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Review: Up to This Pointe – Jennifer Longo


Up to This Pointe – Jennifer Longo

Up to This Pointe

Title: Up to This Pointe

Author: Jennifer Longo

Release Date: January 19, 2016

Publisher: Random House

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 361

Source: Thrift Store

Harper Scott is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. But while Kate is a naturally gifted dancer, Harper has had to fight for every step. And now it’s make-it-or-break-it time: if their auditions go wrong, their dreams are over. Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in her way, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Harper may not be a natural, but she is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the daring explorer who died racing to the South Pole. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station…in Antarctica.

Extreme, but also somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart.

3 out of 5 stars


This book was good, but I wasn’t blown away.

For some reason I decided to not finish the last 50 pages of this book before leaving for my 17 day England travels, so when I came back and finished it, it felt a little disjointed. That was all on me, though, because I just chose not to prioritize it…

Up to This Pointe follows a girl named Harper Scott who wants to be a professional ballet dancer. Her dream has always been to be in a ballet company, but something happens and her dreams are momentarily put on pause. She decides she needs to get some distance from San Francisco and finesses her way into going to Antarctica for researching for 6 months.

She jumps on a plane and heads out to the frozen tundra where she is finally able to be seen as herself and not just “the dancer.” She meets people and makes new friends who help her see she has other interests instead of just dancing.

I related to the whole “oh my gosh my life isn’t what I thought it would be right now and I have no idea what I want to do with my life” more than you will ever know lol. I have been having all these same feelings for a couple months, so I related so much to this! I also don’t know if I want to go into the professional dance world even though I’ve been dancing for almost 15 years of my life. Life is weird, guys.

I didn’t love the relationships or the ways they were portrayed throughout this book. Harper meets this super cute and sweet guy in San Francisco who really likes her, then she just leaves and goes to Antarctica. Fine. No worries, I guess, but then she meets another guy while she’s there. I don’t think she really likes him I just think that she’s “dating” him because it’s convenient and she wants attention. But then other times I think she actually does like him. I don’t know. But the original super sweet awesome cute boy from San Fran is sending her emails and letters and she just doesn’t read them.

?

What the heck. Why wouldn’t you read them and respond? She likes him. A lot. Or so she said before she left, so idk why she wouldn’t look at them. Plot device? I don’t know.

He also just keeps sending them even though she isn’t responding. I admire that his character has resilience, but that is totally not what would have happened. He would have emailed for maybe a month and then got the message that she wasn’t interested. Because that’s what she was portraying to him. Just seems a little fishy to me.

There was also LITERALLY NO WAY she would have gotten the opportunity to go to Antarctica.

  1. She’s not even a science student. She’s not going to college and she graduated school early.
  2. She has no skills that they would have possibly known would be useful to being there.
  3. She applied to go and knew she was going within such a short time.

Not realistic at all. People would be waiting to go and working for years and years to get a spot on the list. There literally no possible way that could have happened… but this is also just a book, so I’ll give it a little grace.

I know there was a lot of negative in this review, but I actually did enjoy a lot of this book. I love books about dance, even though it’s not always done in a way that makes a ton of sense.

The reality of dance is this: it’s a lot of hard work for not a super great reward all the time. You work for hours a day and might not get a part because you’re too tall or won’t fit into a costume. Dance is so subjective and that makes it so difficult. You could have amazing technique, but your body doesn’t fit the type they want. Again, a lot of work for not always a great reward.

I loved the family dynamic because everyone was so close; it reminded me a lot of my own. I’m so close with everyone in my family, so it’s nice to see a strong family unit that doesn’t have any disruptions in it.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that dances because there are some little tidbits of info that only a dancer would understand :)

Review: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World – William H. McRaven


Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World – William H. McRaven

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World

Title: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World

Author: William H. McRaven

Release Date: April 4, 2017

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Format: Audiobook

Page Number:

Source: Libby

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.

Admiral McRaven’s original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.

3 out of 5 stars


I gained such a new appreciation for Navy Seals after listening to this audiobook.

This is a short book talking about lessons Admiral William H. McRaven learned during his career as a US Navy Seal. The title originally caught my attention because I, too, make my bed every morning. I love climbing into a nicely made bed, and this was the first lesson talked about during the book.

Part of the training for becoming a Navy Seal is to look professional, and that always included the barracks. Each individual was to make their bed pristinely every single morning. I liked that this is what the book started with because the idea behind it is this: if you make your bed, no matter what, you’ve started your day off with finishing a task. It’s simply that you can have something positive done right at the beginning of your day. Plus having a nicely made bed is so much nicer to sleep in, and makes your bedroom look 100x more organized.

I liked the advice given throughout this book, but I found some of it to be pretty generic. I was intrigued by the stories the author told about his life in the Navy. I knew it was intense, but not as intense as he was describing it. There is literally no way that I could do half of what he had to endure. Anyway, I liked the stories even though the advice was a little average.

There were moments that I was getting chills or getting teared up because of some of the stories. I think I’m just becoming a big softy, but I almost started crying multiple times just because something was so touching.

I’ve come to really love self-improvement books because there is ALWAYS something to be gained from the advice given. I love having positive information in my ears as I walk on campus during the day.

Yay for the first book of the year!

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: 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!

REREAD Review: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) – Cassandra Clare


City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) – Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

Title: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: May 8, 2012

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 534

Source: Barnes and Noble

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

5 out of 5 stars


Again, I LOVE rereading these books. They’re literally my favorite thing that has happened to YA literature… um ever.

This is only the second time I’ve read this book even though I thought it was more than that. I forgot how much happened in this book that I was kind of shocked the whole time lol.

As much as I hate Sebastian for doing all of these horrible things to Jace and Clary, he is an amazingly written antagonist. I literally have no criticisms of Cassandra Clare’s writing because of how complex and perfect the world is.

SPOILERS:

If you haven’t already read this book, you’re WAY behind and need to get it together. This was published in 2012… come on ;)

I love Jace and Clary, and forgot how angsty this book is regarding their love life. They so badly want to sleep together but now with this whole heavenly fire situation…. it’s just kind of funny, honestly.

I also love Simon and Izzy. The sexy vampire bedroom scene. I was swooning even though I knew it was going to happen.

All in all, this is such an amazing series and I can’t wait to finish my reread!

REREAD Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) – Cassandra Clare


Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) – Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)

Title: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: December 6, 2011

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 502

Source: Barnes and Noble

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart.

5 out of 5 stars


I didn’t think it was possible to love these books more than I did before, but I literally can’t express how much I love them. Every reread just keeps getting better and better, and seeing Cassandra Clare’s writing evolve is beautiful and magical.

I love everything about this series and can’t fathom not having them in my life. So so so dramatic, but I’m just caught up in my feels right now.

I am never the biggest fan of love triangles, but Will, Jem, and Tessa are the epitome of a perfect love triangle. Tessa loves them both so much. The first time reading this series I was TOTALLY against Jem because I loved Will so much, but now I can see why people would want Tessa and Jem to be together. Will is still my favorite. He always will be. He’s my dream guy, just saying, but I see why people love Jem.

I just see that Tessa loves Will more… even if she doesn’t know it yet. My gosh, it’s just so good.

I love all the characters. The plot is amazing. The setting is amazing. I’m LOVING this reread and can’t wait to continue on so Clockwork Princess can break me again. I’m ready for the heartache of the finale of the trilogy.

Series:

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)