Tuesday, December 31, 2013

top 13 books of 2013

 The year 2013 is coming to a close. Overall, it's been a great year. I didn't accomplish all the different kinds of goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, but I worked on them - and I think that's important.

 It's been a great year book-wise, too. I read a lot of wonderful stories. I originally set a goal to read 75 books, but I very soon realized that just wasn't a realistic amount, so I changed it to 60 books. It turned out to be the perfect amount for me. I just completed the goal this morning (just on time!).

 I decided to share with you guys what my favorites were. These are the 13 books that really stuck out to me out of the 60 read books. If you're looking for book recommendations (I know I always am!), I definitely recommend each of these lovely books:

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  3. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  4. Emma by Jane Austen
  5. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  6. The Hero and the Crown by Jane Austen
  7. Cinder by Robin McKinley
  8. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  9. Beauty by Robin McKinley
  10. The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
  11. Artemis Fowl and The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
  12. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  13. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

You can check out my Goodreads Reading Challenge page here to check these (and the other books I read) out!

 Did any books you read this year become new favorites? I'd love to hear about them!

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

catching fire, frozen, and the desolation of smaug

  I haven't been blogging for several weeks - partly because I've been working on a project for this blog (which I'll post soon!) and partly because life's been a bit busy recently. But today, I decided to do three mini-reviews of some great movies I've seen in the last few weeks:

 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

 I'd been excited for this movie for a long time. Because I loved the first movie, I expected this one to be great - and it turned out even better than I expected. I was blown away by it! Here are a few things I liked about it:
 - I really appreciated how faithfully it stuck to the book. 
 - It was visually beautiful. The sets and locations were perfect, and the special effects were really good.
 - The plot had it's touching moments, terrifying moments, and moments that made me laugh out loud.
 - All the actors did a fantastic job. The new characters introduced (particularly Finnick and Johanna) were brilliantly done.
 - The film score (composed by James Newton Howard) is beautiful.
 - The ending was so intense! Actually, the whole movie was intense...but that ending though!

 I loved Catching Fire, and I'm looking forward to seeing it again!


 What an adorable movie! It instantly became a new favorite Disney movie for me. The main characters were so lovable, I cannot stop listening to and singing all the songs, and the story was so touching and sweet. And oh, the animation was breathtaking.
 Frozen was unique and different than any other Disney Princess movie, but it certainly still had that Disney feel to it!

 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 Where do I start? I just watched this last night so this review may not be very coherent and may involve some all-caps...BECAUSE IT WAS JUST SO WONDERFUL! (oops, there I go...)
 Let's make this clear: I loved the first Hobbit movie. But I didn't like it near as much I liked The Lord of the Rings trilogy (my favorite movies of all time). And I was okay with that, because how could any movie ever come close to those? But guys: this one came seriously close. Peter Jackson still has it!
 I could fangirl about this for ages - about how beautiful everything looked (especially Lake Town and the Woodland Realm!), and how perfectly the story played out, and about how much I love the characters. But I'll just say this: you need to see this movie!

Have you seen any of these movies? If so, what did you think?