Sunday, February 18, 2018

2018 Update

Hello Everyone,

It's been a while.  August...Wow!  My 7 year blog anniversary passed in December, I failed at that.  To be honest, I don't even know what to say at this point.  I've been in a reading rut for quite some time, and trying to find something that peaks my interest, but nothing has.  It's bad.  I know my passion for reading is still there...somewhere.  I mean you don't go from reading over 100 books in a year, to nothing!  I know it will come back.

Things have been difficult, if I'm being honest.  The stress level in my life has been at a 100 for so long now, and the sad part work isn't even what is causing it!

So to give you a couple of updates about what has happened since my last post...

1. As of August I am working two jobs.  One is as an assistant teacher in a toddler classroom at a preschool.  And for my second job, I got a promotion over the summer and became the supervisor of the after school program I worked last school year.  I love both of my jobs!  Working with the children, doing office work as the supervisor, and talking to parents is actually very rewarding for me.  And while I don't have one full time job with benefits, I am working 35 plus hours a week, between both the jobs, and am honestly pretty happy right now.

2.  September 22nd, was one year since my dad passed away.  My mom had been invited by a friend to see the band U2 in concert in San Diego, so we all pushed her to go, to help keep her mind off of things.  My husband, brother, a very close family friend, and I went to a place called Firefly Ceramics, where we got to pick out a ceramic and paint it ourselves.  The store then fires it in a kiln and you get to pick it up a week later. It is a lot of fun, and was the fourth time we had gone since my birthday in July.

3.  October 4th was my husband and I's one year wedding anniversary.  We like to celebrate the date we actually got together which is June 6th, because for one, it was just too close to my dad's passing, and two we have too many anniversaries at this point!

4. December 4th, the biggest fire in California history started.  I happen to live in the small little town it started. Ojai.  Holy moly was that an insane thing to witness!  Those first couple of days, we still stayed behind, and it felt like FallOut.  Everything was just gloomy orange glow, and everyone left were just going through motions.  My husband and I evacuated with our dog, Roxy, for five nights to San Louis Obispo.  Those were the most nerve-wracking five days ever!  We were in the red for over two weeks!  That fire did so much damage.  In the end, the little town I have lived for almost twenty years now proved that it can put up a damn good fight!

That empty little space in the center, not covered in red...yeah that's where I live. Crazy right?!  Unfortunately, hundreds of home were still damaged and destroyed; for the people affected, our town came together and did everything in their power to make sure people were taken care of as much as possible, given the circumstances.

So yeah, that took up quite a bit of our time in December.  While in SLO I was able to finally use my Netflix account (we don't have internet where we live), and start watching Thirteen Reasons Why!  I'll write a post about it, when I finish it eventually! What I was able to see, was really good!

5.  The holidays blurred by.  We tried to make the best out of them.  Things have been a bit rough with taking care of family matters, so that sort of put a damper on that.  But we really tried to make the best out of it.

6.  And then now 2018 is upon us.  Well, it has already been for over a month.  Valentines already passed, and before we know it will be summer again.  Ugh, I'm turing 27 this year!!  That's still considered mid-twenties right??  It will also be NINE years since I graduated high school!  Jeez!  I started this blog a year after graduating!

2018 has been something so far.  It started off with some health problems on my side.  Dealing with those day-by-day.  We don't know a whole lot yet, it may be fixed over time, with the proper steps.  For the past month, I have been spending more time on myself, with the goal to becoming more healthy, and finally taking that step forward, instead of backwards in my weight goals.  My husband is super encouraging, he's been there every step of the way.  Every doctor appointment, and taking walks with me.  He got us a stationary bike, so the mornings I have off, I spend 20 to 30 minutes on that, and stands by encouraging me to move more.  I think I can really do it this time!  Five pounds down already!

So, anyway, for The Romance Bookie things have been insanely slow.  I want all of you reading this to know, I appreciate that you took the time out of your day to do so!  I have a couple of posts coming up hopefully!  At least one tomorrow!  I just saw Fifty Shades Freed in theaters yesterday, so I'll be writing my review for that after this.  And then my husband just finished an audiobook about a week ago, and I asked him to do a guest review, so I'm hoping I can motivate him to do that!  He totally said he would!! :)

Anyway, hope to be back soon with an actual book review.  I do miss it!

Love you all!

The Romance Bookie :)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Everything, Everything Movie Review

Hey Everyone!

Back in May I finished the book Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.  It was the first book to get me out of my reading rut, at least for a little while, this year.  It was hard to put down, it had a great story line, characters, and was very well written to me.  So it's been a crazy few months (when isn't right?!), and I was never able to catch the movie in theaters.  I tried, I really did, but it just never seemed to work out.  But anyway, on Tuesday the movie version of Everything, Everything hit Redbox, so I reserved my copy, and picked it up after work!

My review of Everything, Everything, the movie:

Image is from

I really liked the cast.  Now to be fair, I already had seen the cast, before reading the book, so I was imagining them as the characters already as I read.  Amandla Stenberg, who you may remember as Rue in the first Hunger Games movie, played a really good Madeline.  She was very convincing.  Olly was played by Nick Robinson, who I know from the TV show Melissa and Joey.  His character was good, but I expected there to be more on his background.  The book talked about his family life a little more than the movie, but the movie did cover the basics for sure!  Madeline's mom, played by Anika Noni Rose (who did the voice of Tiana in Disney's Princess and the Frog) was good, but I expected more anger out in the end from Madeline (I don't want to spoil the ending, so read the book, or watch the movie!).  

I did notice something that bothered me...I know this is going to maybe sound a little petty...but Madeline has this rare disease that does not allow her to go outside, due to exposure to germs.  So because she has such a low immune system, one that is almost nonexistent, her house has to be 100% decontaminated and has these systems by the door, that sanitizes anyone that comes into the house.  Anyway, throughout the movie Madeline wears these all white, Birkenstock sandals.  

They look like these...

Photo Courtesy of

Anyway, in one scene in particle, Maddy is sitting on her couch, in her completely 100% germ-free house, and her shoes are up, and you see the soles, and they were dirty!!!  Technically that shouldn't be if she lived in a completely 100% germ-free house, right??

I know, I know, it's a movie, let's not get too picky.  But that stuck out even for my husband, who hasn't read the book, but who knew what it was about, and actually liked the movie too!  

But that was my only complaint.

I will admit, I liked reading the story more than actually watching it.  It was more detailed, and translated into a motion picture did have it be a little slow at times.  Overall, though they did a great job!  It was a lot like the book I thought!


The Romance Bookie :)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess: Royal Crush (#3) by Meg Cabot

Hey Everyone!

So once again, it's been a few months.  I don't even know what is my life anymore, to be honest.  Let's see what has happened since my last post...

1.  I graduated!  I officially have my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Studies!
2.  My husband and I had a wedding celebration for all our friends and family.  We had quite a bit of family from Germany come for the occasion, which was amazing <3.
3.  My husband and I got a three day mini-getaway to beautiful Palm Springs.  That was amazing!
4.  I just got a promotion for my job, and a second job!

Life has been crazy. This past year...I just don't know.  Next month, it will be a year, since I lost my dad.  That's been hitting me more and more.  Overall though, this summer has just been spent attempting to recuperate a bit.  Things have been a bit everywhere though, just taking care of a lot of things, that I couldn't while doing school.  Without the help of my amazing husband, I don't think I would be getting through stuff anymore.

It's been rough, but the other day I got a wonderful surprise in the mail, when I received Meg Cabot's newest book, From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, Royal Crush, the third book in the Olivia Grace series!  There is something I can usually always count on to cheer me up, and get me into reading again...Meg Cabot!

From Goodreads:

From the Inside of the Book-jacket: (Normally, I use Goodreads, but that is TOTALLY the wrong description!!):

"Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is turning thirteen.  Even better, she's finally starting to get the hang of this princess thing.  Just in time too, since her half-sister, Princess Mia Thermopolis, is expecting to give birth to twins any day now!
"It's pretty much the worst time possible for a school field trip, but Olivia must attend the Royal School Winter Games.  Between Grandmere chaperoning, Olivia's snobby cousin Luisa complaining about her relationship woes, and everyone insisting that Olivia has a crush on Prince Khalil (even though she isn't sure that he wants to be friends anymore!), things are quickly turning into a royal mess!"

My Thoughts:

I love this series!  Not only is Olivia Grace absolutely adorable, but it is in the world of Princess Diaries, so I get to hear about Mia and Michael, and Grandmere, and everyone else!  Mia has her twins!!! What are their names?? are just going to have to read to find out!  I was not disappointed! :)

Olivia, who is about to turn thirteen, is growing up, just like Mia in the Princess Diaries.  She has changed even from the first book!  I am really looking forward to watching her grow more and more. She has been through a lot...losing her mom at a young age, living with "family" that doesn't like her, finding out about her father, finding out that she is a princess!  That's a lot for an almost thirteen year old to take in!

Meg's humor is present, of course!  Grandmere still has her amazing sassiness.  Mia has grown A LOT!  She really is an adult now, ready to be a mommy.  I just love that so much!

Overall Rating:

My only complaint I have to wait ANOTHER YEAR for the next Meg Cabot book!!  I am really forward to what is next!

The Romance Bookie :)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Hello Everyone!

I have some news...


It is about time, right??  I finished all my assignments last Monday, received my honors on Saturday, and am graduating this coming Saturday!  It's been such a long process...eight years to be exact.  Six years of community college, I took classes every Fall and Spring semester of those six years.  And then two years of university.  70 hours of student teaching last semester, 196 hours this semester, working, school at night and homework whenever there was some time...but I did it guys.

I am sitting here right now, writing this post, and waiting for my cap design to dry, so I can finish decorating my Mortarboard for Saturday.  It all feels so surreal.  SOOO surreal.  The hardest part is definitely knowing that my dad will be missing it.  I tear up every time I think about it.  I miss him so so much, it hurts.  I just hope more than anything, he is watching out for me and going to see me walk this Saturday from high above.  He will have the best seat in the house 💔.

I feel very blessed to have my husband, mom, and brother with me on Saturday watching.

Anyway...on to book stuff!

I, first off, wanted to mention that my husband and I got to go to YallWest a couple of weeks ago!  That was fun!  I'll be doing a post on that this week hopefully!  I finally have some time off, in the mornings!  And starting June 15th, when my work gets out for summer, I get the WHOLE ENTIRE SUMMER OFF!!!

And second, I have a review, of AN ACTUAL BOOK I READ!!!!

I know, I know crazy!!  A BOOK REVIEW on a BOOK??!!  I know I have doing a lot of audiobook reviews, in fact this is my first actual physical book read this year!

So on to the review, shall we?!

From Goodreads:

My disease is as rare as it is famous.  Basically, I'm allergic to the world.  I don't leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years.  The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. 

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door.  I look out my window, and I see him.  He's tall, lean and wearing all black -- black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely.  He catches me looking and stares at me.  I stare right back.  His name is Olly.

Maybe we can't predict the future, but we can predict some things.  For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly.  It's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Thoughts:

WOW! Could I have picked a better book to get me back into reading??  Probably no!  The movie trailer looks so good, that I found myself ordering my first book order of the year last week off of Amazon.  I picked up immediately, and just read and read for the rest of the week, when I had time, and just devoured it!

This story was so unique.  A disease where you cannot go outside, and have to live in a completely 100% allergy-free house??!!  Seriously??!  How does one come up with this stuff??!!  LOVED IT!  In my copy, there was a bonus Q&A and one of the questions did ask Nicola Yoon how she came up with the story?  And she said, it was based on her worries of raising a young infant, and all the dangers that are out there of getting her sick.  It is something all parents worry about!

I loved Madeline.  While at first glance, being one of the most unrelatable characters ever, given her living situation, she turned out to be one of the most lovable and relatable characters that I have read in the longest time!

Olly...needs his own book!  One in his point of view.  I would love to read that!  We got to learn some things about him, but I would love to get into his head and really hear what is going on!

Madeline's mom, oh God, where to start??!!  You will have to read it for yourself!

Overall Review:

That ending, guys!  WOW!  This entire book left me on my toes, and wanting more.  It was hard to put it down, when I needed to go to work, I almost took it with me, but then realized that is probably not the most responsible thing to do when you are supposed to be watching a bunch of kids...just maybe.

Anyway, highly recommend this one.  I am very excited to see the movie!  Review will definitely go up for it, when I do!  The actors they chose, look really good!  I really liked the guy, who is playing Olly, in Melissa and Joey!  Can't wait guys!

I am SUPER Bummed, that Nicola Yoon was at YallWest, and I missed her.  It was before I got the book, and just had no clue!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week!  I know I will be spending my mornings, recuperating, relaxing, reading, and doing art.  And then afternoons will be working, up until Friday, which I took off for a day of pampering to get ready for GRADUATION!!!

EEEEEE!!!  Cannot wait!

The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's #1) by Ransom Riggs (Audiobook)

Hey Everyone,

I actually cannot believe I am writing this review right now, because to be honest, there are a thousand other things that I need to be doing right now, but I am so ready for my yearly book event tomorrow (YALL WEST!!!) that I just couldn't wait to finally be able to write a review again!

So I do have some exciting news...

After months and months of the sh*# that my life has become I got some good news last Friday.  Not only am I graduating on May 20th, with my bachelor's in Early Childhood Studies, but I will also be graduating with Honors!  This has been the ultimate goal since I lost my dad in September. I knew I had to keep going, I knew my dad would want me to finish school; and for my own goal I wanted to make him extra proud by graduating with honors.  And I did it.

But school is not over just yet.  I have made my final homework list!  Which means as soon as I get through this list of things to do for school...I am officially done with my undergrad education!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have been working towards this for EIGHT YEARS!! I know I know, that is a long time, some may say too long, but I did it!! I DID IT!!! I never gave up, and always kept going, and that is what is important!

Anyway, along the way this semester, I have been commuting a lot to school and student teaching, while still working, and I have been listening to audiobooks from the library!  And one of those books was Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, which is the first book in the Miss Peregrine series!

From Goodreads:

A mysterious island.  An abandoned orphanage.  A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar.  They may have been dangerous.  They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason.  And somehow -- impossible though it seems -- they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children  will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

My Thoughts:

So before I begin my review, I just want to let everyone who is reading this know that I may be shunned for my answer on what I thought about this book.  Please be nice, once again I must mention this is just what I thought of the story, and it does not mean I am trying to change anyone else's opinion of the story, or make anyone's opinion seem invalid.  This is not fact. Only opinion.

Are you ready for the bombshell?...

I am going to say this very quickly...

I liked the movie better than the book.

I know I know, terrible right?

To be fair, this is not my type of book.  It is very dark, a bit slow in reading, and quite frankly the opposite of what I normally read.  I like my girly-girl romance novels, so to go from that to something that has an almost Stephen King pretty shocking.

Which is why I thought it might be better to listen to the book via audiobook, instead of reading it.

I did see the movie before reading the book, which might very well be why I have the opinion that  I do.  But let me explain further...

I was not a fan of Jacob.  I do not know if it was the narrator, but all-in-all I do not think so, because I did read part of the book, before ultimately switching to the audiobook.   I have been trying to read that book for well over a year now.

I thought Jacob was a spoiled entitled teenager, which was a huge turn off for me.  I think he is definitely the reason why I had a hard time getting through the book, and to be honest, I even had to switch to music while listening to the audiobook, because I just got tired of listening to him whine.

I know, I know, I am being super critical right now, and probably have a million fans, if they were to hear this, wanting to attack.

HOWEVER, I really do love the idea of this story!  It is such a thrilling, interesting tale that did have me continuing.  The book was obviously much more detailed than the movie, which I loved!  The movie just kept things moving much faster, which helped in my case, because like I said, this just isn't my style of reading.

I do have one other thing that bothered me a little, was it just me or was Miss Peregrine a lot less likable in the book than in the movie?  I feel she, first off, was not as prominent of a character as she was in the movie, which was a little surprising.  I mean, do not get me wrong, she is talked about throughout the book, but she does not appear all that often in my opinion.  However, that may have to do with the slowness of the book.

The slowness, however, did not really throw me off.  It can be expected with the first book in a series, when everyone is being introduced and the storyline is on its start-off.

Anyway overall rating:

It was good, not my style, but still had a good storyline.  Jacob is the ultimate decider on me not giving it four bookies, only because I have no near-by future intention of getting the second one immediately.  I do definitely see the appeal in the series, it is the most unique storyline that I have read-seen in the last few years, and that has me excited and really hoping for the second one to be made into a movie!!

The Romance Bookie

PS:  Again, really hope I did not offend any fans here!! Love you all, and definitely respect other's opinions!