Friday, August 11, 2017

Next week I will be officially relaunching my book blogging at! I am excited about this change. These old reviews will be here for a few more weeks before I archive them for good. This decision was not taken lightly, but I recognized a desire to start fresh and with focus. I have drive and a desire to book blog that I did not previously known and have within myself. As I have joined into the larger book blogging community I feel that I have slowly found a place within it and that I feel like the most potential for growth in this community comes from me joining wordpress at this time. I appreciate and love this site for what it has done for me, it has given me room to find myself, as a blogger, but sometimes you have to grow in ways you did not originally expect to happen. Now I am moving forward and upwards towards where I want to be within this community, regardless of numbers, stats, or anything else. This just feels like where I belong!

Please go to and follow me there! I love you all!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Archiving soon?

Well, it is official. I am making the move to WordPress. Yes, I am going to a self-hosted WordPress site because I feel that it allows me to have more potential for growth within the book blogging community. I will be "archiving" this site and using it to primarily show where I have been with my blogging, but it is time for a new chapter in my blogging life. That chapter is now at:


This will be, hopefully, my last time I move or have to make this drastic of a change, but as I have developed further into the book blogging world I have recognized the direction I want to go and WordPress meets those demands. I thank everyone that has followed me on this journey on this site and I hope you will follow me onto the next leg of it.

Love you all!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Old Blog Post Saturday- "For One More Day" by Mitch Albom

Once Upon A Time...

Cassie used to do another blog, as "Optimistic Reader". 
These are those reviews:
(These are formatted as best to their original view as possible to show my own progression with reviewing)

If you could have one more day with someone you loved would you take it? What would that day look like? For "Chick" Benetto that wish has been granted with one more day with his mother. The story tells us about how his life went from one of promised grandeur to one of desperation at the end of a neck of a bottle.

Albom creates a story filled with hope even in the darkest of times and how we as humans can return from that darkness to live fulfilled lives. He is one of the masters of this type of uplifting story, another master is Coelho for another example of this particular type of story. Albom creates realistic and believable characters here because he roots them some firmly in reality, while allowing for the mystical elements to shine through as well. He lets the otherworldly elements not be so boldly shockable that they feel organic in the context of the story. He never makes a bigger deal of them than he should, which provides the right touch for such an enjoyable read.

If you have ever felt down and out in your life this is a book that you need to read. There are millions of people similar to "Chick" out there and to have someone tell such a story will help you connect with others that have shared similar experiences. For a brief moment it does help to recognize that we are not the only ones that go through struggles in this life. People can become overwhelmed by their own individual struggles that they feel they are alone, but we are not. There are those of us out there that have struggled and Albom taps into that. So if you are struggling read this and recognize you are not alone, but afterwards take the first steps like "Chick" does to recuperate that lost life you want back. It just takes one single step forward because unlike "Chick" most of us will never get "One More Day" to make the things right, so do what you can today. It is a powerful book with a strong message that will engage a reader that understands it. Share that message with the world.  

Until next time... Stay Optimistic!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2017


I liked doing the tag yesterday, so I wanted another tag for this weekend (since I did five books in three days for the Disney week thing). I wanted an easy going weekend.

My friend, Sarah, from Book Hooked Nook tagged me in this tag, so here it is!

Q1: How do you keep track of your To Be Read pile?

I have a small TBR on Goodreads, but for the most part I feel like I do not keep track. I just keep buying books with little or no to direction. I would say I do not keep track and just purchase books that I know I want to eventually read. I think keeping a more organized list would help me greatly in getting through my books, since I have massive amounts on shelves right now that are part of my TBR that are organized in no logical manner.

Q2: Is your To Be Read mostly print or E-books?

I am starting to move towards e-books slowly because I like having one place that holds all my books. It helps me to stay a bit organized in a manner that print books do not allow. I also find that I read quicker on e-books, so I am moving towards that. Right now though I definitely would say it is mostly print books though. About four or five bookshelves full of books I need to read. Yes, I have a book problem! I have to admit it here, but this will be the ONLY time!

Q3: How do you determine which book from your To Be Read to read next?

I tend to pick my next read based on where I am at in my reading. What type of book I want to read and what genre is speaking to me at that moment. My TBR has also been greatly effected by what I am doing on my blog as well, such as this last week I ended up reading more Disney books because I set that up as my theme for the week. It was great to do it though and I enjoyed it. It allowed for me to have a focus and drive to read a bit more in that particular thematic.

Q4: A book that has been on your To Be Read the longest?

I bought two books on the exact same day. Neither have I read. They have both been on my TBR the longest.

 Goldie Hawn's "A Lotus Grows in the Mud" and Gregory Maguire's "Wicked". These have both been on my TBR since pretty much publication. I believe I finally packed up the Goldie Hawn book and said I was getting rid of it because realistically I know I am never going to get around to reading it in this lifetime, but I simply could not do it with Wicked. I have to read this book eventually!

Q5: A book that you recently added to you To Be Read?

I saw a couple of reviews on other book blogs and I thought that it sounded like something that I would LOVE to read! The story involves magic and African culture. This is the synopsis from Amazon:

"Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?"

It just sounds like my type of book and something that I would greatly enjoy! I can't wait to get around to reading it.

Q6: A book on your To Be Read strictly because it has a beautiful cover?

While I do want to read this book, after I read the review, I initially added it because I was like OH THAT COVER! It was weeks later that I finally read the synopsis and went okay this is something I will eventually read. It was about to be removed because I realized I had impulsed TBRed it.

Q7: A book on your To Be Read that you never plan on actually reading?

Nope, sorry I want to read all the books. ALL OF THEM! I don't add them to my TBR without having at one point planning on reading them. I also pruned my list to make it more realistic to what I will eventually read on GR, so it has already been gone through to showcase what I will eventually read.

Q8: An unpublished book on your To Be Read that you're excited for?

I find that I love reading books about any type of diversity and this feels like a book that definitely would be appropriate for me to read. I think this book is going to speak greatly to the real life experiences of the African-American male experience, which is a perspective that I have not had a lot of contact with. I think this is going to be vital reading for me, even if it is a fictionalized book. I believe it will touch upon some very important themes.

Q9: A book on your To Be Read that everyone else has read but you?

I have heard so much about this book. I want to eventually read it, but I haven't yet. It always seems like people are saying "I read that already." I feel like an outcast for not having read this already. Am I even a book blogger? ;-)

Q10: A book on your To Be Read that everyone recommends to you?

People who know me recommend this book greatly to me. They say, "Cassie, this is a book that speaks to everything that you talk about and everything that you are interested in studying. READ IT!" and these people are lucky because right now it is the book that is winning for my #MakeMeRead readathon poll (which is here). I will be reading it then! I also moved this up because it appears that Angie Thomas is going to be a visiting professor on my local college campus.

Q11: A book on your To Be Read that you are DYING to read?

What is sad is there is NO reason for me not to have moved onto reading this, since it is already released. Hmm, maybe after the readathon I will go into this! I have heard such wonderful things about this book and how good it is. It incorporates elements of history, but it makes it also surrealistic. Also it has the Oprah seal of approval, which is good enough for me. ;-)

Q12: The number of books on you To Be Read?

My TBR on Goodreads is only 55 books, but that is because I pruned it by literally moving to one for my blog exclusively. It was easier than trying to make my old one work for me. It also was related to my transition, since I didn't want to have to change everything over and explain the transition to people.

If I added on my physical shelves I would probably be in the several hundred category. It might be time to read my own books and stop reading those that are either coming out or that are new. I keep hearing about new books and pushing off my own, even though they are books I really want to read as well. I may need an intervention soon!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Book Blog Newbie Tag

I never really get tagged in anything, so when I saw Linda from Linda's Little Library post this and basically state that anyone reading it that wants to do it should consider themselves tagged by her, I was like okay. So here are my answers to this tag! (I consider myself still fairly new since I am focused entirely on books now instead of different things)

1. Why did you start this blog?

I wanted to connect with others that love reading. I have always felt that I was not part of any particular community. I was living through someone else's love of something, instead of having my own enjoyment of whatever it was (largely geek culture). It wasn't until this year that I realized that I had an obsession with books and felt that it was a great way to spend some of my time to talk about books with others that enjoy them as much as me. I also wanted to bring something to the book blogging conversation that seems to be not focused in on, which is diverse non-YA reads.

2. What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

Well, the first thing is I bring a very unique perspective of the world as a formerly homeless transgender individual. So I bring diversity to the book blogging community. This also makes me supportive of a wide variety of type of people, including different types of book bloggers that have a variety of focuses. I also bring that diverse voice to my book blogging. It is why I am focusing on having diverse conversations at least once a month here at the Library. I tend to be more detailed in my reviews as well, thanks to my academic background. There is so much I bring to this community and it brings a lot to me!

3. What are you most excited about this new blog?

The thing that I am most excited about is possibly connecting someone with a diverse book that helps educate them on the world that they live in. If it helps one person to see a marginalized group differently then I feel that my blog has served its purpose. I am also excited that it gives me the opportunity to meet with other bloggers from a wide variety of backgrounds.

4. Why do you love reading?

It is a great escape from reality, but I also love it because reading can be so educational. Even those books that are clearly set in a fictionalized world have meaning behind them that if understood can have a profound effect on the belief systems of an individual. People can be molded differently simply from reading a great book. Books are powerful!

5. What book or series got you into reading?

The book that got me into reading was "Uncle Vampire" by Cynthia D. Grant. I picked this book up from my local library when I was going what I would call my vampire phase. I went into it expecting one type of story, but it turned into something else entirely. It was the first time I understood that a book could be deeper and have an important message to it that could help form an individual's own thoughts. It has stuck with me for over 20 years. There was also a series that got me to stay in reading, which was the "Fear Street" series by R.L. Stine. I loved reading these books. They were fast reads and I loved the lore behind the street in Shadyside, Ohio. It involved magic, witches, and so much more. While the horror was of course not truly scary and it involved a lot of jump scares that resolved at the beginning of the next chapter they were truly formative to my love of mystery and scary things.

6. What questions would you ask your favourite authors?
I don't have that part of me that makes me want to ask authors that I enjoy questions. It is why I have yet to go to a meet and greet with one. I wouldn't have anything to say to them. I enjoy their books and love them, but the reality is that I do not need to ask them anything. I simply will keep enjoying their works from the sidelines, where I feel like I want to be. Enjoying whatever character they create for me to read about next.

7. What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

I think the largest challenge will be seeing what other people do and thinking that I need to be like that for numbers/views, but I have to recognize that we are all on our own path with book blogging. We each bring our own specialness to this field. We have different reasons for wanting to be part of this great community and we should do what we want to do, without worrying about fitting into some type of preconceived idea of what is right or wrong for a book blogger. 

I also worry about the entire schedule thing, especially next semester when I am in practicum for my masters of social work degree. I will have to find time in different places than I currently do, but if this is truly a priority that I want for my life then it won't be an issue. I am looking forward to testing myself and learning how to get content out appropriately.

8. When did you start reading?
My grandmother read to me as I was growing up (she raised me). As I grew up my father pushed reading onto me because he was an avid one. He always told me that books should be devoured and that you should never focus simply on one genre. You should read a variety and you should test out everything to see if you like it. If it wasn't for him I don't think I would be able to get through almost any type of book without cringing. He definitely formed my eclectic reading style.

9. Where do you read?
I read primarily on my couch, bed, or in my office chair. I unfortunately get very bad motion sickness, so I cannot read on the bus or in a car. I also cannot exercise and read at the same time for the same reason I cannot read in a car. This means that reading has become associated heavily with relaxation for me.

10. What kind of books do you like to read?
My favorite type of book isn't really a genre, I don't believe. I enjoy a book that has a bit of a social message to it. For example, Push by Sapphire is one of my favorite reads ever. I also enjoy reading a mystery book because I like to be swept up in trying to discover what happened to the usually dead individual and why they were actually killed in the story. I am finding myself pulled into the YA field naturally because I keep seeing everyone's reviews on various YA books, so I am trying to remember to look at fields out of YA as well. 

If you are like me and are not tagged very often then I TAG YOU! Do this tag and let me know your answers. I want to see how others that are new think and feel about their experiences in the book blogging community.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Disney Week: Disney's The Never Girls Book 1 - In A Blink

As part of "Disney week" here at the Library, this is a review of one of the Disney "The Never Girls" series!

"In a Blink"

By Kiki Thorpe
Illustrated by Jana Christy
A Stepping Stone Book
An Imprint of Random House

"Far away from the world we know, on the distant seas of dreams, lies an island called Never Land. It is a place full of magic, where mermaids sing, fairies play, and children never grow up. Adventures happen every day, and anything is possible.

There are two ways to reach Never Land. One is to find the island yourself. The other is for it to find you. Finding Never Land on your own takes a lot of luck and a pinch of fairy dust. Even then, you will only find the island if it wants to be found.

But every once in a while, Never Land opens its doors to a special few. Believing in magic and fairies from the bottom of your heart can make the extraordinary happen. If you suddenly hear tiny bells or feel a sea breeze where there is no sea, pay careful attention. Never Land may be close by. You could find yourself there in a blink of an eye.

One day, four special girls came to Never Land in just this way. This is their story."

*Looks back over the book* Was there a central theme to this book? It felt more like just an adventure story featuring the four main characters. It was about trying to get home, but then realizing that maybe you wanted to stay a little bit longer since you just got there. Also that sometimes you have to listen to what you are told to know the true character of someone else.

For this one I also want to give you a general synopsis, which is something often I try to avoid. You can see some of the premise above in the information before my pretty new "Central theme" graphic. The story revolves around four girls:

Kate, Mia, Lainey, and Gabby. Mia and Gabby are sisters!

These three girls are magically transported to Never Land (yes, the one from Peter Pan). This is accidently done by Prilla, the fairy (Yes, the same one that helped Vidia in the book I reviewed this week here). Prilla is a blinking talent fairy. Actually she is the only one in all of Pixie Hollow. She is sent to our world to get children to clap to believe in fairies, so they can live. She does not realize that the magic of Never Land is near the girl's house when she appears to Gabby. When Prilla blinks to go home Gabby grabs her and the rest is as they say is history. They are in Never Land, destined to be the Never Girls!

I picked this up on the day that I posted that I was doing a Disney week on my blog. I have always wanted to read this series because I had seen it on the book shelves at my local Target store, but I just never picked it up. I was looking through an app that my local library allows you to use a patron to check out ebooks. I knew I needed a few more Disney related items for this week, so when I saw that this was available I was like "SCORE FOR ME!"

I started this on Wednesday night and finished it on Thursday afternoon. It was a fast read, since it is meant for a slightly younger audience (hey, don't give me the side eye when I say slightly). It was also fast-paced for me because I enjoyed the book. The moment that Gabby clasped onto Prilla I knew they were about to be transported to Never Land and I was ready for that ride they were going on. The plot of this book is rather simplistic, which I believe is primarily due to the fact that it was always planned as a series book for kids. The book revolves around the four girls wanting to go home and trying to figure out how that can happen. They interact with mainly characters from the Disney Fairies world, which I reviewed earlier this week. For me, I enjoyed seeing these characters that I was already familiar with from these other set of books. In this one you had Beck, Tinker Bell, Queen Clarion, Vidia, and of course the catalyst that got them there in the first place, Prilla. Beck and the Queen are the only ones that feels like side characters that were utilized just to mention. The rest are pretty central to the plot in some way.

A great aspect to this, which sometimes irks me in other books, is that you can tell this is setting up for a series. One reason you can tell this is because Prilla goes to drop off a letter to the family of one of the girls to let them know they are okay and it blows away. You know this is going to come up later and cause emotional turmoil for the girls. It is a great little moment that I cannot wait to see when it comes back up. Yes, this means that I will be continuing on with the series.

Probably my favorite moment of this book was based on an one of the earliest moments in the book. Early on Mia, the older sister of Gabby, states that Gabby is too young to do something. Gabby just rolls with it at that moment, but later on in the book (closer to the end) Mia says this to her and basically Gabby gives her a glare that says "I will cut you deep if you say that to me while I am stuck up here in some weird world." Mia was shut down entirely by her younger sister and I was like "Go Gabby!" For me to have that connection with a character I know I was enjoying what I was reading. I also have to say that Gabby was my favorite character, which is primarily because she was the one written with the most heart. She believed in magic, she believed that things the others didn't could be possible. She may have been the youngest, but she was the most mature out of all of them. My least favorite character in this book was definitely Kate, but she is written that way here. She is part of the plot that adds a bit of the adventure element and also is where Vidia comes in. Now truth be told, the adventure element comes in a little late to be meaningful in any substantial way. The book, however, does not suffer greatly from it and is still an enjoyable read, if you understand that it is the first in a longer term series.

I wouldn't recommend this to someone that is not interested in reading a series book because this is rooted in the fact that it is. Every single moment seems to be building up to something else later on. There are little moments where you are not sure if you have been given every single detail yet or not. Also, as stated earlier, the letter thing is obviously coming back later, so it is way to apparent that this is a series book, so if that is not your thing steer clear of this. Also if you don't enjoy the Disney Fairies, like Tinker Bell, then steer clear. They are featured pretty heavily within this book, as they are the only other featured characters outside of the four main girls.

I would recommend this book to someone that wants a well-written children's book. Kiki Thorpe does an amazing job. Applause for you Mrs. Thorpe. You did a great job! Each girl has a distinct personality and I can only see that growing as we go further in their journey through the remainder of books. I also recommend this to anyone that does have a deep affection for Peter Pan and Never Land. I am pretty sure other elements of Never Land will come into play throughout the rest of the series and that this was only set-up to coincide with another popular book series that had been previously published by Disney (the Disney Fairy books). This link helps ease into the stories and will be a great read for a child that wants to be transported to Never Land them self.

You Can Purchase
Book 1 in the Never Girls Series: "In A Blink"

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Disney Princess Post- Sleeping Beauty Children's Books

So continuing with the Disney related theme of this week this review contains three quick reviews of my favorite Disney Princess: AURORA from SLEEPING BEAUTY!! 

Sleeping Beauty: 
A Moment to Remember (2010)
Written by Catherine McCafferty
Illustrations by Disney Storybook Artists

Synopsis: Aurora simply wants to spend time with Prince Phillip, but she has had to stay busy with planning parties and other princess duties that they haven't had a lot of time to spend together lately! Well hopefully that will get remedied as soon as possible.

My feelings: This was only about a ten minute read for me, if that. A child would love this book. Its story is simplistic with that we should spend time with those we love. It also is about never having too much time for them as well. This premise made me greatly enjoy this short read. I could see a mother reading this to their child and the child greatly enjoying it. It is also heavily illustrated with beautiful drawings that a child would enjoy and a mother can point out while reading to engage the child. Overall a great read for such a short book.


The Perfect Party (2011)

Written by Wendy Loggia
Illustrated by Studio IBOIX and Gabriella Matta

Synopsis: The fairies have lived in the castle with Aurora for a year now, but they still miss aspects of the cottage they used to live in with her. Aurora decides to throw the fairies a party to bring back some of the woods to them in the castle. 

My Feelings: This is a bit longer read than the other two books on this list. This one is a chapter book for a little older audience than the other two. This book showcases the importance of helping friends and letting them know how much you care for them. Also it shows that you should be concerned about your friends like as well, since Aurora discovers what the three fairies are missing the most from the cottage and brings them to the castle for the party. The book has beautiful illustrations that can engage someone that is learning to read. Parents, I would recommend this to purchase for your kids that you are wanting to engage in literature, especially those that you know love the Disney Princesses. It was a pleasure to read this book and for an adult it didn't take that long to read (30 minutes). I walked away from it thinking that I definitely would want to get this for my own nieces, if they were younger. 

Sleeping Beauty:
Aurora's Slumber Party (2010)
Adapted from an original story in "The Princess Party Book"
Written by Mary Man-Kong
Illustrated by Francesco Legramandi and Gabriella Matta

Synopsis: Prince Phillip is going to be away from the castle for a few days, so what better way to stay busy than invite your friends over for a slumber party? Aurora invites her fairy friends over and has a wonderful time teaching them that there is more to life than just their magic!

My Feelings: This was another quick read! I loved that this book had the message that there are times you should not take a shortcut (magic in this case) and other times you should (again with magic here). It also showed the importance of having friends and doing things with them. I really think that this is a book that children would enjoy, especially young girls. The book shows different things that you could do at a slumber party (like having a talent show). It would be somewhat educational for a young child, but also the illustrations would be something to discuss and engage with as well. I can see this being a book that a parent would read over and over again to their child that is going through a Disney Princess phase. If you don't mind that then you should definitely pick this one up for them. It will be worth your time and money!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Vidia and the Fairy Crown by Laura Driscoll

As part of "Disney week" here is a review of one of the Disney Fairies books. If you have been following for a minute you may remember that I reviewed the manga of this book. You can read that review HERE. The book version was published long before the manga version, just to clarify on their publication order. I hope you enjoy this review! 

Vidia and the Fairy Crown
By Laura Driscoll
Published by Random House in 2006

"Prilla looked Vidia in the eye. "I want to help you," she said, 
"because I remember what it's like to feel alone."

Central Theme:

This version of the "Vidia and the Fairy Crown" story focuses much on the same themes that were present in the manga version as well. This being that someone has to be responsible for the words that they say. In this case, don't say you are going to do something unless you are ready to be held accountable for saying that you were going to do it. In this Vidia said to two fairies (Tinker Bell and Raini) that she was going to steal the Faerie Queen Crown during an important party. When the crown comes up missing the first suspect? Vidia, of course. The other central theme is that you have to be willing sometimes to prove when you are actually right and you should defend yourself when appropriate. 

My Feelings:

This version of the story was very similar to the manga version. The main difference between the manga and the book was that due to the way that a visual representation of the story had to be presented there were moments were characters had to explain things a bit more in the manga. In the book version things seem to flow better. Between the two I would highly recommend the book version of the story over the manga. This being said though, both are very good for enjoyable reading. 

The story seemed to be quicker in the book version. I think this is because I knew were it was going due to having read the manga. Also I felt less distracted from the overall plot, even though there are illustrations within the book version. These illustrations seemed focused on providing just some visualization that children would need. The illustrations are very beautiful here, as well. I actually preferred them over the artwork in the manga. They were stunningly beautiful. The below picture is just one example of the artwork contained within. 

I really loved the message of this book. Stick up for yourself when you are right, even if it comes across as having a bad attitude. When you know that you are right and that you didn't do something you are being blamed for, let people know. Figure out how you can change mindsets. It may mean going on a wild goose chase to figure out what happened, but at the end people will know if you put in effort that you must be telling the truth. Your character will be better for it. Vidia doesn't become this instantly likable character through this, since she is really the meanest of the Disney faeries, but she has a charm to her throughout this. I also feel that Prilla really helps to make her more likable in this. Prilla is someone that helps her greatly within the context of the story. Prilla's story is explained here and lets you know exactly why she would help someone that has done truly heinous things to Pixie Hollow (the faerie's home). One of these evils that she has done to Pixie Hollow is mentioned here, so you get a glimpse of some of the other tales that have came before this particular book as well.

Who I Would and Wouldn't Recommend This Book To:

I wouldn't recommend this book to someone that isn't into the magical world of fairies. The entire book is focused around them, so why put yourself through that? Also if you are wanting to just focus on Tinker Bell you won't find that here. She is a side character and mentioned, but she is in it barely for like 2 pages for the most part. The main character of this book is in the title, which is true for any of the Disney Fairies books (see about that below). For someone looking for a serious story or high class literature do you really think this is that? If so you are mistaken. This is a children's book.

I would recommend this to people that don't mind that this a children's book and that it will be a quick read for those of us that may be older than the target audience. There is still enjoyment to be found within the pages of this book. Not every book has to be a "To Kill A Mockingbird" type of read. We, as readers, are allowed to read fun, short reads when we want. For those of you that realize this, you will enjoy this. Also if you love Disney Fairies this book is going to make you happy because as said earlier that is all there is here; Beautiful fairies are the main characters. 

Other Things to Consider:

Remember that there is a manga version of this book available as well by Tokyopop. This was already reviewed on the site previously (The link was mentioned above for the review). If you are a visual person this was published on July 25, 2017 and may be a better overall fit for you. Both, however, are enjoyable if you want to read them both. 

Disney Fairies is also a book series that has had numerous titles within it. These are covers for just a few of them. There are many others, if you are interested in reading about other faeries from Pixie Hollow. 

You Can Purchase
"Vidia and the Fairy Crown" 

Book Depository- Not Currently Available

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cassie's Library Presents... DISNEY WEEK!

So, I have realized I might have an unhealthy obsession with the world of DISNEY. 
I have previously reviewed two of the manga sets that NetGalley offered

Then I noticed that this week I was going to be reviewing two more Disney related books (starting to see a pattern here yet?). So I decided that I would simply try to get it out of my system by doing an entire week related to nothing but DISNEY related books! That being said though I am starting with a Q & A over Disney and myself. You can see some of my Disney love in the following questions. Enjoy! 

Why Do I Love Disney?

Most of my life I have been forced into being an adult, even as a child (i.e. before I should have been). I didn't get to watch many of the Disney features as a child. I didn't get to enjoy them and have those nostalgic memories of them as most children have. The memories that I have of Disney primarily as an adult. The fancy and carefree nature of many of the stories. The crisp clear lines. The stories of love conquering so much hate. This type of story, no matter how cliched you may think it is, is important for people that have been through horrendous things, like myself. To have an entire company that you can guarantee is going to have positive messages in the vast majority of the films they create and present to the world is vital for someone looking for that type of storytelling. Also many aspects of Disney and their related franchises are simplistic. They do not require someone to be overly intelligent or to engage with super deep meanings, though often there are some deep meanings if you are wanting to hunt for them. You, however, can enjoy Disney and their properties on a surface, mindless level and never come away feeling disappointed. This is why I hug tight to the different Disney franchises. 

Favorite Disney Princess?

My favorite Disney Princess is:

Yes, I love Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). Her aesthetic (look) is beautiful to me, but also I have always enjoyed the fact that her story involves a Princess saving her. What can I say? I like the cliche of a damsel in distress needing saving. While I know she is not represented as the "strongest" Princess. I mean duh Mulan has a lot more "strength" if we were judging solely on that. I just enjoy the classic story of "Sleeping Beauty" and enjoy this representation of her. I enjoy her so much that I literally had my birthday cake this year as her.  

Favorite Disney Animated Movie?

I can't just choose one. This is so hard for me to do! Okay fine... It is a little known Disney film, but it relates back to one of my favorite book series as well.

I love "The Black Cauldron" movie that Disney made. It is based on the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. At some point I will probably reread these books and review them because I love them so much. This movie though is not widely popular as a Disney film, but it holds a dear place in my heart. The characters are similar to their representation in the book series. The animation is also on par for normal Disney films. Every single time I watch this my heart soars and yes I have watched it way too many times for one person. Perhaps I am trying to make up for those of you that probably have never seen it?

Favorite Disney Live-Action Film?

This one was super easy for me. There was no contest. This has been my favorite Live-Action Disney film since forever (I snuck watching this as a child) and it will never be replaced. I still sing this song from it: 


Yes, my favorite live-action Disney film is Pete's Dragon. This film is about a boy and his imaginary friend, Elliott (who is a dragon). He is an orphan and it is a magical musical romp of an adventure. I know they recently remade this, but I have not forced myself to watch it because I do not want it to alter my memories of this particular film. 

 So these are just a few of my favorite Disney related things. This week you will also get the opportunity to see my opinions on different books that are Disney related! 

(All images and videos are property of the Disney company and are used here for blogging and review purposes. All rights are still theirs and theirs alone.)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Old Blog Post Saturday - For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

Once Upon A Time...

Cassie used to do another blog, as "Optimistic Reader". 
These are those reviews:
(These are formatted as best to their original view as possible to show my own progression with reviewing)

For Color Girls who have considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf
by Ntozake Shange

I am a huge fan of the movie "For Colored Girls" that is based off of this book and I thought that I should finally look to see if my University Library had a copy of it. Indeed they did have a copy of it. This book is done in poetry form, which makes it a unique reading experience. Also it gives a unique voice to the characters contained within as a result of this chosen form by Shange.

I devoured the pages within an hour because Shange's prose is interesting, engaging, and insightful. This book is riveting and really showcases well the voice of an African-American woman. We can learn from this book about their struggles and experiences. I would recommend this to anyone that is in a field that works with a variety of individuals, such as a social worker. The book tells you how women, not just African-american, struggle with the choices they have to make. If you understand Shange's words you will come away changed for the better for having read it. 

My favorite part of the book is "He nearly walked away with all my stuff". This is about giving someone else the power over your life. Not recognizing your own individual self-worth.Truly letting someone else walk away with everything you have and could ever desire. It is hurtful, but there is power in recognizing that you got out of that bad relationship and didn't go back to it. Shange embodies the emotions that someone feels when they come from this dark place. Only someone that has either been there or truly understands the human emotional spectrum can write as Shange does.

This will give you some great insights and will also move you to tears by the end. It is a highly recommended read for another wanting to step outside of their world. Be willing to explore worlds that you might not be a part of, but will learn a great deal from if you simply examine it. Reading a book is a good way to start that journey.

Until next time... Stay Optimistic!!!

Friday, July 21, 2017

TOPIC CONVERSATION: Five Films To Watch To Help Understand the African-American Experience Part 1 (MY EDITION)

 I mentioned on my posting of "You Can't Touch My Hair" by Phoebe Robinson (review here) that I would post some important African-American media (movies and television shows) that can help showcase the experiences of African-Americans. These are films that I either want to watch or have seen before. Even though I am not African-American I know that these films speak to that experience based on not only my own perceptions of the films that have helped to start to educate me on these matters, but also due to hearing their importance in that community. This are not in any order or any importance order either. These are also just a limited number of the possible films you can watch. These are just the ones that immediately come to my own mind that you can view to better understand these experiences. Without further ado:


1. Dear White People (2014)

Reason for Inclusion Here: This film tells the story about how college students that just so happen to be African-American experience different aspects of the college experience. This film is within the last ten years, so it is pretty focused on racial issues that are currently occurring within our society. I have personally yet to see the movie, but have watched the Netflix series that has been developed from this film. If this film is anything like the Netflix series it is vital viewing to help educate yourself on these experiences. 

2. Set it Off (1996)

Reason for Inclusion Here: While this film is just a great film, the realities that each of the four main characters encompass about the African-American experience is also important. They each showcase different experiences of how these four women have had to live as African-American women to survive within our society, which ultimately leads them to decide to become bank robbers. This is a very serious movie, so don't think that premise of bank robbers is a comedic element. It isn't. This is about the realities of the world making you do something that you never thought you would do because of racial issues that are contained within our society. This is a film that may not seem like it would educate you, but if you understand those underlying messages it will make you understand these experiences very concretely. 

3. The Long-Walk Home (1990)

Reason for Inclusion Here: To understand the African-American experience in American society you have to look at the history of the Civil Rights Movement as well. You have to begin to grasp that slavery did not end racial prejudices within our society. This film focuses on racial issues that were alive and well in the south. This is done in a more approachable manner than some other films in this particular film wheelhouse. This film would be a good starting point for someone from my own race (white) to start off with, since one of the main characters is this. This, however, should not be the only film that you view related to these experiences because it will present a limited view. It coupled with another couple of movies will greatly aid you towards understanding the issues we have with racism in our country and that they were prevalent in our past as well. 

4. Fruitvale Station (2013)

Reason for Inclusion Here: While I have never seen this film myself. I am aware of the contents because I know what caused this film to be made. This film is based on a real life occurrence where an African-American male was killed by a transit officer. I used to live in San Francisco, so many friends made me aware of this particular incident. Cell phone footage was taken of this incident and showcased horrifically how African-American people can be treated by those in authority. This is a much watch film and as I type this I realize I will need to watch this soon as well. 

5. The Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) 

Reason for Inclusion Here: This film focuses on important historical elements of racism as well. This one focuses mostly on the trial of the killer of Medgar Evers, a prominent civil rights leader. For years, the gentleman was tried for his death, but had two hung juries. This film showcases what happens when someone steps up to help the widow of Evers and it ultimately showcases the experiences of African-Americans within the judicial system. It is another important film to begin to grasp some of the racial issues we have still within many American society.

What I would like to do with this particular blog posting is pose a question to the readers: What are some films that you may be aware of that shine some light on the experiences of African-American individuals in American society? Television shows are acceptable as well. In a month or two (depending on how many comments are given) I will try to watch these films and discuss why they are important to the overall conversation about African-American experiences.