Whomping Willow

The Whomping Willow is a tree from Harry Potter, and its name doesn’t lie either. The tree actually whomps people or objects that go anywhere near it. The tree has a secret, and it’s a really good one too. There is an opening at the bottom of the tree that is revealed when the knot at the base of the trunk is poked. The tree’s opening leads to the Shrieking Shack in the village of Hogsmeade. Readers of the books and those who have seen the movies, will remember that Harry and Ron flew Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia into it in The Chamber of Secrets. The Whomping Willow is one of my favorite magical things in the world of Harry Potter.

#T5W Intimidating Books


The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer- This has been on my TBR for a while. I’m intimidated by this because I read the Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes. I had a difficult time getting through that, because of the way it was written, and it was only 155 pages. The Illiad and The Odyssey is 752 pages, and if it’s written in a way similar to The Argonautica, I know I’ll have a difficult time getting through it.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy- For some reason, the larger classics intimidate the hell out of me. This one is 1,156 pages, it’s huge! It’s also historical fiction, a genre that I have been reading more of lately. The synopsis sounds really intriguing.

Night by Elie Weisel- While this book is on the shorter side, it is the content that makes this book intimidating. I learned about the holocaust in school, but I’ve never really read a first person account of what it was really like.

The Lord of the Rings (single volume) by J.R.R. Tolkein- I read the Lord of the Rings as three separate volumes a while ago, however the single volume is huge! I got one of the deluxe editions with the corrected text and the newer index, and it is intimidating.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville- I have never read this book. The classics intimidate the hell out of me. This one isn’t as long as the others, but I have heard that some of the language is difficult for some to understand.

#T5W Hard Topics


I haven’t read too many books that deal with hard/difficult topic.  However I was able to come up with four books.

Life Unaware by Cole Gibson- I chose the book because it deals with bullying. I feel like bullying is a hard topic because sometimes it is not dealt with properly. I also feel that some people don’t fully understand the many ways in which one can be bullied. The main character Regan, seems to have a perfect life, but that life gets turned upside down when every text, instant message and email gets printed and posted all over school. She ends up getting bullied by the people who, in her messages bullied herself. She also suffers from anxiety, but keeps it a secret. I could have focused on Regan’s anxiety, however I don’t know too much about anxiety, so I decided to go with bullying instead. Bullying is something that in recent years, has garnered more attention and zero tolerance policies have been established in schools.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green- This book deals with cancer and death, which are both difficult to talk about. However, it seems like almost everybody these days knows somebody who has cancer, has had cancer or has cancer themselves. There were a few really good lessons in this book. Hazel had an amazing support system around her, she had family, friends and the support group she went to. While the topics of cancer and death are hard to talk about, I feel like books like TFIOS, while fiction put things into perspective in a different way. Everyone deals with this subject matter differently, it’s important to listen, pay attention and be there for the people in your life going through it.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai- The hard topic in this book is violence against women. Malala was 15 years old when theTaliban shot her. She was shot because she was a female with a voice of her own, and she spoke out about her right to be educated. The shooting of Malala was a deliberate act of violence against women. Just because women have voices and opinions, it does not mean that they should be attacked for it, in any way shape or form, whether it be verbally or physically.

Beloved by Toni Morrison- The hard topic in this book is slavery. The main character Sethe escapes slavery, but even though she escapes to freedom, she is never really free. The memories of Sweet Home, the place where she escaped still haunt her memories. The house where she lives is haunted by the ghost of a daughter. I feel like slavery is a hard topic because it still exists, while some think slavery has been completely abolished, there are other forms of slavery that better fit the modern times. I had a difficult time reading this book, especially because of some of the subject matter. Slavery is a difficult thing to read about.

March16 Wrap-up


This month was another slow reading month for me.  I only read three books and got into a bit of a reading slump, however I did read one of the books on my re-reads list.  I’m also five books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads challenge, so I’m not too worried.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard- Four stars on Goodreads. I loved this book. There were things that I was not expecting at all and I was surprised by some of the things that happened. The cliffhanger ending left me wanting more. I thought the book was beautifully written. However, I wasn’t really a fan of the romance, I thought that aspect could have been better.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard- I gave this three stars because I didn’t see as much growth from Mare as I was hoping for.  I also wanted more from Mare and Cal, I felt there was just too much tension between them.  I also didn’t like the ending, and though that Mare was so stupid for doing what she did.  While I did like this book, I wanted more, more development in the characters and the relationships.  I’m hoping Mare and Cal finally end up together in book three and there is more development in the characters and their relationships.

Beloved by Toni Morrison- I gave this five stars.  I first read this in a college literature class, and I didn’t really understand the importance of this book.  After re-reading it, I understand it a lot more now.  Because it is historical fiction, there is a lot of historical context and importance that I didn’t understand when I first read it.   The book takes place after the American Civil War and deals with slave trade.  With this book I really saw the trials and tribulations of trying to escape slavery and be free.  I found this book intriguing and haunting.  In my opinion, it’s a must read.

February16 Wrap-Up


These are the books that I read in February in the order that I read them. February was a slower reading month for me, I only read five books.

1.) Life Unaware by Cole Gibson- Five stars on Goodreads. This book is extremely relatable. The main topic of the book is bullying, something that has become more prominent in schools. The main character, Regan is at the center of the bullying when every email, text and instant message she ever sent gets printed and posted all over. Everything getting posted turns her “perfect” life upside down, Regan’s life is anything but perfect. Regan suffers from anxiety, but has to keep it a secret from everyone, so that her having anxiety doesn’t ruin her mother’s political career. Speaking of Regan’s mother, I couldn’t stand her for the majority of the book. I actually think that Regan’s mother contributes to her anxiety by putting so much pressure on her, especially when it comes to cheerleading and being on student council. Regan loses everything at school, her reputation and her friends due to her private messages getting posted.

After the incident, the only person that even talks to Regan is Nolan, her former best friend’s brother. Regan and Nolan become really close, especially when Regan realizes that she needs to change. Regan feels that the best way to change is to apologize, and Nolan helps her do that by recording her apology. In the apology video, which is to be broadcast to the whole school, Regan reveals that she suffers from anxiety. I felt that when Regan revealed that she suffers from anxiety, it was a huge weight lifted off of her shoulders. After the apology video is filmed, Nolan, his sister Payton, his friend Blake and Regan are discussing the video and Blake offers to help edit it. Blake ends up going way too far, when she edits the video. Things that shouldn’t have gone in the video, end up in the video, pushing one student to a suicide attempt by overdosing on drugs. In the end everything ends up okay.

2.)A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett- I don’t remember reading this when I was younger, however I remember watching the movies and loved them. I’m so happy that I read the book. I found Sara to be more mature than her actual age, and feel that this was extremely important. I feel that she may be more mature because she grew up in India, and was able to experience a culture that the other girls didn’t. I loved how Sara had such a vivid, wild imagination, and felt that this made her life in the attic more bearable. Her ability to simply make the best out of a less than ideal situation was remarkable. I loved how the book had a happy ending.

3.) Zodiac by Romina Russell- I absolutely loved this book. When I was reading it, I kept thinking to myself “I can’t wait to read the second book.” I thought that Rho was such a strong female lead character and that made me love the book even more. I also loved how the book is set in space and the constellations, it made Zodiac more interesting. There is a love triangle, but it added to the plot and made an interesting conflict for Rho. And I definitely ship Rho and Mathias. I was able to put myself into the world of this book and that is something that very few books have the ability to do.

4.) The Magicians by Lev Grossman- I didn’t love this book like I had hoped, however I did like it enough to read it until the end. I did find one thing that I did enjoy, and that was the element of magic. There is a passage on page 7 that reminded me of when the Pevensie siblings go through the wardrobe to Narnia. On page 40, I found a reference to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.” Professor March reminded me of Professor Snape from “Harry Potter.” I found too many references to other books that I had previously read to fully enjoy this book. I don’t think that I am going to finish the series.

5.) Wandering Star by Romina Russell- I can’t wait to read more from this series. There was a huge curveball in this book and I loved it. I really loved how Rho grew as a character and brought the Zodiac together. She truly grew into her role as a leader.

2016 Re-reads 

This year there are some books that I would like to re-read. Some books just captivate you that much, you have the desire to re-read them. Also, when you re-read books, you pick up on things that you might have missed the first time you read the book. With that being said, the following is my list of re-reads:

1.) Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis- I absolutely love this series and for many reasons. There is something so magical about the books, and I love how I get taken away to another world with these books. They are beautifully written, and I can always see images in my head when I read them.

2.) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling- I always love re-reading the Harry Potter series, I always seem to rethink what certain things mean. I usually always re-read the books in December, because they are the perfect winter reads. I just love all the magic in them.

3.) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien- I read this a while ago, maybe back in middle school. I haven’t read it since, but I think now might be the right time to read it again. The reason, I feel like now is the right time to read it again, is because I’ll actually be able to give it my full, undivided attention.

4.) The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien- I love these books. They’re filled with so much action, and adventure, that it’s easy to miss things if you don’t pay attention. I’ll probably re-read these after I read the Hobbit, as the Hobbit is the prequel.

5 & 6.) Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn by Mark Twain- I had to read these for school so I couldn’t enjoy them, so I’m hoping that by reading them again, I’ll be able to enjoy them. I’m also hoping that by reading them again, I’ll have a better understanding of the important historical context.

7.) The Watsons go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis- I think I read this book in fourth grade and I absolutely loved it, so I would like to read it again.

8.) Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingells Wilder- I loved this book growing up, and it’s been a really long time since I have read it. I’m really hoping that I enjoy it now as much as I enjoyed it when I was younger.

9.) Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White- This is another one of my childhood favorites. I love he story of friendship and since it has been quite a while since I have read some of my childhood favorites, I want to re-read them. Seeing as how I’m older, I’m curious to see if I have different thoughts about things in the book.

10.) Moneyball by Michael Lewis- I’ll probably read this one sometime between April and October, which is baseball season. This book goes deeper into the statistical side of putting a baseball team together. I read it once and was fascinated with what I read.

11.) Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer- I had to read this in one of my college classes and I found it difficult to read. I think the class read this the last week and half of the semester, so it was rushed read. I feel that if I take my time reading it, it won’t be so difficult.

12.) Beloved by Toni Morrison- There are things that I didn’t understand the first time I read this book, it may have been the historical aspects or something else that I didn’t understand. If I take my time reading it and less time analyzing, I might end up enjoying this book.

13.) There Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston- I don’t remember how long ago I read this book, but I saw it in my bookcase and thought I would read it again.

14.) Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit- I read this book so long ago that I forget what it’s about. I do remember, that when I read it, I absolutely loved it. Sometimes, I feel that it’s good to revisit books that were childhood favorites as an adult.

15 and 16.) Zodiac and Wandering Star by Romina Russell- OMG I am in love with this series, that’s all.

These books are definite re-reads. There are two books that are possible re-reads and those books are Finding Fish by Antwon Fisher and The Color of Water by James McBride

Rainbowthon 2.0 TBR


This month from the 7th to the 14th is Rainbowthon 2.0.  I did this readathon last year and was extremely excited when I found out that there was going to be another one.  With the Rainbowthon, the goal is to read one book that corresponds to every color of the rainbow, read six books of one color, or double up on two books and only read four.  Doubling up on two books means that if you have a book that has both green and blue on the spine that book will count towards reading a green and blue book if you have another book that has red and orange on the spine, that book will count towards reading a red and orange book.  Indigo is not included because indigo and blue are pretty much the same.  The six books that I’m reading for the readathon are the only books that are definite reads for February, other than that I have no idea what else I’m going to read in the month of February.

The books that I’m reading for Rainbowthon 2.0:

Red- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Orange- Zodiac by Romina Russell

Yellow- Wandering Star by Romina Russell

Green- Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Blue- Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Purple- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

January16 Reading Wrap Up


This month I read 10 books and abandoned one.

Here are the books I read, in the order that I read them.

1.) The Web by Megan Chance- I gave this book three out of five stars on Goodreads. This book is the second book in a trilogy. I read the first book and the first book really sucked me in. However, the way that the book is written, with different points of views for each chapter is still a bit confusing. I find some of the plot confusing too. I hated the cliff hanger ending, I still can’t stand Derry and I hope Grace chooses the Fomori.

2.) The Veil by Megan Chance- I gave this three out of five stars on Goodreads. I hated how this book and series ended. I also didn’t like the guy that Grace, the main character chose in the end. While there were some things in the series that I enjoyed, I thought the series was too drawn out.

3.) The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi- I gave this book five out of five stars on Goodreads. Even though the chapters were from the point of view of two different people, the book flowed extremely well. Also, the different points of view were two different stories, however they meshed really well together and weren’t confusing at all. The two different points of views, while different were still extremely similar. I loved Nadia’s writing. I also learned quite a bit about a different culture. I really felt for Rahima, and the things that she had to endure. I can’t wait to read more from Nadia.

4.) The Selection by Kiera Cass- I gave this four out of five stars on Goodreads. After seeing this book all over Booktube, I decided to read it for myself. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read. At first there were some things that really annoyed me, but as I kept reading those annoyances went away. There was one character who I absolutely couldn’t stand at all, and that was Celeste.

5.) The Elite by Kiera Cass- I gave this five out of five stars on Goodreads. For some reason, I didn’t review it on Goodreads. However I really enjoyed the growth and development of the characters in this book.

6.) The One by Kiera Cass- I gave this five out of five stars on Goodreads. I loved how this book ended. I loved how in the end Celeste and the other elites came together and were finally able to get along.

7.) The Heir by Kiera Cass- I gave this five out of five on Goodreads. At first I couldn’t stand Eadlyn, but I grew to have sympathy for her. she was forced into something that she didn’t want to do and was put under a lot of stress. I saw a lot of growth in her by the end of the book. I can’t wait to read the second book in Eadlyn’s story.

8.) God Help the Child by Toni Morrison- I gave this book three stars for the way the chapters were written. I’m not a fan of when chapters are told from different characters points of views, I feel like books written that way can sometimes disrupt the flow of the story. With that being said I found this book extremely rich and compelling. The subject matter of the book is not something to be taken lightly. I loved how the book ended. and I’m not going to give it away. I felt that Bride’s story was a little bit sad, because all she wanted was to be loved and accepted by her own mother. I can’t say that her mother (Sweetness) never loved her, she just never showed it in a way that she should have.

9.) The Giver by Lois Lowry- I gave this five out of five stars. I first read this book in seventh grade and didn’t really understand it. After reading it again, I understand it a lot more. I think after receiving memories from the Giver, Jonas wanted more out of life and something different from the safety, comfort and sameness that he was used too. I also feel that in a way, by going elsewhere, Jonas was saving himself from a life of lies that he had been fed from his family and community.

10.) Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore- I gave this five out of five on Goodreads. This book was definitely out of my comfort zone in terms of genre. I normally don’t read thrillers or suspense novels. I loved this book. It was full of intrigue, excitement and secrets. Eventually those secrets are uncovered. There were some events that happened in the story that definitely caught me off guard and I was shocked by them. I also really enjoyed that this book didn’t tell, it showed, that’s how descript the writing is. I loved the character growth and development, I especially loved the relationship between Mabel and Galway. I would definitely consider reading this book again, but I would read it in the summer. It’s definitely more of a summer read, rather than a winter read.

Abandoned book: Inamorata by Megan Chance- I got to page 147 of this book and had to give it up. The points of view changing every chapter or every few chapters made this book extremely confusing to read and because of the changing POV’s it didn’t have a good reading flow at all.

I DNF’ed A Book

For all you non book nerds DNF means Did Not Finish or abandoned.  Yes, I abandoned a book.  The book that I abandoned was Inamorata by Megan Chance.  I tried giving the book a chance and I did read 147 pages.  While there were some things that I did like from what I read, there were more things about it that I didn’t like.  The main reason why I abandoned this book was because of the way the chapters were written.  Each chapter was told from a different character’s point of view, which made it extremely difficult to follow.  It was also extremely confusing to read and I didn’t like the way the book flowed.  I read three other books by Megan Chance and those books were okay, but they were written the same way.  The difference with the other three books is that they flowed a lot better and weren’t as confusing to read.  I’m not sure if I’m going to read other books by Megan Chance based on my opinions of what I have read.

When It comes to books, if I start one I like to read the whole thing.  However, I have learned that it is okay to DNF or abandon a book for whatever reason.  There are other books out there that I’ll like better.  I was also told that if you don’t like a book or can’t get into it, don’t waste my time on it.

Top 5 Wednesday- Banned or challenged books I have read


Harry Potter by J.K Rowling- The first book was published when I was in fourth grade, which was 1997.  Although I read it later in my life, it is something that I can re-read over and over again.  I can, but at the same time I can’t  understand why it would be banned.  I understand that parents might not want their kid to be reading about magic and monsters, but at the same time it’s all fiction.  I also feel like it promotes use of one’s imagination and thinking more creatively.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – I had to read this for a college class and at first hated it.  It took me a while to fully understand the importance of what this book is about.  The 1920’s were a somewhat difficult time in the United States, and was a huge part of American history. The reasons for this book being banned to me are utterly ridiculous, language and sexual references.  Sex is human nature people.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien- Banned for being satanic in one community.  I don’t see anything satanic about his book at all, but that’s just my opinion.  The series is very cultural as there are many different cultures in the book.  The books could be used to teach people to accept those from other cultures that are different from their own.  If you look at the Fellowship there’s so many different cultures that come together to form common goal.

Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger- Banned in one community due to racism, profanity and references to sex.  Number one, this book is nonfiction meaning it is a true story, the things that happened in this book are 100% real.  The main thing about this book has to do with high school football.

1984 by George Orwell- I had a difficult time with this one, because there were so many others that I could have chosen.  However I chose this one because I remember reading it and thinking it was such a creepy book, because of “Big Brother.”  Some things that stood out to me, looking back, that really bother me today is how in the book individualism and individual thinking are considered crimes.  Something that is now celebrated is individualism and individual thinking.  I couldn’t imagine living in a world where those things were a crime.