Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Book Thief {A Book Review}

Title: The Book thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Knopf Books 
Release Date: March 14, 2006
Summary: from Goodreads
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that will be in movie theaters on November 15, 2013, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time 

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”  - The Book Thief
 My Take:
Have you ever finished a book, and after you closed that last page, you didn't know how you were going to recuperate? Like a book hungover? This book did that to me. 

I found myself not able to put this book down. I thought it was brilliant. The way that Markus Zusak wrote it was amazing. For me the book was heart warming and heart wrenching. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions. 

This little girl, Liesel went through so much in her childhood. And a lot of people went through so much in that world. It's crazy to imagine that Nazi Germany happened less than 80 years ago. All that pain, hurt, death, I can't even wrap my head around it. 

In the years of turmoil, this little girl kept it together, and kept her family together, kept her whole street together. I loved how that fascination of words and books created such a strong bond with her Papa. Reading and stealing those books was what kept Max alive. And eventually she spread that fascination throughout some of the people living on her street. The words she read kept them sane in a world where bombings came down and had seconds to find shelter. 

The basement became a part of Liesel life. She learned to read there. Her bond with her Papa grew there. Secrets were made there. She made a best friend there. She wrote her story there. 

I loved reading this book. I love that the narrator was death itself. My heart stopped everytime there heart stopped. Liesel became like my friend, and Rudy too. At times I wanted to go back in time and just try to rescue those people living in that cruel world. 

A must-read. 
I'm excited to watch the movie soon!!

Looking for more reviews, check out my reviews here: Book Thoughts

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Monday, November 25, 2013

"Story of My Life" {Five Little Grins}

 5 Little Grins

It's been a while since I made one of these!! Here are the five little things that are making me smile.

1) It's Thanksgiving Week!!!! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. Not only because of the yummy food, but just being with family.

2) Talking about favorite days of the year!! My birthday is in exactly a MONTH!!! WOOOO hoooo!!!

3) This little angel. My little niece is precious! In love with her!!!

4) I'm not a crazy One Direction fan, but I love love this song.

5) Anybody else saw Catching Fire?? and thought it was amazing? I did! I went with my cousins to the premiere!! And I loved that we did!!

What is making you smile lately? Did you watch Catching Fire, what did you think?
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Literary Junkies {November}

Hi ya'll I'm back!!! Lots of things have been happening, and I just needed a little break, to reflect on myself and some events that have happened recently!! But I'm glad to be back!! :)

Let's start of with LITERARY JUNKIES link -up!
Pink Heels Pink Truck

Visit Taylor at Pink Heels Pink Truck or Lesley at By the Porchlight or Jen at I like big books!

1) What are you currently reading? Tell us about it!
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

"Weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations," the young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground--to come face-to-face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature. 

The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat--each more eccentric than the last--could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll. 

In penning this brilliant burlesque of children's literature, Carroll has written a farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, an arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up. 

Carroll was one of the few adult writers to successfully enter the children's world of make-believe: where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal--real, and where the height of adventure is limited only by the depths of imagination" - from Goodreads

I have always wanted to read this book. I'm not sure why I never read it as a child, and I felt like I was missing something because I didn't. So when I finally got my hands on it I was so excited to be transported to Wonderland. And although it is a wonderful piece of literature, and Wonderland is a weird, and magical place, I'm confused half of the time. I'm almost done, so I'm hoping I somehow a lightbulb gets turned on, and everything becomes clear. hahah. I like it, though. 

2) How many books have you read this year? Do you set goals for yourself? 
The last 4 years were filled with all-nighters and textbooks, so I have no time for reading for fun. But since graduating (last December) I wanted to get back to reading for fun, so this year I did set a goal for myself. I set my goal at 20 books this, so I'm almost there, I've read 18 books so far!!! :) For next year, I think I will be setting my goal to at least 24 (2 books per month, is do-able right?) and hoping for 30. :)

3) What do you think are the best and worst book-to-movie/TV show adaptation?
I love this question, because I love when books get turned into movies or TV shows. I'm the kind of person that needs to read the book before I see the movie. Of course it has its disadvantages because I form my own world in my head while reading, and sometimes its not the same when I see the movies. hahah. 
My best and worst? hmmmm. now that's the hard question. 
sources: {1} {2}
Right now I'm obsessed with The Hunger Games. I loved the first movie, I loved the first book. I just finished re-reading the second book, just in time for the premiere of the movie on Friday, which I'm so excited about. I really hope that the new movie is as good as the book. :) 
The Notebook, favorite book and movie!!! I think it stayed pretty close to the book, except for the ending. I must admit, although I cry every time, I loved how the movie ended!!
P.S I love you!!! I like the movie, but the BOOK IS WAY BETTER!!!!!! When the movie first came out, I was disappointed, because I loved the book so much.
The Help is another one of my favorite movie/book adaptations!! 
Game of Thrones, is one of my favorite shows! My brother was the one that got me into it! I've read the first book, and I couldn't believe how close to the book the show is!! 
Gossip Girl, I was obsessed with the books in middle school and high school, I bought all the books!! When it was announced that it was going to turn into a show, I was so excited. But I realized that it was not quite the same as the book I accepted them to be two different entities.

4) What's the first line of your favorite book? 
Too many fave books!!! ahhh

"We slept in what had once been the gymnasium." - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

5) What's your favorite quote from a book? The Night Circus
Sources: {1} {2}

What are you currently reading? What are your favorite quotes? Best and worst book adaptations?
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Berkeley, you da best!!! {The Thankful Project}

November 3 & 4: A Place and An Experience

I'm writing these two prompts together, because they go hand in hand. Essentially they are one in the same, but one wouldn't have happen if the other didn't exist.

I'm extremely thankful to have had the experience of going to college. As I've mention before, my college experience was not a walk in the park. I don't think no ones is, unless you are extremely smart. The first year was the hardest. I was so homesick at Berkeley that I wanted to dropout and come back home. Keep in mind it's only 1hr 15 mins on plane, and 6 hours in a car. With the help of my family and my friends they pushed me to finish the semester, and then finish the first year, and even finish the second year.

Berkeley, has a stigma. Definetely good, a top public school of the nation. But to me, it just meant more pressure. I was far from a brainiac, I struggled a lot in my classes, but I'm grateful to have meet classmates who were struggling like me, who would want to study together.

My second year, I got involved in this amazing organization called Hermanas Unidas. It was a support system that was available to the women of Berkeley to gives us support and resources to help us succeed. It a student led organization. Joining that organization was the best decision I made at Berkeley. Through Hermanas Unidas I met some amazing women, that I now call my best friends. And the best part was that, in 1994 the Berkeley chapter was the very first chapter of Hermanas Unidas Inc. When I first joined Hermanas I think there were about 11 chapters along California, now 19 years later there are 19 chapters!! In my third and fourth year I became part of the board for my chapter. The best experience!!

Berkeley has shaped me to the person I am today. It has seen me come out from my shell, become a little bit more confident, helped me speak up for what I believed in (still trying). Berkeley has seen the good times, and the really bad times. But if I had the chance to do it over, I would, because those experiences at Berkeley made me who I am. I met my best friends, and I grew personally, mentally, and psychologically.

 Thank you Berkeley!!!!!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

10 Things I'm Thankful For and That Keep Me Smiling!!

Shooting two birds with one stone. I just had to two both of them this week. So I'm meshing these two link-ups together, because I loved them so much.
This week's theme is 10 Things That I'm Thankful For and That Keep Me Smiling
 5 Little Grins

 My Family. I love them! They are always supportive and loving. and they always know how to have fun.
My Momma!! I don't know where I would be without her.
My Friends!!! They bring me coffee when I'm handicapped!! :) Send me letters and care packages via snail mail! Have brunch, and dinners together. Another part of my life that I wouldn't know where I would be without them.
 For my munchkins!! My nieces and nephews, and having the chance to spend time with them now, after being away at college for their first years. Some of the best motivation anyone can have.
I'm thankful that I finally finished school this year.
And that although it's a part-time I was able to find a job right away, doing something that I enjoy.
Seeing both set of grandparents this year! They are so far away, but I'm so glad that I was able to see them. And although some were sick, I'm grateful that they are doing so much better.
Yummy food, clothes on my back, and a cozy roof over my head.
Books!! I don't know what I would do without the ability to get transported by books.
Blogging! I'm thankful that I decided to start my blog again. And although I'm still a small space, I'm grateful for everyone who has read a post, left comments, decided to follow me, and who have showed me some love, and those who I've become friends with!! Thank you!!!

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Role As A Teacher {The Thankful Project}

Check out Chasing Happy for all the prompts for The Thankful Project

November 2: A Role You've Played
If you ask my mom she can tell you that I always wanted to be a teacher. She tells me that I have patience something that according to her she does not. But yes, for as long as I can remember I've always wanted to work with kids. I believe education is the most important thing someone can have. Although my dream goals have changed and varied along the years, being a teacher has always stayed at the back of mind. 

It was my senior year of college. I was freaking out because I was going to graduate in less than a year, and I still didn't have a job experience. I searched online at our work study and found this amazing company called Jumpstart. The program worked with preschools/headstart throughout the nation to help the kiddies be ready for kindergarten. Their mission was to  provide early education centers with core values, and corp members to help prepare the children to succeed when they enter elementary school. 

The rest of my team, and the amazing teachers!!
It was the best experience I have had in my life. As a team of 5 members, we came up with session plans that involved reading groups, circle time, center time, and other areas. It was the closest I was to being a teacher. And I loved it. The kids were the sweetest, and each morning we went they already knew what was ahead. 

I'm grateful for the role of teacher I got the chance of playing through Jumpstart, because it was through this experience that I fell in love with teaching even more.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

The Thankful Project {Day 1: A Person}

It's November. Is it just me or has time flown by this year? My favorite months of the whole year are November and December.

November is a month of being thankful, love and family. December is the month of more gratefulness, love, and family.

Most times I'm hard on myself, for not accomplishing things I planned to, or not taking some paths I should have, or this or that. And sometimes I take things for granted. But when Thanksgiving comes around, and I just look around the circle that me and my family make to give thanks before eating, I realize about all the things I should be grateful for.

So this month, I will participating along with Kenzie at Chasing Happy for her Thankful Project, read more here. Each day up until Thanksgiving, we write about something we are thankful for. Visit her page for the prompts.

November 1: A Person
I have a lot of people to be thankful for. Amazing people surround me, and I'm so glad that they are a part of my life. Please believe me when I say, if I didn't have the people that I do, I don't think I would be here. I know I don't tell me enough, or at all, how important they are in my life, but I am really grateful for them, every single one, parents, grandparents, best friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends. 

But the one person I am the most thankful for is my mom. I'm the only girl, so I'm both of a mommy's girl and a daddy's girl. But I think I'm closer to my mom. She did, and does a lot for us. When we were younger, she would go volunteer at our school, even when she was stuck helping the struggling kids, and let me say she has no patience with kids that are not her own. lol. She's told us that she was frustrated when she would go volunteering. 

She helped us with homework to the best of her ability. And she always put us first. She took us to our baseball practices and softball games. She dances to the beat of her own music. But seriously she does, when I was younger I would be embarrassed but now I've learned to appreciate her. :) 

She's my amazing, beautiful, smart, strong SUPER MAMI!! I don't know what I would do without her. or who I would be. or where I would be. She's helped me in the darkest days and nights in college. And I know she will always love me and my brothers and my dad unconditionally. And I will always love her. 

These words do not do justice to how incredibly grateful I am to have a mom like the one that I do. I love you, mom!! 
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