Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

Hi there everyone! I can't believe it's already November! How has 2014 gone by so fast?!

But alas, it is almost November and that means one thing (or two...or three--Thanksgiving and one month left before Christmas) but also National November Writing Month!

I'm going to be writing a fantasy novel and I'm looking forward to it but I don't know how it's going to turn out. I have a plot and some ideas but the vagueness allows me to change things as I choose. Plus, who knows what kinds of crazy shenanigans my characters will come up with! 

Wanna be writing buddies? Here is my profile! 
You haven't signed up yet? Get on it NOW! Sign up here

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: The Gray Wolf Throne, Seven Realms #3 by Cinda Williams Chima

The Gray Wolf Throne, Seven Realms #3 by Cinda Williams Chima 
Release Date:  August 30, 2011
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Source: Library  
Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.
Review: 
When I began this book, I decided that I would take my time reading the pages as I would only have one more book in the world after I finished The Gray Wolf Throne. But that, my dear friends, was not the case as I was sucked in once again to the world created by Cinda Williams Chima.  I began and ended this book in less than two days. Two days, might I tell you, where I didn't really know what to do with myself.

There's something about the characterization of both Han Alister and Raisa ana'Marianna that baffles me: I don't know how Chima does it but they seem so real. Yeah, sure, you could argue that they're not real and I would tell you that "YES OF COURSE THEY'RE NOT REAL. I WANT TO KNOW WHY THE HECK NOT?!" Han and Raisa are so different yet so alike and I had so many moments of swoon and OH MY GOSH JUST KISS. They've both been through so much and all I wanted was for them to have some peace of mind. Of course Cinda Williams Chima wasn't having any of that. Even though Han and Raisa continued to be strong people, cracks began to show and in sudden bursts, you realize not only how young they are but how human they are too.
How I was feeling throughout this book
I can't say anything about the plot without giving it away but it all worked so well that I began the fourth (AND FINAL BOOK IN THE SERIES WHAT?!) as soon I turned the last page of this book because I had to know WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. But this series has everything and anything (except dragons, sadly) you could want from not only a fantasy but from any book. The twists and turns and surprises and supporting characters and just everything.

Recommendation:
LYLAS
I love this book like it was family. I know, in case of a fire, I'd save this book. It’s amazing, stunning, and mind blowing. I would re-read this book lots and lots of times. It might even be a favorite. I would recommend this book to EVERYONE, EVER.

This book was so good that I don't have words to describe it. A roller coaster ride with plenty of surprises, The Gray Wolf Throne was everything I could have hoped for and then some. The book set up the final book in the series perfectly! 
Cover Comments: 
I LOVE these covers. They match the books so well and I love how they all match but are different each time. Basically, wonderful, wonderful covers! 

**Gif 1: Source

Monday, October 27, 2014

NA Review: Boomerang (Boomerang #1) by Noelle August

Boomerang, Boomerang #1 by Noelle August
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: HarperAudio
Source: Bought
The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?
Review: 
There's something about New Adult books that makes me..weary. I haven't really liked many of the NA books I've read. There's something about them that just doesn't work for me. I was hesitant to read Boomerang because there was nothing interesting sounding about it. But of course after all of the hype on Twitter and all the blogs I followed loved this book, I knew I just had to read it. So when it came on sale, I grabbed it and began reading. I needed up reading the book in about one day!

One of my absolute favorite aspects of this book was the sex positivity! Mia had sex and one night stands and talked about sex with her friends and...nothing. There was no shame or ridicule found within the pages of this book. People didn't call Mia a slut but rather ignored her sex life altogether. Like, it's normal for a girl to have sex and be in control of her body and her actions so that's always a win-win in my book!
Source 
But there's something about Boomerang that isn't anything new. You hasn't seen or heard of this kind of plot coming. I know there are some movies with this plot like (the ones coming to mind are Indian movies which I don't think any of you guys watch) but I can't help but think of some books too. So, no, the plot isn't all too original but it doesn't take much away from the book. I would, however, love to see a book where the two people don't fall in love (scandalous I know).

Overall, I enjoyed Boomerang a lot. While it's refreshing to see that there wasn't any angst and that both characters felt real and not cliched, the familiarity of the plot was a set back. I wish something...else had happened to add more of a WOAH factor but I was still satisfied with the end result. 
Recommendation:
I liked this book. I would have loved this this book but it's missing a few things. I would re-read this book if I wanted something good to read. I would recommend it to some people but with reservations. 

This book was funny and it let me happy and I want a Ethan and just all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings. I might re-read it if I was in the mood but it's not too far away from being a one time read. I think people should read this book for sure because it's great for a slow day when you need something light and fun. 
Cover Comments: 
What is up with this cover?! Why the crotch shots? I just don't understand why anyone thought it would be okay....

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Dollar

          Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Dollar  
Release Date: September 24, 2013 
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's 
Source: Publisher via NetGalley 
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
Review: 
Trish Doller’s debut Something Like Normal was a big hit when it was released. Everyone loved it but when I read it, I wasn’t as impressed. It was a good book; it just wasn’t the best book. I decided that I still wanted to read whatever else Trish Doller wrote next because she was a good writer. Where the Stars Still Shine, her sophomore novel, has once again been a hit with many people. For me, though, it wasn’t the most impressive book. I liked this book but certain issues bothered me. I will say this: everyone will like a book in a different way. Not everyone will love every book and these are not honest opinions.

Callie was a protagonist I both cared for and was annoyed with. Since she was taken away from her family by her mother from a young age and molested by her mother’s boyfriend. She isn’t used to being around loving family members and has always seen sex as something that was harmful and an act that she could find no pleasure in. I sympathized with Callie during this book but I was often bothered by her actions. For one (and to clarify: I have never gone through what Callie has and I understand that everyone will react to certain situations in many different ways), the way she treated her father seemed...inconsiderate. She was often upset with her father because he didn’t understand that she was not used to having him around and that it was a new situation for her. My initial reaction was that it was different for her father and the other members of the family as well. Maybe this is too picky of me but this did not work for me.

Another aspect, something I would have liked if it had been done a little different, is rather personal and I know people will defend that it was done well. Callie’s growth and the way she handled sex were interesting. Callie had been molested and never truly found pleasure in sex. Until, that is, she comes to the small town and meets Alex Kostas. The first time they meet, she is attracted to him but nothing physically happens between them. I was excited to see how their relationship would progress until they meet again for the second time and they hook up. But they had sex and I was instantly put off. Now I have NOTHING against people have sex and hooking up. You do what you want to do but it was hard for me to care for their relationship. It was sweet and heartbreaking but in the end, it didn’t do anything for me. It wasn’t insta-love in the most common sense but it wasn’t anything I found myself rooting for.

The writing, like with her first novel, was my favorite aspect of Where the Stars Still Shine. It was beautiful and poignant. Even though I was not as impressed with Callie or the romance, I love the way she wrote about the Greek community in the small town in Florida (since reading the book, I have forgotten the name). I loved reading about their history and the sponge industry of the town. To be honest, I was not aware that finish sponges could allow for a living so that was an interesting fact to learn.

Overall, I enjoyed Where the Stars Still Shine but I was not in love with this novel. Certain aspect did not work for me as a reader even though I really wanted to love this book. The romance seemed too much like an insta-love and I wasn’t as impressed with the handling of the issue with sex. I’m not sure if I will read any more of Trish Dollar’s books but maybe it’s too early for me to judge. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.  
Recommendation:
I liked this book. I would have loved this this book but it's missing a few things. I would re-read this book if I wanted something good to read. I would recommend it to some people but with reservations.

In the end, I didn't love this book as much as I wanted to. There was just some aspects that did not work for me. I was highly disappointed that I didn't love this one but I still haven't given up on the author. If anything, this book allowed me to really re-think how I handle certain aspects of my life because I often find myself to not be as thankful for all of the wonderful experiences I've has the pleasure of being a part of. I think Trish Dollar has a lot to offer in the world of YA literature and I can't wait to read more!
Cover Comments: 
I actually love this cover. There's something so childlike about the girl dancing but thinking back to the book, I think that it fits really well. How many of have taken dancing fro granted?
 
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