Books · Life · Uncategorized

This is Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!

The best day of the year is finally here! I don’t have a long post today, but I just wanted to share a pic of my costume from the party we attended over the weekend. I am quite pleased with how it turned out. 🙂

Crowley (An angel who did not so much fall as saunter vaguely downwards)

What are you all doing to celebrate Halloween? Did you dress up this year? I can’t wait to see the costumes you guys post! Whatever you’re doing today, I hope you have a most spooktacular time and eat lots of candy.

Books

Spooky Recs: Movie/TV Edition

Greetings, guys and ghouls! Halloween is less than a week away. As the holiday falls on a weekday this year, this weekend we will be doing most of our celebrating. I’ll be attending a friend’s Halloween party, where I will finally be able to debut the costume I’ve been putting together. (And eating large quantities of candy, of course.) Are any of you doing anything fun this weekend to celebrate?

Even though I finished decorating the house weeks ago, I’ve still been getting in the spooky mood by reading and watching some creepy/Halloween themed media. Since we’ve been talking about Spooky Reads (see pt. 1pt. 2pt. 3, and pt. 4) the last few weeks, this week I’m going to share some of my favorite shows and movies that I enjoy watching this time of year. Most of these aren’t really that scary, but are more on the lightly spooky and/or weird side. (Confession: I’m a little bit of a wimp when it comes to watching really scary stuff, lol)

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  • Stranger Things – It’s not really a Halloween themed show, but it’s full of mystery, creepiness, and monsters, so it works.
  • Hocus Pocus – My sister and I watched this one every year when we were kids. Even 20+ years later, it’s still a fun one to watch. (Rumor has it that they’re going to be making a sequel soon.)

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  • Beetlejuice – My first introduction to Beetlejuice was the cartoon version, back when I was a kid. When I was a little older I got to see the live action version and immediately fell in love with Michael Keaton’s brilliant performance. This one always makes me laugh.
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Check out my post about the show verus comic. This is a great one for this time of year, as it contains witches, dark magic, demonic rituals, and a cute black kitty.

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  • Nightmare Before Christmas – Seriously, who doesn’t love this movie? The best thing about it is that it’s both a Halloween and Christmas movie, so you can just continue watching it a few months after Halloween and nobody will think you’re weird. 🙂
  • American Horror Story – This is probably the scariest one on the list. I haven’t seen every single season yet, but the few that I have watched were excellent. My favorite is the first season, Murder House.

What are some of your favorite Halloween shows and movies? 

Books · Favorites

Spooky Book Recs (pt. 3)

Greetings ghouls and gals! I hope spooky month is treating you well so far. I’ve been keeping busy making new decorations for the house and getting my costume ready. Anyone want to take a stab at what I’m going to be this year? I’d give you a hint, but my choice is a pretty ineffable one. 😉

I’m not ready to give my costume away yet, but check out the new skeleton earrings I got:

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Need some more suggestions for spooky reads for this month? It’s time for spooky book recommendations, part 3! (Check out pt. 1 and pt. 2 here)

22136611The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – You guys knew this one was coming, didn’t you? This book is one of my favorites of all time, not just during Halloween season. The Graveyard Book tells the story of Bod, a young boy who is raised by the ghostly inhabitants of the cemetery after his parents are murdered. It’s a beautiful story about life, death, and all the lessons learned during both. Bod’s journey from childhood to adulthood, aided by his ghost friends and family is a beautiful and creative one that will leave you wanting to read it every year.

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Marina by Carlos Ruiz-Zafon – When Oscar meets Marina at the creepy old house down the street, he’s taken on a wild and unexpected journey into the macabre. After witnessing a mysterious lady in the cemetery shrouded in black, they get thrown into a web of mystery and horror as they try to discover the woman’s bizarre secrets. If they can’t uncover her secrets soon and stop the forces working against them, the city of Barcelona and their own lives may be at risk. (Check out my full review here)

 

Honorable mentions for the vampire enthusiasts:

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

 

 

Books · Fantasy · Favorites

The Ultimate Fall Read

Today we’re going to talk about a very special Fall book recommendation. It is the ultimate book recommendation, in my opinion, and I’m sure that my long time readers will not be surprised in the slightest. You’ve heard me talk about it plenty of times before, so I apologize if you’re tired of hearing about it, but I just can’t help myself. Every year, when the weather starts to cool off and the leaves change my brain takes me to Hogwarts.

That’s right, we’re talking about the Harry Potter series again. 😛

This year, my love of this beloved series feels even more appropriate to share, not only because it’s Fall, but because of some exciting news that I have…

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I’M GOING TO THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER. *squeeeeeeee* After ten years of waiting, I finally got tickets to go see the magical settings of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley in Orlando. It won’t be for a few more months, but in the mean time I plan on re-reading some of the books in preparation.

And what better time to read the series than Fall?! I’m not calling this a “spooky” book recommendation because that would be inaccurate. (To check out some of my spooky book recommendations, check out these pots: pt. 1 and pt. 2) Every time I read the series though I can’t help but think about Fall, due to how many great scenes there are in the book that take place during the season: the back to school fervor, Fall visits to Hogsmeade, and Halloween feasts in the Great Hall. Plus, with appearances by trolls, ghosts, and werewolves it just feels very appropriate for this time of year. Make sure you have a giant mug of butterbeer and some pumpkin pasties on hand when you read this one!

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Books

Spooky Book Recs (pt. 2)

Merlin and I are gearing up for Halloween over here. Here’s a picture of him hanging out with this new buddy, Bill Door.

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Welcome to part 2 of Kiersten’s Spooky Book Recommendations. We’re a month and a day away from Halloween, so you still have plenty of time to start getting your creep on. (If you didn’t check out part 1 yet, click here to see what I recommended last time.)

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Slayer by Kiersten White – I finished this one a few weeks ago (review here) and immediately thought about how great this would be for Halloween season. It takes place in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after the comic series ends. The book follows Nina as she comes to terms with the newfound discovery that she’s a Slayer – the last of their kind. It’s hard to figure out what to do with your new identity, however, when demons show up and start wreaking havoc on the world. Clearly, this is all Buffy’s fault.

 

…Speaking of Buffy, the Buffy graphic novels/comics would be another great series to dive into if you’re looking for something a little shorter to read.

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There are some other great graphic novels/comics out there that perfectly fit the bill for Halloween. One of my favorites is the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Filled with witchcraft, occultism, horror, and gore, this one might not be suitable for younger readers though. There’s only one graphic novel available for now, but you can find some of the later volumes of the comics available online pretty easily.

Books · Favorites

Spooky Book Recs (pt. 1)

Greetings, fellow book nerds! I’m back from our awesome vacation out west (Post coming soon!) and I’m ready to jump into spooky season. Today I’m going to share a few of my favorite Halloween/Fall themed books, just in case anyone else would like to join in and have a hauntingly good time.

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman – When Coraline’s parents move her into a new house she can’t help but explore every single inch of it. Most intriguing is the fourteenth door in the house, which contains nothing but a brick wall behind it. To Coraline’s surprise, she opens to door one day and discovers a passageway to a house that mirrors her own. Things look like they are better in this new house until Coraline realizes that her new “parents” intend to trap her there forever.

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Cassidy Blake series by Victoria Schwab – Cassidy’s parents are famous ghost hunters. They drag her from place to place so they can track down supernatural life forces and record it for their tv show, The Inspecters. What her parents don’t realize is that Cassidy is the only one who can actually see ghosts, including her best friend, Jacob. As a middle grade series, this might not be the scariest for adult readers, but it’s still a fun one to check out. They’re steeped with ghost lore and rich history of the settings where the books take place. So far, my favorite book in the series is Tunnel of Bones. I loved the elegant descriptions of Paris and the creepy catacombs! (Check out my review of City of Ghosts)

Stay tuned for part 2, coming very soon! In the meantime, creep it real.

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Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Young Adult

Book Review: Slayer by Kiersten White

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My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period…

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I wasn’t expecting a lot from this book, to be honest. I was never a huge fan of the show growing up (although I probably was a little too young to appreciate it) and I never read the comics. I’m not even sure what possessed me to pick this one, but I’m glad I did, because it was a fun read.

Nina is an unlikely candidate for the role that is thrust upon her, especially when her sister Artemis has been preparing her entire life. She grapples with her own feelings towards her newfound role and the life she has come to know. Given the upbringing and neglectful mother she had, you can’t really fault her for being so bitter and confused. I liked the shift in the two sisters’ relationship. It’s definitely not a cliche, “we’re such a happy family” one, but a rather messy one. I appreciated this a great deal, as family relationships are not usually all they’re cracked up to be. Some of the secondary characters, like Leo and Doug, were great, but a lot of the others fell flat for me. Even Artemis, felt a bit too predictable and it grated on my nerves at times.

I wasn’t super familiar with all the lore and background of the Buffy series prior to reading this, but the author does a good job of giving you enough detail without it being overwhelming. I’m tempted to dive into some of the comics now, just to see how what I’ve been missing out on.

Life · travel

September At Last

In my last post I expressed all my disdain for cranberries, chronic pain, and depression. Let’s talk about some positive things this time, shall we?

It’s finally September! You know what that means! I’m sure a few of you are yelling “Back to school” and while you’re technically right, it’s way more exciting than that. (Although, I’m not a parent. Maybe back to school time is a huge relief for you. I’m not judging.) September is the beginning of Halloween season!!! Those who have been following my blog for a few years now know that I am obsessed with Halloween. Why, you ask? BECAUSE IT’S THE GREATEST TIME OF THE YEAR. Over the next 2 months I’ll be posting lots of Fall/Halloween reading recommendations, as well as other related topics.

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…Consider yourselves warned.

In other exciting news, Boyfriend and I are going on a much needed vacation next week. It’s been an incredibly stressful couple of months with all that’s going on at work and my mental health dragging me down. I am more than ready to get away for a while. We were originally trying it plan a trip to Paris, but, alas, the stars (and prices) were not aligning, so we will be going to Portland and Seattle instead. I loved my first visit to Portland and can’t wait to get to explore more if it this time. I promise, there will be lots of pictures from the stacks at Powell’s, mountain views, and delicious food when we get back.

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Lastly, I have a very important announcement that I need to share with you all: My cat, Merlin, is adorable.

You’re welcome.

Books · Favorites

Mini Halloween Book Tag

Alright, I have one more costume picture for you today. It’s not a whole costume, but I wore my cat ears to work. (Only 3 of us dressed up today. Why are the rest of my co-workers so lame?)

Ally posted the Mini Halloween Book Tag on her blog today and tagged everyone to take part. Since it’s Halloween, it only feels appropriate that I fill this out.

PUMPKIN: A feel-good bookGood Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman. This one made me chuckle so many times.

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TRICK: A book with an awesome plot twist – City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare. By the time I reached the end of this book I was literally about to throw the book and scream out loud because I was that shocked by the huge plot twist. Even thinking about it now I’m like, “Holy shit.”

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TREAT: A book/series you devoured – The Darker Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I loved everything about this series.

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GHOST: A book that stayed with you long after you read it – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

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WITCH: Favourite book with wizards/witches – While I’ve read plenty of books with wizards/witches, the Harry Potter books will always hold a special place in my heart.

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VAMPIRE: A book that kept you up all nightThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

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TAG. You’re it! 🙂

Life

Happy Halloween!

Greetings ghouls and gals! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

A few people asked about  my costume from the party this weekend, so I was going to share it today. Unfortunately, the pics I took of my costume kinda suck but, since they’re all I have, here you go. Here’s my circus ringleader costume, in all its pixelated glory.

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I didn’t realize until now that I went pretty heavy on the circus theme this year. (I was a clown a few weeks ago for our dance showcase.) Ironically, I don’t like circuses that much. Go figure.

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I’m not doing much for Halloween today, as I have to work. (I may or may not be wearing a pair of cats ears at work right now. Heh.) After all that partying we did this weekend though, I think I’m covered for the year. I do plan on eating lots of candy once I get home though. I mean, handing out candy…

What are you doing today? Whatever it is, I hope it’s amazingly spooktacular!