Top Ten Tuesday Rewind: Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, people from all over are invited to share their own Top 10 lists based on the bookish topic of the week.  You can find all Top 10 Tuesdays here.

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Top Ten Books That Broke My Heart A Little

Looking through the list of past TTT topics, this one jumped out at me.  I’ve never noticed this one before, but I really like this topic.  Some books are just so heartbreaking, and I just feel for the characters because they go through so much.  If I ever need a good cry, it’s highly likely I’ll read one of the books on this list.

  1. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  Augustus dying was so sad, and my heart broke for Hazel.  I’ve read it a couple times since my initial reading of it, and I’ve cried harder every single time, knowing what happens.  
  2. If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman.  You can’t have one without the other, and they’re so connected…my heart broke- first for Mia, and then for Adam.
  3. Beautiful by Amy Reed.  This one broke my heart because Cassie and her descent in drugs and sex at 13 was haunting.
  4. Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas.  The heartbreaking thing about this one is this: that Anke felt like something was wrong with her because she wasn’t abused.  You don’t think about the one person in the family who isn’t abused, which makes it all the more heartbreaking.
  5. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.  This is one of those books that I can’t get out of my head.  Lennie grieving over her sister was so real that it was heart-breaking, and I felt like I was right there with her.
  6. Hate List by Jennifer Brown.  I couldn’t stop crying for, like, 5 minutes after I read Hate List, and my heart broke for Valerie because of the way people treated her after the school shooting.
  7. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott.  This one was such an emotional book, and Alice’s story was heartbreaking because you saw what life was like for Alice, how she longed for the death that Ray talked about.
  8. Reason To Breathe by Rebecca Donovan.  This one…poor Emma!  I mean, she ALMOST DIES because her aunt never wanted to take her in, and it’s heartbreaking that she counted the days until graduation so she could leave home.
  9. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.  What interesting about me picking Wintergirls for this list, is that I decided to go with Wintergirls instead of Speak.  But I went with Wintergirls because of Lia’s journey to recovery from anorexia, and it’s haunting and heartbreaking, and I just wanted Lia to be okay, even though I knew it wouldn’t be easy for her.
  10. Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  Alice’s story was heartbreaking because she slowly succumbed to early-onset Alzheimer’s.  It’s sad, and what makes it even more heartbreaking is that it does happen to people.

Closing Ceremonies

The Olympics are officially over, and now I don’t know what to do with myself.  Sleep, I guess.  My interest definitely dropped off the second week, but I still found myself watching track and field until all hours of the night.  It’s been fun, and Rio seems like a long 4 years away.

I love Closing Ceremonies.  They’re a lot more fun, and a lot less formal than Opening Ceremonies.  The music was great!  Our House is a great song.  One Direction!  I really wanted to sing along…I should have because my grandma’s the only one who would hear me.

Stomp!  Definitely cool.  It feels so much more random.  I love random, so it’s cool.

I love how they’re all walking in together.  It feels like a lot of people are sticking with their respective countries and aren’t really hanging out with anyone else.  Then again, it’s hard to tell a lot of the uniforms apart.  It’s still early, so that could change as it goes on.  Although it’s weird to me that there are athletes who go home after they’re done competing.  Why wouldn’t you stay and get the whole experience?

Loved the Lucha Libre masks.  So cool!

Random question: for the long distance running events…why do they run in a single-file line?

The actual events felt a lot more U.S.-centric than in previous Olympics.  It’s like the rest of the world didn’t matter.  Except for China.  I think they’re the exception.  Like, “oh, we’re only showing these other countries because they happen to be competing against us.”  And it felt like the other athletes/countries we did get to see were the ones that are super-dominant in their respective sport.  It’s disappointing because I LOVE seeing everyone compete.  Not just the U.S. and whoever really good at running, swimming and gymnastics.

Not that it stopped me from watching, because I just couldn’t seem to turn it off.

Bohemian Rhapsody?  They did that during the Opening Ceremony!  Stop recycling music!

John Lennon!  Loved the children’s choir singing.  And George Michael!  His performance was just okay though.

You know what happens when you don’t pay attention?  You miss a fashion show.  Or a more cheerful look at fashion.  Annie Lennox coming in on the ship was really strange.  From Willy Wonka to Russell Brand…wow, they’re really trying to be as random as humanly possible, aren’t they?

Loved the person getting video with their iPad.  And the really bright colors.  Fatboy Slim!

Taio Cruz?  I didn’t know he was from Great Britain.  And what the hell is Jessie J wearing?

Spice Girls!  I am so excited about this!  I think that’s my favorite part.  That old guy dancing to the Spice Girls was really amusing.  Oasis, oh my god.  This is almost as exciting as the Spice Girls.  And Wonderwall is one of my favorite songs EVER.  Totally sang along.

So…when are they handing things off to Rio?  I’m enjoying it and all, but they’re going to get there eventually, right?

Monty Python!  I’m so glad Monty Python made it in!  I don’t watch Doctor Who, so I don’t know if that made it in…because the tardis is the only thing I’d recognize, and I didn’t see it.  Anything else would go over my head.

They’re really big fans of Jessie J, aren’t they?  Was Adele unavailable or something, because you’d assume she’d be there performing.

Seriously.  YOU HAVE JESSIE J, ONE DIRECTION AND THE SPICE GIRLS, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE ADELE?  What kind of closing ceremony is this?  Maybe she couldn’t perform or something.

Rio!  Finally!  I was curious about what they’d do.  It was interesting, but I was definitely expecting it to be more festive and loud.  Where’s the fun and frivolity?  They don’t have to get all crazy, but something a little more festive.  Maybe they’re saving the party for the actual Olympics.  I’m so not going to remember this in 4 years.  It just didn’t stand out.

Cool fireworks though.  And I can’t believe I didn’t mention the stage before!  Very cool that it’s the shape of GB’s flag.

I liked Closing Ceremonies but I thought the Opening Ceremonies were a lot better.  Wasn’t The Who supposed to perform, or did I miss that?  I wasn’t paying attention to parts of it, so I probably missed stuff.  But I don’t remember seeing The Who.

I’m going to miss watching the Olympics.  It’s too bad I’m not a big fan of the Winter Olympics.  But maybe I’ll tune into that.  At least I can watch Gilmore Girls in the meantime…

The Fault In Our Stars

Book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Publishing Info: Published by Dutton Books; 318; Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I finally read A Fault In Our Stars, and I am so glad I did.  The hype surrounding The Fault In Our Stars is so deserved.  It was funny, but it also makes you cry.  Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop.

It is so beautifully written, and the characters came alive.  They felt so real, and even though I’ve never had cancer, I felt like I knew exactly what they were feeling.  It was refreshing to see cancer patients that aren’t your stereotypical cancer kids.  You know, the ones that find the meaning of life, and are all strong and brave because of their illness and start their own foundation so they have a legacy?  These are not those kids.  While there’s nothing wrong with the standard portrayal, it’s nice to see kids who want to be normal, but aren’t.  It’s nice to see kids that aren’t super-focused on their disease and how they can change the world.  As Hazel would say, this is not a Cancer Book.

Do Hazel, Augustus and Isaac wonder and worry about the people they’ll leave behind and their mark on the world?  Of course, but it doesn’t seem to consume them the way you’d expect.  I don’t know if this makes any sense (and it seems horrible to write) but she is just a kid who happens to have terminal cancer.

All that aside, I loved the relationships between the characters, and how Hazel’s favorite author was not the man she expected.  I loved that I can’t get Hazel or Augustus out of my mind, and that I could relate to them so well.

I give it a 5 out of 5.  This is a very special book, and it’s on the short list of books that will stay with me for a long time to come.

Staring At A Blank Page

I’ve been staring at this post for a while, and I have no clue what to write.  I thought about not doing a post, but I wanted to write about something.  I still have no clue what that is. 

I didn’t do any writing yesterday…I still don’t want to think about yesterday, and I can’t get it out of mind.  A good chunk of the day…I just want to forget about it, and unfortunately, I can’t forget about it.  And I don’t think I will for some time.  I’m trying to take the high road, but it’s something I’m really struggling with right now. 

Hopefully, my writing will be a good distraction for me today, because that’s something I really need right now.  I think that wraps up today’s post, so have a great week.

Harry Potter Movie Review!

First off, this post has lots of spoilers about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so if you haven’t seen it and don’t want it to be ruined, don’t read this post!   But since it’s been a week, you should have seen it by now!  If you haven’t, go see it!

I wanted to do a review on Friday or Saturday, but I figured I’d give people a few days (or a week) before reviewing it since not everyone likes to see it the first day or two. 

Overall, I loved it, and thought it did the book justice.  There were a few things that I wished were in the movie (like Percy making up with his family) but overall, I thought it worked out rather well.  I thought it was not only a great movie, but a really good adaptation as well. 

Here’s a few of my favorite things from the move:

  1. Snape’s memories: I thought it was really well done, and I couldn’t help but start crying.  The scene that did me in was the part where he was holding Lily and crying.  Reading it was completely different than actually seeing it on the screen, and it really made Snape’s feelings for Lily come to life. 
  2. The scene with Harry, his parents, Sirius, and Lupin in the forest: that made me cry as well, especially when Harry asked Lily if she would stay with him, and she said always.  It was also really well-done.
  3. And we have a tie between Neville, McGonagall and the duel between Mrs. Weasley and Bellatrix.  “Not my daughter, you bitch!” is one of the most memorable lines from the entire series.  I always pictured it as being yelled across the great hall, but either way, it was a great line, and I wan’t disappointed.  As for McGonagall, I knew she was a stern, yet caring professor, but I was always sort of indifferent to her.  Until this movie!  Her duel with Snape was amazing, and two of my other favorite lines in the movie came from her.  When she was excited about bringing the statues and suits of armour to life, and told Mrs. Weasley that she always wanted to do that spell was hilarious.  It made her seem like one of the very students she taught.  Overall, I saw her in a completely different way.  My other favorite line was when she told Neville to have Seamus do some pyrotechnics, as he had an aptitude for it.  And of course, Neville!  I can’t review Part 2 and leave Neville out of it!  He was awesome, and the change between the Sorcerer’s Stone and Deathly Hallows was unbelievable.  My favorite Neville moment was when he cut off Nagini’s head, closely by his speech to Voldemort. 

The battle was a lot more disorganized than I expected it to be, but considering it was a battle, and they were fighting for their lives, I would expect it to be chaotic.  I do wish there was a celebration after Voldemort died, but clearly, I can’t change that part of the movie.   

And of course, I need to mention the epilogue!  The audience definitely had this whole “oh, here we go,” vibe when the 19 years later popped up on the screen.  Honestly, I didn’t mind the epilogue, which surprised me, because I wasn’t a fan of the epilogue when I read the book.  They did cut a lot from it, only focusing on Harry talking with Albus about being in Slytherin, and then ends with Harry, Ron and Hermione watching their kids go to Hogwarts.

This review is getting pretty lengthy, so I think I’ll end it here…there are a few other things I wanted to mention about the movie, so I think I’ll do that tomorrow.

Mixed Emotions, Part 2

I just got back from seeing Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2.  Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything for you!

It was amazing, and I loved it!  I’m also really glad I went at midnight, because that was pretty cool too.  When I got to the theater, the line was already wrapped around half the building!  It moved pretty quickly, but for about an hour or so, I was stuck in the same spot.  But then it started moving again, and I got into the theater about 10 minutes or so before midnight.  I had just enough time to go to the bathroom, and get some snacks, and settled into my seat. 

I went as Hermione, because that was the only costume I could pull off easily, especially as a DIY, last minute costume.  I had a red cloak (it wasn’t black, but it worked), a black witches hat (which has sparkly cobwebs all over it), a black skirt, and a pink top.  Plus black flats.  It’s not a school uniform or anything, but it was something I could see Hermione wearing, so I went with it.  Plus, I carried a bookbag and wore a time turner I had. 

Me, In My Costume!

 So, looking at that picture, it’s slightly more Luna than Hermione.  But whatever, I dressed up and it was awesome!  When I got to the theater, I didn’t see anyone dressed up in costume!  I thought a lot more people would have been dressed up, but then I realized that my costumed bretheren probably got there a lot earlier than I did.  Later on, I did see a few kids dressed up in costume, plus a few scarves, so I felt better about dressing up.  Not that I cared in the first place, because I was in costume, and I enjoyed it!

I did love the movie, and it was so fitting.  There were a lot of great moments during the movie: I laughed, I cried, I cheered, and there were some very moving scenes.  It was really well done, and a great send-off for such an amazing series.  I can’t say how much I love the series, and it was very bittersweet.  It still hasn’t sunk in yet, not completely anyway.  I know there are always the books, and the movies too.  And we can’t forget about Pottermore! 

I am so glad that I got to travel to Hogwarts with Harry, and have so many adventures with him, Ron and Hermione. 

But most importantly…

To J.K. Rowling: I know you will never read this, but thank so much for writing about Harry and sharing his story with the world.

Mixed Emotions, Part One

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 comes out at midnight, and there are so many things going through my mind.

Of course, I’m really excited, because it’s Harry Potter, and I love Harry Potter.  I’m really curious to see how it’ll turn out, but based on the trailers, and a couple things I’ve seen online, it looks like it’ll be epic!  I’ve been waiting for months to see it, and now it’s finally here.

But I’m also really sad too.  It’s the last Harry Potter movie EVER, so once it’s out, there will be no more movies to come to theater.  I was sad when the book came out, but there’s a real sense of finality with the last movie.  I became a fan after seeing the 1st movie, so for me, I’ll always associate becoming a fan because of the movies.  I’m definitely going to bring some kleenex, because I have the feeling I’ll be crying like a baby.

I’m definitely going in costume, and I’ll do my best to recap my thoughts without giving anything away.  It’ll be interesting and something I’m sure I’ll remember this for a long time to come.  I’m working my way through the movies, and decided to take my time with the books and enjoy them.

Have an awesome day!

Podcast and Writing Talk

I’m still on my podcast kick, and just when I started to get the number of podcasts down to a manageable level, I found some more to listen to!  While I still have a bunch of episodes I need to catch up, I’ve decided to take my time with it.  I’m not going to go back and listen to the episodes of the new podcasts just yet, so I’m going to download each episode as I listen to it.

Joy the Baker has a podcast!  I don’t read her blog too often, but her podcast is hilarious!  It’s still pretty new, but it’s really fun!  I’ve also been listening to Abandon All Hope, About Face Mouth, For Whatever Reason, Meat-Free Radio and Game Night Guys…to name a few.  Actually, I’m listening to 28 different podcasts!  No matter how many times I tell myself that I will NOT go looking for new podcasts, I find myself…looking for more podcasts.

In other news, I think I’m getting close to the end for Harry Potter and the Giant Prehistoric Chicken!  I’m excited, because it’ll be the first time I finished a novel.  And not only that, but it’ll be the first nano I finish!  I have no idea if I’ll go back and edit it.  I might, but I’m still not sure.  If I had to decide today, then I’d definitely edit it.  If I do, I might put it up somewhere, like over at or something.

I did a lot of writing on Wednesday, which was really nice!  It’s been a while since I’ve spent the whole morning writing, and I miss it!  Remember when I said I’d write whatever the average word count was for each novel?  It’s AWESOME!  I think it a lot closer to what I actually write for each thing, because for the first time in weeks, I’m not constantly checking how close I am to my word goal.  I’m definitely going to be doing this again!

I definitely need to get my butt into gear for camp nano!  I think I might do my ncis fanfiction next month for it, and as for august, I have no idea if i’m doing it yet.  I think it depends on how my plot bunnies work out.

Cold And Rainy

It was cold and rainy yesterday, which fit my mood really well.  It’s been almost four years since my grandpa died, so I’ve been thinking about that the last few days. 

It’s gone by so fast, and I really can’t believe that tomorrow marks the 4-year anniversary.  He never saw me finish college, and there’s so much he’ll miss.  Sometimes I wonder what things would have been like if he never got sick or if he were still alive.  And whenever things (like my college graduation) happen, I wonder what he would’ve thought and how proud he might have been. 

One of my favorite memories of my grandpa was him taking me to the library every week when I was little.  My love of reading and learning and history all come from him, and that it something I’ll never forget.  I’ll always be thankful for that.

And there’s the fact that my grandpa was, for all intents and purposes, my dad.  He, along with my grandma, helped raised me, and that’s something I’ll never forget either. 

I still miss him, and I’m glad he was so involved in my life.  I’m trying not to cry right now, because thinking about him still hurts.  I suppose it’ll get better with time.