cheap vacation

Oh, how I would love to go to the beach for a weekend, visit Disney World (my favorite place on the planet), or hop a plane over to Europe to see London, Ireland, and Rome. But sadly, I cannot. Therefore I live vicariously through the characters in the books I read.

And that will have to do for now 🙂

What’s your story?


“Every story starts somewhere.” Such simple words, but resounding with so much power and truth.

I think it’s safe to say that every booknerd out there has, at some point, drooled over the library Beast gives Belle in the Disney animated classic, Beauty & the Beast. And what are the books in the library filled with? Stories. And who wrote these vast stories? Somebody.

That’s all it really boils down to, isn’t it? That somebody got an idea and took the time to write it down. And inspiration can strike you anywhere at any moment, if only your mind is open to it. Whether it be a realistic notion or something completely out of this world, all stories start from that one little brain spark.

And I recognize that not everyone has the creativity to be a writer—we can’t all be gifted with awesome right brain activity levels—but even the simple act of journaling can give you such an amazing outlet.

One of my favorite sayings that came out of the mass hysteria that is Harry Potter is: “It all started with a book.” Even Walt Disney’s insane world has the slogan, “It all started with a mouse.” All it took was someone to take the glimmer of an idea and water it until it blew up and grew into a worldwide phenomenon.

It is success stories like J.k. Rowling, Walt Disney, Stephen King and John Green, which give me the inspiration to keep at it. Because my story matters. And so does yours.




So, I’m listening to the 4th Harry Potter audiobook (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and I’m at the part where they are getting ready to go to the Quidditch World Cup, gathering around the portkey.

While the portkey is being described to Harry about how it’s always some old ordinary and uninteresting looking object so that a muggle won’t come and pick it up, that’s when my Sarah brain takes over.

In my head, I keep seeing those road side crews who pick up trash along the highway coming along with their pokey stick thingys and stabbing a portkey, which thrusts them unknowingly into some crazy ass location, such as the inside of a pyramid, or a dragon’s lair.

Needless to say this image has been cracking me up all morning, so I thought I would share 🙂

“The darkest minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”


The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken was an exceptional YA read. This novel will keep your mind grasping at straws, and your eyeballs devouring the words on the page.

 A disease called IAAN has swept across America, killing children starting at the age of ten on through puberty. All of a sudden, young children are literally just dropping dead. But it’s not the dead kids the adults fear—it’s the kids who live. The kids that survive the disease have varying mind powers and, as always, grownups fear what they can’t explain. They have labeled the remaining kids as Psi and they are rounded up and shipped off to “rehabilitation camps.”


“Abilities. Powers that defied explanation, mental talents so freakish, doctors and scientists reclassified our entire generation as Psi. We were no longer human. Our brains broke that mold.”


These rehabilitation camps, however, are more like Jewish concentration camps. Kids are herded into a classifying colored group based on what ability they posses: Blue=telekinetic, Green=sorters, good at math, photographic memories, Yellow=control electricity, Red=fire, Orange=the most dangerous of all…the ability to enter and control your mind.  

Thus, our main Character Ruby was taken and placed in a camp the day after her tenth birthday. She is labeled as a Green, but she has a secret…she was wrongly sorted. The day of her tenth birthday, she did the unthinkable—she erased herself from her parents’ minds. It was an accident, and she didn’t know that she was doing it, but her parents freaked nonetheless when they woke up to a strange little girl in their house that they had no recollection of. And poor Ruby had no idea what she had done; but still, the PSF’s (Psi Special Forces) promptly came and took her away.

When Ruby manages to make the doctor at the camp sorting her believe that she is a Green, she gets placed with the other Green girls at camp. Eventually the Oranges, Yellows, and Reds disappear…they are too dangerous to have around, for not all Psi kids are good and innocent. There have been many incidents of Reds setting fires, Yellows blowing things up, and Oranges convincing the PSFs to open fire on their comrades.

 Ruby, like all of the other children of her generation hates her life, and wishes more than anything that it’s just one big nightmare—but knowing deep down that it isn’t. This is her life now. But, one day while slaving away in the fields of the “self-sufficient” camp Ruby works at, the Calm Control goes off (a sort of dog whistle white noise that only Psi kids can hear), but this time it’s painful effects are worse than usual, debilitating her completely.

With the help of an odd source, Ruby manages to escape and eventually ends up with a ragtag group of kids who have also managed to escape the confines of camp. There’s Zu, a mute eleven-year-old Yellow girl, Charles “Chubs”, a studious and very cynical Blue, and Liam, the kind-hearted leader, with the purest soul, also a Blue.

These four escapees are on a mission to find the Slip Kid, who is said to help other Psi kids get in touch with their parents (for not everyone’s parents flipped out and thought of their kids as monsters, wanting them sent far away from them). Sticking together, avoiding Skip Tracers (bounty-hunters, basically) and PSFs who will do anything to capture all kids and throw them into a camp, this team forms a special bond, slowly learning how to live again. And more importantly, to believe that living is actually worth the effort. That they are worth it.


“It doesn’t make you a bad person, you know—to want to live your own life.”

“My mom said once that education was a privilege not afforded to everyone, but she was wrong—it wasn’t a privilege. It was our right. We had the right to a future.”

“Maybe nothing will ever change for us,” he said. “But don’t you want to be around just in case it does?”


This tumultuous adventure will have you digging into your soul and questioning the basic rights of a human being—no matter how young or small—and analyzing the irrational behaviors fear can induce. What it must be like to be a young child and have your own parents, the people who are supposed to be there for you no matter what, look at you like you are some kind of monstrous creature. And even worse, to have to face the own darkening thoughts in your own head as a cast aside of not knowing how to control your powers: “They weren’t afraid of themselves; they weren’t crippled by the weight of what they didn’t know.”

This harrowing story receives five out of five stars from me! The sequel, The Never Fade is set to be released in late October, and I cannot wait!

“The Maze Runner”—A Book Review *movie being filmed*


The Maze Runner by James Dashner is a thrilling book fans of The Hunger Games are sure to enjoy.

Thomas wakes up in a steel elevator, having no memory, other than his name. He still knows basic skills and objects, but has no memory of having learned them or where he came from.

When the elevator stops, and the doors open, he finds himself face to face with a group of teenage boys. The place he arrived in is called “The Glades,” and it is run by this ragtag group of boys, each having a duty to perform. And just like Thomas, none of them have any memories from before they got there. They inform Thomas that every thirty days, a new boy is delivered, as are supplies needed for survival.

The Glades is a sort of camp, encased by a giant maze, alive with out-of-this-world mechanical creatures. Each night, the doors to the maze close, and each morning they open up again, so that the boys tasked as a “maze runner” can venture out and run the maze. These maze runners literally must run the entire time they are in the maze, to avoid being caught by one of its menacing creatures and killed. While in the maze, they must make maps, so that hopefully the boys will one day figure out how escape The Glades.

But something strange happens. The day after Thomas arrives, the elevator is back, twenty-nine days ahead of schedule. In it: a girl. No girl has ever entered The Glades. And even more disturbing: she is unconscious, frozen in a coma. And even more alarming still: the girl carries with her a message: “no more supplies or boys will be sent.”

The boys are now completely on their own, with no more mystery supplies and kids appearing through the elevator. The creatures in the maze are growing more ominous by the hour…and time is ticking.

This pulse pounding tale is sure to get your adrenaline flowing. I like to think of this book as “The Hunger Games, but at an all boy camp—with one comatose girl.”

Overall, I give this book four out of five stars.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like the sequel, The Scorch Trials as much as I liked the original, but I would still give it 3 ½ stars.
This series is definitely worth the read.

The Maze Runner movie is currently being filmed in my hometown, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is announced to be released in 2014 🙂