12.31.2016

2016 Recap

Wow, 2016 is over already. 

2016 is being viewed as a terrible year by so many people, and while I do agree that I wasn't a huge fan of some of the things that happened this year, I think 2016 was still a pretty good year. So many things have happened in 2016, and I think that we're focusing on the negatives things that happened instead of the positive ones. What I'm basically trying to say is that even though 2016 had its downs, it also had so many ups, and I personally had a good year. 


So, on to the recap:



Bookish Things

number of books read: I read 159 books this year. However, I'll probably finish off another book today, making the number of books I read 160. 

shortest book: The shortest book I read this year wasn't even a book, it was actually a short story called "The Crown and the Arrow" by Renne Ahdieh. It's 9 pages long.

longest book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (870 pages long)

number of pages read: 62,699 pages 

average page length of books: 394 pages

average rating for 2016: 4.1 stars out of five

Favorite Books of the Year

 
Wow, it was really hard to pick out my favorites of the year, but these books are what I came up with. There are other books that I read this year that I loved as much as I loved the books that I'm displaying here as my favorites, but since I didn't want this section to be too long, I'm only showing four of them. 

Under Appreciated Books

   

These are some books that not many people seem to know about. I read all three of these books this year and really liked all of them and I think that more people should read them. 
SO PLEASE READ THESE, EVERYONE!

Disappointments


These are some books that I went into with high expectations, but ended up disappointed. 


Overall this year, I read a lot of amazing books!

Blogging

Counting this one, I only published 19 posts this year, which is definitely not a lot. Next year I'll try to publish more posts. 

I love the blogging community, and I love writing posts. And though I wasn't very active on my blog this year, I still had a lot of fun reading other's blog posts, writing posts, interacting with bloggers, etc. 

Life

-As I think about what I've done this year, I'm realizing that I went on a lot of fun vacations this year! 
  •  I went to Orlando to visit "Diagon Alley" and "Hogsmeade" which was really fun, especially because my family loves Harry Potter!
  • I went to Hawaii and wrote a blog post about it
  • I went to Niagara falls (and it was beautiful)
  • I went to Montreal (which was really interesting and fun)
  • I went to Washington D.C (which is great because it's such a pretty area and there are so many interesting museums and monuments)
-We moved!
-I bought a lot of books
-I basically lazed around the house most of summer, reading books and watching TV
-New bookshelves!!
-Appreciating the genius that is Lin Manuel Miranda and listening to the Hamilton soundtrack over and over again (and also reading the book)            
-Attempting to watch Lost
-I listened to:
  • TWENTY ØNE PILØTS (Tyler and Josh have amazing personalities, and also write really amazing lyrics)
  • Panic! at the Disco (Brendon's vocal range is amazing and I love his album, "Death of a Bachelor." However, I do prefer the albums that were made when the entire band was still together. I just love the long song titles in their first album and their confusing but beautiful lyrics. And I feel like "Pretty. Odd." is such an under appreciated album and I think it deserves so much more recognition. Also, all of Ryan Ross's lyrics that he wrote in "Pretty. Odd" are amazing.)
  • My Chemical Romance (I only just started listening to MCR, but from what I've heard so far, I really like their music.)
  • And a bunch of other artists

Goals/Resolutions

  1. PUBLISH MORE POSTS ON THIS BLOG.
  2. Write more.
  3. Try not to stress out over things that don't need to be worried about. 

Anyway, I guess that's it! I hope that you've had a good year, and that 2017 is a great year for you! 

12.24.2016

a poem: save you

the school halls
that usually echoed with our laughter
seem empty without you.

and as i walk through them
I'm met with
sallow faces,
tears.

i'm usually invisible in these halls,
always invisible next to you,
but today everyone sees me
because i was your best friend,
the best friend of the luminous girl
who is now dead.

"it should have been you,"
someone cruelly remarks.
he point to my face accusingly,
"you're not crying, you don't even look sad,
what's wrong with you?"

i contemplate his statement.

maybe there is something wrong with me
and maybe i should be feeling sad
and maybe i should be remembering you.

but i just want to forget.

forget your brown doe eyes,
forget your brilliant smile,
forget your laugh,
forget that you hung yourself in your bedroom closet 3:00 A.M yesterday morning,
and forget that maybe i could have helped you,
that maybe i could have prevented your death,
that maybe we could have had years and years more together.

but then i feel angry,
because what could i have actually done
without you telling me what was going on with you?

why didn't you confide in me?
WHY?

i could have helped you!
i would have been there for you!

should i have noticed something was up
without you telling me?
is that what i was supposed to do?

i don't understand.

am i a bad person for not noticing?
should i have noticed?
you wanted me to notice, right?

what about my rage, my thoughts?

am i a bad person for feeling angry,
for feeling confused?

i don't know.

all i know is what i see as i roam the school halls,
anger as he punches his locker,
sadness as she cries in the courtyard,
guilt as he fidgets around,
biting his fingernails,
tears welling in his eyes.

and i know that you weren't okay.

and i know that we all wonder what we could have done to save you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So, that was just a poem that I wrote that I wanted to share. (The inspiration for the poem came from some different books/television shows.)
I hope that you are all enjoying the holidays :-)
Merry Christmas!



12.03.2016

Goodbye November, Hello December

Hey, everyone!

This is actually the first "recap" type post that I've ever done! So, I'm really excited to write it! 

I know that November was a really busy month for a lot of people in the blogging community, especially because of NaNoWriMo. I've never done it, but I do know that writing a huge amount of words in 30 days takes a lot of hard work, time, and determination. So if you participated in NaNoWriMo, I applaud you and I also think that you should be really proud of yourself for doing it! 

We also celebrated Thanksgiving in November. On Thanksgiving, we think about all the things that we are grateful for, which I think is wonderful, as there are so many little things that we take for granted. I think that we should all try to be thankful the entire year, though. 

Also, on Thanksgiving, we all ate lots of delicious food:


And now, it's December.  I really love December, mostly because of how happy and joyful everyone is around this time of year. And I'm looking forward to what will hopefully be a great month. 
  

Life

- I've been listening to all the Pentatonix Christmas albums lately. I love the way that they put a unique spin on traditional Christmas songs. If you've never heard any songs/covers by Pentatonix, I highly recommend that you give them a listen. 

-We bought a box of these Pepperidge Farm cookies from the grocery store, and they are so delicious! It's basically a mix of a bunch of different type of cookies/biscuits which is amazing because COOKIES ARE LIFE.

-WE MOVED. Yup. Basically my family moved in early November. Our new house is only about five minutes away from our old house, which definitely simplified the "moving process" a lot. We've also been buying some new furniture for the new house. Currently, as I am writing this, my family is debating over which carpet to put in the family too. 

-During Black Friday Shopping, I saw the cutest thing in one store. Behold:

-I watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them a while ago and it was amazing! There's apparently going to be five movies featuring the characters in FBAWTFT which is great. I'm so excited!!!


^^My favorite creature in the movie

-On Black Friday, my family bought seasons 6 and 7 of Modern Family, which I'm really happy about, as it's one of my favorite shows!

-I also recently watched the Gilmore Girls revival. I enjoyed seeing the characters again, and the banter between Lorelei, Rory, and Luke, but I'm not sure how I feel about how it ended .

-Hamilton. I'm currently listening to "Washington on Your Side" right now. 


Around the Blogosphere

-Morning is creating a blogger yearbook! I think it's a really cool idea, and I'm excited to see how it turns out! To learn more about the yearbook, and to be in it, click here!

-I really loved reading Grace's  Thankfulness Thursday  posts throughout the month of November. They were so fun to read, and they really reminded me of all the things I have to be thankful for!

-Oakstar wrote a really beautiful poem that you should definitely read (click here to see it!)

-Elizabeth  shared her recommended classics (which is great, because I've been looking for more classics to read since I read To Kill A Mockingbird)


-Cait  made me laugh and feel a lot better about all my accidents with books with her post, "The Worst And Most Horrific Things I've Ever Accidentally Done To A Book."



Bookish Things

-I basically used Black Friday as an excuse to buy more books. I bought Heartless by Marissa Meyer (I finished reading it a week ago, it was amazing), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated  Edition (the illustrations are beautiful), and The Mortal Instruments series (awesomeness.) I actually read The Mortal Instruments series a few months ago (May/June 2016) but I wanted to own actual copies of it. 

This is not my picture, it's actually from Amazon, but don't the spines of the paperback Mortal Instruments series look really cool?



-Best Book of the Month- It's hard to pick between Heartless by Marissa Meyer and Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley, especially because they're such different books. They were both the only books that I rated 5/5 stars this month.

-Looking Forward to Reading- I'm really looking forward to reading the entire Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Somebody I know recommended the series to me, so I tried out the first book last week, and liked it. It wasn't amazing, but it was very interesting and entertaining, and I'm eager to know what will happen with the characters in the series (which is why it's good that I have the second, third, and fourth book of the series from the library.) 

-Also, if any of you would like to add me as a friend on goodreads (which would be amazing, as I love seeing what other people are reading), click here to get to my profile. 

Things That I'm Looking Forward to in December

-Having a break from school 
This is me!


-Holiday Cheer
-Beautiful lights and decorations
-Holiday Specials on TV
-Christmas Movies
-Having fun with family and friends
-Reading lots of good books
-Seasonal Flavors (Starbucks)


~~~~~~~~~~

I hope that you enjoyed that! I had fun writing it :-)
Have a great weekend, and a great December, too!



11.26.2016

a poem: until we didn't


we drank sweet lemonade,
sugary juice dripping down our chins
       
       we picked dandelions together on the playground,
       clutching as many as we could in our hands
                      
               we laughed as we did cartwheels on the field,
                ignoring the suspiciously odd smelling grass
                        
                     we passed secret notes to each other,
                     with silly messages on them

                           we chattered excitedly about different books,
                           perching on the fence that we weren't allowed to sit on because of "safety reasons"

                                 we gave each other homemade cards for our birthdays,
                                 with sweet messages written on them
                                       
                                     we made up ridiculous games,
                                     teasing each other as we played them
  
                                           we hunted for four leaf clovers,
                                           searching through the grass with focus and concentration
                                          
                                           we were a group of close friends,
                                           and we had so much fun together
                                      
                                      we were a group of friends and we had so much fun together,
                                      until we didn't 
                                     
                                      until our days of teasing and long conversations,
                                      came to an end

                                 and it's been so long now, 
                                 so long since those memories of laughter and sticky chins

                         we've changed,
                         grown apart

                  what used to be long conversations are now only an awkward "hello, how are you?",
                  that we say every time we see each other (mostly out of obligation)
  
       what used to be incessant chatting is now a short text,
       sent a couple times a year

what used to be a close friendship,
is now not even a friendship at all

and it's too bad,
how some friendships dissolve as time goes by

      and it's sad, how a friendship can exist in one moment,
      and then cease to be in another

             and maybe i sometimes miss them, my old friends,
             but that's okay
   
                   because even though we're not friends anymore,
                   i still have all the memories of our adventures and experiences

                       memories of experiences 
                       that have molded me into the person i am today
                   
                              and my old friends still mean something to me,
                              and i know that they're an important part of my story, my life
                                    
                                     and knowing that,
                                     is enough for me
     


         
                 -Jollygirl
                       

11.19.2016

Quotes from Books + Book Photography

Hi, everyone! Lately, I've been spending so much time on goodreads, just looking at quotes from different books. There are so many passages in books that are inspiring, funny, sad, etc. So, today, I want to share some quotes from some of my favorite books. Oh, and if you want to add me as a friend on goodreads, click here, to get to my profile. 

 I  just want to mention really quickly that I watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them yesterday, and it was so amazing! 

Also, all the photography in this post is mine. The photographs are not great, mostly because I don't have a lot of experience with taking pictures of books, but it was really fun to take them :-)



“But you always have a choice. You can choose to find comfort and solace in God. You can choose to be brave and compassionate. And you can choose to find beauty and happiness wherever they present themselves.” 

“So the question becomes, Daughter of the Dragon, what will you sacrifice? What will you let be taken away so that you, too, can have power?” 
― Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken

“On our wedding night," she said, "I will cut out your tongue and swallow it. Then both tongues that spoke our marriage vows will belong to me, and I will be wed only to myself. You will most likely choke to death on your own blood, which will be unfortunate, but I will be both husband and wife and therefore not a widow to be pitied.” 
― Kiersten WhiteAnd I Darken



“Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?"
"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.
"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.
"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.
"You're all horrible," said Matthias.”
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

“Jesper knocking his head against the hull and cast his eyes heavenward. "Fine. But if Pekka Rollins kills us all, I'm going to get Wylan's ghost to teach my ghost how to play the flute just so that I can annoy the hell out of your ghost."

Brekker's lips quirked. "I'll just hire Matthias' ghost to kick your ghost's ass."

"My ghost won't associate with your ghost," Matthias said primly, and then wondered if the sea air was rotting his brain.” 
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.” 
― Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom

“Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?"
"So?" said Kaz.
"Well, usually it's just half the city.” 
― Leigh BardugoCrooked Kingdom




“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief



“I can offer you my life, but it is a short life; I can offer you my heart, though I have no idea how many more beats it shall sustain” 
― Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince

“It is the mundanes who look at me and see something they do not understand—a boy who is not quite white and not quite foreign either."
"Just as I am not human, and not demon either," Tessa said softly.
His eyes softened. "You are human," he said. "Never think you are not. I have seen you with your brother; I know how you care for him. If you can feel hope, guilt, sorrow, love—then you are human.” 
― Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel

“Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.” 
― Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess

“They’re not hideous,” said Tessa.
Will blinked at her. “What?”
“Gideon and Gabriel,” said Tessa. “They’re really quite good-looking, not hideous at all.”
“I spoke,” said Will, in sepulchral tones, “of the pitch-black inner depths of their souls.”
Tessa snorted. “And what color do you suppose the inner depths of your soul are, Will Herondale?”
“Mauve,” said Will.” 
― Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince


“Lex malla, lex nulla. A bad law is no law.” 
“He bumped into a pay phone and said, 'Excuse me, miss,' on our way in," said Julian.
"It's polite to apologize," said Mark with the same small voice.
"Not to inanimate objects.” 
― Cassandra ClareLady Midnight

“No one is ever the villain of their own story.”
― Cassandra ClareLady Midnight
“The world is terrible," said Mark tonelessly. "And some are drawn down into it and drown there, and some rise above and carry others with them.” 



“He accused me of being Dumbledore's man through and through."
"How very rude of him."
"I told him I was."
Dumbledore opened his mouth to speak and then closed it again. Fawkes the phoenix let out a low, soft, musical cry. To Harry's intense embarrassment, he suddenly realized that Dumbledore's bright blue eyes looked rather watery, and stared hastily at his own knee. When Dumbledore spoke, however, his voice was quite steady. 
"I am very touched, Harry.” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

“I dreamed I was buying new shoes last night," said Ron. "What d'ya think that's gonna mean?"
"Probably that you're going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something," said Harry.” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“Killing is not so easy as the innocent believe.” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



“Finally, Cinder gulped. "I'm sorry I had to --" She gestured at the unconscious wedding coordinator, then waved her hand like shaking it off. "But she'll be fine, I swear. Maybe a little nauseous when she comes to, but otherwise...And your android...Nainsi, right? I had to disable her. And her backup processor. But any mechanic can return her to defaults in about six seconds, so..." She rubbed anxiously at her wrist. "Oh, and we ran into your captain of the guard in the hallway, and a few other guards, and I may have scared him and he's, um, unconscious. Also. But, really, they'll all be fine. I swear." Her lips twitched into a brief, nervous smile. "Um...hello, again. By the way.” 
― Marissa MeyerCress


“Yeah, but broken isn't the same as unfixable.” 
― Marissa MeyerWinter

“Thorne scoffed. “Careful is my middle name. Right after Suave and Daring.”
“Do you even know what you're saying half the time?” asked Cinder.” 
― Marissa MeyerWinter

“The queen's eyes smouldered. "I know my own kind when I see them, and right now there is one in these city walls." She pointed a finger toward the balcony."I want her found and brought to me."
"Right," said Kai,"that'll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I'll get right on that.” 
― Marissa MeyerCinder


So, I hope you enjoyed those quotes and the pictures! Tell me if you've read any of the books mentioned in this post, and also let me know what your favorite quote was! 

-Jollygirl 



11.11.2016

Reasons to Smile

After all the events that have happened recently, in politics and the election, many of us are left feeling enraged, distraught, concerned, and saddened. But, I don't want to talk about that today. I want to list the reasons you should smile. the things you have to be happy about, because even in times of stress and anger, I think we should try our best to remain positive. So, lo and behold, 21 reasons to smile!:

1. You've been happy, joyful, and smiling in the past.
2. The voice actors of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse got married in real life
3. Everything that makes us up, our calcium, protein, iron, etc. were all made in the interiors of dying stars. That means that we're basically all made out of star dust. 
4. With all the technology, transportation, food, and entertainment that we have, we are basically living in the future that people in the past dreamed of.
5. Somewhere in the world, a baby is laughing for the first time.
6. Your smile makes other people happy. After all, "When you're smiling', the whole world smiles with you." -Louis Armstrong.
7. Chocolate.
8. You've had success, achievements, and happy moments.
9. You're unique. You have so many different wonderful qualities. There's no one exactly like you anywhere else in the world. You are an individual.
10. Hamilton + Lin Manuel Miranda's tweets
11. Someone has smiled at you in the past/returned a smile you gave them.
12. Smiling is a natural human reaction. Even blind people smile, even though they have never seen someone smile before.
13. J.K Rowling invented the legendary names of the Hogwarts Houses......on the back of an airplane barf bag.
14. Someone in this world deeply cares about you.
15. When male puppies play with female puppies, they will let the female win on purpose.
16. It's nearly impossible to laugh without smiling first.
17. How much ever food you eat, there will always be plenty more delicious foods to be discovered.
18. THIS:
19. No matter how many books you read, there will always be amazing new books to discover.
20. THIS:
21. You're alive. You're breathing, your heart is beating, your blood is flowing. And you should smile because of that. You should smile because you are lucky enough to experience all the wonderful things on this planet. You're blessed with a life, and you can choose what you want to do with it. If for nothing else, smile because of this.


I hope that made you smile! Have a great week!
-Jollygirl

9.24.2016

Fade Away



~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~

i am a shimmering 
evanescent bubble                                                   
ready to fade away
at any moment

a bubble floating 
among many others,
other people, 
planets,
massive stars,
meteors, comets, moons,
everything in the entire universe,
everything that exists

and at any moment, 
the universe could wink out of existence,
into oblivion
and no one would be existing 
to remember any one of us.

all of these bubbles,
everything that exists,
constantly moving,
constantly changing.

the breath of the wind
can chisel away
entire immense mountains

the cries of a brutal storm
can destroy
entire towns

the click of a gun shot
can end
a life

nothing is perpetual,
nothing is unchangeable,
nothing is infinitely eternal

all of us will change
all of us will end
all of us will f a d e  a w a y.........


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yeah, anyways, I just wrote that poem on a sudden whim. But, I wanted to add that this poem is not supposed to come off as depressing(sorry, if it does). In the poem, I was just making the point that a) changing is inevitable and b)at some point, everything will probably end. It's kind of like that saying, "Live every day like it's your last." Because, our time on this planet is limited! It's easier to just accept that and enjoy your life than to be worried and bothered about it. Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up..
So, I hope you got something out of that, 
thanks for reading!
-Jollygirl