Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Favorite Albums

I feel like I talk a lot about books and myself and ranting, but I never talk about music. Which is strange because it's pretty important to me. So today I'm going to change that, and I'm going to talk about my favorite albums of ALL TIME. Not songs just because I like full albums better....yeah..

My music taste is...interesting and varied. These definitely aren't all the same genre, and most of you probably won't like all of them, but because they're so varied I'm hoping we have something in common!

 

A Fever You Can't Sweat Out - Panic! At the Disco


I don't think I've ever met anyone that actually HATED Panic! At the Disco. They're a good band. Brendon Urie's voice only gets better with every album. And to me, this album is legendary. And amazing.

Favorite Song: But It's Better If You Do (this varies, honestly, I fluctuate between songs..)

 


Vices and Virtues - Panic! At the Disco


Same story. This is just one of my favorite albums from them.

Favorite Song: Hurricane (I think, I really can't choose between PATD songs.)

For those of you who know Panic: No, Pretty. Odd. is not on here for the reason of it wasn't entirely my thing. Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! was meh (compared to their other albums), and Death of a Bachelor is too new and hasn't quite reached that legendary status..if you know what I mean...

Ocean Eyes - Owl City


This is actually one of the first albums I got obsessed with, and it's also one of those ones you can't simply HATE. The nostalgia though....so much. Plus this is literally the only album my entire family can listen to. With any other band someone always ends up complaining....

Favorite Song: Tidal Wave (finally I'm actually SURE about one...!!)



Sempiternal - Bring Me The Horizon


Let's just quickly change genres for a minute. I LOVE THIS ALBUM. Unlike some of the others on this list, it's not nearly as universal and many of you won't like it, but it needs to be included in a list of my favorite albums. It just has to.

Favorite Song: Go To Hell, For Heaven's Sake

Wretched and Divine - Black Veil Brides


This is slightly more likable than the last one, and it is Black Veil Brides' best and least-screaming album. Maybe some of you will actually like it.
Favorite Song: I Am Bulletproof






The Black Parade- My Chemical Romance


As much as this makes me sound like a typical depressing emo teenager, this is probably within my top three favorite albums of all time. Every one of these songs could be on a list of my favorite songs. I listen to this album basically non-stop. Actually, it might be my favorite album. I love it to death.
Favorite Song: A tie between House of Wolves and Disenchanted

Don't You Fake It - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus


I love this album so much. THIS GUYS VOICE. OH MY GOD. There are these small portions of screamo that's kind of...random. And not great. But the guy's voice and the songs are my everything.
Favorite Song: Face Down




Demi - Demi Lovato


If I had just heard if this album now, I don't think I would have bought it. Especially since I don't really like her new music. Or her old music really. But this album is actually REALLY impressive. You know because she's the only female vocalist on this list, as I usually hate female singers, but this album is really really good, okay?

Favorite Song: Shouldn't Come Back


Hot Fuss - The Killers


This album is the perfect amount of catchy and kind of depressing songs, so completely and totally my thing. This album contains several of my favorite songs. As in, songs I can listen to on repeat for several hours without getting bored. Considering I usually get about halfway through most songs before my ADHD kicks in and I have to change the song, that's pretty impressive. Also, if you've never listened to a Killers song, you really should. You don't know what you're missing.

Favorite Song: Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine

What are your favorite albums all time?


PS: I forgot American Idiot by Green Day and you can just deal with that.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

My Life in Pieces & What This Blog is Going to Become

 
Ahem, long time no see. Let's start out with some questions. Why have I not posted since the beginning of March? Is this blog falling apart? Do I even want to blog anymore? Should I just delete this blog and start over? Should I blog about something besides books? Should I just give up on the internet?

So I made this post in two parts. One about the personal my-life-is-falling-apart things, and one about the future of this blog and whether or not it's going to continue. I'm not sure if that's actually important to anyone whatsoever, but I think I need to get my ideas and problems written out and organized before I make any major, life-changing decisions.

My Life in Pieces


In the last few months, my social, personal, and academic life have semi-fallen apart. Mental health is....an issue, and I'm honestly shocked my grades aren't totally suffering.

Things that have happened:

 

1. I started coming out to people in my real life.


I know I never fully explained it on here, but sexuality for me is....strange. I've basically been coming out as "mostly gay" or "gayish" to most of my close friends for the past couple of months. This has definitely been putting a lot of stress on me, not to mention some weird friend situations. So that's fun!

2. My parents are getting divorced.


When I was first told about this, I wasn't really all that freaked out (or shocked). But after about a month of mental breakdowns and being yelled at for no apparent reason I'm a little on edge. If you know what I mean.

3. Half-moving because of said divorce.


The amount of time I've spent putting things in boxes in the last week might just amaze you. So, um, I've never actually moved before. And this whole split-your-shit-in-half thing has me literally staring at walls overwhelmed with things of sentimental value. We all realize how hard it is to be productive when you spend all your time staring at walls, right?

I've really been trying to help out my parents and their frequent stress, and that's taking up quite a lot of my time. I hoping by the end of the next couple of weeks that will be sorted out at least a little bit, but who knows.

4. Academic stress.


By now, most of this has already sorted itself out. We're about to start a new grading period, which basically just means I GET TO START OVER. And starting over is always nice.

Last quarter (my school works in quarters, by the way, in case that's different for you), I actually had to drop a class because it ended up being....not exactly what I was expecting, and also something I very quickly realized caused a pretty insane amount of unbearable social anxiety. The problem is that this whole social anxiety thing made it quite difficult to drop the class. I did get it done eventually. That's good, I guess.

To be honest, I'm just glad I got my geometry grade up to a B. Obviously, for any other class that would be unacceptable, but for math? I think I'll live.

 

5. Depression decided that it was a good time to pay a visit.


Really, I can't complain too much, as it's not nearly as bad as the depression I had last year, but it's still really getting in the way. This combine with everything else? Basically a nightmare.

6. I got a ukulele!


This is clearly the most positive thing on this list.... In a short amount of words, I got a ukulele to combat depression. Believe it or not that's actually working! It's nice to have an excuse to get away from people, and I've always wanted to properly learn to play an instrument. (Properly just meaning not giving up after a year of not practicing and being terrible.)

7. Reading slump.


I think my major reading slumps usually go with depression. Probably because depression is basically a reading slump of life. A life slump. And books are my life.

I haven't read a book in weeks and I don't know what I'm doing with my life.

8. Tumblr.


I've actually had a Tumblr for a while, but I hadn't used it until a month ago. NOW I'M OBSESSED. LIKE THIS IS A LEGITIMATE PROBLEM. I'M WASTING MY LIFE ON TUMBLR.

I think I like Tumblr because it's less stressful than a blog like this. It's more random, and I feel like I'm not as much in a box as a am with a more "professional" blog like this one. Sometimes I write about books, but it's mostly other fandomy things and short rants. I never write posts more than a few paragraphs, and that's only when they contain actual words. They're short and sweet, and if you don't have the energy to be creative, you can just reblog stuff and you're still just active.

 

What This Blog is Going to Become


What is it going to become? I HAVE NO IDEA.

But anyway....

Changes:

1. No more Discussion Question Monday.


As much as I love discussions, having a dedicated weekly series is just too much. Most of the time the posts are sloppy and sucking and probably some other s-words. So that's being tossed out the window.

2. Less posts in general.


I think I might start doing a once a week thing. Maybe twice a week. It's probably going to be on a weekend, but honestly it could be any day of the week. Possibly at some point (like summer) I might start posting in the same kind of schedule I had a few months ago, but for now I'm going to slow down and get myself back into the mood.

 

3. Less book-related posts.


While I will definitely continue this blog mostly being about books, I want to stop limiting myself and just post what I want. Whether that's about music or Netflix or school, I'm going to post it. And it's probably going to make me happier.

4. Start promoting more.


I'm probably going to start intermingling my Tumblr and this blog more, but mostly promoting my Blogger blog on my Tumblr blog. Tumblr and its tags will hopefully make my posts more visible. I might also pick up something like Instagram or Pinterest to better make myself known. I feel like I've spent a lot of time not promoting and just waiting for people to come to me, and that's very obviously not working.

 

5. Make some actual friends.


Sure, I talk to people online quite a bit, but I think I've completely failed when it comes to making friends. How do some people just go online and instantly meet their best friend? How do you people do this? Am I just that sad and unsocial? How do I do this? How does one accomplish this goal? I sound desperate af.
 

In Conclusion


I hope these goals actually hold out. I'm going to (at least attempt) to complete them. Let's see how the rest of April goes, I guess.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

This Book Seems to Think Insta-Love is Okay - Review of Dark Tide by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Dark Tide
Series: Waterfire Saga
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Pages: 400
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Published: October 13, 2015
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.47 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars
Book Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis of the first book: Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation - and burden - that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother's hopes.

The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin's arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina's darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Synopsis of this book (possible spoilers): Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme's giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can't return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina's betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia's parents become suspicious, his life--and all of Sera's hopes--will be extinguished.

Cover:

The covers are quite possibly the best part of this series. THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL.

Thoughts while reading:

"'Oh, silt.' Hahahahahahaha I live for these puns. Only reason this series is worth it." (Page 60)
"This book has way to many characters. I don't know who any of these people are." (Page 82)
"TOO MANY CHARACTERS REALLY IM SO CONFUSED" (Page 82)
"'EisGeists'? Like 'ice ghosts'? Alrighty then."  (Page 88)
"'It was as if she'd had the water knocked out of her.' I don't even know what to do with this sentence. Really? REALLY? REALLYYYYY?!?!?!?!!??!!??!!?!?!?" (Page 148)
"'She killed my father and she's going to pay.' I can't stop thinking about The Princess Bride now." (Page 193)
"Astrid and Des should really be a thing. I'll be very annoyed if the don't." (Page 256)
"I feel like I still don't know who any of these people are even though I'm three books into this series. That's sad." (Page 269)
"The whole 'I only like these boys as friends and I'm just going to push away my attraction to them' thing is really starting to get annoying." (Page 317)
*Note: I was paraphrasing Becca here.
"The clichéness of these 'romances' makes me want to throw up." (Page 324)

FINAL THOUGHTS:
  • Life or death situations, but mostly hot guys.
  • So man dumb romances I actually noticed the lack of gay characters.
  • FINALLY IT'S OVER.

Things I liked:

I actually really like Jennifer Donnelly's writing, so much so that I might actually continue reading her books even if this series doesn't go too well. And the mermaid puns continue...(see things I didn't like)

I like the world. Well...that doesn't actually take much, but the magic and the kingdoms are pretty cool to learn about.

And Lucia's point of view! That was both a terrible edition to the too many POV already and a nice touch. Lucia is basically on the opposite team, fighting against our main six (SIX) characters. I do like some alternate points of view when it comes to the whole good vs. evil thing.

Things I didn't like:

(Warning: depending on what you count as a spoiler, this might contain spoilers. Not to the actual plot, though, just the romances.)

Well that was quick.

During the first two books, the mermaid/ocean puns ("Oh, silt.") were quite enjoyable, but now they've just gotten old and boring. Especially because they're used more than once, so they're just no
longer funny. At all. Stop it. You're just annoying me now.

And while I liked the world, I feel like I still don't get it. There is a glossary in the back, but if I have to use a glossary, you are doing something wrong. Your world-building skills are iffy.

There are so many characters. I can't keep so many characters in my head! There are SIX MAIN CHARACTERS guys. That's just too many, okay? The switched points of view kind of felt like the Heroes of Olympus series (but without telling you whose POV before the start of the chapter), with a couple chapters following one character and then another and another, switching around like there's no tomorrow, and CONFUSING THE HELL OUT OF ME. I think, after three books, that I might be finally remembering who these characters are.

Can I name them?
Sera
Neela
Becca
Astrid
Ava

I checked. I forgot Ling. See? Do you see what I mean? THREE BOOKS IN!!! Maybe it could be done, as I thought the Heroes of Olympus series was okay doing that (meh, really), but it's just not working here.

THE "ROMANCE"

There were quite a few romances introduced in this book, some of them better than others.

Sera and Mahdi have always been a thing since the series began. They're alright. I mean, I don't care if they end up together or not, which is probably not the best thing.

Astrid and Des. They were actually okay! Out of all of these romances, it was the one that made the most amount of sense. I think they're kind of cute.

Becca and Marco. NO. OH HELLS NO. I thought people would have learned about how terrible insta-love is, but no, this book just decided to go all fairy tale with the we-met-two-days-ago-but-omg-i-love-you shit. Of all the things in this book, this particular "romance" ruined it the most.

They literally met, blushed for awhile, and then I love yous were being thrown around. In a matter of days, but it really felt like 30 minutes. It was less than 30 pages! WTF.

Also, because of all these millions of romances, I actually noticed the lack of gay characters. The series is actually doing okay in the other-kinds-of-diversity department, but I NOTICED. It's entirely possible that I've been really noticing things like that in general lately, but it's 2016. These are young adult books. INCLUDE SOME EFFING GAY CHARACTERS.

Speaking of relationships, when did these people become friends? I feel like they had some secret get-to-know-you slumber party. They just became BFFs automatically. Like, sure, alrighty then.

And lastly, this just took me forever to read. Occasionally it was pretty engaging, but overall I put it down a lot. So much that it caused a reading slump, and it took me two months to finish.

On the bright side, that means I took a lot of time to write down my thoughts so I could write this review. I mean, I wasn't a good review, and I'm sure they would have liked to have done without it, but I haven't written a review in so long. I should write more reviews. I might have to read more books in order to write more reviews, though... Dammit.

Recommended?

Only if you like insta-love, puns that get old really quickly, and being endlessly confused throughout an entire series. So, um, probably not, no.

Thanks for reading! What do you think of this book/series? (Regardless of whether or not you've read it..)