Monday, August 14, 2017

Duels & Disappointment - DNF Discussions: The Football Girl + Done Dirt Cheap + Duels & Deception

The Football Girl + Done Dirt Cheap + Duels & Deception DNF Discussions

It's been such a long time since I've done one of these, and I DNF books left and right these days, so I really don't have a good excuse.... This time I'm using twitter polls, which is honestly a bit odd and inconvenient, but I just couldn't find a good alternative. All the other poll makers were either paid, just plain ugly, or for Wordpress only... (argh I kinda really want to move to Wordpress after all that, but *sigh* I can't afford self-hosting at the moment... lol one day...). Anyway, enough with the lamenting, let us commence....

What is DNF Discussions?


I've always been terrible at deciding whether or not to DNF books, even when it's apparent that I'm not enjoying them. This bothersome quality of mine often causes me to waste way too much time reading books I couldn't care less about, but alas, my fear of missing out on something good refuses to be assuaged, so I've decided to turn to you guys to help me determine whether or not a book is worth reading on.

The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring

(DNFed at 10% / Amazon & Goodreads & Book Depository)

The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring Cover

Synopsis & Details: The summer before Caleb and Tessa enter high school, friendship has blossomed into a relationship…and their playful sports days are coming to an end. Caleb is getting ready to try out for the football team, and Tessa is training for cross-country. But all read more... their structured plans derail in the final flag game when they lose. Tessa doesn’t want to end her career as a loser.

She really enjoys playing, and if she’s being honest, she likes it even more than running. So what if she decided to play football instead? What would happen between her and Caleb? Or between Tessa and her two best friends, who are counting on her to try out for cross-country with them? And will her parents be upset that she’s decided to take her hobby to the next level?

This summer, Caleb and Tessa figure out just what it means to be a boyfriend, girlfriend, teammate, best friend, and someone worth cheering for.

Title: The Football Girl
Series: N/A
Author: Thatcher Heldring
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks Delacorte!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

I was really, really excited for The Football Girl, cause, hello, girls playing football!


Haha, anyone who knows me in real life is probably scratching their heads right now and thinking: since when is Kai a fan of football??? Well, I'm not, football's just not my thing (same goes for pretty much every other sport though *glares at my terrible, can't-do-physical-activity genes*). However, I read Catherine Murdock's Dairy Queen a loonnngg while back, and have some pretty fond memories of it, so I was eager to find something similar.

When I first found out about The Football Girl, I immediately added it to my stalking shelf on Goodreads*, and when it appeared on Netgalley, I:
  • Took a minute to shriek in delight
  • Requested the book immediately
  • *If you don't feel like your tbr is sufficiently overwhelming, then take a look through my stalking shelf, and I promise you will come back with a hulking tbr and many regrets.

    Alas, it appears I was destined to be disappointed (why hello over-dramatic Kai).

    The writing was just much too plain for my tastes, and subsequently, The Football Girl never managed to capture my elusive attention.


    I gave it till my customary 10% mark and was so bored and disinterested with both the characters and the plot that I pretty much DNFed without a second thought, and the cover was so pretty too *disappointed sniffles*.

    What are your thoughts on this matter?



    Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

    (DNFed at 65% / Amazon & Goodreads & Book Depository)

    Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon Cover

    Synopsis & Details: Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club read more... known as the Wardens.

    Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.

    Title: Done Dirt Cheap
    Series: N/A
    Author: Sarah Nicole Lemon
    Publication Date: March 7th 2017
    Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
    Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks Amulet!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

    Here I am again, DNFing a book at 65%....


    Done Dirt Cheap started out well, I liked the characters a lot, though the bike gang thing did take some adjusting to (I'm rather clueless when it comes to that stuff), and I was intrigued by the premise. The story really started picking up around the 30% mark, and things were looking good, but then, around the 60% mark, I found myself losing interest.

    I've seen so much praise for this book and heard so many good things from both authors and bloggers alike,


    which is why I wanted to love it so badly, but I just couldn't get into it. This is definitely a case of "it's me not you," Done Dirt Cheap is beautifully written and has two well-developed, kickass narrators, but I don't think it's for me. Argh, this is one of those cases where I just can't decide whether to indefinitely DNF or not....

    What are your thoughts on this matter?



    Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey

    (DNFed at 30% / Amazon & Goodreads & Book Depository)

    Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey Cover

    Synopsis & Details: Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those read more... arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

    Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…

    Title: Duels & Deception
    Series: N/A
    Author: Cindy Anstey
    Publication Date: April 11th 2017
    Genres: Historical, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
    Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks Swoon Reads!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

    When I picked up Duels & Deception I'd just finished Jane Austen's famed Pride and Prejudice and was looking for more books set in the Regency period, so I went into it with pretty high hopes.

    Generally I try to give some leniency to books that start off slow, sometimes it takes awhile for a story to really get rolling,


    but when I reached the 30% mark and Duels and Deception still hadn't managed to capture my attention I figured it more than about time to go ahead and DNF.

    I stopped reading right after Lydia got kidnapped, which kind of speaks for how uninterested I was in the characters and by extension, the plot.


    If you're looking for that Austen vibe, then this book certainly has that, but the slow start just wasn't working for me. Honestly I think this was another case of "wrong book at the wrong time", maybe I'll give it another try someday in the future.

    What are your thoughts on this matter?



    Have you read any of these books? What books have you DNFed lately?
    continue reading

    Friday, August 4, 2017

    Changing Things Up (Again) - Quartz Gazette June & July 2017

    Quartz Gazette June & July 2017

    Not a lot's happened in the last two months it being summer break and all, but I did finally get my AP Human Geography test score back, and I got a 5! Haha it was a pretty nice surprise, considering how damn worried I was after finishing the test, but Human Geography is the easiests of the AP exams and 10.6% of all test takers got fives, so it's not a huge deal. Oh well... can't wait AP World History *groans*.

    In other news, I'll be a sophomore soon and ugh, I'm not sure how I feel about school starting again....


    I always end up getting listless and a bit depressed over the summer, having too much time on my hands is never a good thing for me, but when school gets back into the swing of things I always end up harried and stressed, so, lol, neither of those scenarios are terribly attractive. Let's just hope I can finally conquer procrastination this year so I can end up being a little less harried and stressed....

    August should be a pretty big month for Quartzfeather....


    I'm planning on finally revealing the new blog design I've been working on nonstop for the last month and I'm also hoping to finally launch a little something I've been wanting to do for awhile. So look out for all that!

    One last thing, I keep messing around with the content and formatting of my bi-monthly recap posts because I can't seem to decide what I want to do with them.


    Everything I do feels unsatisfying in one aspect or another, ugh I hate being so damn indecisive.... So uh feel free to leave your suggestions below. If I changed something you liked or you'd like me to add something please tell me!

    Books Read in June & July

    (click on the covers to read the complete reviews)


    Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly ReviewInternet Famous by Danika Stone ReviewCarry On by Rainbow Rowell ReviewThe Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente ReviewWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon ReviewThat Crazy Perfect Someday Review by Michael MazzaYou Know Me Well by Nina LaCour, David Levithan ReviewOnce and for All by Sarah DessenThe Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine ReviewWindfall by Jennifer SmithThe Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger ReviewTo All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han ReviewMechanica by Betsy Cornwell ReviewOur Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

    Shows & Movies Watched in June & July

    (click on the titles to read the complete reviews or see the trailers)


    Watched in June & July: A Silent Voice, My Hero Academia, Star Vs. the Forces of Evil

    A Silent Voice // This film first caught my attention because it beat out Your Name for the best anime of the year award, and I mean, have you seen Your Name? Anything that beats that film must be amazing, and true to word, A Silent Voice was magnificent. I'll be posting a review for it pretty soon, so keep an eye out for that, but let's just say this film deserves a lot more attention.

    My Hero Academia (Season #1-3) // Say hello to my latest obsession... (god, how many more fandom holes can I fall into). I mainly started watching this show cause I had nothing better to do with life, so I wasn't expecting much out of it, but I quickly fell in love with Midoriya and the rest of the show's wonderful cast of characters (well expect Mineta, that little perv can get wrecked... *gags*). I kinda want to write a fully fledged review, but I'm not really in the habit of doing that for TV shows, hmm maybe after season 3 ends....

    Star Vs. the Forces of Evil (Season #3) // God, that season premiere was really something.... While a bit overstuffed in places, all two hours of The Battle for Mewni were action packed and absolutely wonderful. The rich mythology was further explored and Star's powers were tested to their limits. I really can't wait to see what the rest of this season has to offer, too bad we have to wait till November... *cries*.

    Bookstagrams of June & July

    (photos link to my instagram: @quartzfeathers)


    Bookstagrams of June and July

    Words Discovered in June & July

    (some fantastically long and whimsically obscure words to know)


    • Perihelion noun - the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid, or comet at which it is closest to the sun.
    • Personalty noun - personal, movable property.
    • Troglodyte noun - (especially in prehistoric times) a person who lived in a cave.
    • Idiosyncrasies noun - a mode of behavior or way of thought peculiar to an individual.
    • Culpable adjective - deserving blame.
    • Schlepping verb - haul or carry (something heavy or awkward).

    Cover Reveals of June & July

    (ten new covers that are too pretty for my mere mortal eyes)


    My favorite covers that were revealed in the last two months

    Interesting Links from Around the Web

    (posts, youtube videos, and other random, stuff I thought was cool)


    • Molly Shares 5 Small Blog Changes that have big effects
      Sometimes when we’re visiting other blogs, there might be something that is on their blog that makes our lives easier. It makes contacting them easier, it [...]
    • Austine Shares How to Support Your Fave Book Bloggers
      Yesterday I tweeted something that became fairly popular (compared to all my other tweets lol) after a few people commented on some of my reviews this [...]
    • Francina Shares Her Thoughts on the Carve The Mark Controversy When this whole mess first exploded awhile back, I stayed far away from it.... Trying to fully dissect a Twitter controversy is generally a pretty impossible task, but I found this Youtube video on the topic to be pretty informative. While I'm not completely sure if I agree with all her views on Carve The Mark, I try to withhold judgement on topics I'm not well versed in, her video is definitely worth a look at.
    • May Shares Why She Might Unfollow Your Blog
      I’m a very easy-to-please person. You’ll see that on Goodreads I rarely rate anything below 4 stars. I don’t even have any books on my one-star shelf. I’M JUST REALLY [...]
    • Ilsa Launches a New Blog
      Hello, awesome creatures of the universe. Welcome to the explosion of life: MY BLOG. Though I’m not sure if it’s mine. It’s a bit of wild beast at the moment who apparently does not like cages that are [...]

    What have you been up to in the last two months? Is school starting up again soon for you too?
    continue reading

    Monday, July 31, 2017

    The Collision Theory and Roller Skating Rinks - The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger Review

    The Inevitable Collision of Birdie and Bash Review

    I am handwriting my very first review today because I currently don't have access to Blogger's post editor *glares at wifi company* and I really can't wait any longer to get all my thoughts on paper, so bear (hehe, book insider pun) with me.

    Synopsis & Details


    Candace Ganger captures all the bumps in the road and simmering chemistry of those early days of first love in her young adult debut novel The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash. Ganger, a contributing writer for HelloGiggles, starts her writing career in her full of feels young read more... adult novel set around a skating rink with two characters you can’t help but root for. She explores this tender time during occasions of family tragedy, and whether young love can pull apart or become an anchor in the face of impossible circumstances.

    Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of- best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near- Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Brittani Hilles, Publicist, St. Martin’s Press Brittani.Hilles@stmartins.com | 646-307- 5558 apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo.

    Loosely based on real life tragic circumstances, Ganger says, "I'd been wrestling with a family tragedy for years, wondering how I could write about this unfathomable event in a way that might help my family heal but nothing ever really felt right”. When Birdie and Bash came alive on the page that Ganger says “this was my way of re-writing their history with a little bit of hope”. Told in alternating perspectives, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash is a beautiful, complex, and ultimately hopeful teen novel that will move you to the very last page.

    Title: The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash
    Series: N/A
    Author: Candace Ganger
    Publication Date: July 25th 2017
    Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
    Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks St. Martin's Griffin!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

    I approached The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash a bit cautiously.


    You see, I was right smack dab in the middle of a meh-ish book slump when I first picked it up, none of the books I'd read beforehand had really wowed me, so I was a bit worried I wouldn't like this one either, but oh god did I adore Birdie and Bash.

    It did take me a bit to get into it, the first chapter took me like a week to get through cause the aforementioned previous books left me in such a weird funk, but once the story started moving, I was instantly hooked.

    The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash had me on the edge of my seat pretty much the entire time (seriously, this book gave me so much second hand anxiety), I was just so worried about poor Bash....


    I can't really say much because *spoilers* but let's just say this book deals with a pretty heavy issue from a unique perspective I've never seen before.

    Birdie and Bash are some of the best characters I've met this year.


    I just adore how Birdie's always spouting off facts both in her brain and out loud cause #relatable (hehe, why yes, I am the killjoy of my friend group with my constant factual reality checks), and Bash is just so *hugs character tightly*, BUT KYLE (view spoiler)[(sorry, I really can't help myself), oh god, Kyle... let's just say I kinda really want to rip him a new one right now, hmph...].

    The collision theory is a running motif (look at me using a fancy schmancy literary term, my English teacher would be so proud) throughout the entire story, and honestly, I really loved that little detail. It works so well the with plot and added such charm to the entire book.

    Some Cover Thoughts...


    The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash's cover isn't really anything flashy but it fits the story pretty well. While the roller skating rink doesn't really come into the story till about a third of the way through, it ends up playing a pretty integral role in Birdie and Bash's relationship.

    Diversity Corner...


    Bash, one of the two narrators, is a first generation Brazilian American, and his mother (aka the most kick-ass lady ever) is also a single parent.

    Rating: 5/5 Stars


    Have you ever been to a roller skating rink? I've been to one once during summer camp and it was pretty fun, only fell on my butt a couple time....
    Enter the Giveaway
    Picture of Candace Ganger Candace Ganger is a young adult author, contributing writer for Hello Giggles, and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. Candace—aka—Candyland—has a severe Milky Way latter addiction + eats way too many donuts/doughnuts but all things in excess, amiright? FYI: She’s totally awkward in person (#sorrynotsorry). She lives in Ohio with her family.
    The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash Blog Tour Banner
    continue reading

    Monday, July 24, 2017

    Coding & Coffee - When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon Review + Mini Fanart Piece

    When Dimple Met Rishi Review

    Dimple and Rishi were both very relatable characters for me, though for entirely different reasons.


    Like Dimple, I have an interesting in coding, though the fields aren't the same. I'm just super excited that she's a female YA character who has an interest in computers and tech, it's something I hope to see much more of in the years to come.

    Synopsis & Details:


    Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly read more... believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

    Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

    The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

    Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

    Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
    Series: N/A
    Author: Sandhya Menon
    Publication Date: May 30th 2017
    Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

    In When Dimple Met Rishi, what Rishi wants for himself conflicts with what his parents want for him. This is something I could really understand.


    I haven't reached the age where I have to make these directional decisions, but I can already feel the pressure.

    I've always known that I want to do something dealing with creativity and imagination, I've always wanted to create, but many of the jobs in those types of fields are very competitive, and only the best of the best can really make it in the end. My parents would much rather I chose a more "secure" field, and of course I know that they only want me to have a financially stable and happy life, but one of my greatest fears is finding myself with a job that I regret choosing. So seeing a character dealing with issues similar to those that I know I'll face in my future's was just really, really nice. Argh, sorry for the ramble.... Anyways moving on....

    One of my favorite romance tropes is hate to love. I mean with this trope you're basically guaranteed tons of witty banter and of course, the lovely "what is this feeling" reactions.


    It's the perfect balance of angst and fluff, what's not to love? With their first meeting consisting of Dimple tossing her coffee at poor Rishi (seriously, check out the back cover) there's no doubt that their romance fits the hate to love bill perfectly. They had such great chemistry, and I enjoyed every second of their interactions (well... maybe excluding those scenes where I got my heart torn out though....).

    The story's a smidge predictable at times, especially towards the end.


    I guessed a lot of the larger plot points pretty easily, but honestly, this wasn't a huge issue for me. When Dimple Met Rishi was just damn enjoyable for it to be a real sticking point.

    Some Cover Thoughts:


    Can we talk about how straight up adorable this cover is, I mean, that buoyant smile, those glorious oranges, that beautiful title font, and that gorgeous henna (at least I think that's what it is, please correct me if I'm wrong), what else is there to ask for? There's nothing that'd I'd change about this cover, it's too damn perfection.

    While reading, I got inspired and sketched out a quick Dimple,


    which I'm semi-proud of (please ignore her too long hair and weird looking glasses...), but Sandhya liked it so *melts into a happy puddle*. I'm not sure if I'm planning on drawing more characters in the future, we'll just have to see....


    Before I go, I'd like to thank Lori from Pure Imagination for being kind enough to send me her extra ARC of When Dimple Met Rishi (I shall forever be in her debt...).

    Rating: 5/5 Stars


    What's your favorite coffee drink? (I typically turn to tea when I'm in need of caffeine, but Starbucks' Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino is pretty good, too bad their stuff is way too frickin' expensive....)
    continue reading

    Monday, July 17, 2017

    Is Reviewing Getting in the Way of Reading?

    Is Reviewing Getting in the Way of Reading?

    This question's been bugging me for a while, particularly when I'm reading and sometimes when I'm writing a review, so I finally decided to sit down, organize my thoughts, and type up this discussion post.

    Writing reviews takes up time, time I'd otherwise spend reading.


    When I first started blogging, I thought running a book blog meant reading more, but honestly, I think the amount of books I read per a year has decreased. Of course this can't all be blamed on Quartzfeather and reviews. Around the same time I launched my blog, I also discovered a lot of new interests that have all taken some time from reading.

    While reading, I often find myself worrying about whether or not I'll be able to write a long enough and/or comprehensive enough review.


    This habit is one I seriously need to kick, because I've noticed "review pressure" (as I've dubbed it), negatively affecting my reading experiences way too many times. Hehe, if I don't have enough things to talk about in my review by the time I reach the book's halfway mark, I start panicking. I end up worrying so much about the review, that I forget to enjoy the book.

    These days, I interrupt my reading on a regular basis to jot down some thoughts about the book on Goodreads (psst, add me) or if I'm feeling lazy, in the Kindle app.


    This frequently destroys any reading momentum I've gathered, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, unless I wanna have absolutely nothing to discuss in my review, which I assure you, I don't, cause that just makes me panic more.

    After writing all this stuff out, I've definitely realized that reviewing has started getting in the way of my reading.


    Nevertheless, I wouldn't dream of quitting. I find writing them quite fun (when I'm not busy stressing), and a book blog just isn't a book blog without book reviews. I just need to find a way to stop worrying so much about them.

    Do you suffer from "review pressure"? If you have any advice on quelling it, please, please leave it in the comments!
    continue reading

    Monday, July 10, 2017

    A Love Letter to Carry On: The Rise & Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell - A Weirdly Sappy (Sorta) Review

    A Love Letter to Carry On (A Sorta Review)

    This has to be, at the very least, the fifth time I've reread this book. Ever since I first discovered it in 2016, Carry On's been a sort of comfort books for me. I turn to it when I want to escape life for a bit, when I just want to smile a little, when I'm stuck in a reading rut and every other books seems to displease me. To say I'm obsessed is an understatement....

    Synopsis & Details:


    Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen. That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right. Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His read more... mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.

    Carry On - The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you'd expect from a Rainbow Rowell story - but far, far more monsters.

    Title: Carry On
    Series: N/A
    Author: Rainbow Rowell
    Publication Date: October 6th 2015
    Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
    Source: I received an arc from the publisher for review consideration (thanks St. Martin's Griffin!) this in no way affected my review, cross my heart.

    When I got the chance to "re-review" Carry On with the new paperback edition coming out, I immediately jumped at the offer.


    Saying yes was a complete no-brainer. You should've seen me when the book came in the mail, I was beside myself with joy, shrieking so loud I must have shattered everyone's poor eardrums and bouncing of the walls in pure ecstasy.

    I can't quite say why Carry On is so dear to me. If you asked, I wouldn't have a definitive answer.


    Sure, Carry On is a really, really good book, an automatic five starred read for me, but what makes it so different from all the other books I give five stars, what makes it so darn special, what about it made me latch onto it so tightly?

    Was it Simon with his golden curls and endearing obliviousness? Was it Baz with his blessed snarkiness and kick-ass vampire self? Was it Penny with her magical ring and spunky nature? Or perhaps it was simply the world, with it's limitless magic, with it's Wavering Woods, it's Watford, it's Ebb? I can't quite say. The brain's a weird thing, the heart's a weirder thing.

    But as I sit here, terribly sleep deprived, typing this up at 5:04 in the morning after a long night of reading, I know one thing.

    The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a fabulous journey that I would take you all on given the chance.


    Aha, I'm kinda embarrassed, getting all sappy like this.... Ever since I wrote that one post (it's still sitting in my drafts because it's so off topic and confusing), I've been getting really emotional in a lot of my writing....

    Despite only being aware of it for only one year, Carry On has already wormed it's way deep into my heart.


    In those pages, in those words, I have found so much happiness, so much love. These types of gems are what keep me reading, these types of gems are what keep me blogging, these types of gems are the ones I want to share with you.

    Some Cover Thoughts:


    The new Carry On paperback cover is like only my favorite cover in this entire effing world. I mean, just look at the thing... Kevin Wada did everything (and I mean everything) right. Simon and Baz are just killing it on that cover! And the font, it works so damn well, the size, the color, the layout, all effing perfect. There's literally not a thing I'd change given the chance.

    Beside that quote that was added to the first page (my heart totally melted upon seeing it), the inside didn't really change at all. It was a bit disappointing, but at the same time, I liked the familiarity of seeing the same chapter headings and dividing illustrations.

    So, um, this post is pretty much just me being really, really sappy, and it's not the review I had planned... like at all.


    Anyway, if you want to read an actual review of Carry On, then check out my first one (warning, be prepared to laugh at my expense. The grammer's terrible, and I was still figuring out my review writing style).

    Rating: 5/5 Stars


    Have you read Carry On? Are you a Snowbaz shipper? (we all know I am.) Do you have a comfort book? (Sorry again for getting all weirdly emotional on you guys, it's just, Carry On means a lot to me...)
    continue reading

    Monday, July 3, 2017

    Kicking Ass & Taking Names - Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer Review

    Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

    I should've been writing an essay for English, but instead I decided to wisely spend my time reading Wires and Nerve. I told myself I'd only read a page or two, but that quickly became the entire book. I just couldn't put it down, despite the homework breathing down my neck (don't worry, I still got the essay done in time, just was a bit sleep deprived the next day).

    Synopsis & Details:


    In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between read more... Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

    Title: Wires and Nerve
    Series: Wires and Nerve #1
    Author: Marissa Meyer, Douglas Holgate
    Publication Date: January 31st 2017
    Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Graphic Novels

    So, enough about my unhealthy procrastination habits (not getting enough sleep is really really bad for you it turns out), let's talk about the book...

    Wires and Nerve focuses on Iko, as she is our protagonist this time around.


    I've always found her to be an extremely likable and entertaining character, and this graphic novel is no exception. She makes a wonderful narrator, and I loved seeing everything through her eyes.

    While the book is mostly about Iko, her being the main character and all, we also get to see the other members of the crew (still waiting for more Kai though).


    Cinder is adjusting to her new position, figuring out how to rule Luna, and attempting to guide her country to a brighter future. Thorne and Cress are still onboard the Rampion, traveling around the world and distributing the letumosis cure to those that need it. Scarlet and Wolf are back on the farm, being as mushy as usual *screeches* The RINNGGGGG. Winter has smoothly slid into her new ambassador role, and Jacin, of course, is right by her side (no surprise there). And finally, Kai is off running The Eastern Commonwealth, and consequently, we haven't seen very much of him yet *tears*.

    As this is a graphic novel review, I am 100% obligated (by my own choice) to mention the art.

    I'm a bit on the fence when it comes to the art style of Wires and Nerve.


    On one hand, I really liked how most of the characters' were portrayed (Iko's design is by far the best one in my opinion, though Cinder's was also a particular favorite), however, I was a bit more meh with some other character designs *cough* Kinney and Kai *cough*. I'm also not a huge fan of how the wolves were drawn, I don't know, they just didn't feel right to me. Though my head pictures are just my head pictures, so who am I to judge?

    Speaking of the wolves, I'm so happy that we're finally getting some closure.


    After finishing Winter, I was quite annoyed with the fact that we never found out what happened to them after Levana's downfall. I mean they're not exactly an issue that's gonna go off and fix itself.

    The best part, by far, is sheer amount of butt we get to see Iko kick in Wires and Nerve (trust me the title totally fits).


    She really came into her own, we get to see into her head, and watch as she struggles with her andriodness and what it means. I can't wait to see more of her and the crew in the next installment (graphic novels never last long enough)!!! Fingers crossed for Kaider.

    I'm gonna be doing a Q&A post really soon and am looking for some questions, so if you have one, pretty please leave it here:


    If the embed's acting weird, here's a direct link to the form.



    Rating: 4/5 Stars


    What's your favorite Lunar Chronicles' ship? Who's your favorite character?
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    Saturday, July 1, 2017

    A Think Piece - Morality & Making Sense of the Current Political Atmosphere

    Morality and Making Sense of Today's Politics

    The confetti, that endless blue, red, and white that came raining down when we learned that Obama had won, listening to a brief NPR report about Romney with my family, somewhere in downtown San Antonio, those are my two strongest memories of the elections I witnessed as a child, and even then, they’re pretty faint. I watched the 2008 and 2012 elections from the proverbial sidelines, too young and too uninterested to really care.

    Elections, they were just something that happened every four years, a very important something I was often told, but still, I couldn’t be bothered to pay them much attention, that was, until last year.


    2016 was the Year of the Monkey, 2016 was the year I enter high school, 2016 was the year I finally memorized my phone number and promptly forgot it. 2016 was a lot of things, small things, large things, life changing things. So many terrible, forgettable, wondrous things happened in 2016, but above all, 2016 will always be the year that I discovered politics.

    It wasn't the headline generating primaries, it wasn't the brilliance of the late night comedians (ok, maybe it was, but just a bit), it was Hillary.


    Something about watching her walk across those endless stages made something click. From that moment on, I needed to know everything about the election, from that moment on, I had an intense passion for understanding our nation's cogs and gears. I may not have liked her entirely as a candidate, but she showed me that women have a place in politics.

    Gage Skidmore / Flickr
    Hillary giving a speech to her supporters

    Before I go on, I’d like to disclose a few things. As many of you may already know, I’m a Democrat through and through, and accordingly, the majority of my opinions can be categorized as liberal. These beliefs, these convictions, they’re a cumulation of my race, my gender, my experiences, and my childhood. I take pride in them, and they’re a large part of who I am as a person, but that’s beside the point.

    I am not seeking to change anyone’s mind with this piece, nor am I looking to convert anyone to “my side”.


    Today I am interested in your thoughts, interested in understanding your perspectives, even if they are from “the other side of the aisle”. Today I want to unpack my own messy thoughts, today I want to try to make sense of what’s going on.

    "This is unprecedented. This is unheard of. This is unbelievable. This is not normal."


    Those words, they’ve been in abundance lately, filling my ears, littering news articles, screaming at me from social media, spilling over into real life.

    Gray scale picture of the US White House

    "This is unprecedented. This is unheard of. This is unbelievable. This is not normal." Those words, they only compare, they only juxtapose, and for someone like me, someone who has no point of reference, nothing to compare this past election with, nothing to hold this administration to, they’re useless.

    What is abnormal if you have no definition of normal?


    This election, these past 162 days, they’ve been confusing enough with their sharpening divides, looming scandals, and bewildering tweets, but my lack of experience, that one takes the cake. The Russian investigation, Comey’s firing, Spicer’s claims, everyone keep saying these things are unprecedented, others keep defending them, but are they really so unusual, are they really so justifiable? I really can’t say.

    I’ve looked to the past for answers, tried to find parallels between then and now, but in the end, facts just can’t replace experience.

    In this time of growing division and partisanship, I don’t know where to turn, who to trust.


    American politics is increasingly filled with anger, burgeoning distrust, and fierce polarization. Everyone’s so angry, we’re all at each other's throats. This mess of emotions, this era of volatile facts, only births aggressive disagreement and closed minds.

    Multiple folded American flags

    I, with my quick temper, am definitely not innocent of such things.

    I've gotten into my fair share of heated debates during and after the most recent election cycle.


    The topics of these bitter arguments ranged from the Obama Birther Scandal to Trump's Access Hollywood tape. While these arguments were in fact quite bitter, and while I did say countless regrettable things, I consider them priceless experiences. I'm still on speaking terms with all of those I argued with, maybe even friendly terms with some, and well, that's taught me that, yes, you can be friends with those on the "other side".

    It's easy to just block out people who don't agree with you, it can even seem right sometimes, but doing so limits your worldview.


    Associating with the "other side" feels like taboo these days, especially with them often being portrayed as morally corrupt, so exceedingly wrong, but if you think that of them, what do they think of you?

    Contemplation of Justice statue

    If you are willing to ignore someone, block them out simply because you are convinced that you are right and they are not, then I ask, how do you know that you are, without a single doubt, the right one?

    Right and wrong are peculiar things, intriguing concepts.


    Is there truly a sense of rightness guiding the world on some laid out path? Who is right, who is wrong? Everyone believes they’re the correct one, after all, that's the nature of opinion, but everyone can't be right.

    Out of all of the opinions I hold today, there will be many that are viewed unfavorably by tomorrow.


    I’ve acknowledged that my strongest beliefs might be defined as incorrect or even socially unacceptable in the future, but then, how can I truly believe in my opinions if I also believe that they won’t all “turn out to be right”, that the passing of time will judge them incorrect? Do opinions not require conviction, do opinions not require faith? How am I to believe in what I don't fully trust? How do you know if you're truly right? What even is right?

    Some might point to history to prove the concept of rightness and wrongness, but is that really a true determination of morality, is that a true determination of rightness, or does it only reflect the mindset of today's opinions? Does the "right side" truly always win in the end?

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial

    How many of my opinions are simply shaped by the time period in which I grew up, the very time period I breathe in at this very moment? The truths I believe in so strongly, would I still recognize them in a whole different world? Would the convictions, so black and white now, turn muddled and gray?

    Would I see the past injustices we clearly see today, or would I become one among many of those on the "wrong side of history”?


    Many of the questions raised here currently have no definitive answers, and they likely never will. We can only wonder at the what ifs and endlessly weigh the balance of nature and nurture, but all the same, these are questions that should be pondered, questions that should be asked, even if we’ll never truly solve them.

    It is dangerous to seal your mind off, to believe, without a hint of doubt, that you are always correct, to refuse to listen to anyone beside your own.


    Opinions should not be stagnant creatures, they should be constantly evolving, forever reaching new heights. Question your opinions daily, do not let them off the hook simply because they are yours, after all, you could very well be "wrong".

    Wrongness and rightness are defined by the individual, no one, nothing, has the final say, not even history.


    Do not fall victim to a black and white world, most everything is gray.

    I want to give a big thanks to Wren and Megan for beta-ing, this post would've be such a huge mess if it wasn't for them. Also Megan's responsible for that awesome title up above, haha the one I came up with was overly long and way too clunky.... Anyways, thank you all for sitting through my messy and drawn-out thoughts *hugs*.

    I'm gonna be doing a Q&A post really soon and am looking for some questions, so if you have one, pretty please leave it here:


    If the embed's acting weird, here's a direct link to the form.



    What's your take on right vs. wrong? Was the 2016 election your first, or have you followed prior elections? (feel free to let loose in the comments, I eagerly await your thoughts)
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