Random Musings by Frodosco

Randomness

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver: Frodo’s Review

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Summary From GoodreadsVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

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There are books that you fall in love with because of the world, the author’s creativity, or the relationships that are forged both inside of the story and between you and the characters within. Then there are books that you connect with because they feel like yours, stories that seem like the author’s intended audience was you and you alone. The latter was my experience with Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, and it made me both love the book, and reflect a lot on my life. With that said, I clearly have a bias here, but if you don’t mind then read on.

First, I should expand on my connection with the story of Vanishing Girls. This is the first blog post since October 2014, and there is good reason for that. On January 11th of this year I attempted suicide, and my mode of choice was to crash my vehicle into a tree at high speed. I hadn’t felt like blogging again until reading this book, and while Nick and Dara weren’t involved in the car accident because of a suicide attempt, the results were similar.

Scars, both emotional and physical. Major life changes in behavior, friendships, and overall lifestyle. Overwhelming guilt.

Now that you have an idea of why I connected with the story and characters so much (if you want more on my life just hit me up via Twitter and such) let’s get into the review.

Lauren Oliver’s writing is as wonderful as ever. I became a fan of hers after reading Liesl & Po, an adorable MG read, and Vanishing Girls is even better. The story flows extremely well, despite the confusion of the characters within, and transitioning between the POV of the sisters is seamless. Everything concerning the sisters, the accident, their warped family and relationships was fascinating, with just enough edge to keep it from becoming too sappy. However, I will admit that while I understand why the hunt for Madeline Snow was included (spoilers!) it did feel forced, and her character never really adds much to the book.

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The characters are what makes or breaks this book in my opinion. You have to feel for Dara and her physical injuries, struggles to return to her usual self, and her black sheep role in her discombobulated family. There needs to be sympathy for Nick’s guilt and emotional struggles over the crash, her frayed relationship with Dara when they were so close before, and her drive to find out the truth to fill the gaps in her memory and the resulting world around her.

Vanishing Girls utilizes the sisters so well, equally showing off the issues and negativity between them after the accident (the usual way sisters are represented in YA), and the positively cute development of their close friendship prior to it (something rare in YA). There should be more books that have sisters who actually like each other in YA, that are also main characters, at least in my opinion. It’s a relationship that doesn’t seem to be tapped enough.

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There is also the trio of friends/relationships dynamic with Nick, Dara, and their best friend Parker. All three were really good friends growing up until Dara and Parker became a bit more. That played a major role in Nick and Parker’s relationship, as well as Dara and Nick’s due to Nick feeling like a third wheel. It’s awkward, and the book doesn’t try to hide that, instead exploring each pairing (as well as the atmosphere when all three are together) with plenty of love and care.

In addition, Vanishing Girls explores all kinds of issues, something I really applaud Oliver for, and a big reason why I think the book is worth the read for any teen or young adult. Divorce, step parents and siblings, PTSD, depression, guilt, DID, drinking, drugs, and a plethora of other issues are explored and in just the right amount of detail. Best of all, Oliver manages to do all of that without saying anything that might trigger problems for those suffering from or dealing with those same issues. There is an art in doing that, and I really appreciated that she pulled it off.

Finally, the setting does a lot of the work in the fun department, making lighter situations to balance the deeper parts of the book. Nick is forced into a job at the local amusement park FanLand. It’s old, the employees are bizarre as one would expect, and best of all Parker is there for all the nostalgic feels. FanLand is a diversion from all the shitty things happening to Nick, and it’s one that she and the reader need every so often, plus metaphors, so many metaphors. I loved how Oliver brought it to life.

a metaphor

Overall Vanishing Girls was an excellent read, even if it was pretty dark at times, and while my bias is real, I don’t think it is clouding my judgement. I loved this book so much that it made me blog again. I HAD to share my thoughts on it, and a book that powerful is worth reading. Yes, I’m late to the party (the book came out in March), but hopefully I’m only fashionably so. It’s been fun. Thanks as always for reading.

Four Smiling Frodos w Background


Loop by Karen Akins: Frodo’s Review

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Summary From GoodreadsLoop

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

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I received an eBook copy of Loop from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have a fascination for everything involving time travel, whether it is in the form of a book such as with the MG/YA Pendragon series, in a tv show like Forever or Doctor Who, or a movie like Back to the Future. It doesn’t seem to matter what medium it is in, if it involves time travel even at a small level I’m going to at least be interested and willing to give it a try; that’s where Loop by Karen Akins comes in. I heard about Loop from the publisher who was looking for people to do reviews for its blog tour, and while I did not participate in that, I did request it because I was curious to see if this would be a good example of time travel, and a way of quenching my thirst for it.

Time Travel Back to the Future

The result? A bit of a mixed bag. I found the beginning of the book to be a struggle to get through, adjusting to Akins using fake curse words in place of regular ones (something I know bugs some people and in this case was a mild irritant to myself), and getting accustomed to the jargon used to describe the process of time travel itself, and everything that goes on with it.

Fake Swear Words Battlestar Gallactica

Unfortunately, even when I had immersed myself in the world, it never felt like something I could wrap my brain around, especially concerning the bits and pieces of explanations we get for how the world functions in the 23rd century. This isn’t due to lack of experience with various reasoning given in other examples of future worlds, but that Akins doesn’t do a very good job at describing it in a clear way.

Part of the issue here, and something that is the case across the board with this book (technical babble aside), is that it seems like the reader is intentionally led in circles in order to give the story a kind of mystery. In reality, all that occurred was that I was increasingly frustrated at the contradictions that started to arise, the dense main character that took forever to realize what was right in front of her face (where the reader could put the pieces together chapters before), and being left to wonder if (from a technical aspect) this world even made sense at all.

Going Around in Circles

Every time a technical bit was brought up it was almost immediately discarded and a vague response given instead. My head hurts just trying to put those last few paragraphs together to try and explain what wasn’t explained in the book, but suffice it to say that there are problems in the world building in Loop.

Then there are the characters. Bree (the MC) is dense as I mentioned before, but is also inconsistent. At times she seems lost and unsure, as well as just plain slow, and often can’t figure out what is happening around her, even when it’s pretty clear. Other times Bree plays a Sherlock-esque figure, picking up clues and hatching schemes (even if they aren’t always brilliant ones), all the while complaining about the same issues repeatedly. She had a pretty rough past, but despite that I was never able to pity her after the first couple of chapters because she is so abrasive and whiny.

Finn, the love interest, grasps things often before Bree does despite being from the 21st century, but otherwise is just an overprotective lug, and one that happens to be quite attractive seemingly just for gushing at random intervals from Bree. The supporting cast outside of them are even more cliche, from the standard BFF Mimi who is only there to be overly devoted to Bree, to one of the “villains” that is confused and used, and that eventually goes a tad nuts but still garners pity for whatever reason. Just…no.

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The part of Loop that pulls you in, however, is the past-to-future experiences, at least if you love time travel like I do. Unfortunately, while some of those aspects are pulled off well, such as with various cultural references in the 21st and 23rd centuries, much of the future elements are not well done at all. The world Bree lives in is barely discussed, the book focuses way too much on a couple modes of transportation instead of the time travel part, and the cliched joke of instant meals was used a couple times and wasn’t really funny. There is always a lot to work with in time travel books because you have such a wide range of times and locations to choose from, but that wasn’t showcased in Loop at all. The world in the 23rd century was simply bland.

Bland World

The writing and conversations that took place were decent, but it wasn’t enough to grab me, especially with the previously mentioned issues involved. A few solid jokes were made, and the sheer awkwardness of various situations were enjoyable, but there wasn’t enough chemistry between the main characters to enjoy those scenes fully. Having the inevitable future of the timeline Bree and Finn were on, something that was told almost immediately in the story, made it so there were hardly any surprises or suspense.

Overall, while the idea of time travel was present, and some of the issues with it (even if many are obvious) were addressed, I couldn’t enjoy Loop like I had hoped to. It isn’t a bad book, it just doesn’t excel in any category. Time travel wasn’t exciting in Loop, it was just a way of circumventing plot issues, something it didn’t do all that well anyway. The ending of the book only serves to try and confuse the reader even more, and too many issues remain unresolved, even for a book in a series. Thanks as always for reading.

Two Smiling Frodos w Background


Red Blooded by Amanda Carlson: Frodo’s Review

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Red Blooded (Jessica McClain #4)

Summary From AmazonRed Blooded

Jessica is going to Hell.

After settling a fragile truce between the vampires, werewolves and witches, the last thing Jessica wants to do is face the demons head on. But when the Prince of Hell kidnapped her brother, he set into motion a chain of events that even Jessica doesn’t have the power to stop.

Now, Jessica must go into battle again. But Hell is a whole new beast — new rules, more dangerous demons, and an entirely foreign realm. And when Jessica is dropped into the Underworld too soon, without protection or the help of her friends, she must figure out just how powerful she can be… or she will never make it out alive.

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When I got the invitation to read Red Blooded on NetGalley I jumped on the opportunity. Full Blooded, book one in the series, was the first ARC I ever received, back when I first started blogging, and I’ve been hooked ever since. So to say I was excited to see what Red Blooded had in store would be an understatement. Also, the book came out today (Sep. 9) so if you want to go get a copy you can!

Red Blooded delivered in just about every way, giving me the diverse paranormal group I’ve come to expect, and the wide array of talents and powers displayed, all in a brand new world to explore. One of my favorite things about the Jessica McClain series is that Carlson takes the standard paranormal creatures (werewolves, vampires, witches, etc.) and alters how we think about them by combining some, and giving others new traits and personalities that you might not expect. Red Blooded has all of the paranormal beings you could possibly want, and introduces plenty of new ones as Jessica makes her way through the Underworld/Hell.

Carlson’s version of the Underworld/Hell (I have to use both because she does interchangeably, tad annoying I know) is an intriguing one. She makes it feel at times more alive than you might imagine, with vivid descriptions of ever-changing colors and textures of structures and tunnels, and the vast differences of the world at night and during the day. Alternatively, it is a very structured and clean place, with seemingly identical demons roaming around in vast numbers, and at times it seems regimented and even a bit cold. The combination makes for a really interesting experience on all sensory levels.

The character list remains pretty expansive, as I was alluding to earlier, and the new additions in the book are well worth the read by themselves. I can’t get into too much detail without spoilers, but one of the new creatures Jessica meets when she arrives in Hell has a very interesting personality, and instantly had me gravitating toward them. The supporting cast is really strong as well, from the BF Rourke to the bizarre (and adorable) young oracle Maggie, the quick-witted Ray and the incredibly stubborn Vampire Queen, and all sorts of other compelling characters make it one wild ride.

My complaints for Red Blooded are ones I’ve made consistently throughout the series, so I’ll keep them short. Jessica often seems incredibly dense, the last to pick up on what’s going on, and yet it doesn’t seem like she is intentionally being portrayed as a moron, so that’s frustrating. That leads me to my other issue, which is the repetitious conversations, weird pauses for info dumps, and the amount of info dumps throughout the book that feel awkward because it is so forced, all of which seems to stem from how slow Jessica is, and it is annoying to deal with.

Overall I definitely enjoyed Red Blooded, as I have with the rest of the series. While I do have complaints, they are for things I’ve come to accept come with the better parts of the books in the series, but those issues have kept the last few books from being five stars. I would recommend the series to anyone who enjoys a wide variety of paranormal creatures in different (and usually pretty awesome) worlds. I’m looking forward to book five to see what craziness happens next! Thanks as always for reading.

Four Smiling Frodos w Background


Top Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be talking about a bunch of my favorite characters in books to make up my ultimate lunch table! I’ll say a bit about each one and why I love them so much. Let’s get into it!

Croak 1. Ginny Weasley (Harry Potter) – This was the easiest one for me because you always want your bookish crush at the table, even though this is from back when the books were still coming out for me. I love her personality in the later books and she can cast a quick bat bogey hex on anyone causing trouble.

 2. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) – I’m sticking with the Harry Potter theme because Hermione is a must for all bookish conversations. She might take it a bit to the extreme though.

 3. Lex (Croak) – Lex has a fantastic sense of humor and would keep the sarcasm meter high at the table. She also wouldn’t be afraid to tell it like it is which could lead to some pretty interesting conversations.

 4. Globcow (Attic Clowns) – Globcow might freak people out a bit at first, but he’s such a funny little guy that I can’t help but want to include him. Keep an eye on your feet!

 5. Nero (The Infects) – Nero is a bit of an oddball, but he’s another hilarious person to add to the group (I’m big on keeping the mood happy, have you noticed?) and he is my go-to if a zombie apocalypse goes down.

Lady thief 6. Anna (Anna) – Every lunch table needs a ghost, and Anna is my favorite ghost in literary history. She’s a bit hard to get to know, but a sweetheart once you do. She could use a few more friends too.

 7. Colin Singleton (An Abundance of Katherines) – It’s always good to have a genius at the table, and Colin definitely fits the bill. He has a pretty good sharp sense of humor going for him too, but really I just need him to help the rest of us with our homework. Sorry Colin.

 8. Scarlet (Scarlet) – I need someone with a bit of an edge to them, enter Scarlet. She’s a badass, and even with her soft center (at least when it comes to Robin) I think she’d keep us safe in a fight, food or otherwise.

 9 & 10. Pippin and Merry (Lord of the Rings) – Nope, I didn’t pick Frodo or Sam! However, I had to go with characters from my favorite book series, and since this is more of a college-age group (in the perfect world in my head anyway) we need some people that can bring the party, and the fun liquids. Pippin and Merry know how to have a great time, and they do like their pints!

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There are so many other amazing bookish people that I would love to have at my table, but these ten would definitely form my core group. Were any of these characters ones you chose or would want at your table? Who did you pick? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST Read

TotallyRandomTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be talking about all of the books that it seems like I’m constantly being told to read! I’ll let you know whether I plan to or if I don’t think I’ll give in to the hype. Let’s get into it!

Everneath by Brodi Ashton 1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Oh my yes, this has been one of those books that everyone seems to love and endorse. I actually own The Book Thief already, but I just haven’t felt compelled to read it yet. It’ll happen eventually I swear. o_o

 2. Everneath by Brodi Ashton – This is really covering the whole Everneath series, but it’s another where the recommendations are pretty constant. It’s also another book I own, along with Everbound, so I’ll read it, I just haven’t got to it just yet.

 3. Defiance by C.J. Redwine – I wouldn’t say that the recs for Defiance (the trilogy more than book 1) are as frequent, but the ones who have done so REALLY liked it. Deliverance is the one I’ve heard most about lately since it comes out this month, but seeing as I don’t own book one, I doubt I’ll ever try the series out. Oh well.

 4. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi – Don’t kill me! I own book one, I’ll try to read it soon-ish, because the love for this book and the series is crazypants. *succumbs to the pressure*

ToG 5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Everyone loves this and I don’t own it right now and aaaaah. This is a series I genuinely want to get into, but it will have to wait for now. *continues pining for it*

 6. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – Most of the recommendation pressure for this one comes from Nikki of Fiction Freak, but she’s not the only one. Unfortunately for her I don’t plan on picking this one up, the premise just doesn’t grab me. =/

 7. The Program by Suzanne Young – Another Nikki rec, but another one I don’t think I’ll read. I probably should as it sounds pretty interesting, but by the time I have funds for it I’ll have forgotten. Alas.

 8. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff – I owned this and the sequel, but now I don’t and I didn’t read it… and I’m an idiot. Five star ratings from most of my trusted book reviewers have me berating myself constantly, but I’ll fix this soon I hope. >.>

 9. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – I’ve seen Sweet Evil on Book Outlet, on bargains on Amazon, and in my Twitter feed, but I just can’t get excited about it. I’ve even had this in my cart a few times, but my final thought before buying is always “eh, nevermind” and I don’t know why. Just not for me I guess.

10. Everything by Jennifer L. Armentrout – No, that isn’t a book title, but I hear about Armentrout on a daily basis. The Lux series is the one I see the most buzz about, but regardless of what it is I’ve never gravitated toward her work. Maybe that will change someday, but I doubt it.

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There are so many great books out there, and I do love hearing recommendations for new ones, but I sadly can’t own/read them all. Were any of these books ones you have been recommended, and if so did you read them already, or did you pass? What are your ten most rec’d books? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Books I’m Not Sure I Want To Read

TotallyRandomTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I will give you a glimpse into the part of my print TBR that I’m not so sure about anymore. I won’t be doing eBooks because that list would go on WAY too long for a TTT. I’ll let you know why I’m unsure about the books and whether or not I’ll read them anyway. Let’s get into it!

Tersias 1. Tersias the Oracle by G.P. Taylor – I wanted to start with an easy one, and what is easier to explain than a pure cover buy? I got this one at a Half Price Books sale for a dollar, not knowing anything about it, and later found out it was book two in a duology. It still sounds interesting, but I won’t be rushing out to get book one anytime soon, so it’ll sit for a while.

 2. Icons by Margaret Stohl – I’m pretty sure I won this in a giveaway, and now it has been sitting on my shelf for about a year. Some of the bloggers I know, and especially one I really trust in Nikki Wang of Fiction Freak, gave it a rating between meh and ew, so that isn’t helping either.

 3. The Snow Garden by Christopher Rice – Another bargain buy, The Snow Garden is an adult mystery/thriller, something I just don’t read much anymore. I’ll probably read it eventually, but only if/when my TBR is running really low.

 4. Midwinter Blood by Mons Kallentoft – This is another giveaway win, and if memory serves one I accidentally entered into (thinking it was a different one) by mistake. Similar to TSG, Midwinter Blood is an adult mystery, and just not a book that’s grabbing me right now, but maybe I’ll get around to it.

 5. Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon – I bought this one as part of a buying spree I was doing when I first discovered Book Outlet. It was cheap, seemed kinda interesting, and I had seen it in a few hauls at the time so I picked it up. Someday, maybe? Idk.

The Golem and the Jinni 6. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick – Oh boy… this was another in that Book Outlet buy, and within a day of purchasing it I saw Christina from A Reader of Fictions say how ridiculous and awful it was and ugh. It might be one I have to read for myself just so I can share in other people’s pain.

 7. Devilish by Maureen Johnson – I hate to say anything bad about Maureen because I love her on Twitter and YouTube, and I bought Devilish and Suite Scarlett because I thought her personality would translate. Well, Scarlett was good but not what I thought it’d be, and Devilish seems possibly even more fluffy and I just don’t know if I can read it. o_o Maybe I’ll just stick with the Shades of London series.

 8. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – Here is one that I actually started reading and had to put down. I think I made it through maybe 50 to 75 pages or so, but it was moving so slowly that I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve heard great things, notably from Kimberly from Caffeinated Book Reviewer, so I’ll give it a go at a later date.

 9. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – This is one of the rare cases where there is so much hype and blogger love that I’ve avoided starting it. I grabbed it when I was browsing in a bookstore, and it has been sitting on my shelf for ages, but I’m also not sure I’m ready to dive into a fantasy series. I’ll try eventually, but not anytime soon.

 10. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – I enjoyed Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code so when I saw this one on sale at Target I grabbed it. However, I have to be in the mood for that kind of story these days, and it just hasn’t hit me yet. I’ll read it, but your guess is as good as mine as to when.

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There are other books I thought about when making this list, but these are definitely at the top. What books are you unsure of? What is the book (if there is one) that you might not want to read that is the most hyped? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Horror

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I get to gush about my favorite horror authors! I’ll let you know why I love them and why I think anyone who hasn’t experienced the horror genre would too. Let’s get into it!

Attic Clowns 1. Stephen King – Really this could be almost anything he wrote, but my personal favorite is Cell. Cell is apocalyptic horror, via a method that is incredibly believable because it is so obvious. Yet there are things from other genres present that new readers could latch on to. Love, fear, desperation, hope, Cell has it all. It’s one of my favorite books regardless of genre.

 2. Attic Clowns by Jeremy C. Shipp – With a mix of horror, bizarro, and comedy, Shipp is at his finest (in my mind) when he writes his short stories, and Attic Clowns is the best of the bunch. New horror readers would enjoy the humor, the multitude of ways that Attic Clowns makes you consider reality, and the cast of wonderful characters that Jeremy C. Shipp created, especially Globcow.

 3. Lessons (and Other Morbid Drabbles) by Michael Crane – A less philosophical and more straightforward, but equally hilarious version of Shipp’s work are Crane’s short story collections of Morbid Drabbles. For new horror readers I think that this would give them a quick and concise way of finding out if they’d be interested in the dark humor that pervades this style of horror.

The Infects 4. Pressure by Jeff Strand – Pressure takes the reader on a journey of discovery. It shows how quickly the human mind can turn into a dark and haunting place, and how that can take its toll on someone’s life. The book is about friends becoming enemies, psychological horror, with a touch of physical violence thrown in for good measure. It’s a great book to start with.

 5. The Infects by Sean Beaudoin – If you couldn’t tell already, I’m big into comedic horror, dark humor is right up my twisted alley. So, for me at least, The Infects was absolutely perfect. It’s got amazing banter, creepy zombies, and a hilarious backstory. The Infects is one of my favorite books in any genre, but for someone easing into horror this is perfect. I can’t recommend it enough!

 6. Touched by Zoe E. Whitten – Touched is a short piece, 69 pages in length, and is a quick and enjoyable read for prospective horror readers. It’s got a lot of fantasy elements for those that are more inclined to read that genre, and enough humor for comedy fans to be satiated. However, for horror junkies it’s got the gore you want, the gripping action you crave, and the fear you need.

 7. Here Be Monsters – This is another short story collection, an anthology this time by a bunch of different authors, including my favorite Jeremy C. Shipp. I read this during 2012’s Fraterfest (a Halloween/horror themed readathon) and really enjoyed it. There is a mixture of philosophical, physical, and comedic horror and it blends really well together. A quick and easy horror read.

 8. Insomnia by J.R. Johansson – All about mental breakdowns, psychosis, and nightmares/dreams, Insomnia covers a lot of my favorite elements of horror. It’s creepy, not necessarily because of what the characters are going through, but because it makes you think about what it would be like if it happened to you. There is romance in this one, so that’s a draw for some new horror readers.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer 9. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – Some might classify this as paranormal, I’d say it is a mixture of that and horror, so I’m going to include it. The book is amazing, as is the second book Girl of Nightmares, and with its sweet romance, beautiful writing, and excellent characters it is a great read for anyone. For new horror readers Anna would be a nice way of easing into darker books.

 10. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride – Another really funny book, often utilizing sarcasm to make light of the situation, as well as being like Anna, where paranormal meets horror. Necromancers aren’t written about nearly enough, and McBride does an amazing job with this book and its sequel Necromancing the Stone. Think Twilight but badass… and well written.

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There are so many great horror books out there, and I really need to read more of them myself. If you haven’t read much, or any horror before, I highly recommend you check out the ones on this list. They are excellent. Have you read any of them? What is your chosen “Never Read ___”? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

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Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I get to gush about my favorite authors since those are the ones I own the most books from. I’ll let you know why I love them and give a mix of physical and ebook collections. Let’s get into it!

The Lightning Thief 1. Leigh Wilder – 31 – Wilder is a writer of naughty tales, a constant presence on my Frodo’s Frisky Friday feature, and one of my favorite authors. The collection I have from her is mostly in eBook form, since they are novella length and she doesn’t really do physical copies yet. I’ve read almost all of them, including ones from her alter egos, and the level of writing is always impressive.

 2. Zoe E. Whitten – 34 – Whitten writes books with mature content, though not necessarily the naughty variety, and like Wilder has an exceptionally strong level of prose. My collection for her is completely made up of eBooks, many of which I have yet to get to, but she’s awesome and I know they’ll be great when I do get around to them. I recommend checking out her more mainstream title, Nobody Special, which I wrote about here.

 3. Rick Riordan – 12 – You all know of Rick Riordan even if you haven’t read his books. I’ve only read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so far, but I own the Kane Chronicles and the four released Heroes of Olympus books too. Oh, and all are physical copies. ^.^

 4. Jeremy C. Shipp – 15 – Another frequent author for this blog, Shipp is a horror/bizarro author that I absolutely love. His work is insightful, creepy, hilarious, and thought provoking. I own his Attic Clowns volumes in physical and eBook form (only counted each volume once though), and the rest is split between the two versions. I can’t recommend his work enough!

 5 and 6. – D.J. MacHale (10) and Eoin Colfer (8) – These two authors I put together because all of their books that I own are from one series each. I own both series in physical form, MacHale’s being the Pendragon series and Colfer being Artemis Fowl. I read both of the series when I was a kid and still love them to this day. They are great MG reads if you haven’t checked them out already!

An Abundance of Katherines 7. Kelly Apple – 10 – Another “naughty” writer, Kelly Apple is not only one of my favorite authors, but also a fantastic person, and someone I love talking to on Twitter. Nine of the ten books are from her Monstrous Tales series, which has been a bunch of fun to read, and all of them are eBooks. Take a look at her work if you would like some sexy monsters in your life!

 8. Larry Kollar – 8 – A MG and YA author, Kollar is a bit of a mixed bag. He’s written dystopian and fantasy for YA audiences, and is now four books into a MG fantasy series, but no matter what audience he’s writing for it has been enjoyable for me to read. I own all of his work in eBook format, and if you follow the blog you’ve seen me review most of them already. Give him a look!

 9. Sean Beaudoin – 5 – Beaudoin is an oddball, writing stories that make you question whether it was the content within that was crazy, or if it is really your own mind that developed the delusions. His books are hilarious, they always blow my mind, and are excellent for readers of YA or Adult. I’ll definitely be buying all of his other books as they come out!

 10. John Green – 5 – While many of the authors in this list are ones you probably haven’t heard of (unless you read this blog often) that doesn’t mean I don’t love mainstream authors too. I own every John Green book with the exception of Let It Snow, and that’s really just because I’m not big into holiday stories. The ones I do own and have read are all amazing, as you all probably know, though An Abundance of Katherines is actually my favorite, and is the one that speaks to me the most.

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There are other authors that I could have chosen, possibly even a few that might have more than 5, but those were the ones that immediately came to mind, and are my favorites. Do you have any of these authors in your list? What is your biggest number of owned books by an author? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Blogging Confessions

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about letting you lovely people in on some of what goes on behind the scenes. I’ll tell you a couple things you might not know about me and what I struggle with in terms of blogging. Let’s get into it!

1. This blog was not my first – Some of you know this already, but I had a sports blog before I decided to create the bookish one. While I have always loved reading, sports are another passion of mine and I thought I’d try my hand at writing about it. That didn’t last long and the blog no longer exists, however, there is a new one that I post on occasionally, so now you know.

2. I’ve wanted to be a booktuber, but I’m not confident on camera – That pretty much sums it up, but basically I love the format of booktubing and vlogging, but can’t stand how I look when I’ve recorded. There is so much you can express with that medium that blogs simply can’t, and I love watching booktuber content, alas I doubt I’ll try it myself.

3. I try not to care about stats, but do – This is a common one among bloggers I’m sure, but while I try to just post for the love of books, when I was posting daily and seeing little from it that was discouraging. Right now I’m back to posting only when I want to, so hopefully I can be less fixated. What are your thoughts on stats?

4. The first time I did the book/day challenge, toward the end I didn’t finish some of the books, but reviewed them anyway. That’s the whole thing, but I did feel guilty about it, and that’s why the second time around I structured things differently. However, I did go back later in the year and finished all of the ones I had done that with, so no more guilty conscience. 🙂

5. I mean to comment more, but am just lazy – I could argue that I am too busy, but there have certainly been times when that wasn’t the case and I still didn’t. Hopefully I can visit blogs more regularly and comment on posts because I know how much that means, at least when I get them. If not, I’ll at least respond via Twitter, and that’s something right? ^.^

6. I totally forgot about Netgalley – I try not to request much at all, but this year I did get a few and…spaced it. I’ve since read and reviewed those books, many of which I had posted reviews of on here on time, but I still feel bad. At least my ratio is alright now? >.>

7. I love memes, but I feel guilty for posting them – This isn’t always true, but often when I post memes, even this one, I feel like I’m “phoning it in” or the blogging equivalent. Maybe I feel like that because reviews take so much time (especially when you factor in reading time) and so it feels like I’m not doing enough? Idk. I’m weird. XD

8. Anytime I turn down authors/bloggers I feel guilty – I’m starting to notice a trend… People don’t contact me about that sort of thing to often, especially since the latest hiatus, but when it does occur I do feel really bad. I usually have a good reason (time, not posting that type of content, don’t read that kind of book) but that doesn’t make it easier. Blah. >.<

9. My Kindle library is insanity – Another common one, but goodness gracious. I’m often hesitant to even open the app on my computer unless I have a specific book I want to read because my face when I see the number is always. O_O and then -_-‘ I should get my Killing My Kindle feature going again…

10. I’m back! Kinda – So this one is more of a semi-announcement/statement of the semi-obvious, but I have returned to book blogging, but only as much as I feel like. I won’t post every day, but I will likely post multiple times a week. I don’t know, and it is more fun that way. However, I have made it into the University of Minnesota and Fall semester does start in September, so idk what will happen then. I’ll keep you posted. ^.^

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There are so many other confessions I could make, but this should do for now. What confessions do you have in common? Do you have others that you’d like to share? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


The Best (and worst) Book to Movie Adaptations

The Best (and worst) Book to Movie Adaptations

This idea isn’t original, and the ones I mention likely aren’t either, but I saw a similar thing that Book Nerd Canada did a video of and thought I’d give a few of my favorite and least favorite books turned into movies. Here we go! ^.^

Twilight – This goes for the entire series, both books and movies, as one of my least favorite. Sure, it was an influential series, but the acting in the movie was atrocious, the writing in the books at about the same level, and overall it was something even good cinematography couldn’t salvage. Blah. The-Lord-of-the-Rings-by-J.R.R.-Tolkien

Lord of the Rings – Of course I’m going to pick this one, I’m Frodo after all! The books and the movies are my favorites out of anything I’ve read or watched. The stories are magnificent, the movies were true to the books, and the lore that goes into the series is remarkable. Absolutely amazing in every way.

Harry Potter – Another obvious one, but something I couldn’t possibly not include as a favorite. Now, I will say the books were significantly better than the movies, and the movies didn’t stay as true to the books in some areas as I might have liked, but both versions were excellent quality and highly entertaining. This is easily the most re-watchable/re-readable series out there.

Holes – A really fun book turned into a cute and hilarious movie, Holes was one of my childhood favorites. I enjoyed the movie a bit more than the book in this case, but that was probably more due to my age and movies being a bit more of an influence at the time. Still enjoy them both. eragon

Eragon – If you didn’t see the movie version consider yourself extremely lucky. Eragon, as well as the rest of the Inheritance series, is a really fun fantasy series and the movie was AWFUL. The plot was twisted and bits were thrown at random which screwed everything up, the visual representation of multiple types of characters as well as specific ones were horribly done, and while there was some decent action scenes it was a complete flop otherwise. Ugh, this one still bothers me.

Jurassic Park – Finally, how could this not make it on the list as a favorite? I will admit to not having watched it in years, but the times I have were thoroughly enjoyable, and I have re-read this book which doesn’t happen all that often. The movie is on par with the books for me, and while the following ones weren’t even close, the original was a blast. So much fun!

So, do you agree with the ones on this list? Did you love some I hate and/or vice versa? What are some other book to movie adaptations that you have loved or hated? Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is a sneak peak into some of the books I am looking forward to reading the most in the next month or so. This will be a mix of series ending books, a couple ARCs, and some randomness of course. Let’s get into it!

1. Rogue by Gina Damico – I need to finish this series even though I am dreading leaving these characters. This is literally sitting on my bed right now waiting for me, so it should happen soon. Hopefully it is as good as the first two in the series and doesn’t overwhelm me with the feels.

2. Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton – I feel like I’ve been waiting on this one for no real reason and since so many people have loved it I should just give it a go. Maybe I’ll love it too. ^.^

3. Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen – ARC number one, and it comes out on April 1st so I really HAVE to get to this so I can post a review before the release, or at the latest on it.

4. Far From You by Tess Sharpe – ARC number two, and while I have an additional week for this one I still want to get to it really soon. I’ve heard pretty great things and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

5. Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier – Another series ending book and one I’ve been putting off for the same reasons as Rogue. I am not nearly as attached to these characters, but I love the world and it will be a shame to leave it.

6. Horde by Ann Aguirre – The final end to a series that I will get to in the next month or so simply out of self preservation, I can only take on so many feels at once!

7. The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider – I want to have a good bit of contemporary in the coming month or so and this seems like a great choice for that.

8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews – Contemporary number three here, and another one I’ve heard great things about, so this is near the top of my TBR for the near future.

9. Elemental by Antony John – This book and I keep catching each other’s eye and it is about time I read the darn thing. No real reason other than it sticking out to me in the stacks.

10. Legend by Marie Lu – I think I’m ready to give this series a shot, and it will give another dystopian one to dive into after finishing Horde.

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There are so many great books in my TBR stacks to choose from, but I should make it to the majority of these if not all in the next month or so. What books are you planning on reading this spring? Do you have a genre focus or a type or setting? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Finishing Series is HARD

Finishing Series is HARD

Recently I noticed that I had quite a few series that I was nearly finished with, but that I still needed to read the final book. I thought it would be a good idea to finish these last books one after another, that way I could say I had read a bunch of series to their completion.

I forgot one very important detail, I really, REALLY care about the characters involved in these, and there was a reason I had subconsciously been putting them off. I didn’t want to let my beloved stories to end, I couldn’t let go.

Let it go

While it wasn’t the end of the series, reading Secret by Brigid Kemmerer had that same feel of loss, but in that case I knew I would interact with these characters in the future with all new stories. However, I just completed two MG series, one of which I have come to love recently, and the other a series I began in my grade school days. I am now an emotional wreck because I am NOT alright with saying goodbye. I’m not READY. I just want to hug the books and hope one magically appears so I can keep going.

Let Me Love You

The two series I completed were the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series & the Artemis Fowl series. Both The Last Olympian and The Last Guardian were superb endings respectively, but it is right there in the title what kills me, I don’t want this to be the LAST anything! Maybe it is because the series are MG-ish and remind me of a time when my emotions made it seem like every little thing was SUPER important, or it could just be that they are both awesome and the age range doesn’t matter at all. I don’t know.

I love Percy and Annabeth and their cute relationship and the rest of the amazing characters and the ending was so good but aaaaah. At least there is The Heroes of Olympus to make me feel better with that one. However, I enjoyed the Artemis Fowl series just as much, and while the popular ship didn’t happen at the end I still thought it was a good ending anyway. But that’s it, that series is over, no more boy genius and quick witted elf or goofy centaur. How do I go on?

I Love You So Much

To top it off I have more of these series-enders in my near future such as with Rogue by Gina Damico, Horde by Ann Aguirre, and Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (though that last one I think I will be fine with leaving). I know it won’t be much easier with completing these series, and yet I must endure in order to know what happens. The stories are too tantalizing to pass up, but I don’t want to say goodbye!

So how do you handle finishing series, especially ones you LOVE? That’s really what this post is all about outside of me rambling and pining for more Percy/Annabeth and anything Artemis Fowl related. Do you just push through to another series (or standalone) to force your focus in a different direction? Do you still miss certain series and wish that the story would continue, and if so does re-reading help or hurt you? Thanks as always for reading! *curls up into a ball of longing*

curl up into a ball


Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday I get to share all of the authors that everyone else seems to have read, but that I for whatever reason have not. I don’t expect anyone to be shocked, but it should be enlightening perhaps. Let’s get into it!

1. Jennifer L. Armentrout – That’s right, I thought I would lead off with one that will get me the most feedback because I KNOW how many bookish people LOVE her work. I have not read the Lux series, or Covenant, or even The Dark Elements, nope, not a one. I haven’t been avoiding her books or anything, they just never seemed like ones I HAD to read, so I didn’t.

2. Cassandra Clare – Nope. No Infernal Devices or Mortal Instruments to be found here! I wasn’t really diving back into YA until after TMI was most of the way through and I never felt compelled to read that series or Infernal Devices. Not sure why, but there it is.

3. Neil Gaiman – Alright…this one I’m ashamed to admit, but it is true. I should fix this, I KNOW, but maybe it is the hype (though I’m sure it is deserved) keeping me away or something. Regardless at some point I’m sure this will be rectified, but not soon.

4. Richelle Mead – No Vampire Academy or Bloodlines, and not even Dark Swan or Georgina Kincaid to be found in my “read” pile. I’m not that into vampire books and while I know her series are crazy popular I’ve never had the urge to read her work. Maybe that will change at some point, but I kind of doubt it.

5. Tahereh Mafi – I’m going to get killed for this list aren’t I? Look, I KNOW how awesome the Shatter Me books probably are and how much I need/should want to read the series. I think I even have one of the books on my Kindle App…but I don’t know when or if this will happen. Oh well.

6. Katie McGarry – I actually do enjoy a decent amount of contemp/romance, but even though I’ve bought some of the books in the Pushing the Limits series for other people I’ve never read them myself.

7. Wendy Higgins – No Sweet anything for me apparently. I looked at Sweet Evil many times while putting together the umpteenth shipment of books that would be coming my way, but never left it on the cart by the end. At this point I think I’m past caring.

8. Libba Bray – The Diviners intrigued me a bit and was like Sweet Evil in the consideration but never purchased sense, but for the most part her books never spoke to me. Maybe I am missing out.

9. Jodi Meadows – The covers are striking, and possibly beautiful, and the content seems like it would match based on what I’ve heard. Has that made me actually purchase even Incarnate? Nope. I don’t know why.

10. Nicholas Sparks – His books don’t fit the mold of the rest, but I thought I’d include him anyway. I’ve seen The Notebook the movie, but never read the book. This is one author that I don’t plan on ever considering reading, so there’s that.

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There are so many awesome authors out there that I haven’t read and this list just barely touches the surface. I only included authors that I was less likely to read even though the popular opinion might say I should, ones that I didn’t own a single book of. What is your top ten list for this week? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


January & February Wrap-up

January & February Wrap-up

Somehow it is already March! The first two months of the year went pretty quick, and while I’m not as ahead in my challenges as I’d like to be I’m at least on pace which is good. While I know a few people regularly check my widgets on the sidebar to keep up with my progress, I still figure a recap of how this year has gone so far wouldn’t be remiss. I’m going to go over challenges, my favorite books, my least favorites/biggest disappointments, and what I’m looking forward to in the coming months. Here we go! ^.^

Challenges

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge – The overall reading challenge I use to keep track of my progress, out of the 365 books I have for my goal this year (a book a day challenge in case you haven’t heard about it) I’ve read 62. I do count novellas in this, so it is a little padded, with 15 of them being of shorter length. I’m on pace, managing to stay a few books ahead, but I had hoped to have a bigger cushion at this point. Oh well, not a bad start!

 Mount TBR/2014 TBR Pile Challenges – The goals are different for these two (200 for Mount TBR, only 50 for 2014 TBR Pile) but I’m counting TBR books for both and am currently at 44 which is a ways ahead of even Mount TBR’s needed pace. I’ve done a pretty good job of trying to read TBR books for the majority of my reads, but since it is early in the year it has been easier since there just haven’t been that many books released in 2014 yet. As the year progresses this might be more difficult, but I’m thrilled with this progress! TBR book of note – Pivot Point by Kasie West

 New Author Challenge – This is one of my two new challenges this year and I’m having a blast with it! The biggest possible goal amount on this one is 50, and right now I’m at 26 which I’m pretty ecstatic about. I imagine this one will slow down if/when I work more on my next goal, but for now I’ve been experiencing plenty new authors and for the most part loving it! New Author book of note – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 Seriously Series Reading Challenge – I do want to start, continue, and finish more series this year and I set a goal of 75 books total (rather than a series amount) and am currently at 19. This does mean I’m ahead of where I need to be, but most of these came in January, so in March I’m going to try to read and complete at least 3-4 series to get back into it. SSR book of note – Three by Kristen Simmons

 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge – This is my other new challenge this year and what sparked the idea for my weekly Killing My Kindle feature that is on Thursdays. I set a reasonable goal of 75 eBooks and am currently at 22 which is a solid start, just a bit ahead of my progress on SSR. I’m using eBooks for two features that run almost every week so I have no doubt that I’ll surpass 75 here, though I’m not sure by how much. Ebook of note – Fosgate’s Game by David C. Cassidy

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Favorite Books

Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen – This was such a great read and the sequel, Lady Thief, was excellent as well. Love this Robin Hood retelling! ScarletUS.indd

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab – An excellent sequel to The Archived. The world is amazing, I love Schwab’s writing style, and the characters are excellent. Can’t wait for book three!

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch – I knew the serious material in this one, but I didn’t expect to get as emotionally invested as I have. This book is amazing, touching, and so sweet. All the feels!

Most Disappointing Books

Vitro by Jessica Khoury – My only DNF so far this year and with the potential it had this sucked even more than usual. Ugh. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – A beautiful cover, a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and an awesome world, what could go wrong? Everything else apparently. The MC was whiny, the love triangle sucked, the book was jumbled and all over the place, and I skimmed the last 75 pages or so and found the ending to be exactly what I figured it would be. *groan*

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – I didn’t know you could make time travel, aliens, war, and a quirky MC boring. It didn’t seem possible, but Slaughterhouse-Five proved me wrong. What a drag to make it through this one, oh well.

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What’s Next?

More Series! – I plan to read at least a few series as I mentioned before including: Elemental by Brigid Kemmerer, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, Secrets of the Eternal Rose by Fiona Paul, The Heroes of Olympus, and Kane Chronicles.

Readathons! – Ides of March: Mar. 13-17th hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, UKYA Day: April 19th a 24hr readathon hosted by Lucy at Project UKYA, and Dewey’s Readathon: April 26th hosted by Dewey!

Read All The Books! – Seriously, I just want to read as much as I possibly can, get ahead on my overall reading challenge, and somehow keep blogging every day. Let’s do this!


Top Ten Covers I Need On My Shelves

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is supposed to be a “rewind” week where we pick from past topics. However, I don’t have a list of them, and so this may have been done in some capacity before, but if not it’s Totally Random Tuesday anyway right? So I’m going to list ten books that aren’t on my shelves yet that I NEED just for the pretty covers if for no other reason. Here we go! ^.^

1. In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis – When I saw this cover during one of the recent Tea Time broadcasts (done by Epic Reads) I knew that I HAD to have it. Luckily for me I also really enjoyed Not a Drop to Drink, book one in the series, but the cover alone is so beautiful that I’d buy it anyway. Just look at those colors! O_O *stares*

2. Drift by M.K. Hutchins – I saw this on the latest Cover Snark (on Christina’s blog A Reader of Fictions) and immediately added to my must buy list. I don’t care what happens in this book because how often do we get turtles on the cover of pretty books? Plus IT IS A SEA TURTLE WITH AN ISLAND ON ITS BACK. So yes please. ^.^

3. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – This would have made its way onto my shelves anyway since I really enjoyed Shadow and Bone, and despite some people being a bit upset because it doesn’t quite mesh with the other covers I really like it. I’ve always been a sucker for the black/red combo and while the phoenix is a tad odd the rest is gorgeous.

4. The Lady ParaNorma by Vincent Marcone – Starting to notice a theme with many of these covers? I don’t know why I am so drawn to these darker covers, but I love them, and this cover with the cute cardinals, adorable house, and gloomy background does it for me.

5.  Gambit by C.L. Denault – The majority of these covers were ones I saw initially through Christina’s Cover Snark feature, all of the thanks go to her for that, and Gambit is no exception. The butterfly, the freaking awesome dagger (though the hilt looks off center from the blade), and the excellent background and font treatment just make this a wonderful cover I WILL have.

6. Sanctum by Madeleine Roux – Another darker cover, this one going full out creepy, and I LOVE it! I enjoyed Asylum and I like that cover a bit better, but this one goes even farther with the gloomy/psychotic factor and I can’t wait to not only read the story but to see the cover next to my other, dark ones.

7. The Invisible by Amelia Kahaney – I don’t have a clue what is going on with this flying butterfly needle thing, but it is crystaly, shiny, and I want some sort of jewelry version of this thing to add to my bookish stuff of awesome. Yes, yes, YES. ^.^

8. Valour by John Gwynne – AND MY AXE! As Christina so astutely put it, this does look like a book about dwarves, but honestly I don’t care. I want the beautiful weapon on my shelves, the kick-ass font is fabulous, and I’ll just selectively ignore the blah quote on the bottom of the book.

9. Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster – I thought that City of a Thousand Dolls had a pretty cool cover, but book two blows it out of the water! The amazing colors, the gorgeous castle, and the semi-creepy statues are perfect, so pretty!

10. William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher – YODA BOOK COVER!!! The entire cover is freaking amazing, just like book one, the little statues and the pictures in the circles at the top…I’m geeking out like crazy right now! Pre-ordered and I can’t wait to have this one! Weeeeee!

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There are so many awesome books that will be coming out this year that have stellar covers and I want each and every one of them, especially the ones in this list. Sure, I hope to enjoy each story too, but some books are worth it just for the looks. What is your top ten list for this week? What topic did you decide on? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Middle Grade Books: Why I Love Them & Need to Read More

Middle Grade Books: Why I Love Them & Need to Read More

My latest Book Outlet binge (you’ll see the books tomorrow if you are interested) included a few MG books and made me wonder why I enjoy them so much, yet read them so sparingly. The Middle Grade books I have read recently such as Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, Doll Bones by Holly Black, and, of course, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, were absolutely amazing. That is not to say that I would or will enjoy all MG books, because that’s not the case for any age range, but so far my track record has been extremely positive. Why is that?

The running theme through all of the books I mentioned, and even ones I didn’t, have been that they are in the fantasy genre, as well as being in the MG age range. The childlike wonder that I see these characters expressing, something their more jaded or skeptical older counterparts in YA do not show, is beautiful. I don’t think that the fantasy genre has a monopoly on that, but perhaps it has the ability to show it off the best.

That belief that anything is possible, dreams can come true, magic is everywhere, and friendships can be just as strong (if not stronger) than romantic relationships, while all cliches, is refreshing and invigorating to witness. Maybe this just means I miss that time in my life or that getting older has jaded me and I wish for the innocence I no longer have, or perhaps MG authors just bring about a different set of emotions than YA, I don’t know.

Something that is a misconception, at least that I’ve seen among bloggers that tend to read YA and avoid MG for the most part, is that MG books are too simple, that the writing is too basic. Sure, MG books are targeted toward a younger audience so the word choice and length are often at a lower level, though not usually by all that much. However, I’ve found that MG books are just as deep, filled with as much content as YA, and often painting a picture that is easier to envision (at least for my brain, not sure what that says).

It's so beautiful

That brings me to my second question, and also my request. Why don’t I read MG more often if I enjoy it so much? Percy Jackson, Liesl and Po, Doll Bones, they have another thing in common: I found out about them through other bookish people, in this case specifically Kat at Katytastic (who is awesome). Maybe I don’t follow the right book bloggers (not that I don’t love the ones I do!) or I don’t pay attention, or whatever other reason there may be, but I never hear about MG books. It’s rare.

So perhaps I should follow more MG readers, if there are ones I can find, or just do some hunting myself. Once in a great while I will see a blog or vlog post that has maybe one or two MG books in it and I run off and insta-buy them. Though…that may speak more to my book buying addiction than anything else. o_o

So my questions to you! First, do you read MG, if so do you enjoy it as much as YA, adult, etc. and where do you discover new ones if you do? Second, are there booktubers/book bloggers I should be watching/reading more of and it boggles your mind that I haven’t already been doing so? Finally, what MG books would you recommend (with the knowledge that I read any genre and basically have no recent MG under my belt)? Thank you so much for reading and have a great weekend! ^.^


What Kind of Reader Are You?

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

I recently read (most of) Cruel Beauty and despite disliking a lot of aspects of the book made it through around 250 pages or so before skimming the rest through to the end. This got me thinking about why I pushed through as far as I did despite tweeting out that I’d stop around 100-150 pages if it didn’t improve since I had almost DNF’d it twice. Why do I make it through certain books even if I’m not enjoying myself that much and what crosses the line to become that rare DNF? Finally, what does this say about me and the facets of a book I enjoy most, in short: what kind of reader am I?

So the first question, why did I push through as much of Cruel Beauty? Early in the book the MC was already bugging me. Her inner monologues/quarrels with herself were incredibly irritating and it was just a slow beginning in general. She’s showed signs of just being a jerk at times and yet acted high and mighty at others, it was infuriating.

Its Like Youre Begging Me To Hate You

As I pushed through the book maintained a relatively slow pace, but the world showed itself and I did like a lot of the aspects of it. There was magic, mythology, religion, mystery, and complexity not often seen in YA. The side characters (for the most part) were engaging and funny, each in different ways, but I was pursuing for those reasons. However, eventually the MC wore me down, instalove and a pseudo-love triangle emerged, and the book lost any luster it had previously gained. What had kept me going had failed in the end, and it just wasn’t enough to do more than skim the ending.

Hate This Crap

The next question is why do I make it through some books but others I give up and DNF? This one is pretty simple at first glance, I know how much work goes into making these books and I want to give the authors every opportunity, plus I hate shining a bad light on books other people may enjoy and love.

Digging deeper it is due to what about books gets me reading, keeps me there, and appeals to me the most. Which leads me to the third question, what kind of reader am I? I’m a character driven reader, I live for them, often in the best book live within them, and love seeing their reactions to whatever is going on around their world. I enjoy the other main elements (world building, plot, writing style, romance, etc.) and the best books incorporate most, if not all, of these things. There are never enough amazing characters for me to love.

I Love Them All

When I am struggling with a book what will kill it for me the easiest is that the MC (or at least one of them if there are multiple) drives me crazy. Whether it is flip flopping, showing signs of instalove, being annoying/overly whiny, or any other irritating trait, the main character (and to a lesser extent side ones) can make me hate a book enough to never go back to it or even read it all the way.

Seriously

A world that is unbelievable (in a bad way), a plot that is convoluted, instalove and love triangles, or flat out poor writing/unappealing writing style, can all be the cause of such a letdown. There needs to be some redeeming qualities for me to stay with the book for long and not quit after 100 pages or less. Regardless of genre it would appear that I am a character driven reader, but what about you?

What kind of reader are you? What one of the major elements of books do you enjoy most, which one has the biggest consistent influence? What makes it difficult to keep reading, what can you not stand in a book? Why have you DNF’d ones you have and what has kept you from doing so to others? Have you ever regretted DNF’ing a book or not doing so when you could/should have?

I Tried

Do characters inspire you? Do you fall in love with certain plots and never want to leave the story? Do you fall so in love with worlds that you wish you could live there? Do romances take you away and make everything unicorns, butterflies, and rainbows? Does beautiful writing move you to tears (happy or sad)? What element speaks to you most? Let me know! I hope you enjoyed this random post and thanks as always for reading!


Book of the Week: This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl

BookOfTheWeek

Book of the Week

Every Saturday I will talk about my favorite book that I read during the week, whether it be a review or a spotlight, or maybe having the author over to talk about it. Who doesn’t want more happy bookish goodness? ^.^

This week I’m gushing about: This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl

Released On: January 28th, 2014

Summary From Goodreads

A collection of the journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late Esther Grace Earl, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Photographs and essays by family and friends will help to tell Esther’s story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.

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When I started this feature I said that it wouldn’t always be reviews. Sometimes I might go gif-crazy and have a bunch of feels, others might be bringing the author on to talk about the book, and there would likely be ideas I hadn’t and still haven’t even thought up yet. In this case I’m just going to talk to you and hope you care to listen.

This Star Won’t Go Out is a book I could never hope to do justice. It’s a story about Esther. It’s a book about love and the willingness to give it away freely no matter what the circumstances. TSWGO is a cause, one that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to give to other families that are going through rough times as well as to causes that Esther would have wanted to support.

The book is a collection of stories from Esther herself, her friends, family, acquaintances, doctors, and others, but really it is Esther’s story and how she was able to speak through all of these people because of the impact that she had on each and every one of them. Esther was a nerdfighter, many of you know what this means (for those who don’t know click here for the vlogbrother’s video on it), something I also claim to be, but I never knew her, becoming one after her passing.

I would like to say so many things, how touching this story is, how amazing a person she must have been, what wonders she still would be sharing with the world if she were alive. I would love to say I have a connection with her, that I understand her, and that this book reaches me at a level I didn’t think possible. I want to say all these things, but in reality I never knew her, and while this book is beautiful, I couldn’t review it honestly, knowing that her life is something to be celebrated, but by those who knew her, not myself.

The book is a long one, filled with amazing stories, tender moments, and beautiful pictures (drawn and photographed), and something I highly recommend you read for yourself. I can’t do this story justice, only Esther can, and if you let her I know she won’t let you down. I never knew her, but I’m still inspired by the messages that she left behind, the things she stood for, and the life she lived. Thank you as always for reading, DFTBA, and remember TSWGO.

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #42/365; New Author Challenge #18/50

Five Smiling Frodos w Background


Top Ten Books That Will Give You All The Feels

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is about books that make you cry. The problem for me is I don’t really cry when I read a book, no matter the genre or subject matter, it just doesn’t happen. So, instead I am going to talk about books that give you all kinds of feels. Here we go! ^.^

Unhinged by A.G. Howard 1. I Ship The Heck Out of This Romance! – Unhinged by A.G. Howard – You know that feeling you get when you are reading a book and EVERYTHING about the pairing does it for you? Like you can’t imagine them being with anyone else? I’m fully team Morpheus, and I felt all of those feels when it came to their pairing, regardless of what actually will come to them.

not a drop to drink 2. I’m Going to Throw This Book if They Do That! – Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis – A common example of this is when animals are on the covers of books in dystopian books where I see bloggers saying how upset they will be if it dies. Without spoiling too much, in Not a Drop to Drink there is a little girl that joins the story about a third to halfway through and she has a rough go of it at times. I felt physically ill at the thought of McGinnis killing her off, I won’t say if she did or not, but a very strong feeling indeed.

 3 & 4. Why Did They End the Book Like That?! – Beta by Rachel Cohn – Last year I read this book, if you want the review it is here, and loved it for 99% of the way, and then the ending killed me. I hated it and it made the character’s decisions seem pointless because they went against everything they stood for. I raged on Twitter a little bit and even though I gave the book 4/5 it fell from “I’ll mention this all year as a favorite read” to “good but can’t think about it without being disappointed” so there’s that. (Honorable Mention – This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales – review soon to explain)

 5 & 6. Stop Torturing These Beautiful Characters! – Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons – I just reviewed this one yesterday, so the wounds are still fresh, but suffice it to say that I really felt all the suffering Ember and Chase went through. The imagery and depictions of the situations were done extremely well and the visuals were crazy powerful in my head. Can’t they be happy for more than five minutes? Please?! (Honorable Mention – Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux – review here)

Ready Player One 7. I Connect With This Book Completely – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I loved this book because of how much it brought out my geeky side. There were gaming references of all varieties, old pop culture references and music, and throughout all of it I felt like the book was designed purely for my personal enjoyment. All of the happy feels for this one!

 8. I Am An Empty Shell – Paper Towns by John Green – You might be wondering how a book that stripped me of all my emotions, leaving behind an empty husk of a person, could be anything but The Fault in Our Stars. TFiOS is fantastic and I can see why some people would get very emotional because of it, but Paper Towns resonated more with me. I’ve got family members who have had cancer, but I’ve BEEN Q before, led down a crazy adventure that somehow ends up teaching you about yourself, all started by an amazing girl. By the end of this book I was completely drained, but in the best way.

In The Dark 9. Let’s Get Physical! – In the Dark by Leigh Wilder – Most of her books would qualify here, but this is reserved for any “naughty” books that get you in the mood. In the Dark is the first one of hers that came to mind with plenty of action and well written sexy times. Hey, these are definitely a powerful type of feels too!

 10. Everything in This Book Is Awesome, Can I Live There?! – Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger – This reaction is saved for books where the world is amazing, the characters are awesome, the writing is beautiful, and the events that occur within are so fantastic that you can’t help but talk about it with EVERYONE. While some might suggest things like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings for this, I could not choose them because so many terrible/sad events took place within, but for the entire time while reading C&C I was enthralled and having a blast. Definitely reserved for books giving emotional highs!

So those are the top ten books that gave me all the feels, even though they’re wildly different in which ones they illicit! What is your top ten list for this week? Did you manage to compile a list of cry-worthy books or did you have to tweak the theme like I did? Was there any common trait or pattern with the books you chose that explains your strong reactions to them? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


“If I Were a Book” Tag

If I Were a Book

This is a booktuber tag, booktubers for those who don’t know are youtubers that talk about bookish stuffs, created by Jenni Marie. Here is the original tag video if you’d like to check it out. I wasn’t tagged, but this looked pretty fun, so I thought I’d give it a go anyway. Also, the reason I’m doing this instead of Book of the Week is because that would have been The Unbound by Victoria Schwab, but I already reviewed that on its release day, check that out here. Now, let’s get into the tag! ^.^

The Questions

 1. What would the title of your book be? – For this I chose Pressure by Jeff Strand because it seems like my whole life I have been pressured to meet certain expectations. Oh he reads a lot so he must be smart, since he’s smart he should do really well in school, once he’s done well through grade school he should go to college and succeed there, becoming a scientist or lawyer. I know that sounds depressing, but that’s how it was growing up, sometimes it still feels that way.

Jeremy C. Shipp 2. What author would write your story? – This one was easy, I’d go with my favorite indie author, and bizarro/horror writer, Jeremy C. Shipp. His books are funny in a dark way, never give up anything before just the right moment, and always look at the minds of people and what makes them the way they are, then twisting that reality a bit. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to write my story.

In the After 3. What book cover would you choose? – This was one of the toughest questions, as there are so many amazing covers in my collection. I wanted something that was somewhat dark, gloomy, but not overly so, it needed an edge to it, just like the one I have. I landed on In the After by Demitria Lunetta. It has a darker tone to it, and what made it perfect was that it looks like cracks in the pavement, just like the ones I have mentally when I’m under the aforementioned pressure. 

Hardcover 4. Would your book be paperback or hardcover? – My book would definitely be hardcover. Despite pressure from family, friends, schoolmates, and perhaps more than all (because of wanting to meet the expectations of others) myself, I’m still alive and kicking. So the hardcover would signify my tougher outer shell, with the gooey insides being the pages, though I hope that they aren’t actually that texture. Ew.

InheritanceCycleCovers 5. How long would it be? – My favorite reading length is usually 300-350 pages, but some of my favorite reads ever are twice that length or more. Books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Inheritance Cycle rank up there as some of the best I’ve ever read, so perhaps I’d be a longer book. It’s hard to say seeing as I haven’t lived that long yet, but I guess it would average out to around 400 pages or so.

Monstrosities 6. What genre would it be and why? – Sticking with theme I have going so far, and with the knowledge of what Jeremy C. Shipp excels at, I’d say a bizarro/horror mix would be very appropriate. I think even the darkest parts would be able to be made humorous with Shipp’s abilities, and there are definitely bizarre parts that would have to be included. The Monstrosities book, the image that you see to the left, is a great example of this type.

The Aussie Zombie 7. Whose review would you want printed on the back of your book? – Out of the blogs that I visit most I feel like Kat at The Aussie Zombie would be the best suited to read this kind of book. While I don’t know that my book would be a zombie or post-apocalyptic one (though Shipp could certainly work with that), a bizarro/horror genre book definitely fits in Kat’s wheelhouse. Hopefully she would like me (the book)! ^.^

I hope you enjoyed this random book tag post! I highly recommend checking out the tag videos that are up already, my favorite being Raeleen Lemay’s over at padfootandprongs07. Her videos are wonderful. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


The Unbound by Victoria Schwab: Frodo’s Review

TotallyRandomTuesday

The Unbound

Summary From GoodreadsThe Unbound by Victoria Schwab

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Normally I wouldn’t do b2b mini-reviews, but since yesterday’s wasn’t really all that short I’m making an exception, because with The Unbound my emotions can be summed up pretty quickly.

I loved it, so much so that I fought through an allergy & benadryl fog in order to read it today. I’ve had this book on pre-order since it was first available on Amazon, and NOTHING was going to stop me from devouring it. The Unbound is fantastic, filled with characters that I love, from Mackenzie the broken but resilient MC, to Wesley the always caring and sweet love interest, and even to Owen who haunts Mackenzie’s dreams and even sometimes her waking moments. They are all excellent, fleshed out, and the chemistry between Mackenzie and Wesley is especially beautiful to witness.

What amazes me about Schwab’s writing ability the most is how she can make the “real world” seem just as incredibly vivid as the Archive. Each is stunning, from the descriptions of the courtyard and buildings of the private school, to the labyrinth-like halls of the Archive. It’s impossible not to get lost in such a detailed, and truly beautiful world, one that blends realistic setting and the fantastic seamlessly.

What makes The Unbound a sequel that not only doesn’t succumb to second-book syndrome, but excel and even surpass The Archived, is the way that Mackenzie’s mind is breaking and altering her reality so that each twist and turn the book has is as shocking for the reader as the characters within. She has such a hard time determining what is in her dreams, what is in the Archive, and even what is real in her regular everyday life. The constant struggle to hold onto her sanity in the ever-changing world around her is something that many of us can relate to, and Schwab does it more justice than I thought was possible.

There is romance here, beautiful and touching, and heart wrenching at times too. Battles with the law, crime scenes, escapes, psychosis, and questioning of oneself, The Unbound has all of these things and so much more. If you haven’t read The Archived, I urge you to do so, because not only is that book great in its own right, but then you can read what I would argue is one of the best sequels out there. Thank you as always for reading.

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #32/365

Five Smiling Frodos w Background


Top Ten Things On My Reading Wishlist

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about things on my reading wishlist! This can be anything that I want authors to write about; characters, issues, time periods, particular plots, and more. So here are a few on my list! ^.^

1. The Mongols – Really anything involving the mongols, even potentially non fiction if it is compelling, but fiction with them involved would be AMAZING. They are, as John Green often says, “the exception” and I think that there is a lot to work with there.

2. Horror – I don’t mean the genre, because I know people are still writing it, but I want to be freaked out. Mess with my mind, make me think one thing and lead me down a winding false trail, then slap me in the face with reality. Scare me. I’m begging.

3. An Abundance of Katherines 2 – I’m not being literal, or asking John Green for a sequel, but more stuff like this book would be perfect. Flawed geniuses, a story of finding yourself, nerdiness and mathematics combined to produce witty dialogue. Maybe it is out there already, but I want MOAR. o_o

4. Samurai – Yes, there are plenty of books with them in it, but I’m looking for a story showing the process of becoming one. Something detailing the trials and the emotions someone might feel if they were forced to go down that road, even if they come to disagree with what they learn about the emperor and empire they were serving.

5. More College Books – Not textbooks mind you, I have plenty of those. >.< I want college settings with classes and meal plans and real, regular college life. I don’t need more “New Adult” sex/drama/love triangle focused repetition.

6. Flawed Love Interests – I don’t care if they are male, female, alien, shapeshifter, or otherwise, just please stop creating these seemingly perfect beings that the MC can’t help but fall for. Make them…people, that’s all I ask.

7. Dystopian – The genre seems to be doing pretty well for itself, but rugged, tough, and dangerous worlds seem to be giving way to Divergent-esque “less than perfect” ones that, while they can be great stories, feel too shiny and polished for what I thought dystopian would be. Maybe I don’t know the genre as well as I should, but I’m looking for something…harsher. Think Ann Aguirre’s Razorland trilogy.

8. Mythology – Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, anything really. I luckily have a bunch of Rick Riordan’s books to help in this area that I will be reading this year, but there can always be more of this sort of thing I feel. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake is the best example for how to do it right.

9. No Cliffhangers – Sure, books in series need to leave questions unanswered in order to have the reader wanting to keep going with the story, or at least it doesn’t hurt. However, making the book feel incomplete by itself because major plot elements are left hanging or twists are thrown in at the VERY end doesn’t make for a good transition, it’s just frustrating.

10. Tsars of Russia – I find this time period to be fascinating, that of the Tsars (or czars), the changing of dynasties, capital locations, plenty of wars and civil unrest. There seems to be so much to work with here but I rarely (if ever) hear about books, especially in fiction, about this era. I’d love some!

So those are the top ten things on my reading wishlist! What is your top ten list for this week? Are your wishes for new worlds, characters, or plots? Are they perhaps about a particular genre or set of issues you want more content on? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about the 2014 debuts I’m psyched about! I’m not as familiar with the 2014 debut authors as I was with 2013 ones, but here’s some of the ones I do know about that have me hopeful. ^.^

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman 1. The Looking Glass by Jessica Arnold – While this book always makes me think of Through the Looking Glass I really am excited about this one, especially seeing how Arnold portrays the 19th century from a modern-day teenage perspective. Yes please!

 2. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman – Adolf Hitler? 1930s Munich? This is the kind of book that I never manage to find but would always enjoy reading. If this is executed well Blankman will have a hit on her hands. Squee!

3. The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen – Another book with historical aspects, this one involving time travel, and the possibility of Limbo. How can you not want to read it? I know I do!

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones 4.Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones – I already did a Waiting on Wednesday about this book late last year, but Illusive remains as a book I can’t wait to get my hands on. Science fiction holds a special place in bookish heart and this could be just what it needs.

 5. The Fire Wish by Amber Lough – I don’t know too much about this one, but when I saw jinnis, magic lamps, and a “world of flame and crystal” I was hooked.

 6. Winter Falls by Nicole Maggi – I will admit to having worries of insta-love being present in this one, but shapeshifting, ancient warriors, and old magic were too much for me not to include it here. This deserves a shot. 

7. Essence by Lisa Ann O’Kane – Essence looks to examine the full extent of our emotions and whether their impact is worth the trouble they often cause. Will the emotionless or the “paradise” of feelings win out? 

Far From You by Tess Sharpe 8. Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker – An encroaching swamp of some sort and the makings of a book right out of the Body Snatchers mold is what has me excited for this book and interested to see what Parker has to offer.

 9. Far From You by Tess Sharpe – Multiple deaths, a murder mystery, and forbidden secrets are just a taste of what Far From You will unleash in April. This debut is sure to be one I read right away!

 10. Wordless by AdriAnne Strickland – Literacy is such a huge issue and Wordless looks to offer a new view of its impact on the world. Also superpowers of various sorts. I’m sold!

So those are the top ten debuts I’m looking forward to this year! What is your top ten list for this week? Are your debuts from indie authors, mainstream, or a mix? Are they a mix of genres or mostly just one? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2014

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about the goals and resolutions for this year. I posted my Goals and Challenges post earlier this year, but I thought I could expand on that a bit here.  Enjoy! ^.^

1. Be more positive! – Last year I felt that my reviews might have been a tad to harsh or critical, and while it is early in the year, I have really enjoyed the books I’ve read so far (at ten books read as of this post), and I feel like I should focus more on praising successes rather then discussing ones I am not as fond of. That does not mean this will become a fluffy unicorns and rainbows review blog, but I’ll try to remember how much fun these books can be and insert that into my writing. ^.^

2. Read big books too! – I tended to avoid larger books last year, and while the book/day challenge does make it seem like bigger ones might not be the best option I feel that I can make them fit just fine this time around. I won’t be hiding from 500+ page books this year!

3. More genres! – I participated in the Genre Variety Reading Challenge last year, and while I am not doing so this year it inspired me to continue branching out. There is no specific goal for this but even with the last few books I read I jumped from video games, to greek mythology, to contemporary, and am currently on steampunk. It’s been a blast!

4. Comment more! – I’ll admit, I’m not great when it comes to replying to comments and visiting other blogs regularly, but this WILL change in 2014. I’m replying to just about every comment I get here (as long as it had some thought put into it) and I’ll be visiting other blogs more to see what people are up to!

5. Even more readathons! – I LOVE readathons! Last year I participated in quite a few, but my obsession with them has reached new heights as I have a column on my tweetdeck for #readathon. No I’m not crazy…alright, maybe a little. Still, MORE please!

6. More pictures/gifs! – Most of my posts during my first 6-8 months on the blog had little to no pictures or really anything but words except for the cover of the book in WoW’s or reviews. I’ve been a bit better with that recently (this post notwithstanding) but I think I can continue to improve on it and make them more fun to read. Here, have some Lizzie Bennet Diaries goodness!

squee4

7. More interactions with authors! – You may not see evidence on the blog as most of this will likely be done on Twitter, but if at all possible I’d love to have more discussions and learn more about the authors that make these wondrous adventures that I enjoy so much.

8. More randomness! – While I already have implemented some cool new features (that I’m quite happy with) I still think there could be plenty of room for more random stuff. It could be reviewing a comic or manga, maybe talking about anime, perhaps more serious discussions on literary topics…kidding. Really though, I’d love to do the blog’s name justice this year!

9. Finish more series! – I am participating in the Seriously Series Reading Challenge already so that will be my motivation, but I had a tendency last year to avoid series because I didn’t want to marathon them and have my reviews be all about the same type of books. With the way my features are laid out now that won’t be a problem and I can read all of them in a row! I’m looking at you Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus!

10. Have fun! – Sometimes I get too wrapped up in stats and view-counts and lose sight of why I do this. I have a book blog because I LOVE supporting authors, helping get the word out about great books, and to celebrate my joy of reading. So I’m go to freaking enjoy myself! Weeeee! (Admittedly this could have been to use more exclamation points, look at all of them!)

So those are my top ten goals/resolutions for 2014! What is your top ten list for this week? Are your goals/resolutions bookish or otherwise? Are they blog focused, reading goals, writing ones? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^