Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Masque

That's it, I'm done! I'm done with college. It's the weirdest feeling, let me tell you. Every morning for the past six months, and at most times over the last 3.5 years, I've woken up knowing I had to do something school related. And now...it's gone. I don't have to think about buying books or doing homework and working through massive amounts of reading and papers. I'm done. No more early morning registrations or dead weeks or finals weeks or spring breaks. I haven't settled on where I'm going next, but I'm waiting to hear back from grad schools.

But no matter what, I have a couple school-free months ahead of me. And you know what I'm going to do? Write. For fun. And I already know what I'm going to write.

I'm in the process of doing research for Spiral, the third book in my set of companion novels including Balancing Act and Saddle Sore, and that research won't be done for weeks. I'm getting up close and personal to ice skating rinks! It's super fun.

While my research is ongoing, I'll be working on a novel(la) (haven't picked which, so I'll just see where the words take me) that in some ways has been stewing in the back of my brain for a while. You see, I love masks. I love how elaborate they are, and how the reveal things about the people underneath while also concealing them. I've pinned dozens of them on Pinterest. But I haven't had the right story yet. Now I do (don't you just love random inspiration?).

It's a cinderella re-telling, but cinderella is disguised as a boy and apprenticed to a mask maker who's been commissioned to make all the masks for the royal family's Midwinter Ball. It's super fun, and I get to learn about mask making and describe pretty dresses and a swoony prince. It's going to be a fun, lighthearted book, which is exactly what I need right now. There's going to be romance and dancing and kisses and stuff that makes me happy. Spiral is going to cut me in several ways when I am ready to write it. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sorceress

It has literally been a month since I read a book. A month. That is too fracking long. You know why it's been a month since I read a book? School. School is nutso. I've been so busy reading and writing and going to class and crashing while watching Netflix because I'm so tired that I haven't had the energy to read for fun. But yesterday I decided that enough was enough. The stack of books that I desperately wanted to read was now 3 high, and that I could not abide. (Other two books with reviews hopefully coming soon are Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman and Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi). So I took the night off from work and read Sorceress by Claudia Gray. This is the final installment in the Spellcaster trilogy, so beware of mild spoilers.

Nadia has sworn herself to the One Beneath in order to save her family and friends and Mateo and hopefully find out how to stop Elizabeth from destroying the world. But as she practices dark magic, it begins to change her into someone she doesn't recognize. Captive's Sound is falling apart, rain washing out the roads, flooding buildings, and making the citizens of the city suspicious that this might not be a natural event. Verlaine meanwhile is suffering. No one can see her or truly love her thanks to Elizabeth. No one except Asa. But he's a demon slave to Elizabeth and the One Beneath who must help bring about the end of the world...so there's that. The final battle is approaching, and magic is doing its best to break Mateo, Verlaine, and Nadia apart.


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Retrieved from Goodreads
Hm, what to say about this book. You know it's funny, I've actually read quite a few of Gray's books. These three, plus two from her Evernight series so far, plus the paranormal book about the Titanic that I can't remember the name of right now. And of all the books, these have been my favorite. I love the notion of magic being fueled by memories, and how a witch's spell book becomes an almost sentient thing as it grows with the witch. And honestly I really enjoyed this book. The writing was smooth and fast-paced with lots of modern touches that are nice to see. And there were references to Doctor Who and Night Vale, so I loved that. To be honest though, it wasn't Nadia and Mateo who really grabbed me in this story. They had so much going on that I didn't get to delve into their characters as much. But Verlaine? Oh my god I loved Verlaine. From her voice to how she dresses to her hair to Asa to how her ability to be loved has been stolen? Man, if I could get a spinoff of her doing investigative journalism and discovering magic things, I would gobble it up in a heartbeat. I felt so bad for her, and so impressed at how she kept her spirits up despite not being able to be loved by anyone by Asa and her dads. And I wanted her clothes. And Smuckers, her cat. Love Verlaine. My biggest peeve with this book was part of the ending. It just seemed too...easy. I smiled at the last chapter, and the climax was nicely done...I just didn't expect the One Beneath to be beaten that easily. It felt like it could have used another five pages. All in all, a very enjoyable read!

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Monday, March 9, 2015

Checking In

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted! I have been so busy preparing for the end of my college career, I haven't been able to read for pleasure in a while. This stinks pretty badly because I have two amazing books sitting on my nightstand: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi and Sorceress by Claudia Gray. I've been wanting to read both of them for weeks, but the projects and the class readings got piled on.

I do have a bit of good news to share with you though! 1) I'm almost done with my undergraduate career. It's crazy it's gone by this fast. It feels like last week when I was unloading my boxes in my first dorm room. 2) I've been accepted into grad school! I'm still waiting to hear back from some other places, but I got one of my top choices. This is very exciting. I'm planning my first steps outside the undergraduate world.

Anyway, just thought I'd update you. I should have a review or something for you guys in a week or so. Have a lovely day!