Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Jojo Moyes broke my heart: Me Before You and After You

Me Before You 
Author: Jojo Moyes

Goodreads: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
Author: Jojo Moyes

Goodreads: “You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future...

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.


Me Before You
Well, my heart it literally broken into bits. Absolutely, tiny little bits and pieces that only another book will be able to fix...in a couple of years. I love these two books. I'm not a crier. I hate to cry. Many may say it's stupid to say this, but I think makes me feels weak and too emotional. But then again, having a good cry is good too.

In the first book, I love the journey we are taken on through. Lou is an amazing character that truly goes through a change that impacts her life. She's not the standard heroine that I feel society has come used to in fantasy novels or any other contemporary work. Will, while I did feel he was a bit of the stereotypical male asshole turned nice guy, he was amazing and his character was more than that wheel chair. The other characters were amazing at taking my emotions on a ride. I had a love/hate relationship with many of the characters.

The overall plot was amazing. The love story was well-balanced with the everyday life of Lou's and the Traynors. To me, it was believable. (Then again, some of it has happened in my life.) The ending was incredibly heart breaking. So happy there was a sequel.

After You
First off, the new Lou in this book was so strange. The book opens to her working in a bar. I'm sorry, but from the first book, I couldn't see her doing that. Hell, I couldn't see her doing have the stuff she did in After You based on her character from the first book. But then again, she did change after she met Will. Unfortunately, it lasted only for a bit.

In the description, it tells us Lou goes to the Moving On group, which everyone can come conclusions about on their own. While I believe a lot of the book was about Lou finally moving on with her life and starting anew from Will, I also believe it was about finding closure to a chapter in her life that wasn't done. Will left this giant mark on her heart, on her life, and then he left. In a sense, the new characters in the book are there to help her find that closure she needed. To me, it was as if Lou needed to reassure herself, in some way, that even with Will gone, she still has a lot left to do in this world, and that the people she met help her come to that conclusion. Can you see what I mean?

There were parts of this book that threw me for a loop. It all revolved around the character from Will's past that enters Lou's life. There were parts of this book that just seemed...stupid and crazy. But then again, it's Lou.

Overall, this book was just as great as the first one. Not much as of a tear-jerker as the first one, but the ending has a moment that takes you back to the first book.

I really hope there's a sequel to this book. I need to know what happens with Sam and Lou.

5 Starfish

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Problems with Internships

Well, here is another rant that I just need to get off my chest. Whether or not someone is actually reading this doesn't matter to me. I just need to rant about this. Or discuss. Whatever word you want to use.

Anyway, here I go.

1) If you want a SUMMER intern, okay. If you want a SUMMER and FALL intern, please list so. I can't tell you how many interviews I've done where they've said "So, our ideal intern would work through the summer and in the fall" or "What's your Fall semester situation?" or something like that. If you want someone to work for you throughout the fall, please state it in the description.

For instance, I had an interview with a great company that not only was close to home, but had a great reputation and was growing strong. During the interview, I got along with the head of marketing very well, we talked a lot. We shared our confusion on the hype with Snapchat. Honestly, it was great. Then he said the intern would work through the fall, and possibly through the spring. I thought, "Well, that wasn't in the job description. And crap, I can't do that. My other job won't allow for it." (I'm going to be an RA (resident assistant) this up-coming fall semester and we are only allowed to work five hours outside of RA-ing.) Had I known that the wanted a full-time, year-round intern, I would have never applied. (I will apply later on in life.)

Overall message: Make sure the internship with a company you are applying for is a Summer Internship if that is what your are looking for.

2) You know how at the end of the interview, after you're done asking your questions and telling them extra information that makes you look good, the interview says, "We are currently interviewing blah blah number of people and plan to make our decision in blah blah number of days. We will get back to you in X number of days or weeks." Well, I really hate this. Why?

That number is bull.

Employers/interviewers do NOT get back to you in that exact amount of time. If anything, it takes at least one to five months to get any message, if you get one at all. I hate this. While I do know all employers are busy, and HR has a bunch of people to interview, and there are a bunch of meetings that need to be done in order to make a choice, but if you know it's going to take forever, don't tell me you're going to get back to me in a week or two.

What I hate is if that time frame goes by and I've heard nothing, I feel bad. In not contacting me in that time frame you stated to me, I believe I didn't get the job. I know some people would tell me that I should take it upon myself to contact the company in order to see where my application stands, what is the point if the only thing I'm going to hear is, "You didn't get it."

Now, there are exceptions. Companies will take a while to get back only because of the mass amount of applications they received. My best friend was told she got her internship from her company after a month.

But still, it does hurt when you don't hear anything.

3) Even if I didn't get the job and you told me you'd get back to me in a week or two, send a freaking email or something. I hate those companies that don't send any message if you didn't get the job. I like it when a company sends me an email saying "Thank you for applying....we went with another applicant...we will keep your application on file...blah blah blah." Even though it sucks to get this email, it's an email that let's we work out what I will be doing for the summer. The companies that don't send me an email at all have poor HR departments. That, or just a poor internship coordinator.

What is worse is the company you interviewed with in the fall finally sends you an email in the spring, four (or was it five) months later. Yes, calling to find out what the deal is probably should have been done, but still, if I haven't heard from you in a month, I'm assuming I didn't get the job. It would be great to know I need to keep looking for an internship sooner rather than later.

An email, a simple email would be nice. 

4) In college, getting an internship is a great way to gain experience. Pretty sure every college student that feels they need one will get one.


I know I want an internship to gain experience. It is a way to put a foot in the door to a company I might want to work for. Why make me do one only to graduate?!

There are several problems by making it a graduation requirement.
   1) What happens if I can't get one and graduate when I need to? I'm stuck in college still.
   2) There are too many candidates competing for these internships. There's only a small chance of me or anyone else getting one. Let me get the internship because I want one.
   3) This is a program that is going to benefit me in the future. I gain knowledge and experience in the career field I want to go into. Why make me pay for it and write papers?! A.K.A: Why make me take a "class"?! I'm already going to spend a crap load of money on housing, food, clothing that's office/work area appropriate, and on a bunch of other stuff I'll need, like GAS!!! I don't want to spend money to do an internship. 

It's just a crappy way for a university/college to get more money. 

Whew! I'm done. I feel better.

Friday, June 10, 2016

So...yeah, time to face the facts...

Originally when I started this blog, it was for my own selfish benefits of just wanting an extra entry in different giveaways. Well, now I rarely see that option, so oh well.

But it's time to fact facts. I'm an awful blogger. I haven't "blogged" anything since September 2015. Why? Freaking school. Freaking college. I know I'm getting a good education (hopefully) and will get a job afterwards that will not only allow me to pay back my debt, but also earn me enough money to travel. What sucks is it takes up most of my time.

"Well, if you didn't watch so much TV (mostly YouTube) while you did your work, you could read more." The words of my best friend. First off, I don't watch that much, especially compared to her. Second, I have a crap more stuff to do than her. Yeah, I probably should unsubscribe from a few of the blogs I follow to lessen my email load, but that would take FOREVER!!

College sucks. "Do fun stuff." Well, it's hard to do when teachers weigh you down with a load of books. And then work on top of it. Believe me, I managed to balance it all. I just wish I could have a job where all I did was read. (Yes, I could be an editor, but I'm pretty sure getting an English degree would land me in a grave, thanks to my best friend. Not kidding.)

Okay, college doesn't suck. This past semester did. Yes, I did find some time to read, but not as much as I wanted to. *Sigh* Well, it could be worse.

If anyone is actually reading this, well, I have to say. my blogging sucks, and while I do not want to shut it down forever and ever, I will say I probably will never post regular posts until I get my life and schooling done, which is in about five years probably. Ugh!

I will say this, when I do get to read, let alone find some motivation to write anything, it feels better than anything in the world.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Update + Mini Reviews #11: Hello Again Rick Riordan!

So, long time no blog! What have I been doing for the past, I don't know, year? Well, as most of you know, I am in college. (At least, I hope someone is reading this.) Now I'm back. What sucks is that I never have time to read what I want. Well, I do, but I get distracted by other stuff. Anyway, it took me a year to finish The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan because of all the college reading I had to do. ONE YEAR! That is ridiculous! What's great is that I remembered most of the stuff and tried to read tidbits of it every once in a while.  Well, here is my review of it plus The Crown of Ptolemy.

Goodreads: He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. 

To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

Okay, so despite taking a whole year to read this book, I still enjoyed it. It was funny, dramatic, and had great history a part of it. While I kinda did not like how the romance kinda went down between the main characters and their love interests (it didn't go very fast - it was a typical teen relationship - but I felt that there should have been more interactions between Sadie and Walt/Anubis and Carter and Zia), I loved the over all story.  It was a good read, and I am looking forward to Riordan's next book. 

One thing though: The Kane Chronicles will never be better than Percy Jackson. 

Goodreads: In their first encounter, demigod Percy Jackson and magician Carter Kane had to battle a giant crocodile on Long Island. A month later, Annabeth Chase ran into Carter's sister, Sadie, on the A train to Rockaway, where the pair fought a god named Serapis. Now trouble is brewing again, this time on Governor's Island. 

An ancient Egyptian magician named Setne has come back from the dead and is experimenting with Egyptian and Greek magic, trying to become a god himself. He's so powerful and tricky that all four-Percy, Annabeth, Carter, and Sadie-have to team up against him. But their usual weapons and spells aren't going to cut it this time. Will the heroes be taken down by a wannabe god who looks like Elvis, or will they rise to the challenge?

So, I wasn't a fan on how this story started out - a little too fast for me - I mean, it jumped right into it without warning. But then again, it was pretty cool. I love this crossover between the two Riordan worlds. It was better than the ones with just the two boys or the two girls. I loved it when Percy and Nekhbet "worked" together. Favorite part: When Percy reminded everyone on why he turned down immortality. *Sigh* I love this boy. And this story was amazing. :D

Well, not sure when I'll update again. Probably when I delete pics off my computer or something. Until then, Keep on Reading!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Shell Full of Books: 2014-2015 + Announcement

Well, this is where I tell everyone what books I got over the past year. Honestly, it's a lot of fun. I hope people see books they want to read or haven't heard of. 

Here they are!

As you can see, I got a lot of books.

And now...

There are new books in the store! Please check them out! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mini Reviews #10: Rick Riordan Edition

Title: The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Yes
Finished: Yes
Source: Bought

Review: As always, Rick Riordan delivers a fantastic book of funniness and action and awesomeness. While I wish the romance was more spread out like it was in the Percy Jackson series, the book was still awesome. Unlike the first book, I found that this second book didn't remind me of any of the Percy Jackson books. It was new and refreshing. I was disappointed that Ra didn't come back as some awesome super god, but it was a fun book. Totally recommend it.

Title: The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5)
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Yes
Finished: Yes
Source: Won!

Review: The end sucks! It just sucks! I mean, I'm happy that the person who was predicted to die doesn't actually "die die", but seriously, it was left so open! TOO OPEN!!! Anyway, I loved the book. I loved it when Percy said "I love you" to Annabeth and they shared a moment before they fought the giants. I loved that we got to see the POVs of Reyna and Nico, but I missed reading from Percy's view. Annabeth's was okay, but come on, we all love Percy. He's the Harry Potter of the Greek Mythology world. I can't wait for the Crown of Ptolemy to come out in May. Recommending it all the way to Elysium.

Ratings & Covers:

Friday, April 3, 2015

Review: Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson

Title: Defy (Defy #1)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Series: Yes
Finished or ARC: Finished
Source: Won

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?


Well, I read this a long time ago, and I got the sequel for Christmas, which is sad because I haven't been able to pick it up to read. College sucks sometimes.

Anyway, to start off, I really like Alexa. She's an amazing heroine that knows what she wants and goes for it. Of course, when it comes to boys she's a little confused. The plot line was a little original - the kidnapping part with Damian was brilliant. A unique twist. Of course, from there, it was a little predictable. But not too much. Sorcerers were banned, but of course, there are a few hiding.  Want to get rid of horrible ruler....blah blah blah. All you need to know is that Alexa had a large hand in saving the day, and Damian turned into something that we all suspected he was when his mother was brought up. 

The king has to be one of the worst villains I have ever read about. Well, in the top 20, he's at 10. After reading about him, I wanted to jump through the pages and rip out his heart Regina style (hehehe). Of course, that ability is something I lack. What I liked, though, is that Larson made him a very realistic king, as if she took one from history and put him in the story. I say this because - of course - the king is a dictator, but some of the things he did were things kings did back in old times - like rape. Not many books I have read mention the evil king raping or holding slave houses - usually it's just a lot of murder. (Not that I don't mind that either.)

The romance was....I don't want to say horrible, but it wasn't great. As read in the summary, there is a love triangle. Honestly, I think it was more like a scale that was very unbalanced. Alexa was clearly leaning towards one guy more than the other. She friend-zoned him before he got a chance to make her like-like him! And the thing with the other guy....ugh! Crappy insta-love. Let me tell you, there is not such thing as insta-love. It was horrible. And their little moment towards the end about her being with him because she couldn't trust him (please reread through the review if you can't guess which guy this is.)

The ending - happy, but I still need to read the sequel.


Come on, it's a gorgeous dagger! I want one!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Possess
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Series: No
Finished or ARC: Finished
Source: Won....I think

Rule #1: Do not show fear.
Rule #2: Do not show pity.
Rule #3: Do not engage.
Rule #4: Do not let your guard down.
Rule #5: They lie.

Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.

Review (Thank God I saved this in Word): 

This book was AMAZING! If you haven’t read this book yet, do so ASAP! While I do sound like a fan girl right about now, I have every right to be. I mean, once you read the book, I think you’ll be gushing about it to. Well, maybe not as much as me and sound as crazy as me. Anyway….

Looking at the cover, you’d think ghosts, right? Well, you’d be mistaken. The book is about demons and exorcisms and evil. All that good jazz. Yes, for those who love a little romance in their YA tale, there is some. Nothing extremely cheesy (except for one part), by romance nether the less. So to begin…

Bridget is your average teenage girl dealing with bullies and a boy who loves her just too much for her liking. This whole thing with her ability to hear and banish demons is pretty cool. Too bad this all had to manifest within the year of her dad’s death. Sounds like she should be a bit depressed, but she wasn’t.

What I loved about this book was despite all the crap Bridget was dealing with, she still found the time to be with her little brother, Sammy. And when she wasn’t, she had that badass attitude that we all know YA heroines have despite their whole world going crazy. She was able to stay strong and blah blah blah. Yet, unlike some of the other cheesy YA stories, eventually Bridget was able to let out all that emotion she was feeling, but not onto her love interest. Yes, she told Matt about some of the stuff she is dealing with, but nothing that she used his shoulder to cry on. I love that Bridge was that strong.

The whole plot to this story was creepy. Not in the sense of horror movie creepy, but it was close. I was thinking one thing, but then BAM, something else hits me and sends chills up my spine because now I’m in the dark. In addition to the creepy plot, the setting. It was creepy in general. Bridget lives in a fog-covered part of San Francisco. The creepy church with angels starring down at everyone. And then the doll shop. *shivers* That scene was wrong in so many ways, but yet so thrilling and exciting to read about. While there are some parts that are a bit predictable, the whole book is basically a guessing game. Who’s going to die? Is she going to pick that boy or this one? Is she going to blow up and yell at the crazed guy that’s obsessed with her? Yeah, this book was great.

Romance wise…small love triangle. Well, more like a love L. At the bottom, two people really like each other, but unfortunately, there is someone hanging on to the middle person (Bridget) that just won’t let go. The chemistry between Bridget and Matt was cute. Of course, there is the old cliché that she is fighting him off because of some reason that the readers wish wasn’t an issue, but in this case, I think an exception can be made. After all, it deals with her mom and Matt’s dad…get the picture? No, it’s nothing gross, but it gets to the point that it makes things awkward when Matt finally finds out. It’s hilarious.

Matt. Matt was interesting, yet a very stereotypical YA male. I loved him, but wish he was bit different. Star athlete, popular, but falls for the heroine who isn’t popular herself. No, he’s not an anxious jock, but he’s like the boy next door basically. (He actually was at one point before he moved away.) But of course, what girl isn’t looking for that boy next door to sweep her off her feet? (Girls that want bad boys, duh. But not me in this case.) I loved his humor and the way he conned Bridget into things. That was funny.

Can’t really hope for a sequel. Gretchen isn’t known for doing sequels (wish she was!). But the ending was great (for once).

Rating & Cover:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm alive. Don't despair.

Well, if you are reading this, this means you have tumbled onto my blog by accident or get my emails. Anyway, I haven't posted anything in the last six, eight months because of COLLEGE!!! Yay me! Getting an education. Anyway, that takes up a bulk of my time. I don't know how others do it. Anyway, hopefully, a few new post will follow this one, including a few reviews of some awesome books mashed into one post (because it's been awhile and I really don't remember many of them in great detail).

So please, bare with me. Soon, the Sandcastle Bookstore will be full again. Hopefully, if someone is reading this, you can pass on the message. All money collected will go towards my college fund (or other stuff. Not sure for the moment). Of course, there will be books for trade. ARCS! :D

Well, I hope someone is reading this.

Good luck to you,
Tayte Hunter

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Shell Full of Books: 2013-2014

Well, it's been a long time since I've done one of these. I believe a year in fact. Anyway, this is where I post the books I got over the past year from people.

And here they are!

I've already read this one, and Racing Savannah, and I've loved them both!
Read them!

As you can see, I've gotten a lot of books over the past year. Plus, a bunch of e-books that I have bought/won and didn't write down.
Thank you to everyone who I won the books from and who I traded with.
And thank you to Amazon for existing.
 Sooner or later I'm going to do another post with all the books I don't want that I need to get rid of. Stay tuned!