Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Book Haul & Wrap-Up!

Hello, everybody! Today, it's my favorite time of the month. When I get to share with all of you lovely people the books I acquired one way or another throughout the month. YAY QUE PARADE AND CONFETTI.

Now, this month I've been quite busy so I haven't had much time to read or even look around for review copies. TIME MANAGEMENT. Sometimes adulting is just too hard. Because I've been busy with life, I decided to take it easy with the book buying since I wasn't going to have time to read them anyway. I'm actually quite proud of myself for not having purchased many books this month, thank you very much. 

Next month probably won't be the same story but for now, I'm feeling good. Well, not really since I'm currently fighting a cold but YOU GET MY POINT. Here are all the books I read, bought and recieved this month! Followed by all the CDs and music I purchased as well because I have a music buying problem too. What is my life?




By Your Side by Kasie West -Barnes and Noble- $9.00
We Can Be Mended (Divergent #3.5) by Veronica Roth -Free With "Carve The Mark" Pre-Order




Image result for you never walk alone bts album

LOTTO by EXO (The 3rd Album Repackaged) -Google Play- $5.57
You Never Walk Alone by BTS (Left Side) -Amazon- $31.99 (Included photocards, poster, and more)
Know-It-All by Alessia Cara (Deluxe Edition) -Thrift Shop- Gift from a friend
Flight Log: Departure by GOT7 -Amazon- $19.90 (Included photocards, stickers, poster, and more)


So that's it! My haul this month is so small and cute, I LOVE IT. Have a good month everybody! Read on bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: The Last Shadow Gate by Michael W. Garza + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Hello, everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for THE LAST SHADOW GATEby Michael W. Garza hosted by YA Bound Blog Tours and I'm really excited to bring you guys my review for today.

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this blog tour.

Down below you'll find my review of the book, purchase links, release dates for the future books in the Shadow Gate series, author links


Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy
Score: ❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 264
Book #1 of The Shadow Gate Chronicles
Publisher: NeverHaven Press
Published: March 3rd, 2017

Summer vacation was never supposed to be like this.

It was bad enough Naomi had to be shipped off to her dad's home for the summer and deal with her half-brother Gavin, but when the siblings are forced to spend their break with their great-grandmother in upstate New York, everything changes. An investigation into the strange disappearance of their great-grandfather forces them to retrace his footsteps. They discover a gateway between worlds and encounter extraordinary creatures in a land where the people are desperate to escape the coming of a shade lord. To survive their adventure, Naomi and Gavin must settle their differences and find the elusive shadow gate that will take them home again.


Book 1: The Last Shadow Gate 
Book 2: A Veil of Shadows (Coming 2017) 
Book 3: The Shadow of War (Coming 2018)

1. This book sounded a little like NARNIA meets SPIDERWICK when I first read the synopsis. I love fantasy books that are filled with fun adventures so this one caught my attention pretty quickly. Not to mention that I was in a bit of a fantasy mood so the timing for this book was spot on and I'm really happy to bring my review of this story to you guys today. Here's the review:

2. Right off the bat, I really liked the characters. I thought Gavin was a very fun loving kid and had a bit of a thirst for adventure and exploring. Although his older sister Naomi wasn't as thrilled as he was about exploring, they both took it in stride and thought it was the perfect and only way of entertaining themselves in their otherwise boring stay at their great-grandmother's home for the summer. Of course, they quickly find out that there's an unsolved mystery surrounding their great-grandfather's disappearance and it's up to them to find the answers.

3. This book is a fast-paced fantasy adventure with a great setting and description of the world Naomi and Gavin discover. Filled with characters who are half horse, magical, half spider and much more, I thought it was really unique and tons of fun to read. There's definitely a lot of action strewn throughout the book that keeps it moving while also giving the reader enough information about the world and creatures who live there. It doesn't have any info-dump moments which I greatly appreciated but rather gives the reader basic information that's easy to understand to get the gist of what's going on.

4. The writing style is also very reader-friendly and is simple to understand and makes for a smooth reading experience. It has a bit of a classic feel to the story such as the feel you get from other fantasy books such as NARNIA and SPIDERWICK which is probably why this book felt reminiscent of those novels. The characters are realistic, especially the relationship between the step-siblings, had a few humorous moments sprinkled in for more entertainment, and had great structure, a good pace, and was overall a fun fantasy story that I think will capture many people's attention. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them. 

Author Links:


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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Fifteen Seconds Of Normal by Alex Marestaing

Rating: PG
Genre: Young Adult
Score: ❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 294
Stand Alone
Publisher: MyMilou Press
Published: October 11th, 2016

Step 1: Transfer High Schools. 
Step 2: Hide your Tourette’s. 
Step 3: Find your fifteen seconds of normal. 

Kaeya Garay has a plan. And it seems to be working.But when a curious interruption named Thatcher Kelly stumbles upon her “safe” place in the school’s abandoned art gallery, her grand plans for normalcy are suddenly derailed. 

Set over the course of three weeks, Fifteen Seconds of Normal is the quirky saga of a literature obsessed teen on the edge of a meltdown and the hope driven heroine who begins to pull him back. Fans of Eleanor and Park be warned. You won’t be able to put this one down. 

A “Breakfast Club” for a new generation from EPIC Award finalist Alex Marestaing, author of I’m Nobody: The Lost Pages

1. Special thanks to Sara over at YA Bound Book Tours for the review copy. The sound of this novel was just something I couldn't pass on. I love the more melancholy type contemporaries, the kind that are perfect reads for a rainy day. I was pretty excited when I had the chance to review it for you all and I'm so happy that I could relax with this read. I was a little surprised that I ended up liking the book a lot more than I expected. Not that it was bad at first, it's just that I didn't expect that much from it. Always a great surprise if you ask me. Here's the review: 

2. I really liked the characters in the book, Sam being my favorite. He was the fun side-character that I couldn't help but love with his bubbly personality and goofy antics. Our main character was a unique one since I haven't seen any characters in any books I've read in the past who suffered from Tourette's. I think that's why I really liked Kaeya, she was a different kind of MC and struggled to keep her TS a secret from as many people as possible except for Sam and Thatcher, who never made Kaeya feel embarrassed about her TS. Thatcher was also a unique subject since he struggles to overcome a cruel meme made of him at school while also dealing with stresses at home and a broken relationship with his father. 

3. I really loved that the story went back and forth between Kaeya's POV and Thatcher's. We get to see what either character was dealing with and the kinds of stresses and emotions they were sorting through and trying to figure out on their own. I think it made for a nice development between the characters and made their growing feelings for each other a little more realistic. The romance wasn't to forefront of the story but merely an element that helped bring Kaeya and Thatcher closer together as they opened up to each other a little more. 

4. The story had a nice pace to it and while at times the romance did get a little cheesy, it was well written. There were equal parts romance, drama, humor, and grief as well as other subjects that were more raw and emotional. It was a bit of a darker and moodier contemporary that I fully enjoyed and at times, the book had me really feeling emotionally attached to the characters. The ending almost had me in tears even. And I NEVER cry while reading books. Like, EVER. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

Once upon a time, author Alex Marestaing wrote a random letter to the Walt Disney Company asking if they needed any creative help. Fortunately, Disney had mercy on his embarrassing attempt to break into the publishing scene and gave him his first writing job. A lot has happened since then, including four novels, a beautiful wife, three kids, two cats, an extremely mellow dog, an honorable mention at the London Book Festival, a stint covering soccer in Europe and the U.S., and fun freelance work for companies such as Lego, Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins and The Los Angeles Times. Oh yeah, he also speaks at conferences around the country giving people advice such as “Writing letters to random companies isn’t always such a bad idea” 

Author Links:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Song Of The Week #12

Hello, everybody! I feel like it's been forever since I last did a song of the week even though I only missed a couple of weeks but a lot has happened in that time. Which is the main reason why I haven't been blogging as much as I usually do or even pre-preparing posts for this blog to go up during the dry days when I feel like I haven't posted enough in the week. So, let's discuss this, shall we?

For starters, I just started working at my first job (WHOOP WHOOP!!) and I've been having fun with it so far! I've only just started, only worked a few days so far, but I'm getting the hang of everything and my coworkers are a HUGE help and just great people. 

Secondly, I've been brainstorming ideas for new posts to go up on Of Wonderland throughout the month of March because I'm going to be crazy busy at work during that month. I want to get up some interesting posts for both Of Wonderland and this blog as well so please be patient with me! I'm really trying to make interesting posts for you guys!

Third and final reason I've been a bit blog absent is that I simply needed a break. Along with the other two reasons, I felt like I needed a bit of time to get used to my new job, taking on studying for my ACT, learning to drive (which I'm not THAT excited about) and working on new art projects I've been wanting to try forever. It's always good to take a bit of a break every now and then and I hope to be back to normal within the next few weeks or so.

So, that's it for this week's life update and I hope I didn't put you all to sleep. That was SO NOT MY GOAL. Anyhoo, I'll shut up now and get on with the music. OKAY BYE.



Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Snowbirds by Crissa-Jean Chappell

Rating: PG
Genre: Fiction
Score: 4.5 stars
Page Count: 280
Stand Alone
Publisher: Merit Press
Published: January 18th, 2017

Secrets Were a Way of Life.
But Secrets Have Gone Too Far …

Every year, Lucy waits eagerly for the arrival of the “snowbirds,” the Old Order Amish who come trundling into Florida on buses from the north, bringing Lucy’s best friend Alice, with whom she’s spent every winter she can remember. This winter is different. At sixteen, Alice is in the middle of “Rumspringa,” a season in which Amish teens try out forbidden temptations, in order to get them out of their system. Lucy is part of a different sect, in which teens aren’t allowed such bold experimentation, and she’s fighting to keep up as Alice races from one wild party to the next. Then, one night after just such a party, Alice vanishes. Wracked by guilt, Lucy knows that she should have been watching out for Alice, but instead, she was kissing Faron, an Older Order boy shunned by his society. Now, Lucy plunges into a search for her best friend—while also hiding her own secret, which could put her in even more danger.

1. Special thanks to Merit Press for sending me a physical copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! When they contacted me about possibly reviewing the book, I was actually really excited to read it! I've never read a book that follows an Amish or Mennonite character before, let alone read any books that so much as mentioned it. I don't know much about their way of living but I have seen movies and shows that featured such a topic. I was even more interested when I read that it was a mystery and since I'm a sucker for mysteries, I just had to read it. Here's the review: 

2. I adored our main character Lucy. She's the type of girl who doesn't like letting people down, especially her father. At first, we see that Lucy is very obedient and is constantly making sure she's not breaking any 'rules' that she's assigned herself. But as the story goes on and Lucy realizes there's a lot more about the world that she wants to discover and her passion for wanting to go to college to study the ocean continues to burn bright, Lucy quickly gets caught up in a personal war. She has to choose whether to stay and do as her father expects of her or risk losing everything in order to go after her dreams. Not only that, but the disappearance of her friend Alice only has Lucy asking more questions about where her friend disappeared to, who she really was, and who should she trust.

3. The writing was really great. It was almost poetic at times when Lucy explains the emotions she's feeling, often comparing them to the ocean, snow, trees, rivers, and other surrounding nature. Lucy goes through a great deal of character development and she slowly starts to become more determined to find her missing friend, begins to question what she truly wants for her life, and if going after what she truly wants is worth losing everything she's ever known. The atmosphere was almost crisp like winter air and at times, you could almost feel the chill of the autumn/winter season as Lucy searches for Alice as the days grow cold. 

4. Overall, I just really enjoyed this novel. The mystery of Alice's disappearance and my love for the characters kept me hooked from the very first page. I was so dedicated to the story and as the search for Alice continues, I found myself really cheering for Lucy more and more. She really impressed me as a main character and her strength, passion, and loyalty was truly admirable. It's been a while since I've really loved a book as much as I did this one and I think it's a great read for anyone who wants a fresh and original mystery that also deals with a diverse subject. I'm honestly a little sad that the book is only 280 pages. Like, seriously. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

Crissa-Jean ChappellCrissa-Jean Chappell was born in Miami and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her debut young adult novel, TOTAL CONSTANT ORDER (HarperTeen) is a NYPL Book For The Teen Age and a VOYA Perfect Ten. Chappell’s second novel, NARC (Flux Books) is currently optioned for film. MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH (Flux Books) is a Florida Book Awards medalist, which Kirkus calls, "compelling and emotionally nuanced." Chappell's newest YA novel is SNOWBIRDS (Merit Press, F+W Media, winter 2017). She holds a PhD and MFA from the University of Miami and has taught creative writing and cinema studies for over ten years. When she misses South Florida, she talks to the parrots in Prospect Park.

Author Links:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Favorite Music Artists At The Moment: KPOP EDITION

I have a confession to make. I'm not exactly quiet about the things I'm interested in, ESPECIALLY when it comes to books and music. However, my passions for writing and art aren't things I talk about with people around me, they're just kind of known already. BUT, I thought it was time to come out in the open about my most recent obsession that has literally changed my life. 

It's a little thing called Kpop.

I've always been interested in the thing called Kpop but I never actually listened to any of it. And no, hearing "Gangnam Style" a million times doesn't count. I've always known of a few Kpop groups but never more than like three or four. However, one fateful day I was perusing the world of YouTube when a random video popped up that caught my attention just by the title of the song. I saw it had millions of views and not knowing what I was about to get into, I clicked on it. Fast forward three months later, I no longer know who I am as a human being.

SO, here are my favorite music artists at the moment, KPOP EDITION. Your mind will probably be blown.


I wasn't going to put these artists in any particular order but I have my number one favorite at the moment so might as well go in some sort of order, right? Anyhoo, I've been obsessed with a few of Monsta X's songs, especially the song down below because IT'S SO GOOD! I plan on listening to as much of their music as possible because it's quickly taking over my playlists. Like, seriously. I should seek professional help because this list exists.



I'm not going to be subtle about this one. Because I LOVE this group! I just love how girl power their songs are and they're so much fun to dance to whenever I just feel like jamming out. I'm currently in the process of trying to convert my friends and get them to listen to BLACKPINK's music (wish me luck) and I'm having fun with having their songs on my playlists. I hope to buy their album soon!


3. EXO

Okay, so I succeeded in getting my brother to watch a couple of their videos so I'm feeling REALLY GOOD about that. Anyway, I have quickly become ADDICTED to EXO's music. Whenever I have a song stuck in my head, I've found that it's almost always a song by them that keeps replaying in my brain. I just can't express how much I LOVE their music because it's so catchy! Someone get me a pair of headphones STAT!


2. BTS

So I've mentioned them before but they recently released some new songs and dropped a new album and my little music happy heart is going to EXPLODE from the happiness of it. It's no secret that BTS is the biggest and most popular Kpop boy group in the world and the first Kpop group I ever listened to. Basically, their music has taken over most of my life. AND I REGRET NOTHING.


1. GOT7

Okay, now THIS group has taken over my ENTIRE life. No joke. It's been so long since I fangirled so hard over ANYTHING and for it to be GOT7, I feel so complete. I own their first album, plan on purchasing all their other ones, I've watched all their music videos WAY too many times to count, and watched countless interviews, extras, behind-the-scenes, etc. I no longer know who I am as a person. I've even gone so far as to watch their two shows on Netflix and have started watching a new show because two of the members from GOT7 are in the second season. SEND. HELP. QUICK. Did I mention their comeback is in March? *dies*


OKAY, now that you're all judging me (DON'T DENY IT) let me know in the comments who you're favorite music artist is at the moment! Read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: A Pizza My Heart by Various Authors + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Hello, everybody! Today, I'm super excited to bring you all my stop on the blog tour for A PIZZA MY HEART by Various Authors orginaized by YA Bound Book Tours so if you love pizza, stick around!

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour.

Down below you'll find my review of the book as well as the link to where you can purchase a copy of the book for yourself, the publisher's links, and finally, A GIVEAWAY! Read on, bookworms!

Rating: PG
Genre: Anthology
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 125
Stand Alone
Publisher: Hocus Pocus & Co.
Published: February 9th, 2017 (National Pizza Day)

Gooey cheese and warm pepperoni, with a side of kissing and murder.

A Pizza My Heart is a quirky and fun anthology that crosses all genres. Fifteen extraordinary authors have united to tell stories of mystery, mayhem, romance, danger, deceit…and pizza.

Sometimes spicy, sometimes cheesy, but always delicious, A Pizza My Heart invites you to explore life, happiness, and the pursuit of pizza.

Stories Include:

A Slice of Adventure by Maria Carvalho
Between Slices by Andy Grieser
Fresh, Hot, and Deadly by Rena Olsen 
KissingDancingPizzaMURDER by Darci Cole 
Kneadful Things by Jenna Lehne 
Love Pizza No. 9 by Vanessa Rodriguez
Madame Miraval’s Pizza Place by Kelly deVos
Password Is… by Jolene Haley
Pizza On the Brain by Emily Simon
Pizza Buddy by Brian LeTendre
Pizzamergency by Brett Jonas
Survival Pizza by Rebecca Waddell 
The Last Stop at the End of the World by Jamie Adams
The Pizza Guy by Jessi Shakarian
Where There’s Pizza by Jasmine Brown

1. Can we just talk about how amazing it is that this is an anthology surrounding pizza? I mean, how could I not read it? I love pizza and the fact that all these stories have the theme of pizza was enough to make me jump at the chance to review it. So, if you're a fan of pizza, anthologies, or both, keep on reading because I'll be talking about my favorite short stories in this collection. Here's the review:

2. It's been so long since I last rated a book five stars but I really felt like this book deserved my praise. I loved that all the short stories were of different genres and even though were only a few pages long each, some of them had me on the edge of my seat. For example, Kneadful Things was just brilliant. I'm such a fan of horror movies and the clever title reference paired with the storyline along the lines of WHEN A STRANGER CALLS just stole my heart. I would easily call that short story my favorite out of the fifteen stories. Another favorite was Password Is . . . because it ends on such a cliffhanger! I was so into the story that when it cuts off, I literally opened my mouth in shock. I wanted more!

3. Some of the stories were also sci-fi and while those weren't my favorite, they were still fun to read about. Some of the stories were also more heartbreaking like Survival Pizza which told the story of a young teenage boy having to dumpster dive for food in order to feed his three younger siblings. They live in the family car and with their father having gone missing, the oldest struggles to hold everything together. I also loved Where's The Pizza? which tells the story of a dog named Moose who loves his human boy and the pizza he brings home for him. It quickly turns into a suspenseful tale which I fully enjoyed.

4. The other stories are more contemporary or murder-mystery. Love Pizza No. 9 was a really sweet and fluffy short story that is honestly perfect for the whole Valentine's Day feeling. As for the murder-mystery ones, I wouldn't say it was a favorite out of the other stories but I did think that KissingDancingPizzaMURDER was the murder-mystery I liked better. It's not a creepy read so I think it would be perfect if you want a short story that won't keep you up at night but will also have you on the edge while reading it. Overall, I just loved this anthology and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who loves short stories! Or pizza. Always pizza. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Publisher:

Established in 2014, Hocus Pocus & Co. loves to bring unique voices and stories to fruition.

Publisher Links:

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