ZEuRytyrTell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Chloe and I’m an 18 year old blogger. I love to talk about books, read books, and take pictures of books! I hope to work in publishing and write my own book one day! I mainly read Young Adult books, but I’m trying to branch out more into Middle Grade and Adult. I also really love animals. I have two dogs and six cats and they often make an appearance on all of my accounts, haha.

How did you get into blogging?

I originally wanted to try out BookTube, but I found that I was incredibly awkward in front of the camera. Plus, I knew next to nothing about video editing or even how to upload videos to Youtube. I knew I wanted to talk about books aside from on Twitter and Instagram, so I thought I would give blogging a shot! It would allow me to do the same things I wanted to do on BookTube, but I would be able to edit more easily and I could write everything down instead of talking. It sounded like it would be a great fit for me!

Tell us about your favorite blog post.

I’m not sure! I don’t have one particular post I love more than the others or one I’m prouder of. I do love the reviews I wrote where I had a lot to say and I think I got all my thoughts across in a coherent way. Examples would be Sherwood, There’s Something About Sweetie, and Descendant Of The Crane.

What are you doing when you’re not blogging?

When I’m not blogging, I’m probably still talking about books haha. I read a lot and I’m pretty active in the bookish community on both Twitter and Instagram. I’m a high school student, so I’m also working on things for that! Photography is also a hobby of mine and most of my pictures revolve around books. And I’m probably petting my cats at any given time.

What has been your favorite read of 2019 so far?

Ah, this is hard! I’ve recently read and adored Kingsbane by Claire Legrand! It’s the sequel to Furyborn and I loved it so much.

Do you DNF books easily or try to power through them? A little bit of both?

It depends on the book really. I definitely believe that if I’m reading something I’m not enjoying, I should put it down and pick up a book I will enjoy. On the other side, I want to give the book a solid chance before I put it down, since it could get better. So, I’ll power through a little bit, but if I don’t like it after a while, I will put it down.

Where else can we find you?

Twitter || Instagram

Photo by Arnel Hasanovic.

Follow:

Sorry for my lack of posts recently, I went home for my brother’s graduation and have been recovering from surgery for the last week. Also, I have officially landed an amazing job opportunity, which I will share later in my monthly wrap-up post.

Here are my top five posts from all categories:

  1. Important things to look for in a tour company: It’s so important for your safety, comfort, fun and funds to pick a quality tour company.
  2. 5 days in Iceland: I’m really hoping to do Iceland as my next “big” trip so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for any and all tips.
  3. 50 habit tracker ideas: This inspired me to do a habit tracker again, it really makes me feel like I have my shit together!
  4. A to Z TBR book tag: I always love creative bookish posts I can get inspired by between my book reviews.
  5. Best places in Greece: This country looks so gorgeous and this post really outlines the best parts of both well known destinations and a bit off the beaten path.

Science, sustainability and veganism

General travel and study abroad

Travel destinations

Lifestyle

Entertainment

Blogging

Photo by Andrew Knechel.

Follow:

As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it
  • (★★): Barely finished it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews.

Holes by Louis Sachar

9780440414803_mresRating: ★★★★★

Genre: Fiction, young adult

GoodReads rating:  3.95 / 5 (862,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 1/5 – 3/5

Summary: When Stanley is wrongly convicted of a crime and sent to dig holes at Camp Greenlake, he makes friends that help him uncover the truth about the area’s past and his connection to it.

Thoughts: Wow. If anyone knows me well, they know I rarely give out five stars to books. This is my first one of the calendar year and it’s well-deserved. I grew up with the movie and loved it a lot and the story is just as captivating on paper.

Other adaptations: As I said, the Disney movie with Shia LaBeouf (along with many other well known stars such as Sigourney Weaver, Patricia Arquette and Tim Blake Nelson) is well-liked.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

81MGfnTQ9ZLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Nonfiction, memoir, mental health

GoodReads rating: 3.90 / 5 (165,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 4/5 – 6/5

Summary: 18-year-old Susanna is admitted into a mental institution famous for its clients. During her two years there, she observes her troublesome peers as well as looking inwards at her own problems.

Thoughts: Good, but not great. The book is more conceptual than the movie, obviously, being told from a first person perspective. I was expecting more of day-to-day life in the hospital, but most of her time there was self-reflection on her own psychoses.

Other adaptations: The ’99 movie with Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder has mixed reviews, but I like it enough. Although Jolie won several awards for her performance, the author thinks that the movie is more sensationalized than her actual experience, which can be dangerous when talking about mental health.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

51EXdVtCfkLRating: ★★★

Genre: Young adult, historical fiction

GoodReads rating: 4.13 / 5 (389,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 6/5 – 7/5

Summary: Ten-year-old Annmarie must be brave in the face of danger when Nazis inhabit Copenhagen… and her best friend is Jewish.

Thoughts: This book was fine, nothing exceptional. It’s very short and wish it was longer as I’ve never read a story about WWII in Denmark, only Germany, Poland and France. Just because the characters are so young doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to unpack with the story. However, I understand the audience is for younger people and can’t complain too much.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

x510Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Young adult, contemporary, LGBT

GoodReads rating: 4.33 / 5 (205,000 ratings)

Medium used: Audiobook (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 8/5

Summary: Simon’s romantic e-mails between with anonymous male classmate “Blue” falls into the wrong hands and he tries to meet his blackmailer’s demands while coming out on his own terms and keeping his relationship with this stranger and his friends in tact.

Thoughts: I listened to this audiobook for most of my 8.5 hour drive home last week and loved it! The only reason I didn’t give it five stars was because I wasn’t the exact target audience. I could totally relate to Simon with the online relationship (although I always knew who my special friends were) and the portrayal of high school was actually accurate with each character having distinct personalities and emotions. This book is really great for the target audience as it also has a moral of opening up to those closest to you.

Other adaptations: The movie (Love Simon) from the last year is pretty well received and I jumped through it and thought it was not bad, but not great. It’s like the screenwriters were homeschooled in high school and had no idea what teachers are like (I can’t believe they did Buster Bluth so dirty) and the change of Leah’s love interest was a very poor choice. I also hated how they revealed the secret identity of Blue almost right away. One of the best parts of the book was that the author kept you guessing along with Simon. However, Nick Robinson is peak eye candy.

Have you read any of these? Which did you enjoy most?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.

Follow:

As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it
  • (★★): Barely finished it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I no longer go out of my way to watch adaptions, but will continue to mention them and their general critiques (from Rotten Tomatoes) in my reviews.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

51wsPaf2xbLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction, children’s

GoodReads rating:  4.12 / 5 (572,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 14/4 – 15/4

Summary: Charlie and four other kids win their way into a tour of the mysterious chocolate factory of the eccentric Willy Wonka.

Thoughts: I love reading these short beloved tales when I’m a bit burnt out from reading. They’re always pleasant and entertaining and this was spectacular story.

Other adaptations: Both the ’71 and ’05 film were well received. I can’t remember the latter to well but I enjoyed the ’05 one with its music and storyline (followed the book very well) as well as the addition of Willy Wonka’s backstory.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

41un18HtUSLRating: ★★★

Genre: Mystery, classics

GoodReads rating: 4.25 / 5 (627,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 10/4 – 15/4

Summary: When a mysterious host invites an assortment of people with seemingly nothing in common to their private island, guests begin dropping like flies. Who is doing this, and who will survive?

Thoughts: Good, but a bit overrated. I think the more modern mysteries I’m used to have moved the bar higher.

Other adaptations: The ’45 movie and ’15 T.V. mini-series are both well liked. As the mini series is only a few episodes, I might give it a whirl.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

71FNFSVUrkLRating: ★★★

Genre: Young adult, romance, contemporary

GoodReads rating: 4.16 / 5 (315,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 18/4 – 23/4

Summary: 16-year-old Lara Jean has written private love letters to her five past loves, including her current crush and sister’s ex, Josh. One day, all the letters get posted and all h-e-double-hockey sticks breaks loose.

Thoughts: From the beginning, the story wasn’t believable and Lara Jean wasn’t likable. In high school, especially in the later years, nobody really gives a shit who likes who, who’s had sex and all the other things Lara Jean builds up in her mind, but I suppose that’s part of being in high school: a lot of people don’t realize others don’t give a shit and none of it will really matter in a year much less a week. Good idea, meh execution.

Other adaptations: The Netflix series is what started the craze around the story. I watched about half the movie and thought movie Lara Jean was much more likable and relatable, but movie Josh was unbearable, coming back to wondering why Lara Jean went to such extreme lengths to maintain the relationship with this asshole in the first place. Well made and cute movie, but just missed the mark.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

61fbkNIiueLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Non-fiction, death

GoodReads rating: 4.29 / 5 (12,200 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 23/4 – 29/4

Summary: “[M]ortician Caitlin Doughty embarks on a global expedition to discover how other cultures care for the dead” and “investigates the world’s funerary customs and expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with dignity.”

Thoughts: In my previous post, I mentioned how much I liked Stiff and how I got interested in the topic thanks to Ask a Mortician YouTube channel… well, she has some books, too! Any fans of her videos can clearly hear her distinct and soothing voice and dash of tasteful humor through her written words. This book is so well-written and interesting and makes me really think to what extent I would like to personally attend to the body of my deceased loved one when the time comes.

Have you read any of these? Which did you enjoy most?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.

Follow:

Right after my 23rd birthday, I made a 30 things to do before I turn 30 bucket list post.

Now a year later after just turning 24, let’s see what progress has been made…

Lifestyle

  1. Have my own place. I’m still at a place where this isn’t my top priority. Maybe in my later 20s.
  2. Change my surname. My passport expires in 2023 so I will look closer at making that happen in my later 20s as well.
  3. Become totally fluent in Spanish. Obviously still far from it, but I’m getting better at practicing.
  4. Get a car. Done… twice. I got a car in the U.K. in June (2006 Ford Fiesta) and sold it when I left in December. It’s basically impossible to live in the U.S. without a car of your own so I got another car here, a 2009 Honda Civic.
  5. Double my tattoos. At the time of writing the original post, I had four tattoos. I got one in the last year (probably my favorite) and hope to get another big piece on my legs later this year.
  6. Get a dog. It will probably be a while until I can afford a dog and place big enough to house one. In the mean time, I hope to get a smaller, low maintenance pet like a rat, snake or cat.
  7. Read 100 more books. Since May 2018, I’ve read 47 books. I think I’m in pretty good spare to read 50 more in the next six years.
  8. Attend a dance class. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to take a dance class. I’m dismal at dancing, but I find it so fun and would love to learn properly!
  9. See 30 musicals in my adult life. At the time of writing, I have seen 19 with the most recent one being Chess for my birthday. In the last year, I only saw one, The Lion King, for me and Diego’s anniversary. I’ve been spoiled in that all of the productions I’ve seen have been massive, I hope to pick up the pace I can see smaller, local, more affordable productions of musicals.
  10. Complete the Fellowship Quest… because what’s a bucket list without something alcohol related? I’ll have to get on this next time I’m in the U.K., especially as I have a few friends in Hampshire.

Travel

  1. Visit six continents. Three down.
  2. Visit 35 countries. 18 down. 19 down, with Norway being my only new country in the last year.
  3. Do 150 dives. 35 down. I have not dove since my South Africa trip in April of last year, but I look forward to getting about 20 more under my belt with my Thailand trip coming up soon.
  4. Complete the Camino de Santiago.
  5. Go skydiving and/ or bungee jumping.
  6. Visit three more U.S. states.
  7. Take a holiday with one or both my parents.
  8. Go to a music festival.
  9. Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
  10. Visit five national parks either in the U.K., U.S. or elsewhere for that matter! I visited one this last year, Channel Islands, and it was so lovely. Four more to go!
  11. Book an impulsive trip.
  12. Revisit five places. This is new this year, I hope to revisit five places I’ve been before, maybe with someone who has never been. Top of my list are Paris and Berlin.

Career

  1. Be a published scientist. Now that I’m not longer in the world of academia, I’m not sure how practical this is. I love research and hope I can land a job that will help me get published.
  2. Become a dive master.
  3. Publish a book.
  4. Go to a conference.

It doesn’t take a mathematician to notice that my 30 Before 30 list isn’t actually 30 items long. That’s because as it’s so far away, I would like some flexibility to add and edit the items.” – my last year’s post. I’ve added one new goal but hopefully I can think of a few more things to add for next year.

What’s on your 30 Before 30?

Photo by Elio Santos.

Follow: