"We moved about, slyphlike, portraying the restive dead"

Title: Gilt
Author: Katherine Longshore
Release Date: May 15th, 2012
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
Pages: 398
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: I love the font but i'm not crazy about the cover.
Quote Choice: This scene was beautifully written!
Source: Gifted
Goodreads: Link

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free—and love comes at the highest price of all.
When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men—the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.

Longshore sure knows how to take your heart and break it and then mend it and then break it and then give you a little bit of hope in the end. So on that note, let's dive into this review!

I love historical fiction and this is no secret. Some of my favorite books include things such as Between Shades of Gray, Revolution, Vixen, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, etc. So it's only natural that I was dying for this book. I simply think there aren't enough YA books about the Tudors; probably because all of his wives were older in terms that they weren't in there teen years. The exception of course, was Catherine Howard. Oh, Cat. How I want to smack your pretty little face.

So going into this book, I didn't except it to be in someone's else point of view. But we are taken into this world by Catherine's best friend Kitty who views it with this child-like wonder and innocence that was severely lacking in court. I thought I was going to get to see a softer side to Cat that isn't shown well...anywhere because she has quite the reputation in history for being mean and obnoxious. And oh, history is not wrong. Although there were scenes were I felt genuine sympathy for her, most of the time she was just a spoiled brat who take advantage of Kitty's devotion to her and manipulated everyone to play her games and get her way. But this didn't take away from the book at all. Instead, it accentuated everything I loved in Kitty: her loyalty even to people who had wronged her, her determination, and her love. She was a fantastic heroine even if I wanted to shake her for still listening to Cat.

The plot in itself is naturally interesting to me as a history nerd but seriously, who wouldn't be interested? Court life during the Tudors years was like a high school full of secret affairs and gossip (except with more beheading). The writing has the elegant style of historical fiction without all the stuffy and overwrought purple-prose.

And of course I have to mention the romance because seriously, I'm me! Oh, my heart, guys. Kitty meets her boy very early on in the book and watching the rise and fall of their relationship sync with the rise and fall of Cat's marriage and ultimate end was so heart-breaking for me. It was so frustrating seeing Kitty make the wrong decisions because of her unwavering loyalty but Longshore does give us some hope in the end.

Overall, loved it!
Happy Reading!


someecards.com - Cat wins WORST FRIEND OF THE CENTURY AWARD.


Food For Thought: Second-Book Syndrome (5)

So I've mentioned Second-Book Syndrome before in passing but I don't think I've ever actually talked extensively about it!

Second-Book Syndrome is a disorder common in mid-series titles (mostly in trilogies and the like) and one of the biggest signs of SBS is THE DREADED MYSTERY BOY.

Who is the dreaded mystery boy, you ask? That's the boy who just waltzes in to the story to serve no purpose except to shake up the romance and provide (most of the time) cheap conflict THAT FRUSTRATES ME! I don't understand the purpose of bringing in some random guy to get in the way of my FABULOUS COUPLE and break everyone's heart. Of course, there's always amazing exceptions that blow you away and all of a sudden you're in love with this new person and he serves an actual purpose to what's going on.

But most of the time? I want to pull my hair out.

This is how it goes down:

Love interest comes in all handsome-like. Probably a Mysterious Loner Guy or THE ENEMY.
And then this ends up happening. 
And this is what they expect me to do.
But this is me instead. 

An amazing book that provides conflict between the two love interests without resorting to bringing in a second love interest:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This book does this SO WELL. Tris and Four really evolve as a couple and your heart gets broken and then mended but not because some guy waltzes in to try to mess everything up.

What are some other amazing second-books that don't do this? Do you think that this is a good plot device? And oh, oh, can you think of any books that do this well?

Happy Reading!


"Oh. That's right, these are the flavored ones."

Title: Purity
Author: Jackson Pearce
Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 218
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: It's cute! And simple. I like cute and simple.  
Quote Choice: This scene. I loved this scene.
Source: For Review
Goodreads: Link

A novel about love, loss, and sex -- but not necessarily in that order.
Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

So I've mentioned before that Jackson Pearce's book are usually a hit or miss for me and sadly, this time, it was...sort of both? Maybe? I think more of a miss but let's get my thoughts together.

The book surrounds a girl named Shelby who made three promises to her mother before she died: to love and listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restiant. I imagine that because she was a child when she made these promises and unaware at the moment of making them that it was going to be the last time she saw her mother, she was traumatized into following them...extremely. So when her father decides they should attend the Purity ball which includes vowing to her father to remain a virgin until marriage, she decides the only loophole is to lose her virginity before the ball. I think this whole plot line was my major problem with the story: I just seemed crazy for me for Shelby to take the promises to the extreme she does. She follows her father's rules so exactly that she doesn't try to reason with him or talk to him. Instead, she just skirts around the issue and goes whatever he says, even if she doesn't want to. I don't think her mother meant to do that and even though Shelby realizes this, I wanted to shake her and just be like: DUH!

But at the same time, I've never experienced something as awful as what happened to Shelby so I don't know how I would react in that position. Shelby was a good character overall: funny and sweet and incredibly loyal, even at a fault. The side characters Ruby and Jonas were my favorite parts about the book and it was lovely seeing them. Ruby was sassy and charming while Jonas  was just so adorable with his list-making and loyalty to Shelby. Also, Pearce knows how to write delightfully awkward and funny scenes. Her writing style is simple and easy to follow while still managing an authentic teenage voice.

The romance isn't the focal point of the novel as it is with most of Pearce's work. It wasn't about Shelby realizing who she wanted in the first place but about Shelby learning that she has to talk to her father and honor her mother's memory the right way instead of doing crazy things. On the other hand, I loved her bucket list. In the end, I ended up skimming the end and just reading the final chapter because I didn't feel like reading the big revelation where she realizes her mom didn't mean what she thought she had meant because I was just like: DUDE, of course she didn't.

Overall, a book that people will enjoy but the plot just didn't work for me.
Happy Reading!


someecards.com - Cheers to the awkward condom scene in the grocery store.


YA Books and Cursing: There Are No Asterisks in Real Life

So I was roaming around the lovely Forever Young Adult blog (which seriously guys, is my favorite blog. Go there!) and I saw their post on this article by Brigham Young University about a study on how much cursing there is in Teen Books. These kinds of issues always give me pause because as a teenager, I probably hear an average of...what, 100 or more curse words a day? Walking down the hallway, in class, hell, even from myself (i'm a bit of a potty mouth, to be honest, but i'm working on it).

So instead I want to dissect this article and talk about it because I feel like this is something that is discussed a ton by teachers and parents and authority figures as if I have no idea what the word 'shit' means.

Bestselling authors of teen literature portray their more foul-mouthed characters as rich, attractive and popular, a new study finds.

Books about popular girls? What? Where? I can probably count the number of books I've read where the main character is rich, finds themselves attractive, and popular on..two hands? Maybe even one.

Coyne was intrigued not just by how much swearing happens in teen lit, but who was swearing: Those with higher social status, better looks and more money.
“From a social learning standpoint, this is really important because adolescents are more likely to imitate media characters portrayed in positive, desirable ways,” Coyne said.

I can't really speak for anyone but the reason I curse is because 'frick' is not going to express how i'm feeling at the moment whether it be anger, exasperation, or happiness. I don't really think there's people out there who curse because they think they'll be more popular and look better because of it but you know, I don't know everyone in the world. I do, however, know the people in my High School and this just doesn't make any sense.

I think when it comes to the "dark material" in YA, there are always going to be people who have a problem with whether it be drinking, partying, doing drugs, or anything like that. I've had people comment on reviews of books that I liked saying they didn't like that the character had some drinks at a party. I personally think it's a bit silly: I may not drink but I know plenty, plenty of people who do when they're in a party setting. And yes, I do know people who have had bad consequences from it (I happen to know someone who got alcohol poisoning) but I really doubt it was because of a book they read. In fact, I think it's much more plausible that it was their friends offering them something and not wanting to look like a lightweight. That, I can understand.

“Unlike almost every other type of media, there are no content warnings or any indication if there is extremely high levels of profanity in adolescent novels,” Coyne said. “Parents should talk with their children about the books they are reading.”

This, I actually do agree with. I don't talk to my mom about what I read much but I know that she trusts me enough to know what I am or am not ready for. And while we don't have lengthy discussions about the things I watch (but considering I watch Games of Thrones with her, she knows I know what sex is), I think it's good for teens to go to their parents and talk about things. It's better for a parent to let their kid read what they want and have a discussion about it then force the kid to go behind their back.

But what do you guys think?
Do any of you have kids? Do you let them pick out what they want?
Happy Reading!


Book Theme Songs (1)

So since I listen to music (duh), I decided I'd try to do this! I'm not very good at picking songs for books but HEY, the only thing better than watching someone be good at something is watching someone be bad at something? Maybe? YAY.

It may not be the lyrics, it might be the mood of the song or anything like that! So here we go!

disclaimer: most of these will possibly be Florence and the Machine because I just finished buying the whole album and hejsgbdjthnjtd, jesus. Love.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama - Leave My Body by Florence and the Machine

I'm gonna leave my body
moving up to higher ground
i'm gonna lose my mind
history keeps pulling me down

If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman - Never Let Me Go by Florence And The Machine

No need to pray, no need to speak
now I am under
and it's breaking over me
a thousand down to the sea bed
found a place to rest my head
never let me go.

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin - Black Dog by Kelli Schaefer 

I can't bury the black dog
mortuary singing 'til the sun comes up
you ain't getting a hold of me.
bones bleeding if bones would bleed
soaring, seething
all in harmony.

and this is kind of cheating, because it's the song used in the book trailer, but I can't listen to this without nearly wanting to burst into tears a little bit:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green - Permafrost by Laurana 

sometimes I feel like i'm permafrost
alone in the tundra, i'm really lost
and to think this is how I feel
like the ground is melting and nothing is real

What do you think? Good choices?
Can you think of any songs that go with these books? Different books?
Do you want me to do another one of these? Happy Reading!


"Emma, you threw my sister through hurricane-proof glass.”

Title: Of Poseidon
Author: Anna Banks
Release Date: May 22nd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 324
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: I don't have any particular feelings towards it but I like the font. 
Quote Choice: As you will see, THIS SCENE AFFECTED ME.
Source: For Review
Goodreads: Link

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.

So yesterday I talked about a mermaid book I loved and today I'm going to talk about a mermaid book I...well, didn't love. You guys know how it does; list time!

1. Characters. Characters. Characters. It's such an important thing for me so when I don't like the characters, a book is mostly ruined for me. And I didn't like the characters in Of Poseidon at all. Emma frustrated me so much. Galen would tell her not to go into the water because something was trying to kill her and she's like: He can't tell me what to do; i'm going in anyway. I understand being your own person and not listening to what other people say but dude. Someone was trying to kill you. Plus, once they became like a couple, serious problems.

2. Galen. Oh, Galen. I know, you tried, you really did. And I wanted to like you! But if I had to hear your BS about how "everyone should listen to you because you're prince of the ocean", i'm going to pull my hair out. Guys, he was so overprotective you don't even understand. I think it's sweet when a guy will go to great lengths to keep his girl safe but for the sake of example, let's mention something that happened in the book that isn't very spoilery: Emma goes on a date with some other guy, right? Galen sends her DOZENS of texts and calls and she doesn't answer because dude, she's on a date. So he goes after her (she's an hour away, guys) and demands she come back with him. And threatens the guy she's on a date with because the guy is saying he can't boss her around like that. That's right, Galen! You can't do that! That's for stalkers and super creepy and scary!

3. I really wanted some more world-building with this book but we don't get much of a look into the two kingdoms or anything like that. All we know is that there are two kingdoms and Galen's brother is the King and everything is in chaos because the second kingdom doesn't have an heir. The idea itself was interesting but I really wanted to see it more fleshed out. Maybe book two? Who knows.

4. Can we talk. About how much. I don't like Galen's sister? Rayna was such a, pardon my french, bitch. I really couldn't find anything redeeming about her at all and when Emma threw glass, I was cheering her on (well, not really, because in that scene I was mostly like WHAT IS GOING ON?) She was an awful person to Toraf and then got mad when he started pulling away from her and I just don't understand why she was so awful. I mean, guys, she said so many downright evil things to Emma and treated Toraf like some toy and just...gah. I understand where Banks was trying to make her into this really feisty, blunt heroine but I just could not bring myself to like her.

5. On the bright side, I warmed up to Toraf as the novel progressed (I wasn't cool with the whole non-consent thing with Rayna, but he was funny). And can we please write a story about Rachel? Rachel has this awesome interesting past that's mentioned in the book and it sounds amazing! Plus she's hilarious!

Good Reviews:
Katie's Book Blog
Between The Pages

Happy Reading!


someecards.com - Wise Words From Galen: Never break up a cat-fight. Ever.


"Remember me as you pass by, As You are now so once was I; As I am now so you must be."

Title: Monstrous Beauty
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Pages: 304
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: Love, love, love. Captures the literary and dark essence of the novel. LOVE.
Source: For Review
Goodreads: Link
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.
Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
Finally! If you follow me on twitter, you know about my quest to find a mermaid book that I actually liked and I have finally found the right now! Dangerous, dark, and sensual, Monstrous Beauty is not for the light-hearted but for lovers of amazing plot and prose!

Fama is the kind of author that messes with your head with her intricate plots and story-telling. The book is told in two different perspectives: Hester, who is living in the now and is convinced her family is cursed because every generation of woman have died shortly after giving birth and Syrenka, who is living in 1873, a seductive mermaid who falls in love with a man and everything she has to go through to be happy with him.

This book is not light and fluffy, guys. Mermaids in this novel do super creepy stuff like eat organs to become human, crawl inside bodies, drown people, and all that terrifying stuff we love to read about. The novel isn't scary but the mermaid world is intense and chilling. Out of the two storylines, I have to say I connected the most to Syrenka. The formal writing style suits her personality and her backstory a lot more than it does Hester. Where it made Syrenka someone to both pity and fear, it made Hester detached from the story-telling. But where this is lacking, everything is made up for in the plot. There's ghosts and mermaids and sea witches and god the mythology in this book.

The romance between Syrenka and her man definitely trumped Hester and her man. I think it was because you see actually get to see everything Syrenka gives up for this man, how much she wants to be human and get away from the ocean, that you just believe their story even if the book skips their entire process of falling in love. Hester's story (both personal and love story) are revealed as the novel goes by in bits and pieces and you will be gasping by the time you reach the climax.

Fama is not afraid to bring on the deep, soulless despair that shows starkly in her writing style for both characters. Characters like Peter were endearing even if they barely appear and Ezra was charming and aloof all at once.

Overall, a bittersweet and desperate love story that i'm totally not doing justice.
Happy Reading!

And now my new feature on Book Reviews!

someecards.com - Nothing fancier than reading a book that includes mermaids needing to eat organs to be human.


Food For Thought: To Keep Going or Not To Keep Going? That is the question (4)

I really have conflicting emotions when I'm reading books because when I open a book up, I don't exactly expect to be wowed by the first chapter. I mean, you got to ease into things, right? Give some back-story, some character introduction, but I do expect to like it. I've even had moments of:


So here's my dilemma: I was just reading this book and I got through chapter one and i'm not even sure if i'm going to keep going. It's got this plot perfectly set up for a super cliched paranormal romance (girl who doesn't know she's pretty and super reserved and shy; bad boy playboy rebel drummer type with a british accent; girl with powers that she thinks are just totally normal but really she's an angel or something) and that already turns me off. I have a lot of books and I feel like I can't be wasting time reading books I know i'm not going to like.


what if this book is different from all the others and I just need to give it a chance? What if it's going to wow me but I'll never know because I didn't read past the first chapter? These are the questions that haunt me at night, guys. 

So I want to ask you guys a question: how much time do you usually give a book before you considering putting it down? I give it 100 pages but with something like this, i'm not sure I want to spend that amount of time reading it. What do you think? Have you ever stopped reading a book because of something like what happened to me? Another reason?
Happy Reading!


"It was official: my life belonged on the CW."

Title: Hemlock
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Release Date: May 8st, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books (Harper)
Pages: 400
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: Typical but I actually really like it! Especially the plants around the title. 
Quote Choice: I. Love. This. Line. So. Much.
Source: For Review
Goodreads: Link

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.
Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

So originally when this book had been pitched to me, I thought it was a dystopian. But it's not! Instead, it's an alternate universe where lupine syndrome is running rampant across America and this small town is getting more and more attacks by the week. And can I just say: THIS BOOK WAS KICK-ASS.

So most of the public doesn't like werewolves and this might be my favorite werewolf novel because people are afraid. Most people aren't fans of werewolves while others think it's only some that are evil while the others should be allowed to live their lives. There is this crazy extremist group that kills werewolves that comes into town and just makes the stakes so much higher and I love all the themes that went into the creation of the plot. Also: I loved Mac. She was funny and smart while still managing to be a relatable teenager in her inability to see what's right in front of her in a way that is not annoying, but endearing.

Peacock definitely knows how to write a mystery, that's for sure. You were constantly wondering: who was a wolf? who was the wolf? who can she trust? SO MANY THEORIES! She knows how to lay on the suspense and throw something crazy and amazing out of left-field, which I always admire in a writer.

Can I stay say the love triangle in this book is killer? Except it's not...really a love triangle in her point of view. There's two guys who like the same girl but that girl doesn't nessescarily like one of them back (this might change in the sequel but not in this first book). Jason was a hot mess, guys, but we all know we're softies for those at heart. He's been through a really hard time in his life, especially since most people blame him for Amy's death since they had just argued right before he was attacked but he was really just horribly angry at the world and started taking it out on other people. And KYLE! Eep, I loved him. He and Mac were steamy yet sweet and I love that they were a friendship that blossomed into something more. Plus the angst was well-done and not...over-done, which is something that is important to me.

Overall, I really recommend it!
Happy Reading!

Bout of Books Goal Post

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

OH MY GOD, first time doing a readathon in forever. Why? Because I'm not good at them! But I figured: a week long one? With finals and AP exams already over? Challenge accepted! I have to post up a goals list so...here it is!

What is Bout of Books you ask? 
(from the website)

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon was created by Amanda @ On a Book Bender on a complete whim in August 2011.  It took on a life of its own and was such a hit that Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a somewhat regular occurrence.  There are no set dates for Bout of Books; rather, Amanda tries to work with Bout of Books participants to determine the best dates for them.
However, there are a few things about Bout of Books that will always stay the same.
  • It is a week-long read-a-thon, usually from 12:01am on a Monday through 11:59pm on a Sunday in whatever time zone you are in.
  • Bout of Books is low pressure, meaning participants are only asked to push themselves to read more than they normally would during any given week.  There is no competition between readers.
  • How much time a reader wants, and can commit, to read, tweet, or network with fellow bloggers is left to individual preference.  All challenges and giveaways are optional.
  • Networking with fellow bloggers is actively encouraged, though never required.  Co-hosts are there to facilitate blog hopping and interaction between participants.
  • Use Twitter to post updates throughout the read-a-thon.  Everyone will be tweeting with the #boutofbooks hashtag.

  • Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
  • Purity by Jackson Pearce
  • Re-read Daughter of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Awake At Dawn by C.C Hunter
  • Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
  • Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender
  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
  • Last Rite by Lisa Desrochers
So you want to join me? Go to the website linked above and fill in the form! So excited!
Happy Reading!


The Vampire Diaries: The Departed? Let's Talk About It!

So lately I've been in kind of a blogging rut mostly because I feel like I'm in this continuous loop of boring on the blog lately and I kind of want to branch out and make this website more...interactive, you know? If i'm making any sense! Anyway!

So as you guys know, i'm a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries and the season finale was yesterday! And all my friend watch it but I really want to talk to you guys, the ones who watch it, about what you think about the episode so I decided to post this here and we can talk in the comments. 

Click "Read More" but please note: this is obviously not spoiler-free so tread wisely!


"I live Down Below." "What, like you're from Hell?"

Title: Wrecked
Author: Anna Davies
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Simon And Schuster 
Pages: 321
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: Sexy cover, I like the font!
Quote Choice: I like this scene because I started cracking up at that line.
Source: For Review
Goodreads: Link

Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this.
Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.
But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.

So I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book and usually the only way for me to pick apart my feelings are to write my reviews all from-the-seat-of-my-pants-like, so let's do this!

1) I feel like Miranda was a really flat character for me personally. She's had this awful thing happen to her and I understood her at the beginning. She was grieving and mourning and she seemed like this really angry and interesting character who was going to grow. And then she meets Christian and it's like...she becomes a different person. I didn't connect to either of them but it's not like I hated either of them, so you see the thing.

1.5) Can I also point out I wanted Miranda TO SLAP SOME PEOPLE? Seriously, there is not one person in the novel (besides Christian, obviously) who isn't a total asshole to her. The friends that survived were so freaking awful to her as if HEY, she didn't lose some best friends and a boyfriend on that boat as well. What in the world? I understand that she was driving it but those people were on the boat! They saw it happen! And they shunned her and made her feel awful and she just took it. And then her grandmother forcing her to go to the hospital to see her boyfriend whose in a coma and I just wanted her to yell at everyone and tell them off.

2) Christian was well is not a very developed character. He's the type of love interest whose entire existence in the novel is completely tied around the heroine's which creates a very one-dimensional character with a very weak backstory. When Christian is introduced, we learn some very vague things that his existence and this truce between the land and the ocean and really, I just couldn't connect with him at all. He felt more like a plot device than a person, which doesn't make for a good character or love interest.

3) Can we talk about the instalove in this book? Christian saves Miranda from the boat incident and he is instantly attracted to her/the most beautiful thing he's ever seen/he wants to get to know her because he dragged her to the shore. I understand being curious: you've never seen a human before, you saved her life, you want to talk to her. But then you get to Miranda and i'm glad of her initial reaction to seeing Christian just in the water (it was RUN) but after that? There is hardly any character development between the two besides swimming together and one story-time from Miranda.

4) The writing was alright -- descriptive without being overwrought, simple without being boring. But I won't lie by saying that I didn't start skimming after page 250.

SO sadly, wasn't for me! But I've had some friends that are reading it/read it that liked it so there you go!
Happy Reading!


Wrecked by Anna Davies Giveaway!

So I have a book to giveaway today! My review will be up tomorrow and i'm really excited to be giving this away so many thank yous to the lovely people over at Simon and Schuster. 

Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this.

Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.

But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!


Book Hauling It Up { 67 }

Disclaimer in Previous Post

For Review:
Destined by Aprilynne Pike

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Swag, Swag, Swag!


Food For Thought: Next Big Thing? (3)

So someone recently asked me to talk about "The Next Big Thing" that I thought was going to be going down in the industry (trend-wise and all of that good stuff.)

Before we can go analyzing trends, we have to look at the trends that are going on right now:
1) Dystopians -- obviously. Ever since books like The Hunger Games came out, it's exploded!
2) Paranormal Romance -- while there's been a slight decline in the number of paranormal romances we've been getting, it's definitely still wrong!
3) Retellings -- I think with the fact that Disney hadn't put out a new movie in a while was making people all impatient to read more fairy tales. Who doesn't love a good fairy tale?!
4) Mermaid Books -- maybe this is just because I've received like three mermaid books in the past two months for review but seriously!

So how we can get into things I think are going to start getting a lot bigger in the future:
1) High Fantasy-ish Books -- I've been a trend starting to peek out of High Fantasy with some upcoming books like Defiance and Bitterblue finally releasing after a 4 year wait.
2) Sci-Fi's -- Not even kidding; it might be a while away, but i'm sensing it already.
3) Steampunk -- Ever since The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare released as well as Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld which is a much more formal streampunk, there have been stirrings (like Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear and some 2013 released that I've seen!)

Things I want to see happen but probably won't so let me sulk in my corner:


1) Hard-core High Fantasy -- I think the problem with books like these is that they're usually really long and most people don't want to read huge tomes with lots of character names and places to remember BUT I DO. A LOT.
2) Historicals -- Please? Pretty please? Gilt released though, so at least we have that to love!
3) Historically-Inspired High Fantasy -- Maybe it's just my love of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo but....please?
4) Historicals With Added Crazy Crap -- titanic with werewolves a la Fateful, anyone? I would LOVE some more of that!
5) A Spin-Off about Katsa and Po's adventures -- What? What said that? Me? (I just finished re-reading Bitterblue SO YEAH.)

I'm kind of super amused my wish-list is all high-fantasy and historical!
So what do you think is going to be the next big thing?
Happy Reading!


"Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me.”

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin 
Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: The font is so awesome! And the colors! Gah!
Source: Gifted
Goodreads: Link

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

There are a lot of words I could use to describe Masque of the Red Death so let's go ahead and use a few: Dark. Sensual. Gritty. Harsh. Gothic. Awesome.

The world-building and mood were basically my favorite parts of the novel. Araby lives in this dystopian world where it's dangerous to breathe in the air because it's riddled with disease so the only people that can survive are the people wealthy enough to buy masks to protect themselves (if not, you have to risk it for as long as you can). And guys, this isn't a joke. The streets are filled with people showing early signs and bats going around transmitted the disease and everyone is basically freaking out. But Araby, being the rich, grieving girl she is, is trying her best to lose herself at the Debauchery club after the death of her brother (which, of course, she thinks was her fault.)

Araby is the kind of character that I love watching grow: she's so wrapped in her priviledge (her father is the inventor of masks, so she's filthy rich) and mourning that she isn't even aware of what's going on in the real world until it's shoved right in her face when she meets Will. You slowly see her start to open her shell and care about other people, which I appreciated.

The writing in itself is fantastic: not too flowery but just enough to really convey the feel of such a harsh situation. I like how she captured the craziness of The Prince, who rules over the city as a madman, and just the entire setting had a very eerie sense to it.

Something else she did very well was the love triangle. Now you know me, I'm not a usual fan of love triangles. But Griffin presents two contestants: Will and Elliot. Will is a kind of bouncer of the Debauchery club who is raising his two younger siblings by himself in the slums. He and Araby have a serious connection and I loved watching him help her see what was going on outside of her little bubble and realize just how much she could do (and yes, I am on the Will side of things.) And then there's Elliot, who I thought was charming in that sort of totally psychotic way (he's the one who says the quote in the post title, if that says anything) but both of them are two very plausible and possible options for Araby and I don't feel like the author favored either of them.

Overall, amazing and dark, for fans of books like ones by Melissa Marr.
Happy Reading!


Tudor Tuesday: GILT BLOG TOUR

So as you guys may or may not know, I absolutely loved Gilt and shall be reviewing it very, very soon on the blog! But the lovely lady over at A Glass Of Wine decided to have a blog tour dedicated to Henry's six sives, considering the book takes place in the Tudor Court!

Today I'm going to be telling you guys a little bit about Anne of Cleves, a German noble-woman that Henry never wanted in the first place. She was Henry's fourth wife and only ruled from January to July of 1540! Despite Henry's vocal annnoyance at having to marry her, they wed in early January. After she arrived to England, she was forced to convert to Anglicanism as was customary with people in England at the time after Henry annulled the church and made himself Head of England.

Henry's most famous words about his fourth wife were the ones that he said to Cromwell after their first night as husband and wife: "I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse."

By June 24th, Anne was forced to leave court and then, in July, she was told that Henry had decided to annull the marriage. He took witness statements explaining how it didn't like her physical appearence and that he didn't believe she was a virgin because she had a puffed belly and breasts (and because he's a douchebag.) Anne was soon asked to agree with the annulment and of course, she said yes. July 9th, 1540 was the day that the marriage was annulled on the ground that they had never consummated the marriage and it was absolutely her fault because he had two "noctural emissions" that night so it wasn't his problem.

After the breaking of the marriage, she got to keep plenty of castles including the ones that used to belong to the Boleyns. Henry and Anne, despite everything that transpired, ended up becoming very good friends and she was frequently invited to court and called "the King's Beloved Sister." He was even caught saying that she was more important than all the women in England to him excluding his wife (at the time) and daughters.

Anne never returned to England because her brother refused her after her conversion to Anglicanism, even though he pushed for the marriage since the beginning. But she didn't mind, it is said that Anne was perfectly happy in England and even made an appearence at Mary I's wedding.

AND I have a teaser from the novel for you!

“Skeletons in your cupboard?” William asked with a grin.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“Actually,” he said, “I find secrets get in the way.” And suddenly his expression opened. Vulnerable. I could read everything he was thinking. He looked shy. And hopeful.

“That’s good,” I said. “Because I have none.” None of my own, anyway. I looked away to hide the hope my own face reflected.

Westminster Palace stared back at me from its empty eye sockets. I remembered what William had said before I fell into the mud.

“Is it really more beautiful up close?” I asked. From Lambeth, it didn’t look beautiful at all.“I didn’t mean Westminster,” he said quietly. I felt his gaze on my face and couldn’t move. Could hardly think. “I meant you.”

And now, for the giveaway!

You have to fill out this sentence (the tagline OR you can visit all the sites listed in the banner above):

In the ____ of King ____ VIII, who you ____ can get you in, but ___ you ____ can get you ______.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...