Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
Release Date: November 2, 2010 
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: Publisher for Review
Some schools have honor codes.

Others have handbooks.

Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.

Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way-the Themis way. So when Alex Patrick is date-raped during her junior year, she has two options: Stay silent and hope someone helps, or enlist the aid of the Mockingbirds-a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of the student body.

In this account of a teenage girl's search for her voice and the courage to use it, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that standing up for someone, especially yourself, is worth the fight.
When I first heard about The Mockingbirds in 2010, I didn't want to read it. The book itself sounded like a worthwhile read but at the same time, I didn't want to have to read about the subject matter: date rape. While different from other books I’ve read about this topic (Easy and What Happens Next come to mind), The Mockingbirds has to be one of the strongest books I’ve read in a while.

Admittedly, the idea of a secret society that deals with issues in school when the administration doesn’t do a thing was rather interesting and somewhat far-fetched. I know it has irked many people that something like this existed in The Mockingbirds but after a while, I realized that I was happy it was there. Too often, I see students get away with cheating or bullying and no one does a thing. While the idea of the society was a little hard to believe at first, I quickly realized that had they not existed, Alex would not have told anyone about her situation. In a time where women need to speak up about these things, I was happy Daisy Whitney gave Alex a way for her to move on.

Alex is a character I found myself drawn to. Her personality was so much like mine that I saw so much of me in her. I quickly became protective of Alex because she could have easily been one of my good friends. Daisy Whitney’s characterization was phenomenal and rather surprising. I some how found myself extremely invested in Alex’s well being. I cried reading this book. I didn’t like that Alex blamed herself for what happens. After all, she didn’t say no. She drank; she went to the guy’s room so the rape had to be her fault in part, right? I realized that this is very common. Any time Alex thoughts these things, I wanted to go in and tell her “NO, Alex. The rape was NOT your fault. A no is NOT a yes. Saying nothing is NOT a yes.” Thankfully, Alex had a strong will. While the events still stayed in her mind, she learned that she could move on. She could live her life without hating herself.

I can’t write this review without mentioning the supporting characters in this book. From Alex’s friends to the Mockingbirds to the perpetrator, they all came together to make this book the amazing product it truly is. Alex’s roommates and her sister believe that what happened to Alex did happen and that she didn’t ask for it. They were there to help her get through the school year and face all of her demons. The perpetrator and other people at the school disgusted me and saddened me. The reality hit: many of the men who rape women don’t think they did anything wrong. I will admit: I liked the way the perpetrator was depicted. In many cases, the person doing the wrongdoing can end up being pushed on the back burner and forgotten but Daisy Whitney showed how real and horrible people like this guy can be. I felt him to be disgustingly realistic and I’m glad Daisy Whitney didn’t think her readers needed to be protected from the truth.

Overall, The Mockingbirds is an excellent book by Daisy Whitney and I can’t wait to see what more she has in store for us. The Mockingbirds will make you sad and furious. It’s heart wrenching and heartwarming and harrowing all at the same time. You’ll love some characters and hate others and I’ll hope that you’ll love this book as much as I did. It deals with a topic that is very prevalent to our society and something we need more awareness of.
Cover Comments: 
First Thoughts: Oh no. No. No. I actually liked the other over better! 
Comments: I really wish they had gone with the other cover, the more simple one. This is just weird looking and I don't like it. It doesn't look original at all. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst
Release Date: September 11, 2012 
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry 
Source: Publisher for Review
In a desert world of sandstorms and sand-wolves, a teen girl must defy the gods to save her tribe in this mystical, atmospheric tale from the author of Drink, Slay, Love.

Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.
Having read and loved all of Sarah Beth Durst’s books, I can safely say that this was my most anticipated novel of hers. I didn’t read it for the longest time because I didn’t want to be disappointed. Yet all of the positive reviews seemed to be mocking me so I caved in and read Vessel. Vessel is by far Sarah Beth Durst’s best novel to date. It’s intriguing, beautiful, the setting is amazing and the characters endearing. The romance (much to this die-hard romantic’s pleasure) was slow building yet wonderful. While I was a little upset about some aspect of this novel, Vessel was on of the best books I read in 2012. I am desperately hoping for a sequel that will probably never come to be.

Lets talk about Liyana, our protagonist, who was fantastic. While the world itself was fictional (I mean, vessel for Gods?), Liyana felt like such a real girl. While none of my friends are vessels, I felt like Liyana could have easily been one of my friends. She’s strong and independent but she’s flawed too. She never calls herself a completely strong person and it seemed that Liyana’s flaws made her even more determined to find her Goddess. Her voice fit the story and world perfectly but it was also unique. Reading the book will make the reader appreciate her determination and wonderful personality.

The plot itself was pretty great. While I guessed some minor aspects, the larger aspects remained a mystery and I appreciated that. Sarah Beth Durst had great control over the plot and she only revealed little bits of importation, enough to satisfy the readers yet enough to make the curious. I have to say, the world reminded me a lot of Northeast Africa/Middle East, which was refreshing; it’s not something I see often in YA. The mythology and clans were all explained in enough details for me to understand what was happening but not too much where I might be bored. While I personally wish more had been explained, I know that it would not have suited the story.

The only real complaint I had was that the romance didn’t go as planned. While I liked the guy she ended up with well enough, I didn’t think their relationship was developed enough. Mind you it wasn’t insta love but I wanted a little more development. Overall, Vessel was such a great read that I finished it in two hours. The pages flew by because the plot was fast enough for me to not get bored but slow enough for Liyana (and the other characters) to be well developed. Sarah Beth Durst’s writing gets better and better and I can’t wait to see what she has next!
Cover Comments: 
First thought: Holy wow. It's gorgeous! I WANT THIS NOW! I don't even care what it's about!
Comments: So, basically, when I first saw this cover, I fell in love. Not only is there a POC on the cover but it's just so beautiful! The smoke and the moon and the pose for the model! It's just wonderful! 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Purity by Jackson Pearce

Purity by Jackson Pearce
Release Date: April 24, 2012 
Publisher: Little, Brown 
Source: Publisher for Review
A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order. Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.
Purity was my first Jackson Pearce novel and one that got a lot of criticism-and dare I say-controversy? It seemed like a book that people either hated or loved and I have to say I am in the middle. While Purity was a quick read, it dealt with a lot of controversial issues that I didn’t feel were handled too well. Being aware of Jackson Pearce’s videos, I was expecting something very once sided and that’s what I got.

Shelby was not a character I liked yet I felt bad for her. She lost her mom too young and I can’t even imagine what my life would be like without my mom. Yet there was something incredibly childish about Shelby that I just didn’t like. This entire book (and I know it was done on purpose) was based on misunderstanding. Or should I say lack of communication. I felt like Shelby should have just talked to her dad instead of going on this quest to lose her virginity. I also didn’t like that she was so judgmental. Everyone has a right to their opinions but you can’t judge someone on their choices. I felt like it was one of those slut shaming situations: as no one should judge you for what types of clothes you wear, they should not judge you for wanting to be part of this purity ball thing.

I think the biggest issue for me was the fact that I am religious but I am not Christian. I had heard of purity balls and all but I didn’t really know much about them. Shelby questioned God and religion and that’s fine but I just felt like it was more of the author’s opinion coming into play. There is this thing where people say that books are an author’s product, so they shouldn’t be judged but in Purity, I couldn’t separate the two.

Overall, Purity was not my cup of tea. Obviously, there are plenty of people who loved this book and other who hated it. I am on neither side but rather on the fence. It was a quick read and rather enjoyable but I did have issues with Shelby as a character and her judgmental thoughts (as far as I believe, I understand that she lost her mother but it’s not a license to judge anyone.)
Cover Comments: 
I actually love this cover! It's simple and pretty and beautiful and it actually fit the book!  
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

BBC+Period Dramas+Other Things=Awesome

Yes, the post title is beyond weird BUT it was what came to mind when I first had this idea.

I don't know if you all know this but I LOVE BBC* (British Broadcasting Corp.) and the majority of the shows they have! I mean, Doctor Who, Sherlock, and the original The Office (the American version was based off of this one) are all shows that the BBC has.

But they also have miniseries and regular series. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy anyone? Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South? Sense and Sensibility? And those are just the few shows the BBC has.

I recently watched Charles's Dicken's Little Dorrit. It's got 14 episodes, all but 2 that are 30 minutes and it was fantastic! I have not read the book yet but after watching the show, I know I will read it soon. The thing I loved about Little Dorrit was not only the acting, but the directing and producing and scenery and well, everything, was wonderful. I watched it in a single day, in a single siting.

Everything about this show was perfect! And that is when I got this idea!

Why not feature all of these shows and mini series and review them on the blog? Many of them are based on books anyways so why not? I could, if possible, try and read the book and review it also! Yet another aspect: some shows, like Robin Hood, that have YA books on the same topic. While sure, they're not the same but why not?

So. I'm going to do it.

Occasionally, I'll post reviews of one of their series (mini or regular) and maybe even a review of the book it's based on (if applicable).

I haven't thought of a name or anything but it might become a monthly feature! I'm not aware of any such features anywhere so it's just for my blog!

What do you guys think?

*And all of it's branches like BBC One

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mini-Review: My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux 
Source: Publisher for Review

Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.
My Life Undecided was a quick and fun read by author Jessica Brody. As I’ve only read The Karma Club (a book I adored), I knew I was going to enjoy this one. For one, the premise sounds amazing and two, Brooklyn and I have so much in common. While I don’t make stupid mistakes, I am the worlds biggest klutz and I often don’t make the right decisions when to it comes to things I think I’m capable of doing.

The plot itself wasn’t too bad yet I could predict a lot of the things. It was Brooklyn’s humor and her ability to laugh at herself that made the story entertaining rather than boring. Brooklyn is a great protagonist and I loved being in her head. Her development from decision making challenged Brooklyn to I have a little more control Brooklyn was great. While I would have liked some more development, changes were apparent.

Overall, My Life Undecided is a great read that you will zip right through! It’ll make you laugh and get angry and you might even feel a little bad for Brooklyn. Brooklyn is a hilarious yet realistic girl and her personality will definitely grow on you.
Cover Comments: 
Meh. There's nothing practically amazing about this cover. It's obviously photoshoped and cute but...nothing else really. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

what happens next colleen clayton poppy
What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Release Date: October 9, 2012 
Publisher: Poppy (Little, Brown) 
Source: Publisher for Review
How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect... or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.
I had heard many, many amazing things about Colleen Clayton's book but it was Megan of Rather Be Reading's review for What Happens Happens Next that made me grab it from my tbr pile and read it. From the beginning, I knew that What Happens Next would deal with the tough issue of rape but it was how it was going to be handled that really got me eager to read it. What Happens Next is a well written, honest, powerful book that will make you think yet it has flaws. The characters are endearing and your heart will go out to Side, making you want to desperately save and protect her.

Cassidy "Sid" Murphy, our protagonist, is a character worth rooting for. She's honest and insecure (especially about her voluptuous body) and funny and makes mistakes. She's stubborn and there are times in this book where you want to make her wake up. But over all, Sid is a character you connect with. Colleen Clayton must be given props for writing a character as real as Sid. She's a character you connect with to a level where you can almost feel her fear and anger in yourself. In a very disgusting instance, not only did Dax take away Sid's virginity but he also cut a lock of her hair. No matter how hard she tires to forget Dax, she isn't able to and this plagues her daily life and. Te reader are able to feel it.

Another great aspect of What Happens Next would be the other character's in this book. For one, Sid's mother and younger brother were a big part of her life and I was very happy to see that they weren't missing. They played a large part in Sid's recovery from the attack but they also helped Sid not only forgive herself but for her to realize that she could move on; wanting to move on did not make her a bad person. I also very much loved Corey. Their relationship began off as friends and turned into something nicer, something real. His acceptance of Sid, no matter what, made me love him all the more. Though they did have their issues, their relationship resembled a normal high relationship that you can root for. By the time you meet Corey, you are probably invested in Sid's well being and hopefully you'll find that Corey was really great for her.

The plot was rather great but it did have its flaw. While I can understand that people deal with rape in many ways, I didn't feel like a lot of the extra plot themes: the eating disorder, the running, and in all honesty, some of the pacing was off. While many of these things did get resolved-and I was happy about this- I didn't feel like they were fleshed out enough. For example, I really wanted to see more of how Sid had an eating disorder. Clayton did a great job of looking into Sid's mind about everything but I really wanted more.

Overall, What Happens Next is one of the strongest books I've read that deal with rape. Though it had its flaws, Colleen Clayton created characters who steal you heart and make you feel all sorts of emotions. Some aspects of the plot will scare you and disgust you but the overall message that there is a light at the end of the very dark and scary tunnel will make reading this book worthwhile.
Cover Comments: 
There is something about this cover that I love but there is something that I don't like. While I feel like it has nothing to do with the book itself (well, from what I can see) it's rather pretty. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

Altered altered #1 jennifer rush little,brown net galley
Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush
Release Date: January 1, 2013 
Publisher: Little, Brown 
Source: Publisher for Review via Netgalley
When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.
Altered was a book I was expecting to love. From the cover to the synopsis, Altered by Jennifer Rush sounded like my kind of book. While it was fast and furious, engaging and mysterious, there was something missing from this book that I can't quiet put my finger on. Maybe it was the lack of character building or the plot that didn't much of a plot, I'm not sure.

For starters, I'm jumping in with the characters. Anna, our protagonist, was not a character I felt anything for really. She was rather boring and bland and we didn’t connect. I think the reason I didn’t like Anna (or many of the other characters) was the lack of character development. Yes, I understand that it’s a series and I can’t honestly expect the author to give me everything about the main character but I think there should be enough there for me to actually care about her. Anna was, for lack of a better description, simply there. Sam, on the other hand, was a character I hated and I’m hoping Anna doesn’t end up with him. He wasn’t mean but he never gave her many answers (what he could answer anyways) and I always felt like he was using Anna. Besides being incredibly good looking, there was not much more that drew me to him. Nick, Trev, and Cas were pretty much on the same boat of underdeveloped characters but I actually liked them. There was a way to tell them apart (and yes, Nick is my favorite) and I give the author props for not making them all sound like each other.

The plot was predictable and that was incredibly sad. While there was room for a good mystery I didn’t feel like I got that. I saw many things from a mile away and I was able to guess Anna connections to the boys. I will admit, the whole government and secret experiments is kind of old but I was hoping to get something different from Altered. Sadly, I was disappointed. As I said, there was nothing about the plot that I had never seen before. I am hoping that it changes in the second book but for Altered, it didn’t help. I think there was a lot of room for the author to do something crazy and unexpected but it was more like she simply followed an age-old recipe but did not add any special ingredients.

But I will admit, I am very intrigued. I want to know what they were all like before the experiments came about. Nick is especially an interesting character and I even want to know about Anna’s past. Maybe the experiments made her boring? I guess I’ll have to find out!

Overall, Altered didn’t live up to my expectations but I am willing to continue reading. I feel like Jennifer Rush has a lot to offer and her writing wasn’t that bad either. While neither the characters nor plot got me invested in the story, there was a bit of intrigue. Altered, was admittedly, a very fast read and not a complete waste of my time.
Cover Comments: 
Oh hello hot, shirtless Sam on the cover. While yes, this guy does make sense to the story, it doesn't tell me anything about it overall. I wish it had been something else because I fear that people will automatically think it's a romantic book or something rather misleading!  
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Review: Decked With Holly by Marni Bates Blog Tour + Giveaway

decked with holly blog tour rockstar book tour marni bates kensington teen
Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!
Decked with Holly by Marni Bates
Release Date: September 25, 2012 
Publisher: K-Teen 
Source: For Blog Tour 
Smartly blending of-the-moment pop culture references and timeless themes, Bates follows her YA debut, "Awkward", with a hilarious, over-the-top adventure about a teen girl who becomes the fake girlfriend of a cute rock star.

Taking a Christmas cruise with her two cousins from hell isn't Holly's idea of a good time. And when seasickness forces her into an open suite, she's pepper-sprayed by a gorgeous guy called Nick. But when Holly makes her exit, she's greeted by a horde of screaming teenage fans. Because Nick happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for one of the hottest bands in America. Suddenly rumours are swirling and Holly's face is plastered all over the Internet. The band can't risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend - just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be "fauxmantically" involved with a cute rock star? She's about to find out...
When I first read Marni Bates other novel, Awkward, I fell in love with her characters and plot and how the book actually made me laugh. When I was given the chance to go on a blog tour for her new book, Decked with Holly, I eagerly joined. I wasn't sure what to expect but let me tell you: I wasn't expecting to stay up late finishing this book!

For starters, I loved Holly. She was awkward and weird and loved to draw. She loved her grandfather to bits and while she had some mean family members, she always kept her head up. While Holly could have easily been a girl I didn't care for (she complains a lot), Marni Bates wrote her to be more charming and funny than I expected. Dominic aka Nick was also a guy I loved. While I wish both of the characters acted closer to their ages (18 and 21), it wasn't something that bugged me too much. Surprisingly, Nick made me laugh too and I grinned when the ending came! It was also exciting to see (well hear) from character's I loved in Awkward! 

As I said about the age, I do wish the writing had been more...advanced? Having read Awkward, I was aware of the author's writing and while I had hoped her writing would change a bit, it didn't seem to happen. While it wasn't the biggest issue, it went along the lines of simply wanting more from the story. It was only 250 pages but I think had a been a little longer, more of the character personalities could have been fleshed out. But that's about all the bad things about this book!  

Marni Bates scores again with another excellent book. Decked with Holly is a book that will make you laugh and sigh and even roll your eyes at times. It's a book that you just need to read because sometimes, you need a good laugh! 
Cover Comments: 
It's not the best cover I've ever seen but it's not bad. I do like how it's simple and clean and the title is in Christmas colors but I would have liked something more. 
Reviews Around Blogosphere: 

**Be sure to check out all the other blogs on this tour HERE**
**Hannah at The Girl in a Cafe will have an author interview as the next tour stop so look out for that! **


I have ONE copy of Deck with Holly for today's blog tour! 
To enter, simply leave a comment with your email! 
Make sure you read my contest policy
The contest will end on February 10, 2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013

2013: Resolutions and More

As of yesterday, I am now 18 and legally an adult. While I have more responsibility now, as my family tells me, it doesn't feel much different.

I was going to post yesterday about my blogging resolutions but I realized that I only have one blogging resolution:

I am going to tackle blogging with no resolutions. I'm going to enjoy blogging and reading and it will not be a chore. 

I didn't enjoy 2012 as much with all the goals I set so this year, I am changing it. I've come to realize that I am a people pleaser. It makes life very hard for me and it shows not only on the blog but my real life. I took about one hour to plan out the entire month of January. I wrote down when I wanted to post what and I'm hoping to go through with it. But if I don't? No biggie.

I don't want to participate in meme as filler posts. I want to love every post, even a negative review. I want to enjoy blogging and not feel guilty when I don't post. 

I want to please myself with the effort I put into this blog. 

As I've realized, I am better at tweeting and blogging when I enjoy it. There are some exceptions, as usual: 

1) Read 150 books in 2013

This is kind of a joke but kind of a BIG challenge. In 2012, I read 82 books. SO close to my goal of 100 but I didn't make it. With senior year almost over and the summer ahead of me, I'm hoping to get a lot more read!

2) Get Healthy 

This isn't one of those losing weight only things (but it is part of it). I really do want to eat better and get off my ass. I need to move a lot more!

3) Enjoy life and everything I do

See? Only 3 real goals which I hope to keep up with it! My good friend came up with the idea of a 2013 jar! I take a random jar and put "2013" on it. Any time something good happens, I'll write it down  on a sheet of paper and put it into the jar! At the end of 2013, I'll take out all the papers and see all the little jems 2013 had! 

What about you all? What are your goals?