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!

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.

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)

Review: In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It – Lauren Graham


In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It – Lauren Graham

In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It

Title: In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It

Author: Lauren Graham

Release Date: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Random House Audio

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: x

Source: Scribd

“If you’re not where you want to be on this day – don’t worry about it. Because the spotlight aspect of life? That’s not the satisfying part.” 

In this expansion of her 2017 commencement speech at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham reflects in her hilarious, relatable voice, on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here-and-now. “Whatever path you choose, whatever career you decide to go after, the important thing,” she writes, “is that you keep finding joy in what you’re doing, especially when the joy isn’t finding you.” She reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes you. “Whether you hope to be an actor or a politician or a mathematician, I’ve learned that empathy and kindness are your most valuable tools.” Grounded and inspiring, this is Graham’s roadmap to a happy life: “Be a fan, not a theater critic.”

4 out of 5 stars


This was just a quick audiobook listen whilst getting ready in the morning, but I thought it was very inspiring and well spoken.

I started watching Gilmore Girls with my mom, and we really enjoyed the episodes we watched. I think Lauren Graham is inspiring and beautiful and an amazing actress, so it was nice to get a little behind-the-scenes look at her life. This makes me want to listen to Talking as Fast As I Can also by Lauren Graham.

I think it’s always so important to realize how lucky you are and live in the moment more than you normally would. I fall victim to only thinking about the future and worrying WAY too much, so it was nice to have someone successful just tell you to chill out and have fun. As long as you put in the work, you’ll get there.

This applies to dance for me, because I definitely get into my own head and worry about pleasing other people pretty much all the time, but I need to let myself be happy when I’m dancing. I just need to relax, and not worry about it.

I think if you’re looking for something inspiring to get ready to, this would be perfect for you.

Review: Wanderlost – Jen Malone


Wanderlost – Jen Malone

Wanderlost

Title: Wanderlost

Author: Jen Malone

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 321

Source: Barnes and Noble

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

3 out of 5 stars


This served it’s purpose as a cute contemporary, and I think I can now say that I’M OFFICIALLY OUT OF MY READING SLUMP!

Wanderlost follows Aubree Sadler as she takes her older sister’s place as a tour guide in Europe for a group of senior citizens. Aubree has never left home, so she is nervous going into the trip, then accidentally leaves her phone and her sister’s pre-prepared information binder on the airplane before going to the first hotel. She freaks out, and everything seems to be going south, until she starts having phone check-ins with the tour company. She talks to a cute boy, Sam, on the phone and everything seems fine. She just has to keep pretending to be her older sister for the rest of the month-long trip. What could possibly go wrong?

This book was cute and fun to read, but it wasn’t anything super special. I was intrigued originally because the main character’s name is Aubree *spelled wrong, but you do you* and she was going to travel in Europe. Hello my name is Aubrey and I’m going to take my first trip this December *omg yay.*

I liked the romance of the book even if it was a little dramatic at some points. Sam was super cute and really sweet to Aubree, even though he only knew her by the name Elizabeth. Even if it was kind of insta-lovey, I found myself enjoying the fast paced nature of it.

I liked the group of senior citizens she was with. They were all fun, and I REALLY loved that the author made them real people. When people get older they don’t lose their personality, and I think sometimes we forget that they’re *what* still people?! Yeah. Crazy concept. I really loved that they were portrayed as individuals and not just “the group of old people.”

The trips they took and the places they went made me feel an extreme amount of wanderlust. But what’s new? That’s literally always me. But I do wish they would have talked about the places they were in more than just merely mentioning them. I get that this is a romance book, but I wish there was a little more emphasis on the plot.

Overall, this read a lot like a Sarah Dessen book, so if you enjoy her writing style, then you’d probably enjoy this. I think this book fulfilled it’s duties of a cute contemporary, but it didn’t blow me away. I’m so thankful that I’m now out of this reading slump though, because I was getting really bored with reading, but I feel renewed now. yay books

Review: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) – Neal Shusterman


Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) – Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Release Date: November 22, 2016

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 435

Source: Public Library

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

4 out of 5 stars


This book was so good and I TOTALLY understand all the hype surrounding it now.

Scythe follows Citra and Rowan, who are chosen to be apprentices to Scythe Faraday. It’s unheard of, but not against the rules, to take on two apprentices. The scythes are trained to glean, or kill, people based on different statistics because humanity has beaten death. People don’t die naturally anymore, so people have to take care of death. The apprentices are trained and undergo three tasks that will show if they’re fit to be full scythes.

Reading a politically fueled book like this makes me wonder why I’m so interested in fictional politics, but not American politics. They just fall into separate categories, obviously, but I LOVE READING BOOKS FULL OF FICTIONAL POLITICS. They’re so fueled and realistic and I’m just here for it. The whole governmental system of these scythes is so interesting and there are so many things right under the surface that could be easy to look over, but are so beneficial to the story.

I wasn’t too sure how I felt about Citra and Rowan right away, because it’s set up that they’re going to fall for one another, but I ended up loving them individually and separately. Distance makes the heart grow fonder… I really enjoyed that Citra and Rowan ended up separated for part of their training because it really showed them growing individually, but also how they’ll *eventually* complement each other.

The actual writing style was simplistic, but still detailed enough that it kept you interested. I have decided that I don’t love short chapters. These chapters were SO SHORT (aka 40 chapters in this 435 page book) and it just took me out of the story a little bit. I do appreciate being able to stop at a chapter break, but there were just so many of them.

I loved that before every chapter there was a journal entry from one of the scythes mentioned in the book. A lot of them were from Scythe Curie and Scythe Faraday, but you also got to see other perspectives. I think this was a super cool addition, and you got so much background information from it. I think the way the book was set up was very telling of the skill of Neal Shusterman’s writing.

The only reason I’m giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is because the pacing seemed very off to me. The beginning was fairly slow, and the ending happened so quickly. I’m all here for the slow burn of a great book, but I just found that I wasn’t dying *pun intended* to pick up my book every second. If I were to rate the last half of the book, it would FOR SURE be 5 stars because so much happened and it was beautifully arced and crafted.

Okay. This ending. Wow wow wow. I couldn’t put my book down for the last handful of chapters because they were so perfectly written. You can tell a lot of care was given to the ending of this book, because everything worked out just how you wanted it to. Even if the decisions weren’t ideal, they were as ideal as they could have been. The cliffhanger at the end was absolutely perfect and I NEED the next book right now.

Also, the relationship between Citra and Rowan. Leaves just enough to the imagination that you are dying *ha* to see more, but there are also some things you’re concerned about. Why did Rowan become so violent? How will they regard this relationship now? How the hell is anything going to work out?!

I’m just so excited to read the second book, Thunderhead, because I know so much is going to be explained. I hope I love it as much as I loved the last half of this book!

Yay for being out of my month-long reading slump! I’m so excited to be excited about reading again. I think I just need to space out my re-reads a little bit, because I was getting a little burnt out with the Cassandra Clare books. But I’m back and ready to read YAY!