2018 reads! // catch up!

hellooooo 2019!!!
can you believe January is basically almost over. 
love it. 
time is a weird concept that waits for no one. 
on my end, I'm not waiting for Friday or the weekend. I'm waiting for Oct 2020 when ill be done paying a bunch of my shit off, so hurry on up! 
(but like not really.....lets enjoy this time! :D ) 

anyway....it's the 18th day of the year and I'm already on book 3! it's exciting considering i did not really want to read much all of last year.
i read here and there but nothing too crazy like i usually do. 
i started really good. reading a book a week and was going to try to do at least 30 but secretly aim for 52 and then i read the wedding date and i was done; i've been off reading since.  
I'd pick a book up here and there but nothing really motivated me to keep going. 
i was just burnt out. 
I'm starting to read again / listen to more audio books but before i (possibly) return to normal book posts, i want to catch up on what i did read the rest of 2018.

-the wedding date // Jasmine Guillory: admittedly, this was a cute read in the all-ness of it. BUT i was pretty tired of the bullshit "i like him, i like her, but were both too dumb and egotistical and afraid to say how i feel for fear of rejection." just UGH. and of course. there's another book coming out 
-_____- its about Carlos, the best friend, so it could be better but the premise is the same. so...(UPDATE: i have since read this book. first book post of 2019 coming up!)  

-ricochet // Dean Koontz: this dude randomly has powers one day and then has to kill his grandma. pretty random AF but i mean, okay. it was cool cause i read this on the kindle app and every now and then it had some pretty dope live illustrations. I've never seen that before. but pretty cool read. i had that read back thing so i "read" it as an audiobook. 

-what to say next // Julie Buxbaum: i didn't write a review so i don't remember it all TOO well and now that its coming to me maybe i should BUT i do remember thinking this was another cute read. i was super into it. and then i read the comments and someone said something about how it was fucked up that there's this guy with asperger's and they had to turn it into some sexist shit. idk. just stfu and read the book (not you. i mean the person who left that comment.) 
but you should read it too! lol 

-when Katie met Cassidy // Camille Perry: i asked for this book back in December 2017 and i FINALLY got a copy like 20 days before it's release date in 2018. i loved it! i love Camille and i will forever read whatever she writes. but to catch you up, Katie runs out or gets dumped by her fiance and she meets Cassidy who is a total ladies lady and of course they fall in love. but there's drama and you fall in love with characters and it's just the best! kinda weird how i was all about this story but over the wedding date considering is the same gist. 

-playing with matches // Hannah Orenstein: i saw everyone on ig making a big fuss about this book talking 'bout how it was the best book ever and...chill. it was okay. 
typical early 20's new yorker straight out of school with no job who uses her story to move forward (the way your parents met or whatever the fuck does not define your life. IMHO.) she's dating a total douche that cheats on her. she hooks up with her clients hook up who is like 12 years older but of course she thinks she loves him. she gets fired but not before he scored her a sweet as new gig. and she's horrible to her best friend. it was okay. i would have been 10000000% okay not reading it. 

-scrappy little nobody // Anna Kendrick: i think the thing that amazes me the most is that she was still brand newish when she started in that movie with Clooney. i thought she had been around for a while when she started in Twilight. either way, good book. (heard as audio book.) 

- the breakdown // B.A Paris: i LOVED this book but to be honest, i think it had to do with the fact that i listened to it. i liked it more than her first book and i read that one. either way, give it a listen. and then prepare yourself; even your thoughts will be British for a bit after. lol 

i saw this on ig as well (maybe i need to just gtfo ig and their book recs) i checked it out and its aight. 
Stella has asperger's and so she hires Michael to teach here to have sex. but of course Michael is fire as fuck!!!! so she falls in love and so does he and they do it (or try) and they decide instead of sex, they'll practice her dating, so they do and she meets the fam and so does he and they belong together but of course it wouldn't be a book if they weren't stupid about it and they end up together and yay. 
i will say that I LOVE that in this story Stella makes bank AF and Michael is destined to be a designer. finally a role reversal. (also, Michael has more depth to him but like.....ya know.) either way. good read but i could have done without it and I'm bummed that its a series because as much as i want to not read it, i will. 

-the allure of Julian Lefray // R. S. Grey: I wish that I could tell you what this book was about but in all honesty, i cannot. i don't remember a single thing about it. i didn't even write a quick review about it on goodreads (its coming back to me a bit i think) but i can say that when i want a quick pick me up, devour this book in a few hours  type of read, i can always count on Grey. i love her stories. this is solely my fault and should say nothing about her because i absolutely loved it! her stories ALWAYS get me out of my reading funk. 

-an absolutely remarkable thing // Hank Green: the other day i caught myself thinking about this book and I'm now beating myself up about not giving it a proper post. 
this book was pretty cool. pretty out there and its obvious the Green brothers know what they're doing!
it is a series (i have no idea when the next one is due) but i do believe that i will be re-reading this again when the next one is out. I'm sure there is something like this out there but it was pretty well written and it kept me hooked and i can't wait to read it again eventually.

-best day ever // Kaira Rouda: ooooh i loved this book. i had been wanting to read it since forever but i never got to looking for it and finally i found it in my library available now audio section. LOVED IT. i wasn't completely shocked by the story but in the beginning i was expecting a twist that never came but nevertheless, i still liked the book. i will say though, the end kinda killed it..ish. the whole, we'll spy on him for the rest of our lives deal was just too much. i don't understand how they weren't able to get homeboy for what he did at the cabin alone. but whateve's.
wanna make this a super fun read? 
take a shot every time you read "BEST DAY EVER". you'll be drunk by the 2nd chapter lolz. 

-my not so perfect life // Sophie Kinksella: another story about a 20 something year old who moves to London and of course shit doesn't go her way and her boss is horrible and blah blah blah. it was an okay listen. nothing too crazy. i think i would have been bothered if i made the time to read it but it was an okay listen. i guess audio books are great after all. 

-dark matter // Blake Crouch: not my normal read (in a while!) but i had been wanting to read this book for a while and luckily it was available for immediate listen through my library. 
i really liked this book but i think my only complaint is that ....well the end. had it been just the 2 of them okay but the amount of them that there were was just....too much. and then the end end...really? was the son even aware of what he's being asked for? I'm getting too much into it but in the overall-ness of it, yea it was cool. 

overall, it was a weird year for books.
for me, 2018 was a weird year overall. 

so far in 2019 i still don't have that 'i want to read all the time' feel so we'll see how that goes but hopefully it comes back because i really do miss it. 
and my goal at this point is only really to read all my blue books. i have a pile of TBR books that just happen to all be a shade of blue. so hopefully that happens. 

and in terms of blogging....well, hopefully, that comes back too. 
sometimes you just need a random weird year off. 
or two. 
i duno. 
but, i already have 3 books for you and a lot of time after work since i dont have a life so hopefully i'll get those going soon. 

i know i'm late but i hope 2018 was better for you and that the new year was amazing and im wishing nothing but love and happiness in 2019. 

thank you for reading if you made it this far!

Zion, Utah. ....again.

back to Zion we go. 

Ruben had the whole week off about 2 weeks ago and i managed to get 2 days off for the price of 1. after a lot of "idk what to do or where to go", he finally decided that he wanted to go back to Zion. 
and i was like heck yes!

we got on the freeway at 1130 Wednesday night, made it to Vegas in 2.5 hrs and got to Zion at 6 am (technically 5 but time change) just in time for breakfast and a nap (even though i had napped a little less than half way). 
we also got to see the sunrise and man, it was beautiful.
the virgin river. 
the first time i really stopped to see it and it was beautifully peaceful. 
i just wanted to sit by on a rock and listen to the water pass by. 
this is at the first bridge once you drive into the park. its that famous spot where EVERYONE gathers around to get an amazing picture of the sunset. 
angels landing views.  (on the way up.)
these little guys (idk, there were 4 in the area) were all the way up in Angel's Landing just running around. they got pretty close to the couple sitting me. 
i think people feed them because they were pretty comfortable coming up to humans. i did not feed them but i did make the gesture like i was and they came up to me like nothing. i'm not sure where the one in the middle got food from. 

just when its about to get hella real at angel's landing. sorta almost done but not really. 
love when effects kick in all on their own. 
THE COLORS!!!!! all the heart eye emoji's!!!

we hiked:
-lower emerald pool (the other 2 were closed due to the storm from a few months back)
-weeping rock. pretty quick hike for a nice view. take sunglasses. you'll be blinded otherwise.
-the narrows. like last time, we only made it up the entrance cause it was too cold to go further in with what we were wearing.

we hiked:
-angel's landing. because of the damage the storm caused, we somehow ended up higher than the last time we went. and while i didn't have a bout of vertigo this time around, i still did not risk it and continue the last .5 miles. I'm fine with 4.5
-canyon overlook trail: this one was a fairly quick hike. but to be honest, I'm surprised i hiked this one. there's railing in a lot of places but in the places that there isn't, one slip and good luck.
i think i was hangry by then and sleepy that when we made it up, i just laid on a rock and fell asleep for a bit. we were there for the sunset (without planning it) and it made for nice views but i wouldn't have felt comfortable going back down in the dark with no light. (i think by now, its safe to say that you all know I'm a person who worries. A LOT!)

I'm not sure if we did a 3rd hike this day. or just 2. idk.

this time around, we bought a pass to go into the park (like always) but then, basically unless you are going to go through the park (and to the overlook trail or just park on the side whenever you want to stop), you will need to find parking right away and take the shuttle. we parked at the end of the Pa'rus trail.
they do not allow you access to the road where all the hikes are at in your own vehicle so you need to take the shuttle. my understanding is this is only until after thanksgiving (not sure when it starts) but let me tell you! shuttles should be a 365 day kinda deal. nothing is better than being dropped off and picked up as you please.
its honestly the best.

and if you go, i recommend driving into the park at night. 
the stars are nuts!

Just in time for Zions 99th Birthday! <3
can't wait to go back in a few years. 

thanks for reading! 

first time at zion here and here

C A N A D A! "Road Trip" PT 3 of 3

(a month Y E A R later!) 
here is CANADA!

well, just the Capilano suspension bridge. cause that's all we went for. 

I know I meant to post this A YEAR AGO! but i dunno blogging has felt weird for me. i got lazy once we got back from our trip and 2018 has just been a weird year. 
and well, today marks the 1 year anniversary of Canada literally. i figured there was no better time than today to post this. 

sorry for disappearing guys! 

the reason we went to Canada was because i wanted to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. 
a friend of mine went with her husband years ago and i don't even remember how i came across it again but i decided then and there that i wanted to go. 

so in Washington, after returning a fitbit charger at target and getting a fucking speeding ticket in WA (and for some reason not eating anything other than a pastry at Starbucks), we made it to CANADA!!!

Canada.....was not what i expected. haha
i was hoping this would be like in some foresty, quiet place and.....its in the city-ish. i want to see Lake Alberta or Lake Louise or Banff (how tf do i know so many locations in Canada lol) but we stayed in the city. and not like downtown but in a very metropolitan area. 
and for some other reason after eating only more pastries and hot chocolate inside the bridge area....we made the mistake to go into downtown Vancouver (?) and well, that didn't help. 

anywho, here are some picture (very hard to just choose a few) of our time at CSB. 
Capilano is made up of 2 bridges. 
one "old school" style and one all new-ish and modern looking. 
you're basically just walking all around nature. 
this is the "old school" bridge. i guess you could also say the main one. 
they have the canyon lights that they set up and set off in November. we had made it out just shy of a week so we missed the all of it but they were setting up so we got to see some being lit.
the only difference is, they are open late into the night so we missed that.
i don't regret it though. i can only imagine how busy it gets.

they have trails you can walk and sorta tree houses that you can walk through to get from tree to tree and various lookouts.
i definitely do not recommend this if you have a fear of heights.  but otherwise, if you're in the area, i do recommend it as like a one time thing! unless you live near there; they sell yearly passes and i could imagine going just to wander around from time to time.
.....i'd love to bring my mom here.

from there on, we crossed the bridge back and went to the other side to do the Cliff Walk side. this one really hangs out the side of the mountain but you get such amazing views!!!
you find random waterfalls everywhere. 
i took a butt load of pictures buuuut let's just be glad that i made it this far.
(i bought a memory stick thing and transferred all the pics over too sooo...yea)
afterward, we were STARVING!!!! but there was nothing really in the area.
so i googled sushi and it took us into the city and it was a mess. it doesn't help that it was Friday and rush hour and that we were hangry.
we just headed back to the hotel and asked a guy working there for recommendations near by walking distance.
he told us about a pho spot and so off we went.
and we walked all up and down not finding the spot. but ya know what we did find? a shit load of sex shops.

l o t.
it was pretty cool.

after all that we found a random Vietnamese spot and ate there.
forever I had been trying to get Ruben to eat pho with me but he wasn't a fan.
of course he would fall in love with it IN CANADA where we probably wont be back to in a very long time if ever.

after eating, since it was still early, we wandered around and made it into a bowling alley.
this was probably my favorite thing ever!

there were older people having the time of their life playing a very different version bowling than what I've ever seen.
it was Friday night and they were turning up!
we talked to the guy working there and he gave us the history and some facts and i thought it was just about the best thing ever.
forever remembering this.

overall, i liked what we went for and while i wasn't a huge fan of Vancouver, i do think I'd go back and get to know downtown a bit better. ...even if one entire long ass block looked like DTLA, TS NY & Las Vegas all had a baby together.

here's to a year, Canada!

the next morning, we drove back to Seattle had a few brews, hit that famous Pho spot in Seattle (but didn't get the giant pho cause you gotta make reservations) (also, the shrimp rolls were WAY better than the pho in my opinion), saw the troll under the bridge then drove back to Oregon.
we were 'sposed to stay in Washington with a friend of mine but at this point we were kinda beat and just wanted to be as close as possible to the airport so we headed back to Portland to be with my cousin....where i made the mistake of saying yes to going to the casino with my aunt. Ruben and i gambled once and then went to the car to sleep. lol

this was such a fun trip and i love reliving all the memories.
all the walks and all the places we went.

here's to hoping we get to do something like this again.

thanks for reading! 

well, hello.

........aaaaannnnndddd, I'm back. 
well, not really cause I'm not too sure I'll be on here that much more often but I'm back from having gone missing about 2 months, 3 months ago? (i just checked..more like 4!!!) 

i actually wrote this post a month ago and then left it alone and thought about it and it just seemed so negative that i didn't want to post it. 
but i mean, i guess i sorta have to say something sometime...so here i am!!!

I've been good just hanging out at work, going for long walks...eating better (lol but truue) uhm and honestly, sorta finally watching TV lol. 
i don't really eeeever watch tv. not prior to this. 
but I'm in a reading rut (have been) and i don't even want to scrapbook or do anything arts and crafty so i guess tv is where it's at. seen lots of shows on netflix (some several times over. NOT the office). 

we haven't really gone on a vacation kinda getaway in a while so i don't really have much to post on that. were currently planning Cabo again but we'll see. (and i know i still have to finish up Canada  but, meh). (holy shit!!!! ive been to effing Canada!!!!!) 

I've mostly been going to shows on my own and i have a couple of more concerts coming up so I'm excited about that. 

other than the basics, i guess I've just needed time off from the blog i guess. 
i haven't even posted my last reads. mostly cause one of the last ones left me kinda blah.... (its typed up and waiting to be posted). and i think the next several books will just be posted on goodreads (i think I'm going to do that for the rest of the year and just start fresh next year.) but i will post a quick link for all the books that i have read since my last post (not many). i think I'm only on #16. 

im 1000% over summer in CA. it's was tooo stupid hot. 
i need sleep right now but everything is great!

sorry again for going MIA. 
ill try to be here more often! 
...and if you have ANYTHING i need to watch, let me know. 
also, go watch Antman & The Wasp SOOO GOOD!!!!

love ya!

long way down // Jason Reynolds

published: 2017
pages: 306
ISBN: 978-0-553-52403-1
read: 3/19-21/2018
rating: good read
book: 8 of 12 (secretly aiming for 52 but happy with 30) of 2018

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

short version: 
liked it. good/quick read. loved the interpretation.

"long" version: 
i came upon this book based on Meredith's recommendation. and i decided to give it a go because i was (still am) in a reading funk and so another verse style book was definitely something that i could do. 
commitment without full commitment. especially since its now week 12 and this is only book 8 (and I'm anal about counting audio books towards a 52 books read goal).

so i started reading it and then i ran into a book that I DO want to read so i was waiting for that one and not really feeling this one which is unfair because this is a fairly good book. 

and it wasn't so much a spoiler as it was the interpretation of the book from another readers point of view that when i started reading it again i was like "shit." 

but overall, its a good book and even if i did have that in my head and even if everyone is still pissed about the ending, this was an overall really good read. 
and i think the best part of it is the ending because it's up to you to realize what this book means to you. 
at least that's the way i see it. 

i know deep down, i didn't appreciate it for as good a book as it really is and that is honestly all my fault. but i do hope that whoever else reads this really loves it for what it is. 

thanks for reading! 
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