Thursday, March 26, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Dreams (The Sleeping Kind)

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by Novel Heartbeat. This feature is designed to let readers and other bloggers get to know us on a more personal level by discussing non-bookish topics. This week's topic is...

Dreams (the sleeping kind)!

I almost never dream when I sleep - rather, since I'm usually corrected that everyone always dreams, I almost never remember my dreams. If I do, it's usually more of an odd impression of discomfort that goes away after a few minutes. It's a very strange phenomena. I don't know why I almost never remember my dreams but it doesn't especially bother me either.

If I dream, I don't remember them when I'm coming out of my sleepy times. Rarely though, I do have dreams intense enough that I remember; in times of duress or discomfort, I will have seriously vivid dreams where I wake up and I have to figure out during the day what reality is. Like the time I dreamed I was running away with a friend of mine to some village somewhere and we had this whole life together and when I woke up I called him . . . at like 7am . . . to confirm that that didn't happen.

I find that in general, when I remember my dreams, they're always very strange -- usually in-depth stories or very trippy disconnected scenes. They're pretty entertaining to think about after, although some of them aren't so fun while they're happening. The last dream I remember was two nights ago (well technically I remember last night's dream but only a little) and all my friends and I were in this weird casino-type setting and the people owning the place told us "you have to do all these things or we will shoot you" and we were broken into groups, so I was playing a board game with my friend and this girl I strongly dislike and whoever lost would be either evicted or shot but if we left we would also be shot and somewhere in the corner they were forcing someone else I knew to drink an enormous bottle of questionable liquid or suffer the aforementioned consequences. And then my roommate mentioned how we wouldn't be back in time for Board Games (a fellowship that occurs at 7:30 every Tuesday in which board games are played) and everyone got panicked and went into a frenzy but then we said "It's okay, we'll just move it to later" and it was fine. Yeah, I don't know, it was weird. Not as weird as that time a few weeks ago when I dreamt I got kicked out of Walmart because I destroyed the cheesecake aisle and started a war. (Follow me on Twitter for more updates about my weird dreams) (And my weird life) 

Okay so when I remember my dreams, like Noor, they're always crazy weird. A lot of my dreams are really repetitive and all the weirdest tropes tend to repeat themselves. There is one particular symbol in a lot of my dreams and I'm still not sure what exactly it means -- if you know what dreams mean and can analyze them, please tell me what this is about in the comments below! Okay, so in a lot of my dreams, when I say/do something wrong/awkward, whoever happens to be present in the dream with me throws lettuce at me. Yep, just like out of a bowl or a bag or whatever, I literally get it tossed at me and literally I think if someone were to throw lettuce at me in real life they might actually manage to convince me that I was dreaming. I also have a repeating theme in dreams where I travel to North Korea (a North Korea that looks like Santorini, Greece) and I have to make my way back to China. Another repeating symbol is this couch that was at an event I went to once. For whatever reason, a lot of my conversational dreams/dreams where I'm playing cards/board games with friends all happen on that couch. Okay so now you know about weird repetitive themes in my dreams and they don't get much weirder than this so I think I'll stop here.

Do you have any interesting dreams while you're sleeping?
Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Books From My Childhood that I Would Love to Revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Here at We Live and Breathe Books, the bloggers rotate so that two of us choose five books each week. This weeks topic is...

Books from my childhood that I would love to revisit!

Noor's Picks

Junie B. Jones
Barbara Park
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I loved these books so so so much as little kid. In fact, these were the first chapter books I remember reading and I was absolutely obsessed with them, and I honestly couldn't even tell you if I devoured book after book because I loved to read or if I developed a love of reading because I found a series that I latched on to like this. My little cousin asked me to read one of them to her two days ago and as I was reading it I just remembered why I loved them so much (and essentially did revisit the series, keeping with the theme of the post). How could one not? From Lucille's frilly socks to Junie B.'s crazy behavior, I feel like these were a childhood staple.

How To Be Popular
Meg Cabot

I know I picked How To Be Popular here (which is a great book, honestly) but what I'd really like to visit is Meg Cabot's entire collection of books. I remember so clearly the middle school days where I'd go to the library and find the section with her books and half the stack I brought home would just be Meg Cabot books. They honestly were such quality pieces of literature and I'd love to revisit them and just experience them as a 19 year old rather than a 12 year old.

Nancy Drew
Carolyn Keene

I used to be super into reading Nancy Drew books and I would always try to figure out what was happening or who the shady characters were before they were revealed to us. I got a lot of joy out of reading these books and I feel like I just have thing for this type of theme because I was really into Sherlock Holmes too, like even before the good quality adaptations started happening (or at least before any came into my life). Anyway, I've played the Nancy Drew interactive computer games as well and I can tell you they aren't nearly as fun as reading these books were (at least, for me) and I totally want to dig through my shelves for them and give them a good re-read.

The Clique
Lisi Harrison 
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

This was another series I totally loved in my pre-teen years. The books were pure entertainment value -- there wasn't a prepackaged lesson about inner beauty or personality thrown in there. From what I recall, the girls in the clique were straight up catty and snarky and I think the one girl who was "uncool" ends up joining them anyway? (That might be wrong but in any case I don't think there's any "accept all friends who cares what brand your sweater is" turning point or anything) Sometimes, all you want is to read about some mean girls and the things they do with their parents' money. The books were entertaining and I think I'd like them as much today as I did back then.

Neil Gaiman

I read Coraline in 4th grade and I absolutely loved it. I really like dolls and puppets and things and I feel like I'm just into creepy things in general which shouldn't surprise anyone to be honest. Anyway, I remember talking about it for a solid period of time because I thought it was just so great. I never forgot the book, of course, just kept it catalogues in the back of my mind, but I don't think I ever registered the author so it really clicked. Of course, years later, when I was a teen (an adult even) and I claimed Neil Gaiman as my favorite author, I rediscovered Coraline and realized that my favorite author goes back to when I was nine years old. Which, of course, coupled with the fact that I just love(d) the book so much as it is, is why I think it's one of the first ones I'd revisit if I ever have the time to sit down and read old books (which will probably be when I'm packing them to move, because I always end up doing that).

Amrutha's Picks
The Baby-Sitters Club
Ann M. Martin
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

While Noor listed some pre-teen girly reads of mine, this series was probably my coming of age for a second grader. This is what I imagined growing up to be like, and to be honest, I've read every book in this series and I seriously used to just sit in the library next to the entire shelf of these and spend years of my life reading them. I just wonder how I would feel about these books now.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret 
Judy Blume 
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Oh my god, this book was literally everything, and while I only listed this one (because let's be real, this book is iconic) everything by Judy Blume was so core to my growing up experience. This book was everything to me in middle school, along with other classics like Deenie, Starring Sally J. Freedman as HerselfBlubber, and of course, all the Fudge books. Judy Blume's writing followed me from the first grade up until eighth, and I literally cannot imagine having grown up without the influence of her writing.

Roald Dhal Books
Roald Dhal
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I literally could not pick one because literally every book Roald Dhal has ever written is perfect. These books preached morals in a way that actually forced kids to listen, and Quentin Blake's illustrations were perfection. Roald Dhal's writing forced me to look at the world in a new way and because my mom loved his writing too, we were always reading his books and talking about them together. 10/10 would recommend to everyone again.

Dragon Rider
Cornelia Funke
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Omg, okay. So I read this book, along with Inkheart and that whole series and The Thief Lord and they were really my first real foray into fantasy. Growing up (I mean until I was like 7 or 8) I wasn't a big fantasy fan, but it was this book, along with the rest of Cornelia Funke's writing, that really changed that. This book just opened fantasy up to me in a whole new way that I had never really experienced up until that point, just because seven year old me had never read a book over 400 pages long before. Needless to say, I loved fantasy after that.

The Harry Potter Series
J.K. Rowling
Goodreads | Amazon Book Depository

I'm putting this on the list, not because I want to revisit it now (because let me be honest, I've read these books so many times over the years and they've never really been left for me to need to revisit them). But, I'd love to revisit these are a kid again, and experience Harry Potter for the first time. I started reading these books in the third grade after Cornelia Funke entered my life because prior to that, I just had no interest in fantasy. Boy, was I wrong. Anyway, I actually owned all the Harry Potter books already (actually, I owned multiple copies of each books) because they were given to me every year for my birthday. I kid you not, at one time in my life I owned 7 copies of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. These books were such a corner stone of my childhood and even my young-adult-hood, they're really one of the most phenomenal collections of literature I've ever read, and I'd really give anything to experience that again for the first time.
What are some books from your childhood that you'd love to revisit?
Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Honeybee - Trista Mateer

Trista Mateer
Series: N/A
Genre: Poetry
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

If you saw my Stuffed Animal Saturday last month, you'd know I was reading Honeybee, a poetry collection by the lovely Trista Mateer. Where we last left off, I told you I hadn't had time to read besides between classes and had only gotten a small fraction of the book done. Well, soon after that, I decided to avoid all my responsibilities and just devour the rest of the book in one sitting because it was just so phenomenal. It didn't take too long. At 99 pages, the book is easy to breeze through and light enough to carry around whenever you need a good dose of heavy poetry.

I've been following Trista Mateer on Tumblr for quite some time, which is how I found out she had a book out, and so I had seen glimpses of some of the poems before, but seeing all the new ones and seeing everything presented in the order and manner it was, was a very powerful reading experience.

The writing was evocative, full of Mateer's personal insights and experiences. The way she incorporated herself into her poetry while still making it relatable to those reading was one of the aspects I appreciated most. She put so much of herself into her writing but, as a reader, I was also able to put so much of myself into the words too. A lot of the poems resonated with me on a personal level and reading those was such an excellent experience because I could feel her words pulling at my experiences and expressing them in ways I hadn't thought to. Even the poems I couldn't necessarily relate to personally still struck a chord with me.

She also wrote with very well-crafted words and phrases and there were so many lines that stuck out to me and not only hit home but that I thought were just overall good writing. Some of my favorite lines include:
"I swear I am no longer looking for ways to apologize to the hungry parts of you that I could never satiate." - LOUD, LOUD, LOUD (pg 88) 
"Sometimes I think I might always have a little bit of you stuck in my teeth, you might always have a little of my heart on your sleeve." - EMILY (pg. 77) 
"You cannot build your home like a house of cards / in the mouth of a lover who breathes too hard at night." - ASK YOUR MOTHER ABOUT SALIVATION; ASK YOUR MOTHER ABOUT STARVING (pg. 73) 
I could list my favorite poems from the book but that would be an exceptionally difficult task and I don't think I'm quite up to the challenge. Overall, I think it's an excellently crafted piece of work and I would recommend her book to anyone looking for poetry to read, whether it's for emotional rebounding or just for pure entertainment value.

- Noor

Who or what have you had to let go of?
Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Nature

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by Novel Heartbeat. This feature is designed to let readers and other bloggers get to know us on a more personal level by discussing non-bookish topics. This week's topic is...


I do not like nature. Being outside makes me sad. Pictures of nature are ok, though. This is basically all I have to say about nature... So, yea.

Most people discuss nature as synonymous with the "outdoors" or anything green-ish. In that definition there is a strong love-hate relationship. It's pretty but godamn I suck at handling insects of any kinds and humidity makes me want to curl up into a ball and die. But anyway, I consider nature as synonymous with the universe - not to be pretentious, it's just what I've been taught. And I love the universe as a whole. It's existence, the random bits that make it work like gravity, all of the awesome things that terrify me about it. Go space.

Nature is pretty rad. I'm not gonna deny that I spend most of my time indoors either at a computer, with my phone, or behind the pages of a book (none of which are mutually exclusive). However, I do generally like nature despite not spending too much engulfed in it. I like taking photos and not only are photos of outdoor things often very lovely, but there are also some very nice photoshoot locations that are all natural and outdoorsy. Also, if the weather is nice, I like reading outdoors, especially in secluded-type areas. And I enjoy hiking and stuff in moderation, especially if it involves lakes because I dig lakes. However, I usually like doing these things in optimal weather conditions when there are no visible bugs -- especially ones that can fly or like really annoying ones like mosquitos or really terrifying unnamed ones -- and it's not gross and humid and I won't feel like dying.  

I really do like nature when I don't need to interact with it too often and I interact with it on my terms. I enjoy being in the rain and appreciating nice scenic things but do I enjoy being in the pouring rain when I need to get to class and the busses are late and it happens to be the one day in like 14 years I've chosen to to do my hair? No. I do not. Nature is beautiful in moderation and when I choose to experience it.

What do you think about nature?
Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Here at We Live and Breathe Books, the bloggers rotate so that two of us choose five books each week. This weeks topic is...

Books on my spring TBR list!

Kiersten's Picks

I typically don't pick out books to read based on the season, but these are the books I'm most looking forward to reading right now!

The Story of Awkward
R.K. Ryals
Goodreads | Amazon 

The Story of Awkward is my March TBR Jar pick for read a book that's free for Kindle on Amazon. The title is awesome on its own but the blurb also sounds really interesting. I'm hoping it's as good as it sounds!

Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles, #1

I've had this book for a while (I got it as a Kindle Daily Deal) and I have also acquired Scarlet and Cress into my possession. I'm starting to think that I really need to read these books, especially with the release of the final book, Winter, later this year. Hopefully I'll be able to use The Lunar Chronicles as one of my completed series in my series reading challenge this year!

The Winner's Curse
Marie Rutkoski
The Winner's Trilogy, #1
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I got The Winner's Curse at the Fierce Reads Tour event I went to over the summer, but I've been wanting to read The Winner's Curse since I first saw the cover last year. It has been way too long and I really need to read this.

Sarah Fine
Servants of Fate, #2
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I read Marked earlier this year (review here) and Claimed is coming out on the 24th. Since Claimed will be available through Kindle Unlimited, it only makes sense that I would read this as soon as it is released! I can't wait to see where this story goes next.

Free Souls
Susan Kaye Quinn
Mindjack Trilogy, #3

I read the first two books in this series long ago (well, not really that long ago) before the final book came out, and, for some reason, I still haven't finished this series. I absolutely love all of Susan Kaye Quinn's work and I'm sure this finale will be awesome, so I'm determined to read it this year as part of my series challenge!

Amrutha's Picks

Maximum Ride Forever
James Patterson 
Maximum Ride, #9
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

This doesn't come out until May but I have been following this series from the very beginning (until its very terrifying) (what we thought was) final novel. Of course, James Patterson wouldn't leave us with that AWFUL ending to the series and is providing us readers with another book where he goes "haha jk that never happened here is the real ending." Here's to hoping.

And the Mountains Echoed
Khaled Hosseini
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I truly loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns -- these books were just so beautifully written and to say that they are two of my favorite books of all time wouldn't be doing them justice. These two novels are to be cherished and I think they would be enjoyed by anyone. That being said, I really should get on this book, which I have been meaning to read for a while (also, conveniently, my roommate has a copy, so I might just borrow it from her for a bit).

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Mindy Kaling
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


Rainbow Rowell
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Rainbow Rowell is just one of those authors, who come around so rarely and is so poignant it makes you want to cry. I love love loved the other two Rainbow Rowell books I read that it only seems fitting that I bond with this one as well. I'm still really upset that I didn't get to first hand meet Rainbow Rowell and get a copy of the book then (but you can read all about that excursion (and a review!) here!) Needless to say, I'm super excited about this and hopefully it'll blow my mind just like the other books have.
One of the Guys
Lisa Aldin
Goodreads | Amazon 

This book was in our Top Ten Tuesday -- Most Anticipated Debut Novels of 2015 post (can be found here). I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, but it still looks quirky and adorable and its a trope I'm always looking for to be done right, so fingers crossed for this!

What's on your spring TBR?
Let us know in the comments!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Stuffed Animal Saturday [21]

Stuffed Animal Saturday is a meme that we post here at We Live and Breathe Books to showcase the book we're currently reading with one of our favorite stuffed animals and discuss our stuffed animal's opinion (well, it's really our opinion, but that's besides the point). We hope you enjoy our quirky feature as much as we enjoy writing it!

This Saturday, Walnut the wombat and Peanut Butter the otter are reading Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton with me!

So far: Walnut and Peanut Butter both really like Seeker so far! They find it especially interesting because even though we expected it to read like a high fantasy story, it actually reads more like a dystopian. There's also some heavy stuff going on so Walnut and Peanut Butter are curious about where the story is going.

Sneak peek: Walnut and Peanut Butter couldn't think of precisely one passage that could give the feel of the book but they thought this passage from the beginning of the story would give you a good sneak peek into the world of Seeker.

     It would be nice to make it though alive, Quin thought. She ducked to the right as her opponent's sword came whistling past the left side of her body, nearly slicing off her arm. Quin's own whipsword was in her hand in its whip form. With a crack, she flicked it out, and it solidified into a long sword. It'd be a shame if he split my head open now. I'm so close to success. The enormous man she was fighting looked delighted at the thought of killing her.
     The sunlight was in Quin's eyes, but on reflex she raised her weapon over her head and stopped her opponent's next strike before it cut her skull in two. The force of his blow against her sword was like a tree trunk falling upon her, and her legs buckled.
     "Got you, haven't I?" her adversary roared. Alistair MacBain was the biggest man she knew. He stood over her, his red hair glowing like an evil Scottish halo in the dusty sunbeams coming through the skylight. He was also her uncle, but that didn't mean anything at the moment.
     Quin scuttled backward. Alistair's huge arm swung his oversized weapon as if it were no more than a conductor's baton. He really intends to kill me, she realized.
Walnut and Peanut Butter told me to stop the passage there as to create an air of mystery. They're silly. Anyway, they like this scene because since it's the first scene in the story, it's also the reader's first chance to see the characters unfold. Walnut and Peanut Butter agree that Quin seems like a total warrior and they can't wait to see where her journey goes.

- Kiersten

Are you and your stuffed animal reading anything interesting? 
Let us know in your own Stuffed Animal Saturday!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Favorite Quotes

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by Novel Heartbeat. This feature is designed to let readers and other bloggers get to know us on a more personal level by discussing non-bookish topics. This week's topic is...

Favorite quotes!

I don't have a ton of favorite quotes, but I have a few! There are SOOO many great quotes in Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series. Here are a few of my favorites: "They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source the source of the grief is finite."; "One must always be careful of books ... and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us."; and the namesake for this blog, "We live and breathe words".

I also have some favorites from Rachel Hawkin's Hex Hall series. This one, however, is by far the best:"Right now, I'm so happy to see you that I wouldn't care if you're secretly a ninja sent from the future to destroy kittens and rainbows."

Then there are these last two favorites. The first comes from East of Eden by John Steinbeck: "And, of course, people are interested only in themselves. If a story is not about the hearer, he will not listen." Lastly, "There are two kinds of secrets: those we keep from others, and the ones we hide from ourselves." I'm not entirely sure where that one is from but it's been on my Facebook since middle school, so definitely a favorite.

First of all, no. NO. There are too godamn many. But here are a few.

"Menstruation, not hunting, was the great evolutionary leap forward." - Rosalind Miles, Who Cooked the Last Supper? The Women's History of the World. This book is godamn revolutionary, and is one of the most important pieces of literature to exist, especially alongside its other 80s titles, The Satanic Verses and The Handmaid's Tale. While the latter two are works of fiction that serve to undermine our conceptions of language, religion, identity, and history, Who Cooked Last Supper literally tracks the destruction of female autonomy and the creation and rise of the patriarchy through sociopolitical and religious systems. It's also frigging hilarious and so so so true.

Like Kiersten, I also enjoy Steinbeck's East of Eden: “I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. . . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?” This book is one hell of a trip, man.

“To the dumb question "Why me?" the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: why not?" - Christopher Hitchens, Mortality. Godamn man. Godamn. That's heavy.

"Literally every line from Hitchhikers Guide" - Seriously though.

There's a hell of a lot more but that list is just too endless.

Wow I have so many favorite quotes someone please stop me before I list seven thousand because God knows I live for good quotes. Let's start with some I especially enjoy:

"The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math" - Matt Adrian. This is one of my favorite quotes ever and I feel like it personally resonates with me (even though let's be real most of the things I do are really impulsive and not calculated which is funny considering how much I overthink) and if I ever got a tattoo I'd want it to say this (probably) because of how relevant I feel it is.

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” - Rumi. Okay, honestly, what I wanted to insert was every poem and every word Rumi has every uttered but for the interest of concision I decided to just pick one. I really like this one, I feel like it says a lot by saying a little.

"“I liked myths. They weren't adult stories and they weren't children's stories. They were better than that. They just were.” - Neil Gaiman. I also wanted to include all of Neil Gaiman's works because he's my favorite author and I had to settle on just the one quote and it was really stressful but I really enjoy this one and the idea of just being.

"“Leaving feels good and pure only when you leave something important, something that mattered to you. Pulling life out by the roots. But you can't do that until your life has grown roots.” - John Green. We're gonna go with the common theme of "I wanted to do all the quotes and had to pick one." Paper Towns is my favorite John Green book and I love both this quote and every mention of string-breaking, I just find it very hard-hitting and resonant.

"How do we forgive ourselves for all the things we did not become?" - Doc Luben. I also wanted to put a lot of poetry, especially spoken word and slam poetry, quotes on here, and also reigned back and just picked one and this line gave me chills when I first heard it, especially in context with the rest of the poem.

I have a lot of other quotes I like and honestly I'm bad at listing favorites when you ask for them so like this probably isn't even a "correct" list if you're judging by whether they're like my top favorites of my all time, much less a comprehensive list, but it's definitely still a valid one because I love all these quotes dearly!

There are literally so many that I could never even wrap my head around listing them all, and I think I live to find good quotes and it is a truth I stand by that in every good piece of writing, there is at least one line that should make your heart stop -- these are a few of them.

"Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another -- physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion." - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye. I actually didn't enjoy the story that much because I was horrified by the plot, but Morrison is an amazing writer and this line has stuck with me for so long, and I can't really put my finger on why, other than that it flows in a way that I want everything I ever say to flow.

"Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees." - Victor Hugo. While I'm not religious, this quote grounds me like no other.

"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited." - Sylvia Plath. Plath was basically the beginning of my experience of being completely honest with myself. Plath and Esther Greenwood from The Bell Jar, through poems and journals and the novel, prove themselves to be the most brutally honest people (to themselves). It was a wake up call I desperately needed at 14 and I'll forever love the quote and everything else Sylvia Plath has ever written.

I love pretty much Joan Didion has ever said but "Do not not complain. Work harder. Spend more time alone." and "Self respect is a question of recognizing that everything worth having has a price." Everything this woman says is just so inspiring to me.

What are some of your favorite quotes?
Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Books for Readers Who Like The Hunger Games

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Here at We Live and Breathe Books, the bloggers rotate so that two of us choose five books each week. This weeks topic is...

Books for readers who like The Hunger Games!

Noor's Picks

Kristin Kashore
Graceling Realm, #1
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

So I talked about Katsa, the protagonist of Graceling, in the last Top Ten Tuesday I did, which was about heroines, and she's the primary reason I think this book is great for fans of THG. While the book is fantasy and THG is dystopian, I see so much of Katniss in Katsa, and they both have the same determination, drive, and attitude, as well as just personality. Katsa is seen as a bit standoffish and rude and takes time to open up, and there are a lot of interesting parallels, so if you liked all the character development of The Hunger Games but want to take a break from the dystopia for a book or two, check out this severely underrated series.

The Maze Runner
James Dashner
The Maze Runner, #1

The Maze Runner is a series that's been gaining momentum in the media lately, especially since the movie for the first book came out recently (right? That happened? I'm not making that up in my head???) and I really enjoyed the books a lot when I read them and I think someone who liked THG would definitely like the books. They've got the elements of a dystopia with the fact that the characters appear in this existence outside of our own reality that's explored as the books go on. They've also got the same sort of feel to the writing, and I would totally recommend them to Hunger Games fans.

Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles, #1
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I reviewed Cinder a while back so if you want a more in-depth explanation of why I enjoyed the book as a whole, check that out, but as for why I think readers who like The Hunger Games should read it, it's this great futuristic book and it's so well-done and a completely brand-new refreshing reimagining of the traditional fractured fairy tale. It's a book I wasn't expecting and that's so much of what THG was and why so many people loved it -- it was something new and not full of things that were being written to death, and just a nice series full of unexpected things.

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn 
Alison Goodman
Eon, #1
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I thought I'd throw in another fantasy novel to keep things interesting. I absolutely love this book duo and, just like the other fantasy novel on this list, the characters are why I think the two series relate so well. The main character has a lot of gall and takes a lot of risks, as well as being super badass. The book revolves around a 16  year old girl disguising herself as a 12 year old boy because girls can't train with dragons and if she's caught she'll be killed. So it's all very high stakes and fast-paced and I think Hunger Games fans will not be disappointed.

Michael Grant
Gone, #1

I wrote a review of Gone last year so again, if you want more deets about my opinion go read that. Anyway, in the book, all the adults of the world mysteriously vanish and the kids are left to fend for themselves. I think readers of THG would definitely really like Gone because first of all, a large portion of The Hunger Games involves kids fending for themselves. I like the way you see the kids in Gone form their own subgroups and alliances, similar to the alliances in THG. Of course, don't think you're going to get bored reading the same book because they've got tons of differences seeing as the central plot lines are very different, they just have these nice parallels that I think fans of THG would enjoy.

Marlon's Picks

Marie Lu
Legend #1
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

This book is particularly kick-butt in my opinion. Female, ethnic lead? Count me in. Seemingly cold and sherlock-y lead? Count me in. I just love June. She's nothing like Katniss but her world definitely is. As in THG we see the corrosion of characters (for the most part), rather than standard character development. Also it's less heavy-handed than THG with much of the similar lessons.

Young Elites
Marie Lu
The Young Elites # 1
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Okay it may be really weird to have two books by the same author but Marie Lu is just that good. While Legend shares much of the dystopian rhetoric and social commentary that the Hunger Games does (albeit in a different way), but this novel hones in on the psychological aspect and the importance of having a complicated, non-hero protagonist. This is mentioned somewhat in THG, especially in Mockingjay, where Katniss basically fights for her right to simply be a person. In TYL, our protag goes through a buttload of trauma and she does not stay on the golden road. Also there is magic and plagues and all that good stuff.

The Darkest Minds
Alexandra Bracken
The Darkest Minds, # 1
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While I love the landscapes of THG and it's setting, I also loved when they ventured out of this -- like the cabin on the outskirts of District 12. I liked to see how confined individuals worked in non-confined spaces. This is very subtle in THG but TDM is like a cowboy road trip -- literally most of it takes place in or near a road -- but instead of cowboys you have super-powered teenagers fighting for their lives against the government. And they're also fighting each other to survive. The protag has been locked away for fifteen years and doesn't really know how to function as a human being and it's friggin awesome. Not for her, of course. But can I get a hell yeah with these female leads? While it's premise is very dark, and the book never shies away from the most gruesome parts, the novel still lilts with humor and Percy Jackson-esque quiet camp moments.

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
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Yeah, I'm putting a classic up. Sue me. This book is pretty essential if you're into how the whole dystopian fiction genre came to be as it is today. Huxley creates a fictional utopia based off the literature of H.G. Wells, and then proceeds to show how it is not a good thing. Many characters end up dead, and only one who lives is liberated from the dystopia. The novel is a philosophical counter, but it doesn't read like that. It reads like the fiction we're used to -- just without the young lead.

Throne of Glass
Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass # 1
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Oh come on, you have to. TOG is just so good. SO SO GOOD. I promise. I promise it's good. It's got the brooding dark and mysterious female lead and the two hot guys who will never understand her because she was held captive as a slave for over a year in the worst slave camp in the world. I promise it's good. Please read this book. The language is beautiful, Maas is hilarious, and the characters are just so interesting and they never fully fit the roles you would expect them too. As for its relation to THG, that lies mostly in the protagonists. They have similar ways of dealing with the world, which in TOG has somewhat worse implications.

What would you recommend to readers who like The Hunger Games?
Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life of a Blogger: Favorite Movies (Freebie)

Life of a Blogger is a weekly meme hosted by Novel Heartbeat. This feature is designed to let readers and other bloggers get to know us on a more personal level by discussing non-bookish topics. This week's topic is a freebie so we chose...

Favorite movies!


Ugh, so many favorites. I definitely have an unhealthy obsession with Pitch Perfect (I can recite most of the movie and do the dances). I also really like Disney Channel movies from my childhood. I think Go Figure is the most underrated DCOM ever and I'm still upset that I can't buy it on DVD. Staying in the same genre, I am a huge fan of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (and basically everything else Lindsay Lohan was in around that time), Aquamarine, Ice Princess, Stick It, Bring It On (the original, Again, All or Nothing, and In It to Win It), and ANYTHING AMANDA BYNES IS IN BUT ESPECIALLY SHE'S THE MAN. I'm also a HUGE fan of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Easy A, Fight Club, and Donnie Darko. For animated movies, my favorites are Mulan, The Winnie the Pooh Movie (the most recent one with that song "Everything is Honey"), Anastasia (actually so good though), and Hercules (which is definitely an underrated Disney film). Well, we have quite the mix here so I'm just going to stop.


Ooh this is hard . . . I love  lot of movies. I don't watch a lot of movies, mostly TV, but ugh I love so many. Without any particular order, these are the movies that immediately come to mind: V for Vendetta, Into the Woods, Inception. V is just a masterpiece of social commentary and has probably the largest well of quotable lines. It's genius, really. I love Into the Woods because, well, let's be honest, AGONY and the lowkey polyamorous song that Emily Blunt sings -- but also the well structured plot and engaging narrative. Inception, well . . . my god that soundtrack and my god that story is just . . . my god. But I have lots of types of favorites too . . . like Big Hero 6 immediately comes to mind for animated films, along with How to Train your Dragon 2, because both films are incredibly good with gender and ethnic representation while also boasting undeniably awesome plots and narratives and just really cool characters. Also the Avengers. Never forget. I'm going to stop now.


I LOVE SO MANY MOVIES, which is why when people ask me what my favorite movie is I have figured out my top three (I can't narrow it down past that) so I tell them that, so if you'd like to know, my top three favorite movies are The Social Network, V For Vendetta, and American Psycho. The Social Network is where I first fell in love with Andrew Garfield and he's been the love of my life ever since. Of course, there are plenty of other movies I can't get enough of. For example, pretty much anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Right now, I think my favorite has to be Captain America 2, but there are some very promising ones coming out threatening that spot (cough civil war; cough age of ultron). I've also developed a deep love for Big Hero 6. And of course, I can't forget to mention my favorite Disney movie, which is Tangled. I have so many more movies which I adore beyond belief but a comprehensive list of favorites would take up a lot of time and a lot of room so let's just go with these for now. 


There are just so many, this is actually a struggle for me. Just like my fellow bloggers, I love love loved V for Vendetta (Natalie Portman is a queen on so many levels), Love Actually (because really, who doesn't), and Good Will Hunting. But most of all, I really love bad chick flicks, good chick flicks, chick flicks of any sort -- any sort of mushy romance, big gesture for love, or ridiculous romcom are just my game. Name a romance movie, chances are I've probably seen it. Also Disney/Pixar are just baes because pretty much all of their movies are beloved. I also loved Tangled and Mulan and Aladdin, so I'd say theres a tie between my three favorite Disney movies there. This seems like a lot so I'm going to cut myself off right now because if I don't I will continue forever.

What are some of your favorite movies?
Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: Marked - Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine 
Series: Servants of Fate, #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing about it besides that it was written by Sarah Fine. With how much I enjoyed her books in the Guards of the Shadowlands series, that's all I really felt I needed to know. While this book follows an adult character rather than a teen and has a very different plot, there were still some similar elements in Marked and I really liked it!

Marked, in a very simple, watered-down description, is about reapers of souls and those who transport souls to either heaven or hell. I've never read a book with a concept like this (although I have seen the TV show Dead Like Me), so it was really cool to read the way Sarah Fine incorporated this concept while also building a post-apocalyptic society. I especially liked the slight references to Greek mythology that were clear as a jumping off point for the story. For example, the leader of the group who transports souls is called the Charon and the main character's last name is Ferry - both references to the figure in Greek mythology who transported the souls to the underworld. The Ferrys also received a gold coin for their service, similarly to how the Charon in Greek mythology required a golden drachma as payment for the ferry ride into Hades. As a fan of Greek mythology, I liked how these small details were interspersed throughout the story without it being the main aspect of the plot - because let me tell you, there is way more to this plot than that.

Marked is a lot of things - it's paranormal, romance, mystery, fantasy, action, and more. The story follows Cacy Ferry and her new paramedic partner, Eli Margolis, after Cacy's father's death. Things are getting even more dangerous in the city they live in and it's clear that one of the reapers, called Kere, is disobeying orders and marking people who are not supposed to die. While it felt like the plot spent a lot of time on the romantic aspect, there was definitely a lot going on with the mystery of what happened to Cacy's father and how it involved Eli's sister, Galena. Marked was an exciting read and I really did not expect it to turn out the way it did.

The main thing that kept me from loving this book was that I didn't quite connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to. I think this is, in part, because the characters are several years older than I am but also because much of the beginning of the story was focused on their chemistry and wanting for each other rather than their emotions dependent of that. While there was solid character development in between the lusty obsession Cacy and Eli seemed to have for each other, it was somewhat less satisfying because the romance felt a bit baseless at times. With that being said, I still thought the romance was compelling later on in the story.

By far my favorite part of the book was the epilogue. The epilogue followed a somewhat unexpected character and gave a deeper look into how the jobs of the Kere and Ferrys work. It also made me really excited for the next book, Claimed, since it made me have a lot of questions about what was going to happen.

Overall, I really liked Marked! I didn't like it quite as much as the books in the Guards of the Shadowlands series, but the plot was engrossing and Sarah Fine did a great job building the world and making the characters feel real. I recommend this for fans of post-apocalyptic and fantasy (especially if you like stories that deal with the afterlife).

- Kiersten

Have you read any books about reapers?
Let us know in the comments!