Every reader has those books that will stick with them for their entire life. I have a few, and I mostly consider them the books that grew up with me. They marked some kind of reading milestone and had a deep impact on who I am. Here is my list of books that shaped me.

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss

The Foot Book was the first book that I ever read on my own. I remember that I read it to my grandma at her house when I was really young. I wasn’t a strong reader as a kid and I had to go to extra reading classes to catch up to the other kids. But, when I read this book on my own for the first time, I knew that I was going to be a reader.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Those of you who have been around for a while have probably heard me talk about this book before. This was the first chapter book that I ever read. I found a copy of it at the river where I was camping and I was afraid to take it. So everyday that we camped I walked down to the river and read a little bit. On the last day of our trip I decided that the book was abandoned and I took it home. Yep, I’m a book thief.

Anyway. This story about a young girl and her dog remains a favorite.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Just like the last entry, if you’ve been around a while you’ve heard me sing the praises for this book. I love Tolkien, he’s my favorite author. The reason this particular book is special though is because my dad would read this to me around Christmas time and it really opened my eyes to fantasy.

The Hobbit will forever be the bridge that I crossed to reach my deep love for fantasy.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I LOVE HARRY POTTER! Yes, you all know this. I’m not going to say a whole lot, just that these books were a godsend when I was pre-teen/teen.

No I do not condone JKR’s actions, but I’m trying to love this series still and not promote Rowling. It’s hard when something you love so much comes under fire, but I’m trying not to line her pockets anymore than they already are.

The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Yes, yes, I know. Tolkien twice?! Seriously though, Tolkien is my fave and these books were such a great outlet while I was in college. They really helped me alleviate my stress and offered a beautiful escape.

If I could go back in time and meet one dead author it would be Tolkien.


So these are the books that shaped who I am. They’ve been helpful for me overcoming things like being an outcast or learning to read. My life would be very different if any of these were never written.

What books helped shape you? Let me know in the comments ❤️

So we’re going to do this review a little different due to the manner of this film. If you have not heard of this film by Taika Waititi I will be extremely surprised. This movie has been followed by harsh criticism for its content and the belief that it makes light of the Holocaust. But, I’m going to dive in and tell you why you SHOULD watch Jojo Rabbit.

Jojo is a lonely German boy who discovers that his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his imaginary friend — Adolf Hitler — Jojo must confront his blind nationalism as World War II continues to rage on.

Google Description Result

Jojo is a Hitler youth during WWII and his greatest desire is to be Hitler’s right hand man, and he will stop at nothing to get there, or will he?

The reason that I believe this movie doesn’t deserve the harsh criticism it has received is that this movie is a strong satirical criticism of the way children were manipulated by propaganda during WWII. Taika Waititi plays Adolf himself and while his role is ‘comedic’, it’s far from funny and that’s easy to see.

I was very skeptical the first 10 minutes of this movie because it does feel like it’s making fun of WWII, but that quickly evolves into something bigger and more daunting. Waititi does a very good job of creating a funny and serious movie. You never laugh at the expense of Jewish lives lost, and really it’s a good hard look at the German people.

Waititi pokes fun at what the human mind can be trained to believe when it’s constantly preached to by government officials and when it’s plastered on every wall. This movie is a peek in at people’s ability to suspend disbelief and create a villain out of regular people. When it comes down to it, the Holocaust was just people killing people, but the Germans were brainwashed into believing that the Jewish people were monsters who laid eggs and could control minds. I just want to add that I am in no way dismissing German behavior during WWII, it’s just interesting to see how a race of people can make those leaps and bounds.

This movie also illustrates a huge group of victims who are rarely spoken about. German children, and I mean real children, like 10 and under, not teenagers. Kids are always huge victims when it comes to war, and not only did Germany destroy Jewish children’s lives, but their own children as well. Kids as young as the ones in Jojo Rabbit don’t have the capacity to understand what is going on, and I felt like it was a great point that doesn’t get covered.

Do I think it crosses a line? No, but I would definitely say that it rides that line very closely. Is it worth watching? Absolutely, you will laugh, and you will cry. I loved this movie and I’m not going to give it a star rating because I feel like it will cheapen this review and the situation surrounding this movie.

Have you seen Jojo Rabbit? Does it sound interesting? Let me know in the comments.

My little Harry Potter loving heart about exploded out of my chest when I saw the trailer for the new open world Harry Potter RPG. It’s coming to next-gen consoles in 2021! You can customize your own witch or wizard, and supposedly even decide if you’re pure blood, half blood, or muggle born. You can explore the Hogwarts castle, but you’re not limited to just Hogwarts, there are other locations to adventure too.

There has been a lot of speculation about a Harry Potter game the last couple years, and now that it has been announced I’m so excited. I felt all of the emotions watching the game trailer. I just hope it lives up to expectations!

Here is the trailer for those of you who have yet to see it!

So today is going to be kind of a weird post. I recently started reading I Am Legend and watched a couple “zombie” movies that had me questioning the way we view these monsters. What makes them different? Are they similar in a lot of ways? How come some people use them almost interchangeably?

Let’s start with I Am Legend. You’ve probably seen the movie if you haven’t read the book. Here’s a description of the book,

Robert Neville may well be the last living man on Earth . . . but he is not alone.

An incurable plague has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.

By day, he is a hunter, stalking the infected monstrosities through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn….

Description from Amazon

And here is a description of the movie,

Will Smith stars in a sci-fi thriller from the director of Constantine – I Am Legend. After a biological war, Robert Neville is the last healthy human living on Earth, but he is not alone. The other humans have become vampire-like mutants, and all are hungry for Neville’s blood. By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn…

Description from Amazon

So first of all, when the I Am Legend movie came out, just about everyone thought the monsters were zombies. I haven’t seen the movie in years because it makes me cry, but I distinctly remember thinking they were super strong zombies as well.

They aren’t.

And I find it hilarious that the Amazon description specifically mentions vampires, because it was not advertised like that, and has become kind of a topic of debate.

But, if you read the book there is no questioning it. The monsters are 100% vampires. I guess I bring this whole topic up because it would’ve been so simple to make the distinction in the movie. Give Neville a garlic greenhouse like the book, or put a mirror on the front door like the book. I don’t know why they went for a subtle route in the movie, but here’s my theory.

At this point in history and the past 10-15 years we have been arguably more interested in zombies than vampires. Why? I don’t know, maybe it’s the primal nature of the monsters, or maybe it’s because they’re so much like us. Regardless, I think they left it relatively vague on purpose. Zombies pull in a crowd, and typically vampires do not.

This leads me into my next question, how interchangeable are they? This is when I bring in the two movies. Patient Zero staring Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, and Stanley Tucci.

A supervirus has turned humankind into highly intelligent, streamlined killers, and an asymptomatic victim (Matt Smith) who can communicate with the infected must lead the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

Description from Wikipedia

The cast is why I watched it, it looked terrible 😂. The second movie is called Feral.

A wild animal attacks six grad students on a weekend hike in the woods. One by one, they become infected with an unknown virus that turns them into bloodthirsty creatures.

Description from Wikipedia

First off, both movies are awful, but they made me ask questions. In Patient Zero Matt Smith can communicate with the zombies, much like Neville can in I Am Legend (Book), and they show varied levels of intelligence. Some of them riding the edge of genius level zombies. This is fundamentally not what a zombie is portrayed as, but definitely fits into the vampire description. Even the way these zombies moved reminded me of vampires. This movie rode the line of zombie vs vampires hard, and while they consider them zombies, I’d beg to differ.

The movie Feral was a bit different. The zombies only reanimated during the night time, which can be considered an older zombie trope, but is more in line with vampires. The one thing that really bothered me though was the appearance shift from human to “zombie” in this movie. Because over night their appearance would change. The skin would grey, the hair would fall out, they’d have new teeth, and they’d have different eyes. They honestly looked like a nastier version of the zombies in the I Am Legend movie. It didn’t feel like a zombie transformations, but a vampiric one. On top of that they moved more vampire-like than zombie-like. No shambling, or moaning, or brain eating. They just gave me vampire vibes.

So do we consider these to still be zombies? Even though they don’t look like or behave like zombies? Can you vary that far from the source material and still be shrouded in the zombie genre? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Hey everyone.

I just wanted to drop in and let you all know that I’m safe, my family is safe, and our houses are likely going to be fine. The fires are still active but they are no longer heading in our direction. I’m not entirely sure if this is correct but I saw where someone said that the fires are mostly hot spots that keep reactivating.

It has been really hard to get any factual information on the fires because misinformation was the only thing spreading quicker than the wildfire. Supposedly the fire was human caused. Not to mention the other fires along I-5 in Oregon were supposedly caused by people throwing Molotovs out of their car. The major news stations aren’t really covering the crisis here and it’s unfortunate. So I can’t give you all very much info because I don’t want to be spreading any falsehoods.

This will likely be my last fire update, unless something drastic happens. Thank you for sticking with me and for all the kind words I’ve received.

I intend to resume business as usual on my blog this coming week. I’ve started reading I Am Legend and it’s a wild one. I can’t wait to talk to you all about it.

Hey everyone!

So some positive news. The air is gaining some moisture and our fire district thinks the outcome is going to be positive. As of yesterday evening the fire had slowed a bit and we still haven’t entered any phase of evacuation in my hometown.

My dad is actually the mayor of my hometown so I spent a few hours volunteering with him. We’re taking in evacuees from neighboring towns, so I helped him get that squared away and I’ve been spreading resources on my Facebook page.

The biggest concern is that the wind will blow the fire in our direction. So I’m just hoping those of you reading this can send us some positive vibes, prayers, or whatever it is you do in times of need. We could use it, and we would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you all for being such awesome people, and thank you for the positive words yesterday. It’s been scary but we’re doing our best. Our house is full of family and we’re trying to celebrate life even in this sad time. We consider ourselves lucky that none of us have died in the fires, not everyone is so fortunate. We’re trying to remind ourselves that items can be replaced, but family cannot.

Again, thank you all. I’ll update again soon.

Today is the day that the Hogwarts Express leaves London and embarks on its journey to Hogwarts. Potterheads around the world will be rejoicing, and taking a trip back to the wonderful world of Harry Potter.

I’ll be celebrating by listening to a Harry Potter audiobook and drinking out of my new Harry Potter water bottle.

How will you be celebrating the journey back to Hogwarts? Let me know in the comments!

Hey everyone!

Sorry I’ve been so quiet. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on and I just needed a break. I’ve always tried to stress how important mental health is when I give advice about blogging, and I’ve just been stretching myself too thin. Last week was wild. I got sick, not with COVID, there was family drama, and I just felt so busy. It was hard for my brain to function and I needed to step back for a little while.

I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things this week, but please forgive me if I don’t get all of my regular posts out the next few weeks. I promise I’m not abandoning all of you wonderful people. I just needed some time alone.

Thank you for understanding and sticking by my side.

-Sav

Midnight Sun has been out for a while now and I have questions for those of you who have read it. As someone who read the Twilight series during the hype, and didn’t completely hate it, I’m curious as to whether it is worth the read or not? Does Edward’s version expand on the events that take place? Or is this just another cash grab?

While I don’t entirely hate the Twilight saga, I don’t think it was at all deserving of the ridiculous hype it received. I had a friend who was completely obsessed with this series, shoot I even had a Taylor Lautner poster in my room (only because it was free). But, this was a story that is low on my list of books that I enjoyed, and it definitely doesn’t have the re-readability factor, at least for me. But, if I were to read it, would it be a worthy read?

Let me know in the comments.

If you’ve been here for a long while you will remember my review of Crown of Coral and Pearl. If you haven’t been here that long and want the low down on the first book follow that link! I loved the first novel and I am so proud to announce that I have been approved through NetGalley to read the second in the series! Here is the cover and description:

Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford
Look at that gorgeous cover!!!

The Cruel Prince meets Ash Princess in this thrilling fantasy, the much-anticipated sequel to Crown of Coral and Pearl.

Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister’s place, she’s wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.

As an old enemy resurfaces more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor’s twin sister, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed—and they’ll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them…

(Description from Amazon)

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to continue this series. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks for my review!

Did you read the first book? Are you excited for the second? Let me know in the comments!

Here we are, the third installment in the Percy Jackson series, and the hardest for me to get through. We will discuss this after a brief description.

Titan's Curse, The (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3 ...

When the goddess Artemis goes missing, she is believed to have been kidnapped. And now it’s up to Percy and his friends to find out what happened. Who is powerful enough to kidnap a goddess? They must find Artemis before the winter solstice, when her influence on the Olympian Council could swing an important vote on the war with the titans. Not only that, but first Percy will have to solve the mystery of a rare monster that Artemis was hunting when she disappeared-a monster rumored to be so powerful it could destroy Olympus forever.

(Description from Amazon)

The reason this book is so hard for me to get through is that I severely dislike Artemis’s Hunters. The Hunters are Artemis’s group of eternal maidens that follow her every order, and have sworn off boys in trade for immortality. It’s weird that I don’t like them because I do like Artemis. I just hate that the Hunters are so snotty toward the heroes. I can completely understand why Zoe, Artemis’s right hand hates heroes, but the rest of them don’t seem to have a substantial reason, other than some of them are boys. Their attitudes make it really hard to read the first third of this book because they act like brats. Zoe does redeem herself in my eyes, but I still hate the beginning of this book.

I like that this book has a larger focus on the significance of prophecies. I feel like the prophecies have been important in the past, but not near as important as the prophecy in this book. The stakes are much higher, people will die, and everything hangs in the balance. The tone of the Percy Jackson series takes a darker turn with this book and the prophecy is the perfect illustration of that. Here’s the prophecy if you’re curious.

Five shall go west to the goddess in chains,

One shall be lost in the land without rain,

The bane of Olympus shows the trail,

Campers and Hunters combined prevail,

The Titan’s curse must one withstand,

And one shall perish by a parent’s hand.

Another thing that bothers me and is related to the prophecies is the prophecy that Chiron withholds from Percy. Chiron knows a prophecy that likely refers to Percy and his potential demise. This reminds me of Dumbledore in Harry Potter, and Dumbledore gets a lot of heat for withholding life or death information from Harry, yet Chiron does not. The person who has the info always keeps it from the main character in fear that they will try and change things, but in turn makes things worse by keeping the information secret. I had to point out this parallel because I feel like it’s so similar, but the fandoms treat them so differently.

This book does a lot of great character building for Percy. He is now forced to work with Thalia, the daughter of Zeus, and the potential other person the prophecy could belong to. Not only does Percy have to work with her, but he feels the need to compete with her a little bit, and I’ll add that he’s a bit jealous of how she’s treated. We get to see that while Percy doesn’t want to be the child of the prophecy, he does want to be important. I don’t think this is a bad thing. I think it shows that Percy really does want to be a hero and he has the heart of a hero, Percy wants to be the best at what he does. He just doesn’t realize it. Thalia is a threat to that, but they’re also friends, and that makes their relationship complicated.

In this book, we also get to see some character development for Dionysus. Since we haven’t really talked about him, he’s the Camp Half-Blood director and the god of wine plus many other things. He was sent to camp as a punishment for goofing around with someone he shouldn’t and he’s notorious for hating campers, yet, he goes out of his way to help Percy on his quest. Toward the end of this novel he also votes to kill Percy, but I think it’s only for appearances. I think Dionysus only votes to kill Percy because he knows that he won’t win. I like how this book develops a soft spot for an otherwise irksome god. I found myself appreciating him way more.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I give The Titan’s Curse a 4/5 stars. To me, this book is still very strong, but doesn’t quite stand up to the first too. Definitely worth reading, just not as lovable.

Have you made it to the third Percy Jackson installment? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Hello everyone!

I’ve come to the conclusion that my noon posting schedule just isn’t going to work. I write most of my blog posts the day-of because I could get away with that when I wasn’t working, but now that i’m working it’s just not plausible. So *drumroll* I’m changing my time to 1 PM PDT. Yes, I know, not a big change. But, this will put a little bit less stress on me, and hopefully I can pump out my posts during my lunch.

So, I’ll see you all tomorrow where I will be revisiting The Titan’s Curse, the third book in the Percy Jackson series.

I usually do a monthly book haul and this month I was thinking it would be extra cool if I did my book haul based solely on recommendations from my followers. So drop the best book that you’ve ever read in my comments and I’ll add it to my TBR and book haul list.

Thank you for your participation and also for following me on my blogging journey.

I am so excited to read this book from Romero and Kraus! Many of you know that I love zombies, and something from the zombie king is so exciting to me. This review by The Bibliosanctum has me even more excited and hopeful. Fingers crossed that it’s awesome! -Sav

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own. The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars Genre: Horror Series: Stand Alone Publisher: Tor Books (August 4, 2020) Length: 656 pages Author Information: George A. Romero | […]

Book Review: The Living Dead by George A. Romero & Daniel Kraus — The BiblioSanctum
Advertisements