REREAD Review: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare


City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) – Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

Title: City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 725

Source: Barnes and Noble

In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris – but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned…

5 out of 5 stars


THIS IS SUCH A GREAT FINALE.

Cassandra Clare is a genius, and I will fight you if you say otherwise… lol maybe not fight you, but strongly disagree.

The small connections made throughout the Shadowhunters Chronicles are insane, and must have taken and insane amount of careful planning. I can’t even imagine the time that has been spent on creating these books, but I’m so grateful for them.

I think this is my favorite Cassandra Clare book… or they just keep getting better and better every single time and the newest one will always be my favorite… either way. This was an amazing book; even better the second time!

One thing that stood out to me about this book was the prevalence of Emma and Julian from The Dark Artifices. At the time, Lady Midnight hadn’t come out yet, so I didn’t know them, but now that I’ve met them already I gained even more appreciation for them! Seeing them as their twelve-year-old selves made me so happy. I love them. They’re my favorites. Ugh everyone is my favorite lol.

Yay for relationship development! I love Clary and Jace. They love each other so much, and their little speeches are always perfect. I love Alec and Magnus. They’re my ALL TIME favorite couple because yay for that LGBTQ+ rep! I appreciate their relationship so much. I love Simon and Izzy even though it’s a little different at the end… no spoilers, but anyone who hasn’t read this series, get on top of it. It’s so good and you’re missing out.

The first time I read this I hadn’t read The Infernal Devices, so Tessa and Jem kind of just went over my head, but I’M HERE FOR IT NOW!!! They’re so precious and I love that we get to see them again. I just love them. I love all the characters. Redundant, I know.

I love picking up on so many little things I missed the first time. There are so many little things that just shows that Cassandra Clare is a queen wow.

Favorite quotes:

EMMA ABOUT JULIAN:

He was going to be so handsome, she thought; girls would be all over him and one of them would take him away from her forever, because Emma was his parabatai and that meant she could never be one of those girls now. She could never love him like that.

BOI. She knew that she loved him when she was 12 !!! Excuse me. Come on I know that being parabatai is what you’re “supposed” to do, but if you know you already love him don’t put either of you through that! So much foreshadowing. I love it I love it I love it.

MAGNUS TO SIMON:

Because the world isn’t divided into the special and the ordinary. Everyone has the potential to be extraordinary. As long as you have a soul and free will, you can be anything, do anything, choose anything.

So true. So beautifully worded. Magnus, you always know best. I was almost in tears during this part because I kind of forgot what happened at the end of the book because I read it 4 years ago, and man a lot has happened since then.

CLARY TO JOCELYN:

F is for Fairchild, and the rest for Gray.

yes kill em with all these connections. I just. It’s just so good. I run out of words sometimes.

Also, Clary and Jocelyn have red hair because of Henry from The Infernal Devices. HOW DID I MISS THIS BEFORE NOW?

Amazing. Wonderful. Beautiful. Romantic. Perfect. I just love these books.

Series:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3)

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)

Review: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life – Leo Babauta


The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life – Leo Babauta

The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life

Title: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life

Author: Leo Babauta

Release Date: October 26, 2009

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 105

Source: Scribd

3 out of 5 stars


I liked the concept written about in this book, but I feel like nothing was talked about deep enough to have a lasting impact.

I love learning about other people’s recipes for minimalism; it’s refreshing and nice, but I didn’t really relate to this book that much, honestly. I think there were some amazing points, but again, not enough depth.

Formatting, I think this book was effective. I listened to it on audiobook, but each new section started with a quote from someone talking about living more simply. I think this was a nice touch, and gave some more context to the book as a whole. I didn’t enjoy how short the chapter were, though. I wish that it had been longer and had gone into more detail.

I think some of the stuff Leo talked about was a little too hardcore for this being a “simple guide” to minimalism. He was saying that in some aspects of your life, what you’re currently doing is wrong and you should do it his way. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

I think the best part of this book were the sections on finances. I am 19 and am just starting my “adult life.” My parents are amazing and are providing my education for me, but I’m at the PERFECT point in life to start thinking about how I’m spending the money I’m earning.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

This was my favorite quote from the whole book, because it’s so true. My parents have always instilled in me to not leave beyond my means, and thats what this whole finance section was about. It’s so refreshing to read something in the EXACT way I’ve always thought about money. I don’t have a credit card, and don’t plan on getting one because my debit card will suffice. I don’t see it ending well for me to be given the opportunity to spend money I don’t have. I love this quote because it’s unbelievably true.

So many people have things that they don’t own. Be it financed cars, a super huge mortgage, thousands in student loan debt. A lot of people don’t own their things, and that’s something that honestly blows my mind. My parents have always been the ones to buy their cars by writing a check; they haven’t financed anything. They paid off their mortgage in a short amount of time. I’m so lucky to have grown up in an environment where actually owning your things has been a priority.

Overall, I enjoyed this book because I think there was plenty of information that was helpful and valid, but I wish it would have gone deeper into the ideas behind minimalism more.

Review: The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future – Ryder Carroll


The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future – Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

Title: The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future

Author: Ryder Carroll

Release Date: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Portfolio

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 336

Source: Scribd

For years Ryder Carroll tried countless organizing systems, online and off, but none of them fit the way his mind worked. Out of sheer necessity, he developed a method called the Bullet Journal that helped him become consistently focused and effective. When he started sharing his system with friends who faced similar challenges, it went viral. Just a few years later, to his astonishment, Bullet Journaling is a global movement.

The Bullet Journal Method is about much more than organizing your notes and to-do lists. It’s about what Carroll calls “intentional living:” weeding out distractions and focusing your time and energy in pursuit of what’s truly meaningful, in both your work and your personal life. It’s about spending more time with what you care about, by working on fewer things. His new book shows you how to…

• Track the past: Using nothing more than a pen and paper, create a clear and comprehensive record of your thoughts.

• Order the present: Find daily calm by tackling your to-do list in a more mindful, systematic, and productive way.

• Design the future: Transform your vague curiosities into meaningful goals, and then break those goals into manageable action steps that lead to big change.

Carroll wrote this book for frustrated list-makers, overwhelmed multitaskers, and creatives who need some structure. Whether you’ve used a Bullet Journal for years or have never seen one before, The Bullet Journal Method will help you go from passenger to pilot of your own life. 

4 out of 5 stars


I love bullet journaling and planning and have been consistent with a bullet journal for a few years now. It really, truly has changed my life. I know that sounds a little out there, but it’s so beneficial to have your thoughts written down on paper. When I saw this audiobook on Scribd, I immediately started listening to it because I wanted to know how the lovely system of the bullet journal came into fruition.

If you don’t know, the bullet journal is a system created by Ryder Carroll that replaces a rigid planner system. You add only what you need, and don’t even pause to think about the wasted space in your current planner.

Ryder Carroll’s story behind coming up with the idea made me appreciate it’s flexibility so much more. He is a smart, motivated, and determined individual, but didn’t thrive in a school setting. I feel like I relate to this because I believe myself to be motivated and determined, but have to work extremely hard in school to get the grades I expect of myself. So, learning how he came up with this to help himself through his life was interesting to hear about.

Planning is one of the ways I’ve learned to cope with my anxiety. I despise the unknown and can’t sleep at night *literally* if I don’t know what I’m doing the next day. (In my everyday life. Traveling is a whole different story.) I fill out my daily page for my bullet journal every single morning while I’m drinking my coffee or tea just so then I know what I need to accomplish or work on in the day. This has been so beneficial to me and my mental health!

I love looking at the super fancy, beautifully decorated bullet journals, but that is totally not achievable for me. I LOVE being artistic and expressing myself through art, but I don’t want to spend 2 hours creating something that I probably won’t look at too much in the future. My bullet journal method is simple and straightforward. I have my index, future log, monthly logs, and daily logs. I do the bare minimum, but it still totally works for me. It’s a magical system because it’s so customizable.

The first section of this book was about the actual bullet journal itself. Opening a new journal, creating your index and key. The whole shebang. But the second part of the book is what really stood out to me. It was the idea and methodology behind putting the journal into practice for you.

I loved that they way things were explained was in a way to give you ideas, but not put you down for not wanting to use some of them. For example: I remember when I was in elementary and middle school, I never really remembered when my mom would get home from work that day. My brother and I rode the bus home from school, but because my mom was working in a salon, she created her own schedule. She could be home at 4:00 one day, and not back until 9:30 the next. Just thinking back, it would have been so beneficial to have a family “catch-all” system where we could write down where we would be at a given time. Something similar to this is mentioned in this book.

I strongly believe that bullet journaling can benefit many people and can help in a variety of ways. If you haven’t tried bullet journaling, pick up this book and see if it could work for you!

REREAD Review: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) – Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) – Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

Title: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: September 5, 2013

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 567

Source: Barnes and Noble

Danger and betrayal, love and loss, secrets and enchantment are woven together in the breathtaking finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices Trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

5 out of 5 stars


I feel so redundant, but I love this series so much.

This is the best love triangle that I’ve ever read and it’s so beautifully tragic. These are some of my favorite characters, and all I need is a William Herondale in my life. He’s my favorite character, and if I could marry him, I promise I would.

I sat down and read half of this last night. I read almost 300 pages pretty much without moving. It was amazing, and just what I needed.

love seeing all the connections with the different Shadowhunter families. Cassandra Clare is actually a genius, and I have no idea how someone could possibly be able to weave all of these different storylines together coherently. Everything makes sense throughout all the series, and it just makes me want to read the rest of the books right now.

Some spoilers are about to happen, so if you haven’t read this book, stop reading this post….

My favorite scene was with Will and Tessa after he comes to save her in Wales. He’s overcome with happiness at seeing her, and then goes through the stupid forcefield thing that Mortmain put up. Then they finally let their feelings for each other out and then after all of the passion and love, Magnus appears. It makes me laugh every single time.

I can’t wait to read the rest of the Cassandra Clare books and then read The Queen of Air and Darkness!

Series:

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)

November Wrapup


Read:

  1. Dear Evan Hansen – Val Emmich *review*
  2. Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson *review*
  3. BUSN10 – Introduction to Business – Marce Kelly and Chuck Williams
  4. Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness – Donna Farhi
  5. City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) – Cassandra Clare *reread review*
  6. Zero Waste: Eliminate Your Trash, Simplify Your Life, and Heal the Earth – Shia Su *review*
  7. Van Life: Inspiration for Your Home on the Road – Foster Huntington *review*

Review: Van Life: Inspiration for Your Home on the Road – Foster Huntington


Van Life: Inspiration for Your Home on the Road – Foster Huntington

Van Life: Inspiration for Your Home on the Road

Title: Van Life: Inspiration for Your Home on the Road

Author: Foster Huntington

Release Date: October 10, 2017

Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 256

Source: Barnes and Noble

Showcasing hundreds of gorgeous and inspirational photographs of vehicles in idyllic settings with unique, quirky interiors from around the world, Van Life who anyone daydreams about living off-the-grid while on the ultimate road trip.

More and more people-from millennials to baby boomers-are taking a break from conventional life for the freedom, tranquility, and adventure of being on the road and living in a converted vintage truck, camper, or van.
One of these van-dwellers, Foster Huntington, created the #vanlife hashtag as he chronicled his adventures living in a van while driving it across the country. He tapped into a community of like-minded individuals looking to explore nature at their own pace and live a debt-free lifestyle.
Van Life showcases the best crowd-sourced photographs from Foster’s tumblr account, van-life.net, many of which have never been posted. Organized into sections like Volkswagen vans, American vans, converted vans, school buses, and more, the hundreds of photos include shots of the unique vehicles, the beautiful locations they’ve been parked including stunning beaches, dramatic mountains and picturesque forests, fully designed interiors with kitchens and sleeping quarters, and more.
Also included are interviews with solo travelers, couples, and families who are living this new American dream.

5 out of 5 stars


This book was beautiful and I think it served it’s purpose well. There wasn’t a ton of information throughout the book actually talking about van life, but there were a lot of beautiful photos that really inspired me to want to take the leap towards van life.

If you saw my last review (Zero Waste) I mentioned there that I have been getting more and more interested in the idea of minimalism and zero waste. Included in that short list is also van conversions. This has been a more recent obsession, but I love the idea of using this vehicle as a home for traveling.

I’m so fortunate to be living in the middle of the US, so it’s fairly easy to go any direction, so I think van life would be a wonderful option for me. I love traveling, and I think this would be an interesting way to travel, even if it’s just for a few weeks or months at a time.

Overall, I do wish this book had more information about what van life is actually like, but there are also other resources out there specifically for that. I’ve been watching tons of van conversion videos on YouTube, and just recently watched the documentary “Expedition Happiness.” *highly recommend, by the way. beautiful movie*

I’m just inspired even more to travel, but alas. I’m stuck in one city because of college for the time being. Soon, though. Maybe this summer will consist of at least one road trip.

Review: Zero Waste: Eliminate Your Trash, Simplify Your Life, and Heal the Earth – Shia Su


Zero Waste: Eliminate Your Trash, Simplify Your Life, and Heal the Earth – Shia Su

Zero Waste: Eliminate Your Trash, Simplify Your Life, and Heal the Earth

Title: Zero Waste: Eliminate Your Trash, Simplify Your Life, and Heal the Earth

Author: Shia Su

Release Date: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Format: Paperback

Page Number:

Source: Barnes and Noble

Easy and Effective Strategies to Jumpstart a Sustainable, Waste-Free Lifestyle. We have a worldwide trash epidemic. The average American disposes of 4.4 pounds of garbage per day, and our landfills hold 254 million tons of waste.

What if there were a simple–and fun–way for you to make a difference? What if you could take charge of your own waste, reduce your carbon footprint, and make an individual impact on an already fragile environment?

A zero waste lifestyle is the answer–and Shia Su is living it. Every single piece of unrecyclable garbage Shia has produced in one year fits into a mason jar–and if it seems overwhelming, it isn’t! In Zero Waste, Shia demystifies and simplifies the zero waste lifestyle for the beginner, sharing practical advice, quick solutions, and tips and tricks that will make trash-free living fun and meaningful. Learn how to:

Follow the five Rs: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot Build your own zero waste kit Prepare real food–the lazy way Make your own DIY household cleaners and toiletries Be zero waste even in the bathroom! Be part of the solution! Implement these small changes at your own pace, and restructure your life to one of sustainable living for your community, your health, and the earth that sustains you. 

5 out of 5 stars


I’ve been wanting to get more into a zero waste lifestyle for awhile now, and this book has given me the push to actually go through with it!

I was just browsing Barnes and Noble with my mom and she came across this book and pointed it out to me. She and I have been going on a small sustainability journey together, so the title stood out to her. I immediately had to have it, and here we are.

I love the concepts that were talked about in this book because it really does make so much sense to be more environmentally conscious. Reducing your waste really isn’t that difficult to do, you just have to be diligent about it.

There were some amazing tips and recipes throughout this book and I plan on doing a reread of it when I get back home for Christmas break. I think it’s a super amazing book to be able to flip through and reread.

I highly recommend this book to you if you’re at all interested in a more eco-friendly and earth happy lifestyle. Zero waste (or low waste) is totally do-able. It also goes really hand-in-hand with minimalism, which I’ve also started to get into. Check out my lifestyle YouTube channel!