Monday, September 21, 2015

Book review: Enna Burning

Enna Burning (The Books of Bayern, #2)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genres: Young Adult; Fantasy

Goodreads description:

Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna's simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good--to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders--and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Isi and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her?

My review:

I was very excited to read this book after I finished The Goose Girl, but I went at it thinking that it was going to have the same feel to it that The Goose Girl did.  I was very wrong. Enna Burning is almost the opposite. While the goose girl mostly had issues of trusting others, Enna burning was filled with issues of trusting onesself.  Enna Burning has a feel to it that is a lot angrier than The Goose Girl. That threw me off a little in the beginning, but as I came to realize that this book is very much different, I accepted it and the story seemed so much more interesting.

I was somewhat unsure about the beginning.  For a while, I just wasn't sure whether or not I liked it.  But the farther into I got, the more the story drew me in.  I loved to be inside Enna's head.  The way she thought was so different.  She is such a strong character and even though she doesn't believe it, I could see it through the way she thought.

 There was some cliche stuff towards the end though, some of that "falling in love with my captor" stuff that irked me, but when we figure out why it does make a little more sense.  The very end also seemed very rushed when I really wanted a more detailed ending.  However, there was an ending, which doesn't happen all the time.  Over all, I enjoyed this book greatly, although I didn't like it as much as The Goose Girl.  I still award this book a great 4 stars, and I will be reading the next one as soon as I can get it.

I'm just gonna geek out for a second before I go.  Razo!!!!!!!!!!!  He's amazing.  He is on my list of favorite characters.  I just love him and Finn.

~ Alison

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My Favorite Motivations

Today it was rainy, and that gave me the urge to read or write.  I had just finished my book though, and I didn't really want to read something else at the moment, so I decided to write some blog posts, which ladies and gentlemen, is why this blog post is here today.  I started to think about why things like rain make me want to curl up in a ball and read my favorite novel, or write for hours on end.  I still haven't figured out why, but I have thought of some other things that make me scripturient and I thought I might share them with you.  

1. Rainy days.

I find rain to be the perfect chance to sit and read by a window like I'm in a movie.

A cup of tea, a good book, and a cozy corner filled with pillows and blankets makes soul quite happy. 22 Things Anyone Who Loves the Rain Will Understand

Because I totally have an awesome window nook.  And a cool dress like that.  Actually I look more like a burrito of sweatshirts and fuzzy socks under a blanket somewhere.

The other thing rain might make me want to do is clean my room completely then work on character development until my floor is covered with paper.  So it's either curl up in a ball or go into work overdrive.  Not really sure how that works.  

2.  Blanket tents.  

I kid you not, if I end up making a big blanket tent there will be a huge stack of books and a book light in there, as well as snacks and possibly all the pillows in the house.  I don't often get to make blanket tents though, which is sad because I make blanket tents 

 David Tennant - Ten (10) - Doctor Who

3. Instrumental music.

Especially epic background music, because I can match it up to certain scenes in the book I'm reading at the time.  However, this is often a bad thing for me because I listen to instrumental music when I do school so I have sudden urges to write in the middle of schoolwork.  

4. Watching shows that require deep thought.

Anytime I watch a show that dives into the mind of the villain or monster, or just makes me think really hard about what's going on, it really creeps me out and I love it.  It makes me want to experiment with writing from the point of view of the villain, and that's always fun.  Except sometimes I get a little bit too happy about being evil...  

5. Hammocks.

If you put me in a hammock, I will either be sleeping or reading within a few minutes.  It's crazy; I think they're magic.  

6. Power outages.

This may be due to the fact that I can't watch TV or get on pinterest, but it's at least some form of motivation to read or write.  But these are always the times when my sister wants to do something with me because she can't get on the internet.  So my reading is constantly disturbed and my reaction tends to be 

Henry I’d-rather-read-about-‘Ethical Dilemmas in Elizabethan Crop Production’-than-socialise-with-people Nobley   :  Austenland (2013).

Until I convince her to let me pick a book for her, but then she is just as much of a book nerd as me, and we all happily read till the lights come back on.  And for a few hours after that. 

And now I take my leave to curl up in a ball and read under a blanket on this rainy day :) 

What are some of your motivations for reading and writing?  And favorite spots to do so?   

~ Alison

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Beauty of Words (2)



Effervescent [ef-er-ves-uh nt]: bubbling; vivacious; lively; sparkling

Inglenook [ing-guh l-noo k]: a corner or nook near a fireplace

Quiescent [kwee-es-uh nt]: being at rest; quiet; still; inactive or motionless

Quiddity [kwid-i-tee]: the essential nature of a thing

Grimalkin [gri-mal-kin]: 1. a cat. 2. an old female cat. 3. an ill-tempered old woman.

Squib [skwib]: a short and witty or sarcastic saying or writing.

Definitions as seen on

After this, I don't have a lot of posts ready to go up, so I'm sorry if I'm not as active as usual. Alison will have to pick up my slack. :) College has made me super busy, and I miss reading and blogging more regulary. But I'm still having lots of fun.

So. Used any unusual words in conversation recently?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Review - Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Genres: Young Adult; Contemporary; Fantasy; Romance
Pages: 403
Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)Goodreads Description:

Passion. Fate. Loyalty.

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

My review:
I really struggled with rating this one. It had an interesting concept and likable characters.... but the plot was just "meh." I enjoyed the read, but my eyes would skim over paragraphs of pointless descriptions(there were a lot of those).

In all honesty, this is really just a romance disguised as an epic fantasy. Don't get me wrong; It was a sweet romance. Kelsey and Ren were adorable. But it wasn't enough story to go on. It's like the author realized this towards the end of the book and decided there had to be "relationship problems," meaning: Kelsey had to start acting like a jerk.

There were other issues with the plot, such as there not being a real antagonist. It was just task after task they had to complete--it was too easy. But I have a feeling this will change for the rest of the series, thankfully.

I don't want to completely discourage anybody from reading this, though, because it wasn't unenjoyable. If you like the "Beauty and the Beast" sort of tale, you may enjoy this. The characters were lovable, and so easy to root for. It just wasn't quality writing.

This would probably earn a 2.5 rating overall. Not a favorite of mine, but I do want to continue the series.

Content: Clean, all except one scene that gets just a tad steamy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Review: The Goose Girl

Genres: YA; Fantasy
Pages: 383

The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1)
Goodreads Description:

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt's guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani's journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. 

Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny. Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can become queen of the people she has made her own. 

My review:

I read this book the first time years ago, when Ally convinced me to, and finally I reread it so I could read the whole series(also because Ally convinced me to).  Let me tell you, I am so glad she did.  I loved this book.  The plot was enchanting, and so was the writing style.  It never got slow, and I appreciate this greatly.  When it began, I wasn't sure about it.  I thought Ani was slightly annoying, and she was very naive and that made me unsure of how the book was going to get where it needed to go.  Thankfully, as Ani's journey continued, she grew to realize that many of the things and the people she believed in weren't really helping her.  As she went through hardships, learning how to be a Goose Girl and learning how to trust the right people she relied more on her own strength and the help of her friends rather than material things.

There was a touch of romance, enough to be part of the story but not enough to overwhelm the real plot, which is just the right amount of romance in my opinion. Not to mention this book has some of the best quotes ever, some of which I will put down below for you.  

 “Yes, we'll yell, 'Help, help us, goose girl, and bring the terrifying legion of warrior geese'.” 

“She closed the book and put her cheek against it. There was still an odor of a library on it, of dust, leather, binding glue, and old paper, one book carrying the smell of hundreds.” 

“If we're mad, we're mad in large numbers, at least larger than yours.” 

“Am I the moss on your bark, then?" Ani asked.

Enna grabbed her around the waist and shook her affectionately. "You're the mossiest girl I know.” 
This is one book I can suggest to almost anyone, whether they be a pre-teen or an 18 year old.  The book is great and wonderfully clean.  After finishing this book the second time, I actually got to go to the library to get the second one: Enna Burning, and I am more than excited to finally read it.