Friday, October 24, 2014

Creatures of the Night Book Tag

I was tagged by Megan at Crave//Feel//Know to do the Creature of the Night Book Tag! Basically, there's a list of creatures, and you need to name a book/series with each one.

1. Vampire
2. Werewolf
3. Zombie
4. Ghost
5. Witch/Warlock/Spell-caster
6. Fairy
7. Demon
8. Angel
9. Alien
10. Super-powered Human

*I apologize in advance for any errors in my descriptions of these books. It's been years since I've read them.


The only book that comes to mind is Twilight, but there's an Anne Rice novel that I can't remember the name of. I'm going to be one of those really opinionated people who doesn't like Twilight. I first read the books when I was 12, and everyone else I knew was reading them. I thought they were pretty good, since 12 year old me didn't have super-refined reading tastes. But when I picked up the series again last year, I couldn't figure out why I'd ever enjoyed it. It was badly written, really creepy, and Bella Swan was literally the most boring protagonist I'd laid eyes on. Not to mention, Bella's complete disregard for her own safety in order to be with Edward sends a terrible message to the thousands of young girls reading it. "Being in love with your stalker is way more important than your safety, even though it's literally almost killed you like three times." Moving on.


The Mortal Instruments has its fair share of spooky creatures: fairies, vampires, warlocks, werewolves, and the Shadowhunters, who were created by the angel Raziel to keep the rest in check. Out of all of these in the series, my favorite was Luke's pack of werewolves, especially Maia and Jordan.


Come to think of it... I don't think I've read any books with zombies. I need to get on that, so leave your suggestions in the comments!


The Die For Me series, which is amazing. I'm not sure it really counts, because the characters are French revenants, not ghosts. Little different, but the revenants in this story were unfortunate souls who died heroically in times of battle/blood/whatever and got stuck. They live like normal humans until they get the mental bat signal that someone is about to die, and usually they save that person by dying in their place. However, the whole point is that they don't stay dead, they come back after three days. Die For Me focuses mostly on the group of revenants in Paris, the war between them and their evil counterpart - the numa-, and a human named Kate who uncovers the secret.


Harry Potter, obviously. These books have been with me since I was 8 years old, and I can never outgrow them. My favorite witch in the series is Hermione, because she was such an amazing combination of brilliance and warrior.


The Sisters Grimm! It's a children's series about two sisters whose parents mysteriously vanished, landing the girls in the foster system until a long-lost grandmother claims them and takes them back to Ferryport Landing, a town full of real-life fairytale characters called EverAfters. And the male protagonist is a fairy prince called Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream. He's the very opposite of a knight in shining armor. He's rude, he's arrogant, he's messy, and he lives to prank Sabrina and Daphne in horrific ways (dumped into a vat of mayo and glue? Check.).


The Kane Chronicles is about two sibling that are descended from two lines of particularly powerful pharaohs, which makes them magnets for Egyptian gods and other kinds of nastiness. So the books aren't about demons, but Sadie and Carter come across their fair share of them every time they have to travel into the Duat. They're usually described as having really horrible, non-human features. You might see one with pink ape legs and a corkscrew for a head.


As far as I can remember, the only books I've read with angels were the Mortal Instrument books.


Same deal as the zombies, I think.

Super Powered Human

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which is written by the same author as The Kane Chronicles (Rick Riordan). Instead of being about Egyptian mythology, though, this series is about Greek! Percy Jackson is a demigod - half human, half god - but he doesn't know about this until his teacher turns into a monster and he kills it with a ballpoint pen thrown to him by a centaur. After that, he winds up at Camp Half-Blood, a camp that's completely protected from monsters and the like, and is a sort of training camp/partial home to demigod heroes in training. It's one of my favorite series' ever, and if you haven't checked it out, what are you doing with your life?

I'm tagging Cathryn at The Book Lioness, because I can't remember if someone tagged you already.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Upcoming Blog Tours In November

This November, there will be two blog tours on The Belle Beauty Blog, reviewing and promoting books that will come out later this year. I'm really excited about both! 

10 Infinite Weeks (Nov. 2nd - 9th)

The first blog tour, 10 Infinite Weeks, is a ten week tour leading up to the release of Infinite Limits by Megan Duke on 12/16. Infinite Limits is the conclusion to Small Circles, one of my absolute favorite series'. I'll be hosting week five, which is dedicated to the character Silas McFuller from the third book, Ninety Degrees. Throughout my week of the tour, expect reviews of all four books, an interview with the author, and some insight into Silas' character. I'll also be posting edits and quotes on both Instagram and Twitter.

Pinny's Blog Tour (Nov. 17th - 21st)

The second tour is Pinny's Blog Tour, which runs from the beginning of November until mid-December. This tour is to get people excited about Leah Ward's new children's book, Pinny The Bowling Pin, which promotes anti-bullying and following your dreams. I'm hosting this tour from November 17th to November 21st, the release date. I'll be reviewing the book, and I'll also be reading it to the little girl I babysit and writing down what she thinks of it! And there might be an interview with the author, but I haven't confirmed that yet. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Farewell, Summer

Well, it seems that summer is finally drawing to a close. And while I did spend quite a lot of time resting and catching up on my enormous reading list, I still kept busy!

For one thing, I got to see more of my best friend, Lauren, than I normally do. We got together a couple of times a month to catch up on books, blogs, and life in general. We even talked about publishing her essay on The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, which she wrote for school, but after I proof-read it for her, I fell in love with it and insisted that she let me post it on my blog. Keep an eye out for it soon. (Update: it's been posted!)

At the very beginning of summer, I found out that my favorite bookstore, which I've gone to since I was a little girl, would be moving into a smaller but cheaper building. I needed something to do in my spare time, and they certainly needed volunteers, so I offered to help out whenever possible. Doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Except it was. This bookstore had been located in the same building for over 24 years, and wasn't very organized. That meant there were several million books that needed to be marked (stamped on the inside cover), sorted, packed, and moved - all within the space of a month.

Eventually, as the end of the month drew closer, it became obvious that we needed more time to get everything out of the old building. So, we took two extra weeks to finish up. Everything after that was setting up the new store, including moving shelving units, unpacking books, trying to keep track of them, etc. Now, months later, it's (mostly) ready and open for business. I still like to stop in once a week now, but less for work and more for enjoyment.

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to do that, because it really gave me a sense of how overwhelmingly hard it is to run a small business, especially one that's not doing so well. I met new people, made new friends, and even brought Lauren with me a few times.

Most importantly, I took time during the summer just for me. Sometimes I slept until 2 in the afternoon, and proceeded to do nothing but read all day. I took more naps than I could count, I spent hours in the pool, I ate more than my fair share of ice cream. But most of all, I did things that made me happy.


If You Love This, Read This

One of the most challenging things for an avid reader is deciding "what next?" after finishing a great book. You could have piles of books surrounding you, and yet none of them seem ripe for reading just yet. It's infuriating, because you want to read, but you don't want to read the books you already have. Below are three of my favorite books for different preferences.

If You Like Coming Of Age Novels...


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Guest Post: The Fault Obviously Isn't In Our Stars, Brutus


      "There are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal." 

This quote from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green adequately describes my personal adoration for this book. Being a person with a disorder since birth, my disability has always plagued me, making me feel trapped and isolated, while fear and sadness seep into my very existence. The Fault in Our Stars continues to bring me out of the darkness that constantly surrounds myself, lending me strength to forge on. This book is all I feel I have, because before I read it, I felt so alone with my condition, and the main characters - Hazel, Augustus, and Isaac - sincerely help me through it. They understand me in strange ways that no one else does, and that makes me so delighted to know that I won't truly be solitary. They constantly remind me that every day is a gift, and I definitely need that. Each day means a new twenty-four hours and that everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. I'm tremendously grateful for each passing day when I wake, and I'm still able to see; it's a blessing each time. I can always depend on the book to reassure me that things will be okay. The Fault In Our Stars is an exceptional and fantastic book, one that everyone, young or old, should have the privilege of reading.

       The novel is beautifully written, and the plot is mesmerizing, drawing readers in, grabbing their attention, and never letting go. The writing style is humorous but also very poignant. This shows how even though a person has obstacles and baggage in their life, it doesn't mean that they are labeled with that certain obstacle or baggage; they are people with personalities and interests, a notion most people often overlook. When reading the novel, readers feel as if Hazel is telling them her story and why it's important, like they're having an actual conversation with Hazel herself. The pain people feel while reading it is very intense, and even though the characters don't want to be given sympathy, they end up holding the hearts of the readers. The plot was beautifully composed. While there weren't any daring sword fights or anything heroic, it is a different hero's journey. Hazel goes through these painstaking events with bravery and grace, not allowing her life to make her bitter and hard like most. The writing is well done and elegant, while the plot is captivating, daring people to look away from the page for even a second.

       The characters are well-crafted and genuinely portrayed, bringing not only their best qualities but their worst. Hazel and Augustus, the two main characters, are smart, witty, and realistic, but also complicated. Their situations and experiences made them more aware of the complexities of life and how people perceive them. Battling with cancer, they are both forced to mature faster and deal with topics that normal adolescents shouldn't have to associate with. In doing so, they come off as pretentious, which is a character flaw, making them seem as people anyone would meet on the street, characters people normally identity with. The characters also happen to come from messy lives and can be explosive at times. Part of the reason why this book is so important to people is because of the fact that not every great story is going to come from nice, happy human beings; some come from people with legitimate problems. Hazel talks about being a grenade and wanting to minimize the casualties; she wants to hurt less people she can be responsible for.  Green's characters are unforgettable, ones people know on a personal level and will continue to love and cherish for a lifetime.

       The book takes a spin on universal themes, dealing with life, love, and the qualities that make up a person. The novel shows how young adults are capable of thinking profound and complex thoughts. Adults have the tendency to regard adolescents as incapable of using words with more than two syllables or lacking brainpower to be insightful and existential in conversation. On the contrary, young adults are people with thoughts, and emotions, and feelings, and they have the potential to be creative, thoughtful, and imaginative. The book also shows how just because a person is sick, it doesn't mean that they can't lead a full and meaningful life, nor are they immune to being loved and accepting it in return. Sickness doesn't obscure people from doing the things that they love, even though there might be challenges; it gives them an incentive and something to fight for. Being sick also doesn't mean that they can't be loved, love comes in all shapes and forms, whether it's friends, family, or a significant other. Most importantly, people have to learn to accept love they think they deserve. People often show that they care with the best intentions; even if they're showing it in the wrong way, they do it because they love them, and they have to learn to accept it. Green writes about themes that everyone should have the opportunity to experience.

       "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."

This quote from the book perfectly describes the pain I feel everyday. It's always there, insistently tugging at my head, demanding to be felt, until I collapse on the floor in a haze. The only solution is to unmake the world, before the time of Cleopatra, the invention of the wheel, and cavemen, when the world was nothing but a vacuous uncreated space. Hazel also talks about how "the physical evidence of disease separates you from other people." Everywhere I go, people always have to stare and ask questions, and it picks me apart, breaking me from bone to bone, until I'm reduced to nothing but a shell. The Fault in Our Stars makes me feel as if I'm not different, like it's okay to be separated from the rest of society, and saves me from a prison of my own mind. This book has changed my perspective of life and myself, and I'd like to thank John Green for writing such a fantastic book that I have become endearingly attached to. In conclusion, The Fault in Our Stars is a book that everyone should read, enjoying its humor, genius, and emotion.

Lauren Tra

The Bookworm Corner


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