Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Denton Little's Deathdate

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Format: Library
Date Read: 8/11/15 to 8/13/15
352 pages

Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I'm going to be honest, I never really considered reading this until I saw it at the library. And then I thought, "Wait this is about death, right". You see, I loved the Machine of Death anthology, where the manner of your death is spit out by a machine. But in this book, it's the time of death that you have to prepare for. So obviously after I found this out, I was going to pick this up ASAP.

Denton is due to die when he's 17 years old, on the day of prom. And you would think that since it's practically YOUR day, you can do whatever you want. But that ends up not being the case. Instead,  You get to 1) attend your own funeral, 2) write your own eulogy, and 3) even sit with your family and friends on your day of death. Where is all the fun, crazy last days? Like whut?

Now I'm going to be completely honest with you, because I don't remember the minor characters (sorry I should take notes more often). All I know is that I loved Denton. At first, he didn't mind that he was dying so early. But then as his day gets closer and closer, you can see him just breaking apart. And as fun this novel is, I have to say it was sad to see that happen.

And what exactly is going to kill Denton anyways? Is it his girlfriend's psychotic ex-boyfriend? A car accident? Or maybe that huge purple splotch that's slowly spreading throughout his entire body. Gross. Either way, I did not really see that coming, even though I did already predict the conclusion of the story. I mean come on now.

Did I mention how fun this novel is though? Sure, it's a book about death, but it's a funny book about death. I know it seems weird and contradicting, but just trust me on this one

I didn't really have any gripes with this one, it's a four star read mainly because it doesn't have the "POP" that I think it should have. Sure, Denton's going to die and hilarity ensues, though, oh I don't know. It's very clear that the author wants the reader to pity Denton, especially when he ends up having a mental breakdown at his own funeral.

Overall, I think I was more interested in the whole situation of knowing your death date. I loved the fact that people tried to avoid dying by locking themselves in a room or not doing anything the entire day. The author really did a good job in that regard, and because of that, I enjoyed the book a ton. 

(By the way, it's actually Denton Little's Deathdate, in that "Little" is his last name. It's weird because I can never see it that way, and I always end up pronouncing it as "Denton's Little Deathdate" instead)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #68

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught "Survival 101"

Well this is a fitting topic to the start of the school year. I'm actually really excited to attend classes again, though I'm sure I'll regret saying that 2 weeks in. Oh well.

My class is the place to be! We live in a dangerous world, and in order to be adequately prepared (or at least attempt to be prepared), Survival 101 will teach you how to survive in almost ANY dangerous situation, whether it's a dystopia, an apocalypse, or a man-eating bug ATTACK! Get ready for the syllabus!

Do you have the guts to take this class? Will you survive?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: Time Between Us

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
Time Between Us #1
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Format: Kindle
Date Read: 8/11/15 to 8/13/15
368 pages

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

If you don't know me by now, I really like reading about time travel, even though I'm sometimes not content with how it's executed. When it comes to time travel, there are always some plot holes here and there that never get explained because, well, it's time travel, which is a tricky topic in itself. However, with Time Between Us, I thought it best to ignore the flaws within the author's rules of time traveling, since it wasn't the main focus of the plot. But I can explain this later.

A Cool and Intriguing Concept
Even though both are in high school, Anna is from 1995, and Bennett is from 2012. Bennett has the strange ability to travel through time and space, but he's limited to certain rules. For example, he can't jump to a time when he isn't born, and he can't jump to his future. Unfortunately, he ends up losing his sister in the past while trying to travel further than his birth. In order to find his sister, he time travels to Anna's time. And from there, they meet, and eventually fall in love.

But can you guys see how implausible it seems? How can you be with someone in the past who is almost 30 years older than you in the present? The author takes the approach that time can be relived through Bennett's time travel, and it can affect the future differently through "re-dos". If Bennett were to travel to the room where he was a baby, he would end up redoing his entire life over. However, if he is not in the same room, then he can exist in two places at once. Therefore, I believe that this story takes into account that parallel lives can occur, which reminds me a lot of Parallel

The Characters Were Well Written, But The Plot is Better
I thought the characters were very well written. Anna ended up realizing the costs of being with Bennett, and I'm glad she didn't throw her life away because of him. However, I wasn't fond of her pestering Bennett about breaking his own time travel "rules", even if they were for a good cause. On the other hand, I wasn't able to get a good feel for Bennett, except that he can be a pushover. I was more focused on the story and how the two of them interacted, because they're both from different times. Though unfortunately, I was sad to see how little time was spent talking about the past and the future. (I like it when time traveling characters share things about their own time)

Time Travel = Complex
Like I said before, the mechanics of time travel is complex, and all the answers won't be there. But for this novel, it's best not to think too hard about it. As I said before, although the plot includes time travel, it focuses more on the relationship between Anna and Bennett. Therefore I didn't feel the need to analyze everything that happened. (Though there was this one scene which I was trying to figure out HOW it happened, but in the end I gave up)

In the end, the reason why this isn't a full 5 stars from me is because there are some little holes here and there, but not enough to be considered a major flaw. Plus, although I did like the characters, I was more invested in the plot, and I paid little attention to their development and personality. However, despite this, I loved the concept of time traveling and romance, and I love the execution of it. Overall, the novel was very well done, made me feel emotions throughout, and made me want more. Which is why I am definitely looking forward to the sequel!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #30

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I borrowed Denton Little's Deathdate on a whim, and I am glad I did. I have already read this and enjoyed it immensely!

I've been meaning to pick up another book by Catherynne M. Valente, but haven't done so until now, which is why I borrowed Deathless. I am excited for some Russian folklore based stories!

I know that the Iron Fey series is never ending, but I figured that I should at least finish the main trilogy. I don't know. I just WANT to finish the series since I started it, so here I am with The Iron Queen.

I have heard a lot of a lot of good things about Melissa Keil, so when I found one of her books at the library, Life In Outer Space, I borrowed it right away!

As for graphic novels, I had Ms. Marvel on hold, and I HAVE read this volume! Though it wasn't until recently that I found out the library had all three volumes, I just didn't know! Next time I will borrowing the rest of the series!

NOT SHOWN: Reawakened by Colleen Houck. I just finished reading this 5 minutes ago! It was a fun read, even though I did have minor issues with it!


Well let's be honest I am very excited to get back to classes and not work full-time hours. I am ready to see some of my friends that have been gone the entire summer, especially since I have friends in all of my classes. 

Other than that, I am mainly looking forward to getting work over with, my car tire fixed, and to have a great new semester. It also looks like I'll be working two jobs this semester, which means I'll be more busy than usual, but at least I'll have some extra cash rolling in. You know, for when I decide to switch over to Wordpress.

Remember how I mentioned that I was having trouble recruiting children? Well since I recruited at the zoo, I've gotten three lab appointments for next week! As of then, I will have 10 children recorded! And my goal was 16! Plus I recently dropped off consent forms at a daycare, and they were very willing to pass them out to parents. Soon, my project will come to an end, recruiting wise!

So yep. I think things are looking up. Though I should wait until tomorrow before I say that, aha.

How was your week?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What To Do When You Feel Behind In Blogging

Source from Pixabay

Stop. Drop. Roll. Take a break. Do a jig. Run around naked.

Often times, I feel overwhelmed by the number of posts I need to write, the number of books I need to read for the week, and the number of comments and blogs I need to reply to. Let's be honest here, blogging gets crazy. Newbie bloggers might not think this is true now, but just wait, the stress of book blogging will slowly overcome you. Like sleep.

Therefore, I've decided to share with you a number of tips that have gotten me through the potential burnout of being a blogger.

This is the simplest, and most easiest thing to do if you feel like you're in a blogging slump. When you're on a break, whether it's for a week or a month, you don't have to worry about scheduling, commenting back, or any other obligations

As Amber @ YA Indulgences says, (currently on a hiatus now):
It's super refreshing to wake up every morning and not think "I need to blog today". I just like that I don't have to worry or stress about doing blog posts. It's freeing.

Thank you Amber!

By this, I mean to close away any old open tabs of blogs, mark all Bloglovin' posts as "read", stop commenting on blog posts from 1994 and get with the future already! I suffer from this a lot, and I've noticed that it impacts my commenting back. If I leave posts open on my laptop for too long, I'll lose interest in them, so that's not a good thing. My solution, and tip to you, is just to focus on the new posts from blogs you love, rather than being stuck in the old. Unless one of the posts is still super interesting to you.

Starting fresh could also mean starting over completely with a new blog, which I have seen some bloggers do, but it's not something I personally will do. (But moving to Wordpress? Maybe one day!)

Rather than commenting on a hundred blogs in one day, just focusing on 10 to 15 blogs a day is much more manageable. I have been guilty of leaving all my commenting until the last day, and in the end I'm burned out by all the commenting. However, if I take things one at a time, and comment on a couple posts throughout the day, I feel more interested in the posts I am reading, and less burned out. So win win for me and the blogger!

This works on your own blog too! I always had (have) a hard time with commenting back on my own TTT post because my response would be the same over and over again if I tackled them all at once. However, when I responded to comments right away, I felt less repetitive when it came to replying, since I replied as the comments were posted.

This worked extremely well for me during the academic year, when I was incredibly busy with not only work and classes, but studying as well. During the year, I would read on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday whenever I had free time, comment on blogs on Tuesday and Thursday, and schedule blog posts on Saturdays and Sundays. This well balanced schedule helped me read about two to three books a week, which is something I had been struggling with beforehand.

Lastly, you can just panic. There's no reason not to right? Sometimes life will always be out of control and there is nothing you can do about it hahah! Hey some people live off of stress! It makes people stronger, and allows them to keep blogging until the end of time.

Just look at Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight, she is very overwhelmed, but is doing a fabulous job at basically everything blogging-wise. 
Okay. I am insanely overwhelmed right now, because for three weeks I have been/will be posting every day, sometimes more than that because of the event AND blog tours that ended up coinciding, PLUS all books ever written coming out on September 1! I am behind on comments, and basically a big old ball of panic. BUT, blogging and reading are basically my crack, and I cannot go without a fix. And I need to talk to my people, so blogging is kind of ideal for that too. And even though the event IS a little stressful, it has been so amazing to see everyone being so inspirational and kind and supportive that the uplifting parts absolutely outweigh the stressful ones.

You go Shannon. I have faith in you. And the event she is talking about is Shattering Stigmas, which you all must go check out.

So yes, I'm hoping that maybe this will help some bloggers out when it comes to managing blogging and time, and what to do when getting behind on comments on posts. The bottom line is, it's OKAY that you are behind. The world isn't going to smite you if you don't return EVERY SINGLE COMMENT within the day you posted! Bloggers know that life gets in the way, so it's completely acceptable to slack off once in a while.

How do you handle blogging stress? Do you have any other tips to add?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Format: Paperback
Date Read: 8/2/15 to 8/7/15
343 pages

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he's doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

I read a review of this a LONG time ago from a blog that I now don't remember. But anyways, I remember being intrigued by the premise, because NECROMANCERS, and then I saw it at the library and thought "Hey why not!". Let's just say that that was the best decision I have ever made at the library. Which is why when I saw it on BookOutlet, I went grabby hands, and long story short I hope my wallet forgives me one day.

Anyways, if you've read Written in Red by Anne Bishop, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is kind of similar in setting, but with a male main character, Sam. Sam is a high school dropout, and works at the local burger joint. He knows nothing about necromancers or witches or werewolves and hybrids until he's accused of being a necromancer out of nowhere. His life turns around for the worse when his friend, Bridget, is killed but brought back to life (as a head) by a powerful necromancer who only wants to harness Sam's power for his own. Basically shit goes down and it's a lot of fun to see it all happen.

Necromancers, Witches, Werewolves All Under Our Noses
Who knew that The Rolling Stones, The Queen, and Jimmy Carter could potentially be undead, risen by necromancers because their deaths could be an inconvenience? Well apparently things like this happen in the world, and no one knows about it except for the supernatural. Personally, I love plots like this, which is why I picked up this book in the first place. 

Fortunately, the story isn't just a major info dump, because you're going along with the main character, Sam, to figure out what the heck is going on. Being incredibly lost and confused on just about everything, his discoveries come over time in a show not tell fashion. Along with that, we also get the POV of Brid, a were-hound who's being held against her will by Douglas. Her snark along with Sam's is what makes this book so entertaining.

Did I Mention The Snark?
On almost every page? Man this book was just so fun to read because there were lines like this:
I shook my head. "You don't have Hitler in your basement or anything, do you? Tabloids are always claiming he's still alive. Him and Elvis. Because I can't condone that sort of thing. The Hitler thing, not Elvis. I've got nothing against the King."

Or this:
"On top of all that, you're naked. And while I'm going to hate myself for this later, could you put on some clothes? At least just for a little while, so I can think. Then you can go right back to being naked. All the time. With my full blessing."

I really just couldn't stop reading because of how, despite the situation (which wasn't that bad), fun the writing was. I fell in love with Sam's snark, especially when he was around Douglas, even though he was incredibly scared of him.

This is just a great start to the series, and for once, I am sad to say that there is only one sequel rather than the trilogy that I am so used to seeing. I am going to be pissed if I find out that this series is unfinished for some reason, though I highly doubt that. I just need all my answers, and more Sam and Brid, and just more of this amazing dialogue. So if you're really into paranormal fantasy, then this is the book for you. TRUST MEEEEE.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #29

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I waited a pretty long time to buy Monstrous Beauty, just because I always try to buy more than one book on Book Outlet because shipping costs. But hey now I have it! Hopefully it's a good mermaid story.

Then I impulse bought Lux: Beginnings, just because it was 1) on sale and 2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout, an author I have never read before.

And then there's these two books. I recently borrowed Hold Me Closer, Necromancer from the library, and LOVED IT SO MUCH. Then I found that, plus the sequel, on Book Outlet and it all went down from there. But I have no regrets whatsoever. I cannot wait to read Necromancing The Stone.
So, life has kind of been tough lately. But it's slowly looking up. Last week, I had a couple of appointments last week when I went home, and each one didn't exactly go the way I planned.

And then, there's this project that I am working on that requires testing small children, and it's really not going the way it was planned to go. And I really just want to stop working on it, because 1) the lab isn't very good at recruiting children, and all the day cares I call aren't really willing to help out, and 2) I didn't even come up with this study, which is why I always had doubts about it "working". Anyways, short story is that I want to stop, but I feel bad for the lab because I've spent a year working with another undergrad (WHO IS NOW GONE) on this project. Ugh. And there was one point this week where I thought I could quietly get out of it, but then my mentor/primary investigator emailed me today about new day cares we could recruit from, and I was like "Nooooo". Le sigh.

Anyways, there's that. Onto the good news! I'm participating in Round Three of #OTSPSecretSister, which is A LOT of fun. I have tons of fun planning and stalking the hashtag! If any of you are interested in it, Round Four will begin in February I think! And here is the link from this round, by Alyssa, Amy, and Brittany, just in case you wanted to know what this whole thing was about!

As you should know, Shattering Stigmas is happening on the blogs of Shannon, Kayla, and Inge! You should really go check out this Mental Awareness event!

Classes actually start really soon, in two weeks. And I am excited, I know it's weird right? Mostly just because I'm tired of working eight hours a day, or even four (and also I don't want to deal with my experiment anymore). The only bad thing is that I won't be paid the huge bucks anymore. Goodbye grant money! Oh well! As long as I still have a job, right?

How are you doing? Students/teachers, are you ready for summer to be over?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: Never Always Sometimes

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 4th, 2015
Format: ARC
Date Read: 8/7/15 to 8/10/15
320 pages

Never date your best friend

Always be original

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken

Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

This ARC was given to me in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Harlequin Teen!

This book. THIS BOOK. Let me just tell it to you straight. The entirety of the book was fine, and actually really good, until I read to the end, an ending with a reason so unbelievable "cliche", that I nearly thew my book out the window. But let's hold off on that for now. Let me at least start off with the good things. 

"Living A Life Less Ordinary"
No point in living a life less ordinary if you don't know what the other side looks like.

Here's the rundown. Dave and Julia are best friends, and like most best friends, they come up with a pact. To never be associated with a "cliche" high school life. Which means no designated lunch spot, no prom king or queen, no having sex with teachers (Like what, is this a thing? Please tell me no), and of course, to not date your best friend. 

Senior year arrives, and surprisingly (but not so), Dave and Julia have succeeded in avoiding the cliches. But was that really a right decision? It's senior year, might as well DO THEM ALL? Right? Which is why in just one year, Dave and Julia will aim to complete all the cliches on the list, in order to live a less ordinary life. (Though apparently "a life less ordinary" is just a bunch of cliches)

Though it may SEEM like I'm unamused by the plot, I was genuinely surprised at how much I liked it. (Though I will admit I cringed at the parts where Julia tried to flirt with her teacher. That was just...uncomfortable). Dave and Julia's banter were entertaining to read as they considered which cliche to tackle next.

I also was not surprised when Dave decided to move on from his unrequited love of Julia, to a new girl, Gretchen. I felt that that was a reasonable move, considering that Julia showed no signs of interest in him in that way. Plus, it was kind of pitiful to watch Dave silently pine for Julia. Every couple pages or so there would be a line describing how beautiful she was, courtesy of Dave.

So anyways, I was fine with this. This was to be expected. HOWEVER, I was not expecting Julia to suddenly come back with an expression of love. Ugh okay, fine. Fine maybe that was to be expected. But let's talk about the ending, shall we?

  Why The Title Should Be Renamed: "It's Called Guilt, Dave"

Dave's reasoning for everything that took place in the end, was horseshit. 

[spoiler] I do not accept the fact that he "loved Gretchen more", or the fact that he was so hung up on her email to him, about "his heart was the one to make the decision on who to love". He spent a very long time being in love with Julia, and now that he has her, he doesn't feel right about his love? 

Nope, the reason reason he doesn't feel right, is because he feels guilty for cheating on Gretchen. AND being caught in the act. [spoiler]

Dave, stop spewing such nonsense. It is clearly guilt eating at you.

I did like Never Always Sometimes as a novel overall, but the ending clearly made no sense to me explanation-wise. Also, why would you let people write all over your white car in marker? Why? Now you have that as a reminder forever, Julia.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Where Are All My Books? [+ Game]

This topic came to me while I was writing up my TTT post of most read authors. Since I relied on Goodreads statistics, I noticed that up to high school, there is no evidence of me reading. But it's not because I haven't been reading (that would be a huge lie), but mostly because I was a youngun' at the time, and even now I don't remember the books I've read. Or when I read them.

All throughout elementary school, I was constantly reading. I used to order a ton of books from those book orders (Does anyone else remember those? Best days of the year.) But other than that, I didn't have a need for physical books. My sources of books came from:
  • The school library: Every school has a library, with a diverse collection of books. In my elementary school the books were divided up into Young Readers, Picture Books, and Middle Grade. This doesn't even include the autobiographies and non-fiction.
  • The regular library: I often visited the libraries in town to borrow books. I'm sure I got my first library card in first grade. It was very official.
  • The classroom library: Did anyone else have this? Books in baskets around the classroom rug? I would always pick books up from there to read during class. Though I distinctly remember avoiding Sarah, Plain and Tall, because it just sounded oh so boring.  
Did you know I do not own one single Harry Potter book? I actually ended up borrowing them all from the library instead of buying them. Fun story, my mom actually hid Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix because she came to the conclusion that it was getting in the way of my education and ruining my life (It was, and it did). But anyways.

 Why I Didn't Add These Books To GR
It's true, I've read the Harry Potter series, and most of the Magic Tree House series, and tons of Meg Cabot books that I won't even bother listing out. But the reason they aren't on my GR shelf is because book amnesia. I rather reread all the Tamora Pierce books I've read, because I loved them so much as a child, and then add them on Goodreads. Plus, how am I even supposed to rate these books if I don't remember what happened in them?

As someone who hates clutter, I've opted to not add books I read a long, long time ago to my shelf. What about you? Do you just add away without a rating? Or are you waiting to reread the book as well?

Even Now I Have Maybe 60 Books Total
And that seems so little compared to everyone else! I mean, even before BEA, which was only a couple months ago, I had around 30 physical books. Though I used to have a ton of books as a kid, those have now been donated and given away to others.

As of now, most of the books read are from the library and Netgalley or Edelweiss. I've only gone on a couple of book buying sprees (which usually amounted to $20 at a time), and remember one of my 2015 New Year's Resolution was to preorder one book every month? That stopped around April. Oops. 

But anyways, onto the minigame!  

The Game
So this game is more of a help to me than to you. You see, I remember distinct parts from books I read when I was younger. But I'm not so certain where I read it. SO the objective of the game is to guess the title of the book for each plot line (in the comments below)! Let's see whether you're brushed up on MG and Children's books!

Disclaimer: I don't know which books they are for certain, but if I look up the title I might be able to recognize the cover. ALSO, each participant gets one imaginary cookie.

1. The main character fell from the boat but ended up being saved by a dolphin.
2. Mitochondria was involved.
3. This woman disguised herself as a man to enlist in the way (Civil War, I think). When she was found out, she was told to present herself in a dress to be glorified and praised.
4. One sister had the plague, and the other went on an adventure to find a cure to save her.
5. A worm who could eat words

Did you get any of them? Or do you have absolutely no idea? Can you think of any plots that you remember reading about but not the book title?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #67

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Authors I've Read The Most Books From

Thanks to a little tip from someone on Twitter, sadly I don't remember who, I was able to easily find a list of authors I've read the most books by, on Goodreads. Though most of the books I've read came from a trilogy written by the author. When it comes to reading, I don't like to binge read books from the same author, just because I need variety in my reading!

It's no surprised that I've read the most books by Meg Cabot. I have 8 books listed on Goodreads by her, but I know for a fact that I've read at least 15 of her books. (If you don't know by now, she is my all time favorite author.

Followed next is obviously J.K. Rowling. This isn't on my Goodreads, but I have read all the Harry Potter books, plus The Casual Vacancy, which I loathed entirely.

Lastly, I want to bring up Brandon Sanderson, the king of fantasy. If you haven't picked up one of his books yet, I don't know what is wrong with you.

Do you recognize any of these authors? (If not then you are DISOWNED, just kidding)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Review: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Date Read: 7/24/15 to 8/1/15
355 pages

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love...

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Oh The Winner's Curse. I don't even know where to start. This was my last book to read for the Make Me Read It Readathon, and it was pretty phenomenal. Throughout the book, I felt conflicted about who to support. Should I support Kestral and the Valorians? Or Arin and the enslaved Herrani? 

I have no idea who to support

When it comes to world-building, I can definitely see this as more historical fiction rather than fantasy. We're introduced to Kestral, who's the daughter of the military general of the Valorians. She's a great strategist, but not so much a great fighter. She is also somewhat sympathetic to the Herrani, freeing her Herrani nurse on one of her birthdays.

And then Arin comes along and RUINS everything! As a new slave recently bought by Kestral at an auction, Arin uses his new "status" to scope out the residence. Unfortunately, Kestral never discovers his intentions in time, and plus she pretty much gives him free reigns (why?). Oh and obviously there is romance, which kind of puts a damper on Arin's plan.

SO I AM CONFLICTED. Should I support Arin and his rebellion? The fact that the Herrani were forced from their land and enslaved is a great reason for that. But then there's also Kestral, who's pretty much had her life ruined because of Arin. Kestral holds a spot in my heart because she's musically talented. And just seeing her in such a predicament makes me sad.

I guess when it comes to Valorian vs. Herrani, I'm glad that the Herrani rebelled in the end. 

  My only problem is that it was kind of slow at points

Especially the parts where Kestral was stuck with Arin. At that point there wasn't really anything plot wise happening, other than what was happening in the background. There were also some points before the rebellion where the plot slowed down a bit.

However, I can say that the romance was executed well. It wasn't instalove, and Kestral's emotions concerning Arin's betrayal were realistically done. Obviously her feelings for him will change after everything's he's done to her. 

Overall, I really liked The Winner's Curse. It wasn't perfect, and it was slow at times, but it still was a fun read. Though I do have to say that I do not think this is fantasy at all, but more of a historical fiction-like genre.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Initial Impressions Tag

After much thought and discussion (More like discussing then forgetting about it), Holly, Shannon, Amber, and I have come up with this tag on your first impressions on specific bloggers, if you can remember them of course! We always thought it would be fun to see what other bloggers used to think of us, and whether any of those impressions have changed over time! Hence, this idea of a tag came to be, and it's not until now that we decided to finally go forward with the idea.

The Rules:
1. Choose a couple of bloggers that you remember your first impression of from when you first started following them or discovered their blog!
2. Talk about your first impression of them! And whether your impression of them has changed! (Or not, I've always thought Holly was evil)
3. Tag tag tag! You can also tag the bloggers you wrote about as well. 
4. Don't forget to thank the person who tagged you! 

Let's talk about this weirdo. I'm 99% sure I discovered her blog through the Top Ten Tuesday meme, and back at that time it was still known as "Part of That World", or something like that. I also used to get her blog confused a lot with Shay @ The Story Goes... because at that time of them had dark themes.

Anyhow, the reason we became friends is only because I commented on a post saying "I would be your friend!", in a non-creepy way. Apparently Holly thought I was the weirdo (when clearly she's the one), but still checked out my blog anyways.

And now, I'm really glad that we're friends. I still think she's weird though. I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks that.
I think I may have met Shannon through Holly, but I don't remember when or HOW we started being friends. However, I did know about her blog before our friendship started, at least I'm pretty sure. Honestly, both me and Shannon have no clue as to how we met.

Though it looks as if my earliest comment (maybe) on her blog is from a TTT. So maybe that is the case?

I sadly do not remember if I had any first impressions of her blog. I'm sure I did not think that she had it together. OH. But I did really like her banner at the time! IT WAS CYAN and it had STARS. And oh boy this is all coming back to me now! I also really loved her blog name. Well I still love everything now too! 

Amber @ Young Adult Indulgences
I am 100% sure that I met Amber through Holly. Why? I don't know. I guess it was just meant to be hahaha. Anyways, my initial impression, and an impression that has stuck with me to this day, is that her face is the cover of Free to Fall. She has not once CHANGED her Twitter profile photo, and therefore from now on I will always associate her to THAT FACE.

Also, I think one of my first comments was on her We Were Liars post, though I can't be sure. You can't search through comments on either Blogger or Wordpress.

The Social Potato was actually an inspiration for me to start book blogging. I discovered it BEFORE I even had a blog, and I just thought that Faye and her co-bloggers were famous and untouchable, seeing as how many reviews they had and how many comments they had too. Then, I had the opportunity to join their Way Of Kings readalong, which I mainly joined because I wanted to be friends with Faye. And of course I ended up loving Brandon Sanderson.

Now, I talk to Faye a lot since she invited me to her Blogger chat! And I've met tons of other bloggers and readers from there. And of course they're all international except for me. But that's besides the point haha. 

SO I know that Ely used to be on A Book So Fathomless, but I'll just feature her new blog for now. ELY IS AWESOME. We have been commenting back and forth on each other's blogs for some time now. But I don't think it was until recently that we started SERIOUSLY talking, which was when I told her that she should post her WIP on her blog, resulting in her sending me part of a scene she had just written (It was marvelous). I don't think I really had a first impression of her, though I do remember watching one her book haul videos, and just LOVING her accent. 

Also, it looks like I've known her since May 2014! Look at that. I mean she did tag me in a tag, so yes. I am special.

Of course, you can still do this if you aren't tagged! I consider everyone reading this tagged anyways!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #66

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want To Read

And here is the one topic that I can literally do with no trouble whatsoever. If you haven't figured out by now, I'm a huge YA fantasy reader, and fairytale retellings are just up my alley.

Read And Rated

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Not only is it a Cinderella retelling, but the rest of The Lunar Chronicles consist of a Red Riding Hood retelling, Rapunzel retelling, and I'm guessing Winter will be a Snow White retelling. READ THIS SERIES.

Splintered by A. G. Howard -An Alice in Wonderland retelling! A much creepier version than the Disney version, yes.

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen - I'm positive this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, though this is more MG than YA, the romance is barely present.

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge - A Red Riding Hood retelling! Though it strays far, far away from that fairytale!

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson - Peter Pan retelling! 100 times better than Second Star, trust me. I was tempted to put that on my list but then I was just like no.

Need To Be Read Soon

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler - So so excited to read This Little Mermaid retelling, which is also a contemporary!

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - I enjoyed Crimson Bound, so there's a pretty good chance that I'll also enjoy Hodge's Beauty and the Beast retelling!

A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnson - I'm pretty sure this is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, but I may be wrong. Honestly, I'm just guessing and assuming at this point.

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay - I feel like this is the only Sleeping Beauty retelling, though I'm probably wrong. But yes, need to get to this!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - I recently learned that this was also a retelling, of A Thousand and One Nights, and this also happens to be on my TBR. I'm wondering how similar both this and A Thousand Nights will be, so that will be fun to compare!

As you can see, I love fairytale retellings. Are there any I've missed?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: Saga

Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012
Source: Library
Date Read: 7/29/15
160 pages

Winner of the 2013 Hugo award for Best Graphic Story! When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

First off, I want to mention that I didn't read this particular edition, but rather this Saga Deluxe Edition, which ended up going all the way to Chapter 19! It was the only edition the library had, and I rather feature this edition, which is the more prominent one, over the one I read. So yes? Yes.

Another note, this may not be suited for anyone under the age of 18. But this review is ok to read!

I loved Saga. Loved it. I'm not entirely new to graphic novels as a whole, because I've read tons of manga, but Saga is my first Western graphic novel, and it is pretty much completely different.

You're thrown into a completely different world, 
and all you can do is accept it.

Robots with TV's as heads, horned people, winged people, a tree spaceship, there's nothing you can do but accept everything that's happening. And why? Because the characters are freaking fantastic. Our two main characters, Alanna and Marko, have found themselves in love and with child, even though they're on the opposite sides of a never ending war. Together, they encounter enemies and allies alike as they travel the galaxy in a tree spaceship. 

What makes the story so appealing (other than the squishy baby), is the art, and the way the story is told. Not only are the character interactions entertaining, the story is also sometimes narrated by an older version of the baby, as if she were telling her life story from the beginning.

There is also the originality of, well everything. I have yet to find any similarities between Saga and anything else I have read or watched in my life. What seems to be a simple war between two species (and their allies) has a more complicated message hidden behind it.  

  I need more graphic novels in my life

If it isn't evident, I could not get enough of Saga, which is why I need to find the second half of the series soon. But at the same time, I don't want to finish it because of how unique it is. I didn't even care about the lack of background information, in the end it fit the overall vibe of the novel. 

I'm now on a hunt for great graphic novels. I already have Ms. Marvel on my radar due to the number of times it has appeared throughout the blogosphere. And along with that, I want to read Captain Marvel as well. I have also been recommended Young Avengers and also East of West. But I still need more, since I can only rely on libraries for graphic novels (these are on the expensive side).

In conclusion, read this ASAP. It's a fast read, as it's a graphic novel and all, and the art and story are both gorgeous. SO GET ON IT!
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