Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bookish Academy Awards


Last weekend was the Oscars so I decided to take part in the tag circulating Booktube and list my Bookish Academy Award winners for the books I read in 2014.

Best Actor - Best Male Protagonist

Liam from The Darkest Minds: The finale was released last year and holy cow did I love it. The Darkest Minds is one of my favorite series and Liam is such a comedic, sarcastic, badass, wonderful protagonist.

Best Actress - Best Female Protagonist

I'm tempted to say Ruby from The Darkest Minds but since I already listed Liam, I'm going with Karou from Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Karou is a kickass female protagonist who doesn't let anyone stand in her way and I want to be her best friend.

Best Cinematography - Best Plot Twist

I can't remember any plot twists so...

Best Costume Design - Best Book Cover

Just look at it. Need I say more?

Best Supporting Actor - Best Male Sidekick

Kenji Kishimoto <3. I love his and Juliette's relationship in this series. He's badass, sarcastic, funny, and I want more of him.

Best Supporting Actress - Best Female Sidekick

Zuzana is seriously the best friend ever. She's adorable, she has a great relationship with Karou, and she lightens up the intense story as well as furthers it.

Best Original Screenplay - Most Unique Plot/World

I have never read anything like If I Stay. If you don't already know, the book follows Mia, a girl who recently was involved in a car crash and lost her parents and her brother. Throughout the book she is in a coma and debating whether or not to wake up. I thought the story was incredibly unique and  loved it.

Best Adapted Screenplay - Best Book-to-Movie Adaptation

I reread TFiOS for the movie and it was fantastic. I've only seen the movie once but I thought it was a brilliant adaptation. It stayed very true to the book while also creating an understandable and well made movie.

Best Animated Feature - A Book That Would Work Well in Animated Format

Amulet is such a fun, creative graphic novel and I think it would be an amazing animated movie.

Best Director - A Writer You Discovered For the First Time

To All the Boys I've Loved Before was the first book written by Jenny Han I read. I've since read her Summer series and I love all her books. They're sweet, unique contemporary romances that don't include all the cliches normally found in romance. The characters are wonderful as is the writing.

Best Visual Effects - Best Action in a Book

I'm going to cheat a little and choose a manga series for this one. Attack on Titan has beautiful art with outstanding action scenes.

Best Musical Score - Best Music in a Book-to-Movie Adaptation

The score in Mockingjay was amazing. It perfectly complemented the film.

Best Short Film - Best Novella

Night of Cake & Puppets, the novella to Daughter of Smoke & Bone was adorable. It followed the first date of Zuzana and Mik and was magical.

Best Picture - Best Stand-Alone

I'm not one for paranormal books, every one I've read just wasn't a good experience, but The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was great. Vampirism is such an overdone topic but this book gives it a fresh spin. I was captivated by the plot and the characters and I wish there was more.

Best Documentary - Best Historical Fiction/Non Fiction

I had to read this for school and I really enjoyed it. The writing is wonderful and it's a very interesting perspective of the Vietnam War. This book is historical fiction but it feels a lot more like non fiction (in a good way).

That's the last one! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Yucca Valley | My Experience

This past week I spent 8 days in Yucca Valley in Southern California.

the gorgeous house we stayed at

My school district gives students and teachers a break in the middle of February so my family and I drove down to spend our week in the desert.

the view from our house
I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It was a beautiful house and a beautiful place. If you're looking for somewhere to relax in solitude and just chill, I recommend Yucca Valley. If you're looking for a racially diverse place with lots of activities...I'd search elsewhere.

an incredibly artistic photo of my shadow
About 20 minutes from Yucca Valley is the Joshua National Park (photos below). We planned to go there every day for hikes. We went once. It was beautiful, hot, tiring, and fun.

We didn't do much else there. It was a work-vacation for my parents, so my sister and I mostly stayed in the house and watched Netflix.

food from BBQ
One of the things we did do was eat. One of the places we went to was Papa's Barbecue. The food was pretty good, not the best but good enough. However, the service wasn't satisfactory. Our server was clearly racist towards us. To my family and I, she was very grumpy and rude but to other people (specifically white people), she was very friendly and conversational.

amazing pizza place
A restaurant with good food and good service was Pie for the People. If you're near Yucca Valley or Joshua Tree, this place is a must. They have incredibly delicious pizza (I forgot to take pictures) and the people working there are very friendly and clearly love their job.

photo credit
Another thing we did was go to the Palm Springs VillageFest: a weekly open-air market. There vendors sell all sorts of things from jewelry to bath bombs to toys. The food was a bit disappointing for a fair and I had a lot of anxiety because of all the people, so I couldn't enjoy the market to its fullest. Nevertheless, it's a nice place to hang out (and there's pretty jewelry).
the necklace I bought at VillageFest
While I won't be going back there again, I had a wonderful vacation in Yucca Valley!

Until Next Time,

Monday, February 9, 2015

January Favorites!

Here are my favorites for the month of January :)


My first favorite is the book These Broken Stars. This was a beautifully written sci-fi romance. While reading, I became so attached and invested in the characters that even after I finished reading, I couldn't let go of them. I hope to soon actually own this. Full review here.


My next favorite was the third and final installment of The Hobbit. I've loved The Lord of the Rings since Fellowship of the Ring came out (though I was only 4). I was so excited to see the prequels and I'm so sad it's all over. I actually started crying when I first heard/watched Billy Boyd's (Pippin!) song The Last Goodbye. Now to marathon all the extended versions...


At the beginning of this month, I started watching Gilmore Girls. It was simultaneously the best and worst decision of my life. I have become obsessed and I'm currently on season 3, episode 18 (I'm kind of slow, I know). I love the family dynamic and whole premise of the show. Only 4 more seasons to go!


This one is somewhat of a strange choice, especially if you know me. I'm usually not one for rap but this month I've been really into Eminem. I find his lyrics are really meaningful, unlike the stereotypical rapper who just writes about money, drugs, sex, and objectifying women. 


At the beginning of this month I did something I've been wanting to do for a very long time: dye my hair. I got the ends of my hair dyed ombre blue. I really love how it turned out. Unfortunately, it faded really quickly and now I have gross greenish blonde hair so I need to get it redone soon.

My last two favorites are my John Frieda Moisture Barrier Firm Hold Hairspray and my Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave-In Conditioning Cream. I've used these products before but it's only this month that they really became a staple for me. With my hair bleached and dyed, it's really damaged so after I wash my hair, I put in the leave-in conditioner and it makes my hair so much healthier and shinier. My bangs have also grown out recently so to get them to stay in place when I put my hair up into a bun or a ponytail (which is a lot), I use the hairspray.

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hana's Happenings | January 2015

So this month was pretty exciting but also very chill.

One of my portfolio pieces.

The first thing I did was complete my college apps. Wooh! College applications are so stressful. I finished my essays months ago, but of course I procrastinated on my portfolio. Note to self: don't procrastinate (like that's ever going to happen). It felt so nice to finally be done with everything. Now to wait for the decisions...

The most exciting thing I did this month was go to the SF Supernatural Convention. It was an amazing experience and I hope to go again sometime. Meeting my favorite actor was simply incredible and seeing the actors in front of me talking was unreal. I still can't believe it happened. Detailed blog post on my experience here.

I also watched a couple movies this month, the first being The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. I really enjoyed this movie. I've loved The Lord of the Rings since Fellowship of the Ring came out (though I was only 4). I was so excited to see the prequels and I'm so sad it's all over. I actually started crying when I first heard/watched Billy Boyd's (Pippin!) song The Last Goodbye. Now to marathon all the extended versions...

This month I also watched the 2014 remake of Annie. Well, it was okay. I liked the songs and Quvenzhané Wallis was adorable, but it was also very awkward. Some of the acting wasn't particularly great and at times the songs came out of nowhere and didn't fit with the scene. It's not a bad movie, but it's not worth paying to see in a theater.

Hope you enjoyed reading this!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Wrap Up

This month I read a total of 8 books.

The first book I read this month was Half Bad. There's a lot of hype surrounding this book that fell flat for me. It definitely wasn't the best book I read nor was it the worst. I gave it 3/5 stars. Full review here.

The next two books I read were It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer, the last two books in The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han. It's Not Summer Without You was great. I gave it 5/5 stars. I felt it was even better than the first book and the characters grew so much. However, I didn't feel the same about We'll Always Have Summer. I was constantly annoyed by the characters, the love triangle was infuriating, and the indecisiveness of Belly was almost as annoying as America in The Selection. I was somewhat satisfied by the ending, but I felt it didn't do the other two books justice. I gave it 3/5 stars. I do recommend the series, just don't get your hopes to high for the conclusion.

The next book I (re)read was The Bad Beginning, the first book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. I read it as a part of the Neverlanders read-a-long. A Series of Unfortunate Events for me was what Harry Potter was for most people. I'd always loved reading, but this series really inspired me to read more. It felt so nostalgic to reread the first book and I cannot wait to reread the next ones! 5/5 stars.

The next book I read was These Broken Stars, the first book in the Starbound trilogy. I loved this book so much. It was a wonderful sci-fi romance. I really need to get the second book. 5/5 stars. Full review here.

I had to read Pride and Prejudice for school and I have to say, this was one of the best classics I've read. It was a wonderful classic and I'm glad to have finally read it. I probably would have liked it a bit better if I wasn't under pressure to read it for school. 4.5/5 stars.

The next book I read was Identical by Ellen Hopkins. Hopkins is one of my favorite authors and I was so excited to read this book. While it wasn't my favorite, it was very interesting and unique. 4/5 stars. Full review here.

The last book I read this month was Fairest, the prequel to The Lunar Chronicles. I felt this book didn't add much to the story and it was somewhat of a disappointment. I was expecting to learn a lot about Levana and that she was just misunderstood or something of the sort, but instead I was really creeped out by her. 3/5 stars.

Until Next Time,