Thursday, July 30, 2015

{Reader's Ramblings #2} Change in Posting Schedule + My Thoughts on Fanfiction

Argh sorry guys not review today either, so today I'm announcing my new schedule to accommodate the rapidly approaching start of the new school year. So as of now a review will be posted each Monday, now that doesn't mean I might not stick in some posts randomly but that's the basic schedule. Another reason for this change is I'm also trying to focus more on my book, I'm aiming to have it done before the end of 2016.

Okay, got all that technical stuff out of the way, I have been doing a lot of reading lately.... just not the right kind. I've been reading a whole ton of Fanfiction. Like I've finished at least three fanfictions with 40-60 chapters in the last four days alone and that's not even considering the billons of one shots and stories I've just started. So I'm gonna talk about fanfiction, because honestly that's whats in my head.

Fanfiction for me is scary, if you scroll through my latest tweets uh you kind of get the picture. So basically I just read a fanfiction that kind of ruined a bit of HTTYD for me. I have to be very cautious with fanfiction, out of the six ones I've read for  How To Train Your Dragon two if them have turned out bad, but oddly enough every single fanfic I've read for The Lunar Chronicles has been fabulous so don't get that. Anyway, now fanfiction kind of scares me a little, which is really odd now that I finally acknowledge it. Oh well so thats been my life in the last few days. Expect to get more life updates, and I promise once again you will be getting lets talk genres very soon.

NOTE: I have made a few recent changes to my blog, I recently noticed that the email subscription box hasn't been working, that's been fixed! Also I have removed a lot from my blogs side bar, I want loading to be quicker and easier and a lot of that was basically clutter and not needed. I also said good bye to the what am I reading section, I found that part to not be very useful and it didn't line up right with my side bar so I decided to ditch that. The countdown to release of Winter by Marissa Meyer also had to go, my main problem was the POWR gadget just wasn't working right so that went out the window too. I am planning to post my review of Ghostboy Chameleon, and the Duke of Graffiti next Monday.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

{Reader's Ramblings #1} Someone's Been Distracted Lately

Yep, that some one is definitely me. I'm sorry but a review will not be going up today. I'm moving and school is starting back up so my posting schedule will most likely have some readjustments. So I though I might just do a Life Update.

So yah about a week or two ago I watched How To Train Your Dragon 2 for the first time. I know I'm like TWO years late but let me explain. I watched the first one in like 2011 or something, and it was a good movie, I liked it. Watched it, liked it, kind of forgot it. So when the sequel came out last year, I didn't exactly rush to the movie theaters, but now I totally regret that decision. The only reason I actually ended up watch this movie was cause my local movie theater was having one of those one dollar ticket things and I was bored. Lets just say I fell face first in love with the How To Train Your Dragon Franchise. If you follow me on my Instagram or Twitter you have probably already know.

My excuse for not having a review today is technically I came home that day and er *cough cough* forgot to sleep. All the way till like 5 am, and what did I do that night? I um.... Re-watched the first How To Train Your Dragon and then re-watched the second one again for the second time that day...

Then, the next day I discover the TV show Dragons also known as Dreamworks Dragons, and lets just say I kind of watched all the seasons including Riders of Berk, Defenders of Berk and Race To The Edge. And now I'm having typical fangirl crisis where the next season of Dragons still hasn't been announced, and the third movie in the HTTYD trilogy comes out like 3 years from now...

Finally I managed to get all that fangirl poison out of my bloodstream. Time to talk blog, if you haven't noticed my blog just got a major face lift thanks to XOMISSE, her blog literally saved my butt so many time. Lately I've been doing a lot of fiddling with with my navigation bar. I just added an archive page and finally finished my about me page.

Also I promise Lets Talk Genres is coming very soon I just have a lot to push through. I am also trying to squeeze in time to write White As Snow my book, so I have a pretty busy schedule. I'm also thinking about doing a review on How To Train Your Dragon 2 or just give my thoughts. Aww who knows. Till next time.
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not A Drop To Drink Booktalk

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis Review
Hello guys, I just realized that a lot of the release dates are wrong on my previous book reviews and booktalks, so please ignore that till I can fix that. Hope you enjoy : )

Buy It Here

Published by Katherine Tegen Books (September 24th 2013)
Pages: 309
Source: Library

Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story where water is worth more than gold. New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed." With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl's journey in a frontierlike world not so different from our own.

Teenage Lynn has been taught to defend her pond against every threat: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and most important, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty—or doesn't leave at all. Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. But when strangers appear, the mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won't stop until they get it. . . . For more in this gritty world, join Lynn on an epic journey to find home in the companion novel, In a Handful of Dust.

Rating

★★★★★

Favorite  Quote

“Do you want to die like this?" Mother had asked, that night and every night since then.
Lynn's answer never changed. "No."
And Mother's response, their evening prayer. "Then you will have to kill.” 

Wow this book has literally left me speechless.... It just was so stark and real. I was kind of expecting it because you know like the first page of the book has the sentence about the first time Lynn killed someone...

Overall, Mindy McGinnis pulled this world together really well, I find that in Dystopian, plot lines and story ideas get reused a lot because Dystopian is pretty specific in what can be or can't be considered part of Dystopia. A world with a lack of water has definitely been used before, and I've seen a lot of books about  a ruined earth, but Not A Drop To Drink was one of the most unique Dystopian books I have ever read.

Just the simple fact that Lynn has been raised to believe that if you don't kill you don't live, such a young child those words are so harsh, and I can't barely imagine having to chose between murdering someone or dying myself. The prospect of the world is just so unbelievably grim, it's in a level of it's own. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was already very stark and bleak, and Katniss was forced to kill people to survive. If you think about it Katniss and Lynn practically had the same situation, it was either kill or be killed. But, Lynn on the other hand was practically raised on those words, while Katniss wasn't and she knew just how wrong it was.

In this book we get to see Lynn begin to soften while Katniss on the other hand began to harden. I feel that the world in Not A Drop To Drink really strikes home, it makes me wonder about the people who don't get enough water and how their lives are. For a debut book, Not A Drop To Drink is very powerful and remarkable, at first I was hesitant to start this book, but I quickly fell in love with Mindy McGinnis's writing.

Lynn and Eli's relationship was cute, but it was kind of Instalovey, this was really the only problem I had with this book. And the fact that Lynn falls in love with the first boy she meets is kind of cliche. However, I have to admit that watching Lynn discover love was one of my favorite parts of the book. I know you guys are going to hate it but, I'm glad Eli died, I feel so bad saying that. But, in most books the author doesn't even think about killing the main character's love interest, or if he/she dies they "magically" reappear.

Eli's death was so stark and real, I feel like the author did the right thing in killing him. At first I couldn't believe it and actually got mad for a while but then, I realized that that is just life and in a world like theirs someone is bound to die.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review/Booktalk: Royal Airs By Sharon Shinn

Royal Airs by Sharon Shinn Review
I read through the reviews on Royal Airs after finishing the book and was honestly quite surprised, because most of the reviews were not the in favor of the book, I really enjoyed the book so I was not expecting so many disappointed reviews.


Published by Ace (August 26, 2014)
Pages: 416
Source: Library

Josetta is a princess of one of the Five Families. But she is far from the throne, so she is free to spend her days working in the poorest sections of the city.

Rafe Adova lives the life of a career gambler in those slums. He has no real ambition—until the night he helps a girl named Corene, who looks like she’s stumbled into the wrong bar.

Josetta is fascinated by the man who has helped her sister. Rafe is unlike anyone she’s encountered—someone seemingly devoid of elemental blessings.

Rafe is also drawn to Josetta, but when he is assaulted by foreign mercenaries and they discover the reason behind the attack, Rafe and Josetta realize that the truth could endanger not only their newfound love, but also their very lives…

Rating

★★★★★

Favorite  Quote
“To some extent, it doesn't matter who we are or where we came from—what kind of family brought us into this world,' Josie said softly. 'We become who we were meant to be, and all those other influences fall away.”

Review - Let's dive in, Zoe and Darien are still by far my favorite couple, though Rafe and Josetta's relationship is really cute. I found that this book started rather slowly,and after how fast Troubled Water escalated I was a little more then disappointed. But, truthfully because how well Sharon Shinn had written the first book I had set a pretty high bar for her, and if I hadn't read Troubled Water first I probably wouldn't had found anything wrong with the sequel.

One feature of the book that I appreciated a lot was the fact that Sharon Shinn reintroduced the world a little. You see, I read Troubled Water a little less then a year ago, and I'm not exactly known for my amazing long term memory so I did end up forgetting quite a bit but, Royal Airs quickly filled me in and got me back on track.

This book was not as good as the first but then again sequels are not known for being the best book in the series, so while I was reading Royal Airs I tried my best to not compare it to much to Troubled Waters, I felt in order to give this book a fair review I could not compare it to the first book.

Sharon Shinn cleverly placed everything so I figured out plot twists right before Josetta or Rafe did, I like it when a author does that because that way I don't figure out the big reveal to early on and ruin the mystery, but at the same time not so late that it makes me feel dumb.

There was one thing that bothered me though, there is an aspect which I find rather cliche and while it was a clever twist to the plot I wouldn't mind if it hadn't happened, but then again in a way I kind of expected it. (More on that in the Booktalk I'm doing my best not to spoil this for you)

Even though this book did not match head to head with it's predecessor I still find this book worth the read. If you enjoyed Troubled Water then I definitely recommend reading Royal Airs. It was quite an enjoyable read, and I can't wait to get my hands on Jeweled Fire.

Booktalk - I bet you all are on the edge of your chair filled with suspense, wondering what in the world did I find so cliche. (JK, I sincerely hope my sarcasm made sense to someone *sigh*) So, back to the big "mystery." You guys are probably going to all kill me for this, but I didn't like how Rafe became not only the cousin to the prince of one country but the heir to another????

 I really liked the whole how the Princess falls in love with a normal person. I'm just kind of tired of the royal falls in love with a commoner, and what are the chances, the commoner turns out to be some noble's men son.

However, let me make this extremely clear, I enjoyed this book. Sure, there's a few things I would change but I still found Royal Airs an enjoyable read.I feel that the character who actually grew the most was Corene.

We got to know her a lot better in this this book. While Josetta and Rafe are the main characters Corene was the one who in my opinion developed the most. Er... so the ending. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole organ twisting thing..
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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Book Review/Booktalk: Backlash By Sarah Darer Littman

Backlash by Sarah Littman Review
Backlash is a beautiful book the story is very blunt and true. There is no sugar coating, while others may not find a book like this appealing, I immensely enjoyed this book. Backlash shows the two sides of bullying and how sometimes the bully is a victim too.

Buy On Amazon

Published by Scholastic Press (March 31, 2015)
Pages: 336
Source: Library

In critically acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman's gripping new novel what happens online doesn't always stay online . . .

Lara just got told off on Facebook.
She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school's homecoming dance. It's been a long time since Lara's felt this bad, this depressed. She's worked really hard since starting high school to be happy and make new friends.

Bree used to be BBFs with overweight, depressed Lara in middle school, but constantly listening to Lara's problems got to be too much. Bree's secretly glad that Christian's pointed out Lara's flaws to the world. Lara's not nearly as great as everyone thinks.

After weeks of talking online, Lara thought she knew Christian, so what's with this sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse - are they true?
But no one realized just how far Christian's harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree.
As online life collides with real life, the truth starts to come together and the backlash is even more devastating than than anyone could have imagined. *end of non-spoiler section*



Rating

★★★★★

Favorite  Quote

“Elmo is telling kids about how great it is to share. Oh, Elmo, you poor, deluded little red fur ball. You don’t have a clue, do ya, li’l buddy? Kids are way meaner than Muppets.” 


Booktalk Okay everyone automatically feels sympathy for Lara, she is the one who was bullied. Then there's Sydney, Lara's sister and we feel sorry for her because she is forever in her sister's shadow. Also Liam and his father, they are dragged into this mess and their lives are destroyed even though they are completely innocent. That leaves Bree and her mother Mary Joe, what surprised me the most is I ended up garnering sympathy for Bree. I love books that tell both sides of a story, especially the "wrong side". Yes, cyberbullying or bullying in general is wrong, terrible, but there always is two sides of a story and sometimes the wrong side isn't as horrible as you may think. This is my main appreciation for this book, I admire an author who doesn't just tells the "right" side of the story, but also the "wrong". Another book that handles a difficult two sided problem well is The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Although the problem is not as serious, I believe this is another good example. Back to the book, personally my favorite character is Liam, I loved reading from his view. I didn't really understand why Mary Joe (Bree's mom) enjoyed tormenting Lara. That really caught me off guard, I have to say I have never quite seen a book like this. The parents are never involved in the bullying, ever.

The relationship between Sydney and Liam is really cute, the couple works very well. Their relationship helps calm down things a little. It brings a little love to a otherwise tragic situation.

When I found out Christian was Bree I was dumbfounded. I should have seen it, the clues were everywhere, but I was so caught up with Lara that I was hurrying through Bree's chapters. Honestly, the thing that blew through the wall was when Bree's Mother, Mary Joe came in and found out what was going and didn't try to stop it. Even worse she participated in it, I wish we found out more in depth why Mary Joe did it. We know she was mad that Lara's Mom was ignoring her requests, but Lara's mom was just doing what she believed was the best for her city. I may be wrong, but I think there was another reason, jealousy. Perhaps Mary Joe was jealous of Lara's Mother's seemingly perfect life, and wanted to ruin it.

I was glad we got to see Bree's side, what started as mean prank quickly escalated to a suicide attempt. What Bree did was very wrong but she definitely hadn't meant to hurt Lara that much. This book reminds me that sometimes not everything is as it appears to be.

The last touch to this book that put it together was the fact that Lara got asked out!
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Books Around the World: Anna and the French Kiss By Stephanie Perkins

Books Around the World #2 Anna and the French Kiss Hi! Lately I've been working a lot on writing my own book so I'm a little behind. Oops... I hope you guys enjoy today's cover judger. I did shorten the name to just Books Around the World, but I'll still be using the term cover judger. Enjoy!

Today's book is: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem?
He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?

"Magical. Anna and the French Kiss really captures the feeling of being in love." - Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments series

“Anna and the French Kiss charms [readers] with its Parisian setting and très bien boy.”

My opinion on the US/UK cover: *no spoilers*

Isn't this cover beautiful? It's just so pretty!!! There isn't really much depth to this cover but it's pink! I mean pink like PINK! How can anyone say no to the color pink? Okay you probably figure out that pink is my favorite color, it's is kinda of obvious though. *cough cough* My entire blog is like a shade of pink duh. I really like how this cover is so simple. It is just the horizon line of Paris dyed pink! How simple yet how charming. I also love the simple block type, very elegant. Though the re sizing of the words was a good idea. Just a simple cover, that's pretty brainless but cute.





My opinion on the (other) US cover: *no spoilers*

Okay, I know I'm suppose to be doing international covers but I wanted to include this one. Errr... So not to be mean or anything but this is not my favorite. I mean the concept of this design was nice but the end result was meh... I am glad of the cover change, this looks like the cover to a sappy movie and I'd probably be embarrassed to carry this one around.







My opinion on the French cover: *no spoiler*

So this is the cover they actually see in Paris, I wonder what Paris people think of Anna and the French Kiss? This cover's pretty cute the silhouettes are a nice touch I most admit. But ah the kiss isn't that cute, oh and Anna is dressed like an american, I guess with her big white shoes, her leggings and tee shirt. Cute but still not my favorite.





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Monday, July 6, 2015

From the Desk of a Fangirl II

From the Desk of a Fangirl 2
Hello there, well so I have finally gotten around to doing a second Toast to the Author well, sort of if you haven't already noticed, I changed the name. I feel like this title describes the posts a bit more. Argh so sorry guys for all the changes and weird stuff, it's just me making some changes to my blog so it will work better for mobile users. Here's the link to my first post in this series: Introducing From the Desk of a Fangirl Hope you guys enjoy more of my fangirling.

 Featuring:
The False Prince
Buy On Amazon or Add On Goodreads

Dear Jennifer A. Nielsen

Wow... This book was so amazing. I really can't wait till I can get my hands on the second book!!!! Even though this is my second time reading The False Prince you still kept me at the edge of my seat with suspense. I already said this before but I need The Run Away King now! Already told you this on twitter but I did meet you, you where so really nice, and you are one of the reasons I have decided to pursue my dream of writing. So thanks so much for that, I hope to meet you (again) one day in future.

Princess of the Silver Woods
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Dear Jessica Day George,

I first found you in my library about two years ago. Princess of Glass was the first book that I read by you. Unfortunately I didn't think to check whether there was anymore books. About one year later I found another book, it was Dragon Slippers. I read it and fell in love with it, and when I found out it was also written by the author of Princess of Glass I freaked. I am so glad that I found you twice. I was going through a bunch of my favorite authors' website's and found out about Princess of the Silver Woods. I was super excited because I didn't realize that you here planning on writing another book in that series. And if your wondering, I absolutely loved it. I can not wait to read your latest book Silver In Blood, I hope to review it soon. Historical Fiction is one of my favorite Genres of all time, can't wait to see your take on it.

Thirteen Reasons Why
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Dear Jay Asher,

Oh god, Thirteen Reasons Why book had me in a puddle on the floor in tears. Even though Thirteen Reasons Why has it's own level of eeriness it was very touching. I found my self crying so much.  I especially enjoyed your book so much because suicide is still very much a hush topic. Personally, I believe that we need to more openly discuss these types of topics in order to bring a more open eyed understanding to the public. I absolutely loved the way you pulled the story together. Definitely a five star book.  
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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pencil to Paper: Entry For the Lunar Chronicles Bookmark Contest




Hope you guys like it : )

Vote for me here by liking or repinning

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Book Review: Rising Phoenix By Hunter S. Jones

Rising Phoenix By Hunter S. Jones Review
When I first saw this book on The Readers Hollow, I knew I had to read it. (Thanks to Erin from Readers Hollow for giving me a chance to review this book) ever since 4th grade I've had a slight obsession with Henry VIII and his wives, especially Anne Boleyn, so I was excited to read Rising Phoenix. I started this book on my flight and finished it about two hours later, so this book is a nice quick read.

Buy On Amazon

Published by MadeGlobal Publishing (May 19, 2015)
Pages: 106
Source: Received Ebook from Author  

The last hour of Anne Boleyn's life...

Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny's stage.

A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Château Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction.

Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment... the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.

Rating

★★★★★

Favorite  Quote

"I knew Henry would come for me! My Henry. I am his beloved Anne. Ours is a love which time will never erase."

I really enjoyed Rising Phoenix, even thought I've read a lot of historical fiction based on Anne Bolyen, I'd never really seen a book quite like this one. Most books on Anne Bolyen don't normally focus on her execution. After all it is a very difficult topic, however, I think this book handled it rather well. The story is told through many points of view including, King Henry VIII, Princess Mary, Jane Seymour, Elizabeth Howard Boleyn (Anne's mother) the executioner, and Anne Bolyen herself. I enjoyed reading from all the point of views, I think it helped build a solid story and it was interesting to see other people's views on Anne's execution. I love how Hunter Jones weaved a little magic into this tale, I especially enjoyed the omens the author hid in the story.

Most books, documentaries and TV shows often portray Jane as an innocent, vitreouse women the complete opposite of how Anne Bolyen is portrayed. She is normally shown as a scheming, selfless, social climber, but one has to wonder whether the roles where actually reversed in some fashion. After all I have to believe that Anne Bolyen really loved Henry and as the book and history states the case brought before Anne Bolyen was deeply flawed and only one man accused of adultery with the queen confessed, but even that was influenced by torture. And Jane Seymour probably had her own share of scheming to catch Henry's eye, even if she didn't plan for Henry to fall in love with her she was perfectly fine with having a relationship with a married man so I don't know if she was really all that sweet... I was happy to finally find a book that didn't show Anne as a Heartless women who only married Henry for power.

Phoenix Rising was an interesting  take on the last hours of Anne Bolyen's life, while this book isn't a real record, I think the author got as close as possible. I recommend this book for anyone looking for a well written, quick dip into history. Phoenix Rising was beautifully written and a joy to read, I would definitely considering reading any future books of Hunter Jones's.
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