YOUR New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve made my resolutions, now it’s time for me to help you make yours!

These, of course, are suggestions that you can take or leave but if you’re looking for inspiration or confirmation, this is it.

  1. Find a type of exercise you actually love. Story time: my mother is one of those people that wanted to do something about her current fitness level and tried to sign up for gym memberships and even beginner volleyball classes but nothing stuck and all motivation would peter out quickly. Just 3 months ago, she signed up for some aquafit classes at the local YMCA because she heard it was good for your back and she’s been going around 3 times a week since then! She’s become one of those people that complains when she had to miss a class! So you CAN get fit or lose those pounds, you just need to find your method! The gym is not for everyone, it might be competition or environment that gives you a reason to keep coming back to it.
  2. Read one book per month. Reading is something that people feel like they don’t have time for but books are, in my opinion, a great part of life and important to expand your imagination. So by setting aside your commute to listen to audiobooks or before bed to read a chapter or two, it is definitely plausible to get through at least one book each moon cycle. Definitely try to get a diverse selection from fantasy to non-fiction because the world is huge and there’s no telling what you might learn.
  3. Invest in friendships. You have no idea how important this is. It’s so easy to let great people slip out of your lives or to not initiate getting to really know someone because you already have your family to talk to. Coffee dates are easy to plan, letter writing is not dead and potlucks are really fun. You don’t have to become a social butterfly but do hold on to the friends you have and make sure they know that they are important to you! That isn’t done enough in my opinion.
  4. Create. Totally open-ended, totally depends on what you enjoy and what you’d love to try. I believe we all have something inside of us that needs to create things whether it be an elegant computer code, your very first knitted scarf or a story. I’m sure there’s something that you’re passionate about and if you’re passionate about it you will totally be able to make the time for it in this coming year!

These are my tips to making your year a success (hopefully), let me know what you would have added to the list or what you’re taking from mine!

Smek For President

The first answer to any of those “what person dead or alive would you want to have dinner with” questions is Adam Rex.

smekforpresidentHe’s the author and illustrator to many a book, including my all time favouriteThe True Meaning of Smekday.

We’ll get into exactly why that is in a later post so that I can put all my focus into converting you into a major fan also but the point of this post is to celebrate and anticipate!

After 8 long years, there is now a sequel. The first book was a standalone, the ending was satisfying (actually it was a lot more than that) so it’s not like we’ve been dying over a cliffhanger for the past couple years but it excites me to no end that there will be more of an alien named J.Lo and a girl named Tip in a post-alien invasion world that will apparently include a presidential campaign but I know nothing because I haven’t even read the description I just want to go in blind and be amazed.

that was one very extremely long run on sentence

Things I Hope To See In The Sequel:

– more boovish history

– comics

– Gratuity and her mom

– J.Lo not understanding normal human things

– J.Lo’s horrible grammar

– how the aliens have integrated themselves into our world

The novel came out February 10th so there is absolutely no reason as to why I am not reading it right now. That makes me a little upset. Not sure if I should just go out and buy it or wait for the 8 people in line ahead of me at the library to hurry up and finish…

If you guys are fans of Adam Rex’s work, let me know so we can discuss at length how awesome these books are!!

Oddly Specific Book Recs (OSBR #1)

In case you didn’t know, I read a lot.

I love to read and I love discussing books with people that also love to read. It’s one of the few conversation topics I can actually go on about for a really long time.

Another thing I like is connecting said other person with a book that I think they’d really enjoy. I might have just read something and just want every single person on the planet to also read it (aka that time I read Blood Red Road by Moira Young. If you haven’t GO! Go NOW!) but other times, if I know the person well enough, then it’s really fun for me to rack my brain for the actual perfect book for them. The one that just matches up with so many of their interests. Like a book soul mate.

Thus this series on my blog is born. It won’t be a regular thing like my Reasons to Smile, Masterposts or Beautiful Boys but whenever I stumble onto a perfect pairing of human and page, then I won’t hesitate to talk about it.

cinder - marissa meyerThe book is Cinder by Marissa Meyer and the person is my friend in Biomed Mechanical Engineering.

The number one similarity is that she’s really interested in prosthetics for different parts of the human body like heart valves or hip replacements and anything of that sort and Cinder, the main character, is a cyborg. That is the literal same thing, just a lot more advanced. Of course, the science behind Cinder’s superhuman body is fictional but it is backed by research done by the author on potential things that humans could someday achieve.

Then there’s that tiny connection that she’s in a type of mechanical engineering and Cinder is a mechanic.

And finally, my friend is a really rational, cuts straight to the chase, no nonsense person so if the romance in a book was the central theme with all the pining and overthinking she’d probably have a fit. In Cinder, of course there’s some romance, it is after all in the YA genre and a retelling of Cinderella, but it’s definitely not the most important aspect. There’s the whole equality issue and stopping someone evil from taking over the world business to take care of as well.

The verdict is actually in: she loved it! I lent her my copy yesterday and she was asking for the second book in the series today. I am a miracle worker. Just kidding, loved the fact that she loved it, dreading to tell her the news that the series isn’t finished yet so she’ll have to wait a while after finishing Cress to read the last book.

End of Year Book Survey (2013 edition)

1. Best book you read in 2013?

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis wins this round. It was the cherry on top to her amazing trilogy, Across the Universe. We got answers, action and adorable moments between Amy and Elder. It’s actually the top of my friend and I’s scale on how good the ending of a trilogy was :)

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love but didn’t?

Requiem by Lauren Oliver, I’m very sorry to say, get this award. Delirium was intriguing and I really wanted to see how thing wrapped up in Lena’s world but they didn’t. It wasn’t even that I was unhappy with how things went down, it’s just that nothing was resolved. I was hoping for so much more! The Kill Order by James Dashner gets an honourable mention. I was tentatively excited about this book because maybe it could possibly redeem The Maze Runner series but it was a flop in my books as well.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book?

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey caught me by surprise this past year! I only read it because it had a lot of good buzz around the blogosphere and man am I ever happy I did! The book was a little darker than what I usually read but it was so epic and intense that the 500+ pages just flew by. I was in shock when it ended because I was so caught up in the story. High 5 to Rick Yancey. (that was my attempt at a pun b/c 5th wave and high 5??? yeah.)

4. Book you read that you recommended to people the most?

I’m always surprised when people haven’t read Eleanor & Park let alone haven’t even heard of Rainbow Rowell. It seems like a given at this point, even though I only discovered her this year as well. It was just such a cute story, but had a little more weight to it than your average chick lit. No matter what type of book people read, they would definitely enjoy this one which made it so easy to recommend to anyone. The cover is also adorable which completes the package.

5. Best series you discovered?

I barely started any series this year but even if there had been more to choose from for this category, Taken by Erin Bowman would’ve still taken the cake. It was a really interesting premise THAT ACTUALLY EXPLAINED ITSELF. One thing that annoys me about these books is that really confusing situations are introduced and then you never know why they happened or the explanation makes no sense whatsoever. But not this guy! You found out information which of course led to more questions but at least you had the first ones resolved. Really excited to see where it goes next.

6. Favourite new author you discovered?

As I mentioned earlier, I only found out about the beautiful person that is Rainbow Rowell this year. My first book of her was Eleanor & Park but I quickly devoured her other books too. Each one is really different from the others but they all make you fall in love with the characters and are hilarious and just draw you in. It just feels good to read her books, y’know? And she is actually the best Twitterer to ever tweet.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone?

I actually picked out this book for school; we had to read a book by a Canadian author but I quite enjoyed it. It’s called Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer. Sci Fi is something I enjoy but I rarely read it so that’s why I said it was a genre out of my comfort zone. Definitely not YA. It was a pretty interesting story, very complex though which wasn’t a problem and kind of made it more enjoyable to read since you had to work at understanding it.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book?

Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan gets this prize. I wonder if there’s a universe in which I do not love a Percy Jackson book. Probably not. So much happens in this novel and you’re reading and turning the pages as fast as you can when suddenly it’s 4 in the morning… Yeah, it’s that kind of book.

9. Book that you are likely to reread next year?

Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane was a remarkable book that I definitely have intentions of rereading! It started out quirky and interesting but then it got weird and awesome. Loved all the little eureka moments in it and am sure it’s the type of book where you notice something new each time you read it. Kind of like how I still see something new every time I watch How To Train Your Dragon.

10. Favourite book cover?

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi’s cover was breaktaking. There are so many little details in it and the overall effect is just grorgeous. It’s also a semi-original cover, eyes have been done before but not as much as headless girls in dressed and the colour scheme is icy and blue and beautiful.

11. Most memorable character?

Jordan from Catching Jordan. She is just so hardcore and amazing. Football is one of my favourite sports so I loved reading about a girl playing the game with a bunch of guys, and being QB for that matter! She was just my kind of person and came of as really strong and funny. I just really loved seeing her develop through the book.

12. Most beautifully written book?

Graffiti Moon is definitely the perfect book for this award. The story was written in two perspectives except, unlike some novels, was actually done really really well. It wasn’t confusing and actually added to the effect! The whole book was very poetic in the writing, taking relatively normal things and describing them in ways that gave them meaning and life. There were also actual poems strewn around the pages.

13. Book you can’t believe you waiting until 2013 to read?

Catching Jordan gets a second mention here just because I have literally known about this book for years and only read it this past one. My excuse is that the library didn’t get it until this year and we’ll just forget about the fact that I couldn’t gotten it from work if I really wanted to… But yeah, the story was everything I had hoped it to be, all about sports and what it feels like to be somewhere that is male-dominated. I just really understood what was going down being in that kind of situation with my university major.

14. Book that had a scene in it that had you dying to talk to someone about it?

Allegiant obviously gets this, no questions asked. The final book of one of the biggest trilogies in YA already makes me yearn to dissect it in tiny detail with my bookish friends but that one scene at the end, y’all know what I’m talking about if you’ve read it already, just needed to be discussed first in utter shock then confusion then while attempting to understand. All your basic emotions really get covered here. It’s probably unsafe for your health to keep them inside.

(side note, I’m not actually done, I’ll finish it tomorrow or something!)