Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things [2015]

Hey, y'all! So it's been quite a while since I've been able to post, mostly because I've been insanely swamped this semester with tons and tons of work. I've already been on break for almost two weeks now, but I've spent pretty much the entire time just doing work for my research assistant position and finishing up my graduate school applications. But, FINALLY, I have finished most of the work that I have to do and can finally do some of the fun things that I've really missed over the past few months.

And, once again, it's the end of this year and the beginning of the new year and that means it's once again time for my "favorite things" lists. And this year, I'm going to be doing things a little differently. In the past, I've had a single post listing my all time favorite movies, tv shows, bands, etc. and a single post listing my favorite albums and songs of the year. This year, I'm going to be doing a 10 day posting marathon- one post per day, with one list apiece. These lists, unlike in the past, are not necessarily top 10 lists. They will vary in length depending on how much I'm able to narrow down that particular list.

The posting marathon will begin on January 1st, and the posting schedule with go as follows:

[Posts will be linked below once they go live]
January 1: Favorite Movies
January 2: Favorite TV Shows
January 3: Favorite Bands
January 4: Favorite Albums
January 5: Favorite Songs
January 6: Favorite YouTubers (non-booktube)
January 7: Favorite Booktubers
January 8: Favorite Albums of 2015
January 9: Favorite Songs of 2015
January 10: Ranking All of the Books I Read in 2015

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Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

If/Then Book Recs [Top 10 (4) Tuesday]

Hey, y'all! So once again, I'll be participating in Top 10 Tuesday, hosted on The Broke and the Bookish. I'm doing this very last second again, but oh well. This week's topic is to recommend underrated books for people who have read & loved super-popular books. I was only able to come up with 4 comparisons, but oh well!

1. If you love...
 (Harry Potter, jic you were confused...)

check out...

The Pendragon Series
by DJ MacHale

This is one of my all-time favorite series. I've loved it since jr. high, and it's almost as special to me as Harry Potter. There are just so many similarities between these books. They're both long series revolving around a young boy who is thrust into a world (or worlds, in Bobby Pendragon's case) that he had no idea existed. This series is just wonderful, and if you're interested, you can check out some more about the series here.

2. If you love...

check out...

The Rithmatist
by Brandon Sanderson

It's an interesting fantasy novel set at a magic school! I really like the way that this book messes with what's expected, and the magic system is super cool and unique. One of the best middle grade books I've read, TBH.

3. If you love...

check out...

The Body Electric
by Beth Revis

I read The Body Electric first, and I definitely saw a lot of similarities as far as the world and technology. Plus, they're both sci-fi dystopians set abroad (Body Electric is set in a dystopian Italy), so there's that. Honestly, just check out all of Beth Revis's stuff because it's super cool and I love her.

4. If you love...

check out...

Night Film
by Marisha Pessl

Night Film has been getting quite a bit of buzz lately, so it's not quite so underrated anymore, but I decided to add it on here. Full disclosure, I really enjoyed Night Film, but didn't really like Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. However, they have very similar vibes/moods and are extremely mysterious, so I feel that if you did like Mr. Penumbra's, you'd enjoy Night Film too.  

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Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Top 10 Books on my Fall TBR!

Hey, y'all! So once again, I'll be participating in Top 10 Tuesday, hosted on The Broke and the Bookish. I'm doing this very last second (SENIOR YEAR IS SO CRAZY! I'M TAKING THE GRE IN 2 DAYS) so there might be very little as far as explanations. These are just the books that I reallyreallyreally want to read ASAP.

1. The Queen of the Tearling
by Erika Johansen

This is my current read, so of course I'm excited!

2. The Saga Comic Series
by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I read volume 1 a week ago and just bought volumes 2 & 3, so I can't wait to dive into those.

3. Throne of Glass
by Sarah J Maas

Honestly, I want to read the whole series that's published so far, but IDK how feasible that is.

4. Wytches Vol. 1
by Scott Snyder

I got this a couple weeks ago, and it's definitely on my creepy reads list for October. The art looks beautiful, so I CANNOT WAIT.

5. The Chaos Walking Trilogy
by Patrick Ness

I read The Knife of Never Letting Go this month and really enjoyed it, so since this is a completed series, I don't want to leave it unfinished for too long. 

6. More Than This
by Patrick Ness

This one has just really been intriguing me lately, so I plan to pick it up really soon. 

7. Lair of Dreams
by Libba Bray

I loved book 1 when I read it for my creepy reads last year, so I think I'm going to continue the trend this year. 

8. Winter
by Marissa Meyer

It's the epic conclusion to a series that I've fallen in love with this year- I have to read it!

9. Through The Woods
by Emily Carroll

The art looks beautiful and I've heard wonderful things and that it's super creepy. SIGN ME UP!

10. The Chimes
by Anna Smaill

A sci-fi dystopian set in a London where music is incredibly important/ possibly the means of communication? YES PLEASE.

So, that's it for my post on my top 10 books on my fall TBR. There are so many more that I wanted to mention, and that makes me even sadder because I know I can't get to all of the ones that I really really want to get to. But I will continue on!

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Updated Project Runway Predictions/ Top 10 Designer Rankings!

Hey, y'all! So, at the beginning of this season of Project Runway, I did a post where I discussed each designer and my prediction as to how well they'll do this season. I based my opinions solely off of their showing on Road to the Runway, so I had not gotten the chance to experience how they're being edited, how they work under pressure, how they handle the time constraints, etc. So, now that we've gotten into the top 10 and I've somewhat embarrassed myself (mostly just because of personal bias), I've decided to do updated predictions. And I'll still talk a bit about already-eliminated designers just so that I can discuss my opinions on their eliminations.

This time around, I'm not going to do both a "who I want" and a "legit prediction." I'm just going to stick to my legitimate predictions as to who will do well, and try to not be TOO biased. Plus, my personal winner pick is the same as my prediction, so there's that. Once again, I'll be predicting both the top 4 & the winner. I've also decided (just for funsies) to make an elimination chart prediction. So basically I'll be listing what I think will be the elimination order from this point forward.

Just as a reference point:
Early cut= first 3-4 eliminations
Long-term= top 6 designers
Middle of the pack= everything in-between

Amanda Perna
5th Elimination
Initial prediction: Middle of the pack

Technically, I was right because 5th cut does fall under "middle of the pack," but I expected her to do better. I thought she would make it a lot further, based on her edit and on the fact that she was a returning designer. I expected 7th-8th place, but given how much she's struggled so far, it's not that surprising.

Ashley Nell Tipton
Still in!
Initial prediction: Middle of the pack

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't give Ashley the credit that she deserves. I liked her, but was very worried for her pre-season, because I thought that her clothing looked reminiscent of other stuff, was worried about her being able to design for "model" size, and thought she would be an early-middle boot. Yikes. Yikes. Yikes. So very wrong. So far, she's been outstanding, and I expect to see her for a while longer.

Blake Patterson
6th Elimination
Initial prediction: Middle of the pack

I stand by my initial prediction. I'm actually surprised he stayed in this long. The only thing I actually liked of his was the dress he made for the team challenge. Seriously, we got pretty much exactly what I expected from him.

Candice Cuoco
Still in!
Initial prediction: Long-term

I'm not sure how I feel about Candice. I feel like she's made some really great things, but I think the team challenge really tainted my view of her. I'm hoping that she rebounds from that episode and becomes a little more likeable.

David Giampiccolo
2nd Elimination
Initial prediction: Out early

Well, at least I was right even he didn't get eliminated for the reasons I expected. I seriously thought that the judges wouldn't get him, but he barely even got to show them his aesthetic because he didn't do what he was supposed to on the unconventional challenge. It made me sad, because I thought that he seemed super sweet, but I'm not surprised.

Duncan Chambers-Watson
1st Elimination
Initial prediction: Long-term

This is the one that hurt the most, to be honest. I picked him as the person I really wanted to win, so I was thoroughly embarrassed when he was eliminated first. However, like I said in my original post, I didn't peg him as one of the four that I really expected to make it to the end, even though I really wanted him to. However, I stand by the fact that before the season, he seemed to have a lot of promise. I really wish we could've seen a bit more from him. 

Edmond Newton
Still in!
Initial prediction: Middle of the pack.

I said in my last post that I didn't know what to do with Edmond... and I still don't. Part of me really wants to say that he's going to make it long-term, but I'm not totally sure. He's made a few things that have really impressed me, and some things that I didn't think were so great. (Mostly just that Hanmiao look and his first dress which I thought was really boring.) Overall, I like the designs that he's shown on the show a lot more than the ones I saw pre-season, so I'm really hoping that he continues to do well because I like him as a person.

Gabrielle Arruda
4th Elimination
Initial prediction: Middle of the pack.

Well, I was pretty much right with this one. I said I thought she could last a few weeks, and I was right. She ended up right on the bubble of early out & middle of the pack, and I expected that. She just didn't make much of an impression at all. My roommate (who watches the show just as regularly as I do) had barely even figured out which one Gabrielle was by the time she was eliminated. 

Hanmiao Yang
3rd Elimination
Initial prediction: Long-term

OK, let me explain myself. I was skeptical about her making it to the end, which is why I put her in the list of people I wanted in the finale, but not in the list of people I expected to see in the finale. I was really worried that she would not be edited as the second coming of Ping, and that's what happened. I was really hopeful because she seemed to have a more modern & approachable aesthetic than Ping, but alas, she was eliminated in essentially the exact same way that Ping was. It was really disappointing. I knew by the first episode that she wouldn't make it anywhere near as far as I had hoped she would.

Jake Wall
Still in!
Initial prediction: Early cut. 

This most recent episode is finally showing us exactly what I've been expecting from Jake. I've been pretty down on him since the pre-season and I'm honestly very surprised that he's still there. I only vaguely remembered a couple of his designs, so I went back and looked at them, and so far they've all been painfully boring. I don't think he has a clear point of view, and I really don't think he has any chance of winning.

Joseph Charles Poli
Still in!
Initial prediction: Long-term. 

Joseph is an interesting one. We got a lot of him in the team challenge, but really haven't seen him much either before or after that. I think that I was a little too impressed with him pre-season. I thought his designs were clean, simple, and really well executed. However, all I ever hear about his designs is matronly, so it's really not looking good for him right about now. I definitely think he's going to make it for a while longer, but definitely not as far as I originally predicted.

Kelly Dempsey
Still in!
Initial prediction: Early cut. 

I was a little mean to Kelly in the pre-season. I predicted that she would be the first elimination, but clearly I was very wrong. I still don't have high hopes for her, because she really hasn't made anything outstanding, She's really flying under the radar right now, but I think that once some more of the weak designers get eliminated, Kelly is going to come more to the forefront and get eliminated shortly thereafter. And I still really don't like her aesthetic.

Laurie Underwood
Still in!
Initial prediction: Early cut. 

Every season, there's that one person (sometimes a few people) that I just completely forget exists. Laurie is that person this season. And is it really that surprising? The most interesting thing she's made so far was on the team challenge when she was paired up with Swapnil (AKA Kristen's winner pick since the pre-season) and he seemed to do the work that the judges really liked. She isn't getting much camera time or much time with the judges. For some contestants, that's just temporary and they eventually break out of that rut, but I think she's going to be one of the designers whose aesthetic just isn't going to get them very far.

Lindsey Creel
Still in!
Initial prediction: Long term.

I don't know what to do about Lindsey. I don't think she's quite living up to my pre-season expectations. So far, she's been decent, but not outstanding. She's one of the one's who's floating the most, but unlike Laurie, I think that she has a strong enough aesthetic that she can thrive once some of the weaker designers get cut. That being said, I'm definitely not as optimistic about her as I was before the season. 

Merline Labissiere
Still in!
Initial prediction: Middle of the pack.

I really just don't know about Merline. She's done pretty well, but I'm not exactly sure what her aesthetic is. I think that she's definitely going to make it quite a bit further, but I don't think she's going to make the finale cut. 

Swapnil Shinde
Still in!
Initial prediction: Long term.

Did I make a good winner pick, or what?! Sure, he hasn't won a challenge yet, but he's been in the top for every single challenge except for the first one. He's just been performing incredibly well and incredibly consistently. I'm just really impressed with his performance so far, and he's definitely the one who I believe most deserves to win.


Ranking Predictions: 
10) Jake Wall
9) Laurie Underwood
8) Kelly Dempsey
7) Joseph Charles Poli
6) Lindsey Creel
5) Merline Labissiere 

Predictions for the Finale!





I'm not going to do an official ranking of the finale designers until I'm able to see the collections they're presenting at NYFW, but if I had to choose right now, I'm putting Ashley in 2nd, Edmond in 3rd, and Candice in 4th.

My Official Winner Prediction!



So, that's it for my Project Runway Season 14 updated predictions! I can't wait to see how the designers' NYFW collections turn out! Fingers crossed, you might be seeing a post about that sometime next week.

Check out my links below!

Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ten Finished Series I Have YET to Finish!

Hey, y'all! So once again, I'll be participating in Top 10 Tuesday, hosted on The Broke and the Bookish. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to participate last week because I was crazy-busy, but there's a freebie week coming up, so I might just use that topic for the freebie week, because it was "Characters I Didn't Click With," and I definitely have a lot of those!

This week's topic is about finished series that I have yet to finish (obvi, given the title). However, given the fact that I tend to marathon completed series, there aren't a ton that I've started and haven't finished. I'm going to list those, of course, but the rest of the list is going to be made up of ongoing series that I'm not caught up on (AKA I've started/completed one book, but have not read all the books that are out), because there are a good number of those.

1. The Poirot Series
by Agatha Christie

This series is 39 books long, so it makes sense that I haven't finished it yet, especially given that each book is its own individual story instead of having an overarching plot that makes you want to keep going until you finish the whole thing.

2. The Percy Jackson Series
by Rick Riordan

This is possibly the series that's been on this list for the longest. I started the series in junior high when only the first 3 books were out, and I just never kept up with the new releases. So now that it's been like 8 years since I've read the first 3, I probably just need to go back and re-read them and finish it. 

3. The Chaos Walking Trilogy
by Patrick Ness

This one is kinda a cop out, since I'm in the middle of marathoning the trilogy right now, but there just really aren't many completed series that I've started & not finished. 

4. The Chronicles of Prydain
by Lloyd Alexander

This is actually one where I read half of book 1 and then set it down because it wasn't really holding my attention. Since I do plan to read it eventually, I'm adding it to this list.

5. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy
by Laini Taylor

Once again, like with the Chronicles of Prydain, I started the first book and haven't even finished that one yet. But I do think that I'll end up reading this series before I finish the Chronicles of Prydain.

6. The Bone Season Series
by Samantha Shannon

Now, we're starting to get into the ongoing series that I have yet to finish. And this one is just embarrassing, because I read book one back in November and LOVED it, and was eagerly anticipating The Mime Order. And then I got it and still haven't read it over SEVEN MONTHS LATER.

7. The Kingkiller Chronicle
by Patrick Rothfuss

I read The Name of the Wind in January of this year, and I really loved it. However, because of my TBR jar challenge, I ended up not being able to go right into The Wise Man's Fear and I still haven't read it. I think at this point, I'm going to just wait until book 3 comes out and then marathon the trilogy so that everything is fresh in my mind. I'd probably have to read them anyway, so I might as well wait.

8. The Diviners Series
by Libba Bray

I was actually completely caught up on this series until a little over a week ago, when the second book was released. I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, but I'm hopefully going to be getting to it this month!

9. Miss Peregrine's Series
by Ransom Riggs

OK, so this one is kinda cheating, because I'm currently caught up on the series. However, the third book, Library of Souls, is going to be released in a few weeks and I have no intention of reading it right when it's released. I like the series, but it's definitely not one that I feel extremely attached to. I'm probably going to wait until the Miss Peregrine's movie is released and then re-read the first two and marathon through the third (which is the last one, right? Is it officially a trilogy?).

10. Mistborn
by Brandon Sanderson

OK, so literally everything on this list is a cop out. Oops. Anyway, I have completed (and LOVED) the Mistborn trilogy. But, I have yet to read the spinoff/companion series that also falls under the Mistborn name & takes place a few hundred years after Mistborn. The first book is the only one out right now, but book 2 is coming out in November.

So, that's it for my post on my top 10 series I haven't finished! Sorry that so many of them were cop-outs- I just really don't like leaving series unfinished!

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Thanks for reading! If you like my posts, I'd really appreciate if you'd subscribe/follow so that I know you're enjoying what I'm posting! See y'all soon!