Hello, everybody!! It is my greatest pleasure to introduce you to this month's top five line-up. I found something to love about all of the following titles so I hope you do too!! Without further ado, the books you MUST pick up this month:
#1: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
I had never heard of this book or author before being gifted it at Christmas. Thank goodness Alexis decided to veer away from the list I provided and get something that was the complete opposite of my requests. I couldn't put this book down! The plot was super engaging and the characters were so complex. The genre for this book is somewhere within dystopian fantasy and fiction. The author doesn't come out and tell you the timeframe so it could be before modern times or years afterward. What I really liked and appreciated was that the society within the book wasn't completely unbelievable. Some dystopian novels get very big with their stories and other parts of the development that you can't visualize any of it actually happening. But with the way that The Grace Year was written, I could buy that it was something based of real life but altered in some ways in order to fit with the author's overall ideas.
#2: Virgin River by Robyn Carr
If you have never heard of this series, you're missing out. It's a show on Netflix that takes its inspiration from the above book series. I watched the show before reading the books which I almost never do but in my defense, I didn't know the books existed until afterwards. I went in sort of knowing what to expect- or at least I thought I did. First of all, the books are so much more dramatic than the show. Granted, books have a little more autonomy than TV shows when it comes to drama and violence. However, they're still super easy to read! The plot just has a little more going on than your average romance novel.
#3: When The Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
This book took me by surprise. It's actually based somewhat on events that really happened. The author uses the real-life events more as a device to further the plot than as the central focus. The whole book is spent trying to find a missing girl which then leads the investigators uncovering a whole slew of other missing girls. The reason? A serial killer, obviously. I find the way that the author wrote the story interesting. She managed to incorporate real events, people, and places while not letting it invade her story and allowing it to stand on its own. While it is a bit on the murder-y side, the journey of self-discovery that the main character goes through makes it worth all the not-so-nice details.
#4: Caraval by Stephanie Gerber
Caraval is like The Hunger Games on steroids. There's so much focus on the settings and the little details that your mind is able to create an almost spot-on image. If this turned into a movie, I would love to see what the set designers came up with. The author even includes a reading playlist (songs that fit with the mood or events within the chapter) in the back of the book. Sometimes I will admit that it wasn't the easiest to follow along with because a lot of stuff is packed into every chapter. The characters also weren't very likable at times and there's one supporting character that just gets. under. my. skin. I will leave it to you to discover which one. But overall, it was a fantastic story and two more books follow this one.
#5: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Ah, the classics. Full of tongue twisters and confusion. If I had to rank the ones I've read thus far for most confounding, Sense and Sensibility takes the cake. I really wanted to enjoy the story- and some parts I did- but overall, I had a hard time reading. It took me six months! The chapters may be short but the language makes it feel like you're trying to get molasses off your hands. As most Jane Austen novels are, this one is a romance but there were many times I wondered where exactly the romance was. And don't get me wrong, Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites but I can't say the same for this one. I will say, the difficulty made me more determined to finish it. Even if I didn't completely understand the ending.
See you in March!
2/18/2022 0 Comments
Ledgendary Cookies, An Eventful Shopping Trip, and One Unforgettable Trip to the Movies
Somehow the middle of February has already arrived and, shockingly, I've done so much this month. I've seen new movies, read a ton of books (what else is new), discovered some new foods (of the sweet and sugary variety), and a few other interesting things that I feel meet the merit of importance to be forever immortalized on this blog.
First and foremost: crumbl cookies. If you know, you know. If not, where have you been? In some other universe? Crumbl cookies are essentially the greatest thing ever and yes, I am putting them above my planners as well as my obscenely large collection of fuzzy socks because they deserve that honor. Last weekend, we drove all the way to Ankeny just to procure ourselves a box of the goods. My thoughts are as follows. FREAKING DELICIOUS AND WORTH THE DRIVE. These things are the size of a human head. That is not an exaggeration for emphasis. That is a fact. They come freshly baked and smell like joy. The flavors change each week so you definitely won't run out of things to try if you have an out of control sweet tooth. You can get three different boxes ranging from four, six, or twelve cookies. The box of four lets you choose the flavor of every cookie. The box of six gets you every flavor for the week. The box of twelve lets you get two of each flavor. Can you guess which one we bought?
In the midst of our cookie adventure, we also went shopping because my closet has been desperately begging to be refilled after my New Years purge. If you're on a budget and haven't been to Plato's Closet yet, I highly recommend it. There's name brands for such great prices. I got a Ralph Lauren sweater for $10 and Fabletics leggings for $5. All-in-all, we spent $130. But that's not even the best part of this story. Coming out of Plato's Closet, as I'm getting in the car, what do I notice? A flat tire, of course. Mind you, we drove at least twenty-five minutes and had no issues. So we (my mom, Ashley, and I) had to sit there and wait for my dad to come and change the tire. My mom was so annoyed (mostly at my dad because he just kept asking stupid questions) but at least I got to finish a book.
My grand book total for the last week rounds out to five:
Yesterday, I did something exceptionally brilliant. I broke my bedroom door. Now you might be thinking, "How does one break their bedroom door?" Well, when one has a 300+ pound machine in place of legs, things happen. And sometimes those things can be quite destructive. What you need to know is that my closet is on the right side of the room. My bedroom door opens inward to the right side. When it's open, it blocks the closet door. In order to complete my most favorite chore of putting away laundry, the door has to be shut. Yesterday afternoon, I close the door, open the closet, and start putting things away. However, I hadn't latched the door all the way so as a result, this little thing called gravity was pushing the door open again towards the closet. For some reason, my brain didn't recognize that it was right there so I do a back-up-turn thing and the front tires (that have been apparatuses sent by demons since I got the chair) slammed right into the bottom corner where a pretty decent-sized dent now resides. It was my karma. The last week and a half had been going way too smoothly up to that point.
My dad turned an undisclosed age on Tuesday! The man notoriously hates big celebrations so my mom planned a rather low-key affair at Spare Time, a bowling alley across the street from Jordan Creek. It was a rather chill dinner for us. Between discussions of delusional relatives, the bar seemingly being out of every ingredient for nearly every alcoholic drink Brandon wanted (I mean, the waiter came back three different times with varying expressions of sympathy), the misordering of MJ's salad (that is not a joke, ask her) and an epic birthday sundae. we all had our fun in the arcade. This place was no joke! I excelled in the coin games, lost to Kenzie at air-hockey, got severely dizzy after going on a virtual rollercoaster (even wheelchair bound people have to have their fun, even at the expense of my parents' backs), and had a great time watching my dad's first experience with virtual reality.
In the entertainment area, I went to a movie theater for the first time in five months. My mom and I saw Marry Me which was so good! The perfect feel-good rom-com, especially with everything going on in life recently. The seats we booked were able to have food served during the movie so plus points for that. Although, there was something trés crazy that we encountered. One movie-goer was apparently very cautious about COVID. Not only was she wearing a mask but she also sported surgical gloves. Before her family sat down, she disinfected every seat and then proceeded to pull out her own plates, silverware, bowls, and even Yeti's with their own drinks. But that's not all! There was another person in a wheelchair who had come with his wife so they were right across from us.
I would like it known that because a movie theater is a very open public area, I couldn't help but overhear these next parts. No eavesdropping was involved. Apparently, the wheelchair seat was available, the two seats next to it had been bought. The manager was very nice about the whole situation and promised to get it sorted out as long as the people who purchased the seats weren't disabled. Turns out that our walking health precautions billboard bought the seats. Not only did she buy those seats, but she bought her entire row and the row ahead of her. That's over $100 in empty seats for those of you at home scratching your head.
With that, I am pleased to inform you that you have reached the end of yet another one of my highly entertaining, sometimes chaotic blogs. Have a fabulous weekend and make sure to check back soon for the return of a fan-favorite!
The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!