Thursday, 15 November 2012

I don't want to know IRL Non-Fiction about my Fiction!

Here's a book nerds problem.

The Mortal Instruments series is a series I began just after I read Twilight. This was about 3 or 4? years ago when I hopped the YA train. It's a track I haven't hopped off since - there is just that wicked boom of books and too many stories to explore.

The Mortal Instruments, and the other series by Cassie Clare, The Infernal Devices, are a series I love to pick up when the new book comes out and follow along the story. It is very entertaining, I can easily get lost in this world, it's a good balance between realistic and fantasy, I am hooked by the characters, and it is basically a never-ending story of fun.

Because of this blind-love, I can forgive Grade B writing, predictability, strange love connections, and what have you. I haven't recommended this series to many people because there isn't even 1 particular element to this story that stands out above the rest in the YA landslide.  I just love it.

I did just love it.

Here is my problem.

I've learned too much about the author. Normally, fan people love to learn about their favourite fiction characters by researching the non-fiction person (celebrity).  That usually makes them deeper in love.

Not me.

The more I love a fictional character, the FURTHER I want to be away from the celebrity that represents this. Be it an actor or an author, I fear this - learning any dishonorable traits, qualities, standpoints, etc about the celebrity can change, warp and/or taint the image I have of my perfect fictional character.

For example; Ron Weasley. My favourite character in Harry Potter. I love Ron's lack of confidence, his bravery, his difficulty dealing with emotions, his volitileness, his gingerness. It's awesome. He's awesome.  The person who represents Ron in the movies is Rupert Grint.  He seems to be a pretty cool guy. While I'll enjoy pictures of Rupert people send me, I won't see him as Mr.Grint, but as Ron. I only WANT to see him as Ron.  I don't CARE what other projects he's doing, what his dog name is, or who he's dating. Because the more I know about Rupert, the less Ron he becomes.
And we just can't have that.
I like Ron. I want to know Ron.  If Rupert does something awful, like rapes kittens, well then my image of Ron will be so afflicted by Rupert... I can't look at that face anymore.

Cassandra Clare. She was just an author to me. I knew she is close to her fan base, feeds us a lot of stuff, joins us in squealing about the lovey relationships, she's very central to the whole  thing. However, I don't want to get involved because everybody has skeletons in the closet, don't they? Secrets. The problem with secrets on the internet is that they never go away. Never. So when you've got a history, it will come back to bite you.
It bit her.
It bit me.

Rumour has it - (and it'll forever remain rumour to me) that Clare was a large fanfiction writer in the Harry Potter fandom. That's cool, I used to love to read HP fanfiction (even wrote some myself! awful things, they were).  But there was a lot of cyber bullying, a lot of weird stalking, over the line creepiness, accusations, plagurism, etc. A quick search brings all that up. There are hate blogs and hate letters and hate hate hate against Clare. Not because she's a famous author, not because her writing is less than stellar, but HOW she became famous. That irks me.  It irks me that she could have been involved even the slightest to cyberbullying and plagurism.  I'm sure most of it is exaggeration, which is why it remains Rumour to me.


But this little bit has put me off just a slight. That sucks. THat sucks for me. I stopped following her on twitter, tumblr, etc, because I don't want to see her suffer, nor do I want to see the drama.

She's an author of a fantastic series for me, and I want to support her by buying these books when they come out, collecting the things that mean something to me, and seeing her movies come to life. That's how I'll be her fan. That's where I'm happy being a fan.

I'm sorry for her getting any abuse or critics at any time, that sucks. That's life.  I'm sure the good outweighs the bad in the end.

I don't want to know. I don't want anything to change my crazy perfect love-blind vision at my favourite characters, fictional or not.


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Name my babies! - Nono #1

Post Sequencing : Name my babies! - A series of names I consider calling my 'own' while I daydream during the day.


I shouldn't, but I like this name:  Leonardo

I thought my parents didn't understand the consequences of naming me Raphael. How inconsiderate of me to  want to name a boy I have 'Leonardo'.
But it's a great name, no?
Maybe I subconsciously want a team of 4 kick ass boys that could defend me during the zombie apocalypse.







Tuesday, 9 October 2012

iTumblr now

http://raratumbls.tumblr.com/

Lovelaughread always gets me into these fun and silly internet thingys!

Incoming pictures of;
Books,
Polar Bears,
My pet fish,
..and other things.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Conversation about Books


Today's musing: do you keep your books pristine or abuse them (folding pages, writing in, hi-lighting, doodling, etc.)?
26 SepRara ‏@rarabesh
-------- Used, but not abused. Loved, but not worn out. Each break on the spine reminds me of each time I read and re-read a story.
 I love your poetic response <3

Book Review: Fathomless - Jackson Pearce

Fathomless - Jackson Pearce
I drowned in this book.

If I was a twin, and this book was an 'angel', I'd be an ocean girl right now.

I don't know how to put my feelings of this book into a coherent paragraph that flows point to point.  So, I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to word-vomit wearing my fan-girl outfit. There are spoilers, btw.

I enjoyed the multiple-personality of Nadia. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but it was a great way to showcase the difference between a human with a soul, and something that's not 'human'. While Nadia/Lo shared the same skin, hair, eyes, and toes, there was a distinct difference between them. You could 'hear' it in their voice.  You could see it in their actions. And if I were to over-analyze the differences, I might therein see what Miss Pearce thinks the difference of a human to a non-human would be.

For example: Nadia is embarrassed when Celia sees her naked. Nadia will wear the towel/dress Celia offers her.  Lo doesn't care.  That difference of proprietary is significant to Nadia being a human and Lo letting go of her soul.

Another example: Nadia fights with her life to remember her past. Lo wants to forget, accept life as it is, and look toward the beautiful ocean and the angels that will bring her beyond.

What I really like, is that Lo isn't completely devoid of her humanity. While it's in her nature/instinct to kill, she doesn't want to but moreover; she CHOOSES not to. She CHOOSES at a point to save a life, as LO. As this non-human personality.

This makes me believe that perhaps, Nadia/Lo hasn't completely lost her soul, if that is where her humanity is kept. If she did lose her soul, then the humanity part must be part of something else that isn't so easily forgotten; and that part might be the key to bring down the antagonists.


I enjoyed the constant ebb and flow (get it) of water illusions in the book. I, too, feel drawn to the big blue waters, and I quickly got lost in the feelings of gargantuan power the oceans can have over a person. I loved it.

The nuances that connect the twisted fairytales books - While each of her previous books (Sisters Red, Sweetly) can be stand alone stories, each of these 3 stories are connected in the same universe. Miss Pearce connects and weaves them together like a subtle spiderweb. If you aren't diligent, you could miss it. I'm going to re-read all 3 books again until I can catch every connection.


From all this random fangirl word vomit, I loved this book, I continue to love Jackson Pearce, and I am already experiencing readers-frustration (a la sexual frustration) waiting for her next book; COLD SPELL.


Time to go for a swim...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Book Review: Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Cinder - Marissa Meyer


So, last week, I finished this book.  I had my eye on this story for nearly a year now. Sometimes, the mystery in your mind is more satisfying then a story that... isn't.

Twisted Fairytales seems to be a new sub-genre in YA fiction. This is where Cinder belongs. I might put it lower on the totem pole, below Miss Jackson Pearces' Sister's Red,  Sweetly and SOON TO COME OUT - Fathomless. 

I forgive the predictable plot that mirrors Cinderella, as it should, the predictable characters are less easier to forgive. Perhaps it isn't even that - perhaps I just was unable to connect with Cinder. I adored her sidekick Iko (think of Eve from Disney's Wall-e), and her step-mother with step-daughters were done well enough. The refreshing part of this story was 1 sister was not evil (although, predictable unlucky Cinderella puts this sister in jeopardy).

The romance between Cinder and the Prince fell flat. It was obvious the Prince had interest in her, but you never knew quite why. Cinder wasn't far enough on a scale to tip it in her favour. She wasn't extremely homely or extremely pretty or extremely funny or extremely brash.. I think to gain the Prince's favour in any way, she'd have to stand out from the crowd. So, WHY does Prince show her any interest to being with?

Cinder had good ambitions and had a good heart, she had good reasons to make the choices she did. I did feel pity on her and I did want her to 'win'.. and she might have 'won' but never 'triumphed'.

The other twist to the tale probably stems from the authors love of Sailor Moon (okay, you found me out - that's really the reason why I wanted to read this book so badly).  Maybe it was my imagination, but I could easily pick out the Moon-esque similarities (the gloves, the lunars, prince is an ethic tuxedo mask). It's not a BAD thing by any means, but perhaps these themes/ideals could have been woven more intrictaly in the story.

It felt like the narrator was an excited young girl trying to tell me an epic love story. Usually when that happens, details are left out. Atmosphere suffers. The mood is a constant high. 

I liked this book. I will read the sequel. When I want a 'twisted fairytale' done right, I'll go to my Jackson Pearce part of my bookshelf and re-read those. 

Fantastic Giveaway - Hurry!


Over at a blog I follow (and read just about every day), they have been having a fantastic large giveaway, that ends in just a couple of days.

It all starts with Remembrance.  Lizzie Davenport, a classy lady reincarnated, has fate shoved in her face when Drew Carmichael transfers into her school. She's immediately hooked, fascinated, can't take her eyes off him... but, he's nothing but a cold icicle. 


If you haven't read this series, this give-a-way is a perfect chance in getting immersed into a fate-smashed, i love you but i don't love you story. The 3rd (and final) book has been revealed and it sounds like the story will take you right to the 'beginning' of their time.. 
I love history stories like this, and it sounds like it has a really great push and pull love-hate-fate relationship. 

Good luck to all entrents!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Book Review: Revived - Cat Patrick

Revived - Cat Patrick

This is the only non-zombie zombie book I've read. For the record.

It's taken me a little while to capture what I really want to say about this story -- it's more than just 'I really liked it'. While I did like it, very much, I wanted to point out several things this author achieves besides writing a captivating story.

A - Due to the nature of the secret-drug Revive, the agency calls the man in charge 'God'. The agents are thus denoted as 'Disciples'. Even as the story is told through a young woman's point of view, there is a definite symbology (a word I just created) to religion. She's lived this kind of life and taken for granted everything she's been told as the truth and nothing but the truth.  The perfect alignment of circumstances - she  begins to ask her own questions, and to see the grey areas of places she knew as Black or White.

I particularly liked this, and perhaps it is my own imagination, but it's a sly way for Cat Patrick to have Daisy identify with people coming of age, coming to realize they have to form their own thoughts and opinions around heavy issues - Life, Death, 'Religion' (the secret government agency she's with) and other Adults (when you realize, just because they are older, does NOT mean they are right).

B - Healthy detachment. Hear me out - a love story consists of person meeting person, person needing person, person doing everything possible to be with person, no matter the obstacle.  Cute, right? Sometimes.  In this case, Daisy is able to keep her love-interest at a healthy arms-distance, even through very difficult times. Maybe this is because she's used to just up and leaving? Maybe this is because there are more serious issues at hand? (MORE serious than a YA love interest?! Gasp, say it isn't so! BUT IT IS!) My point is, while I sat and rooted for this young couple, I was almost proud of Daisy's ability to separate when necessary, to have patience and believe in things will work out. To give the other person room to Breathe and sort his crap out. *

*Having said all this, there are times when they move mountains to be together. Thumbs up for that!


I'll stop the wall of text here.. and give you words that also describe this book;

-Awesome
-Gripping
-Fantastically well done - point of view wise
-Strong Heroine
-Page Turner (i was carrying this around with me, even into the bathroom)
-Surprisingly no zombies for a drug that revives people from the dead...

Monday, 30 July 2012

Book Review - The Selection, Kiera Cass

The Selection - Kiera Cass

I'm not in a writing mood, but I just had to get this one down on screen-paper.

Full disclosure, I got this story mixed up in my head. It was rec'd to me by a perfect friend, and we must've been talking about several books at once, because I thought this story was going to involve a plane crash and a deserted island full of beauty queens. Kept waiting for that plane crash to happen -- but when they landed safely, I was surprized! Anyway,

I --loved-- reading this book because:

- A strong female heroine, in the shadows of despair, is able to keep what's important in front of her and that's enough. She's not for wanting anything (except maybe more food) because she already knows what she has is great. That takes strength and character, and Miss Cass didn't have to heave on a sad backstory to make us see and believe it.  So, kick ass girl? Yep. Cool name? Yep.

- The love interest indeed sounds great. Seems special to her. Through America, we learn what HE has done, sacrificed, and what he would do for those he loved. Clearly they were on the same page in terms of values. Except... he has a tragic flaw.  Realistic relationship problems at that age? Yep. Ironic intrigue? YEP.

- When introduced to a world she can't have, America stays herself. Independence. Confidence in who she is, even when swarmed with temptations.  Good role model for impressionable ladies minds? Yep.

- Love triangle -- this is where things get good and juicy. The prince of the story? I like him. I like him because he's the boy from the other, other side of the track. At first unattainable, but then, he shows America something she hasn't had the freedom or space to see -- how a friendship can grow, and what that can mean for her.  Little by little, he wins her over. It seems clear to us that he see's a spark in her and is just as stubborn as she is, even though he can do it more diplomatically. I enjoyed their banter. Because - it wasn't oozing with romance. It had a much stronger foundation.

- I want America to be crowned.

- I want the next book in my hands tonight.



Thursday, 19 July 2012

Preview: The Moon Dwellers (David Estes)

qwerty
Okay, I am rampaging through the internet and coming up with all these other authors I've never seen before but immediately want on my bookshelf. I mean, their books. On the shelf. Not.. them.. really.. well..

Preview: The Violet Fox (Clare C. Marshall)

The Violet Fox - Clare C. Marshall

I came across this website last night, and then I came across this preview of a book, and then I wanted to review this preview!

At first glance, it seems to be a dystopian-fantasy-adventure-excitement-in-a-book! Mark your calenders; OCTOBER 13, 2012!

Blurb...

There are two kinds of people in the land of Marlenia.

The Marlenians, who live on the surface,
and the Freetors, who are forced to live underground.
The war between them ended two hundred years ago, but the Freetors still fight for the right to live under the sun. Fifteen-year-old Kiera Driscoll embodies the Freetors’ hopes as the Violet Fox. In a violet cape and mask, she sneaks around Marlenia City stealing food and freeing her people from slavery.


I strongly encourage you to read more, and to visit Clare's website. She's a Canadian YA author, and while I haven't read any of her material --yet--, I'm going to be keeping my eyes and clicks on her.

While there is many YA books out there with a strong female protagonist, there is not enough strong female protagonists that wear a mask and cape. I'm pulled between imagining The Violet Fox as a Robin-Hood(who can wear tights better) or a Katsa from the Graceling series (an insta-favourite of mine)

I enjoy stories that begin with a good vs evil obvious side, and then the grey matters slowly bleed into the middle where you're not sure exactly what's the right and wrong thing to do. The moral battle of a (strong female) protagonist is especially important, in my humble opinion, when young impressionable minds are soaking up the words and stories.  I'm not young, but my mind is still impressionable! Make me do good, Miss Marshall -- Make me do good!


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Book Review: The Darkening Dream - Andy Gavin

The Darkening Dream, Andy Gavin

I finally finished reading this book. Here is my review on it;

What I submitted to GoodReads.com - 

" I really liked how the setting was much earlier in the century, and how some history and mythologies coalesced into the story.  "

I don't like to give negative feedback of any kind. I couldn't do any better, even if I spent my whole life writing! 

It's not NEGATIVE feedback I want to give. It's just a difference of opinion, I suppose. Let me explain --

One of the biggest reason I wanted to read this book was because I learned that Andy Gavin, the author, had been in the gaming industry. Since I am a big fan of the gaming industry, I thought he might be able to put in a more fantastical - adventurous - spin to the story inside. I had thought it would greatly benefit the writing, in a different way.  And it did! It absolutely did! Where the story took you was akin to an RPG, and there was a lot more adventure than expected.

The thing is...

Maybe you can't have all the elements put together to create one perfect story. Maybe you need to pick a path, and stick to that path - especially on the debut - to highlight the story the author is trying to tell.

For instance, the story's setting takes place earlier in the century. Great! I love me some old-timey teen proprietary. I think Andy does this very well - of course there was hormones back in the day, and of course teens acted on it. It was well done.  It was realistic.

The history and mythology and religion themes of the story -- put together ... like a...... big ...... ball.... of coloured yarn.... so, in the end, there was a big ball of different threads of different colours that, combined, was a bit messy. Hebrew + Greek + (not much christian - even though that was the run of the mill religion then?) + Eastern Mythology = a lot of different paths mixed into one. This was confusing, and when the end came around, I was basically reading to just be along for the  ride. I didn't understand (probably my own stupidity, I'll admit) but it was so off the chart from the beginning of the story that, to make this read-able, I had to imagine I'm watching an anime.

Suffice to say, the story was interesting, but I didn't quite like it. There was a lot of great elements to the story -- but, it's not one I would recommend or read again. 

:(



Saturday, 14 July 2012

I moved to London, ON

And while I could go on about the different plant life I've seen here, and the beautiful (hot) weather it is here, and how kind people seem to be, this is all I can publish -- the countdown for when my friends come to visit me for a poke party. I probably will kidnap them-- just a warning.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Happy Canada Day! My recommended Canadian Authors

What a fantastic day! I see my first follower ( I <3 you Kristin!), it's Canada Day, and I was very productive at home.

In honour of Canada Day, I'm going to share with you a few Canadian authors that I would recommend to anyone in the YA business.

First off, Kelley Armstrong. She has written the famous The Summoning series, and even better - The Otherworld Series. Even though according to Chapters (Barns n Noble) the Otherworld series is classified as Horror, I wouldn't put it in that category.
It would be YA if they weren't adults.
So, they would be mature - YA.  Lite horror.  Fantastic reads, either way.

Kelley has created a universe where vampires, werewolves, demons and half-demons, witches and clairvoyents get into all sort of strange and moderns problems. These vampires aren't glittery (SORRY MISS MEYER!) but they aren't all malicious. There are some good, some bad.

The first book, Bitten, starts off with Elena. It's no secret she's the --only female-- werewolf. She tries to turn away from her past but it literally comes to bite her in the ass. Mix in an adorable but protective ex-boyfriend, and a universe that ELENA herself has no idea exists.. you get frequent adventure. The best part is, it starts in downtown Toronto, Canada. #CanadaRules!

I particularly love this series when I began, because as Elena learned stuff, you learned stuff. The characters you were introduced to in the first book, you start to follow in the second book. The characters in the fifth book might all be different, but they reference each other and it's all part of this continuous universe that could easily co-exist with us. Love, love, love it.


Secondly, I recommend Anne-Marie MacDonald. She has not written anything YA, but her works are beautiful. Lyrical and savage. She uses music and language to communicate emotions. While you read you explore so many layers all at the same time, it's nearly overwhelming. But, you let that wash over you and waves of rage, sadness, fear and hope crash against each other the minute a character makes a bad decision, a good choice, or misinterprets another's actions.  I've read her books and would like to single out Fall On Your Knees. Again, NOT YA.  Bad language, nudity, rape, and many other bad decisions. It follows a man entering Canada from a foregin country, and trying to make it on his own. Great ambition, but falls prey to lust to a lovely girl (who is lebanese, way to show our multiculturalism!). Armstrong also imparts of a lot of Canadian historical knowledge, sheding light on how the outskirts dealt with war.

Basically -- Tragic and heartbreaking but you can't put it down. You just, can't.


Those are my 2 top Canadian authors right now.

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Book Review - Succubus Blues, Richelle Mead

I really liked reading this book! I have to thank BookSniffersAnonymous for this!

Despite my misgivings about the Succubus part, I found that this story was really fun to read. Miss Mead has a way of just hooking me in with her words. It's automatic - every book, series, she's written, within the first chapter I'm in.

- Georgina Kincaid is a succubus heroine. Yep. Sexy, smart and sharp. I could relate to her and yet wish to channel her in different ways. She worked retail (I worked retail), She loves books (I love books), she is fangirlish towards her favvy authors (I am very fangirlish). She's sharp with her tongue (I wish I was), she's sharp on her feet (I wish I was) and off her feet (my husband wishes I was!)

- The paranormal nuances of this world are told on a need to know basis. This leaves lots of room for mystery and for the story to naturally unfold. I like how Miss Mead -does not- take half a chapter to describe the entirety of a myth of vampires/demons/imps/ etc. As she introduces you to characters, you get to know them and see how their jobs and their 'kinds' interact with one another. She shows you, not tells you.

- The story itself took on a few twists and turns. I did predict some parts of the book correctly, and some incorrectly. The story wasn't too complicated; it was a real world, modern setting, comfortable places and landmarks. The best part of the story was the character(s) - Georgina Kincaid.

- Succubus = sexy times. It just has to happen. I appreciate how Miss Mead wrote that in and out, not too filthy, but sexy enough. It's not a harlequin romance. It's just sex. The interesting flaw about Georgina Kincaid is that she is a succubus that doesn't want to be a succubus. She retains a lot of her humanity by making mundane choices. This succubus cares about her friends, who she chooses to take life from, and deals with moral and amoral decisions.


I'm glad I read this, and I'm all too eager to read more. I can't get Georgie out of my head!

Thank you, Richelle Mead!


If you liked this book too, I think you would like these books;

- Morganville Vampires (Rachel Caine)
- Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead)

Daily Dose of Cute



A baby turtle eats a raspberry. This is your daily dose of cute.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Author Spotlight: Cassandra Clare

Why do we like, follow, add, tweet, read, and post about our favourite authors?

Mortal Instruments Series
It's the online, new-gen version of 'groupies', I think.  We're safe from STD's maybe, but we're at higher risks to papercuts, typed-flat fingers, and bookshelves collapsing on us.

Passion grows with intimacy. To know our authors is to further love the books and stories.

One particular author, for example, encourages this growth.

Cassandra Clare, known best for her Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series, encourages this intimacy. She can be found on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and GoodReads. She avidly responds to her fans,  accepts the friendships and carries on the conversation. Cassie Clare embraces media avenues to showcase her talent; book reviews, book trailers, pictures and more. You can find her on YouTube at many different book banquets, answering questions and sharing deep thoughts about her stories and characters.

I find that this solidifies the bond between author and fan. If you ask a young teen if they like this series, you're GOING to see them react with almost as much fervor as with Beliebers. If you ask a young adult about this series, they WILL point you in the nearest direction of a bookstore, library, or (if they have 2 copies) to their own personal bookshelf that you -just must read now-.

Cassie Clare's talent as an author goes so much more than just in the stories. She reaches out to her audience, invites them in to her humble and beautiful homeland of Idris, and everyone comes out enthralled, in love, and guessing just how old Magnus Bane is (I love Magnus Bane!).

Cassandra makes it wonderful for fans. There is everything under the sun for the obsessive mind; fan sites, fan forums, fan fiction, jewellery, RP sites, and more. A quick google search, or start at her website. That's the best thing to bookmark, I think.

Not a fan yet? You will be. Glimpse her writing - The first chapter of the latest book.



BOOK TO MOVIE!

They're casting for a movie about the Mortal Instruments.  To find out more, visit Cassie's Website


Lily Collins - Clary

Jamie Cambell - Jace





Monday, 25 June 2012

Contest: The Darkening Dream (Andy Gavin)

If I ever felt alone, getting myself into the YA circle reminds me I'm just a drip in the ocean!

Take a look at this fantastic giveaway; Enter, and Good luck! I recommend following this reviewer, she's opened my eyes to a lot of titles I wouldn't have looked at otherwise.


I'm super excited to enter this contest. Here is another title that I wouldn't have looked twice at, and probably missed a thrilling story. This looks promising to me for two reasons;

1 - I'm missing vampires.

2- These vampires don't glitter. (I'M SORRY MISS MEYER!) By this, I mean, these vampires seem mean-er than the mopey-emo-vampbeibers I've encountered in other YA fiction.

Secret Reason #3 - Salem, MA.   Yes.



Synopsis:
"Salem, Massachusetts 1913.
When a gruesome murder opens Sarah's eyes to the existence of vampires, she's determined to put an end to their reign of terror. Little does she know that the monster she hunts serves another far worse and she's just antagonizing the beast.
A historical, dark fantasy full of action, paranormal, and a good deal of creepy, The Darkening Dream is an engaging read that leaves you
looking for the sequel. Readers should be aware that this book contains lies/deception, many disturbing and gruesome images of pain, injury, death, and killing; witchcraft,...The level of sexuality in this story is more fitting an adult than a young adult book."

Intrigued? I am. Read up a quick interview with the author here: Sarah's Reviews & Interviews

Wish me luck!

Book Review: The Complex (Cathy E. Zaragoza)


YA Fiction - Dystopian



I re-read this story so I can provide a clear review. I really enjoyed the first run  through and I enjoyed the second just as much!

I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in this sub-genre of YA Fiction - Dystopian novels. In the vein of Hunger Games trilogy (Suzanne Collins) and Insurgent trilogy (Veronica Roth), The Complex features a lot of the same elements; a divided society, small pockets of controlled people, and of course -- rebellion.

The difference between The Complex and other major names is it's Pace.

-I really liked The Complex because it was very fast paced. The action kept me reading and it was very difficult to put it down, in the fear that Cathy E. Zargoza kept tricking me in the lull's of the story. I would think that finally it's slowed down, I think I can go do the dishes, but WAIT! SHE JUST SAID....! And I kept reading.

-Even though it's a quick read, I have every reason to believe that it's just begun. The adventure the heroine has departed on is a very big task. This opens up a wide berth for this world, and Cathy E. Zargoza can take us all over the continent taking and saving lives all in the same page.

-I liked the main character Helena because I felt her age was very well adapted. Helena is only 16, and unlike other YA novels she isn't 16 going on 40. She is 16, and experiencing emotions as a 16 year old does. It's been a while, but I can certainly relate to the choatic, feeling-too-much-at-once emotion. Helena cries, she's stubborn, but she cares, and she goes with her gut, even if it's the wrong move. She takes experiences as she sees them, and dosen't over-analyze, and isn't overtly suspicious, which I find suits her well (given she's a 'Complex Baby').


All in all, I think this is a fun book, and if you enjoy Dystopian books, put this on your To-Read list!


Sunday, 24 June 2012

WON! Succubus Blues, Richelle Mead



I've recently followed this blog; Book Sniffers Anonymous. I entered a couple of contests and WON! A free e-copy of - Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid #1) by Richelle Mead.

Thank you, BookSniffers! I'm very happy + grateful + excited! That's going to be my next read!

Synopsis (Goodreads.com);
When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven't stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess getup complete with whip and wings. And she can't have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny...

Find out more on GoodReads.com!  

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Book Review: Heat, Bill Buford

Are you a foodie? Do you remember this guy?





The book basically follows an 'amateur' Bill Buford following the culinary discoveries of Mario. Mario had/has two restaurants in New York City that gained 3 stars. So it's serious business.

I got a glimpse into a world I would never, ever, otherwise peek into. Lack of interest, mainly, but lack of desire, lack of being a carnivore, lack of being a foodie.   If you tell me this dish you're about to serve me has chocolate in it, I'm good to go. That's about it.

It is disgusting. Very, very, disgusting. Want to know how your food is made, behind the scenes, when you pay $50.00 per entree? Want to really, realllllly know?  I'm warning you; you really don't. But, if you do... read Heat.  Then go to the restaurant.

What I liked about this book;

- I felt it was honest, unlike the Hells Kitchen TV show I never watched, but figured it's emphasized reality TV.  In Heat, Bill does tell you that there are some people who are screamers, and there are chefs who will tell you to 'Replate' if you did it wrong, even if you have a hundred orders behind you. But mostly, people are crazy, and passionate.  I believed that. I believe you have to be a little nutso to truly belong to your craft. Especially when your craft has you standing over fire for 14 hours a day.

- Bill spoke about vegetarians, and choosing to be vegetarian, with respect. He is CLEARLY a meat eater; but he KNOWS his meat. He went beyond the menu, learned about the calf, the cow, the bones, the muscles, the tissues, raw, cooked, brined, cured... he knows his meat. But, he talks about choosing to be vegetarian like it is a real choice. If you see/read what Bill has done, even he understands why a person would become vegetarian.

Here is a short excerpt I really liked;

"To my mind, vegetarians are amoung the few people who actually think about meat - at least THEY know what it is. I just believed people should know what they're eating. After all, at the green market, you overheard discussions about fertilizers and organic soils and how much freedom a chicken needs before it's free-range. Wouldn't it follow that you'd want to know what your meat is? And that's what I thought I was doing."
Bill Buford, Heat, Page 256.

He goes on to describe how people were being grossed out that he was carrying a freshly killed pig to his apartment. For the next week, he chopped and sliced and used -every- part of the pig, save the lungs. Only because, he needed a day off.

This book was thrust into my hands by someone I dearly love and trust, and even though she knows about my choices in life, if she wanted me to read this book -- I was going to read it. And I did. And I'm glad I did.



http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/139220.Heat


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Amazon Arrived!

Lonely books on a Lonely shelf

Hurray, hurray, hurray! They came, they came, they came!

My 3 books from Amazon arrived in perfect condition. Aren't they pretty? So so pretty. But lonely.

I've already begun packing my books for the big move on July 13th.  I cannot WAIT to unpack and have my new bookshelves all lined up in a row.  I'll have a lot of pictures to share then!

I'm still working on;

Heat,  Bill Buford
I am nearly done. I want to finish it. It makes me so grossed out.  Ever wonder what it would be like to work in a serious kitchen? Not Hells Kitchen, nothing Gordon Ramsey would show you. But to truly work among chefs?

Disgusting. And, scary. And, I can't put it down.


Monday, 18 June 2012

A new book contest!


http://www.iloveyafiction.com/win-covenant-gift-pack/

"The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck."
 (Taken from Goodreads.com, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9680718-half-blood )


Definitely on my To-Read list. The covers are beautiful and would look great on my shelves. Eeee!

Wish me luck, guys!
xox
R

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Book Review: Fire (Kristin Cashore)


Last night, I finally finished Fire! # 2 in the Graceling Series.


I kind of read this series out of order, a little bit. First, I read Graceling. Then Bitterblue. And now, Fire.
I would recommend reading this series; Graceling, Fire, then Bitterblue, as it was meant to be read.

Without giving any spoilersss, I'd like to try and review it a little bit.

I enjoyed this book. The elements that made me enjoy this book were;

- Kristin Cashore incorporated an element of realism that not many authors do. Fire, was a lady. And, as a unique kind of monster-lady, when she experienced her 'lady business', it had an effect on the outside world. That was part of the story and had to be considered for Fire's whereabouts. It was interesting, and necessary.

- I was able to connect with Fire on a few emotional levels; her love/HATE relationship with her father, her fear of accepting love, and some of her instability.   Most YA heros/ins at 17-18 seem to accept life and death situations with a level-head that some 40 years old cannot do. I thought Fire's fear was refreshing and realistic, and inspiring in the end.

- I admired Fire for her choices of the greater good, her sacrifices, putting her wants and needs below others. It's admiring because of her disposition, she clearly doesn't have to. In fact, she could have it all with a flick of a wink, literally. But despite her nuture, her nature wins out.

- I enjoyed the palace intrigue, and there was definitely some twists and turns I wasn't expecting. It was quite thrilling.

- I enjoyed the romance in this novel, subtle but strong, built on layers that come to light in the end,  complicated but true. Flexible. Real.

- I think I like this side of the world than the Graceling side, simply because the monters are far more colourful!



- The story had a happy ending. That is a must for me. And it was a beautiful ending.

I really hope Kristin Cashore continues to write about these worlds. The Dells and the Seven Kingdoms. Thank you for bringing fantasy into my YA world, Miss Cashore!!

 

Recommendations:


If you liked Fire (Kristin Cashore), you will probably like;

-Gracling (Kristin Cashore)

-Bitterblue (Kristin Cashore)

-Sisters Red (Jackson Pearce)

Friday, 15 June 2012

Sucker for Samples

Yeah, I'm pretty sure people chose to stop following my posts on Facebook.

Not just because of the tweeter spam, but of the samples/free spam. Oops. I have no friends. :(

My Husband (a philosophy major) was so irked when he learned http://www.philosophy.com/ was a skin-care/beauty website. Oh well!

So I scored a good handful of free samples yesterday;
This is subtle, feminine, and light. Swoon~
The saleslady told me not to use this though, until I have real wrinkles. :(
GREAT face wash. GREAT.


And then, I went to their website today, and they said a free gift if you sign up for the newsletter! Score! I signed up, and then learned it's a free gift IF YOU spend $25 online. boo.


Another sample: Elizabeth Arden Green Tea.. very sweet lil spray!




Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Golden Lily; Released!


Ah! I figured how to add an image. Bravo, me!

This book is out for me TODAY. My problem: do I buy the hard cover, or do I download to my kindle?

I had downloaded Bloodlines (#1) to my kindle when that was available. The reason behind this was because I was worried I would be disappointed. Was I losing faith in Rachelle Mead? No. It just happens.

Vampire Academy was about Rose, Lissa, Dimitri. It was a really good, strong, vampire series that was was thrilling to me.  I was really sad when it was over.  When I heard that she was contiuning a story in the same world, using Sydney, my face did this;

:/

Instinct. I didn't quite like Sydney, even though she put her LIFE on the line for Rose (that wasn't surprizing).

When authors continue a series in the same world but different characters, I don't   ......... like it. No further logic than that. I don't like it.

---------------------------------However--------------------------------

I read and finished Bloodlines #1. I enjoyed it, I really did. As much as Vampire Academy? No, but, that's not fair to compare an entire series of character development and experience to a brand new narrative (Sydney).

I want to read The Golden Lily. Miss Mead has left a lot of mystery to explain, and some budding romance, and some worry about how the 'kingdom' is going to proceed.

I'm excited! This many!!!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

GR Update, Amazon Haul

So, I did 1 book. I have 137 books to 'do', but I did one. Not even the latest one.

From here on out, I will try very hard to review a book once I finish. That way it's fresh in my head and I will want to rant and rave about it.

Too often I trip over my own words. My boss tells me it's better be clear, and to the point.

Sure, but I'm accustomed to a larger vocabulary, and not a 140 character limit.

I like word-flourishes. I like description (but not too much okay Tolkien?). I am not a writer, I am a reader.

Amazon Haul -
Re-Read list

Just ordered from amazon.com. They make me pout. Told me I was eligable for super saving shipping if I ordered just this much more, just this much more. So, ofc I did. But then, in the end, I'm not eligable. Am I going to dump my cart? hell no.  So this is what I ordered;















Can't wait. :)

GoodReads, feedback?

Bad News: I didn't win Maggie's signed cool book.

Good News: I spammed the internet with a favourite author.

Better News: I did win a Lysol Soap Dispenser

Great News: I can still buy Maggie's book from Fountain Books! And she'll still sign!



I was also catching up on Good Reads.com, of course to enter another book-giveaway-contest. I have low hopes because I'm not active on GoodReads.  I used to .. want to be. 

A) It's slow.

B) I'm slow.

C) Waiting wastes precious moments I can be reading

D) I'm a technophobe. Or snob?

Classify me;


I didn't like the idea of goodreads.com because it was on the internet. The internet is inherently evil and pushes things to the next level of technology. I dislike technology because I don't believe computers are more efficient than humans. I think Human Err is easier to fix, or eliminate.

I didn't say I was logical. :)


But what some fantastic author DID point out to me about goodreads.com is that, if authors use the site, then they can hear our feedback. I always thought of it as a personal log of all the books and things I've read (as if my sagging bookshelf doesn't already) and recommendations for people who read similiar books as me.


So now, I'm going to TRY -- TRY SO HARD -- to give legit, honest and critical feedback.  I'm inclined to say OMG I LOVE IT READ IT READ IT HARD AND FAST OMG!  but... really.

That dosen't help. Does it?

Omg.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Day 4 - Raven Boys, The


If you STILL have not watched this trailer for THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Steifvater (I am pronoucing it wrong so it rhymes with ((and in the accent of Arnold)) Terminator); please click play. Just let the story enthrall you...

I've finished my current book and I'm eager to get my hands on another. More specifically -- this.

It's an event when a new book comes out for me, so much so that I have it written down in my agenda and I get a couple of friends and head to the nearest bookstore, grab a copy, and rub it against my face.

How fast do you inhale your books?

Sometimes it's less than a day, sometimes more. I find the ones I"m most eager to read, I tend to go through much more slowly -- trying to savour. I'll read a couple of chapters, and lay down and wonder about it all.

Other times, life gets in the way and when I finished Bitterblue last night, I realized it took me 2 weeks to get through it. ----2 WEEKS ------.

That's how I know I'm busy.

xoxo
R

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Day 3: Arc Contest + Mood Swings

Day 3: Arc Contest~!

If you haven't watched the video, I highly recommend you to. It really gives the atmosphere of mystery that I hope the book will have.  I'm not just posting the video to win, but to give Maggie some more press! Just wish my blog was more notable.

Meet her; http://maggiestiefvater.com/

We all have our favourite books and authors. There are some books I really love, but would only read once and recommend to few people. (The Rebel Angels Series/Libba Bray).  There are books that I get so caught up in the moment with, but then after a year I'm embarrassed (Twilight, sorry Miss Meyer) . There are books that when I have a bad day, or want to feel a certain way, or be reminded of something, I'll go back to them. Over, and over again. (Anne of Green Gables, LM)

I read a lot of books.  So much so, that I think my re-read list is quite small compared to my have-read list. And this is where my favourite authors show up. I think if you did the same type of list, wouldn't yours show up too? What is yours?

Needless to say, with Shiver-Linger-Forever being my favourite supernatural romance books and The Scorpio Races in the town I always miss, but have never visited (I've been to the east coast a couple of times, and the books reminds me of Nova Scotia), Maggie's a favourite author of mine.  If she wrote a book that had NOTHING to do with supernatural or YA or of an interest of mine, I'd still read it.

UNLIKE, Anne Rice -- the QUEEN of Vampires -- found her jesus and started to write about jesus, i couldn't give it a second thought.  If Maggie started writing about jesus, my instinct is that she'd make him cute and cozy.



Mood Swings

At lunch, I wanted to march right up to my boss and say, Hey, Eff this. I can do this job blind better than the other fella, such a small difference if I'm remote... I had so many quick and confident balls of energy to throw at him.

After lunch, I got back to my desk and started to type it.. and then that voice that reminded me that it's not JUST about value and etc... and.. maybe he has a right to have all his sales people IN the ottawa office.. I don't have a right to this job...

From confident to meek in 25 minutes. See me .. squeak.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Is it cheating if noone reads my blog?

What good is it to Miss Maggie if noone reads these plugs. Huh. I guess I'll have to go on a blog hunt and post for some followers ;)

But what to make my blog interesting?

..Confound it! I'm not a writer, I'm a reader.  

I'll post pictures.

....of cupcakes.

or something ._.

Day 2 - ARC Contest


Day 2 of the ARC Contest to win a signed copy of The Raven Boys. 

If you're watching this (as you should) you should be aware that Maggie HERSELF animated and wrote the music. So, not only is she a fantastic author, she's got creative juices come out of the wazzooo. Honestly, Miss Maggie -- How do you have the time?!  

Also, check this out; http://www.fountainbookstore.com/autograph-maggie

At Fountain Book Store, if you order from there, she'll sign (what seems to be) any one of her books. Which is just freaking amazing.  This store is only about a 10 hour drive for me.. and once I move it'll be about a 5 hour drive (+1 hr for customs). It would totally be in my range to drop by if I know she's going to be there and meet her. *sigh* I dare to dream...


Another glimpse into the book; (taken from http://maggiestiefvater.com/the-raven-boys/ )

Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble. -Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Would you kiss your true love, if you knew it would kill them? How could you know it was your 'true love' until after you kissed them? What utter torture.

I am (happily) married. I know he is my 'true love'. I can't say that I knew the moment I met him.. so if we were dared to kiss under the mistletoe at 15 years old, or spin the bottle, and then I learned I doomed him? And that I only doomed him because he is, indeed, my true love?  I'd probably go all Juliet on him.

Anyway, thats my plug of the day.

xox +emoticon of a book
R