Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Winter

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
When I bemoaned to my father the fact that this doesn't come out until November, he suggested that I kidnap the author, break her legs, and demand the full manuscript.

Well then.

I had to remind him that my life is not a Stephen King novel. But I'm STILL desperate.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genres: Young Adult; Fantasy; Romance
Pages: 292

Image and description from Goodreads

“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you've ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn't win.”  

A charming little fairy came to me one night and whispered in my ear, her voice a dainty tinkling of bells. She told me of this wonderful little story, about a mystical girl called Tiger Lily. Needless to say, I was intrigued. Not one to disregard the urging of such otherworldly creatures, I found and read the book she spoke of. It was love at first sentence.

It is the girl's(Tiger Lily's) story, but it is told through the eyes of a very extraordinary fairy--Tinker Bell, as she is later named. Tinker-Bell shadows Tiger Lily, knows all about her, and Tiger Lily tolerates Tinker Bell. That we're informed of the goings on of Tiger Lily's life through the eyes of someone else may seem odd, but it lends an air of mystery to her character. And it didn't lessen the connection I felt with her.

When Tink first introduces us to Tiger Lily, she is cryptic. Mysterious. Intimidating even, but so incredibly fascinating.

“I'm not myself," she offered, guiltily. She softened around Tik Tok, and when she did she was, for those rare moments, girlish.  
He smiled. "You can never say that. You're just a piece of yourself right now that you don't like.”  

We see her shunned by the other children of the village. We see her through her insecurities and doubts(the ones she tries so hard not to show).

“Everyone will think I'm ugly."
Tik Tok smiled. "That's true. But we are a small village. We have narrow tastes. There's no telling who else in the world would think you're beautiful.”  

We experience her precious relationship with her father, the tribe's leader.
“You love me," she said. "That's enough. We love each other." 
"Yes. Yes, that's true." He[Tik Tok] smiled. "We are a love story.”
 We watch her fall in love.
“To love someone was not what she had expected. It was like falling from somewhere high up and breaking in half, and only one person having the secret to the puzzle of putting her back together.”  

We're introduced to a variety of quirky characters, from the lovable, girl-crazy lost boys, to the loyal Pine Sap, to the despondent Captain Hook and psychopathic Smee.

And then there's Peter. He is spirited and peculiar and bold. And too funny for his own good.

“We should have a funeral," he said.
Pan held his hands clasped in a tent on his lap, and he bowed his head.
He seemed to be trying to recall something, and it was a long time before he finally said, "Our Father. Our Father. Our Father. Amen."
Then he leaned back, and his face was blank again. He smiled, all white teeth. "There.”  

I have to warn you about this book. You'll get to be where you're so caught up in the fate of the characters, and in the love story--but in the end it's not really a romance at all. It's a riveting fairy tale, a breathtaking adventure you don't want to end.

And when it're filled with a curious sense of fulfillment and a raw aching....and a love for an ending that is so bittersweet and beautiful. At least, that's how I felt.

If you're seeking a typical Happily Ever After kind of tale, you can keep looking. Because Ms. Anderson has redefined what a happy ending really is.

With writing that is utterly beautiful in its simplicity, this is a tear-jerking, heart-wrenching story of one girl, told through the eyes of a fairy who loves her.
“Still, the longer I was around her, the more I could see the colors of her mind and the recesses of her heart. There was a beast in there. But there was also a girl who was afraid of being a beast, and who wondered if other people had beasts in their hearts too. There was strength, and there was also just the determination to look strong. She guarded herself like a secret.”  
 "You think you know that someone sees you one way, and barely at all, and then you realize that they see you in another. That was the night I realized Tiger Lily had seen- really seen- me all along.”
Content: Clean--no profanity that I can recall, but there is one scene where a boy and girl lie next to each other(Nothing happens).

  View all my reviews / Author Site / Amazon

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top Ten First Lines of Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Huh. Eleven again. I can count, I promise.

Magic for Marigold - Once upon a time--which, when you come to think of it, is really the only proper way to begin a story--the only way that really smacks of romance and fairyland--all the Harmony members of the Lesley clan had assembled at Cloud of Spruce to celebrate Old Grandmother's birthday as usual.

Pride and Prejudice - It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

I Capture the Castle - I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

1984 - It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader - There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

David Copperfield - Whether I turn out to be the hero of my own life or whether that station will be held by anyone else, these pages must show.

And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street - When I leave home to walk to school, Dad Always says to me, "Marco, keep your eyelids up And see what you can see." 

Catherine, Called Birdy - 12th DAY OF SETEMBER
I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family. That is all there is to say.

Fellowship of the Ring - When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventyfirst birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.

Matilda - It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.

What is your favorite first line?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Audiobooks: Opinions?


I have never finished an audiobook. Ever. It's not that I haven't made the effort. I've tried quite a few times, thinking each time was going to be different, only to set my headphones aside each time and go pick up a paper copy.

Why?? It should be easy, right? Just sitting back, relaxing, let the words of a story wash over me, with absolutely no effort on my part. But, no. It's not.

What I lack is patience. I can't wait for that painstakingly slow voice* to tell me the story when I could just read it for myself, my own way.

(*Seriously. Why do they read so slow?)

It always bugged me the way the reader decided to tell the story. When I'm reading to myself I have my own ways of enunciating, my own pace, my own ideas of how the characters must speak. But listening to an audiobook I have to conform my imaginings to fit with what the narrator is presenting. It's stifling, I tell you.

I could give you a far more detailed list of things I've found wrong with audiobooks, but I won't. On the contrary, I've decided to give them another chance. Crazy, I know. It's just that my generous and merciful nature has been prompting me to do so.

So, a few weeks ago, audiobooks and I were reunited. There were tears and laughter; I gave my headphones a stern talking to(sometimes they cut out, which is NOT cool). And so it began. I plugged the headphones into my phone, fixed them over my ears, and pressed play.

And it was weird.

It's a huge transition, the visual to the oral. I'm not saying that I don't like it....yet. In fact, I think I may really grow to enjoy audiobooks. It can be a nice alternative to when you're doing something active(walking, cleaning your room, etc.) and don't feel like listening to music.

So, here's to my newfound relationship with audiobooks.


Wish us luck.

(FUNNY STORY. I finish this post and, shortly after, I give up on the audiobook I was listening to. I PROMISE, however, that had more to do with crummy writing than any annoyance with the narrator. I was actually enjoying that aspect.

So. I need help in the form of RECOMMENDATIONS! Name some audiobooks and their narrators that you've listened to and really enjoyed! I'll check 'em out.)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Savage Light by Janeal Falor

Genres: Young Adult; Fantasy
Pages: 166

Savage Light
Goodreads Description
Marsa has always struggled with the fact she goes unnoticed. Her best friend is the one chosen to rid the world of all evil; the man Marsa loves barely knows she exists; and her sole remaining family member dies at the hand of the last evil man in the world.

When all evil is finally defeated, Marsa thinks she'll at last have the life she wants, even if her mother isn't there to share it with. And maybe she'll discover the love of her life loves her back. Only a new quest is set before her and her friends. By the end of their journey, Marsa will question everything she knows. She'll have to redefine how she wants others to notice her, before their entire world is destroyed
My review

I'm not entirely sure how I want to rate this book, so I guess I'll just leave it unrated for now. From what I understand, Savage Light is basically the author's previous book, Ever Darkening, revamped and told from Marsa's point of view instead of Kaylyn's.

I'll admit that at first I was a bit wary to read it based off the description. The "her best friend is the one chosen to rid the world of all evil" and "when all evil is finally defeated" parts....well, they made it come across as pretty juvenile, which I wasn't exactly in the mood for. While my concerns weren't completely unfounded(there were a few moments of utter cheesiness) I'm still glad I read the book.

If anything, Savage Light scores major points for creativity and uniqueness. What did catch my eye when I was reading the description was who the main character was. Because it's not the girl of whom it has been foretold will defeat all evil--nope. It's her best friend. Kudos to Ms. Falor for that decision, because I thought Marsa made a great narrator for this story and a very relatable protagonist.
The whole mindset everyone carried throughout the book--that everyone is either entirely good or wholly evil--kind of bugged me. But I can only say, without giving away any spoilers, that the ending settled some of my concerns.
What I really wanted more of was character depth. I'm not saying I didn't like the characters, but I feel that, of each person's personality and character, the surface was just barely skimmed and I couldn't really form a deep connection with any of them save Marsa.
It was a fun story, overall. I liked it okay, but I would recommend it namely for younger teens.
Content: Nothing questionable that I can remember; Clean!
**I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews / Author Site / Amazon

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Beauty of Words (1)

I love words. There are all sorts of words. Big words. Small words. Smart-sounding words. Slang. Adorable words(Hello? Kinchin?) and words that sound like illnesses. Words that build up and words that tear down.

One of the joys of reading is always discovering new words. Here is a collection of words we don't use enough, and their definitions.


Nuque [nook, nyook]: The back of the neck.

Kinchin [kin-chin]: A child

Hent [hent]: to seize

Whippersnapper [hwip-er-snap-er]: an unimportant but offensively presumptuous person, especially a young one.

Swashbuckling [swosh-buhk-ling]: Characteristic of or behaving in the manner of a swashbuckler(a swaggering swordsman, soldier, or adventurer; daredevil).

Definitions as seen on

According to spellcheck, nuque, kinchin, and hent are NOT words. A load of hogwash if you ask me.

All right, fellow wordaholics. What are some of your favorite, unusual words?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

10 Books I have Shunned

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.
Top ten books I will probably never read. But I am a fickle creature, so there are no guarantees.

Don't kill me for these choices.
Of course I gave the creepy woman the spotlight. Do you have a problem with that?
1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I've never hated on Twilight. I haven't read anything by Meyer, so who am I to judge? But I really don't think I'd like it, and I don't think you can change my mind.
2. Mirror Sight by Kristen Britain. (Kristen Britain, you are one cruel, sadistic human being. Enough, already!) I've read the first four books in the Green Rider series. I can't say I was awed by any of them, but I liked them and was curious to see what happened next. Unfortunately I was a bit disgusted by the morals of Black Veil, and it was taking WAY too long to get. to the end. of the story. Seriously. The first book was published in 1998 and the series isn't even finished. (Five books have been published. Five.)
3. Any John Green book other than TFIOS because I've already wasted my life on it. But I won't lie. John Green is a seriously funny guy.
Ain't that the truth! (Source)
4. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I've read some reviews that have, quite frankly, disgusted me.
5. First Days by C.L. Stone. Because book number one killed brain cells.
6. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. Ender's Game didn't exactly wow me like I thought it would.
Yes it is, Ender. Yes it is. (Source)
7. Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor. GREAT concept, but the first book was so poorly written that I couldn't continue.
8. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Meh. Just doesn't sound appealing to me.
9. Fair is the Rose by Liz Curtis Higgs. I had some issues with the first book, Thorn in My Heart.
10. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey. I just...can't. Dragon's Keep was too weird. I read it quite a while ago but I'm pretty sure I laughed in places I wasn't supposed to.
Haha. Ha. (Source)
11. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.
Hahahaha. I'm kidding. Harry Potter rocks.
I don't hate any of these authors, I promise. (Okay, except Kristen Britain. *glares*)

My, what a critical, unfeeling post. I do think I'll go cry now.
Tell me, have you read any of these books? Do you wish to? And do you now hate me with a severe and burning passion?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Taking the Library by Storm

Hello, May! Glad you've finally come around. Now if you could just speed up a little so school can finally be over with, I would be much obliged.

April was an insane month. I will leave it at that. But you know what calms me after long, hectic days?

Books. Libraries.

So I went our NEW library a few days ago, and came back with these six books. Even though you're only supposed to check out 3 on your first visit. What can I say? I'm a rebel.

Okay, okay. I used my mom's library card AND mine.

But just look at these beauties!
I've already read Tiger Lily, and it's a new favorite. I recommend it to everyone who's reading this. Actually, stop reading this post and just go read it now. Do it.
You kept reading? You rebel. I like you. But you should still read Tiger Lily.
So, the library trip was a success! I also thought I'd share some other happenings with y'all. First thing's first: I'm a finalist in the Go Teen Writers Show Me Contest! I'm just a teensy bit excited about this.
It also so happens that my senior pictures are coming up, and I have a rather creative idea for them.
Wait for it....
I'm doing a theme. A fairy tale theme. Meaning that I'm going to dress up as Red Riding Hood, and Snow White, and Belle from Beauty and the Beast(but not as them, as them. I'll still look like myself). I even made a Pinterest Board! *cough* You should follow me *cough* I'm also going to take a few pictures in a library. Because, books.
I'm super excited about this, even though I'm so un-photogenic it's not even funny. I miss those kindergarten days when I could just smile sweetly, fold my hands in front of me, and just be the most adorable thing ever. But those days are long over.
Happy May, everyone! It looks like it shall be a promising month!
Have you checked out any books from the library recently? What were they? And have you read Tiger Lily? Because I must know!