5 Favorite Games I’ve played

All my life one of my favorite pass-times has been to play games. I love them. However, my most fond memories of playing have come from the following five. They’ve all made my life more fun.

5. Pokémon Silver

I remember playing Pokémon for hours. I finished more then one version of a game more then once. I remember going through this whole game twice. I loved it. I’d come home from school and couldn’t wait to turn on my DS and play this game.

2. Town of Salem

I currently play this game all the time. I’ve played hundreds of games. It’s so good. I’ve enjoyed this game for hours. It’s so versatile and each game is unique. I love it.

3. Dragon Quest: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

I found this game again while explaining to someone amazing that I had played this game so stupidly because I kept fighting the same slime over and over in the same area for so long before I realized I could move on. I had forgotten the name of this game, but I was determined to find it after talking with him and I did. I loved this. It’s such a great game. I’d play it again if I could in a heartbeat.

Fortnite

This was a game I used to cringe at before I started playing it. It’s so much fun. Playing with my friends on it is so much fun. I play on my phone and I’ve somehow managed to get semi-decent with it and I’m so proud.

Minecraft

Though I never got to play it myself much till recently, I’ve loved Minecraft for a long time. I’ve watched so many Minecraft YouTubers. Yet, playing it now with friends has been a very special kind of fun.

What is one of your favorite games to play?

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Top 5: Christmas Themed Books I’d Love to Read

I need to get my hands on some Christmas themed novels. The only book I’ve ever read even remotely related to Christmas is “A Northern Light” by Jennifer Donnelly. It looks like it would be a Christmas Novel, but it isn’t. However, I loved every moment of reading it!

Now on to the books I’d love to read!

In no particular order:

Decked With Holly by Marni Bates

This one is endorsed by Julie Kagawa, one of my favorite authors ever, so it’s a no brained that I would want to read this one!

My True Love Gave To Me by Various Authors

So many great short stories by so many incredible authors! I’d love to read them!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

I didn’t realize this was a Christmas book. I wanted to pick this one up anyway, but now I love the idea of it all the more!

‘Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances’ by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle

You gotta have John Green in here. You just gotta.

‘Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe’ by Melissa de la Cruz

This is both a cover love thing and the fact that it’s Pride and Prejudice although I still haven’t read it yet. It looks adorable!

Well that’s all! I hope you enjoyed this list!

THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and that you all receive all that you hope for. 

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A Gift Guide for the Late Bookmas Shopper

I have been pretty good about shopping for gifts for everyone I love this Christmas season. Mostly, because I haven’t shopped last minute. However, things happen. Sometimes, your just busy and you haven’t gone out to shop. Some of us are motivated by the last minute madness. So, if your having a hard time figuring out what the heck your going to buy your friend when Christmas is only a week and a half away!

  1. Buy them a book: I mean this one should be obvious. Books are great! Know a friend that likes Karate? buy them a book about it. If they like cooking, there are tons of fantastic cook books. Also, whatever genre of movies they like there are tons of great fiction to pick from and even if they don’t like to read, you can give them the gift of opportunity and who knows? Maybe you’ll save a life.
  2. A Nice Mug: Mugs are versatile and necessary. There is a mug for every life situation. There are beautiful mugs. There are meme mugs. There are mugs for every hobby out there. Never underestimate the power of a good mug.
  3. Some nice treats: Have a foodie in your life? Get them some good snacks. I have a friend that straight up told me they are getting me treats for Christmas and I’m 100% happy with that. I love a good snack. Many of your friends probably feel the same way.
  4. A Quick Charging Charger: This is a gift idea I found from Molly Burke’s list on YouTube that I really love. It’s something that most don’t typically buy for themselves, but its something they would use all the time and that will 100% be appreciated.
  5. Some nice socks.I don’t know about everyone else, but socks disappear all the time on me. My dog destroys them, the washing machine eats them up, the universe steals one half of a pair into the black hole of pair-less socks. I would be so grateful to receive a nice pack of socks for Christmas.
  6. Coffee/Tea: Most of the world runs on these two staples. I am personally in love with both of these drinks. I got a thing of tea from my boss one year and I still enjoy a cup of that type of tea now. It can last a long time and it’s just nice to have.
  7. Also, A BOOK: Just because I have some other great ideas on this list doesn’t mean this one isn’t the most important. I don’t see enough book giving to just random people for Christmas and honestly that’s sad. There are millions of great books in the world. Play matchmaker with a book to a friend or loved one. Have them talk about the book with you after. Increase your level of friendship. It’s the best gift ever!
  8. A Curated playlist on a DVD: I really wanted to do this for a loved one, one year and I never got the chance to do it, but its a really cool gift. Put together songs that remind you of them. Songs you know they love. Songs you love they haven’t heard. Whatever feels right. There is effort in this that shows how much you care and I think its one of the most adorable gifts ever and if you pair it with a book…then it is perfect!
  9. An Experience: Another gift idea from Molly’s list. Pay for an experience for you and your friend or loved one to do together. Maybe its something neither of you have done before or something they have mentioned wanting to do like a workout class or a painting lesson or going to customize their own sneakers or something like that. Another good one is a VR experience or to go and enjoy a laser tag hang out thing. The possibilities are endless!
  10. Something they have specifically asked for. Sometimes, to me this feels like cheating. I tend not to like doing this, but you’ll know they love what they get when its something that they have been wanting for a while.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and that you all receive all that you hope for.

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Friday the 13th: A December Movie Kickback

I watch a lot of horror movies. Horror is one of my favorite genres and I don’t know why, but looking at the darkest part of what humanity could be is fascinating to me. However, I had never really watched a Christmas horror film. Mostly because that feels like betrayal to the essence of what Christmas is. But, this year, Friday the 13th happened to land in December and so, a Christmas horror film is what I wanted to see.

I choose to watch Pooka!

Pooka! is your Gremlin come to life worst nightmare. (An aside, I have seen Gremlins many a time, so I guess I have seen a Christmas horror film. I don’t know why that didn’t seem to count in my head). A toy that repeats what you say, but only what it feels like repeating. Yet it’s not the toy itself that is what makes this film terrifying. It’s the man who becomes Pooka!

Wilson is a struggling actor who gets a job to be Pooka! In person encounters, commercials, and any promotion is done with him being the sole actor behind the mask. But, quickly you come to understand that there is something off about Wilson. He’s strange. With strange inclinations and an oddly normal way of speaking that somehow doesn’t take away from the oddness.

This is one of those films that is made so much better by the ending. The ending shapes how you think about the beginning and makes you wonder what was really going on all along. The ending made this film well worth the watch for me.

There is a lot of stylization to the film that I really appreciate. The flashing of very specific colors. How it all comes full circle to what the ending is. How things unravel and come together very specifically just by the way the story was shown visually. That part for me was really cool.

I can’t talk about much else without spoiling the story. But, I if you enjoy horror and are looking for an interesting Christmas horror film Pooka! is definitely worth the watch!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Till next time!

A Coffee Kickback/ Review: Schism

This weekend has been wonderful. I woke up Saturday morning made some breakfast while listening to Christmas music. Then after breakfast I had some tea and read Schism for about two hours. After that I watched Christmas movies while drinking some coffee with my mom and my sister.

I watched “The Holiday Calendar” and “Holiday in the Wild” and well as “Holiday Rush”. Overall, a Christmas extravaganza. It was the most relaxed and myself I had been in a long time. It reminded me that you can make any day special and do whatever it is that would bring you the most joy at life the spur of the moment.

Christmastime this year has really showed me to enjoy every moment as well as the unfolding is happening. Because nothing is ever done, not really. Life is constant movement and I’m so ready to enjoy and dance in it again. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing recently. So much so that I have noticed that I no longer find a trace of depression or anxiety anywhere at all. I am so free and from that place of freedom I know that the world will be my oyster and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds.

On to the review!

Schism by Britt Holewinski

My Rating: 3/5

Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not the best in my opinion. It fits the setting and the genre, but I feel like they could have done something so much cooler. It kinda looks like they just kinda photoshopped a few things together that in some basic way fit the story and that doesn’t really do it for me.

Publisher: Delirious Pixie

Publish Date: March 15th, 2016

Number of Pages: 264

Received: goodreads giveaway

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“My name is Andrea Christensen. I’m one of the oldest oldest people in the world.”

The first book in a new YA, dystopian trilogy, SCHISM is a story of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.

A virus, created by the smartest minds in the United States government, which is meant to target male adults in times of war, is accidentally released before testing is complete. Within weeks six billion people are eliminated from the world. The only survivors are prepubescent children.

Five years after this catastrophic event, a young girl named Andy Christensen and her two friends are forced to leave their home in Bermuda and return to the North American continent. There, they discover that America is wild and chaotic, and people have instituted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Andy and her friends soon band together with fellow survivors in search for a new place to call home.”

Opening Sentence: “The two young men moved quickly under the cover of night, the summer air thick with humidity.”

Musings:

Schism is post-apocalyptic in a very dark way. It really paints a negative picture of human beings being at there worst most of the time and the few that are good that are trying to make the best of it all. People are raping and human trafficking and murdering all over the place.

Not only that but it’s kids doing all these things to other kids because all the adults were killed by a virus. It’s utter chaos. Nowhere is safe. There’s drug trading and just a whole lot of awful things and as smart as the kids are the pieces of hope are few and far between.

What I liked:

The pacing. There was always something happening and the story moves pretty fast. There is always something shocking to wonder at.

The characterization. Everyone was pretty distinct and they all had their own motivations for acting and I really enjoyed that.

Not too unlikely of a scenario. I want to believe that if this really happened that all the kids of the world would behave this terribly, but honestly I don’t really know. I want to hope humanity would do better, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the reality.

The idea itself. I like an interesting concept and this sure was unique. It was an exploration of what could be.

All in all:

An interesting and intense novel. I had my issues with it, but overall it was enjoyable read.

About the Author:

I was born in Boston, but moved when I was less than a year old. I lived all over the country growing up, so I had to adapt and learn to make new friends quickly. I was a gymnast at a highly competitive level until I was 15. Then I focused more on school, especially math and science because I wanted to become an astronaut.

After high school, I went to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where I studied mechanical engineering. I graduated in 2000, and attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University. After getting my master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering, I went to work for the CIA shortly after 9/11. I travelled all over the world for my job, including 3 years in the Middle East. I decided to leave the Agency after 14 years to focus on writing, which is where I am today!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Till next time!

My Christmas Playlist!

I love music and dancing. I love listening to good music almost more then anything else. I listen to so much music and so much variety of music that most turn up a brow when they know I’m that small percentage of people who max out the Spotify limit and makes a ginormous playlist instead of liking songs, because it doesn’t let me like them anymore because I’ve liked way too many.

This year I shared with all of you my Halloween playlist and since then that playlist has grown as my playlists always do, but that just means I have new music to share for next year!

However, this post is about my Christmas playlist! I have some classics, some new songs, but all the joyful songs of the season! I made sure that my Christmas playlist was as positive as possible. Music that makes me feel alive. Music that makes me dance and sing and feel joy. I love that having played this at my work that my coworkers and I have had some good laughs dancing along to the music and that it’s been such a good time.

This Christmas is going to be one of my favorites. I can feel that deep in my heart. It’s started off with a bang and I’m excited for all that the season will bring.

On to the music!!

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The Book Raven: 25 Days of Blogmas!!!

I am so excited to announce that I am doing 25 days of blogmas this December!!!

Usually for Christmas I do three posts for Christmas my books of Christmas past, present, and future. This time, I’m making Christmas a whole month extravaganza and I’m so excited about it!

I don’t yet have ideas for all the posts that I’m going to post, but for the ones I do I’m super excited about. Particularly my December Friday the 13th post! 😉

Anyway, this is going to be a wonderful December! I don’t know what all is coming this month or all that I’m going to write about, but I know it’s going to be fun and that is all that matters!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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It’s ok to DNF

Sometimes you start a book and it’s not all you hoped it would be. Sometimes you power through and finish it anyway, but sometimes that feels a bit like pulling teeth.

I don’t know what it is, but I always feel bad if I DNF something. It’s like an obligation to the author and all the people that put so much effort into the book that I do my duty as a reader, writer, and reviewer to finish the book. But sometimes, there is a book that’s problematic or boring or just plain bad and it no longer feels worth it to review and promote something that makes you feel like pulling teeth.

After I finished Dream Waters which was something that I didn’t particularly care for, for a lot of reasons, I had a Netgalley review copy to read. I started it. But, right away I didn’t like the vibe. Then I looked into the reviews and I just didn’t have the energy for a book like that one. It was problematic in a lot of ways. The main character wasn’t like able, but that wasn’t the issue. There was weird relationships with older men. A general idealization of men in general. As well as many other negatives that many reviews pointed out.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t keep going. I’d read about 4 chapters and I couldn’t read another word. I wanted to read something good and right after the book I read was incredible. Something with great representation and solid history. I loved it. I felt good about reviewing it. I dreaded reading and reviewing the other book.

However, you don’t have to have a particular reason to not finish a book. If you don’t want to read something you don’t have to. You don’t have to explain it or give a discussion like mine. You just stop reading and forget about it. It’s ok to DNF. That’s a reminder to myself as much as to all of you.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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Avengers: Age of Ultron: A Discussion

Age of Ultron was another one of those films I didn’t appreciate to the full extent till another go-around. I liked it well enough the first time, but now, I feel that I understand and appreciate Age of Ultron so much more.

Age of Ultron is one of the more nuanced films in the MCU. The motivations of the various characters clash against each other and everyone is trying to do what they believe to be right and all of them have very different ideas of what that is.

Ultron himself has a twisted idea of “saving” the universe. Which umm.. has to do with destroying everything living on the earth.

Iron Man wants to put a ‘suit of armor’ around the world after being attracted by aliens in the battle of New York. This is what ends up creating Ultron in the first place, but also the next character I’m going to talk about: Vision.

Vision simply wants to be on the side of life. To be a bringer of peace. He doesn’t even want to kill Ultron, but knows it is necessary for the safety of the Earth.

The twins want peace for their country and vengeance for the death of their parents. Their parents were killed by a bomb that came from Stark industries and so of course they have a special hatred for Stark, but they change their minds after Scarlett sees into Ultron’s mind and find inside only destruction.

The Hulk or rather Banner helps out Tony, but not fully thinking it through. He is driven by the science, but doesn’t fully realize how far Tony was willing to go.

Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Captain America are the damage control. They didn’t realize what was going on with the others, but once mistakes were made they came in to help reduce the damage done.

My favorite moments:

Every time Ultron was on screen made for great scenes. Slowly he became a more and more formidable opponent and he was so much fun to watch. His hatred for Tony despite speaking just like him was fascinating. I think one of the best parts of the films was how imprinted in Tony’s way of thinking Ultron is in simply a twisted way. He really is Tony’s creation in every sense. Yet the creation hates the creator and acts in a similar way, but just twisted towards darkness. I love that.

I think it took me watching all the other films to care more about this one simply because I see the evolving of everyone and how interesting it is that the line of morality in this film is so blurred. Seeing your heroes make mistakes remind you that they are as human as you are and how you can get this one twisted idea in your head and it transforms the way you see the world in a grayish manner. It’s the mistake of one bad experience coloring the rest of how you see a group of people or organization in life. It’s cool that that kind of social commentary can be made by watching this film.

In this film it’s not a battle between good and evil in the strictest sense. But a battle between the mind of doing what you think is right and your beliefs tailoring what decision you make.

This movie has some really incredible fight scenes and lots of action, but at its core it’s the exploration of the mind and morality that makes this movie great.

Also, the party scene was fantastic..

What a show captain put on.. no one believed him for a second. Least of all Thor. Though I would argue most of the Avengers should be worthy of the hammer. Everyone’s sacrificed much in the name of justice.

Also, I loved the little early Black Panther references. Like the one shown in this photograph and video:

https://youtu.be/oytnbiux_lk

Marvel is really good at fusing humor and seriousness into its films. Sometimes it’s a little jab of humor, but at the same time it always gets some sort of reaction out of me.

I very much have a higher sense of respect for this film and it’s not the best of the marvel universe by far, but it is great in its own way.

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-Till next time!

Life is Beautiful

I’ve talked about my life a lot on the blog. I’ve talked about some of my deepest struggles and some of the lessons I’ve learned. I’ve talked about my relationship with mental illness and my bouts of depression and anxiety as well as feelings of things just going horribly and unchangeably wrong at various points of my life.

It took me many a break from blogging and from productivity in general to pull myself free from negative thinking and negative cycles. Because no after how many things go wrong in life its how you deal with it that matters and for a while I couldn’t see past my own pain and grief to see all the good that life has to offer.

Life is all about perspective. Sometimes there is value in letting yourself feel hurt, but becoming the hurt and the guilt doesn’t serve you or anyone else. One of the things I’ve worked deeply on in myself is not feeling like a victim. Letting go of the idea that anyone else’s actions have anything to do with me and accepting my situation for what it is so that i can make the best of it.

One thing I despise is pity or being in a state where everything feels like it sucks. I was once in a point of my life where that’s all I could see. The awful line up of events in my life that came up one after the other, but I’ve given up my power to them for way too long.

Life is beautiful. I am not defined by the things that caused me pain. Especially not the pain that was self-inflicted by my own mind. Which, truly was the biggest part of it. I am not someone who will ever choose to stay stuck. I might need to simmer in my sadness for a while, but I always come out of it. Without exception.

I am making my happiness my main priority. My marvel posts and posts like this one are a big part of that. I take care of myself with so much more care then I once did and I value myself so much more as well. For once in a very long time I feel whole.

You can choose to dance with the darkness in yourself or become one with it. I choose to dance with it. To understand it and to remind it of all the light the world has to offer. This world is so beautiful. Full of creatures that live their lives to the fullest. Full of nature and music. Full of reasons to laugh and be joyful. Full of reasons to dance.

That is what I am choosing to focus on. Enjoying friendships. Enjoying the ability to try new things. Enjoying a new found sense of peace. I get to create the story of what is to be my life and I want to make it a good one, not only that, but a happy one and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make it so i go out of this life with a smile. Because life truly is beautiful and there is so much to be grateful for.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!