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Chelsea Russell's Blog

I grew up with a love of the written word. Writing is an art just like any other creative endeavor. Unlike painting with pastels, my words are my medium.

Currently reading

The Passage
Justin Cronin
The Golem and the Jinni
Helene Wecker
Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything
Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life
Jenna Woginrich
The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré

21 Things Only People Madly In Love With Books Understand

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:


reading book


1. You’re completely against judging a book by its cover, but you will absolutely judge a person by their favorite book, without hesitation.

2. The main reason you fear death is because there are just so many books to read and you have to read them all and damn it if death doesn't understand that! Heaven better be a giant library, that’s all I’m saying.


3. “Just one more chapter” is the most valid argument you've ever heard.


4. One of the greatest joys is reorganizing your bookshelf. And by “reorganizing,” we mean taking all the books off the shelf, cleaning the shelf, and putting all of the books back exactly where they were before, but taking the time to individually reminisce on each book as it’s lovingly placed back on the shelf. You’re basically Scrooge McDuck counting and recounting all of his gold.


5. You need a minimum of a week to recover from a truly fantastic book.


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Source: http://thoughtcatalog.com/johanna-mort/2015/04/21-things-only-people-madly-in-love-with-books-understand

Can You Keep a Secret?

Can You Keep a Secret? - Sophie Kinsella A lot of the books I've read lately were fairly intense, so I was looking forward to something lighthearted and fun. Well, I'm glad to report "Can You Keep a Secret?" definitely fit the bill. Parts of it were quite cheesy, but that didn't stop me from giggling aloud. Overall, this was an enjoyable read :).

Golden Son

Golden Son - Pierce Brown This book is the epitome of EPIC!!!!!!!

All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places - Jennifer Niven “You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

I actually stumbled across this book by accident. It's set in Indiana, which is beyond awesome since I'm a Hoosier. How could I possibly refuse learning more about Finch and Violet's epic Wander Indiana adventures?

I'll admit, I was a little bit leery of diving into this book because I tend to shy away from realistic fiction. I think you connect with the characters on a much deeper level, which makes it hard to separate their grief from what you experience while reading about their lives. Despite my initial misgivings, I decided to read a chapter and see if it was worth continuing. Spoiler: I read nearly forty pages without even realizing it!

“It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”

It didn't take long for Finch to steal a little piece of my heart. His persistence, wittiness and love for Violet was utterly charming. He refused to let Violet destroy herself and become lost in grief over her older sister's death. Witnessing his downward spiral was torture. Even though he was saving Violet from herself, he refused to acknowledge he was worthy of being saved from himself.

“What if life could be this way? Only the happy parts, none of the terrible, not even the mildly unpleasant. What if we could just cut out the bad and keep the good? This is what I want to do with Violet - give her only the good, keep away the bad, so that good is all we ever have around us.”

Violet truly came to find herself and rise above the tragedies life threw her way. I was glad I could witness her inner strength become reality.

"I say, "You're the best friend I've ever had, Theodore Finch." And he is, even more so than Eleanor."

This book gave me a completely different insight into mental illnesses and the feelings of hopelessness they cause their victims. Kudos to Jennifer Niven for sharing her personal experiences with such difficult and somewhat uncomfortable topics.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”


Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning I just finished and wasn't too impressed. I'll leave a better review soon.

Dreamer's Pool

Dreamer's Pool - Juliet Marillier I really wanted to like this book, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. I started skimming about a fourth of the way through since I figured it wasn't worth finishing. I'm happy with my decision although it's always hard for me to categorize a book as "did not finish."

I absolutely loved "Heart's Blood." The next book I read by Juliet Marillier was "Daughter of the Forest," which was enjoyable although a bit slow-paced. I was really hoping this book would be a good medium between the two.

Alas, it wasn't the case.

Mayhap it was the alternating view points, but I thought "Dreamer's Pool" was quite dull. Grim's character was really interesting and I particularly enjoyed how Marillier distinguished him from the other characters. Blackthorn's perspective was well-written, but Oran merely got on my nerves. I wish Marillier had stuck with one character's perspective and not switched between the three.

Maybe I'll have better luck next time!


Faefever - Karen Marie Moning Much better than the second book! I was absolutely stunned by the ending. Talk about a cliffhanger.


Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning Things moved a bit more slowly in this book and there wasn't much action compared to the first book. It was still an enjoyable read, but I was hoping for more.


Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning This book was a definite guilty pleasure. I've read it once before, but it's been so long I decided a re-read was due. I suppose my reading tastes have changed quite a bit as I've gotten older because I found parts of this book very shallow and superficial. The fact that shades of nail polish are mentioned multiple times throughout this book is a good indication of its flakiness. Barrons relationship with Mac was flat-out abusive at times (i.e. leaving bruises). I know I wouldn't tolerate behavior like this in real-life, but somehow it's more easily overlooked in books.

Despite these issues, I stormed through this book in a little over a day and found myself relating to Mac's determination to hold onto her happiness. It didn't take me too long to pick up the next book in the series.

The Perilous Sea

The Perilous Sea - Sherry Thomas I adored everything about the first book of this series, but I felt as though the second managed to fall a bit short. It starts off in the present and then each chapter after the first alternates between the past and future. I thought Sherry Thomas did a good job alternating between the two without giving away too much information. I had my suspicions Wintervale was possessed by the Bane, but wasn't ever 100 percent sure.

I probably should have reread "The Burning Sky," but I was a bit too impatient. There were a couple things I couldn't recall from the first book, but it didn't take too long for me to remember. I was a little confused about the whole situation concerning Iolanthe's parents and even thought it was anticlimatic. I was startled Lady Callista wasn't happier to see her daughter. She was actually pretty terrible as a matter of fact. The romance between Iolanthe and Titus was sweet, but didn't make my heart all aflutter. There were a couple times in the first book where I couldn't help giggling like a school girl, but that wasn't the case here.

Overall, I thought this book was somewhat stagnant compared to the first. It ended on quite the cliffhanger though, so I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series. I'm just bummed I have to wait so long for it to come out!

The Haunting of Maddy Clare

The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James I thought this was an interesting mystery. It had great atmosphere and I absolutely loved the setting. I wasn't necessarily keen on Matthew Ryder as the hero. He was an alright character, but nothing spectacular. The romance portion was a bit too fake for me. Sarah, the main character, was a little too flippy floppy. Her emotions were all over the place and she was never quite consistent in the way she reacted to stressful situations.

I was hoping for a little more from this book, but overall it was a fairly enjoyable read.

Alias Hook

Alias Hook - Lisa Jensen I had a hard time getting through this book. I'll admit, I was a bit disappointed because the synopsis sounded amazing. I've always been a huge fan of Peter Pan and thought it might be interesting to view things from Hook's perspective.

Unfortunately, Lisa Jensen managed to completely villainize Peter Pan. It didn't take too long for my interest to wan. The pace was fairly slow anyway and I never really connected with Hook. I got midway through and decided to move onto something more enjoyable.

Bird Box

Bird Box - Josh Malerman This book has the creepy factor down pat! At first, I struggled to form a connection with Malorie. Her character seemed a bit forced, but it didn't take long before I was rooting alongside her and hoping she'd make it through her journey alive. Her courage and will to survive were astounding. Their trip downriver was crazy intense. I'll be the first to admit, I truly don't know if I would have had the willpower to keep my eyes shut in some of the scenarios she encountered.

I thought Josh Malerman did a bang-up job building suspense. I'm certainly looking forward to reading more of his books!


Attachments - Rainbow Rowell I found "Attachments" utterly captivating! It reminded me of the magic you feel when you fall in love with the person you're meant to be with for the rest of your life. Most people don't realize it, but true love is simple and heartfelt. It's not full of messy games and manipulation.

Lincoln was downright amazing and reminded me of my husband in too many ways to count. (Yes, I'm one of those sappy women who still gets stars in her eyes when she talks about her husband.) I also studied journalism in college, so I could totally relate to Jennifer and Beth. Their e-mails to each other made me giggle aloud at times.

In fact, all of the characters in this lovable book rang true to life and practically leapt off the page into my imagination. I couldn't help but smile while I was reading "Attachments" and am thoroughly looking forward to delving into more books by Rainbow Rowell!

Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake I probably should have read this book closer to Halloween, but I got a hankering to read something spooky. Well, "Anna Dressed in Blood" certainly met the bill. There was plenty of spookiness and gore to go around, but somehow I never quite managed to fully connect with the characters. I found Anna's character fascinating though. Cas falling in love with her was a bit cheesy, but not too much of a shocker. I'm curious to see how things work out between them, especially considering Cas is a big, bad ghost killer. Talk about an ill-fated love, lol.

On a side note, I honestly had no idea what an athame was until I looked it up online. I was picturing a machete or something similar. I wish the author had described it a little better rather than the vague "my father's almighty athame."

The last few chapters were really enjoyable and definitely left me eager to read the next book in the series (from what I've read on Goodreads, it sounds like a real doozy of a read ;p). I will probably wait till this fall though because this genre is perfect for crisp, cool evenings and warm cups of apple cider.

The Body Finder

The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting I'm normally not very harsh when it comes to book reviews, but this book took me just about forever to finish!! I honestly should have marked it as DNF a long time ago. Unfortunately, this was one of those times when I felt obligated to finish. I was truly hoping things would turn around and become awesome, but it NEVER happened.

Violet was super annoying and her infatuation with Jay made me want to gag myself with a spoon. I guess I'm getting too old for the whole high school scene. I didn't get why Violet's parents had absolutely no problem with leaving the two of them alone in her bedroom after they started dating. Bedrooms and teenagers are a dangerous combination.
"She kept waiting for her parents to notice how much time they were spending in her bedroom and to say something, but they never did. Not that she was complaining; their ignorance meant she and Jay could continue with their extracurricular activities without interruption."
Seriously?!!?!?!? What in the world are her parents thinking?!?

I thought the chapters written from the perspective of the killer were definitely the best part about this book. They were suspenseful and creepy. I wish I could say the same about the rest of "The Body Finder," but I'd be lying big time. In essence, there was very little action overall and way too much internal conflict over stupid stuff.

I definitely don't intend on continuing this series.