Teen Angst? Naaah…

Title: Teen Angst? Naaah
Author: Ned Vizzini
Original Publication Date: August 24th, 2000
Original Price: $8.99 (Hardcover)
Number of Pages: 279
Starkiller Rating: ★★★✫✫

Quick Synopsis: A collection of personal essays by famed Young Adult author, the late, Ned Vizzini

As you all probably know by now, Ned Vizzini and his work have spoken miles to me about dealing with mental illness and depression. Even after reading that one sentence, I’m sure you can tell I had very very high hopes and expectations for this book. That was entirely my fault. I shouldn’t have assumed all his work would be the best things I’ve ever read.

Although the writing was the same, the subject matter was not. It was a book of personal essays from his Middle School life up until his last days in High School. But I just couldn’t relate to his younger self.

In the edition I have, it has an afterword, in which Vizzini discusses what happened to his friends and detailing some points of his life after the book was originally published and I found myself only truly loving the afterword.

I’m pretty much assuming now that I couldn’t relate because our mindsets were so different. Like the reason I loved It’s Kind of a Funny Story is because even though it was a YA book, there was something I could relate to. There was an aspect to it that spoke to the broken person in me. No matter how far into this book I got, there wasn’t anything I could relate to.

With that aside, it was a well-written look into the lives of the young adult outcasts of the world. It was funny and I’m sure it can be relate-able for some readers but unfortunately not for me.

I recommend this book to fans of Vizzini and fans of non-fiction/memoirs.

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Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania

Title: Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania
Author: Daniel Bryan
Original Publication Date: July 21st, 2015
Original Price: $25.99 (Hardcover)
Number of Pages: 320
Starkiller Rating: ★★★★★

Quick Synopsis: Daniel Bryan recounts his life up until the most defining points of his personal life and career. Detailing his time traveling with superstar Shawn Michael’s until his main event match at Wrestlemania 30.

I’m definitely a fan of wrestling so this book instantly appealed to me. However, the book started off a little meh. This book is written from two perspectives, Daniel Bryan and Craig Tello. Tello’s words are the first you read and to be honest, it’s a little daunting. Although I see what they were going for with the two different voices, I just didn’t really like it. I was even going to rate the book down because I didn’t like Tello’s style. But Bryan’s work was so good, I didn’t let the parts I didn’t like hold the book back.

As I have stated, the book details Bryan’s entire wrestling career up until Wrestlemania 30. Bryan did an excellent job developing the “plot” by incorporating funny and relatable anecdotes that shine light  on the wrestling business as a whole, as well as on his character both on and off the screen. It was a very easy read. I especially loved knowing wrestlers he mentions as well as story-lines and promotions Bryan was a part of. It felt like being a part of a tighter knit community.

His anecdotes were extremely heartfelt and evoked emotion. The notable stories nearly brought me to tears. The ending ties it all together and adds insight into a deeply heart-wrenching life. I would definitely recommend this book to any fan of wrestling as well as anyone interested in wrestling.

Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny

Title: Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny
Author: Holly Madison
Original Publication Date: June 23rd, 2015
Original Price: $25.99 (Hardcover)
Number of Pages: 352
Starkiller Rating: ★★★★★

Quick Synopsis: A juicy, first person account of the life of a former Playboy Bunny.

I get it, this book sounds cheesy, but it isn’t. I’m also sure this book and Holly Madison herself have a bit of a bad connotation to them. I don’t know why though. Madison detailed her accounts at the Playboy mansion in an extremely real way. This memoir recounts her life from her early twenties up until now.

It’s very easy to pass Holly Madison off as a ditzy and “plastic” starlet but what this book succeeds in doing is humanizing her. Her story shines light on very important issues of emotional abuse, depression, and suicide.

Although her experiences are ultimately unique, they are relatable. I found myself comparing the abuse to my past relationships and seeing how easily it can get out of hand. Holly Madison did a wonderful job of telling her story. This book was well written and can definitely show any person how educated she truly is. Her story definitely made me feel for her as well as relate to her on levels I never thought would happen. This book truly teaches the reader a great deal about Playboy as a brand, reality television, and of course, Hugh Hefner.

The pacing of the story was wonderful as well. It starts fast and sucks the reader right into the web of Playboy’s ways. I especially loved that each chapter started with a quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but it still truly told you what the next chapter was going to be about.

My only complaint is that it could have used more pictures. When she spoke of specific outfits or Playboy shoots, I would have loved to see what she was talking about. But, I understand why all these pictures couldn’t have been used.

But overall, I would definitely recommend this to fans of Holly Madison, Girls Next Door, or Playboy.

January Wrap Up!

Started my second semester this month! Whoop, whoop! Super exciting, but also makes for a reading slump. Maybe someday I’ll be able to read for leisure while being in school. But until then, I’ll make due with what I have: an addiction to buying more books than I finish.

Ribbet collage

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

I may not have read a lot of books, but I read quality books this month. I loved them all and I started some great books this month too!

Ribbet collage1

 

(A simple sneak peek of the books I’ll finish in Feb.)

STATS:

Pages read: 839 (counting finishing books from previous months/starting new books)
Average pages per day: 27
Average time to finish a book: too long
Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars (only counting the books finished in January)

Yes Please

Screenshot 2015-01-20 at 12.59.06 PMTitle: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Original Publication Date: October 28th, 2014
Original Price: $28.99 (Hardcover)
Number of Pages: 329
Starkiller Rating: ★★★★✫

Quick Synopsis: Poehler’s memoir about her life, breaking into comedy, and oh so much more.

 

My goodness. I really truly loved this book. Poehler is an amazing writer. I mean I already knew that from all the funny shit she does but her writing is so heartfelt too. I related to her on such an intimate level. She talks about her young life and breaking into the comedy business as well as getting married and very briefly, going through her divorce.

I honestly got this on a whim. I had heard good things and was interested but I didn’t know about shelling out the dough for it. When black friday came around, Barnes and Noble had a signed edition. If it weren’t for that black friday “deal” I would have let this amazing book slip out of my hands.

I crazy love memoirs about celebrities. I don’t know why, maybe because it gives me a glimpse into the life I am so far from or maybe I just want to judge their writing style. Either way. This is hands down the best celebrity memoir I’ve ever read.

Poehler not only gives her life story through short, easy to read essays, she does it in such a heartwarming and friendly way, you can’t help but feel like she’s your friend, telling you stories. It’s incredible. Poehler also gives great advice about dealing with the different heartaches of life.

This book is not strictly about comedy or strictly about SNL or even Parks and Rec. It is very legitimately a book about her life and yes, all three of these were part of her life. So, yes, there are chapters about each and they honestly make you long for the opportunity to work on something as amazing.

Just trust me, this is a must read for any fan of television, comedy, or writing.

Winter 2014 Book Haul!

Winter of 2014 was a good time for buying and receiving books. Winter has two gift giving holidays in my household, Christmas and my birthday. So, of course, I got books for both occasions.

Yay! <3

Yay! ❤

But first, don’t remind me how grainy this picture is. It looked so much better on my phone. Ugh. ANYWAY!

The list includes:

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
-This is the sequel to the beloved, soon to be major motion picture, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Did I mention my copy is autographed? ❤ This lovely gem was gifted to me by my loving boyfriend.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler
-This is Poehler’s memoir and first book. Also signed ❤ and also gifted by the novio.

Sanctum by Madeline Roux
-Sequel to the hidden gem Asylum. I read Asylum when it came out, which was before this blog so I’m not entirely sure if I reviewed it, but holy moly, I’ll review both because I loved Asylum. Gifted to myself 😉

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins
-Which is 12 different love stories set around the holidays and if you keep up with my blog, you know I loved it.

Schizo by Nic Sheff
-The main character goes through a schizophrenic episode the same weekend his brother goes missing. Does this not sound amazingly interesting? I wanted it for so long and, again, my lovely boyfriend gave it to me for Christmas!

Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk
-This was a spur the moment buy. It was signed and I decided to read the synopsis, after that, I had to get it. It’s like a crazy take over the world story. You want to know how they want to take over the world? Sex Toys. There, now you know why I wanted it. Also, I’ve never read Palahniuk, so why not start now?

Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
-This is his memoir and it’s a choose your own path book. What’s not to want? Also, I received this from Random House and Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. So, yes. I’m excited for this one.

Seventh Son by Joseph Delaney
-This is a bind up of the first two books from The Last Apprentice series. It’s a movie tie in cover but I could deal. It was cheap and it was two books in one. I’ll try to read it before I watch the movie. I’ve heard good things about this series. Gifted it to myself, obvs.

Harley Quinn Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes by Karl Kesel
-I honestly don’t know much about this comic book except that it revolves around Harley Quinn and she’s my spirit animal. Gifted to me by my lovely brother and his girlfriend for Christmas.

The Selection by Kiera Cass
-I’ve heard so many amazing things about this series. I’ve heard it described as The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games and hey, yes, this got me crazy curious. So, I’ll hopefully catch up with the series before The Elite comes out. Gifted to myself. (I know, I’m terrible)

Artfolds
-This is a book that is more of an activity. It’s filled with Walt Disney quotes and then you fold the pages a certain way, so when you have it opened, it is in the shape of Mickey Mouse. It was cute and on sale and I need more cute decorations in my room, so sue me.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
-Another one I’ve heard amazing things about. It’s a ghost story that takes place in my favorite and least favorite store: IKEA! Except it’s not actually Ikea (but it totally is).

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
-The cover is gorgeous and I’m excited to read it. I’ve heard nothing by good things about it. I’m usually really iffy about sci-fi but I just couldn’t pass this one up.

and last but not least,

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
-As some of you may know/remember, I read Fangirl a while back and just couldn’t. I literally couldn’t. However, I read Landline and absolutely adored it. Rowell’s story in My True Love Gave to Me was the absolute best one. I realized that I love her. (and I’m willing to give Fangirl a second chance). So, my amazing boyfriend got me the collector’s edition of Eleanor and Park, and it is signed, by the amazing Rainbow Rowell. EEEEEEP! ❤ ❤ So excited to read this.

That concludes my epic Winter 2014 Book Haul.

I’ve only read two from the list so far but I must say, this is my most exciting haul I’ve ever had! Good luck everyone and HAPPY READING!

Make Up Your Life!

Title: Make Up Your Life!: Your Guide to Beauty, Fashion, Internships, Careers, Modern Manners, and More– Online and Off
Author: Michelle Phan
Original Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Original Price: $23.00 (Hardcover)
Number of Pages: 224
Starkiller Rating: ★★★✫✫

Quick Synopsis: A “how-to” book for life.

I love Michelle Phan’s work as a make up artist and content creator but this book fell flat. The most interesting portion of the book was the story of her life. It was a story of a girl who came from an okay (financially speaking) family to following her dreams and making bank creating content for the internet. She was truly living the dream! I picked up this book because I thought it would help me (as a fellow content creator) get my name out there and, in a way, follow in her footsteps. However, I gained no insight into anything.

The make up how-to’s in the book were very simple. Any girl with access to google could find better tutorials than the one in this book. Her how-to’s and tips were absolutely simplistic. Her tips were basically “Don’t Post Nudes”, “Be Careful What You Post That May Tarnish Your Image”. It’s to the point of “yeah..I know that.”

This book is so obviously written for pre-teen to newly-teen girls but was marketed for adults. I know it sounds like I utterly hated this book, but I didn’t. Phan’s writing style was great! It was friendly and sounded like a big sister helping a little sister out. It was easy to read and follow. Although many of the how-to’s were simplistic to adults, they were perfect for a younger crowd, who  maybe doesn’t know much about make up or style.

So, for adults I’d give this 2 stars, and for younger crowds, I’d give this 3 stars.