Monday, December 5, 2011

Rotters, by Daniel Kraus

Rotters, by Daniel Kraus

"Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating." -- From the jacket cover

By far-- by FAR-- the creepiest, most disturbed thing I have read to date.

Am I the only one thinking, ".... how does Daniel Kraus know all the precise, knitty-gritty details of how to rob a grave?"

I half expected to find the bio in the back of the book: "About the author: DANIEL KRAUS is a writer and currently resides at Iowa State Prison, where he's serving a 20 year sentence for--you guessed it-- digging up dead bodies, robbing graves, and other sorts of general mischeif. Rotters is his first book. You can write him at put 'Daniel Kraus' as the subject line."

It's so crazy disturbing. It's so sick and wrong on so many levels. But it's so good at the same time. It's like the ultimate horror movie stuck inside a book. I mean, the hurricane scene? With the flooded cemetery and the bodies floating everywhere? And let's not even start at what Boggs may or may not have done to Val's body. Or the Rotters book itself.

I loved Harnett's heroism, the way he was so tied to the past, even though his own intentions weren't pure in the least. A piece of my soul just might have died when he finally bit the dust. And Joey as a character himself was excellent to follow through this crazy-wrong book.

Let's just leave it as: not for the weak heartened. Not in the least. Not just super gorey and super creepy, but simply disturbing. BUT GOOD.

Devoured, by Amanda Marrone

Devoured, by Amanda Marrone

Conceptionally, this book is great. Remember the evil queen in Snow White? "Mirror, Mirror on the wall..." Well, the Mirror's still around, and it's causing as many problems as it possibly can, because that's how it gets it's evil little kicks and giggles. Fantastic idea, Ms. Marrone. Kuddos, indeed.

While the writing style of the book seemed, well, lacking, and the execution of a lot of the book wasn't stellar, and the character development was so-so, the whole idea of the book was really original.

Also, I loved the way Remy, the dead little sister, haunted our main character, Megan. While in other popular books that will remain unsaid *coughcoughTHATIHATEcoughcough*, where the little sister pops up, walking around like she's alive, watching everything, making comments about her sister's life, visiting celebrities.... Remy can only see certain things, certain people, is vastly confused, and frustrated. I love the way she throws temper tantrums, leaving pools of river water everywhere, scaring the crap out of anyone who had the ability to witness it. Poor Remy just needs to find Daddy, dang it! Where's Daddy, Megan?

Plus the digs on Disney Land and all the Disney types? Loved it, even if I am one who loves the Magic Kingdom. Hiding dead bodies of murder victims underneath the kiddie rides IS pretty disturbing. And makes for great reading.

All in all? Easy read. Concept was original and interesting. I think it would have been more successful if the writing had been higher quality. Still enjoyed it.

"Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver," by E. Lockhart

"Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver" (Ruby Oliver #4) by E. Lockhart

Now I'm a big fan of Ruby Oliver. BIG FAN. Most people who read these books are. It's one of those you either love-in-the-sort-of-super-gushing type of way, or you hate it, and according to Goodreads, the vote is YES on Prop Ruby Oliver.

(See here for my previous gushing on this series)

But sadly, this is my least favorite of the series. There seems to be less randomness than usual, less lists, less footnotes... and I think Ruby only said "Spankin" once!

Also, I liked the old covers better.

However, there was a seriously brilliant scene about an intended Meatloafery... You know how sometimes you come across things and you're like, "DANG, I wish I wrote that...."? This is one of those things. Sheer random genuis.

This is to be the final book in the Ruby Oliver series.

Oh Roo, I'll miss you.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Splendor Falls, by Rosemary Clement-Moore

The Splendor Falls, by Rosemary Clement-Moore

"Don't be obtuse princess. It's only because I'm a gentleman that I haven't let you know that I find Victorian ruffles insanely hot." -Rhys

Alright so... essentially, I enjoyed this book. I say this AFTER I finished it. If you had asked me at page 150, 250, 350... I would have said something along the lines of... "WHAT THE FREAKING FREAK IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?!?! JFIOSDJIOHJFASKMCLKAJSJRIOWJdsjfioweioafnewhjioajeklrj! CAN WE GET ON WITH IT ALREADY?!?"

Truly, I would have given it up... had it not been for Gigi. Thank goodness for 6-pound fluffy reject designer handbag dogs... because she saved this book.

The Splendor Falls is a 513 page book. Of the Young Adult Urban Fantasy Genre. However, it isn't until page 405, yes that would be FOUR HUNDRED AND FIVE, that MAGIC is confirmed as part of the plot.


It's not even BROUGHT UP until a few pages earlier (page 393, to be exact).

That's a lot of pages to read of Sylvie Davis mucking around Bluestone Hills, not knowing what's going on. There's a few ghostly encounters and some skepticism towards the motives of the Teen Town Council, particularly Shawn Maddox, and some love/hating going on with Welsh hottie Rhys, as well as some prime time pouting over the loss of Sylvie's ballet career... but other than that, it's just mucking around the family mansion-turned-almost-open-inn, and gardening.

That's where Gigi saves the day. Like I said, good ol' reject designer handbag chihuahuas. :)

Anyways, once the whole magic thing is FINALLY put on the map, the books lights up like a Christmas tree, and it becomes so much more entertaining, exciting, and pleasing to read. I truly believe that if Ms. Clement-Moore had condensed the first 400 pages into like, 150, or 200 tops, then it would have flowed faster, easier, and been simply more pleasing to read. There was simply a TON of material to get through.

Because Sylvie's quest for info on her ancestors took her to all different sources all over the course of the book, it became patchy, confusing, and as a reader, you felt like the information was all over the map, and yet wasn't drawing any conclusions, for Sylvie or you as a reader. Also, often during coversations throughout the book, I felt like they jumped topics without making sense on many different occasions. Am I the only one who felt that? Like, they were alluding to one thing, like Hannah, and then all of a sudden they were talking about the Welsh legends, with no segue whatsoever? I got confused..... or, not confused, but thought it was really strange and RANDOM...

AND WHAT THE HECK DOES THE TITLE "The Splendor Falls" MEAN? Am I just stupid and can't make the connection to anything? I mean, there are a couple of LITERAL slips and "falls" during the course of the book... Hannah falling in the river, Clara down the stairs, and of course, Slyvie's epic fall that broke her leg in the first place etc., but I wouldn't have referred to them as SPLENDORific in anyway. And there weren't any sort of WATERfalls along the river, splendor or otherwise... Someone please explain it to me?

See, as much as I seriously dislike the one-word title craze going on amongst the YA genre, at least you can generally UNDERSTAND the reference. Grrrrrr.

Anyways, I'm glad Gigi didn't end up dying in some sort of heroic deed at the end or anything, because I REALLY would have been pissed off. Like, seriously pissed off. Like, throw the book at the wall pissed off.

And I don't even LIKE chihuahuas.

The book just need less of the "what's going on?" feel (first 405 pages), and a whole lot more of the really good last 100 pages feel.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BR: Supernaturally

Pooooooooooop. It wasn't as good as the first one. :(((

Evie wasn't as cheeky, Lend wasn't there 3/4 the time, and I'm totally over all the Faerie crap. Evie lies about everything and goes behind everybodies back, then complains about her angst-ridden life. Oh, what's a sad, poor, unloved teenager to do? Buck up, little camper. Stop lying.

Where's the snark and uniqueness of Paranormalcy? Bleep, I missed it. Badly.

BR: I Am Number Four

I don't get it... I liked the movie. I thought it was fast paced and interesting. Then again, maybe that was because it had Alex Pettyfer in it... man, if that boy were a few years older...

But the book suuuuuuuuucks. "Pittacus Lore," as he calls himself, cannot write himself out a paper bag; and I use that terrible cliche in honor of him. I could hardly focus on the story line or connect with the characters because I was so distracted with the sucky seven word sentences lacking any sort of literary depth or variety whatsoever.

So sad little reviewing girl dared to have the audacity to come this book to HARRY POTTER! I couldn't help barking out a laugh. In no way, shape or form does this book resemble Harry Potter. No where. Ever. In any thing. Sorry, little girl. I dislike putting down my fellow reviewers, everyone is entitled to their own opinions is how I see it, but that is just a mistake that must be corrected. Harry Potter must not be disgraced, you know.        

Friday, August 26, 2011

BR: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

I wasn't expecting this book to be a tragedy! I suppose when dealing with real life, there's always some tragedy and roughness involved, but I wasn't expecting to come away feeling so sad for Vinnie. I wonder if, and hope not that, this is an accurate depiction of her emotions and views of life, or if Vinnie saw things completely in a different light. Either way, she was an extraordinary woman, and this is an extraordinary book full of rich history, adventure, stiffled emotion, and a woman quite literally searching the world for happiness, and what she did when she culdn't find it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh, Sweet Muses, I Missed You

I felt it again tonight.

The need to write. I felt it again. The feeling that no, I didn’t want to lay here and read this book. I didn’t want to read. I wanted to write.

It’s been so long since I’ve had this feeling, that I hardly know if I even have anything to say, but it doesn’t matter. I just need to write. I’d forgotten what muses felt like. The stream of consciousness, where my fingers fly and write at almost the precise moment I think. It’s elating, these words flying from my fingertips, the sound of the keyboard clicking and tapping as my thoughts spill out from my head into real live, written words instead of the phantom letters that float around in my skull. As easy as I breathe, the words now flow from my fingers. My words, my being, slipping from my fingers onto these simple keys, while the page in front of me lights up with ideas and imagination. I can hear the sound of my voice as I write, sounding more lyrical, and perhaps a bit more hopeful, than in real life.

It's been so long, it's almost foreign. The dam that cut off my mind from my fingers was getting more and more solid every day, and I had not almost, but truly had given up hope that it would ever come down. I thought it was fuzed to the inside of my mind, that the synapse had been snapped and could never find their way back together, no matter how much a prayed.

And then it happened. In the most peculiarly subtle and normal way, as if synapses simply connected together again and metaphoric dams, miles thick, vaporized every day. The stream of my consciousness reaches my fingers just fine now. My fingers no longer stand poised over the keys, my muscles aching, begging for the words in my mind to use them as a conduit to the keys of my computer.

I think thoughts, and as quickly as they come, my fingers tap and the thoughts show up as letters in Times New Roman font onto my computer screen, staring me back in the face.

It's magic, I swear.

I couldn't be more delighted than if I won the lottery or fell in love or woke up fifty pounds lighter, or was given a lifetime supply of Goldfish crackers.

I can write again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What I Stole On Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Found the best review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on from one "Montambeau"... hope she doesn't mind me putting it here to share with you all... because it's great!

Full-On SPOILERS! Watch OUT!

"Top 13 Hallows Happenings that I Loved...

13) Dudley says, "I don't think you're a waste of space."

12) Kreacher cleans the house and makes them soup after Harry is appreciative of him and gives him a chance to do something for Regulus.

11) Harry takes Moody's eye off of Umbridge's door, even though this causes panic and frenzy at the ministry and almost gets them caught.

10) The visit to Luna's rook-shaped house--especially seeing the loving portraits in her bedroom and Hermione's kick-ass escape plan.

9) Ron is in turmoil when Hermione is being tortured by Bellatrix.

8) Escape from Malfoy Manor--awesome! Fallen hero Dobby's last words are, "Harry...Potter."

7) Neville has become the leader of Dumbledore's Army while Harry's been away. He's got battle scars before the battle!

6)Harry performs the crucio because the Carrow spits on McGonagall.

5)Molly Weasley kills Bellatrix. "Not my daughter, YOU BITCH!"

4) All of Hogwarts is involved in the battle. Suits of armor march to battle, all the portraits are shouting tips and encouragement, Trewlawney gets Fenrir with a crystal ball!

3) Snape asks Harry to look at him as he dies so that Snape's last vision is of Lily's eyes.

2)James, Lily, Lupin and Sirius escort Harry through the forest safely and give him love and encouragement. Harry thinks he could stare at Lily forever.

1) Ginny and Harry live to make sweet, sweet love. I wouldn't name my own child, "Albus Severus," but I can see why Harry did.

"Yeah, JKR, ear ear! Job well done." "


Great, right? Thanks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BR: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Can I just say? Now I want my own persnickety Snarl. Maybe I should start wearing majorette boots and catch babies who get knocked out of their strollers by gigantic dogs named Boris.

Totally adored. Who DOESN'T want to come across a red notebook in a bookstore connected to a possible true love, daring you to go around New York during Christmas time and leave notes to each other? Yes, please. Very much so, yes please. This was one of those books that I totally laughed out loud at, and made me wish that I was more witty. Dang.

You probably know the authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan from Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, and are possibly already aware that each author takes a character, and they tag-team write, each "character" writing parts of the story in their own view; they claim to not plan anything beforehand and just let the story come out, chapter by chapter.

The first few chapters, it was like Cohn and Levithan were trying to out-ridiculous each other, like they were setting each other up, playing a game of who's-more-clever, which was hilarious, but at the same time, you were wondering just how serious this whole book was going to be. Eventually, the ridiculousness and out-doing each other toned down, and a real story played out. I mean, seriously, how fun would it be to have a secret pen pal who left your shared notebook in random places, with random people, giving you the opportunity to do all sorts of strange things you'd never get to do otherwise? Rub Santa's belly, decode secret messages in random books around a huge bookstore, go to a wax museum, make your own muppet....

I was surprised I liked it, to tell you the truth. Having read Nick & Norah's, I was hesitant, just because I was so sick of horny teenagers, but decided to give it a shot. Decision: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares is like a horny-free version of Nick & Norahs, and much better, anyways.

I particularly enjoyed Dash's persnicketyness, Aunt Ida, the way Lily legitly wore the one boot and one sneaker, and all the fun word references. Hooray for people who enjoy words as much as I do.

Friday, June 10, 2011

BR: ENTICE, Carrie Jones

By far the best in the series!

The silliness of Zara is still there, but toned down as she starts maturing more and more through all sorts of trips around the world, wounds, losses, and, of course, the eternal quest to save Nick from Valhalla...

The ending promises a FOURTH BOOK, which I'm actually rather excited about. Usually, I'm peeved when I get to the third book and IT DOESN'T WRAP UP (*coughcough-alysonnoel-coughcough*), but for once I'm pretty excited. Actually, way excited.

(book one)

(book two)

*Alyson Noel wrote the whole Evermore... series. I was super peeved when it didn't wrap up in book three--- which you can read all about my peevedness at my previous review right here. After book four, I just stopped. I stopped caring long ago, and I was just done. Did it ever end? Did anyone read Night Star? Is it STILL GOING? I know she wrote a spin off abotu Riley.... Oh my gosh, does it never end?

Anyways. Entice was fantastic. Love it. The whole character of Zara is very unique and loveable--- from her friendliness, to her love for Amnesty International and strong enthusiasm for justice, to her habit of chanting fears when she's nervous, she's great and a keeper. Plus the Pixie's thing instead of the normal Faeries thing was semi-original, which is always appreciated. Here's to hoping for the next book!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Kindle

So, I got a Kindle for my birthday last month, and can I say? Adore it.

Crazy surprise right? I was so anti-electronic books... What changed my mind? I read that you can get hundreds (maybe thousands, I don't know) of the classics FREE on Kindle. It pays for itself after a few free books. Plus, when gifted from my parents? Yes please!

It was only weird for a few pages of electronic book, then I got used to it. Less words can fit on the page, so you turn pages all the time... but you can do it one handed, instead of needing two to seperate and turn real pages.

Make no mistake, I am not 100% converted. I still love spending hours browsing Barnes and Noble, and the smell of new books, and the crinkle of pages and the shiny covers and the weight of a book in my hands... No, I will never STOP loving real, 100% paper books. Kindles are shnazzy and convienent, but mixing it up with a real book here and there makes all the difference. I still have my books shelves and stacks of books littering every surface of my room, and were I to get rid of them, half of my soul would die. No, no; Kindle will not be REPLACING real books in my life. Just making it a little bit more electronically-savy.

Although it is waaay too easy to get new books on Kindle. Waaaaaay too easy.

The nonperks I've found on my Kindle:

1. There's no clock. I can't tell when I've spent 3 hours reading, or 4, or 8...

2. No page numbers! What?! Just a "63%" (or whatever %) line at the bottom... So, I can't tell just how thick any given book is that I'm reading. Huh.

3. No color. That makes me sad. Although if I had paid more, I could have gotten one with color, but the whole idea was to be saving money...

4. You don't get to see the cover, hardly. It's small and noncolored, and only pops up if you search for it. I miss seeing the covers all the time.
5. And most importantly: Having a brand new book instantly at your fingertips (and paying $8-$20 for it) is easy as

click, scroll, click, click!

It's waaaaaaaaaay too easy to buy books when they're magically at your fingertips! You can have a new book in ten seconds, delivered instantly. While incredibly handy, TEMPATATION IS TOO GREAT!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Fantastic quote I just stumbled upon in my LibbaBraying

"Writers are also sort of like vultures but with fewer ethics." - Libba Bray

Thought you might like it.

Libba Bray Nonsense Video

Libba Bray nonsense.

You didn't know I had an obsession of Libba Bray, did you? Good, cause neither did I. She's flippin insane. Which is probably why I like her so much :) There's more crazy videos of her if you want more--- The Going Bovine one is pretty good. She's in a cow suit. Yeah.

(Also, I do think that lumberjacks would be a good addition to the Gemma Doyle's. Or, you know, any book. I happen to like lumberjacks.)

All the Books I've Read Since the Last Time I Posted What I've Been Reading

.... (whatever month it was I last posted) plus a few books I found got left out.

The Seduction of Water
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (yes, I did read those two out of order)
The Gathering
City of Fallen Angels
Pretty Little Liars
The Peach Keeper
Going Bovine
These Things Hidden

and I'm now in the middle of Graveminder.

And other books I've read in the last few months that didn't get mentioned:
 just kidding, I think that's the only one that didn't get mentioned. Sorry, The Exile of Sara Stevenson. It was pretty good. Except for the random bit of time-traveling letter that didn't really make sense. Otherwise, it was good.

BR: Going Bovine

Libba Bray's: GOING BOVINE
Going Bovine was so crazy trippy. I guess I should have expected it from Libba Bray, having read the Gemma Doyle books, as well as visiting her blog somewhat frequently. This book had everything from near death experiences at Disney World, potty mouth dwarfs prone to panic attacks, mad cow disease, evil snowglobes, really good jazz, a punk rock angel with a sweet tooth, a serious run-in with a happiness cult (who just so happen to run a bowling alley, and sing rocking happiness songs), spring break with YA!TV on a beach in Florida, trippy somewhat time-travel, and, maybe?- death. But first and foremost- my favorite--- a most excellent garden gnome who just so happens to be an immortal Norse God, and a very happy drunk. "Interesting" is a serious understatement. The end was a little ambiguous, which was apparently done on purpose so you can decide how you want to take it (was it all real? Craziness? Medicine-induced coma? Death? Hmmm...) As always, I got tired of all the swearing, but then again-- it's two teenage boys going on a crazy road trip to save the universe from an evil wizard and fire giants and close up a wormhole. There's going to be serious swearing involved. Read it, people. It's trippy good stuff.




She's so crazy, which is probably why I love her so much.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


GOOD NEWS!!! (said in a sing-song-uber-excited-voice)

Just got wind of NEW BOOK from MAGGIE STIEFVATER (possibly my all-time author love)!

On her blog (which I read on thought I should do some citing here), she says: "Oh yeah, and it's a standalone novel (not a series), with blood, beaches, and kissing. My favorite that I've written so far. Ever."

(Side note: For some reason, I thought it said LEECHES instead of BEACHES, and I was like, "YEAH, RIGHT ON!" with a little fist pump, and was almost disappointed to realize it was beaches. Idea for your next book, Ms. Stiefvater? LEECHES. I'd be so stoked. Apparently I like leeches... who knew?)

But for her to be so excited about it makes me want to pee my pants while I do my little excited-happy-chair-dance that everyone makes fun of my for, because YOU KNOW IT'S GOING TO ROCK. I think it's impossible for Maggie Stiefvater to write anything not extravaggantly excellent full of beautiful, lyrical writing that just sucks you in and refuses to let go unless you've thoroughly swooned.
And can I just say, as much as I love series-- more delicious Stiefvater writing to soak up-- I'm stoked that it's a standalone. It seems like no one does these days in the YA world, and I kind of miss it. Actually, I really miss it. I loved that back in the day with Lament, she did a follow-up with Ballad. It wasn't exactly a continuation of the same story, but a whole new story about one of the lesser characters. It was like they could have been two standalones than a series, and I really liked that.

So The Scorpio Races won't be available until October 8th, from what I read, but I for one can hardly contain myself from building a time machine so I can go pick up a copy (stopping only for a copy of Forever, of course.)
For more semi-creepy Maggie Stiefvater love-ranting, see here for Lament and better yet, here for Shiver and Linger, which apparently Maggie found out about and Tweeted about back in the day and WOW that was a long link.
That was probably the best review I've ever written, because I've never felt so passionate about a book like I did then. Obsessive? Maybe. Creepy? Yeah, sorta. But oodles of fun.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What I Stole From Libba Bray

(oh, Libba Bray, I love you.)

"The Ever-Popular I Suck Playlist

One of the things that continues to surprise me about the writing life is how bloody impossible it can seem at times....

....Usually, I get a sense that this is about to happen because I become agitated and completely avoidant. I will whimper and pace the way dogs do before a bad storm. There will be a few days, maybe a week or two, sometimes even a month, in which the writing feels terribly stilted. False. Awful. The equivalent of small talk at a party where you don’t know anybody and you can’t leave yet because somebody else is driving, and so you just have to keep standing in the corner holding on to your sweating seltzer glass saying, “Really? How interesting. I did not know that about elephants.”

I hate this part. Hate it. These are the days when I come home with the comic book dark cloud scribbles over my head, and when my husband asks me how the writing’s going, I sigh and press my head against my palms and moan, “Terrible. I can’t figure this thing out. I don’t know anything about writing books. You have to tell them I don’t know how to write books. The last five books were a fluke, and now it’s over. Over, I tell you. I’m so sorry. I tried. I have to go watch The Simpsons now.”

If this part of the writing process were an iPod track list it would look like this:

Track #1: I Suck
Track #2: I’m Not Smart Enough to Write This Book
Track #3 No, This Is Different
Track #4: Maybe I Could Become a Firefighter/Gravedigger/Finger Puppeteer
Track #5: I Suck, Parts IV-VIII
Track #6: Why Can’t I Write Like (Fill in Blank)?
Track #7: This Doesn’t Happen To (Fill in Blank)
Track #8: Will You Help Me Fake My Death/It’s the Only Way/My Life in a Storage Unit Medley
Track #9: I Suck (Extended Dance Remix)
Track #10: What Was I Thinking?
Track #11: This Is Hopeless! (DJ Flail ‘N’ Whine Mix)
Track #12: So Overwhelmed I’m Underwater
Bonus Track: Also, I Hate My Hair"

AMEN TO THAT. It's So. Ridiculously. True.
Thank you, Libba Bray, for making my life a better place.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What I Read In March 2011


Meanwhile, I STARTED, but never FINISHED (for various reasons, including the fact that I highly disliked each one):

Monday, March 28, 2011

BR: Beautiful Dead: Summer

So, while my copy of Summer was coming in the mail, I quickly re-read Arizona to catch myself up. And I found that while I absolutely love these books when I first read them, rereading them it's as great. Maybe because I already know the mystery, so it's not as entertaining and I'm not enthralled, or maybe because the writing isn't very good...

Beautiful Dead, Summer
By Eden Maguire

But when I finally did read Summer last night, I couldn't put it down! These books, while still dealing with the popular Paranormal romance stuff, are done in a unique way. I like the combination of mystery and paranormalcy, even as I want to beat sense into Darina.
The twist and turns were more exciting, and more intense, than I anticipated, and I was quite pleased. The ending was hurried, however, and I wished we could have seen more of Summer's reconciliation with it all. I hope she's at peace... you don't really get a clear understanding (or maybe I read it too fast).
And is it just me, or is Eden Maguire's writing getting better with each book? Good for her. )
Oh, Phoenix. How will you end? Because we all know it's going to suck. Beyond measure. And I'm not looking forward to it!
(Okay, that's a lie... I can hardly wait for Phoenix. I just don't want it to end, because it's going to be a sad, sad day in the life of Darina.)
(Also... I still hope she's seeing Raven. Because she promised Arizona, and I have a feeling that if Darina isn't keeping it, Arizona is going to come back and give her a swift kick in the toga...)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Writing History

I suppose there were signs early on that I was destined to be a writer of words, a teller of stories, and, of course, a deeply random person.

In first grade, during free time, I would cut up little pieces of paper and staple them together, writing squiggly lines of "writing." When my teacher asked what I was doing, I informed her that I was making books for my teddy bears. WIN.

My first memories of profound story telling happened during the first month of 4th grade. While sitting at my table making "All About Me" posters, I proceded to tell my group a story with crazy twists and turns for about twenty minutes. They were enthralled, and confused, and listened until the very, very end. I only wish I could remember what it was about. Something about an orphan girl...?

7th grade was my first written story. For our end-of-the-year compliation of all the quick writes and poems we'd done, our last assignment was to write a 3-5 page short story. Mine? The 18 page masterpiece of "The Elves Of Enkanto," where the beautiful young Jade and her best friend, the elf named Daven (the name of my crush at the time) find a magical key and have to save Wizard Limey from the evil Katherine (the name of the popular girl whom I hated). All major characters have some sort of green name (Jade, Limey, King Emerald, the dog Green Leaf), or are stolen from Oh, and I dedicated it to David Bowie "for he was the most awesome person in the 80s." My teacher was quite proud of my insight and use of literary techniques. At least, that's what she wrote on my paper.

I was seventeen before I did any more story-writing. I had gotten sick, and was realizing that I was going to have to spend my Junior year at home, recovering. I was bored and dperessed and lonely... and was having really weird dreams due to medicine. My dad had his old work laptop sitting in the upstairs office for anyone to use... After having a weird dream about people with silver and golden hued skin, I warped it into a 20 page dystopia story, and my writing took off from there. For the first few months, I'd sit in bed writing on the laptop (which I affectionately called Crappy Comp) for hours upon hours, but I was embarrassed. Everytime I heard someone coming, I'd throw my blankets over the computer and pretend I eas reading. It wasn't until weeks later until I let someone see me with the laptop. I'd written at least 4 short stories by then, and was completely dedicated to my craft.

I have now completed one novel, Let It Be, which I throroughly despise. It's nothing like it started out as when I first wrote it at seventeen, and it's a crappy Young Adult Romance about Immortals and child abuse. I absolutely hate it, and am thoroughly embarrassed by it, but it's my first completed works.

I have lots of other stories I work on periodically, but as I am switching my genre of books I read, I've found that I am liking my stories less and less... and am trying to switch them from cheesey YA to regular adult like fiction and literature. We'll see.

And then I blog. Oh, do I blog. My regular, day-to-day blog is Check it out, yo.

And that, my friends, is my abridged wtiting history.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In Which I Whine

Anyone want to give me free books to read?

I'm out of things to read
and I need more
and Barnes and Noble (although my favorite place on earth) is so far away (and expensive)
and the library is lame and doesn't have anything good and the books smell funky, besides.

I need boooooooooooooooooooooooooooks.......

BR: Allison Hewitt Is Trapped

I read a zombie book.

Allison Hewitt Is Trapped
By Madeleine Roux

Alright, don't judge.

So, typically I'm not a zombie apocalypse fan in the least, but when I saw the cover of this, and saw that Allison Hewitt is trapped in A BOOKSTORE... you know me. Had to read it.

 And actually? I really liked it! It's written as Allison's blog during the beginnings of the Zombie Apocalypse... also a great love of mine (blogging)--- and is highly entertaining. The book swore like a drunken high schooler, but aside from that, I thought it was positively excellent.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I Read In February

(it's a small, small lot this month)

(I don't recommend the book version. We'll see about the movie version. It was terribly written, and the story was... okay. Nothing more.)

Read: 2/10

Read: 2/15

Read: 2/26

Read: 2/28

So... yeah, regular fiction is taking much longer to read. While I am greatly enjoying these books, I miss being able to read an entire book (or at the very least half) in one night like I often did with YA. I don't think I'll hit 100 books this year, which kind of saddens me. However, I'm not spending money on books like crazy anymore, which I'm sure make everyone involved happy.

And I'm still working on The Secret Garden (I'm meeting Dickon tonight, and I'm quite excited about it), although I honestly do not know where I put my Grimm's Fairytales. Although I only read the first fairytale before I lost it. Kinda sad, seeing as there were at least 50 stories.

Anyway, at the beginning of the year, I set the goal of only 75 books this year, as compared to 100 last year (although I got to 136, I believe was the number), seeing as I have a lot more going on in my life as I did in 2010 (well, at least parts of 2010). But with these books being, well, heartier, it's taking much longer! Are you seeing the fact that I read a total of 5 books this month? Granted February is the shortest month of the year, but seriously? 5? Not cool.

So I suppose I should log off and get reading...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Adventures in Regular Literature

So far in my adventures with regular, adult literature (as compared to YA genre), I've had great fun. The only cons are:
A) they cost way more money-- why is that? I can't buy as many books now, and I'm really rather upset about it, and
B) it takes so much longer to read them, seeing as they actually have literary value to them. Wait, that's not a con; literary content rocks. Just kidding, I'm going crazy.

Okay, but one of the reasons I moved on from YA to regular literature (among many, many things, mostly being the fact that I'm no longer 15, and haven't been for a while, and have finally matured to the point where I think YA basically sucks) was because I was sick and tired of everyone exploiting the series concept. If I ever come across another series I'm going to shoot myself or jump off a bridge or something. (Well, actually... I'll just be super pissed and will most likely scream or at least shout in frustration). Thanks to YA overusing the series concept in order to make more money and completely overlook the good-story/decent-writing/anthing-of-literary-value aspect (okay, this obviously doesn't apply to ALL series, but most), I can't stand series and sequels and people not being able to write a stand-alone book...

...And what do I find? The very second regular-fiction book I bought, I realized upon finishing it, had a sequel. Bahahaha--- just my luck.

Actually, it was lucky, because The Illuminator rocked, and The Mercy Seller was just as good. They were intest-grabbing, and history-oriented, and randomly religious. Definitely some of my new favorites. Also, The Mercy Seller was merely a continuation of the story of a minor character form The Illuminator, and her life years after The Illuminator took place, so each book could, for all intents and purposes, stand alone. Which I can deal with quite well in an adult-like fashion appropriate for my age. I deeply enjoyed them both--- I couldn't say which one I liked better, because I just don't know.

Basically, the premise is: (in The Illuminator) Finn is an illuminator who--you guessed it-- illuminates the Bible and other religious things for the Church in the 1400's, right at the time where real-life John Wyldcliffe is spreading the radical idea that everyone should be able to read the Bible for themselves, not just listen to the corrupt Church's interpretations of it. Going against the law and all better judgement, Finn begins copying the banned texts and Wyldcliffe's Bible, risking not only his own safety, but that of his only child, Rose. Meanwhile, we read about one Lady Katherine, and her two sons, whom Finn and Rose come to live with, and all their intertwined relationships and craziness thereafter. Also includes nuns and their cats named after harlots, a really awesome dwarf, and a "simple" kitchen maid who gets along randomly well with bees.

The Mercy Seller takes place something like twenty-five years later, documenting the life of Anna (Jasmine)---who is born towards the end of The Illuminator--- who is suddenly left with radical (and illegal) views about religion and no one in the world she can count on. She travels to England with a band of gypsies for a while, inherits a severely handicapped boy with a love of music, and falls in love with a priest pretending to be a mercenary... which, obviously, is all sorts of trouble. My beloved Finn and Lady Katherine also play secondary parts; I enjoyed visiting my old friends again, even as they were growing old, too old for the mischevious lives they lived in the first book. I would have liked the ending better if we had gotten to see more of the relationship blossum into love instead of tolerance, instead of having it alluded to in the epilogue. But that's just me. 

Props to Brenda Rickman Vantrease! (I can never remember that name, haha)

 ---I also just learned that she has another book, The Heritic's Wife, which I look forward to reading once i get enough money to actually purchase it. (I assume it has to do with the same historical/religious issues as both The Illuminator and The Mercy Seller? I hope so). The cover is gorgeous, too, which, as we all know, is something everyone judges a book by.

PS-- I'm still working on all my classic literature. Or, you know, some of it. I actually forgot I was working on Grimm's Fairy Tales, to tell the truth, so I obviously haven't made it very far in that. However, I am reading The Secret Garden, which I'm suddenly realizing that I've read sometime before... I can't remember what happens next on any given page, but once I read something, I remember it. I hate that feeling! Ugh! Why can't I just forget a story after a few years, and enjoy the surprises it holds when I read it again? I mean, it has to have been ten years or so since I read The Secret Garden. And yet... grrrr.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What I Read In January

It's a little late, but whatever. I'm busy. It's also not a great picture. Oh well.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte*

The Lost Saint, Bree Despain

The Dark Divine, Bree Despain

The Shwa Was Here, Neal Shusterman*

Firelight, Sophie Jordan

Tempestuous, Lesley Livingston

Shadowspell, Jenna Black

Glimmerglass, Jenna Black*

Jessica's Guide to Dating Dark Side, Beth Fantaskey

Impossible, Nancy Werlin

The Hollow, Jessica Verday**

The Haunted, Jessica Verday**

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm now on!

Come vist me and be my friend!

Visit me here!

I'll still be posting my reviews here, but I'll be pasting them to goodreads, too. However you want to follow me, I'll be the same in both places.

(But is pretty awesome: if you haven't checked it out yet, I advise you to!)

BR: Firelight

Firelight= Angst-a-plenty. Once I finished it, I realized I enjoyed it, but for the first 2/3, I was feeling pretty depressed. Jacinda's life sucks. Her mom is trying to kill the draki--- dragon--- inside of her, her twin sister hates her and has a major inferiority complex (although no one can really blame her), and she's in love with a boy who's family hunts her kind. There seems to be no options for Jacinda, no release, and it's pretty depressing. The makeout scenes that do pop up between her and Will are a brief but finally do add some positive energy to the story (can you tell that Jordan also writes Romance novels?!)... until Jacinda starts freaking out, flip-flopping between her all-consuming love for the hunter, and her need to protect her family and her race's secret. It gets tiring after a while. Once Will finally figures it out, the plot freshens up and turns into great reading--- I just wish the angst hadn't lasted so long.

I really enjoyed the character of Will. (Although I wish we could have learned of his secrets earlier! Great twists, and I'm excited to see how they eventually play out!) It was a refreshing break from the bad-boy type that seems to plague the love-interests of popular YA these days, and I loved the confidence he exuded when he came after Jacinda again and again.

Sophie Jordan was able to create a deep, mature love between this unlikely pair that wasn't cheesy, and seemed real and lasting--- something that stretches beyond regular high-school relationships, something that everyone tries to write, but few succeed. I applaud Sophie Jordan for that!

I hope in the next book(s), we find the angst take a backburner, and the amazing potential of a unique, refreshing story florishes and breaks through.

Sophie Jordan: props for a CLEAN, but strong love affair!