February Wrap Up… Goals for March?

Remember that time that I had all of these goals that I was going to accomplish in February? Well, I failed, and Failure is a part of life. 

My first goal was to save all of my tips from my job, and I managed to save EVERY PENNY except, maybe 15 dollars, and ended up with around $300. That’s not much, but It’s a start. The next goal was to put $20 from each paycheck into a separate bank account, and I did that, along with my tips. Those were the only two goals that I actually completed. I did not clean my room, I posted one youtube video a week, and only about 3 blog posts. I also didn’t get a second job, But I did however talk to my boss about giving me a raise, which will help.

I was incredibly sick this month, with the weather and working and everything. I typically work 26 – 28 hours a week, all over the course of three days a week. I also have a deviated septum, which causes me to have a cold or a sinus infection 50 weeks out of the year, so this month was super bad for me, to the point where I was throwing up at least once a week from post-nasal drip. Being sick, coupled with the shitty Pennsylvania weather, I could not walk anywhere and find a new job. These are all stupid excuses and none of you care, so I’m just going to be better.

I did finish Delirium, which I already posted the review on. I started Insurgent, and got farther into Starters, not far enough that I’m really really interested, but I am working on it. I do have some goals for March, so I will talk about them here.

My first goal is to finish Starters and Insurgent. I’m super into the Insurgent audiobook right now, so that one shouldn’t be too hard. I also want to finish Crossed. If I finish them, I will start Eve by Ana Carey.

My second goal is to save at least $500 towards my car. This shouldn’t be too hard, considering my raise, and the fact that I made $100 in tips this weekend alone. I would like to save more, but $500 is the goal.

My third goal is to actually post twice a week on here. I’m going to start writing posts in my down time again, so that I can have some extra posts.

My fourth goal is to get my eyebrows done. My eyebrows are insane right now, and I need to get them done. The spa that I used to get them done at recently closed, so I have to find somewhere else. I hate when nail salons do it, so I pay a little bit extra to get them done in a spa. Basically I’m difficult.

My fifth goal is to drink more smoothies, and find more healthy smoothie recipes.

I’m also going to clean my room, but that’s not a goal, it just needs to happen.

What are your goals for March?

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Book Review : Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Spoilers ! But nothing too big.

The Summary : In a world that believes that love is the enemy, how far would you be willing to run? In the future of America, The governing body has eradicated love. When every child turns 18, and finishes high school, they are forced to undergo an invasive surgery to “cure” them, and remove their capacity to love. Lena can’t wait for her surgery, having lost her mother to “Amor Deliria Nervosa,” or the disease of Love, until she meets a young boy named Alex, who shows her what she will be losing, and what she has already lost. He shows her that there can be life with love, outside of the gates of their city, in the wilds. Together, and with the help of Lena’s best friend, Hanna, they plan their escape. Will they make it, or will they die trying?

The Characters : 

Lena : Lena is an absolute hater. It is completely understandable for Lena to be scared, and to hate the idea of the love. She was taught her whole life that love was a disease, a disease that took her own mothers life, or so she thought. Lena grew throughout the novel, and through her relationship with Alex into an incredibly strong female character. However, for a girl who has believed for eighteen years that love is a disease, and for someone so terrified of even the slightest idea of falling in love with someone, Lena sure does fall fast. It felt like she was willing to abandon her whole life’s teachings, just a few days after he comes into the picture. Despite my total aversion to that idea, it did make her seem more like a real girl, and less like a character in a book.

Alex : Alex is your typical YA novel love interest. He’s mysterious, a little bit dark, and totally gorgeous. Can someone PLEASE point me to a novel where this isn’t the case? Alex managed to assimilate himself back into the society, even as an invalid, a person who is uncured, and chooses to live in the wilds. Somehow, he even landed himself a government job, working in the same labs where they perform the procedure. HOW? I wish I could say that i disliked Alex a little more, but I have to love the fact that he really loves Lena. So much that he is willing to risk everything for her, even his life in the end.

Hanna : Hanna is just a typical girl, clearly going through some sort of “rebellious” phase. Hanna changes drastically throughout this book, which I did not like. She goes from being almost cynical and put off by the idea of the cure, to wanting it, for no clear reason. She spends her time on secret internet sites, listening to banned music, and attending illegal parties, with underage drinking and (gasp) boys. Then suddenly, when Lena approaches her about running away, poof, she wants to be cured, and live a life like her parents. I will never understand this. However, The way she helps Lena and Alex see each other is admirable, and she truly is a good friend, even though she isn’t always treated as such.

Carol : Carol gets a bad rep from most readers, but she’s just doing what she been taught to think is best. She had her own kids, then suddenly she has to take in her sisters kids, and is not even allowed to feel sad over her sisters death. She teaches her kids by example to not question the government, and to stay in line. She is actually sympathetic when it comes to Lena a lot more times than you’d imagine. She’s just a mother.

The Plot : This book is paced really well, surprisingly. It moves slowly, but it’s steady, right up until the last 50 pages or so (I’m not 100% on this, I listened to the audiobook). The world isn’t quite consistent, though. For a society with such strict rules, it seems so easy to break them. How do the regulators not realize that Alex isn’t actually a citizen? How many invalids and sympathizers have infiltrated their government? And how do they not notice? Why is it so easy for Hanna to get into these secret internet sites, if the government is supposedly watching their every move? Why is no one busting these secret parties? I can’t get behind a dystopian world with so many holes. The love story was a little too predictable for my taste, and this is coming from someone who has read every Sarah Dessen novel, so you know that it means something. I still don’t understand how Lena had no problem just abandoning everything she knew to follow some boy. But I will admit, the ending really got me hooked.

The Audiobook : Sarah Drew is phenomenal. Obviously, the narration can either make or break an audiobook, and Drew was definitely an asset. 

The Overall : I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 hearts. The point were lost in the world building, and the love story. However, in the last two or three chapters, I literally could not turn it off. It sucked me back in, and now I am DYING to pick up Pandemonium. I absolutely can not wait to see what happens in the next book. I would recommend for fans of Uglies and Matched, who are looking for something similar.

Have you read Delirium? If so, what are your thoughts?

No Valentine, no problem!

So Valentines Day is in 3 days, and you still don’t have a date. Who cares? You know whats better than a date on Valentines day? Fictional characters.

I know, that around Valentines day, I tend to want to re-read one of my favorite love stories, and watch some of my favorite romantic movies and TV shows, and I can’t be the only one. Please, I beg you, comment down below and tell me if you do this too. 

So for this years Valentines Day Solo Date, I have to work, and all the other girls I work with have boyfriends, or at least someone to get drunk with, so after work, I will be making myself a romantic dinner for one, or more realistically getting takeout, and curling up on the couch and quite possibly marathoning some Once Upon a Time In Wonderland, because whats more romantic than Alice searching for her lost genie love. (It makes more sense if you watch it, It’s Alice meets Aladdin, meets Robin Hood, meets all of Disney). Maybe I’ll watch a little Sweet Home Alabama, if I’m feeling really sappy, but more likely I’ll watch some Disney Classics, AKA the best love stories out there.

I can almost guarantee that I will be binge-reading Crossed by Ally Condie, which is about a girl who leaves her life in her society to find her lost love. So I’m all set for my solo date, but now I want to help you. Here is a list of my top 5 Young Adult love stories for you to read, as well as my top 5 Walt Disney Classic love stories. You’re welcome.

Top 5 YA Love Stories.
1. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Or any other Sarah Dessen for that matter. JL Is about a girl named Annabelle, and something happens to her, which causes her to lose all of her friends. She starts her senior year all alone, and meets a mysterious boy named Owen. Owen is the typical loner, with his nose in a book, and his headphones on loud, all the time. This is literally one of her best novels that I have eve read, and trust me, I’ve read all of them.
2. Matched by Ally Condie. In a society that regulates everything, from the food you eat, to the clothes you wear, it only makes sense that they would want a say in who you marry as well. Every 17 year old gets matched to a suitor, and they are sort of forced to love them. That’s not a problem for Cassia, until she gets matched to two people. Now, for the first time ever, someone gets to choose. Cassia gets to choose her future.
3. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Warning. Only read this if you are prepared to cry for days, and if you have a large chunk of time, because you will not put this down. 
4. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen. Terra has been taught her whole life that perfection is everything, and that her port wine stain birthmark on her face is the only thing separating her from “perfect.” She believes this until she meets Jacob, the goth boy who helps her see her real beauty, as well as her potential.
5. Avalon High by Meg Cabot. I am in love with this book. Ellie moves to Maryland from the Midwest, and starts her new life at Avalon High. Avalon High is run by Will, the popular jock slash student body president. Suddenly she finds herself in the middle of an epic battle, of Arthurian proportions, where King Arthur himself is fighting to save the world.

Top 5 Walt Disney Classic Love Stories.
1. Cinderella. Classic.
2. Pocahontas. My personal favorite.
3. Tangled. We’ll call it a classic.
4. The Little Mermaid.
5. Beauty and the Beast.

What will you guys be reading and watching this Valentines Day?

Book Review : The Maze Runner by James Dashner

*We know I talk SPOILERS by now, right?*

The Summary :
Thomas has no idea where he came from, or anything about his past. One day he wakes up in an elevator, and travels to this place he vaguely remembers, but has never seen before, The Glade. He finds himself thrown into a sort of society with other boys, some younger, some older, that also have no idea how they got there, or why they were chosen. In the Glade, everything has a system. The elevator, called the box, brings a new boy every 30 days, and supplies every 7, the walls of the glade open every morning, and close every night, and everyone has a job. What lies beyond the opening and closing walls is a giant, ever changing maze, filled with terrifying monsters, called Grievers that come out every night. Every day they send Runners out to find a solution to the Maze. When Thomas enters The Glade, everything starts to change. First, the elevator opens the next day, off schedule, to bring the first girl to ever enter The Glade, and she comes with the message that the end is coming, and she will be the last Glader. While Teresa, the girl, stays in a coma for much of the book, she remains a major plot point. After being one of the first Gladers to survive the maze for a whole night, he becomes a Runner. Soon after, the sun dissappears, and  the walls stop closing, letting the Grievers in. Now, Thomas has to find the end of the maze, and get the rest of The Gladers out of the maze before they all run out of time.

The Characters:
Thomas – Annoying as hell. I understand that he was just taken from his home, his memory wiped, and he was thrown into this new life with no memorable warning, but he forgets that everyone in the Glade went through the same thing. He acts like he’s all alone in the beginning, and he doesn’t seem to realize that he’s still the “greenie,” or the lowest man on the totem pole. He feels that he should be a Runner, but he just got there, and in this society, like most, you have to start at the bottom. Throughout the rest of the book, he got a little bit more bearable. I started to respect him a little more when he made sure to get Chuck out of the Maze, and was willing to sacrifice himself out there for Chuck.

Teresa – She was in a coma for half of the book. Literally half of the book. I like when she comes her coma, and she’s not whiny, or trying to figure out where she is too much. She just kind of accepts where she is, without fully accepting it. She knows she has to get out, and that she has information to help them all get out.

Chuck – Chuck is my favorite Character. While he is just like that annoying little brother who talks your ear off about the most basic things right when you walk in the door, I grew to love him. His relationship with Thomas is one of the most genuine and precious relationships I have ever encountered. Chuck’s death was actually the only emotional  part of the book for me.

Of course there were other minor characters, but none really stood out to me.

The Plot:
I was bored for much of The Maze Runner. I can see why people get sucked into this plot, but it just wasn’t my speed, i guess. I’m going to start with my negatives. You’re in Thomas’ mind the whole time, so you’re seeing The Glade through his eyes. Thomas is whiny as hell. All he does is gripe about how he is “all alone” and “wants to be a runner,” and I found myself telling hin to shut up more times than I should have. Dashner created his own slang for the boys in the Glade to use, which was a great concept, but as with any other new dialect, It was difficult to get used to. The pacing is a little weird. It starts off by throwing a bunch of information at you, while simultaneously withholding a ton of information, then the plot picks up, and the whole story moves a little bit faster, but slows down again randomly. The pacing is just inconsistent. On the positive side, the plot gets more interesting as it goes on. I really liked the telepathy plot twist thrown in there. I liked that Thomas didn’t just know how to talk back to Teresa, and he had to figure that out. Chuck made me so happy the whole time. Most of the books I’ve been reading lately have been lacking in a character that was just plain annoying. Chuck was obnoxious, and you want to smack him half the time, but you grow to love him. I’m calling it now, I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, but I’m predicting that Chuck and Thomas are brothers.

The Overall :
I’m giving this book 3 hearts. I’m sure I’d score it higher if not for the pacing and the language. I am interested in seeing what comes next, but I’m not chomping at the bit to pick up The Scorch Trials or anything. I would recommend this to people who like The Hunger Games, and other young adult dystopian novels, if you aren’t bothered by inconsistent pacing.

New Month… New goals…

Welcome to February, the last official month of winter. This has actually been the coldest winter that I have ever experienced, so I am beyond happy to see it end.  I decided to make some goals for each month to, sort of, keep me focused throughout the year. Some of these goals are personal, and some are bookish goals as well. 

My first goal is to save all of my tips. I want to be able to afford a new car by my birthday, which is April 2nd. I know that it’s probably the biggest long shot ever, but It’s a goal. This month I need to get super serious about saving all of my money to get one. I’ve decided that I am not going out at all in February, and every tip that i make at The Sass will be going into my cash box. I will fill that box this month.

My second goal is to actually remember to put $20 from every paycheck into my special savings account. That account is at a different bank, so I keep forgetting to do so, so This month I need to start remembering.

My third goal is to clean my bedroom. I know this is totally random but My room is an actual wreck right now and I want to focus on cleaning it this month.

My fourth goal for this month is to get a second job. Ideally, I’d like to get a job at either the new Mexican restaurant down the street from my house, or one of the sports bars on that same street. They are both within walking distance, because I don’t have a car, and I’d like to try my hand at bar tending or waitressing. 

My fifth goal is to post at least one to two videos on my youtube channel each week. I would also like to do at least two blog posts a week.

My sixth goal is to finish the books that I started in January. I’d like to finish Starters by Lissa Price, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Crossed by Ally Condie, and Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This is a short month, so I don’t really foresee myself finishing all of those AND starting a new book, but if I have extra time at the end of the month, I’d like to start either The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, or Eve by Ana Carey.

So there we have it. My top six goals that I would like to achieve in the month of February. I’ll update you throughout the month.

What are your goals for February?