Friday, December 28, 2012

Follow Friday

Gain New Blog Followers

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
Q: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?

I absolutely love Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It has so many good life lessons in it, and everyone should read it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday


I invite you to join me....  Put up your own post, leave a comment or just take a minute to think of something you are grateful for.

I am thankful for being a cancer survivor. I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for my wonderful teachers, both past and present. I am thankful for libraries and books.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars.jpg
Today, I'm reviewing The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It's about a teenage cancer patient, Hazel, who meets fellow patient Augustus in a support group. Although they are both terminal, they still love each other. I give this book  3 out of 5 stars, because the plot was slow and a bit confusing. I liked the book, but I've seen better written novels.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What's Next? Number 1

What's Next? Hosted by IceyBooks

Here's how it works (for those of you who want to participate):
-Every Thursday, starting tomorrow, select three-five books (not too many, not too little!) that you want to read but can't decide which one to read first. 

-Post the cover, and if you want, the synopsis or even a random line from the book, for each of your selections. 

-At the end of your post, ask readers to vote on which one you should read next! 
My Book Choices: 
1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ( and I'm sure you all know that one!)

2. Crewel
Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl controls other’s destinies, but not her ownSixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die. But Adelice is forced to into this powerful group, and she must learn to navigate the dangerous politics at play. Caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power. Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it—or destroy it.

3. Big Girl Smal
 lJudy Lohden is your above-average sixteen-year-old, with a voice that can shake an auditorium. She should be the star of Darcy Arts Academy, so why is she hiding in a seedy motel room? Perhaps it has something to do with a devastating scandal---and the fact that Judy is three feet nine inches tall.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Feature and Follow #128!

Gain New Blog Followers

Welcome to the Feature & Follow

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools -- keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them "hi" in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! 

Q: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?

It takes hard work, dedication, patience, time, and lots of caffeine!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: Blink Once

I just finished the novel entitled Blink Once by Cylin Busby. It's a romantic love story, that, weirdly enough, takes place in a hospital. West loves Olivia. West was in a biking accident, and is in the hospital because of it. Everything changes when he meets Olivia. It never occurs to him that Olivia might not be real...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

So, this week, I borrowed two books from the library. I started one of them, and now I can't stop reading it! This book is called Blink Once,and it's about a boy and a girl who are both patients in a hospital. They fall in love. The boy, West, has a breathing tube, so he can't communicate well. However, the girl, Olivia, still comes in on a daily basis to keep him company and to talk. The title comes from the communication system that they set up: Blink Once for "yes" and twice for "No". It's a new release, and it's a great read!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs! 

Q: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

Well, I have multiple answers for this one. My first one is the last scene in Tuesdays with Morrie, where Mitch is saying goodbye to Morrie. Morrie is barely able to speak at this point- the ALS reached his lungs. Second on this list is A Time for Dancing- and I really can't choose a specific scene- the whole book made me cry, because I can partially relate to it! Sometimes things that we can relate to make us very emotional.  Last but not least is My Sister's Keeper, particularly the scene where Kate is about to die, but then she suddenly comes back to the world. The irony is that while Anna sued her parents to try and get medically emancipated, she ultimately gets killed in a car accident! Kate miraculously survives cancer. Hope I don't spoil this book for anyone.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Smile

Today, I'll be reviewing Smile. It's a grapic novel about a girl who knocks her two front teeth out after falling on the ground. She has to have a root canal, other dental surgeries, braces, headgear and a retainer. For all of you out there who've had braces, this one's a must read! I had braces for 3 and a half years... not fun!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #4

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.   Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

1.- Grab your current read
2.- Open to a random page
3.- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
4.- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
5.- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
A Time for Dancing- Davida Wills Hurwin

 "The day Jules told me she had cancer... the world tipped"(80)

"We are going to fight this cancer all the way"(105)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finding time to read

So, as I was looking through all of your wonderful blogs on my reading list, a thought struck me: I have virtually no time to read. Yes, I do a lot of homework, but I also like to read for pleasure. I can't possibly find time to do so! Also- I can never find time to write! Basically, this is what happens every time I sit down to write:
1. Gets ready to write
2. Looks at clock
3. Gets depressed because time to write has run out
I know there are only 177 days (who's counting?) until summer, but I can't possibly wait that long! I must stop this vicious cycle of time going to fast before then. I don't want to put writing to the side just because I happen to be a busy high schooler!
  Writing has always been a way for me to express myself, particularly during the past six months. How do you all find time to read and/or write?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves # 1

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Here we go!

Books I've added to my physical bookshelf recently:
1. Tuesday's with Morrie-Mitch Albom
2. My Sister's Keeper- Jodi Piccoult
3. So B.It- Sarah Weeks
4. Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Follow Friday- Featured Blog!!!!!

Q: Activity! Who do you want to be? If you could choose any character from a book. What do you think that character looks like and what do you have in common?

A: I'd love to be Anna Fitzgerald from My Sister's Keeper! As weird as I might be sounding right now, this is one of my favorite books. I think Anna has dark hair and blue eyes. She is a brave person for standing up for what she believes in. Like Anna, I've had multiple surgeries. I had cancer, and in February 2012, I had 3 surgeries for  it. 

Author! Author! Blog Bounce

So, Megan over at Writing One Word at a time, is hosting this blog hop! I'm participating in order to promote my blog, and hopefully have a little fun in the process! I write short stories in my spare time (what? spare time?), which is not something I have a lot of right now. :( 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

My top 10 books are:
1. A Time for Dancing
2. Tuesdays with Morrie
3. My Sister's Keeper
4. A child called "It"
5. The Burn Journals
6. Out of my Mind
7. Animal Farm
8. The Clique series ( I was obsessed with these books as a kid!)
9. Matilda
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baby Face Blogfest

I am participating in Baby Face Blogfest. I have a story or two about when I was a baby!

When I was a baby, people used to stop my parents on the street to say how cute I was. At preschool, the person who managed it said that I was the best dressed kid there!

In Dire Need of Bloghop/Blogfest!!!

I am in dire need of participating in some bloghops/blogfests. My blog is pretty dull, so I need to spice it up a bit. Can any of you give me a link to bloghops/blogfests that are going on right now? Much appreciated!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Follow Friday!

Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

I have two answers to this one. First, I've always liked Mitch Albom. He seems like a great man with a lot of compassion. I love his book Tuesdays with Morrie. I am obsessed with it. Such a good story! He's pretty attractive too! ;)
  I also love Taylor Ambrose from My Sister's Keeper.  He is a friend of Kate's. They both have cancer, which is why he has no hair.


Book Review: Safe Keeping


Today, I'll be reviewing the book SafeKeeping by Karen Hesse. It's an adventure book about a girl who's house is abandoned. She tries to find her parents, but discovers that they are missing. After months of searching, she discovers that they are dead. This book also has a ton of real photographs of the journey. They are in black and white, and are amazing!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday

This past week, I started reading Beta by Rachel Cohn.

    1. "Beta teens would serve as experiments until Dr. Lusardi could manufacture actual babies and children..."(7)

    2. "According to Dr. Lusardi, I am her finest beta"(7).

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Belated Follow Friday

    Q: What blog are you thankful for?

    This is a tough one, because I am thankful for so many blogs! I love The Moonlight Librarian, Alison Can Read, and Breast Cancer?...But Dr, I hate pink! 

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Gust Post- Ally Malinenko

    Today, I'm featuring a guest post with Ally Malinenko, author of Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb,on the topic of Writer's Block. 

    Writer’s block. A perfect topic for a blog entitled Writer’s Block. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as a psychological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece. Though I believe many writers would instead refer to it as the paranoia that cripples, maims, and destroys their once bright and shining future.

    Personally I don’t believe in writer’s block. Now, that isn’t to say that I don’t have trouble. I have entire months where it’s like pulling teeth and every word – every LETTER of every word - is painful. And I have months where I write and write and write and then wake up and realize that back on page 50 I made a horrible decision and now my whole plot is a tangled hopeless mess. Or that the great story idea I had in my head turned to utter rubbish once it was put down on paper. Or my revision is useless because I can’t see past the forest of text I’ve already put down. Or I have no good ideas to begin with.

    Every single one of those things has happened to me and I still don’t believe in writer’s block because of one simple notion. Discipline. And by discipline I mean creating a segment of time, every day if you can, where you write. Once you dedicate yourself to that you create discipline. You start saying things like, “it’s 8 pm. I should be writing.” Or “I need to do 500 words by the end of this hour.”

    This is why NaNoWriMo is so successful and motivating for people. It sets parameters (word count and the notion of “winning”) on something that is creative and therefore considered ethereal. Once you lock it down by time or by word count, once you have parameters, you have dedicated yourself to a goal. Half the battle is already won.

    I get up at 5 am to write. It wasn’t my idea, it was my husband’s. He’s a writer too. And he reasoned that if he got up every morning at 5 am he could write for two hours before he had to go to work. Two solid hours, before the day started to chip away at him. Two solids hours where the only thing that mattered was getting the word down. I watched and laughed, pulling the blanket around me. No way was I giving up sleep.

    Then I saw that it worked. So I tried it. And it was horrible. And then it was slightly less horrible.  I’ve been doing it for years now and like any muscle, creativity thrives on exercise. It works because I’ve created a physical space and time where the only thing that happens is writing. For those two hours, that is all I do. And the magic is that when I don’t do it, when I skip it and sleep in, I feel guilty about it. I feel like I missed an opportunity to do something creative for myself. And I hate feeling that way. Also my routine allows for preparation. I can say, “What am I going to work on tomorrow?” or “Where am I going with that short story?” and brainstorm on my commute.

    Now, that said I sometimes still stare at the screen and wonder what I’m doing. I still have doubts. I still mess up. I still realize that I derailed the whole novel back at page 50. Some mornings are absolute rubbish and I wake up the next day and delete the previous 2 hours worth of writing. Sometime I do that for a whole week until I find my way. Sometimes it’s baby steps, teeth-grinding hair-pulling baby steps, but baby steps none the less. Every step is a step forward. I’m a firm believer in forward progress. And it stops me from ever locking up, completely giving into the fear, and giving up for good.

    Now I’m not saying that everyone has to give up sleep. That was my choice. But writing has to become a priority and parameters need to be set. Something must be sacrificed to the gods. 

    First you need discipline. Then you can be ethereal.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Feature and Follow Friday!!

     So, this week's question is:

    Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

    Hmm...I really like "The Pursuit of Happyness" and " Yours, mine, and Ours". Those would be good books! I also like the 1982 version of "Annie". She is such a sweetheart, and has such a powerful story.  I know, I know- it's an old movie. However, some movies are classics-like this one. Last but not least, I think that "Mean Girls" would be a good book. I know, I'm biased- I'm 16, and this kind of thing appeals to me. But let's be honest, it's a good plot line!

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Things I'm thankful for this Thanksgivng

    1. I'm thankful for my health
    2. I'm thankful for doctors
    3. I'm thankful for my hair
    4. I'm thankful for my awesome teachers
    5. I'm thankful for my parents
    6. I'm thankful for Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    One Year Ago ( this week)

    I can't let this week go by without acknowledging that on November 15, 2011, I was diagnosed with Cancer. The biopsy was on November 14th,2011. The next day, we got the phone call. Although I am proud to say that I am a survivor, the journey is not over yet. I am scheduled for ultrasound number 2 in February, and this will let me know if the cancer is back ( hopefully not!- there is less that a 5% chance of a recurrence).
      I will never forget the feeling that resulted from that horrible phone call. I immediately broke down in tears, and my life was turned upside down. November 2011-February 2012 were the worst months of my life, but ultimately, they resulted in a good outccome. What I want you, loyal followers, to take away from this is that there is always a silver lining to a horrible situation. I am proof of that. My life lesson for today is that if you are in a horrible situation, surround yourself with a supportive group of friends. I did that, and it was the best thing I could have done.
      Admittedly, I felt like a total dork whenever I told anyone. The first person I told was my best friend, and unfortunatale she freaked out. Eventually, though, she calmed down. Nowadays, I really don't care who knows. It's not like this is my fault. I did nothing to cause this, ( no I didn't and never will use a tanning bed!). I hope that you can and will take something away from this story.
      Tuesday and Wednesday will be gloomy for me, but i'd love to hear all of your kind words. All my loyal followers are amazing, and are very encouraging.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Feature and Follow Friday

    Gain New Blog Followers

    Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?

    Not at all! In fact, I enjoy reading books with similar concepts. But my one rule with books is that that I have to read a couple pages, or more, to see if I like the book. I am a very picky reader! I am trying to push myself to try new genres. Right now, I'm trying to get myself into fantasy, and it's working. 
       One of my favorite fantasy novels is the first book in the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling. I haven't had time to read the second one yet. Just too many books, and too little time!! 
      Lastly, my all time favorite series of fantasy books is the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Spoiler Alert: His real name is Daniel Handler). I have read all the books, and I own some of them. 

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    I'm going to be teaching a class to my peers!!

    I am teaching a class to my peers. It requires me to actually pretend to be confident while speaking in front of 25 plus students!

    I am going to be teaching a class called "Skin Cancer 101". It'll cover why tanning is bad, how to prevent skin cancer, and what the types of skin cancer are. As a survivor of this disease, I am fortunate to be able to teach the class from a personal perspective. If any of you'd like to read (and sign!!!) my cancer blog, here is the link:

    The reason I'm teaching this class is simple: to try to convince teenage girls not to tan. As we all know
    (and I'm sure I don't need to mention this), tanning can give you a deadly form of skin cancer called melanoma. Melanoma is potentially fatal. I don't want anyone to get it by tanning!

    On a brighter note, does anybody know of any good blogfests? I'm dying to participate in one!!

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    This week's question is: Q: What is a deal breaker for you in a book? For example, do you abhor love triangles? Or can't deal with bad editing?
       I hate bad grammar. It makes it very hard to read and understand a book. I also don't like when a book moves really slowly- hard to pay attention and makes me not want to read it.

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    Fiction Piece- One Little Thing

    Month 1- September

    It's the first day of Junior year. Although I'm only four weeks pregnant, I have a slightly rounded belly. I have my monthly baby  checkup this afternoon. Maybe my doctor can explain why I'm showing at only four weeks.
      All in all, the school day is pretty boring. Math, English, Science... all things I don't want to focus on. How can I posibly concentrate on anything when I have a tiny baby growing inside me?
      I inadvertantley fall asleep in science. I'm sleep deprived, and I am freaked out about telling my mom and sister about my pregnancy. Every time I try to fall asleep, I am jolted awake by anxiety. I decide I only have one option: I have to tell my mom NOW!
      I reluctantly pull out my cell phone during my passing period. I type in her cell phone number, text "I'm pregnant"to her, and press Send.
     I shut off my cell phone immediately. Truthfully, I don't want to know how she'll react, but it'll surely be negative. 5 hours later, I just can't take the suspense anymore! I pull out my cell phone. There's a message from my mom: "You can't be serious!". I reply, telling her that I'm going to the doctor today after school. My mom says she'll meet me there. When I walk in to the Dr's office, my mom has tears in her eyes." I just can't believe this is happening!", she says.

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Incredible video!!

    Stronger | Seattle Childrens Hospital

    Check it out! 

    This is an absolutely incredible video of hospitalized kids singing Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger".