Thursday, October 31, 2013

National Novel Writing Month 2013

Last year I posted during November about National Novel Writing Month. I made an over explanatory post last year, which I got pretty rambly during.

So I'll try to explain a little better this time around.

For a cool breakdown or a place to get some questions answered, please refer to this website:  NANOWRIMO LOOK AT IT

National Novel Writing Month is November, which means that the writers of the world sometimes attempt to write a whole novel within a month. On the link I posted above, there is a website that helps to keep track of a word count, and the word count goal is to hit 50,000 words by the end of November. When it hits 11:59PM on November 30th; 50,000 words. I usually overshoot just in case I got a little repetitive (in the last couple days I usually finish just a bit early so I can do some simple edits in case I need to write more).

I've been participating in NaNoWriMo every year since 2005 and have completed the challenge every year. I haven't tried to get any novels published yet because I always find a litany of complaints with every story I've ever put to screen or paper. That may change, we'll see with how busy I get after November.

I was a bit of a dismal failure at posting my word count every day last year (it was part of the original plan, because sometimes I'm just an idiot).

So I'm not going to stress myself out about that.

During November, I will be posting my word count (approximately as I will be going to pens and notebooks this year so I can be more portable) and whatever I feel like.

WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE.

So it's wild card posts in November.

I do not guarantee any frequency of posts.
I do not guarantee any book reviews (although they might happen because I have an absurd amount of books to read (a delightful problem as always(seriously, a few will trickle over into November because I dropped the ball on scheduling blog posts))).
I do not guarantee any recipes.

I do guarantee that anything I post will most likely have an element of rambling in it.
I do guarantee I'll post something because I'm alive, kicking, and being awesome in general.
I do guarantee that it's probably going to get a bit weird.

...

I encourage you to join me in writing for National Novel Writing Month; even if you don't think you can hit the 50,000 words, then hey, at least you tried while using your WRITING MUSCLES. UMPH. FLEX THOSE MUSCLES. AWWW YESSSSSSS.

It's also awesome to get involved with the NaNoWriMo website as they have bunches of groups you can join, forums you can post on, etc. for a more thorough feeling of involvement.

...personally, I suck at making myself go out to the write-ins or posting on the forum boards. If you want to be my writing buddy, you can find my profile here. Send me a writing buddy request and we can word to the finish together! Mostly, I use the site to keep me on track for my word count. If I get an abundance of writing buddies though...I could see myself making appearances in the forums. Eh...eh?

IT'LL BE FUN!

INCREDIBLY INTENSE.

BUT FUN.

...

Happy writing!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Somebody Up There Hates You

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Disclaimer: The narrator in this book is HORNY. In your face, uncomfortable amounts of horny. If you don't want to read about how much boys think about boobs/sex/awkward boners or whatever, I recommend skipping this book. That's just the built in attitude of the narrator.

Disclaimer: This book has some risky scenes and talks about lust/craving/urges, blow jobs, and sex; but it doesn't explicitly spell every little detail out. Just most of them.

...

Moving on.

I flat out don't understand how to read this book.

If I read it straight through like a 'normal' book, then it's just very angry about everything and weird and much like a stereotypical teenage boy. Eh...

If I read it as a satire, then it's just damn depressing.

By the way, did I mention this book is about a boy in hospice who has cancer?

...let's just jump to the amazon summary, ""Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months . . . if that’s part of the Big Dude’s plan, then it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Enough said."

Smart-mouthed and funny, sometimes raunchy, Richard Casey is in most ways a typical seventeen-year-old boy. Except Richie has cancer, and he’s spending his final days in a hospice unit. His mother, his doctors, and the hospice staff are determined to keep Richie alive as long as possible. But in this place where people go to die, Richie has plans to make the most of the life he has left.


Sylvie, the only other hospice inmate under sixty, then tells Richie she has a few plans of her own. What begins as camaraderie quickly blossoms into real love, and this star-crossed pair is determined to live on their own terms, in whatever time they have left.


Making her young adult fiction debut, Hollis Seamon creates one of the most original voices to appear in young adult literature, narrating a story that is unflinching, graphic, heartbreaking, funny, and above all life-affirming in its depiction of what it really means to be a teenager dying of cancer." AMAZON LINK OF LONG SUMMARYYYY

The amazon summary definitely did enough. It can just do that.

First, I would like to clarify that Richard gets into funny situations but isn't really that funny. At least his sense of humor doesn't appeal to me. He mostly winds up in his 'funny' situations because he mouthed off to someone at some point and it winds around to him getting into a 'funny' situation. I say 'funny' because they seemed mostly bad to me.

BUT MAYBE.

Maybe this book was just offering a different perspective on the whole dying process.
Maybe it wanted to show a narcissistic kid who had trouble defining value in his life when he was about to lose it.
Maybe the value he did define was the rare moments where he could truly laugh or felt as if he had gotten into mischief.

MAYBE I could look at the book like that.

But if I did, I would have to try and ignore how much his character quaffles between personal growth and outright bull-headed idiocy.

However, there are many personal moments that just have such a ring of truth to them that it's hard to figure out what the narrator valued.

Oh Richie.

There are moments where Richie seems to have carpe diem written across his wrist and tries to punch into every moment of his life.

There are moments where Richie just seems to hide under the blankets and waits for life to pass.

Then there are the moments which would really reveal what was going on with Richie if the author had bothered to write them out. Yup, sometimes the author just glossed over bits that seemed very vital to Richie earlier in the book, and the book takes place over a couple of weeks (I believe), and there was a lot of potential character growth in those two weeks, but it was too quick to be believable? ARGH. THIS BOOK.

I don't understand what it wants, what it's trying to portray, and what the author is trying to get through.

Carpe diem? Fine. Seize all the days.
Sometimes teenage boys just have to act like teenage boys? Please define that in a less stereotypical manner.
Cancer sucks? ...well, duh.
Don't judge a person by their appearance? ...again-well, duh.
Don't make assumptions about the people around you before you try to walk in their shoes? I don't even know if that's a point that was trying to be made! WHAT. WHAT IS THIS.

It is very hard for me to sift through all the angry noised dribble that comes from Richie to understand what he was really after.

I get that he wants to LIVE. Most people do. Especially in all caps (or so I'd like to believe).
I get that he wants Slyvie to LIVE.

I don't get what I'm supposed to take away from this book.

I don't get what I'm supposed to like about this book even.

I basically understand that I'm a confused puddle of mess when it comes to this book.

Also, there did seem to be a lot of 'lazy writing' where some pivotal moments and scenes were glossed over. The defense could be made that the author wanted the reader to imagine something perfect to happen/be said/whatever, but really, it just seems lazy to me.

I will say the book was a fast read, peppered with unique characters, but mostly just seemed really angry.

I mean, who wouldn't be angry when they're dying young?

For all the adult characters in the story, they're well conceptualized with their own attitude issues; they felt a bit more realistic than either Richie or Slyvie did or even Marie (another lady who Richie runs into).

...I don't know.

I just don't know (CLEARLY).

...shutting up now.

Happy reading?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks

I don't really know where to start with this one. It's a graphic novel, but it's very fun. I wouldn't call it a comic book either. Eh....

An amazon summary to get me somewhere on this one, "You wouldn’t expect Nate and Charlie to be friends. Charlie’s the laid-back captain of the basketball team, and Nate is the neurotic, scheming president of the robotics club. But they are friends, however unlikely—until Nate declares war on the cheerleaders. At stake is funding that will either cover a robotics competition or new cheerleading uniforms—but not both.


It's only going to get worse: after both parties are stripped of their funding on grounds of abominable misbehavior, Nate enrolls the club's robot in a battlebot competition in a desperate bid for prize money. Bad sportsmanship? Sure. Chainsaws? Why not. Running away from home on Thanksgiving to illicitly enter a televised robot death match? Of course!

In Faith Erin Hicks' and Prudence Shen's world of high school class warfare and robot death matches, Nothing can possibly go wrong. " AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

The amazon summary did a good job of summarizing, so I'm going to let it have it's day and delve into what worked and didn't work about the book.

I think this book was a very fun way to kind of peer into two stereotypical sides of high school: jocks vs geeks. It also brought about a fun way to forge some sort of truce between the two sides.

However, I would have liked to see even more sides to the different players that were present. I would have liked to see more about Nate's home life (we see a bit of Charlie's) and more of the cheerleader (Holly).

I LOVED how they had Joanna loving the robot and having more of a central role with the robot itself. It would have also been cool to see a male on the cheerleader's squad; but one can only ask for so much I suppose.

I also like how it was a good peek into how much family dynamics can play a pivotal role in anyone's life at any stage of life. I'm happy it didn't centralize on the now, but alluded to more background that led up the moments depicted so that Charlie didn't come across as a huge jerk.

Holly came across as a huge jerk, but that worked out nicely.

I also enjoyed how short the book was. It didn't spend a tedious amount of time trying to get scenes accomplished in the longer sense, but I would have liked to see more character development scenes.

I also loved when both Charlie and Nate were hiding under Charlie's bed while a raging party was happening in Charlie's house. Too perfect. :)

I liked it. It was nice, sweet, and gave a good glimpse at both the geeks and the cheerleaders. I would love to read more books by these authors.

Happy reading!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Homemade Applesauce

My phone camera is
professionally bad at taking pictures.
Homemade Applesauce

In my family it's been a bit of a tradition to go apple picking every year as the apple's ripen in Michigan.

...that also means that we always have a lot of apples for a couple months. We get a little creative with apple recipes that are simple and easy, but not necessarily quick.

This is a very easy apple treat!





Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • About 14 medium-size apples (essentially enough to fill the 1 quart cooking pot about 3/4 full)
Directions:
  1. Peel and core apples. Cut them into eights.
  2. Dump all the apples in the cooking pot.
  3. Stir in sugar and ground cinnamon to the apple pile in the cooking pot.
  4. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes on VERY low heat. If you like chunky applesauce, cook it for a little less. If you like your applesauce the consistency of mushed baby food, cook it for an hour.
That's it!

It's delicious, pretty freaking simple, and only time consuming in the preparation of the apples and the actual cooking of the apples.

Happy cooking!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The House of Hades

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

I have reviewed all the previous books by Rick Riordan concerning Percy Jackson. Links below.

The Heroes of Olympus:
Book #1: THE LOST HERO
Book #2: THE SON OF NEPTUNE
Book #3: THE MARK OF ATHENA
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series:
Book #1: THE LIGHTNING THIEF
Book #2: THE SEA OF MONSTERS
Book #3: THE TITAN'S CURSE
Book #4: THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH
Book #5: THE LAST OLYMPIAN

Disclaimer: If you have not read this book yet and would like it remain unspoiled, DO NOT READ THIS BLOG POST. There are quite a few things I'd like to discuss that will be spoiler for those who have not read the book yet. ...a lot of things. I have needs. NEEDS.

Disclaimer: I'm not going to spend time rehashing things from previous books unless they are directly related to this book. If you want to know more about the series, I HAVE ALL OF THOSE OTHER LINKS WHERE I TALKED ABOUT THE BOOKS. GO READ THEM. NYEH.

An amazon summary to get away from all the hubbub above, "At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors from both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?" AMAZON LINK OF PREVIOUS BOOK SPOILERSSSS

So in the last book, The Mark of Athena, it left off with Annabeth recovering the lost statue of Athena before she went plunging into Tartarus with Percy. Hazel, Piper, Leo, Jason, Nico, and Frank were told to meet them on the other side of the doors of death.

That's the only recap I'm giving. BWAHAHAHA. ...unless it's relevant. JUST KIDDING.

In The House of Hades, there is Percy and Annabeth traveling through Tartarus; Hazel/Frank/Piper learning more of their powers, Leo having some issues (I'll really get into that later), Nico having issues (I'M GOING TO RIP THAT APART), and Jason being a waffle (by that I mean he waffles about making a choice).

Basically Percy/Annabeth have a horrendous romp through Tartarus while everyone above has a horrendous romp trying to get to the other side of the doors of death. There are some gods/titans/etc. that come into play which was pretty neat, but I mostly want to talk about the issues I had with the book.


WE'RE LAUNCHING INTO SPOILER LAND.
Seriously, if you don't want anything spoiled, do not keep reading.


Let's start with Leo. Leo had some self doubt issues this book, but he was catapulted to Calypso's island (where Percy had been before) by Khione. As we all know, Calypso's curse is that she'll only get visitors (besides Gods) who are heroes that she's doomed to fall in love with but who will leave her. The island is also cursed to never accept a hero twice onto the island, he can only travel there once. Once Calypso has fallen in love with the hero, a raft is summoned that will take the hero to wherever he wants to go. Enter Leo. Leo lands on Calypso's island and they spend most of their time quarreling with each other. Leo tinkers around and makes different machines in the hopes to navigate off the island, which later turns into getting back on the island.

NOW, I have an issue with this because Rick Riordan suddenly seems hell bent on making all of his characters fall in love.

THEY DON'T NEED TO BE IN LOVE FOR IT TO BE A GOOD STORY. I THOUGHT YOU KNEW THAT BECAUSE RACHEL DARE (although she was courting Percy but LOL oracle has to remain a virgin so no love for her? That's still weird). Seriously, not every character has to fall in love and be in love. I understand that is a natural part of being seventeen(ish) but COME ON. I think it should qualify for a greek tragedy with everyone being in love with each other at all times.

Also, I was pretty irked by how much Leo was shown to change in that short amount of time just by 'falling in love' (I think he never admitted to it but it was pretty clear from his actions).

Which brings me nicely to Nico.


I don't know if Rick Riordan had this planned all along, but he kind of bumbled through it atrociously. Here goes.

Alright, so some background on Nico. In the first few books of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Nico seemed very emotionally involved with Percy's actions. It was a little weird, but the tie was made that Nico held Percy responsible for Bianca's death, he was also in emotional turmoil by the initial prophecy as he could have potentially fulfilled it, and he was very new to the Greek gods/goddesses being real. My understanding of that entire situation was that Nico idolized Percy, found out his idol was just a regular dude who also made mistakes and was more upset about all that.

How Nico was spun in The House of Hades, it turns out he's gay.

WHAT.

He has this meeting with Cupid where Cupid turns out to be kind of a malicious God (weird interpretation of love happens) and Nico is forced to admit that he had a crush on Percy. Nico tries to insist he's gotten over it, but he clearly hasn't from later actions in the book. Jason is witness to Nico's confession and has a thought like, "Oh, you know he's from the 1940's and they had a lot of gay oppression then" so he immediately understands Nico's fear. HOWEVER, Jason is like, "Dude it's okay. You can tell people," and Nico basically freaks out and insists that no one should ever know, etc.

I get it. I get trying to appeal to the current movement of the acceptance of LGBTQIA community, but I feel it's a bit wrong to suddenly turn one of your characters gay. To me, there wasn't any earlier indication at all that Nico could be gay, and this completely blew me out of the water. I usually pick up on that sort of thing. But in this book there was a servant to Cupid who was like "Yeah, I fell for a guy, why are you such a prude Jason?" and Jason is all "Whoops, no that's fine, I uh, oh hey Cupid!" There was a clear indication for the wind up and pitch for Nico's being gay, but it just felt so wrong to me. It still feels wrong.

However, I can't fault him for trying to let Nico be more of a real character with more dimensions. I think it's great that there is acceptance in the book, but I think it could have been done a lot more gracefully. If he wanted Nico to be gay, I think there were a lot more effective ways to go about it. A lot more.

I still could have gone the entire series of all of Percy Jackson's without ever knowing Nico's sexual preference. From the tone of the writing, it feels like an unnecessary detail that kind of blew up. Blech.

If someone could point me to a passage in any of the books where there is some indication of Nico being gay, I would love to read it to know that this was a pre-planned thing rather than trying to appeal to a more diverse reading population.

For now, I'm going to make sad faces at it.

...I feel like this book was really just a filler book to lead to the last book in this series.

...I'm mostly okay with it, but I'm more annoyed with the character development that's happening. Everyone is in love, everyone is freaked out, and the roman camp is kind of being whole heartedly ignored which was disappointing. There's a pivotal moment we see the roman camp, but it's one moment out of the entire book. Slightly obnoxious.

Ugh.

I am still eager for the next book, but I hold some hesitations.

There was a different element that Rick Riordan introduced in regards to fate. There are a handful of interesting moments where the point is raised of 'do you let fate decide what you will do and who you will be, or do you chose for yourself?' I thought that was a very neat aspect to introduce to have that kind of pointed out. I also think it would have been cool if he took it a step further and pointed out that many gods/goddesses/titans/giants/what have you ended up where they're at because of a choice they made long ago. They could always choose again.

Just a thought.

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Summer Prince

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Disclaimer: This reminded me a bit of Adolf Huxley's A Brave New World for the society's view on sex/love. That's where the comparison ends. It's a very future dystopia science fiction book that does have sexual implications but no explicit sex scenes. There are some very 'progressive' notions in this book in regards to sex, love, freedom, etc so if that makes you uncomfortable, this book is probably not for you. Also, with the sex scenes in it; it only admits to the sex without showing anything. Just describes the emotions that come with it.

ANYWAYS.

An amazon summary to just get AWAY from that disclaimer, "A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.


Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.
Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE


Alright, so the set up was really confusing to me.

Things I have gathered about the world:

  1. A huge war happened that was started by men. The eventually women leaders of future Brazil (Palmares Tres) created the city and set up a government ruled by women. They are referred to as Queen and Aunties. There are various kings that are allowed through, but they have power revoked from them after a while.
  2. The city itself is in a giant structure that sits above an ocean. There are many rails that run through the city that seem to be similar to subways (they're referred to as pods in this book).
  3. The city is broken up into different tiers, so I assume that this refers to an actual height that people live in so it's a pyramid like structure (maybe) that sits over the ocean.
  4. Money isn't arbitrary but it doesn't seem to be important either.
  5. There are lots of technological advances, but the rulers of the city ban most of them to preserve the sanctity of the city.
  6. They carry around little devices that seem to function as a tablet and they can talk to the city itself (the user interface which seemed a lot like Siri to me).
....I think that's good enough for now.

So the book is mostly about politics, love, and the expression of being a human. There's a ton of stuff that goes with that, but I'm going to make it bland for me so I don't get too caught up in trying to tell you about the book.

The narrator, June, is a young waka (youth, I think; they seem to hit an age where they're referred to as grande's at one point, but then they never get anywhere else with age). She declares herself as the best artist in all of Palmares Tres and frequently does graffitti art with her best friend (Gil).

This is the year of the summer king though; the summer king dies by the hand of the queen and declares the next queen to rule Palmares Tres for the next five years at the end of his year.

...yeah, it's kind of whack.

June and Gil are excited for the elections of the Summer King, and as Enki is chosen, they attend a party of sorts for it. June and Gil are dancing when Enki spots them and courts Gil. June is hurt that Enki didn't chose her, but went for Gil.

However, June takes off with her art to win the Queen's choice award (think of it as a full ride scholarship to college) and the book begins to spiral with political struggles and heartache and strife.

This is another one of those convoluted books that the smallest detail in the beginning comes back to play, but it does it with all the details. It's not annoying or subtle, it just happens.

I kind of liked it. I mean the political structure and the premise were a little weird, but how everything unfolded was pretty good.

Happy reading!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

OCD Love Story

OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu

There's something that was very unsettling for me about this book.

Upfront: we know that something is a little off about Bea. She goes to a psychologist because of something that happened. But it was 'no big deal'.

That psychologist seemed to cross a few therapy lines (which I know a teeny bit about because of my experience in Direct Care as well as a close friend of mine being a social worker). Then again, the argument could be made that perhaps they were just a terrible psychologist. I am reminded that fiction usually has to hold more truth to it than reality.

So this book was a bit of a struggle for me.

An amazon summary to get me somewhere, "In this raw and relatable romance, Bea learns that some things just can’t be controlled.

When Bea meets Beck, she knows instantly that he’s her kind of crazy. Sweet, strong, kinda-messed-up Beck understands her like no one else can. He makes her feel almost normal. He makes her feel like she could fall in love again.


But despite her feelings for Beck, Bea can’t stop thinking about someone else: a guy who is gorgeous and magnetic…and has no idea Bea even exists. But Bea knows a lot about him. She spends a lot of time watching him. She has a journal full of notes. Some might even say she’s obsessed.


Bea tells herself she’s got it all under control. But this isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion. The truth is, she’s breaking down…and she might end up breaking her own heart." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

Disclaimer: if you find this romance 'relatable', it should be a strong consideration of yours to seek out some therapy. This book is, in the literal sense, a bit crazy.

Bea is obsessive. No in the 'haha, you're so obsessed' sense but like the 'whoaaaaa, let's cross to the other side of the sidewalk to avoid that one' unnerving sense.

She goes to therapy, she pinches her thigh, she takes notes about people in her notebook, and she constantly thinks she is a danger to others that are around her. She also drives incredibly slow, all the time. She always thinks there is a chance that she might have hit someone or something so she'll circle back around two or three times to make sure nothing has happened.

She's obsessive.

The entire narrative is like that. There is some humor here and there, but I think I powered through this book because it was a little compelling to see an in depth narrative of that level.

But it could be tedious/obnoxious/underwhelming at times as well.

Especially with her love obsession.

So Bea becomes a bit of a stalker which is potentially one of the patterns in her behaviors, and she struggles in school in the social sense. She does have a best friend that seems to get her, but the friend seems a little off-balance as well.

Then again, this book might also be trying to make the examination of the question, "What does normal mean/look like?"

If it was, it didn't do it well enough.

I DIGRESS. A LOT.

What should you know about this book?

There is a lot of compulsions, there are a lot of obsessions, and there really isn't a silver lining happy ending because people who have a form of mental illness don't truly ever get better from it usually; they hopefully find more effective ways to cope with it. It's not something that can be 'cured' per say, but it is something that can be managed with therapy, drugs, or personal coping skills/will power, etc.

So there's that.

I'm still on the fence of this book of whether or not I liked it as the narrative was compelling, but the book really seemed to struggle against accomplishing anything.

...

Happy reading!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars


The Fault in Our Stars

I'm going to tell you right now that I love this book so much, I save it for when I need it. I save it for those moments where life gets a bit too overwhelming and I desperately thrust my conscience into this little world where even though it makes me cry about every other chapter, I will gladly cry every single time.

It's a love story.

I'm going to clarify, it's not centered on being a romance, it's a story centered on love. It shows the different ways that different kinds of love shape relationships, and what that love can mean in the end.

It's intense.

...yeah, romance does happen in it, but to me, that was not the point of the story.

I also recommend not reading it in public areas where it might be disturbing to cry.

Or at work where your coworker might glance over to ask for a pen to see silent tears running down your face so much that you only blink in the hopes of catching a few more words between the tears.

...problems.

Anyways, an amazon summary, "Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

Disclaimer: I totally edited that summary so a lot of the commentary by other people was removed. I don't think it entirely helped with the summarizing of the book, but feel free to check out that AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE.

Another disclaimer: I don't know what level of interactions that you might have had with this book, but I'm going to assume that you've had none outside of this blog post. So haha? Get an introduction to the book?

ANYWAYS.

I'm only going to talk about the book a little bit because I think with this, saying too much could heighten expectations and you should really go into the book with a curiosity about it. You should also be prepared to be a bit sad, but in a good way? It's complicated.

The book begins with Hazel and her mother's motivation to get her out of the house and actively participating in life again in some way. She suspects Hazel's depressed.

When you have lung cancer, I imagine things could get pretty depressing.

Anyways, so Hazel goes to a support group for cancer patients/survivors etc where Hazel's mother hopes that Hazel will make friends.

Hazel does as she makes friends with Augustus and Isaac. They all have their own cancer and sometimes miracle story.

But that's really a side note, the book spends most of it's time showing how their lives take shape and how the cancer gets in the way sometimes.

Anyways, so the story progresses as we see parts of Hazel's life and parts of Augustus' life while the humor is peppered through.

There is a moment where Hazel thinks this, "(I didn't tell him that the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You're a woman. Now die,)" John Green, page 24, The Fault in Our Stars. That's the kind of humor that kept me chuckling as I read through the book.

It was just great.

I don't know what else to say. I think I get tongue tied when I talk about books I love because my brain keeps shouting, "YOU LOVED THIS BOOK" and I want to explain why but then it just keeps spitting "LOVEEEEEE" at me.

So this is what happens.

I loved it.

At no point in time could I put it down or rage sleep on it. I just loved the book.

That is all.

HAPPY READING.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gingersnap

Gingersnap by Patricia Reilly Giff

This one time, my librarian mentor friends of super awesome amazing got me more interested in historical non-fiction, which has been slowly nudging it's way into historical fiction.

I used to read more historical fiction when I was younger, but then I started to get screwed up on texts because I'd remember the 'fun book' details over the 'boring book' details. That doesn't work with history teachers usually. So in an effort to just save my history grades, I stayed away from them for a while.

BUT NO MORE.

No more classes...for now. BUM BUM BUM.

...

ANYWAYS.

This was a cozy way of getting to know a bit more about what it might have been like growing up when World War II was going on. There are a lot of touches of details that I already know but coupled with how a young person might see it.

An amazon summary to get me going on this one, "It's 1944, W.W. II is raging. Jayna's big brother Rob is her only family. When Rob is called to duty on a destroyer, Jayna is left in their small town in upstate New York with their cranky landlady. But right before he leaves, Rob tells Jayna a secret: they may have a grandmother in Brooklyn. Rob found a little blue recipe book with her name and an address for a bakery. When Jayna learns that Rob is missing in action, she's devastated. Along with her turtle Theresa, the recipe book, and an encouraging, ghostly voice as her guide, Jayna sets out for Brooklyn in hopes of finding the family she so desperately needs." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

I'm kind of just okay with that summary and I'm going to do something weird.

So my amazing friends that recommended this book to me argued an aspect of the book without spoiling anything about the book.

There is a ghost within the book.

The ghost is only slightly seen and the debate centered around whether the ghost was a really necessary element of the story.

In a round about way, I'm going to talk about the book but in favor of the ghost and what it could represent.

The ghost in the book appears in moments where Jayna seems to falter for hope or is unsure of her next steps, of even in the future.

The ghost is a source of comfort.

There isn't really an outline of how the ghost works, any mechanics, and only once does the ghost mention not supposing to touch Jayna.

The ghost doesn't have a name.
The ghost is never truly seen.
The ghost seems to know what might happen.
The ghost can use Jayna's nail polish, the ghost can pick up rocks, etc but doesn't seem to want or be able to make physical contact.

I want to make the case that the ghost is the manifestation of Jayna's hope.

Thoughts?

...anyways, the book itself was kind of a polite read in a way. It showed you it's business in a very short read (under 200 pages) and it was hard to put down simply because of how pleasant it was.

A lot of the history of the book was curbed because she was a younger narrator, however it is present, observed, and seen without having to be overly traumatic in the experience. It's kind of sad.

It reminds me of covering mud with sugar; the mud is still there but you put a sugar coating on top. I still wouldn't eat that mud though.

...

Happy reading!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Premeditated

Premeditated by Josin L. Mcquein

Disclaimer: I read the advanced reader's copy of this book, even though it will be released on October 8, 2013.

I'm still a little on the fence about this book.

I definitely finished it, I definitely enjoyed the personalities of most of the characters, but I'm not sure if the book accomplished what it set out to do.

So, an amazon summary, "If you enjoyed Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, you will race through the pages of this YA novel as 17-year old Dinah pieces together the mystery that surrounds the near death of her 14-year old cousin Claire. 

While Claire is holding on her for her life in the hospital, Dinah goes in search of the boy Claire writes about in her journal. The boy who forced her to do something she didn't want to do. The boy who caused her such humiliation that the thought of having to live one more day was just too much. 
Dinah is on a mission for revenge, but as things start to unfold, her plan isn't as simple as it seemed." AMAZON LINK OF ....wait, what?


I really dislike how the amazon summary related this book to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. That book was amazing in it's own right, and I don't think there is a strong enough correlation between these two books to make that claim.

ANYWAYS.

So let's start with the premise of the book. Dinah's cousin Claire (who has essentially the 'sister' status because they're cousins and both the only child) met a mysterious boy while Dinah was moving to Oregon, fell in love, got all sexy, and the boy dumped her out of nowhere. Claire got very sad and cut her wrists. Due to weird circumstances, she is in a coma from it.

Enter Dinah.

Dinah is incredibly filled with guilt over Claire's situation as she's convinced that if she hadn't moved, she could have saved Claire from the boy. So Dinah moves in with Claire's parents (her aunt & uncle who happen to be wealthy as all get out), and goes to school in place of Claire at a rich kid's school in order to track down this boy.

This boy that is so evil, deceitful, etc. THE BOY.

Actually, I quite enjoyed Dinah's narration although I think she didn't focus enough on her motive that matched her actions.

However, it was still good in the sense of enjoyable characters mashing together in interesting ways before it gets WAY DARK SUPER SERIOUS at the end.

The part that I really struggled with is that Dinah has this really horrendous mother. I mean, can't think of anyone situation without regarding it to her self. She was completely against Dinah moving in with her Aunt and Uncle, while also being cut throat to everyone about getting Dinah back. Dinah goes out of her way to 'avenge' Claire, yet she can't take the basic steps to deal with her mother.

It didn't add up to me.

It's something that upon completing the book still bothers, it seems very contradictory to the character, and it's a bit maddening.

The Dad was AMAZING and it showed, and whatever, but he was still married to a horrible woman which sucks, and he still submitted Dinah to that horrible woman, which super sucks.

UGH. THAT MOTHER.

...

So all in all, it was a good read for what it was.

Meh. The rage against the mother kind of tempers out the feel good, tried to learn a life lesson that got a little muddled through the book.

Happy reading!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Book Hunt: October 2013

I'm going to make an effort to try and have an 'author's to watch out for' kind of segment periodically.

I've seen it done before, but I'm going to add my own twist on it.

I'm on a book hunt.

A book hunt is when I fall in LOVE with a series and there are still more books to be released in it, so as they come out, I HUNT FOR THEM.

In October 2013, there are a few books that are going to be released.

I will be on the hunt.

October 8, 2013-The House of Hades by Rick Riordan AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE. I previously reviewed ALL OF THIS SERIES. One moment.
The Heroes of Olympus:
Book #1: THE LOST HERO
Book #2: THE SON OF NEPTUNE
Book #3: THE MARK OF ATHENA
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series:

Edit: I reviewed The House of Hades, HERE.

October 10, 2013- Just One Year by Gayle Forman AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE. I previously reviewed the first book JUST ONE DAY.

Edit: I reviewed Just One Year, HERE.

October 22, 2013 - Allegiant by Veronica Roth AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE. I previously reviewed the first two in the series here: DIVERGENT and INSURGENT.

Edit: I reviewed Allegiant, HERE.

...

There are more books that are going to be released throughout the year, but I am PUMPED for these books to be released. I don't know when I'll get my hands on them (as soon as I possibly can between everything else, LIFEEE), but I'll be doing a review of them for sure.

So something to look forward too? Eh?

Happy book hunting!