Happy New Year! I would say that I’m super stoked to finally be present in the Year of My Wedding but 2016 took Allan Rickman and I’m still bitter.
However, a bunch of my favorite Etsy shops are opening back up today and I need to buy some candles before I start making my own; you know, for reference. I also get to start using my planners – In the interest of being organized, I’m going to use the one I keep in my purse for appointments, work, & general To-Do’s. The other planner I have is going to be for blogging and creative pursuits. I think that was a fair way of divvying my life up. I’m trying to figure out a good place to keep my wish-list accessible, because having a wish-list does actually keep me from destructive impulse buying most of the time. I’m pretty good about using my monthly manicure appointment as my “treat yo self” time but then I’m also a monster on Etsy and have absolutely no self control when bookish things are involved. If I keep a wishlist, I can taper things out and work towards a biweekly or monthly goal.
Here’s what I’m working with:
- Sewing machine
- Photography classes
- 3-month subscription for OwlCrate
- all the fandom candles in the world
- Sewing classes
- The illustrated version of Chamber of Secrets
While planning a wedding and trying to find a new home, it’s even more crucial that I watch my spending. I probably won’t be able to get another tattoo for at least 3 months, which is torture. So much skin to cover, so little time.
My goals this year are basically read more books, blog twice a week (or more), and don’t murder anyone during wedding planning. Anything extraneous that comes to pass between those is absolutely wonderful. I’m going to be participating in a reading challenge, spending more time on Goodreads, and listening to audiobooks to up my yearly average. Normally I finish about two books a week but since I have the wedding and the working-two-jobs factoring into my current situation, I’m keeping my 2017 reading goal at 60.
Let’s talk about books, baby. Introducing, my 30 Days of Book Reviews! I’m going to start the month off strong with a review of my new favorite, Carry On.
Disclaimer: I was extremely biased walking into this story. It’s another version of Hogwarts and the Draco/ Harry dynamic. I was sold before I even started reading it. If you’re not an avid lover of gay wizards, this book will not make your heart explode with joy like mine did. This is basically going to be a rave, not a review. If you came to hear the low-lights of a novel, I have none for you right now so please visit me on a later date.
Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen
That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.
Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world..
Overall Satisfaction: 12/10
Plot: The plot was a really great mash-up of The Magicians, Harry Potter, and how I wish Harry Potter would’ve ended. In no way am I trying to say that Rowell was a copy-cat or this is a glorified fanfiction, because its not. It’s a very unique world crafted for the sake of being its own stand-alone and it succeeded in more ways than one. The world of Watford was great; there’s more than just wizards. The plot, while being a spin off of HP, was extremely creative and well-executed. I thought there was enough balance between romance, action, mystery, and lore for this book to be so much more than an imitation.
Characters: They were all written with such loving and tender care; my Carry On babies must be protected at all costs. I love the dynamic of a light/dark romance – It’s honestly the whole reason that I’m drawn to Harry / Draco and Simon / Baz. One boy, Simon, is the epitome of goodness. He looks like the sun, acts like the sun, and is treated like the sun. Of course, he has his drawbacks. I thought the added trait of him not being able to control his magic very well was lovely, it was almost like Rowell took the light and personified it. And then on the flip-side, there is Baz. My sweet baby, Baz. I haven’t stopped thinking about him since I finished the book. He’s the personification of the dark side – mysterious, deadly, snide. Then, you find out his secrets and you’re like “My smol son, so pure, so good.” Penelope was awesome – I love me a strong female character and she kicks actual ass. I love the way Rowell wrote her background and family, it made her such a relate able and intricate character. I can’t even say anything bad about Agatha. I know a lot of people dislike her, but she’s honestly the most human character in the entire book. How many of us can say we’d enjoy being trapped in a loveless relationship? Or being dragged on dangerous adventures because of who we chose to be friends with? I am an introvert, my friends, and none of those sound remotely appealing to me. The illusive Mage and Lucy were wonderfully written as well. Their roles in the story were deliciously devious and I love everyone in that damn book so much.
Conclusion: The ending was ugh so good. I didn’t see it coming and it came like a freaking freight train. It was ingenious and perfect. A lot of the books that I’ve read have endings that leave me emotionally unfulfilled but this one was warmed my cold, dead soul in all the right places. Bless you, Rainbow Rowell, for giving us the gift of Carry On. I enjoyed every second. (Okay, except for when Simon was still with Agatha. That was painful)
In case you were wondering what the rest of the month looks like, here’s the lineup:
Day 2 – A Court of Thorns and Roses / ACOMF
Day 3 – Love Letters to the Dead
Day 4 – The Merciless
Day 5 – Fangirl
Day 6 – The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Day 7 – An Abundance of Katharines
Day 8 – Throne of Glass
Day 9 – Forbidden
Day 10 – Anna Dressed in Blood
Day 11 – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Day 12 – Paper Towns
Day 13 – The May Queen Murders
Day 14 – The Star – Touched Queen
Day 15 – The Girl from the Well
Day 16 – The Darkest Part of the Forest
Day 17 – Ink
Day 18 – The Book Thief
Day 19 – The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavendar
Day 20 – Paper Valentine
Day 21 – Blue is for Nightmares
Day 22 – Maya’s Notebook
Day 23 – Cruel Beauty
Day 24 – Fingerprints of You
Day 25 – Rot & Ruin
Day 26 – The Graveminder
Day 27 – The Dust of 100 Dogs
Day 28 – Warm Bodies
Day 29 – The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Day 30 – Boy’s Life
As you can see, much variety. Many fiction. Such genre. Wow.
I hope everyone has a great first day of 2017,
Best wishes to all!
The Book Witch