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“Destined For Doon” by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Books, Reviews | 6 comments

Read my review of “Doon”, the first book in the series here.

This post will contain spoilers for the first book in the series.

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Destined For Doon

By Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Published September 2014 by Blink
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In this sequel to Doon, Kenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake-choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. Worse, she’s received proof she and Duncan are meant to be, along with torturous visions of the prince she left behind. So when Duncan shows up and informs Kenna that Doon needs her, she doesn’t need to think twice. But even if Kenna can save the enchanted kingdom, her happily ever after may still be in peril.

I was interested in reading the second book because I knew that it would be more MacKenna heavy than the first book which was a little more Veronica focused. Unfortunately, more MacKenna couldn’t liven this one up for me. The biggest problem was that the antagonist in this book was a plant. Seriously. An evil fungus plant that is growing and zombifying things. I kept waiting for the resurgence of the witch, and that sort of but not really happened. It felt like the big showdown in the first book was so confusing, but the showdown in this one was a little lackluster and was over in a minute.

Veronica as queen was just irritating with her power struggle with her boyfriend and ex-king Jamie. I guess I don’t remember really how that worked in the last book, but I just wanted her to make him king again, because an American teenage girl running a kingdom that she doesn’t know is just plain silly.

I won’t even talk about the constant musical references that MacKenna makes.

Mostly it just felt like a lot of worrying about boys and growing fungus, and not too much happened in between.

This book finished on a cliffhanger, and I probably won’t worry about seeking out the next one as much as I tried to get a review copy of this one. It wasn’t horrible, it was just a bit of a drag to get through.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

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Australia Zoo Part 2

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Photography, Travel & Adventure | 3 comments

View Part 1 Here

The more fun part of Australia Zoo is all of the cute animals, especially the Australian ones.

First up there are the Koalas. They pretty much sleep all the time. We were lucky enough to see one active and a couple with babies:


But probably the best thing about Australia Zoo is it’s walk through Kangaroo exhibit. I think it may be the only zoo where you can walk among the kangaroos and also touch and feed them (at the Detroit Zoo you can walk through the exhibit, but not touch them, and at Busch Gardens they let you touch and feed them but they’re behind a fence). And since I was last there they’ve added a second kangaroo walk through.




They’ve also added a bird enclosure where you can walk through with the birds.


Most recently they’ve started a new Africa exhibit which they’re still building. They even had baby giraffes!


Now I’m going to leave you with a treasured souvenir from our trip. This video was played at the end of the main show…. and that’s all I’m going to say.

Oh, you are SO welcome!

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Australia Zoo

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 in Photography, Travel & Adventure | 1 comment

Jumping backwards in our vacation to Australia, a few days before we went to Sydney we went to Australia Zoo with my dad and sister Carlie. Australia Zoo is Steve Irwin’s park and it’s actually a very impressive zoo. I grew up by it, and I’ve been a bunch of times from when it was a tiny little place called “Australia Reptile & Fauna Park”, to the giant place it is now. Every time I go it’s gotten bigger.


I took sooo many pictures, and I thought I was being good chopping them down exponentially, so I’m breaking this up into two posts. Second part will be up tomorrow.

We’ll start with what the place is famous for: the crocodiles!


They also have a big show where you can watch them feed:


And an adorable baby!


Of course we took photos with all the crocs around the park:


The cute thing about the zoo is that there are just lizards everywhere (which Zack loved):

It’s hard to see but there is one on the rock

They’re also fearless:

Imma just sit on this croc

And they had giant lizards in enclosures:


We saw giant birds:

The terrifying Cassowary

We also had our photos taken with the Irwin family.


And Zack even went on a safari with Steve Irwin!


More tomorrow! I’m going to share all the cute and cuddly animals, Koalas and Kangaroos galore!

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“Etiquette & Espionage” by Gail Carriger

Posted by on Dec 9, 2014 in Books, Reviews | 5 comments


Etiquette & Espionage

By Gail Carriger
Published February 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.

This was a fun little read! One thing I didn’t realize going into this one was that it’s actually a steampunk novel with some supernatural thrown in. So it was something new for me, but I really enjoyed it. Apparently this world has already been used in Gail Carriger’s “Parasol Protectorate” adult series that I’m going to have to check out.

The book is full of silly fun and adventure in a floating finishing school as Sophronia enters a strange new world as the “covert recruit”, but she quickly takes a liking to the “espionage” side of the school.

The main plot of the device that Sophornia finds herself investigating is a little loose, but still fun nonetheless. While I think this is marketed as young adult, it’s easily a middle grade read as well as it’s very light and easy. It’s a fun little romp if you’re looking for something quick and easy to read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Samantha Lately

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Lists, Samantha Lately | 10 comments


Samantha Lately is a new recurring feature I plan to do where I share things that I’m kinda into lately. From books to shows, movies, music, clothes, whatever.

1. Taylor Swift

I’ve never been a huge fan of her music. I’ve liked the songs that have been on the radio and have some of them on my phone. Anyway, I’ve really liked her most recent songs from her new CD so when I saw it on sale on black friday I had to grab a copy. I’ve only listened to it a couple of times and it takes me several goes before I start liking music. But the point is that right now I’m totally in love with Blank Space.

Plus I’ve always admired Taylor Swift. I think it’s really incredible how much she’s accomplished, and how her success is basically 100% because of her own decisions. She rejected a big record label because they didn’t have the same vision as what she wanted for herself and signed with a new start up label instead. She’s got such a positive public image, which is rare for young stars who usually go off the rails. Anyway, I never realized she’s the same age as me, and now I feel completely inadequate and a failure at life.

2. The 100

I watched the first few episodes of this with my sister when I was in Australia and have since caught up on all of the episodes. The first season is on Netflix and if you’re quick you can catch the beginning of season 2 on Hulu or on the CW website.


It’s set in the future where humans had destroyed earth with nuclear weapons and had to escape to space to survive. Now, several generations later, they send 100 teen prisoners down to Earth to see if it’s now habitable. They soon find that they’re not the only humans left on earth. It’s very enjoyable!  



3. “Blackmoore” by Julianne Donaldson

I read this one last week and almost consumed the whole book in one night, but future me know that was a bad idea, so I finished it up the next night. It’s a cute period romance book about a young woman who is determined not to marry. She wants to go to India with her aunt, but her mother makes a deal with her that she must first receive and reject 3 proposals. So she enlists the help of her childhood friend.



4. Oswin

Look at my adorable new kitty!! I love her! She’s the cuddliest little thing ever. Her name is from Doctor Who. We had to continue with the geeky cat names (Helo & Garrus).

As of this weekend she’s free to run around the house with the other cats. So far Helo is ok with her. They follow and chase each other around the house. No cuddling yet. Garrus is the surprise; he wants nothing to do with her. He’s turned into a grumpy old man. At first he was hissing and making noises whenever she went near him but he seems to be getting better. But Oswin is having the time over her life. She’s so sweet. She even sleeps on my head every night (if you haven’t already seen the dozens of instagrams).


5. Planning

I ordered a this new planner from Amazon and it arrived yesterday, so I havne’t really used it yet, but so far I like the look and layout.

Every year I buy a new planner and I usually only use it for a few months before I give up. I’m pretty good at remembering almost everything in my head. But I’m trying to be more productive with my life, so I’m going to try to use this to create daily plans and keep better track of normal household things like washing sheets/towels and cleaning. I might try paying more attention to how much frivolous spending I do too (although this will definitely tell me I’m spending too much on books).

What have you been into lately?

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