Oregon "Road Trip" pt 1 of 3


DID YOU KNOW!  that southwest lets you use paypal to pay for flights? 
and if you spend more than $99 on paypal, you have 6 months no interest to pay it off? 
this ain't an ad, folks. its the truth!

that's how i got us tickets to Oregon. 
and then headed into Seattle and Canada from there! 

we actually went back in November buuuut because i was too lazy to edit my pictures, its taken me this long (i haven't even scrapbooked this yet). and the reason for this trip was simply, The Capilano Suspension Bridge!
we of course could have just flown to Canada but we've been wanting to go to Oregon (+ i have family there) and we also wanted to hit up Seattle! so driving just seemed like the best idea. 

we flew in on a Thursday...or Friday, i don't remember. 
but we landed, got our rental (haha. I'm no longer allowed to book stuff) and went to our hotel. 
we stayed in Troutdale Or. as opposed to Portland. 
mostly because i booked it and i was trying to be considerate towards B since he was paying...so when i saw a $40 savings, i took it because well, its the least i could do. ....that's the other reason I'm not allowed to book. lol. he hated the location. 
i do not regret staying in Troutdale but i could see why he'd rather stay in Portland. 

but anyway, we stayed in troutdale. i think it was around noon and we didn't really have anything planned. we did want to see Multnomah Falls BUT it was closed because some a-holes burned it down during the summer and then the rain created a giant mudslide in the winter so it was a no go. (you can see it from the road but you can't go up there. at least not when we went. i'm not sure about now). 
we asked the receptionist what there was to do in the area and she mentioned something about a bridge (that we didn't find) and the Mt. Hood drive so we set off. 

THIS WAS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE ENTIRE TRIP! 
and it happened all on accident. bah!

on the one side it was nothing but rain. and luckily since i wasn't driving i got to enjoy the view and OMG it was B E A U T I F U L !
we drove and drove and drove and it was so stinking beautiful but noooothing could have prepared us for what we saw when we finally turned the corner. 
(but les, you would have known had you looked at the weather! for the record, my cousin lives in Portland and she didn't even know so haaay!) 

IT WAS SNOWING!!!
to know me is to know that i LOVE snow. 
(but like this kind of snow. not like real snow out on the east side where you gotta prepare for like a 2 week stay-at-home-cation) 
it started out pretty slow and it wasn't much but the further we went in THE BETTER IT GOT!!!!
(best freaking $50 i have EVER spent at Target! i LOVED this jacket!) 
i know these aren't much, and i know those of you with real snow are over it, but this was so beautiful to me! that drive was soooooo goood! i live for these kind of drives. they're the best. and if you throw snow into it (but like, safely) i LIVE for it!!!!

afterward, we went back to the room to drop our stuff off and we headed into Portland.
i of course, went to Powell's while B had drinks at Deschutes (I think).
we then met up with my cousin and her husband for dinner and that was basically it.

we also went to the Japanese Gardens but because it was raining we didn't go in.
overall, it was fun and i liked what we did and all that walking around, but i would love to go back and go into all the little shops and explore a lot more.
(this is a good post to read if you're heading out there soon and want to know where to go eat/what to see & visit) 

we'll definitely be going back. (hopefully, at the end of this month if it works out.)

originally, we were supposed to go to Seattle, then Canada, then Seattle one more night to spend Sunday in OR before our flight but after Canada, we went to Seattle for a bit and then just decided to drive straight to OR.
the night we came back, we were at my cousins house and for some reason we started talking about scary/paranormal stuff. she told us about this tour you can take that takes you underground and gives you the whole history and everything of i forgot what. I'm okay with having forgotten so i wont even bother to remember. BUT...that night we went out to Voodoo Donuts because its the thing you do (although i hear that blue star donuts are 100 x's better) and afterward, we wanted food and drinks so we started walking around (also, i do NOT miss the clubbing scene) we found this random pizza place that had brews and food so in we went.

i go to the bathroom and it was THEE creepiest thing EVER.
it was all wooden and it reminded me a bit of where Harry Potter lives with the Dudley's as a kid under the stairwell. it was all covered with magazine clippings, some people had drawn faces on the faces and it was just dimly lit. i was creeped the fuck out.
my cousin and i go get drinks and i find this little flyer and it turns out that we were at the place where the tour takes place. 
apparently the building is haunted and of course we decided to sit all the way in the back next to a dark ass section where we had no out. i was so creeped out. 
definitely not going back at night nor when it's empty. 
thanks but no thanks. 
although, thanks to the guy who gave us free ranch and got in trouble for it. bahh!
like i said, we didn't really do much but i would really love to go back. 
B has to go for work for a week so I'm going to see if i can sneak away towards the end of the week. 

I'll come back with the rest of the pictures sometime next week. 

thanks for reading! 

Ringer // Lauren Oliver

published: 2017
pages: Lyra 266 // Gemma 236
ISBN: 978-0-06-239419-4
read: 1/19-23/2018
rating: yea. it was cool but overall, together as a whole, nah. maybe not. 
book: 4 of 12 (secretly aiming for 52 but happy with 30) of 2018


In the world outside of the Haven Institute, Lyra and Caelum are finding it hard to be human—and Lyra, infected at Haven with a terrible disease, finds her symptoms are growing worse. When Caelum leaves without warning, Lyra follows him, seeking a pioneering organization in Philadelphia that might have a cure. But what they uncover there is a shocking connection to their past, even as their future seems in danger of collapsing.
Though Gemma just wants to go back to her normal life after Haven, she soon learns that her powerful father has other plans for the replicas—unless she and her boyfriend Pete can stop him. But they soon learn that they aren’t safe either. The Haven Institute wasn’t destroyed after all, and now Gemma is the one behind the walls.

MY THOUGHTS

one thing i didn't mention in my last post about the first book was the way i read it. 

you can either read the entire Gemma story first and then Lyra or the other way or you can do like me and read one G chapter and then flip over to L. 
it might be too late....but i would maybe suggest just doing the alternating thing because either way, no matter who you read first, you'll know whats going on at some capacity. 
at least if you alternate, you'll know the whole cause and effect. 

in this book, i started doing the alternating chapter but what's different in this story is that Gemma & Lyra literally only cross paths in the beginning and at the end. 
so this whole story is just them as individuals. 
i ended up reading Gemma's story first and i found that a lot of the questions i had were answered on Lyra's side and i didn't feel that it necessarily took anything away from the reading experience by not knowing right away. 

anyway, enough about that. it doesn't matter what order you read it in because if you end up feeling like me, it'll have left you gutted and not in a good way. 

this duology: exhausted face emoji. 

the first book was soo good! i mean, it had holes but it was good. 
and while unbelievable, i feel like this book took it to the eeexxxtttrreeemmmeee!!!

there were just sooo many things!
G&L went through ALL OF THAT in book 1 to barely have anything to do with each other in book 2. 

there were sooo many holes or just stories that don't add up for me or that didn't make it seem "real" to me. 
for every down that there was for Lyra & 72 and Gemma & Pete, there was an up. 
shit went bad sooo many times that at some point you had to be like damn but no. there was always a solution to it all. 

i as a human can barely read the metro schedule. I'm scared ill get lost in a new town and have no way out meanwhile L & 72 are traveling from state to state to county like no ones business. 
every time they are about to hit the fan, they get saved. 
every time Gemma & Pete get into shit it just gets worse and worse and worse but then it all works out. 
at some point, i just wanted it to end bad already for someone just so all the shit that happened could have been justified. 

i just had an aha moment!
in book 1, Lyra & 72 were kinda the ones that had the shit end of the stick while Gemma & Pete were out and great. 
in book 2, Lyra & 72 run into shit but its nooooothing compared to what happens to Gemma & Pete this time around.  so i guess there's that and i wonder if it was done on purpose. 

but it's been a while since i finished this book and all i still feel is that it was just maybe a bit TOO much for me. and now that i have read both books, they're just too much as a story as a whole.  
too much investment for so little in return. 
so much AHHHHHHH for a little zzzz. 
its like when you FINALLY get something you've been wanting just to find out that all that hard work just to achieve it wasn't worth it. 

overall, they're not bad reads but i'd 1000% would have been okay never having had read them. they gave too much for little return. 

ill jump over and do spoilers as best as i can remember them. 

thanks for reading! 
#lesreads on IG

Replica // Lauren Oliver

published: 2016
pages: Lyra 236 // Gemma 284
ISBN: 978-0-06-239416-3
read: 1/14-19/2018
rating: liked it!
book: 3 of 12 (secretly aiming for 52 but happy with 30) of 2018

a strange and baffling truth: that the people we're supposed to know best can turn out to be strangers, and that near strangers can feel so much like home.
Gemma 275

Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.
While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.


MY THOUGHTS
the cover(s)!!!

I'd seen this book and was thiiiis close to buying it but then i found out that there was going to be a second book so i decided to wait. 
the second one finally came out and i found them both at the library so win, win!

(i think this is going to be a short one)
uhm, i liked the story. 
i don't know why i didn't want to read it at first but once i got into it, i didn't want to put it down. 

i like the way this is written!
i like that you get 2 sides to this story from 2 different characters. 
i like that you have to flip the book (although sometimes annoying) to get the other side of the story. 
and i know this sounds like a  'DOY, Les' moment..but it works out so well because you get to see the cause and effect. and at times it helped me better understand certain points that i probably would have missed had i not had the other point of view. 

anyway, this story is well, about replicas. 
Lyra is one of the thousands and well after basically a strike of luck because, wrong place, right time, she manages to get away unscathed. 

Gemma is basically just rebelling against her parents and that leads her to Haven & to Lyra & 72. 
(I'm really trying to be spoiler free about it but the synopsis kinda gives it away. -_-) 
(but you basically find out one of the "twists" right away). 

it's all about basically the government, well this group of scientist trying to do it themselves with government funding, trying to control shit and how they're creating humans for a sole purpose (won't tell ya why!) but then the truth of it all comes out and Gemma is left to deal with it alongside Lyra & 72.
and how it's up to them to fight the bad guys and figure it out themselves. 

i feel like for as "strict" as her parents were, they didn't really do shit. and i also find it sooo nuts that her dad can be this all powerful mighty man with all this money but yet couldn't buy a doctor out to treat Gemma without opening their mouths about the truth.
but i mean, it worked. 

i think the only thing that irked me is that for as "far fetched" as this story is with the whole government being the bad guy thing, it kinda bugged me that these kids were out here using the gps on their cellphones (hello, tracking), using their parents cards (hello, traces) and basically getting away with it all while leaving all of the trace in the world!
(i get it, its just a story but still.) but still aren't caught BY THE FUCKING BAD GUYS. 

(these are some terrible bad guys. both literally and figuratively.) 

i will say this, i have started the second book and.....
well, i mean, money IS money so i can see why...but i feel like they should have shoved a few extra chapters in there and called it a day....but we'll see how i really feel when I'm done with it all. 

oh!, i should also note that Gemma does not shut the fuck up about her weight!!!
it was so annoying!!!
all. the. damn. time. 
complaining about how she was chubby and she hated it and she UGH!
it was annoying.
(and now that i have finished the second book...wtf! how did they mix her up. so stupid!) 


overall, it's a cool read it you want to read about unbelievable stuff (that tbh, might be true because the government is, well, we're fucked) that gets handled in the most unbelievable way (ugh! all the traces!).

i guess what I'm trying to say is that for as many "bombs" as there are, they're all handled kind of meh...with the exception of Jake and a few others. (waaah) 
it wasn't a bad read at all. 
it was just like, Harry Potter was more believable. and they had flying brooms. 

iduno. 

jump over for spoilers. 


thanks for reading! 
#lesreads on IG

house arrest // K.A Holt

wwww.lovewhatyouread14.blogspot.com
published: 2015
pages: 149 (but 143 realistically) 
ISBN: 978-1-4521-4084-1 (ebook)
read: 1/13/2018
rating: the feels! all of them!!! 
book: 2 of 12 (secretly aiming for 52 but happy with 30) of 2018

Timothy is a good kid who did a bad thing. Now he's under house arrest for a whole year. He has to check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, keep a journal, and stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. Touching, funny, and always original, House Arrest is a novel in verse about a good boy's hard-won path to redemption.

MY THOUGHTS

this book! 
all the feels!

i bought this book a while ago and only read it because i'm really trying to read 52 books this year so i really needed to get something before Sunday came around and the other book i got at the library sucked. 
and i lucked out because this is a really short book. 

anyway. 
this book! 
i think it helped that its not in your regular format. 

Timothy is under house arrest and has to keep a journal to comply with his house arrest. 
he has to write in it and his parole officer and therapist get to look into it. 
so the whole book is just written in very short sentences. 
kinda like this.
so it makes the book go fast. 
its just his thoughts. 
on certain things. 
and then it's onto the next entry. 
...so that helped me out. 

this book makes you feel all sorts of things. 
it mostly broke my heart a lot because he is dealing with heavy adult stuff. 
the things that are troubling him shouldn't even be in his field of worries. 
he's only 12 at the beginning of the book. he should be out having fun with his friends or doing dumb kid shit. 
not worrying about how him and his mother are going to move forward 
or how he can help with his brother. 
or how they can survive without the help of his father (sorry bit of a spoiler but just a tiiiny one.) 
and it shows you just how much more kids understand than we ever give them credit for. 

i really liked this story given how short it was. 
i think the only thing that maybe bugged me a little was the end. 
like literally the very last line. 
UGH. 
WHY!!!? 
i want to know what happens after. 

and the more i think about it, maybe everything that happens when shit really hits the fan towards the end kinda bugs me because it was a little bit too far fetched (at least to me it was).

but overall, if you want a quick read, i definitely recommend this book. 

and if by any chance you read the book (or the spoilers) and are looking for more info on what his little brother has, Kierra is pretty good at covering that topic since she herself is going through the same-ish thing with her daughter. 

as always, jump on over for spoilers. 
(ps: i have no idea why the heck the font is all over the place. ugh!) 

thanks for reading! 
#lesreads on IG

the seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo // Taylor Jenkins Reid





published: June 2017
pages: 388
ISBN: 978-1-5011-3923-9
read: 1/5-8/2018
rating: 100000/10 stars
book: 1 of 12 (secretly aiming for 52 but happy with 30) of 2018

"If you are heartbroken right now, then i feel for you deeply. that i have the utmost respect for. that's the sort of thing that can split a person in two. " 
Evelyn pg 142


In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jump start her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

MY THOUGHTS
this damn book. 

2 things. 

1) I've said it before, I'm saying it right now and i will continue to say it as long as it keeps being a true statement: 
A BOOK will call you when it's ready to be read. maybe that's not how it is for you but its  how it's been working for me. always has been probably always will be. and honestly, i love living by this. 

I've been wanting to read this since its release date but for some reason, i wasn't ready. 
it wasn't until I'd taken a month off of reading that i felt that i was ready. it wasn't until Diana posted about it that i felt i was ready to read it. 
I'd read SO MANY good reviews about this book (mostly from all the bookstagramers i follow) and have yet to come across a bad one (I'll see on goodreads shortly). but this book! gah!

2) this is it for me.  
and honestly, if i can find another book that can do for me what this one did, then even better for me. 

THIS
IS
IT. 

i have NEVER had a book hangover like this. especially not while i was still reading it, racing to finish it and then trying my hardest to prolong it. 

this story was on another level for me. 
as i was reading it, i was trying to find the way to do this book justice. 
i was falling in love with it like i never have before and i was trying to see the "plot twist" to better understand it. 

and while you get the plot twist i believe the second husband in, that's not all. 
that freaking ending. 
JESUS!!!!

the whole premise of this story is for Evelyn to finally speak her truth. 
everyone that has ever meant anything to her has passed away. after everything she went through to find her family, she is once again, standing alone. 
so she hires Monique to be the writer of her story but no one can believe Evelyn picked a little nobody like Monique. 
not even Monique. 

its the story of her life told as it happened but instead of being told in chapters, it's told by the Husband timeline. 
meaning what happened in her life while she was with each one. 
and that storyline actually works very well. 
i mean, it does make sense. but i guess what I'm trying to say is that this style of storytelling pays off pretty well. obviously things happened while she was with each one but i think what makes it work so well, is that everyone is judging her for "collecting" husbands yet, no one really knows the truth and no one knows until its too late.
it goes to show how easy it is to judge even when you don't know all the facts. 

it was a whirlwind to watch it all unfold. 
but nothing could have prepared me for that ending. for the reason why Monique was the one chosen to write this book. 
and in all honesty, even as we pass the reason why earlier in the book, i did not see it coming.

but that ending!!!
what a way to tie it all together. 
i kept thinking that all that hype was just going to let me down once i found out but OMG!
i re-read that part several times because i just couldn't believe it. 
and like always, before i was even half way through, i jumped to the end of the book and knew what happened but not why. 
its safe to say that for me, that twist did not disappoint. 

i think another thing that i love about this book is the overall feel of it. 
i don't want to say too much to risk spoiling it here but all of the emotions. 
they all spoke to me. in one way or another. not necessarily everything that she went through but that love that she was aching for. that shit killed. 

i definitely 100% recommend this book and i will 1000% be buying this book and most likely re-reading before the end of the year. 
while i was definitely in the moment for this entire book, there were parts that i kind of still went over my head so i definitely want to re-read those parts and this book. especially because i want to see how my perspective shifts with time. 

but this book! ahh!!!
i will love you forever. 

i'll leave you with some fave quotes (beware, A LOT) and then as always, i'll jump over to spoilers!


"so do yourself a favor and learn how to grab life by the balls, dear. Don't be so tied up trying to do the right thing when the smart thing is so painfully clear." - Evelyn pg 30

"when you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is "you're safe with me" -- that's intimacy." - Evelyn pg 113

"what's that saying? behind every gorgeous woman, there's a man sick of screwing her? well, it works both ways. no one mentions that part." - Evelyn pg 117

"......don't ignore half of me just so you can fit me into a box, Monique. don't do that." 
- Evelyn pg 124

".....and if you don't even realize that there's a formula to be working with, how the hell are you supposed to find the answer?" - Evelyn pg 126

Its always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly. 
-pg 252

"***** might have left me in a huff, but it was death by a thousand cuts. i hurt *** with these tiny scratches, day after day. and then i got surprised when it left a wound too big to heal. "
- Evelyn pg 272

".... always made sure that the bad was outweighed by so much good. i....well, i didn't do that. i made it 50/50. which is about the cruelest thing you can do to someone you love, give them just enough good to make them stick around through a hell of a lot of bad." 
- Evelyn pg 273


i tried blanking out what i could so that i wouldn't give away some of the spoilers. 
and honestly, there are so many pages that if i could, i'd quote it entirely. 
I'm telling you, this is my forever book. 
i loved it hard. 

now, jump on over for spoilers. 
but just in case, you don't want that, I'll tell you this, pay attention to the very beginning of the book. it's all laid out for you. 
the deeper you get into the book the more details you get about her life (obvs) but it's all there....i just wanted to know and didn't pay attention like i should have properly....but its there...but it's still worth the read. 

thanks for reading! 
#lesreads on IG

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