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)

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.

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!

Review: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson


Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious (Truly Devious, #1)

Title: Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

Author: Maureen Johnson

Release Date: January 16, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 416

Source: Barnes and Noble

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

4 out of 5 stars


I would give the first half of this book 3 stars, but the last 150 pages TOTALLY redeemed it. I couldn’t stop reading the last part of this book because I was completely hooked. Again, I find this to be a common trend that I’m having recently because of my lack of time to read. I always want to be reading and enjoying books, but I just don’t have multiple hours a day to spend reading, but when I have the time, I enjoy the book so much more.

I have a plan to read more consistently, though. I’m going to actually do the #readingafter10 started by Ariel Bissett on her Instagram, and I’m going to limit the amount of time I spend on my phone. I don’t know if anyone else uses the Screen Time setting on your iPhone, but it blows my mind. Last week I spend 18 hours on my phone. 18 hours of wasted time. I could have finished around 3 more books in that time!

Anyway, aside from the little tangent, I really enjoyed this book. It’s been awhile since I read a mystery so it was really fun to try and figure out everything that was happening in the book.

I really liked the characters of this book, and I was kind of shocked that they were so young. I guess that’s just me getting older, but it’s weird to read about 14 year old high school students when you’re 19 and in college. I, for some reason, just always imagine the characters I’m reading about to be my age even if they’re totally not. Again, that’s a me thing, not a this-book-kind-of-thing.

I REALLY can’t wait to read the second book in this series because this one ended on such a cliffhanger. I need to know about the murders, the dry ice, the tea box, the… everything. I want to know what happens next!

I think this was the perfect book to read around Halloween time *even though it’s technically the beginning of November now.* It was spooky and suspenseful, but not scary. Scary books just freak me the freak out, but I love a little spookiness around spooky season.

I can’t wait to read the next book, because the plot is thickening and I’m so excited for it.

Review: Dear Evan Hansen – Val Emmich


Dear Evan Hansen – Val Emmich

Dear Evan Hansen

Title: Dear Evan Hansen

Author: Val Emmich

Release Date: October 9, 2018

Publisher: Poppy

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 368

Source: Scribd

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…

When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.

Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore–even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?

No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.

A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.

4 out of 5 stars


I heard one of my close friends gushing about this musical when it came out. He told me that I should read the Wikipedia page and start listening to the soundtrack right away. I took his advice, but felt like a poser because I didn’t think I had enough information. So when I saw that this was coming out as a book, I was IMMEDIATELY sold.

Dear Evan Hansen follows Evan as he’s starting his senior year of high school. He has severe anxiety and really doesn’t want to go to the first day, but his mom convinces him to go. He broke his arm over the summer, so she tells him that maybe he can have people sign his cast for him; get him to step outside his comfort zone a little bit. His therapist has been telling him to branch out and “put himself out there,” so he decides to go to school.

It’s just as bad as he thought it was going to be, but he keeps up with his therapist’s assignment of writing letters to himself by starting with: “Dear Evan Hansen, Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…” He’s printing off his letter for his therapy appointment after school, and the school’s bad boy, Connor Murphy, starts talking to Evan while he’s printing out his letter. Connor asks Evan if he can sign his cast, but then Connor notices that the letter mentions his little sister Zoey, and immediately becomes defensive and takes the letter.

Connor committed suicide that very same night of the letter incident, and the letter was found in his pocket. As the letter was addressed to Evan, everyone starts to think that they were friends. Evan is called to the office the next day and is told the situation by Connor’s parents, but instead of telling the truth about the letter, he starts to weave these lies about how he and Connor were secretly best friends, all for the benefit of trying to spare his family’s feelings.

This book was so beautiful and powerful, and I think it would be amazing to read for a high school setting. The soundtrack of the musical is also amazing, and is so wonderful to listen to after reading this book. I loved the message of this book and will recommend it to plenty of people in the future.

I related to Evan as a character because of his anxiety and spiraling thought patterns. I know that anxiety is ridiculously hard to cope with, and sometimes you don’t realize you’re anxious until after the fact. I loved the way his character was written.

I also loved that the perspective changed throughout the book between Evan and Connor. It added such depth to the storyline, and I just can’t gush about the book more.

I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 because I felt like the pacing was a little strange at certain points. This could be because I haven’t had an extended period of time to read so it felt a little scattered.

Again, I think so many people could benefit from reading this book and listening to the soundtrack. I really want to go and see the musical live, but the tickets are so expensive… ugh life is hard. But on the bright side, this book is amazing.

Review: Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want Less of What You Don’t – Michael J. Losier


Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want Less of What You Don’t – Michael J. Losier

Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't

Title: Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What you Want and Less of What You Don’t

Author: Michael J. Losier

Release Date: October 31, 2004

Publisher: Michael J. Losier

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 142

Source: Scribd

You may not be aware of it, but a very powerful force is at work in your life. It’s called the Law of Attraction and right now it is attracting people, jobs, situations, and relationships in your life — not all of them good! Now, with Michael Losier’s help, you can learn how to use the Law of Attraction deliberately and turn it into a positive force that will change your life.

If your life feels as if it has turned south and taken on the characteristics of a bad soap opera, it’s time to pick up Michael Losier’s iLaw of Attraction/i. This simple, easy-to-use book is full of tips, tools,exercises and scripts to help you use the Law of Attraction so you can integrate this powerful force in your life every day. 

2 out of 5 stars


I was intrigued with the idea of this book, but it REALLY fell flat.

I have recently become aware of the idea of law of attraction and can fully agree with the concept of it. I totally think that you attract the type of vibe you put out, and that you can change that vibe to match what you want in life. And that was pretty much all the knowledge I had going into this…. and it’s all the knowledge I have coming out of it.

There was NOTHING new in this book that I hadn’t heard before, and I didn’t know much. There wasn’t anything special about this book, and it was so repetitive. I get it, I know that you can change your vibe. Don’t say it 873 times per chapter.

I feel like this book would have been better as a paperback or physical book because the audiobook made it very easy to hear all the repetition.

I like the ideas set in place by this book, but the execution was pretty bad.