one as well.

Looking for Alaska by John Green - I've only read TFIOS and Looking for Alaska seems to be the next biggest thing John Green has written. I read the first few pages at work but didn't get very far. It seemed pretty interesting. It's sort of a toss up though whether I want to read this or Papertowns first.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien - This is just a long, long, long overdue reread. Plus, I've never actually read The Return of the King. I think it's time to now. It was either reread this or reread Harry Potter. I've read Harry a lot more than I've read LOTR though so I'm trying to even that out more a bit.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Page to Screen: The Fault in Our Stars

My first movie review. Yay!!!
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
I just came home from watching The Fault in Our Stars. I dragged my poor boyfriend to see it with me and my cousin who initially got me to read TFIOS. I truly enjoyed this movie. I would have enjoyed it more had we not been unfortunate enough to be sitting in front of a large group of loud pre-teens who clearly snuck in from another movie. But that's besides the point. Theater etiquette is a rant that I'm not willing to go into here.
For anyone who read my book review of TFIOS, you'll know that though I enjoyed the book, I was not as impressed by it like so many others nor do I think that the book deserves the crazy, insane hype that it gets. Neither book nor movie made me cry. However, in comparison, I definitely liked the movie better - I know, crazy right? What book geek ever says the movie's better? But it's true this time around.
If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, proceed with caution or avert your eyes.
As with any book to movie adaptation, there were parts that were taken out or changed. A lot of the lines were fairly word for word and all the best quotes were kept in. One thing that was taken out of the movie that I thought was a particularly good choice was the decision to remove the Caroline Mathers storyline. In the book, Gus says that he was staring at Hazel during support group when they met because she looked like Caroline. Note: I don't own a copy of this book; I borrowed it from my cousin. So I don't remember if he said Hazel looked like her or reminded him of her and I can't check. Either way, I thought that storyline was a bit on the weird side. Regardless of the fact that Gus loved Hazel as herself and not because of her similarities to Caroline, I thought that whole storyline was a downer on their relationship. I'm glad they took that out.
Another thing that I'm glad that they changed for the movie was they made Hazel and Augustus less pretentious than they were in the book. The movie portrayals made them seem more like real teenagers. They weren't spewing SAT vocab in every sentence and there were no silly debates over the symbolic connotations behind why certain food is considered breakfast foods and some aren't. I loved that they made the characters in the movie more like real teenagers - with teenager-y feelings and reactions. It just didn't come off to me that way in the book. The book seemed to focus more on the 'wise-beyond-their-years' trait than them just being intelligent teens.
One part I wished they hadn't changed was details after Augustus's cancer comes back. While reading the book, I thought Augustus' death was fairly abrupt. Like, he was sick for a couple of chapters, they just have his pre-funeral, then the next chapter says he died. In the movie, a lot of the details leading up his death were taken out making it even more abrupt. It seems that the movie focused more on the love story rather than the characters' inevitable death. This makes it slightly easier and less heartbreaking to watch but still, I would have liked those details kept in. Particularly, Hazel's hunt for Gus' letter. I dunno, it felt like she had a better closure in the book than in the movie where Van Houten just hands her the letter. Also the book ends with, Hazel saying "I do" in answer to Gus' letter, doesn't it? I liked those last words better rather than, "Okay."
I have to say that the cast were each perfect for their roles. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort were the perfect Hazel and Augstus. Shailene though, holy crap beans, can she act. She made Hazel for me. The way she portrayed certain things like excitement over going to Amsterdam, yelling at Van Houten (both times), crying over Gus' death was just amazing. She was just perfect in the role. Especially during Augustus' pre-funeral. If there was a time at all when I almost cried in the movie, it was then. Ansel Elgort was also the epitome of Augustus. He was the perfect blend of sweet, cute, and funny. When he was semi-freaking out during on the plane, he was adorable. I wanted to hug him. Nat Wolff was good too. Between him and Augustus, they carried the humor throughout the film during just the right times. Shout outs also to Laura Dern and Sam Trammell as Hazel's parents. I thought they needed more screen time just because I liked them that much.
The movie itself was visually beautiful. Each scene was picture perfect. Especially the restaurant date. Although they weren't seated outside by the river as in the book, the restaurant décor was stunning and gave off a beautifully, magical effect that complemented the idea of them drinking bottled stars. I also loved that the movie both opened and closed with Hazel gazing at the stars. I don't remember the actual fault in our stars line in the movie though. I could have missed it though - bad theater etiquette and all. Also, I loved the text bubbles. They were a feature that could have been awkward but were really fun and quirky.
If you haven't seen this movie yet, I definitely recommend it. It's worth the exorbitant amount of money that movie tickets go for these days and you won't regret it. Warning though, if you're prone to tears (like my cousin is, apparently) bring tissues. But if you're like me, try not to laugh too obviously at the girls crying ugly tears all over the place. I know I'm really awful - I'm sorry; it takes a lot to get me to cry over a book or a movie.
By the way, did you catch John Green's cameo? I must have missed it but I also didn't know when to look. Anyway, what were your thoughts on the movie? Like, dislike, better than the book?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Top Ten Books I've Read This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Lists, lists, lists. Before I start listing, I want to apologize for not blogging a lot recently. I'm currently in the middle of redoing my room so my blogging space is an absolute mess and everything is everywhere. I can't think in this madness! But my new closet is put together and semi-organized now. I just need to clean... a lot. Enough about that though. I've only read 23 books so far this year which make me horribly behind on my 70 book challenge for the year. Most of them I've talked about in previous blogs and slightly less than half of them consisted of me marathoning through all the Percy Jackson books. But without, further ado:

Top Ten Books I've Read This Year
(in the order that I read them)
1. Champion by Marie Lu - This was my favorite of the Legend Trilogy. After Allegiant, I was kind of afraid that this would follow the same disappointing path but I was wrong. I really liked how this ended. I won't go into details because that would involve spoilers but I really liked it.
2. Skyraiders by Brandon Mull - I've never a Brandon Mull book before but I got this as an ARC from work so I figured I'd read it. Skyraiders is a middle grade book set in an alternate universe. It starts out with Cole and his friends going trick-or-treating. One of the houses they go to has completely set up a haunted house attraction. Once inside however, Cole's friends get kidnapped by slave collectors from another world and whisked into a portal. Cole, who only barely escaped getting taken himself, goes after them to a world called the Outskirts. The Outskirts is made up of five kingdoms all set within a realm somewhere between reality and imagination. It's up to Cole and a mysterious girl, Mira, to save his friends and find a way home - if that's even possible. I really liked the world building in this even though I thought it was a little on the lengthy side for no real reason.
3. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu - I've definitely mentioned this book before but I really enjoyed it. It's the perfect mix of hope, melancholy, and childhood innocence.
4. Forsaken Dreamscape by Lani Lenore - Dark!Peter Pan! I love this trilogy. Lani Lenore needs to be a household name. She's an indie author who I've been following ever since she only did fanfiction. This is the second book in her original retelling of Peter Pan and it's amazing. I can't wait for the third to come out.
5. Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan - This is the book that hooked me into the Percy Jackson series. I was a little iffy about The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters. Initially, I thought they were too kid-ish for me. It's a toss up between this one and The Last Olympian for my favorite of this series. Plus, Nico was introduced in this one. Cute little Nico.
6. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan - This book. This. Book. I just can't with the feels all over the place. Tartarus and Nico and Percabeth4Life! (Even though Percy is totally my fictional boyfriend.) Gah! October needs to be now just so I can know what happens next!
Out of curiosity, has anyone read the Carter Kane? I'm thinking of reading them but somehow I can't see them living up to Percy.
7. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson - This has to be at least the third time I'm gushing about Tiger Lily here. Anderson's words are just so pretty. If this book were a painting, it would be in the Louvre.
8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - I have mixed feelings about this one but I truly did enjoy it. I thought it was a good story - not entirely worthy of the insane hype that it's caused - but good nonetheless.
9. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - I want to hug this book. It's just so cute!
10. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - As much as this reminded me of Perks of Being a Wallflower, there were some seriously great quotes in here. I took pictures of my favorites before I actually just broke down and bought the book.  
That's it for now! Have you read any of these? What were your favorite books that you've read so far?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Book Haul Time!!

So I've been really good not really these past few months in the book buying area. I told myself that after my last huge haul over Christmas and my birthday, I wouldn't buy anything again until summer. I mostly stayed true to that. My last haul had me reading Percy Jackson for the first time. Of course, after I finished the first series I had to buy the next one - that was just a given. I've also borrowed a few books since then too. But I read ten out of the thirteen books in my last haul so all things considered, I've been good and I've worked on reading things strictly from my TBR pile. Happy dance with me:

I skipped the Top Ten Tuesday topic this week because I knew I wouldn't be doing my summer reading haul until today. So this post is on topic for TTT but isn't exactly a TTT.
Summer Book Haul

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6609765-out-of-my-mind?from_search=trueOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper - This is something that I've been reading on and off during down time at work. It's a middle grade book about a girl, Melody, who was born with a disease that cost her most of her bodily functions. She eventually learns to flip herself over and her thumbs work fine but for the most part, Melody has no control over her body and is confined to a wheelchair. She also can't talk and this is what frustrates her the most because she is incredibly smart and has a lot to say. From what I've read of it so far, it's pretty good. I'm hoping to sit down and actually finish it soon.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner - I've been wanting to read this book for a long time and now that the movie is coming soon. I figured now is as good a time as any. The trailer looks amazing, by the way. Thomas wakes up with no memory surrounded by a bunch of strangers also with no memory. All that's around them is the maze which is always changing and it's the only way out. I honestly don't know much about the plot of this book but I've excited to read it anyway.
Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman - I have heard great things about these books. AND Tamora Pierce reviewed them! She is one of my favorite authors. Eon is training in Dragon Magic in hopes to become the Dragoneye. However, he has a secret that must stay hidden. He is actually Eona, a sixteen year old girl. Girls are forbidden to study Dragon Magic and if anyone discovered the truth about Eon, she would be sentenced to death. This is a very similar plot basis to Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce which is something I practically read to pieces and I'm really excited to find out more about Eona.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown - My first non-YA book in a while. It was actually a customer at work who first told me about this book and he basically said it's the adult version of The Hunger Games. This is the first book in a new adult trilogy about Darrow, a Helldiver who lives and works under the surface of Mars. It is said that Mars is uninhabitable and the work that Darrow and his fellow Helldivers do will go towards one day being able to live above the surface. However, Darrow finds out that this is a lie and Mars truly is habitable and has been the living area for generations of people called the Golds. Darrow and other rebels plan to infiltrate the Golds and take down their oppressors. Again, I'm really excited to read this book. I had to order it so I'll have it soon but I definitely can't wait.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - Technically, I just finished reading this and I've already reviewed it. Although I only gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars, I liked it enough to want to buy it after I only borrowed it from work. There were a surprising amount of quotes in here that I really really loved and now that I actually own the book, I can go about tagging my favorites.

Books I'm Anticipating This Summer
Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake -  expected publication: June 17, 2014. I know that this book is old and is out already but since I only read the first part last December, I figured I'd wait until the paperback came out to buy it so my set could match. Yeah, I'm weird like that. Basically in this book, Cas can't get over Anna's sacrifice and he begins to see her everywhere in dreams and in waking nightmares but wherever she shows up, she's being tortured and now it's his turn to save her. I really liked Anna Dressed in Blood a lot more than I thought I would actually. Plus, I'm pretty sure Kendare Blake is a Supernatural fan. Dudes, her main character's name is Cas and he's a ghost hunter. Whether she's a fan or not, she gets bonus points anyway just because the book reminds  me of Supernatural without being a rip off.

The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore - expected publication: August 26, 2014. Does anyone read these books? Tell me I'm not the only one out there who reads these. DON'T WATCH THE MOVIE!!!! I repeat: DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE!!! I think the movie killed this series' fandom which is unfortunate because these books are awesome. This is the fifth book in the main series. I have to catch on the little mini-books but I have time for that and they aren't absolutely necessary to the main story. I don't like the cover though. It's kind of gross looking - like moldy slime. I'm not going to go into a summary of this book because to say anything would give away spoilers to the previous four. Let me just say that, if for some reason you have watched the movie, Four (not Tobias/Four but John/Four - who came first, by the way) is so much cooler in the books. And his hands aren't massive flashlights. And he has an awesome shape-shifting dog. And Nine. I swear if Nine dies... The whole Walking Dead phenomenon if Daryl dies? Yeah, that will be me if Nine dies. Nine isn't allowed to die. Or BK.
Well, folks, that's it for my summer book haul! I'm sure I'll add a few things here and there but these are the books that I'll definitely be reading this summer. Have you read any of them? Is there anything you think I should add? (Excluding City of Heavenly Fire - sorry, I'm just not going there.)
Are you one of the rare Lorien Legacies fans? LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE!!! I need to fangirl with you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Love Letters to the Dead Review

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Published: April 1, 2014
Synopsis from Goodreads: It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.
My rating:
3.5 of 5 stars

[First, a note about how I rate things here versus on Goodreads: I have a tendency to rate up on Goodreads. For example, I rated The Fault in Our Stars a 4 out of 5 stars on GR but on here, I rated it a 3.5. I do this only because you can't do half stars on Goodreads. The same goes for this book. If I like a book more than I didn't, I'll round up on GR. If not, obviously, I'll round down but that hasn't happened so far.]

As a person who doesn't normally read contemporary lit (aka realistic fiction or whatever you want to call it), I've been on a contemporary kick lately for which I blame TFIOS entirely. Not that I'm complaining, I'm just surprised. So, as a reader who doesn't have much contemporary lit under her belt, I must say I've been enjoying the ride so far and Love Letters to the Dead was definitely a good addition to the metaphorical notches on said metaphorical contemporary belt.

The whole idea behind this book is pretty cool. An English teacher assigns students to write a letter to a dead person and that assignment becomes a coping mechanism for our protagonist Laurel to deal with her grief over her recently deceased older sister. Cool idea, no? Slightly morbid in theory but interesting nonetheless. Laurel ends up writing to a bunch of dead famous people who died at young ages and whose lives she finds correlations with her relationships to her sister, her broken family, her friends, and her boyfriend. Reading this made me want to research Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, River Phoenix, Judy Garland, and Jimi Hendrix. I know who they are and the basics about them but not much more than that.

Laurel's voice is very distinct as a teenager in an in-between time of her life and as a girl who has lost
someone who she looked up to entirely. She is very preoccupied with what's "supposed to be" which seems expected considering her life isn't at all how it's supposed to be. She's supposed to have a great older sister, parents who love each other, her friends, and a boyfriend who loves her but that's not at all how her life is going. Love Letters is Laurel dealing with coping with how things are instead of how she wants things to be. Laurel makes a fairly decent narrator. Her letters mostly follow a pattern: first explaining a little about how great the addressee is then comparing their life to her own. It does get a tad bit repetitive around the middle of the book which makes the reading get a little slow for a while but it picks up once Laurel begins to face reality rather than continuing to wish for the past. The only thing that really annoyed me about Laurel is she's fairly naïve and gives in to peer pressure a lot. However, I can sort of forgive her for that because of her situation and her mental state. I would have rather she be more in control of herself and her own situation but the whole book is Laurel learning to do just that. Plus, she did take control of her situation when it mattered most.

This book had some great secondary characters. I really like Laurel's dad and I wish he had more page time. Aunt Amy was surprisingly multi-dimensional too. She's starts out as the typical Bible-thumping, "pray for you sins" type of character but she becomes more than that once Laurel gives her the chance. Natalie and Hannah were fun too - a bit on the wild end for innocent Laurel but they turned out to be great friends. And Sky. Sky had the potential to be a typical bad boy boyfriend. In a way he kind of was but he was still a cute character and really good to Laurel and if I were in his shoes, I probably would have broken up with Laurel too so no hard feelings there. Tristan and Kristen were awesome too but they mostly reminded me of Sam and Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I'll get more into that later.

One thing I loved about this book was it had some really great down to earth quotes. Like this one from Tristan:

"What I told you about saving people isn't true. You might think it is, because you might want someone else to save you, or you might want to save someone so badly. But no one else can save you, not really. Not from yourself. [...] You fall asleep in the foothills, and the wolf comes down from the mountains. And you hope someone will wake you up. Or chase it off. Or shoot it dead. But when you realize that the wolf is inside you, that's when you know. You can't run from it. And no one who loves you can kill the wolf, because it's part of you. They see your face on it. And they won't fire the shot." - pg. 227

Or my favorite one from Laurel:

"And maybe what growing up really means is knowing that you don't have to be just a character, going whichever way the story says. It's knowing you could be the author instead.” - pg. 301

There are mainly two reasons why I only gave this book a 3.5. The first is (and if you've read this, correct me if I'm wrong and maybe I'll change my rating) I'm pretty sure Laurel, Natalie, and Hannah were said to be fifteen. Aren't they freshmen in high school? Now it's been a few years since I was a high school freshman but I certainly wasn't fifteen. I was thirteen when I started. With that in mind, this whole book is off a little. Even if she looked older, how much older could Hannah, a high school freshman, have looked to be able to get jobs waitressing in a bunch of different restaurants? Did not of these restaurants really check her age? I'm 99% sure that's something they do before hiring you. And maybe I've just been living in a book-sheltered hut all my life but how are high school freshmen really getting older guys to get them booze? I just felt like the timeline and ages were off throughout this whole thing.

My second reason is Love Letters to the Dead is definitely just a rewrite of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. If Charlie from Perks was a girl who lost his sister, he'd be Laurel. Now, I borrowed this book from work (one of the many perks of working in a bookstore) and when you borrow a book, the managers keep the slip jacket so they know what you borrowed. Therefore, I hadn't noticed Stephen Chbosky's endorsement on the cover. When I read that he was Dellaira's mentor in the acknowledgments, it all suddenly clicked in my head like, 'yeah okay, it makes sense now.' What I don't understand is why. I was getting the Perks vibe throughout most of the book. Laurel is basically just a rewrite of Charlie just gender-swapped. Tristan and Kristen are Sam and Patrick. Both are written in letters. Both have English teachers who try to help them. Both endured similar experiences when they were younger that I won't mention because they'd be spoilers. There was even a similar scene where Laurel, Natalie, and Hannah are driving with their music blaring and they felt free (pg. 278) which is basically a rewrite of the infinite scene in Perks. 

So if you've already read Perks, you've sort of already read Love Letters in a way. Still, Love Letters to the Dead was a good book and I'd recommend it to others. I liked Perks more though. It has practically the same themes and essential meaning except Charlie doesn't get overly wordy like Laurel does sometimes. Nevertheless, I did really enjoy this book.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Dreaded Reading Slump

Ever since I read Fangirl I've been experiencing the dreaded, horrifying, and unfortunate:
Reading Slump
We've all experienced it I'm sure. The want to be reading a book but just not the book that you're currently reading or any in your TBR pile or any that are just easily accessible without using the slump as an excuse to go on a book buying spree. Or, you know, just simply wanting to be reading but not being in the mood to be reading. Whichever slump you've found yourself in, they're all terrible and not always so easy to get out of.
I'm currently reading Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira which technically I'm enjoying. It's an original concept and so far I'm liking it. But I'm finding myself not wanting to actually sit down and read it. I'm not really sure why. It has nothing to do with the book. It's a good book so far. I'm just not in the mood to read it. From what I'm getting, it might be an "issue" book that's heavy on the meaning but light on the fun (if that makes any sense) and I'm not really in the mood for that. I want to be reading a light, fun, summer-y kind of book.
But of course not the light and fun kind of book that's going to make me want to whack my head against the wall with how silly the plot or characters are. Quality light fun-ness. Is that too much to ask??? What's worse is now I'm really behind on my Goodreads reading challenge for the year.
So what are your ways to get out of a reading slump? Do you just power through any book and hope you come out in a better reading mood? Or do you just skip around your TBR pile or bookstore until you find something you're interested in reading right then? I'm trying not to go on a book buying spree since that's what I'm leaning towards right now but I need to get out of this slump!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Liebster Award!!!

I got a Liebster Award!
This post is dedicated to the wonderful
Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity 
as she was the person who nominated me for this award.
Liebster in German has several meanings including dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, and sweetheart.
So this post has been a week in the making. I was super excited (and slightly confused) last week when I was nominated. My initial thought: "A what-now award?" Even though I've technically been blogging since the January, I've only really been active in the blogosphere for a couple of months or so. Therefore, it was a shock to me to be awarded anything but that's the great part about the Liebster.  It's there to give new or lesser known bloggers the recognition they deserve for the hard work they've put into their blog and for the dedication it takes to run a blog to begin with. There's no official panel for this award just bloggers nominating other bloggers for their all-around awesomeness. =)

The Rules
  • List 11 facts about yourself. 
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you. 
  • Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers and leave them a comment saying they've been nominated.
  • Ask 11 new questions for your chosen nominees.
  • You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.

  • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    11 Facts About Me
    1. Although I go by the name Jazzie on this blog, Goodreads, Twitter, etc., my real name is Jasmin. No one really calls me that though except for at work.
    2. I majored in English with a Creative Writing Concentration and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I thoroughly enjoyed taking all the various literature and writing classes that I did but I don't exactly know what to do with any of it now.
    3. I really like polar bears. I've donated to World Wildlife Foundation to save the polar bears and got a cute little plush polar bear in return. Every year I tell my mom I want a polar bear for my birthday though I've decided recently I'll settle for one of these:
    4. I work in the children/teen department of my local BN. It's awesome. Except when it's sticky. In which case, it's sticky - literally.
    5. I have and have always had a strange obsession with faeries (yes, I spell "fairy" with an 'ae' because I think it's prettier) and dragons. If you could see my room, it's decorated with faery and dragon figurines and I even have a castle with a working drawbridge hung up on my wall with mini-knights guarding the upper walkway and battle faeries at the gate.
    6. I am a girl of many fandoms including (in no particular order): Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, Sherlock, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games and Marvel/Avengers (movies only though - I never read the comics). I'm sure I've forgotten something but I'll edit when I remember.
    7. My mom and I have a tendency to name our pets after book or movie characters. My dog's name is Padfoot (and he solemnly swears he's up to no good). I have a lot of cats: Gizmo after Gremlins though we call her Momo, Tylette after the old Shirley Temple movie called The Bluebird, and another cat named PK which stands for Psycho/Princess Kitty depending on her mood. We named her this because my mom had read some book where the character lived in Washington DC and had a cat named DC but "DC" stood for "Dumb Cat." Kind of mean, but it amused us enough to choose a similar name. My cousin also named one of our cats Moxy after Mad Moxy from the game BorderlandsThere are more cats than just that: eight in total. It's madness. 
    8. My slogan is "Coffee is my Windex." If you've ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you'll get the reference. If you've ever seen me before my morning coffee, you'll know it's true. (For those who haven't seen the movie, no, I don't clean my windows with coffee. Don't worry, I'm not that crazy.)
    9. I'm running out of facts now... I'm teaching myself to play guitar but YouTube can only get you so far. I don't understand music theory at all and I can't play bar (barre?) chords but I can play the intro and first verse of "Safe and Sound" from The Hunger Games movie.
    10. When I was 7, I started taking ballet classes which evolved over the years to include tap, jazz, modern/contemporary, ballroom, Latin, belly dance, and hip hop. I was teaching various dance classes for children by the time I was 18. In a perfect world where money wasn't an option, I would have pursued dance as a professional career. Unfortunately, being a professional dancer doesn't exactly pay well.
    11. Ummm last fact... I had braces for 12 (yes, twelve) years. That's literally half my lifetime. Imagine being seven and having braces put on as well as a jaw expander (twice). It was traumatic. I hated going to the orthodontist though I liked my regular dentist. My teeth were pretty bad but my orthodontist was also a moron. I didn't get a proper retainer afterwards either so my teeth shifted again. I'm saving for Invisaline.
    My 11 Questions from Becky
    1. What is your preferred reading format? E-book, paperback, hardback? I prefer hardcovers for books I know I'll add to my favorites (i.e. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, etc.) or paperbacks for books I just want to read but might have mixed feelings about. I'll read e-books sometimes but I don't generally like them because I can't feel where I am in the book.
    2. If you could only recommend one book for another to read what would it be and why? Ugh, hard question. I'm going to cheat a bit and change "book" to "series" because you can't just read one book of a series. I'd go for the His Dark Materials trilogy because it's the perfect blend of fantasy and adventure and an all-around good read but it also makes you think and there's a lot of real quantum theory behind a lot of it. I actually read The Science of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials by Mary and John Gribbin. Really interesting stuff there.
    3. One of the recent themes of Top 10 Tuesday was if you like this TV show or film you should read this, provide a book recommendation based on your favourite film or TV show. That was my first TTT topic! I chose Once Upon a Time. (CaptainSwan forever!!) You can read my post here
    4. Where is your favourite place to read? In bed wrapped in blankets with a cup of tea (or iced tea if it's warm. I use blankets all year round.) I'd love to say I have a reading tree in a nice park but, alas, I live in a city where nice trees are hard to come by and when you do find one, check for doggie poop before settling in. Even if all is clear, settle in with caution. Cath from Fangirl would understand the concept of squirrel bullies. 
    5. What is your opinion on commenting on blog posts?  I LOVE comments! I love getting comments and responding to them all but I definitely need to comment more myself. I'm working on that.
    6. What is your most anticipated read of 2014? The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I need this book, like, yesterday.  
    7. We all know about blogger hype, which book have you read which did not live up to the hype? The Fault in Our Stars by John Green *ducks flying tomatoes* I didn't not like TFIOS. I just thought it was a bit pretentious for no reason. I wrote a review of it where I go into depth more about my mixed feelings.
    8. Name one author whose books you will always read. Tamora Pierce. I have read almost all of her books and if I haven't read them yet, I own them and they're on my TBR. Speaking of Tammy, I can't wait for her books on Numair to come out. Daine and Numair were my original OTP growing up.
    9. There are certain bloggers whose opinions I value of others, when they give a good review I will go out of my way to read that book. Name a blogger whose opinions you value of others and explain why? I'm going to say Cait and Mime @ The Notebook Sisters. I don't exactly have a favorite favorite blogger at this point but I've been stalking Cait and Mime's blog for the past few days and they're the closest I've come so far in my time as a blogger to having a favorite. They're great girls and their reviews are insightful and hilarious. If you don't know them, you need to check them out. Plus, their layout looks like a Tim Burton movie.
    10. What is your favourite part of blogging? The book tours, the reviews, the memes, the community…? I haven't done anything major like book tours yet but my favorite part about blogging so far is just having an outlet to talk about books. No one I know reads as much or with as much excitement as I do so I don't really have anyone to discuss my reads with. I'm glad I found that with the blogging community.
    11. Where did your blog name come from? It comes from my love of books and my time spent as a dancer. Therefore: The Book Dancer.

    My 11 Questions for My Nominees
    1. What would your daemon be and why? (If you haven't read His Dark Materials, a daemon is like the physical manifestation of your soul/conscience. It's eternally linked to you emotionally and is always with you.)
    2. What would your boggart be? (If you haven't read Harry Potter or watched the movies at least, you need to get on that bandwagon - Siriusly! *cough* Sorry, bad joke.) Or if you prefer to be Divergent, what would your fear landscape include? 
    3. What's your earliest memory of reading?
    4. What is your most anticipated book of 2014? (Sorry, Becky, I stole your question)
    5. Who is your favorite secondary character and why?
    6. What about your favorite villain?
    7. What is something you enjoy besides reading?
    8. What is your favorite place (other than your hometown, if you like your hometown) that you've been to?
    9. What book do you feel guilty about not having read yet?
    10.  If you were stuck on a deserted island, what book would you want with you? The answer can't be "How to Build Boat/Raft out of Coconuts" though that would probably be the smartest choice.
    11. Last question just because I need some suggestions: Do you read graphic novels? If you do, what are some good ones? If you don't, why not?
    And the Nominees are...
    [This was the hardest part about this post and the reason why I'm posting this more than a week after being nominated myself. It's actually kind of difficult to find really good blogs that don't already have 300+ followers but these bloggers are most definitely deserving.]
    Thanks again to Becky for nominating me! If I nominated you, please leave links to your Liebster post below so I can read all your lovely answers. If I didn't nominate you and you just so happen to be dropping by, feel free to answer some questions anyway in the comments below!
    -- Jazzie
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