Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Surfacing by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Two disclaimers.

1) I really wish I had put this book down and simply thrown it in the 'Unreadable' category.

2) A lot of this book involved the swim team and swim meets and blah blah blah. I have no firsthand experience with it, but it doesn't seem like the author does either. If that's what drew you to this book, I suggest setting it down and just walking away.

An amazon summary, "A lyrical and deeply moving portrait of grief, blame, and forgiveness, and of finding the courage to confront your ghosts — one truth at a time.

As soon as she was under, Maggie heard the quiet, though every sound was amplified in her ears and in her brain...Sound, like shame, travels four times faster under the water. Though only a sophomore, Maggie Paris is a star on the varsity swim team, but she also has an uncanny, almost magical ability to draw out people’s deepest truths, even when they don’t intend to share them. It’s reached a point where most of her classmates, all but her steadfast best friend, now avoid her, and she’s taken to giving herself away every chance she gets to an unavailable — and ungrateful — popular boy from the wrestling team, just to prove she still exists. Even Maggie’s parents, who are busy avoiding each other and the secret deep at the heart of their devastated family, seem wary of her. Is there such a thing as too much truth?" AMAZON LINK OF WHIMSICAL EMO NOISES

This is all spoiler land as I simply CANNOT be bothered to limit myself to the first third of the book. The book was less than 200 pages by the way; which is why it was easy to finish and not just unreadable.

So this is one of the ADHD books I've come across in a long time. The main girl Maggie (I was never under the impression that she was the STAR of the varsity team, just a really good swimmer) is just dumb. She flashes back and forth from the day her sister died to her present life, but it's really challenging to figure out how much time has passed in between the present moments.

Maggie also believes that she has the ability to draw out deep truths or secrets from people, but it doesn't seem that way to me. It seems like the entire student body compulsively tells her very vivid details about themselves so she might remember them, or as a way to connect to her. To me, it doesn't seem like anything people compulsively reveal is anything horrific or something they wouldn't tell anybody when asked; they all just seem to compulsively give her their spiel, see that it has no affect on her, and move on. It's kind of boring actually.

Then there's Maggie's 'crush' on a kid named Matt who her best friend Julie keeps warning her that he's a first grade crap of a person. Maggie is like, "WHATEVER, IF I JUST SLEEP WITH HIM MAYBE HE'LL NOTICE AND LIKE ME. URGH." ....but much less enthusiastic. Maggie seems to lack any sort of emotional connection to anything that she does. For example, Matt and her 'get together' about three times before he leaves for college and each time they try to have sex but he never quite makes it and ends up just rubbing on her to orgasm and then leaving. It's very disturbing. Maggie just lets him do it and makes plans to lose her virginity before he returns for Thanksgiving break because then maybe they'll have sex and he'll fall in love.

...um, what? Please tell me this is just one person being delusional and not something that people do. PLEASE TELL ME SHE'S THE ONLY ONE THAT RAGES THIS MUCH DUMB. ACK.

So Maggie then sets off on a quest to attain a boy and just to have sex to lose her hymen. (Again, WHAT?) She has a brief moment of being like, "Oh, my health class notes from 8th grade; it's a good thing I didn't pay attention in class and just wrote everything down." Then she figures out her 'safe' time (rather than using contraception's, I KNOW, SHE'S HEINOUSLY IRRESPONSIBLE) and proceeds to stalk this guy Nathan a little bit before she happens to run into him, invites him over, and tries to awkwardly grope him into sexing her.

Nathan is all, "Whoa whoa, slow down killer, I care about you before your naked body," and she's all "WHAT? EMOTIONS? CRAP. I DON'T DO THAT. AT ALL." So they have a romance kind of and then something happens where Nathan responds to Maggie being all, "You don't sell a good thing twice" and she's all "OMG BUT I'M SO GLAD YOU AREEEEEE TEEHEE" and then they're together and they sleep together because TWU WUV and then Matt comes back from break and is like, "Yo," and Maggie throws herself at him and they sex in his truck by an outlet mall. Yeah. Also, none of the sex scenes are described, they're just weirdly hinted at or alluded to.

So Maggie tells Nathan about Matt and Nathan is like WHOA, NOT SELLING MYSELF A THIRD TIME, WHY DID YOU TELL ME THIS and Maggie is like I DON'T KNOW WAHHHHH and Nathan peaces out.

In the meantime, Maggie's parents declare they're getting a divorce, Maggie loses her 'truth mojo' (maybe it corresponds to her losing her virginity (if that's the case, what message is being here?)) and Julie continues to be a good friend.

OH, so Maggie's sister Leah died when Maggie was 5 years old and it haunts Maggie a lot and she flashes back to it all the time. The creepy part is some of the narration starts happening from Leah's perspective and then Leah becomes sentient and 'coaches' Maggie on her current life even though sentient Leah acknowledges Maggie can't hear her.

Book ends.


Yeah, um, this should have definitely been an unreadable book. I'm not even going to discuss the swim team aspects because none of it makes sense to me. Enjoy.

Happy reading!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Through The Ever Night

Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Three things.

One: I read the first book in the trilogy. That post is HERE.

Two: I don't have a clue as to who that's supposed to be on the cover. At all. I don't think any character was depicted like that in the series. I'm a little unnerved.


Amazon summary so you can get as PUMPED UP as I am about this book, "It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death.
Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.
Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at fi rst. Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?
Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night? In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure—and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE


Alright, so last book (HOLY CRAP ALL THE SPOILERS ABOUT UNDER THE NEVER SKY), Aria was searching for her mother and found out she was dead, Perry was searching for his nephew and found out he was sold to the dwellers by his brother Vale and was being experimented on to see if he could be made better (supposedly, also he was horribly ill), Perry in a rage challenged Vale for the title of blood lord and won thus making him the new blood lord of the Tides. Roar, Perry's hilarious best friend, is in search of Perry's sister Liv who was sold as a bride to a faraway tribe as the dowry would support the Tides; however, Liv seemed to have vanished. WHEW. That's to summarize it lightly.

Something I didn't touch on in the Under The Never Sky review was that the 'savages' sometimes have special abilities that let them hear REALLY well, or see REALLY far (or at night like it was daylight), or even smell people's tempers (emotions), etc etc. Aria is half dweller and half 'savage' and she is a aud (a person who can hear REALLY well). Perry can smell tempers and see really well (and at night, though that is a rare ability).


So Through The Ever Night picks up where Aria has returned to the Tides and didn't get a warm welcome since she's considered a dweller (which is a bad thing). She has all of her trials of trying to get the people to like her but has to keep her main quest in mind of finding the blue sky so she can save Talon (Perry's nephew) from the pod. In order to get the Tides to accept Aria, Perry has her marked as an aud (all the people with extra senses get marked). But during her marking, the ink that was used was poisoned which sends Perry into crazy protective mode and Aria a little half dead. Perry's outrage splits the Tides and about a third of the Tides leave. Aria, trying to make things better and not worse, sets off with Roar to find the blue sky (and Roar goes with to find Liv; the love of his life, blah blah blah).

That's about a third of the book, and again that's a lot of over-generalizing summary.

I don't want to talk about the rest of the book because I kind of love it a lot and would strongly encourage anyone to pick up the series. Sometimes it does read more like a romance book, but it always comes back to the important events.

Some things I'm looking forward to finding out in the third book:
-If they get through the blue sky, is there land on the other side or are they jettisoned into space?
-What is Roar going to do? (All the sad.)
-Does anyone else suspect that Perry might leave the Tides to Marron?
-SOREN, SOREN NEEDS TO GET OFF. Also, how are the dwellers expected to live in the Death Shop?

Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Water Castle

The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore

An amazon summary before I start in, "Ephraim Appledore-Smith is an ordinary boy, and up until his father's stroke he lived an ordinary life. But all that changes when his family moves to the Water Castle-their ancestral home in the small town of Crystal Springs. Mallory Green's family has always been the caretakers of the Water Castle-and the guardians of its secrets. She has been raised to protect the legendary Fountain of Youth, hidden on the estate grounds. But ever since her mom left, she's stopped believing in magic.Will Wylie's family has been at war with the Applegates for generations, all because of the Water Castle's powerful secrets. But Will has rejected legend and magic, putting all his faith in science. When Ephraim learns of the Fountain, he's sure finding it can cure his dad. With Mallory and Will's help, the trio embarks on a mission that brings them deep into their families' shared history, through every secret room in the Water Castle, and on a quest that will blur the lines of magic and science, creativity and discovery, leaving readers left to wonder: Do you believe in the unbelievable?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

So I've been sitting on this book for a while because I'm entirely unsure what can be said about it.

On one hand, I'm all, "Man this was good." On the other hand, "Ugh, what did I just read?" In my brain, "Whoa now, was this a giant allegory of all religions/myths can be explained through science; we just have to keep trying until all can be explained?"

Yeah, this gets a little complicated.

I'm completely convinced that their is a giant hidden moral message in the book, but I'm not exactly sure what it is. I really want to say that myths, religions, beliefs are very important, but it's more important to seek the real truth with science; but that doesn't seem quite right. I'll talk about the book and maybe you'll see what I mean.

Price, Ephriam, and Brynn's father have a stroke, and in order to seek better treatment, the family moves into the Water Castle in Crystal Springs. The mother describes Crystal Springs as a tourist sort of destination, but we (the reader) are kind of redirected from the town as a whole and are forced to concentrate on how the general populace of the town is supremely smart, stronger, etc than the average person. We (the reader) are also pointed to focus on three different families and the Water Castle itself. The Appledores, the Wylies, and the Darlings.

The Appledores are the ones who purchased the Water Castle and made a business on the rumors surrounding the water of Crystal Springs. The Wylies claimed that they found the water first and should have been the ones to make the business from the water. The Darlings are the ones who were contracted to make the Water Castle. So they're all interconnected.

Now there's an interesting ripple effect with this story as the author gives us flashes into the past that concerns a son of the Appledores, a daughter of the Darlings, and a daughter of the Wylies. If I have to spell it out for you, LOVE TRIANGLE. Because no young adult fiction seems to be complete without them (I can say that because Percy Jackson, Twilight, and The Hunger Games have all done it. I know there's probably a giant list of them somewhere, but these are the most notable/relevant to me at the moment). I'm not entirely interested in discussing the 'past' sections as they don't reveal anything particularly interesting. It's kind of there, illustrates what Crystal Springs was once like, and really develops the understanding between the three family's feud. That's about it. Enjoy.

So anyways, Price and Brynn are coping to an extent with their Father's stroke while Ephriam kind of wigs out and avoids the Father completely. The Mom is a nice supporting character, but doesn't play a major role in any sense; neither do any of the adults they're just kind of cardboard props that talk sometime. Ironically, Price/Ephriam/Brynn's Father is probably the most important adult in the story, yet he cannot speak, move, or interact much with the story at all. He is the driving force behind Ephriam's enthusiasm to find the fabled Fountain of Youth.

This book is totally about the Fountain of Youth in case you missed that. All about it. Seriously.

So the siblings explore the house a bit and notice it's really weird even though it's a castle. There are rooms in places where it doesn't spatially make sense that they exist, there are rooms that don't make sense at all. The siblings kind of unanimously agree that whoever designed the castle was a bit loony. Price automatically disregards the Fountain of Youth and concentrates on what is real and what he can actually work on or do to make things better. In a sense, he refuses to become lost in the dream. Brynn takes a cautious approach with it as she doesn't seem to want to believe, but is exploring the data on the subject and kind of helps in that manner. Ephriam is like, "OH MAN, FIND THE FOUNTAIN, FIX FATHER, WINNING" and that's basically all he's got. He's mildly focused on school in the sense that he expects to do well, and be the best student, and blah blah blah because he was a good student at his previous school.

Crystal Spring's schools are really advanced, so Ephriam kind of comes off as dumb to his classmates as he doesn't know any of the material they've been studying. Regardless, he manages to awkwardly befriend Mallory (the daughter of the grounds keeper for the Water Castle) and Will (who isn't really a friend until later).

The story all kind of twines together to portray a family trying to deal with an unexpected illness, struggling through the myths and facts to discover what's truly worth believing, and through the snippets of the past - the view of the insatiable spirit for knowledge is portrayed while tangling three families in a feud that lasts for generations. Really, the feud is between the Appledores and the Wylies, but the Wylies despise the Darlings for being in the Appledore's employment, so the Wylies are basically the obnoxious part I suppose.

I don't know.

I still have a lot of mixed feelings on the story as half of it seemed like it wanted to be about discovery, yet it seemed to be mostly a mystery because they realized what they were trying to find was discovered before and it becomes a sort of treasure hunt.

It's a rather complicated story.

However, I would like to say that the story was a little slow for me in the pacing and became a little bit of struggle to get through at some points simply because I kept shouting, "I GET THE POINT, BUT I CAN'T SKIP TO THE NEXT CHAPTER BECAUSE I MIGHT MISS SOME OBSCURE CLUE. GAHHH".

I also kind of liked the Author's note at the end because it was pretty sassy.

Happy reading!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Rules for Disappearing

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

Alright, normally, I try not to read this kind of book because it usually has too many scary elements to it or the character completely ignores how the real world works and substitutes their own.

...le sigh.

Amazon summary, "She's been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she's been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last. 

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they've given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do-or see-that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all of the Suits' rules-and her dad's silence. If he won't help, it's time she got some answers for herself. 
But Meg isn't counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who's too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there's only one rule that really matters-survival." AMAZON LINK OF WHINING


....no really, that's basically her through the entire book. There are plenty of FASCINATING insightful things happening around her but she's like NO *mopes*.

So to give a background; Sissy (Meg/Anna/Female narrator), Teeny (little sister of female narrator), Mom, and Dad are all placed in the witness protection program for some reason and Sissy automatically assumes it's because her Dad did something awful. She's such a darling daughter.

They get moved around to different places because someone slips up and accidentally reveals where they are or because of some unknown reason. The book begins when they're being moved to Louisiana and the family simply doesn't care anymore since it's their sixth(?) move.


...yeah, so the family is a huge screaming mess.

Basically the book boils down to how Sissy tries to make her life seem normal and gives herself a set of rules to follow in the new placement (which she completely disregards for the most part) and makes the whole show about how her life is so awful. She meets a boy and she's like OMG I SHOULDN'T....BUT HE'S LIKE SOOOO HOTTTTTTTTT. So she befriends him inevitably and their 'love' story doesn't make sense at all, but whatever, it's TWU WUV (all the gagging).

So, if you were like me and were like, "Oh man, witness protection program, I kind of wonder what that would be like..." This book does not answer your question. And seems to be part of a series.

The main character seems to have this notion of, "If I believe it I can do it!" while trying to have logic but basically just making bad plans and then her TWU WUV swoops in to rescue her from her "Too Dumb To Live" syndrome. Seriously.

It's not worth it to delve into spoiler land on this one.

I finished the book.
The ending is not a 'true' ending and everything rushes together from the (spoiler) sudden shucking of amnesia.
The action isn't really action, it's just watching main character be paranoid.
None of the characters are well developed or grow. They all seem to be mutant cardboard animatronic things.
The book boils down to the main character whining about how life is hard, having a sudden stroke of dumb and concocting a plan that will fix everything, and then nothing happens.
Everything about this book is forgettable.
I aggressively slept at it quite a few times.

If you have a choice, you should probably pick up something else.


Happy reading.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Power of Poppy Pendle

The Power of Poppy Pendle by Natasha Lowe

Disclaimer: This is a little younger of a book than I normally read. Think 10-12 kind of age. I enjoyed it, but it was younger. TO THE AMAZON SUMMARY!

"Poppy may have inherited the family’s magical powers, but she would rather be a baker. How can she avoid the family business? Includes more than a dozen delectable recipes!
Ten-year-old Poppy, born to ordinary parents, inherits her famous Great Aunt Mabel’s genes—GAM was a famous witch. In Poppy’s world, witches work for good and are much valued, with powers both coveted and praised. But Poppy does not want to be a witch—she wants to be a baker, and she is extremely good at baking. Her parents insist Poppy follow in the footsteps of her great aunt, but Poppy has plans of her own.
     Part magic, part adventure, and wholly delicious, this spirited story includes more than a dozen recipes readers—and budding bakers—can try at home." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

So, I'm going to ignore the summary because I can.

Poppy Pendle was born on the floor of a bakery, and upon her birth she ate a bag of almond cakes. Like the  moment she popped out of the uterus (I was led to believe).

Here's another disclaimer; in order to enjoy the story, you've got to put aside all sorts of science and what not, because this world runs on magic weirdness. So it totally makes sense that a baby can eat cookies right away. I just imagined her as popping out as a toddler and the rest of the book went along easier with that mindset.


So from an early age Poppy showed great accidental talent for magic by making things appear or what not; but her true passion was to bake. Her parents kept her from normal school and tried to discourage her baking as much as possible because she was magical. It is very rare to have magical talents, especially of Poppy's level.

Now Poppy went to a witch school starting when she was 7, but she was not allowed to attend ordinary school before that. There's a weird time flux because we see Poppy start school, but then it kind of jumps until she was 10 and you just have to go with it.

When she's 10, she gets all I WANT TO BAKE and her parents are like NO YOU'LL UNDERSTAND WHEN YOU'RE OLDER BLAH. Yeah, that's the relationship in a nutshell. Poppy is like but I want to do this, I do not want to be a witch and her mom laughs at her and talks about magic some more. Parents of the yea right there.


So Poppy makes a normal friend as she's never been able to friend a girl at her school because they look down on her for wanting to bake and not do magic. She's also stupidly good at magic but hates every bit of it. She is not nearly wowed by magic as the rest of the world is.

So she makes a friend in Charlie who invites her over and she experiences a normal family experience with baking and being loved kind of deal and she wants to stay there so bad. But then her mother comes to pick her up and realizes they're not magic so she bans Poppy from seeing Charlie as she's a 'bad influence'. 

Poppy makes the decision to run away and goes to the bakery where she was born (her mother never told her that story so she doesn't realize it) and the lady, Marie Cherie takes her in for a week or so and lets her sleep and bake and just be in the kitchen. Charlie comes to visit her and tells her that her parents hired a private investigator to find her and Poppy makes a few attempts to reassure them she's okay and happy. Marie Cherie is like LET ME TALK TO THEM and Poppy is like NO. And then her stupid aunt viv sees her one day in the shop and the parents come and get her and it's a giant mess.

One thing leads to another and Poppy is basically caged into her old life. She grows really resentful of the whole situation and ends up turning into a bad witch and turning people into stone. Then it becomes a mad rush to save Poppy from being evil.

It's definitely more of a children's story, but I quite enjoyed it. It was a nostalgic read for me I believe because I loved Eva Ibbotson's books growing up and the style of writing reminded me of her books a lot.


I'm good with this.

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

No bake cookies

No bake cookies!
Das cookies hardening on the wax paper.

-4 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
-2 cups of white sugar
-1/2 cup of milk
-1/2 cup of butter
-3 cups of quick oatmeal
-1/2 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
-1 Teaspoon of vanilla

1. Mix butter, milk, white sugar, and cocoa powder into a sauce pan on the stove top. Bring mixture to a boil and Let boil for one minute. (Personally, I like to melt the butter a bit before adding the other ingredients, but to each their own.)
2. Remove from heat, add quick oatmeal, peanut butter, and vanilla to the mixture.
3. Thoroughly stir.
4. Drop onto wax paper and let harden; probably should drop it onto the wax paper in small amounts so it looks like a cookie.
5. Enjoy!

For those of you who know me in real life, this is the recipe I've used every single time when I make no bake cookies. The secret is out! ;)

Happy baking!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The City's Son

The City's Son by Tom Pollock

I just finished this and my initial reaction was like, OH MAN TOTALLY WICKED. But now I'm contemplating it and being like, DUDE, THAT AUTHOR, ALL THE SYMBOLISM. SHOULD I REREAD IT AND FIND EVERYTHING? ...NO. MORE BOOKS.

...yeah that happened.

TO THE AMAZON SUMMARY! "Running away from her traitorous best friend and her distant father, teenage graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius, the ragged crown prince of London’s underworld—a place where glassy spiders steal voices on telephone wires, railwraiths terrorize the train tubes, and deadly scaffwolves stalk the shadows.
Reach, the malign god of demolition, is on a rampage, destroying the creatures of hidden London to lay claim to the skyscraper throne. Caught up in helping Filius raise an alleyway army to battle Reach, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when the enemy claims her best friend, Beth must choose between the acceptance she finds in the streets and the life she left behind." AMAZON LINK OF THE SUMMARY WAS SURROUNDED BY REVIEWSSSS

I'm only going to talk about this until about a third of the way through the book and then I'm going to dive into spoiler land in the sense of only talking about the things that got me riled up. Just so you know my game plan.

So first, our main characters are Beth, Pen (Parva for real), and Filius. Arguably, Beth's Dad Paul could be considered a main character as well as Reach, and Gutterglass, but....it's my review so too bad.

Beth is a rebel without a true cause; she seems to be angry at the world because her mother died. Her Dad, Paul, went into a catatonic state where he seems to perpetually reread the Mom's favorite book over and over again and has for the past four years or so. So Beth has been taking care of herself, with a little help from her best friend Pen. Beth is also a graffiti artist and obsessed with tagging the city of London. Art is what pumps her blood (so to speak).

Pen is Beth's best friend who is a little quieter, fiercely loyal to Beth, and happens to be sexually harassed/abused/raped by a teacher at their school, Dr. Salt. Beth doesn't know this, and it's a theme that exists in the background and motivates Pen to reveal that Beth did a tag at the school of a disfigured representation of one of their teachers because it was either expulsion or foster care (I believe).

Filius, well, we'll get to Filius.

So the book starts with a mysterious narrator (Filius, HA! SPOILED IT!) who is hunting a railway car. It sounds bonkers because it is, but it turns out there are railwraiths in this world (spirits of railway cars and the passengers they once had) and one got lose and went for a good wander around London. Cue Filius hunting it down to destroy it.

Then the book leaps to Beth tagging the disfigured representation of one of their teachers on school grounds, while Pen keeps guard. They have to flee due to the police, and antics are had. Pen goes home and the book skips again to Filius.

The Filius chapters in the beginning open the narration up to the supernatural aspects of London. This is a fantasy book in case you missed that. Filius reveals a weird rivalry between his mother and Reach; his mother is a goddess and Reach is a demolition god. Yeah, it gets weird but stick with it! It'll get weirder!

So we skip back to Beth and Pen and the whole expulsion/suspension/whatever you can't go to this school for a bit happens. Beth is like WHY PEN BLOO HOO HOO and goes home to try and tell her Dad, but her Dad is like WHATEVS BOOK and Beth is like FINE HUFF HUFF and goes off into London to do some graffiti. Cue her bumping into Filius as he fights a railwraith.

So Filius and Beth kind of save each other during the fight, the railwraith gets defeated and Filius kind of eyes her up and is like, "Well, let's take a chance on crazy" and introduces her to the other world of London. The supernatural London. DOOOO DI DOOOO. (Spooky music.)

And that's about a third of the book.

Let's talk about the things that riled me up. OFF TO SPOILER LAND.

So Pen gets ensnared by this wire mistress thing that is loyal to Reach and is basically trapped in a glob of barbed wire that slowly shreds her body apart as it feeds off of her like a parasite. The tricky author seems to make this symbolic of her relationship with Dr. Salt. He's getting all sexually creepy on her and blackmailing her by using his power over Beth to get Pen to do what he wants. Then the wire mistress is getting Pen to do what it wants by ensnaring it in it's barbs...the symbolism made more sense in my head. Dang. There's something there I'm sure because once Pen is free (Hey! I said this was spoiler land!) she has a new sense of self confidence and the book ends with Pen being like, Yeah, I should go to the police. LE SIGH.

...whatever Pen, just do your thing.

At the end there's this big mystery reveal super crap attack that happens as Beth SUDDENLY FIGURES OUT HOW EVERYONE WAS INVOLVED WITH WHAT IN THE WHO AND THE BILL COSBY MOMENT. Seriously, that annoys the crap out of me. It plays back to, "sometimes it takes an outsider's perception to realize the truth" motto. ALL THE ANGRY NOISES. Beth was never played up as someone who was smart, cunning, or valued her life. She did managed to play people's emotions to get them to agree to things, but I don't consider that smart; I consider that emotional prodding. Motivational speaking maybe. Not really like MUST KNOW FACTS HURK smart.

There's a lot of unexplained things that just seem to happen and it's almost expected that the reader will just take things on good faith with no explanation. Or the explanation being "They're all crazy. Crazy people don't have answers. STOP LOOKING BEHIND THE CURTAINS AND GET TO THE REST OF THE BOOK." There are some things I can't ignore. I am supposed to accept that not a lot of normal people know about the supernatural stuff, or if they report it, the rest of the normal people shrug it off or call them daft. Really?

The pavement priests. HOW DOES THAT WORK. HOW. I DON'T GET IT. They seem like really cool idea things but HOW DOES IT WORK. HURK. I also did not understand the "The goddess was making a deal with the synods and gave them souls as tribute and those souls turned into pavement priests BECAUSE!" .....um, what? So what happened to the goddess? And why didn't she work out a deal to be rid of Reach in his entirety?

I don't know. I really just don't know about this book.

Too many things seemed to fall way too neatly into place. I can see what material would probably be pursued in the next book, and I do have a small inclination to pick it up. A lot of the characters were pretty neat, and it was neat that people died in plausible ways (like in battle and not just BECAUSE).

ONE MORE THING. There is a weird moment between Beth and Filius where they're kind of like I LIKE YOU LET'S KISS BEFORE THE BATTLE. So they go off into some bushes to kiss. Alright. SUDDENLY NAKED. ...uh what? And then Beth is all, "I just have to appreciate those muscles, it would be dishonoring him if I didn't" but it's written as if both characters just stood staring at each other while they're naked, in some bushes, that's near an army they assembled, and then they're called off to battle before they can do anything. I mean really? What? If that could just be removed, I'd appreciate it. I think the Filius/Beth love was built up nicely but then it got SUPER INTENSE RANDOMLY before being like "oh no, we're still building the love" SUPER INTENSE TEE HEE HEE RAHHHH. 

...yeah, I don't know. I'll most likely read the second one, I'm just still at odds with the first one.

Happy reading!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I GOT OLD....er

I'm going to spend a moment and talk about me. BECAUSE YEAH. WHY NOT.

I have a college degree, a bachelor of science in English with a concentration in Creative Writing with a minor in Business Administration. In summary, I can creatively think within an analytic mindset.

But with that fancy piece of paper, I'd like to start writing books.

I love reading. I love exploring the worlds that authors create, meeting new characters, and getting swept up into the story.

I want to sweep people away to the places where my mind always wanders.

I already write poetry, but haven't found anywhere on the web that I'd strongly like to publish it. I actively participate in NaNoWriMo and I have for the past 8 years, and completed it each year. It's about time for me to throw myself out to the winds and seriously edit some of my stories to see if folks will like (or at least read) them. I don't want to end up in the 'Unreadable' category if I can help it. ;) I do have dear friends lined up just waiting for me to send them chapters or the complete story and I'm still mulling through it. The editing process can be a little daunting sometimes.

In summary, I'll still be reading books, but I'm also going to truly work on writing/getting published my own books.

I hope it's exciting for you.

I'm excited/nervous/determined and getting worked into a creative frenzy. I might post about my writing conquests periodically if you folks want to be updated.

So happy reading folks, maybe you'll get to read one of my books. THEN MAYBE I'LL REVIEW IT, AND IT'LL BE WEIRD. OH MAN.

I look forward to sharing adventures.

Here is a picture of me on a slide when I was itty bitty. I frequently liked to climb slides instead of slide down them. Clearly, my face is full of dreams. ;)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Maggot Moon

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

I'm going to start with a disclaimer, BECAUSE THOSE ARE SO MUCH FUN!

Disclaimer: I'm lacking in knowledge about history. I have a general grasp of subjects, but there's something about history in general that makes my brain enter, "DO NOT CARE" mode and distracts me with daydreams of novels I'd like to write. So when I come across historical fiction that is good, I'm surprised that I'm able to read all of it. The same with historical texts at all.

There are two subjects my brain DOES NOT like and ADHD refuses to be better at: History and Geography.

I don't get it either.

With that in mind, here is an amazon summary, "In Sally Gardner’s stunning novel, set in a ruthless regime, an unlikely teenager risks all to expose the truth about a heralded moon landing.

What if the football hadn’t gone over the wall. On the other side of the wall there is a dark secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell — who has different-colored eyes, who can’t read, can’t write, Standish Treadwell isn’t bright — sees things differently than the rest of the "train-track thinkers." So when Standish and his only friend and neighbor, Hector, make their way to the other side of the wall, they see what the Motherland has been hiding. And it’s big...One hundred very short chapters, told in an utterly original first-person voice, propel readers through a narrative that is by turns gripping and darkly humorous, bleak and chilling, tender and transporting." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

I'm going to disclaim the crap out of this.

I read this with the impression that the 'Motherland' was code for 'Russia'. I was also under the impression that this book took place during some World War. Also, the space race. It was all twisted together with a hint of 'living in extreme oppression' as people were sent to live in different zones for different reasons.

I'm also going to disclaim that it's a very graphic book.
There's also images through out the pages of the different stages of death, fly life/death cycle, and a rat dying etc. Very graphic.

I can't really say anything more about the content of the book than the summary already said, and the summary actually did a very good job this time. I will say that the book starts out a bit slow, I believe it did so with the purpose of slowly tangling you into the world.

I'm also going to say that I thought the world of the book functioned as a very vicious character onto itself.

The book is very disturbing, creepy, and chilling on many levels but with short chapters it's hard not to turn the pages to find out what happens next.

I'm still a little creeped out.

The style of writing feels like an older way of writing poetry almost. The narration has a very clear cut description of the events that are happening but runs along the line of using describers such as 'the situation was pregnant' (no that's not a quote from the book, that's an example from my head). Describing the situation as pregnant is very ambiguous and also has a theme of primal nature to it.

That's kind of the book.

It's very ambiguous with a lot of primal nature about it, and often the people within the story are described with animal characteristics.

The main character does refer to maggot meat which I assume (again, so much ambiguity) to mean that they're going to wind up dead. Essentially serving as a meal for the maggots.



Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Just Give Me A Reason

So some of you might know that my birthday is April 7th and I'll be getting old again.

Some of you might also know that I have a few friends who are trying to get me a gaming computer so I can finally play games like Minecraft, Star Craft II, Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers, and heck, even Plants VS Zombies. If you would like to fund this cause, THEN YOU'RE TOO LATE! The cause has been closed. (Edited: April 10, 2013.)

Now, since I'm getting OLD...er... I'll be spending the weekend learning how to make hot pot (an excellent dish that a friend has agreed to teach me how to make, YAY!), playing cards, playing XBOX as there's a new release for Borderlands 2 (YEAH!!!), and spending a day with my family to eat cake and be silly.

So there will probably be no posts this weekend with book reviews.

Maybe I'll put up the hot pot recipe. Maybe. It requires a lot of instructions (I'll be taking notes) so who knows?

But I'm reading Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner right now, so don't worry! I'm still reading!


I ran out of things.

Uh, I'm really enjoying P!nk's song ft Nate Ruess (the lead singer from Fun.) JUST GIVE ME A REASON.


Happy reading!


Scorch by Gina Damico

Warning, be prepared for a crash course of what happened in the previous book, Croak,BECAUSE SCIENCE.

Amazon summary, "Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to Damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

So first things first, I need to acknowledge that my post about Croak was kind of half there because I wasn't entirely sure how much of the book to reveal until I read the sequel. Now that I've read the sequel, I've got a little catching up to do on what happened in Croak.

So in Croak, the mystery of the book, beside the world building of the 'Grimsphere', is the mysterious killings that are starting to happen. Usually the cause of death is pretty apparent (hit by a car, flattened by a piano, etc) but the Juniors (the Grims in training; Lex, Driggs, Zara, Ayjay, Elysia, Kloo, Sofi, Ferbus, and in this book the new additions of Pip and Bang) are coming across some weird deaths, the only thing wrong with the people when they die are their white eyes. They seem completely healthy otherwise except that their eyeballs turn completely white (no pupil, iris, etc). So they start trying to figure out that mystery through a few hijinks and blah blah blah. Nowhere near as poorly as the Scooby Doo gang, so don't worry about that.

It turns out that Zara had managed to find a 'loophole'; a loophole is an item that lets Grims 'crash'; crash is when Grims are able to choose the destination they scythe too rather than follow the programmed course. Zara also has learned that Lex has the ability to Dam souls and tricks Lex into giving her the ability by killing Lex's sister Cordy. Lex than tries to Dam Zara's soul, but Zara does SOMETHING and copies Lex's abiltiy. And begins to wreak havoc. She uses the ability to crash into criminals and such and damn their souls.


Oh, Lex & Driggs totally suck face all over the place after they become a couple. It's kind of weird cute especially when they actually say 'suck face'. Yeah... that happened.

So in Scorch, the race is on to stop Zara, save the Grimsphere, and try not to die. There are some heart wrenching scenes with all the emotions with death and the horrible things that Zara does to get a book and blah blah blah.

I'm not really going to ruin Scorch, maybe when I crash course review it for the third book in the series.



So, when Zara is Dam-ing innocent people, we find out that Lex takes that as a good cover to Dam criminal souls. There's also a weird OH MAN, GRIMS CAN'T BE RELATED OR SECOND GENERATION BLEH BLEH BLEH, that implies that Lex is some sort of super-power nova kind of Grim. Driggs also can undamn souls, but becomes a 'ghost'? And Grotton managed eternal life, but the implication is with very minimal power which is why he used Zara, and Zara used Sofi (and who didn't see that coming? I DIDN'T!), and there's a big chain of connection there somehow. So what in the crap are they going to pull off in the next book? I know there has to be some sort of big coming together moment with all of Lex's comings and goings, and there will probably be something awesome/weird with Driggs situation, but I really don't know what to expect.

And it excites me. :D

I have NO IDEA when the third book comes out and it FRUSTRATES ME SO. But this is a series I will be on the look out for.

Aww yeah.

Happy reading!

*Note, I had this done on 4/1/2013, but refrained from posting it due to April Fool's day. So curse the silly past times of trickery!*