Saturday, September 27, 2014

Goulash//Daughter of Smoke and Bone Style

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is one of my favorite books. Laini Taylor crafts a wonderful book of eloquent writing, plot, and characters. One of the first scenes in the entire book is Zuzana and Karou eating goulash after school at one of their favorite hangouts, The Poison Kitchen. 

Goulash- A highly seasoned Hungarian soup or stew of meat and vegetables, flavored with paprika.
-Oxford Concise American Dictionary

After feeling a little bit booksick (homesick for a book) for Karou and Zuzanna, but I decided to recreate their favorite food- goulash. I got my recipe from here, but I found it a bit confusing; so I would maybe follow the recipe from somewhere a little more concise such as from the Food Network. So I managed to get everything from my local farmer's market, except for a couple spices, (their food is delicious) and cook that night.

Some of my  ingredients: carrots, green pepper, potatoes, & parsnip

The goulash just before it boils with everything in it

Boiling Goulash- It takes about an hour and half on the stove after broiling
Not the most attractive picture

Fnished Goulash with Mult-grain bread 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review Suspicion

Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Published by Delacorte Press December 9, 2014

Source: eARC from Random House via NetGalley

Bookologists Analysis: I am really excited because this is my first review for a non-blog tour eARC. Suspicion was a kind stepping stone for a beginning of a series and was pretty good, but not stupendous in my opinion. What I felt for the book wasn’t anything special, but it would be a good light read.

Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

"There's something hidden in the Maze." Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family's English country manor.

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.

Thank you to Random House for sending this eARC via NetGalley which did not affect my opinions at all.

First thing first, how cool is the name Imogen? I mean seriously who wouldn’t want a name like that. You would never have to worry about thinking someone calling your name and then realizing that it isn’t you. (It’s really awkward) What I loved about Imogen was that she was literally a stereotypical main character, and that is something I haven’t seen in a long time. Imogen wasn’t badass, but she had her own flowery elegance to herself. She was empathetic, nervous about moving to England, but still knew it was her duty, and was a shy school girl type. Suspicion was mainly focused on her as a main character rather than anything else.

Other components of the book were a little shaky though. The romance between the two boys, Sebastian and Theo, was a bit sloppy as it felt just rushed and not properly outlined.  I would’ve liked to see a more realistic romance take place in already such a predictable plot of an American girl becoming a duchess. The plot was the typical princess gets swept off her feet and oh she might have magical powers. The credit I will give though is that Imogen is a lot more self-conscious that what is to be expected.  The writing was not superb, but average middle of the road. It is good enough to be published, but not good enough to make it to my STELLAR WRITING club.

All in all I feel that Suspicion just didn’t live up to my expectations of urban fantasy. Urban fantasy is just so popular now that I have such high expectations. If you are looking for a new look on the cliché I would recommend Suspicion though. It takes you on a path that is not what you think, but you see around the corner.  Rating: ««1/2

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review One Past Midnight

One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington Goodreads | Amazon

Published by Bloomsbury USA July 22, 2014

Source: Library

Bookologists Analysis: Fall and keep on falling into this book. Swim between the lives to find the greatest depth. This book was definitely a good one. But that was with the writing and plot all mixed. I was swept off my feet for a while, but not a long while. During the book it is intense but after coming from the roller coaster it is not as intense.

Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is... 

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.
With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking? 

On the book cover it says “The perfect life, or the perfect love. You choose.” That sentence pretty much sums up the entire overall structure of the book fairly well. Sabine has been “shifting” between two different lives for her whole and just wants out. She’s scared of the shift because it shifts her conscience and body between dimensions/planes. Her life revolves around the fact she has to keep her secret covered and masked or else she is going to be pinned as a mental case. In her “perfect” life she has plans to go to Harvard, has money, and has a boyfriend, Dex (who she is not totally in love with, after all she counts the seconds she kisses him). In her “other” life she lives in a middle income family who run a drug store, has one friend named Capri, and an adorable little sister.  Despite all her fortune in the “perfect” life it is in the “other” life that Ethan changes the whole game.

Ethan, oh my lovely adorable sweet Ethan, is Sabine’s nurse after she starts experimenting with the physical side of the shift. Describing Ethan is near impossible because he is such a curious character. He melds and molds to become different people. In all of it though Ethan never loses faith in what Sabine can do.  Sabine goes through such a journey though, physical, mentally, and emotionally. All she wants is a place where she can be “normal” and not have to shift is what she craves in the beginning. Somewhere along the way she finds that despite being a part of two worlds; the two worlds are also a part of her.

The writing was usual Jessica Shirvington style- sassy, short, and quick to the point.  I personally wished that I could have savored the story a little more. The romance was a bit too much for me, but in the end it was vital to the plot. Overall the story arc was perfect for what Jessica Shrivington was trying to get across.

The last couple chapters were bittersweet in a way that made you smile in the gloom of it all. Somehow, Jessica Shirvingotn managed to gives us suspense, mystery, fear all woven together once again. The ultimate feel of the book was hope, but still I wanted to yearn for an alternate route out. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Room by Book Marina

Room by Book is feature done by yours truly where I put together collages of rooms/furniture that fit the book. All credits are below the picture.

Castilian Octagonal Center Table b Hekman
San Antonio's Siamese Twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton (1920-1935) from The New York Public Library Digital Gallery
Corbel Bookend from Restoration Hardware
Cotton Lawn Fabric - Robert Kaufman London Calling Collection Paisley Print from Guthrie&Ghani
Marina (Book Cover) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Marina was a gothic tale set in Spain in the 1980s and well the setting was just splendid. The table reminds me of Oscar's school which is a castle up on a hill overlooking Barcelona. He soon meets Marina whose father German was a famous painter. They live in a mansion but are desperately poor and German holds onto his glory days in the 1950s and 1960s. The Siamese Twins poster would be a vintage poster from just prior to his own prime. The paisley curtains would hang eerily in their ballroom that has pictures of Marina's (dead) mother. German's daughter Marina does not go to school but rather knows all she does from their library; from where the bookends look rather dusty and debilitated. This book made for a wonderful Room by Book having a gorgeous setting.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Summer Vacation

This summer was probably my best summer yet. I got to go around the East Coast and Canada. I made a lot of friends of at camp spanning from Nebraska to New Hampshire. I got to see old friends in NYC and pick up an awesome planner from the NYPL. I went to Ottawa as a loyal Canadian citizen and saw Parliament. Then to see some family in London, ON and Toronto. This was my life for about four to five weeks! 

First Stop: Pittsburgh, PA

That's Pittsburgh on a map from ( for those unfamiliar with US geography. It is famous for its steel and was the sight of Fort Necessity. 


That's a welcome sign downtown. It's close to park with a sort of infinity fountain that I didn't get any good pictures of.


This is from a miniature train set at the Carnegie Science Center. They managed to replicate different scenes from the history of Pittsburgh to recreate a miniature working city. There are scenes of criminals running away and even this the old train depot. I would definitely recommend seeing this train set as it brings out your inner Sheldon.


Guess what? I managed to find a British flag in a American/French/ex-British Fort. During the French & Indian War (North American version of Seven Years' War)there were  bunch of forts built; the picture is of the blockhouse of Fort Pitt. Just about a stone's throw are Fort Duquesne ruins. The Fort Pitt Blockhouse is the last surviving structure of Fort Pitt, and it has been majorly flooded several times, and was a house for poor immigrants in the 1800s and 1900s before being taken over by the Fort Pitt Society formed by the Daughters of the American Revolution of Allegheny County. But the American were like so in the War of Independence, but the flag is still there:


Second Stop: Somewhere in Pennsylvania- Camp

Most of you are probably aware I went to camp. It was heaven on earth besides the fact there was no access to a decent bookshop or library. But I felt free and simply felt like that it was 3 weeks spent in a place of no judgment and learning.
Third Stop: New York City
This is what most people think of:


But this is my (I lived there till I was 11) New York
We then walked from Grand Central to 111th Street and Broadway. We passed by some places that have special memories and meaning. I'm a West Side girl so I might be a little biased about what I love in New York.

Look at that cute little bear at the Russian Tea Room

Little Stack of Stuff at a nice gourmet place called Petrossian 
Fourth Stop: Storm King Art Center, NY
Three Legged Budhha by Zhang Huan at Storm King
We went to Storm King Art Center (about one hour north of New York City) after my mother's begging. Storm King has loads of sculptures by all sorts of people. They have everything from Calder to a special exhibit by Zhang Huan (sculptor of picture above). It's a wonderful place to get lost and all look at outdoor art. Just make sure you go on a cooler day than I did!

Southern Ontario Map via

Fifth Stop: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Canadian Parliament
For all of you who don't know Ottawa is the capital of Canada. I'm Canadian; for some reason that means my father is convinced that going to Ottawa made me for conscious of my heritage (still don't understand that logic). But it was fun. I had proper poutine in Quebec (right across the river). We also saw the Rideau Canal (it;s a lot smaller than I thought) and went to the Parliament of Canada. The Parliament is a intimidating building but on the inside it is beautiful with art from a bunch of Canadian artists. From the top view platform (just below the clock) you can see all of Ottawa. 

That was my summer and it was absolutely one of the best I had. I saw museums, I walked for a crazy distance in New York, and got see the Parliament building project a video commemorating Canadian heritage!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (her name is the famous one in The Mortal Instruments how cool is that ?) Goodreads|Amazon

Published by Doubleday September 13, 2011

Source: Library

Bookologist Analysis:The Night Circus blew me off my feet into a whirlwind of intrigue, confusion, and emotions to then gently place me on my feet as I fainted from all of that raging through me. This book undid me; it made me feel like how no other book had before. I wanted to do it all over, but that type of intensity can only be felt from the first reading of a very unique book.

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

The Night Circus was enthralling as it led me through the corridors of the magical and mysterious exhibition of feats of fantastic plot, exemplary writing, and characters of depth. While the moon was shining through all of this you could not help but feel the winds of fantasy and the unimaginable begin to pick you up and bring you to this alternate world-this universe of lovers and competitors- the inspirational Celia and enchanting Marco, the unbeknownst Bailey – an ordinary person filling a enriching destiny, or the quiet fortune teller.

The book itself was a circus within itself trying to lure you in with the tents or characters leading you along a white path. Unlike the circus however characters come in all sorts of colors not just black and white. Like the circus though some are harder to locate, difference in size, or ranging from self-explanatory to a little more explaining must be done to help you grasp. Celia led me into a road of responsibility and selflessness, while the studious and handsome Marcus wanted to push the walls till they come tumbling down. In a way I found myself a little more confused and unsettled, but in a way that made me yearn for more.

The one pinning detail of The Night Circus was that it felt like home. It was somewhere I finally felt that I could fully find myself in. I am the child wandering looking for more treats to dazzle my senses. I am Marco constantly writing and studying for no apparent reason. I am Celia trying to learn why all of this was laid on my shoulders. I am Isobel being led on with lies and white deceits from my friends. I am Tsukiko trying to run from my past trying to build a new future. I am Poppet and Widget in the background finding a way to group in a world already imagined to perfection. This plot was just what made this fairytale come to life as the characters jumped and danced from the page because they were their own beings- alive and breathing.

Where do I end in book made of charm trying to capture you in its sparkling enrapture? Gleaming with magnificent language and an enthralling story that makes you feel it all the way to your deepest and darkest core. Somewhere I found something missing from myself in this book- I found something I hadn’t in a while a true humanity in this book where selfishness and selflessness are so very close. The Night Circus is a must read for people trying to find an unconventional way to experience a new sort of book. Rating: ««««

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Journaling: We Were Liars

After I read We Were Liars I simply was enchanted by the book and how it would look if I decided to do a bit of journaling inspired by some of Feed Me Books Now's tweets. I resolved to make somem sense of the  stuff in my head real on paper.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Published by Delacorte Press May 13, 2014

228 Pages

Source: Library 

Bookologists Analysis: Simply said We Were Liars it's for you. It's for you to come and decide to read. It's for you to come and question your morals and upbringing. It's simply there for you.

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE

How does one express feelings for a book when the entire books was about learning how to express? How do I put into words how this books dug into your brain little piece by little piece trying to find that corner which you are must afraid of? This is exactly what We Were Liars did. It was the beginning of something that you could feel in it your bones (Radioactive Imagine Dragons). When everything about the books seems so real and so close how do you come to truly appreciate it? I appreciated the book most for its honesty. Cadence felt the pain and loneliness and E. Lockhart wasn’t shy about expressing these emotions in a blunt way. The writing, don’t get me wrong, was quite blunt and to the point; I usually find those books quite annoying because they don’t try to convey the emotions well. However, the opposite is true for E. Lockhart- just somehow she manages to do it in a brutally raw way which conveys Cadence’s character and attitude perfectly. You come to appreciate We Were Liars for the realness and tangibility of the characters and plot.

This book comes as a warning to be careful about what you wish for. Who hasn’t wanted to be rich and comfortable? That is all Cadence has, but all she never wanted was this life after the accident. Her migraines kill over slowly and slowly every time. She wants connections to real people. Deep down Cadence only wants to experience the most powerful emotion of all- love. That is the one big hole in the perfect Sinclair family the lack of warmth and love and that takes a toll on its members.

I have to say that We Were Liars was a story that was more a journey of the reader than following the protagonist in their life. We Were Liars made me think about some things that I haven’t in a while and these things aren’t necessarily things you like thinking about. SPOILER ALERT: What would happen to my family if they suddenly died? What would a serious brain injury do to someone? How does one fall in love and can you fall in love with the wrong person? We Were Liars at the end was just a tee wee confusing and had some minor problems in the description department but overall I simply want to die with the book in my arms. Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

July & August Monthly Review

The last two months have been really busy with camp and traveling (post in September about that coming up). I didn't do a monthly recap in July because without access to a laptop you can't really link stuff which makes chronicling posts really hard, but never fear I now have a PC/laptop at my fingertips. I don't remember what books I've read (I plan to keep a list this coming year in 2015), but here is what has happen.

June in Review
The A to Z Book Survey
Review Ruin & Rising
Room by Book Monument 14
Review The Falconer
Summer Review The Watsons Go To Birmingham
Summer Review The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Fierce Reads Tour
Summer Review: The Red Badge of Courage
Summer Review: Bud, Not Buddy
Camp Books
Summer Review The Book Thief
Meet the Book Blogger
August Book Haul

Jack is back on twitter
I went to camp for three weeks and did an intro to bio course
It was my birthday in July I'm 13
School has started

Posts I Liked
Amber's review of The Pointless Book
Hawwa's Book Palette of The Sky is Everywhere
Ruby's Harry Potter Name Etymology
Erika's Discussion: DNF Reviews
Holly's British Tag
Sophie's Books That Make Me Want to Travel

The last two months have been okay. I wished I had learned how to schedule before this summer that would have help. With the school year starting I hope to have a more regular schedule with bout 8-10 posts a month. I started the new feature Meet the Book Blogger which I hope to do monthly. I finished up the Summer Review I did a couple of none book related posts that I'm really happy about. I got a twitter @yabookologists . I also changed my background to something a bit more mature. This summer was a reinventing for me and my blog. Hope you like the new stuff and the changes!