Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Dream Thieves

My junior year of college has begun! I know I say it a lot, but time really does fly by. It's crazy to think that this time last year I was considering applying for my first internship, thinking up my next NaNo idea, and editing Balancing Act. I hadn't been accepted into either of my majors yet, and I hadn't even thought of getting a job in publishing. Well, one thing has stayed consistent, however. I have been reading whenever I get the chance. This week's choice was The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater.


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Everyone has secrets. Ronan's are just more dangerous than most. He can take things out of his dreams. But most of the time he has no control over what he brings out. Meanwhile, the ley line has awakened, but it keeps flickering in and out, taking Noah with it. Adam is having even more financial troubles now that he's left his abusive home. And something sinister is approaching the charming town of Henrietta. Gansey, Blue, Ronan, and Adam are not the only ones looking into the mysterious magic around Cabeswater, and the possibility of Glendower being buried nearby.

I cannot possibly fangirl more over Stiefvater's writing if I tried. I want to walk up to random people and shout "READ THIS" because honestly, the writing is so beautiful. I have never been one for poetry, but Stiefvater invokes the strongest imagery with unique turns of phrase. It reminds me of what poetry is supposed to do. I just...this book...this series...the characters. Oh, it's all so amazing. The story is sort of slow, but I did not care ONE BIT. Because every chapter delved a bit deeper into the quagmire surrounding Cabeswater and Glendower, and delved a bit more into the characters. Blue and Gansey take a backseat to Ronan and Adam in this book, and thus it is definitely a touch darker than The Raven Boys. Ronan is self loathing and Adam seems to slowly get angrier and more isolated and you just want to hug them both if you wouldn't get a punch in the throat. I am so glad I didn't read The Raven Boys until this summer because I couldn't have waited much longer for the sequel. And now I have to wait a year for the next one *sob*. If you pick up a book this day...this week...this year, let it be a Stiefvater novel.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, September 23, 2013

Crown of Midnight

Even though I've finished my summer reading project, I'm not done reading. Not by a long shot. I recently got a copy of Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, sequel to Throne of Glass, and I've been dying to burrow into it. Then I got the chance while resting in my dorm room.


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Celaena Sardothien has beaten the odds and become the King's Champion, the most deadly assassin in the realm of Adarlan, and maybe the world. Yet Celaena is not loyal to her king. She refuses to kill for him, and has been faking the deaths since her appointment. It's a deadly game that, if played poorly, could result in her death and the death of her closest friends. Meanwhile, strange forces are brewing. Magic, gone for ten years, has been trickling into the castle in sinister forms, but she can't figure out how. When Celaena is given a new mission, she must walk an even thinner line to find the answers to the strange things happening in the glass palace. And it just might make her choose who to fight for.

I absolutely loved Throne of Glass when I read it last year. The cover did not even begin to describe how awesome it was. A bad ass assassin competition with a soft love V and witty dialogue?  Sign me up any freaking day of the year. I love Celaena's voice, and the fact that she is a cowardly assassin. She does what is best for herself because she has a hard time making big choices. Even when it comes to the V, she doesn't force things or let herself become a Mary Sue to decide between the two. Oh, and these guys. Can we all just take a moment to swoon over them? Dorian, the crown prince who is easily convinced, smart, and a fool in love. He has his own problems in this book, and they could cost him his life. And Chaol, Captain of the Guard. He gets more depth in this book, with the reader seeing a softer side of him that nicely pairs with his practical voice. We discover more about why he is loyal to the crown, and why he hates his father. He's very swoon worthy. And then finally let us come to the story. I wish we could have learned more about the mechanics of Wyrdmarks, because they're so important, and I'm a huge nerd. There are a lot of plots going at once here: Celaena hiding the deaths of her marks, tracking down the new threat to the king, complications with her friendship with the princess Nehemia, strange occurrences of magic, a possible rebel uprising making strange claims about a lost princess, the Celaena/Chaol/Dorian V, Dorian's problems, Chaol's problems. There's a lot going on, and Maas manages to bounce between the many story lines quite smoothly. I am sooo looking forward to the next book.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Summer 2013 Reading Project

I did it! This summer I set out to read 31 books, and by using my lunch breaks, days off, recovery time from my surgery, and any free moment, I did it. I have yet to go to the eye doctor to see if my eyes have worsened because of all this reading, and I don't really want to know.


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This summers selection of books included the genres of romance, fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, contemporary, dystopian, and apocalyptic, with the scale leaning heavily on fantasy novels. If you've been a reader of this blog for a while, you'll know my love of fantasy. The book that really set me on the path to becoming a writer was Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. I picked it up for a plane ride and never looked back.

Here were my favorites from the summer with their accompanying genres. These are the books I would put on my staff recommendations shelf at Barnes and Noble if I worked there. Or would recommend to anyone who asked me about books.:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (fantasy), Insignia by S. J. Kincaid (sci-fi/dystopian), The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (fantasy), Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (fantasy), The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (fantasy), Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (fantasy).

Looking at that list of favorites now, I really am realizing how much fantasy I read and love. For instance, today I am starting The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, which is also a fantasy novel.

Anywho, you can find my reviews of these summer books by looking at my Review labels. They're fun to read, I swear.

Every year my reading slows down while I'm in school. These summer reading projects are a chance to keep up with all the amazing books coming out each year, as well as a way to immerse myself in stories which take me to other places. A castle where dragons pose as humans. A Roman camp of demigods. The Titanic. A broken world covered in ash.

If you can, pick up a book today. I swear it's worth it.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Bitter Kingdom

Well, I'm still recovering from my tonsillectomy. I've been so doped up on pain meds that I took a lot of naps, and my eyes couldn't focus on words for the first three days. I really hoped I'd get a lot of reading/work done during my recovery, but that didn't turn out to be the case. The upside? I still have five days till classes start, and I'm moved into my new home. I have free time galore for the next few days, and I'm already taking advantage of it. First on the list: finish my summer reading project. Which I actually did, this morning! I'll have a special post on it tomorrow, because today is about telling you about The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson.


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Elisa, Queen of Joya d'Arena, sorcerer, bearer of a godstone, is on a mission to free the man she loves from the country who has hated her people since they first appeared. Her country is on the brink of civil war, and she is being lured to the gate of darkness. She and her companions must travel into enemy territory to save Hector, and unwrap the secrets of the prophecy surrounding Elisa's godstone. The discoveries they make could unravel the world around them into chaos, or secure it with peace.

I like Carson's work. Reading her notes on the first book in this series, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she really wanted to present a good body image to girls. Elisa is beautiful, but she is not thin, and she has flaws. And she is smart, very smart. There is also the concept of loving more than one person, but in different ways, without it devolving into a love V. Elisa loved Humberto in the first book, even sort of loved her husband from her arranged marriage, and now she loves Hector. But the reader is not made to think her fickle or silly for this. It is different kinds of love, and love which she chooses for herself. I found it very refreshing. Even though the initial premise of this story is romance in saving Hector, most of the time it takes a back seat to Elisa's political scheming and getting through dangerous scrapes. I also liked this. The romance was not thrown in willy nilly because there seems to always be a romance these days. It was part of the story, but not the main part. Were parts of this book slow? Yes. Were there parts where I wondered why it had to be added? Yes. But honestly, I loved Elisa's character, which is loving and confused and always always searching for answers. Kudos, Carson.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Up Next: Crown of Midnight

Monday, September 16, 2013

Unfortunate Opportunity

Since Christmas Day of my junior year of high school I have had trouble with my tonsils. Whether it's tonsillitis, strep, or tonsil stones, I get it at least twice a year. It hasn't been a walk in the park. So finally I went to an ENT back in August and got a tonsillectomy scheduled. Which I got on Friday.  And so I've been in bed for almost four straight days now, eating all my food in liquid form and sleeping almost around the clock.

I thought that this week would be a great opportunity to get a lot of reading. Sort of an unfortunate opportunity, if that makes sense. Nope.

My eyes are so tired, my body is so tired, my mind is so tired all the time.

Oh well, I swear I will be reading soon. I just wanted to check in and let you guys know I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. I just haven't been on my computer much lately. Hope your week is going better than mine!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Endlessly

Alright, I actually finished this book several days ago, but I have been rather busy and haven't had a chance to review it. I read Paranormalcy by Kiersten White last summer, and followed it up with Supernaturally soon after. I also purchased a copy of Mind Games this year and had it signed by the lovely lady herself. So it's safe to say I'm a Kiersten White fan. I follow her blog and twitter (seriously, she's a hilarious person), and would be more than happy to go to another book signing. But I still waited for Endlessly to come out in paperback.


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Normal is a thing of the past for Evie. She's working at the paranormal diner, trying to decide which college to go to, and figure out that whole I-barely-have-a-soul-and-can-suck-souls-out-of-others thing. Then every bleeping thing hits the fan. The paranormals swear she's the only one who can save them from some unknown fate. She's got the Unseelie queen of the fairies gunning for her, and IPCA is back in Evie's life with a new aggressive supervisor who so doesn't understand Evie's stance on fairies. At least Evie has her boyfriend Lend and vampire bestie Arianna. Otherwise she might just curl up on the color samples for her prom dress and cry.

Oh, Evie's voice. It's so fun. She points out the irony of her own situations, but can also have internal narrative about whether doing the right thing for the wrong people is still a right thing. She is also a bad ass with her rhinestone Taser. My one peeve with this book? It didn't really need to be marketed as a paranormal romance. Yes, there is romance, but it was established in book one who Evie was going to be with. Lend was really his own character in this book. Their love wasn't really in contention. Yes, there were dangerous situations about whether they would live long enough to still be together, but honestly I think it was more about who wanted to kill Evie more. I am really excited to read The Chaos of Stars at some point.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Up Next: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Friday, September 6, 2013

Preparation

This last week has been crazy. I finished up at my day job, and had to pack my life up again to move back home. Of course, this is just a place I'll stay for three weeks before packing up *again* and moving to school to start my junior year. So, as you can probably guess, I'm rather tuckered out. The last few days at home have been spent sleeping, baking delicious things, and watching bloopers on my favorite television shows. I've also started going through the annual process of cleaning out my room. Not that I'm a messy person (quite the opposite), but every year I go through practically everything I own and get rid of things I will never use/wear again.

This year I also have to get another bookcase. That's right, I finally ran out of room. The case I have in my room was completely double stacked, no room for other books. This not being safe, I decided it was time to invest in another case. So about 150 books are now sitting in my room, awaiting a new home.

I have gotten very little else done. I have a book to edit for work, and submissions to assess as usual. But in terms of my own writing and reading, I look like a snail. I'm 100 pages in to Endlessly by Kiersten White, and I'm staring at The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson, really wanted to read it. But I have zero energy.

Hope ya'll are having a great first week of September!