Reading Wrap-Up: Rick Riordan

I finally picked up Rick Riordan books. It’s only taken me approximately half my life.

So far, I’ve only read The Lightning Thief and The Sword of Summer, and I must say that I definitely prefer The Sword of Summer to The Lightning Thief. However, that does not mean that I won’t eventually get through the rest of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, as well as The Heroes of Olympus and The Kane Chronicles. I did pick up The Hidden Oracle while I was in New York, so I am looking forward to reading that.

The Lightning Thief – 4 stars

So I was a bit spoiled because I had seen the movie well before reading the book. However, I also knew going into the book that the movie was one of the lesser faithful adaptations going around, so I knew that while the traitor was the same, the scenes in which the traitor was revealed were different. I also knew that the ages of the characters were not the same in the book and the movie, as they were much younger in the book. I have to admit that I do enjoy the movie on its own, but comparing it to the book, I can see why people did not enjoy the movie. Again, like with The Chronicles of Narnia, I am fairly late into the Percy Jackson game, but overall, I found the book to be fast paced with likeable characters who you can’t help but root for. I loved the rivalry between Annabeth and Percy and how it echoed the rivalry between their parents. I also appreciated that so far there is no romance between the two of them, given the fact that they are 12 years old. I loved all of the references to the Greek myths and I feel like Riordan really captured the gods well, though I had a hard time taking Hades seriously in the book because I could not get the mental image of Steve Coogan out of my head. I have a feeling that if I had read this when I was younger, I would have given it a 5 star rating, but since I am a bit older, it just didn’t hit the 5 star mark for me.

The Lightning Thief

The Sword of Summer – 4.5 stars

I love the sarcastic little shit that is Magnus Chase. I love the diversity of the characters such as Sam, the ex-Valkyrie who is the daughter of Loki and also a Muslim (and wears her hijab with pride); Blitzen, the dwarf son of Freya; and Hearthstone, the deaf elf. I love the pop culture references that occur throughout the book (even if they are going to date the book in the future). I love the references back to Percy Jackson (and Annabeth!). I love that there is no romance in this book other than the references to Sam’s arranged marriage that she’s okay with.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve only read The Lightning Thief, but I really enjoyed The Sword of Summer and didn’t find too many similarities. To me, Percy and Magnus are completely different. But then again, Magnus is 16 and in The Lightning Thief, Percy’s only like 12, so I would hope that they are different. Also the fact that, you know, they are two unique and separate characters.

I mainly took off a half a star because the ending felt a little boring and was not nearly as funny as the rest of the book. However, that did not warrant a full star to come off for me.

I really look forward to reading the rest of the series and checking in with a misfit band of awesome heroes.

The Sword of Summer


Reading Wrap-Up: Real Life Books

These two books have literally nothing to do with each other despite being based on real-life events.

The first is Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer. It took me a week to be able to review it on Goodreads because of the tough topic that it covered and I ended up giving it 4 stars. We live in a world where rape culture is unfortunately a normal thing, so I appreciate that Krakauer took the time to thoroughly research this book to try to bring some light to the horrors that rape victims go through. It is not an easy read by any means, but at the same time, I did not want to put it down. I was horrified to read about what these women experienced, from their accounts of the actual rape to how they were let down by the system that is meant to bring them justice. There were several times that I wanted to throw my book across the room because I was so outraged at how certain individuals handled the women’s cases (especially a particular ADA turned defense attorney turned DA). I appreciated that Krakauer was sensitive in the way that he reported what happened in that he covered the facts, but did not sexualize anything that occurred. It was clear that he felt a personal connection with these women, as there was a blatant bias toward them. It did not bother me so much, though, because they deserve to have someone in their corner.

I mainly took off from my rating because the pacing felt disjointed. I wish he would have seen one woman’s story through before moving on the the next. I realize that the timelines of all of these stories were happening concurrently for the most part, especially with different mandates being put in place, but I found it hard to keep up with whose story was being told sometimes.

There is really nothing more for me to say other than it is terrifying to know that Missoula is not a lone wolf with regards to the number of sexual assaults that occurred there.


The second is Grace & Style by Grace Helbig. Like I said, two completely different books, but I couldn’t think of anywhere else to group either. I was thoroughly disappointed with this book and only gave it 3 stars.

I enjoyed the stories of young Grace and her experiences with fashion, but that was just about it. The Sweatpants Diaries were weird, and though I could see what she was trying to accomplish with them, I just could not get behind them. Her predictions of what each piece of clothing/accessory mean was almost funny, but again, I have a hard time getting behind them. I honestly don’t think I laughed once when I was reading this book.

I love Grace, but I don’t think her humor translated well to the page for this particular book. And that really pains me to say. I will continue to buy books that she writes because I really enjoyed her first book and want her to be successful.

Grace and Style

Nursing School · Reviews

Reading Wrap-Up: Nursing Books

There were points in the semester where I needed some encouragement, so I picked up two books that I thought would cheer me up and make me feel not so alone. And for the most part, those two books did just that, though one was a little bit more successful than the other.

The first book I picked up was Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Care for Your Patients and Yourself by Kati Kleber, BSN RN. I’m really glad that I read this book as it pertains to so much of my life as a nursing student. A lot of what Kati covers in the book is what I have to look forward to in my future. There were parts that I didn’t exactly agree with (such as when to get all of your charting done – from what I have seen during my clinicals, it is not always possible to get your charting done right then and there), but overall, I thought she gave some really great life-work balance advice. There were also parts where she came off a little over-confident in herself. I don’t really know how to explain it, but there were parts where I almost disliked her, to be honest. Also, there were quite a few typos (which will be really embarrassing if there are any in this review) that really distracted me at times. Overall, though, I thought it was a solid book giving just a glimpse into the wonderful, crazy, amazing world of nursing and I gave it 4 stars.

Becoming Nursey

The second book I picked up was First Year Nurse: Wisdom, Warnings, and What I Wish I’d Known My First 100 Days On The Job edited by Barbara Arnoldussen, RN, MBA. Despite the fact that this was more geared towards already/almost practicing nurses, I felt like it soothed my nerves a little bit better than Becoming Nursey. I picked it up at the tail end of the semester when I was at probably my lowest point of doubting everything I’ve learned so far and my competence as a nurse, so reading these quotes helped me remember that I am capable of being a fantastic nurse and that I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed. It also helped me remember why I wanted to go into this profession to begin with. I look forward to reading this in the future because I know I will need the encouragement of these nurses again. I ended up giving it 4.5 stars.

First Year Nurse


Reading-Wrap Up: Chronicles of Narnia

I read the Chronicles of Narnia for the first time this year at the age of 23. It’s not that my parents ever kept them from me, I just never had any desire to read them when I was younger, even after the movies came out.  I’ll be reviewing them in chronological order rather than publication order, as that is the order that I read them in.

The Magician’s Nephew: 3.5 stars

Part of me is glad that I waited because I caught all of the Biblical references throughout the book, especially once we got into Narnia and the garden. Part of me wishes I had read it in my childhood because I feel like I would have been able to relate to the characters of Digory and Polly more. I did enjoy the two main characters, but I felt disconnected from their experiences. I also wanted to punch Uncle Andrew in the face the majority of the time that he was there because he was just too creepy and, if you pardon my language, a genuine asshole to those poor kids. And I couldn’t help but picture Tilda Swinton as the Witch, but that was perfectly fine with me because Tilda Swinton can do no wrong.

The Magician's Nephew

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: 4 stars

I was rather impressed with how faithful the movie adaptation was, but that also made my reading a little bit boring. I also felt like the ending of the book was rather abrupt. I realize that the book is meant for young children, but I would have rather liked having the battle shown a bit more instead of just reading that it happened. I absolutely cannot stand Edmund as a character, but I cannot help but love Lucy and enjoy Peter and Susan. They are all young characters, but the amount that they grow up (even Edmund) is astounding in such a short amount of time. If the ending of the book had been expanded on just a little bit and showed instead of told, I would have easily rated this 5 stars.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Horse and His Boy: 2.5 stars

I did enjoy this book, but I also felt like it was just kind of thrown in there given the reading order that I am using. I have a bind-up of all seven novels, and this one came after The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and before Prince Caspian. I would have liked to see Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund ruling a little bit more before having them thrown in as established rulers. Plus, it would have been nice to see their relationship with King Lune.

My biggest complaint, however, is just how racist the book is. Lewis’ descriptions of the people of Calormen is just ridiculous. He portrays them as being basically barbarians who walk around with turbans and think that they are owed whatever they desire. It is clear that his influence for them were people in the Middle East, which makes it even more upsetting. It is especially apparent when you consider that the people of Narnia are described as being fair-haired and fair-skinned and beautiful.

I loved the character of Shasta and his relationship with Bree, Aravis, and Hwin.

It was definitely my least favorite of the series so far, and it would have been interesting to see if I had read it in a different place within the series. However, I think the racism still would have made me mark the book low.

The Horse and His Boy

Prince Caspian: 3 stars

For a book named Prince Caspian, there is very little of the character in it. Heck, he didn’t even fight for his throne, Peter did. I don’t mind that Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and Susan are seemingly the main characters per se, but they got on my nerves a lot in this book, especially Susan. It felt like a recycled plot point that Lucy sees things that the others don’t and they don’t listen to her. Also, the book just felt kind of boring. I wanted a little bit more to happen with regards to action. I personally didn’t understand the introduction of Bacchus, and was quite lost during those parts, but that could just be me.

As with the previous books, I wish Lewis would have spent more time showing the children ruling rather than just telling about how they were these great Kings and Queens. At least the fight between Peter and Miraz was given a little bit more detail in this one.

Overall, this book was just okay and I think I may actually prefer the movie in this rare instance.

Prince Caspian

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: 3.5 stars

I missed Peter and Susan for sure and really really don’t like Eustace. I found the story rather boring and just did not enjoy it as much as some of the other Narnia books. It was fun to see Caspian again and in the role of King. However, that made me wish, again, that we saw Peter, Lucy, Susan, and Edmund rule as they were supposedly great rulers (I have a feeling I’m going to mention this in every of my reviews – I just really want to see it!). I love Reepicheep and even the scene where Eustace was a dragon was fun. However, he’s just a little shit and I really can’t stand him, which means I am not really looking forward to reading The Silver Chair. And the ending just really rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. I knew that there were Christian metaphors, but it was really shoved down the readers’ throats that Aslan is Christ and that you need to love him. I don’t know, it just wasn’t my favorite thing.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Silver Chair: 3 stars

This is a perfectly okay book. I personally did not like or dislike Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum, nor did I care much about their adventures. However, it was interesting to see the Witch come back into play. I definitely missed Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Susan.

The Silver Chair

The Final Battle: 2 stars

This book started off promising – I even enjoyed Jill and Eustace and their adventures with King Tirian. However, how the book ended was not my favorite. I obviously knew that the series was ending, and I had a feeling that Narnia was ending, but I did not expect for Lucy, Peter, and Edmund to die and go to Heaven. I also thought that it was unnecessary to have Susan be ridiculed for no longer believing – in her defense, it would most likely seem like a dream or a game that they used to play. I just felt like the ‘you must believe or else you will never go to Heaven’ bit came off a little too strongly for me. Also, was it punishment for her that her family was killed and she was not? Was that some sick and twisted way to try to get her to believe again? I don’t know and I frankly don’t like that I don’t know. Lewis’ racism was again prevalent and it was also clear that he was very anti-anything but Christianity with the whole ‘invasion of Narnia by ‘darkie’ outsiders’ thing. The more I think about this book, the more I find myself truly disliking how it handled the concepts of race and religion.

The Last Battle

Overall series rating: 3.07 stars

My general feeling during the entire read of the series was that I kind of wish I had read them when I was younger because reading them now as an adult with the ability to pick up on certain themes really hindered my enjoyment of them (especially the racism). I also constantly found myself frustrated that we were told about events and not shown them (especially the children ruling!). If I have children who want to read these books, I will most definitely let them, but I have a feeling that I’m going to want to talk to them about the books afterwards about what they thought about the books.


#TomeTopple TBR

Sam from Thoughts On Tomes ( is hosting a readathon from June 5th to June 19th called TomeTopple, and I am so excited. The aim of this readathon is to get through as many pages as possible while focusing on reading larger tomes (books over 500 pages). She has five ‘challenges’ that go along with the readathon, but, of course, you don’t have to complete all of them. The challenges are as follow:

1. Read more than one tome (500+ pages)

2. Take a graphic novel break (doesn’t need to be over 500 pages!)

3. Read a tome that is part of a series

4. Read over 500 pages in one week

5. Read an adult novel

My TBR is as follows:


I know that the graphic novel doesn’t have to be over 500 pages, but I’ve been meaning to read From Hell for over a year now, but it’s always intimidated me, so I thought it was the perfect fit. A Storm of Swords is killing two challenges with one book since it is part of a series and it is an adult novel. I’m hopeful that I will be able to get through all of these over the course of the 2 weeks of the readathon since Impulse is a book of poetry, Illuminae is written in a non-typical format, From Hell is a graphic novel, and I have the audiobook of A Storm of Swords to help me get through it a little more quickly than if I was reading it on my own.

If you are planning on participating in #TomeTopple, leave me a comment and let me know what you are planning on reading!

Nursing School · Update

Reading Wrap-Ups and An Update on Nursing School

Since it’s been forever and a day since my last review, I decided to do things a little differently to cover the 27 books that I’ve read and not yet posted a review on here. I grouped them based on the types of book they are (save for Pride and Prejudice and The Little Prince, which will both be getting their own reviews) and will be writing general statements on each in the following couple of days. I’m actually drafting them out in advance so that all I have to do is publish them. Also, be on the lookout for a monthly recommendation post on June 1st – this month we’re going around the world!

So I finished my semester on May 4th and yes, I technically should have posted on here once I was done stressing/freaking out, but honestly, I needed a break from everything. I traveled up to New Jersey/New York for two weeks to visit my sister and my grandparents (and celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday, my grandfather’s 86th birthday, and their 60th anniversary – it was a very festive time of year!). I’ve mainly been coloring and catching up on TV shows that I fell behind on during the semester, as well as reading, of course.

I ended my semester on a really high note and made excellent grades, even making it to the Dean’s List. Luckily, my finals went from the hardest being first to the easiest being last, making it possible to not study for my psych final until the day before (if you can, try to never do that!!!). I have officially completed my first year of nursing school now, and only have two more semesters to go before I am eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam and earn my license. And while I plan on enjoying my summer, I also have it mapped out where I will be reading my ATI texts for my Adult I and II and pediatrics classes throughout the summer so that I have some semblance of an idea of what I am in for before my 3rd semester starts. I am also *hopefully* going to have a job as a patient care associate at one of the local hospitals so that I can continue to gain experience and hone my skills over the summer. I’m just waiting to hear back from a couple of jobs that I applied to.


Ooooo, look, a selfie after a clinical day! I really do love being a student nurse! I honestly believe the going to nursing school is one of (if not the) best decisions of my life.

I went on a crazy buy spree of books during my vacation, so I can basically kiss my goal of reading half of the books I own by the end of the year goodbye. Oh well, it was worth it. I am finally almost caught up with my OwlCrate books (I’m reading the April one now and still have the May one, but I just got that one, so I still have time), and I’m actually ahead on my GoodReads challenge (I probably just jinxed myself, but whatever). I’ve been keeping up with the TBR jar and have also used the PopSugar Challenge as well as Read Around the Year in 52 Books. I’m probably cheating by having books crossover between all three, but YOLO, I do what I want.

So anywho, that’s just a quick check-in on what’s going on and what to look forward to. I hope everyone is doing well and if you are lucky to have a summer vacation, that it is going well!