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November 29, 2015

TL;DR Reviews: Adding to the Conversation

TL;DR Reviews

Jaimie from Fiction Fare does a post called Quickie Reviews. I know she isn't the only one but this segment on the blog is influenced by her.
The idea is that there are so many books to read and sometimes writing longer reviews takes too much time even if you adored the books.

So yes I Adored these books I just don't have a lot to add to the inter web collection of reviews already out there.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Synopsis:  Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. 

Cover: Simple yet fits Willowdean to a tee.

Overall Thoughts:
I'm currently reading this out loud to my mom and my reread (something I don't normally do) Willowdean The MC is a strong person and no matter your size you can relate to her. I loved this way more than "Side Effects May Vary." This book isn't just about acceptance of body types it also teaches about confidence and independence.

Walk on Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson

Synopsis:   Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.
Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters

Cover: A river flowing with gold fits the dream of the Gold Rush.

Overall Thoughts:
The story starts off with a Mulan feel of girl pretending to be a boy. Carson writes a female character who actually deals with girl problems. I.e. Accidental periods and having to hide it since she is pretending to be a boy. I truly loved this story for the adventure aspect plus it's destination in a place near and dear to me Sacramento at Sutters Fort

A Thousand Nights by E.K.Johnston

Synopsis:  Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. 

Cover: Love the fancy script and colors. The smoke tendrils add a nice touch to a geniesque  story.

Overall Thoughts: I adored Arabian Nights as a kid. After reading this I went and rewatched it. The flow of the plot was great. I also liked the story inside a story. It was crisp and kept you wanting to listen till the end.

Have you read any of these? Any chance you want to talk about them? 


November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Thanksgiving Boyfriend Edition

Ten Things Boyfriend is Thankful For
Top Ten Tuesday can be found on Broke and Bookish
Cody has taken over the blog for this weeks topic. Hopefully he will be adding some content in the coming months.

1.       Stella (His 2015 Mustang)

    2.       Corgis (He wants to name his Cornelius when he gets him)

    3.       Cream Soda 
    4.       Family
    5.       Comfy Bed
    6.       Military (He`s in the Airforce, 3.5yrs so far)
    7.       Technology
    8.       PC Gaming
    9.       Taco Bell

   10.   My SO (AKA me, the girlfriend that he was forced to add to this list at last minute)

What are you thankful for this holiday?


November 22, 2015

TL;DR Reviews. The DNF Edition

TL;DR Reviews

Jaimie from Fiction Fare does a post called Quickie Reviews. I know she isn't the only one but this segment on the blog is influenced by her.

The idea is that there are so many books to read and sometimes writing longer reviews takes too much time even if you adored the books.

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Synopsis:Don’t call them heroes.
But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Cover: Totally reminds me of the Superman S style. 
Overall Thoughts: I was looking forward to reading this however there was too many POVs for my taste and I wasn't invested in any of the characters by 36%. I pushed myself to read 40% but stopped there.

Dreamland by Robert L.Anderson

Synopsis: Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. 

Cover: Depicts the house in the book really well. One of the reasons I wanted to read it was based on the cover.
Overall Thoughts: I set this aside once I realized how close the idea of dream walking was to dream striding. I had just received Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith in the mail and it was for review so decided it was best to read that. I do hope to pick this one back up to see where Anderson was heading with this though.

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Synopsis: In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. 

Cover: The hidden panel design is awesome and again a reason I wanted to pick this one up.
Overall Thoughts: the plan was to buddy read this but the problem was I had just finished A Thousand Nights and it felt weird reading two books based around the same story. I think when book 2 comes out I'll pick it back up then.

What books have you read this month that you want to talk about? 


November 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes from Books this Year

Ten Quotes I Loved from Books this Year
Top Ten Tuesday can be found at The Broke and Bookish

There are tons of other quotes that I loved but these all either mean something personally or reflect the novels so well.

1.      “Love is Everything,Everything” – Nicola Yoon Everything,Everything

2.      “I think maybe it’s the things we don’t want to talk about that are the things people most want to hear.” – Julie Murphy Dumplin`

3.      “When we open our minds too wide, we risk closing them” – Romina Russell Zodiac

4.      It's one of our greatest human flaws: Arrogance. We look up and dare to assume we know, when the universe is unknowable.” – Romina Russell Zodiac

5.      When I were first learning to shoot a rifle, Pa told me that nearly every battle people face is in their heads.” – Erin Bowman Vengeance Road

6.      Seems like I’ve been waiting for you to come around my whole life, Lee. But a man can’t wait forever and stay a man.” – Rae Carson Walk on Earth A Stranger

7.      “No point in living a life less ordinary if you don't know what the other side looks like.” – Adi Alsaid Never, Always, Sometimes

8.      “It’s funny how once you like someone, even the unattractive things they do somehow become endearing.” – Jasmine Warga My Heart and Other Black Holes

9.      Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.” – Heather Demetrios I`ll Meet You There

10.  Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.” – Tamera Ireland Stone Every Last Word

What are some of your favorite quotes? Have you read any of the books my favorites came from?


November 07, 2015

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Published On: 2/11/14
Page Count: 369pgs

The Martian.jpg

Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Overall Rating: 4/5

"I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I'm dead. I'm in a Hab designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I'm f----d." - Mark Watney

What started off as a piqued interest by co-workers quickly turned into a nail biting adventure following Mark Watney’s story and his will to survive after being stranded on mars. As a sci-fi nerd I was hooked from page one. The story essentially plays out in logbook entries that are written in a way to keep you intrigued, laughing and somehow manages to push the story of survival forward without feeling stale and depleted after the first 100 pages or so. Personally my favorite bit of the story isn’t actually how Mark Watney overcomes his trials and tribulations of survival on the martian planet but his down to earth, reasonable and believable personality and reactions to certain situations. Between the nerdy explanations of formulas and “How to’s” and Watney’s crude humor, I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. Overall I’m giving the book a 4 out of 5, even though I was entertained through and through you can put 2 and 2 together and figure out how the book is going to end not even half way through which was a huge con for me.


November 03, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Looking forward to Debut Authors` Sophomore Titles

10 Debut authors looking forward to sophomore novel
Top Ten Tuesday is a meme and was created by The Broke and The Bookish

So I adored all of these awesome debut authors. Two of these lovely ladies are actually 2016 Debut authors. I just had the privilege of reading their books early. None of them have titles yet but I "patiently" stare at Goodreads waiting for them. 

1.       Kim Liggett (Blood and Salt #2)

2.       Dawn Kurtagich

3.       Jasmine Warga

4.       Nicola Yoon

5.       E.K. Johnston

6.       Kim Savage

7.       Marisa Reichardt

8.       Michelle Falkoff

What Debut author books did you read and enjoy? What Sophomore novels are you looking forward to this year?


October 31, 2015

Debut Review and Interview of This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

This Monstrous Thing
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Published On: 9/22/16
Publisher:  Katherine Tegan Books
Page Count: 384
I received an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)

In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.
His brother, Oliver—dead.
His sweetheart, Mary—gone.
His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.
Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.
But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.
Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster.

The Review

Cover: 4/5
                At first I wasn`t sure how I felt about the man (Frankenstien…Oliver, Alasdair..idk) on the cover but then with the hardback you undress it and this awesomesauce gorgeous metallic guy appears. Totes strokable to.

Characters: 4/5
                Alasdair: I hated him. I know he was only trying to bring his brother back and move forward but he makes it seem like Oliver is the only thing holding him back in life when it really is his guilty conscious.

                Oliver: I truly believe Oliver is in there deep down. He is just focused on the idea of being this monster that he starts to believe that is what he truly is.

                Mary: Lee gives us a backstory about the life of Mary Shelley- that Shelley. This backstory is actually loosely based on her real life. Mary in the book knows how to turn people against one another and how to twist their emotions to fix her desires.

Plot: 5/5
                First of this is Frankenstein if other people also had mechanical parts and were outcasts. Oliver is just different because he can only survive by metal versus the other Cogs who have basically prosthetic.
                Next is if Frankenstein the actual book was released into the wild and used as a rallying cry to the Cogs to fight against the government.
                Finally what happens when the truth comes out? Will Alasdair confess his darkest secret, will Mary recant her rallying cry, most of all will Oliver see himself as something other than a monster?   
Overall Rating: 4/5
                I really did enjoy this, so much in fact I sat down at 10am and finished it at 345pm. This book was fast paced and I needed to know what happened to the Cogworks. I would recommend if you want an alternate view of Frankenstein.

The Interview
How did you research?
I did *so much* research for this book! And it was so much fun! Before I began writing, I read literary criticism of Frankenstein, about Mary Shelley, her life and how the book came to be written, and about society, technology, and anxieties in the early 1800s. All these things helped shape the plot. Then, as I wrote, I researched small things I ran into, like what was embalming like in the 1800s, what Christmas carols were sung, did shoes have laces or buckles, was apartment or flatwas more common. I also was really lucky and got to travel to both Geneva, Switzerland, where half of the book takes place, and through the Bavarian countryside, where the other half of the book takes place and experience the setting. One of my favorite parts of the research process was reading Mary Shelley’s original, hand-written manuscripts for Frankenstein (which everyone can view online and I highly suggest you do!)

Do you relate to your MC?
My main character Alasdair and I don’t have too much in common, except that we’re both a little socially inept. I relate much more to Oliver (Alasdair’s older brother and his reanimated corpse creature). We’re both artistically minded, a bit more ruled by emotion, and get passionately obsessed with things. We also both have a very keen sense of justice, and sometimes take it upon ourselves to be the enactors of it, even when it’s not our business.

What or who got you into writing?
I loved books when I was small, and wrote tiny novels in the way you only can when you’re ten years old, but I stopped reading and writing when I was in high school. School assigned reading and writing kind of ruined it for me. But I came back to books in my early twenties, when I was doing a lot of traveling and looking for something to keep me occupied at train and bus stations. The thing that got me back into writing was rediscovering children’s books after a long absence from them.

Why YA as your genre?
I love how teenagers have no inhibitions when it comes to being in love with things, whether those things are the books they read, the music they listen to, or the ships they ship. I remember the way I used to be passionate about things when I was a teen, and I want to write stories for an audience who is that unselfconsciously obsessed with the things they love and open to being moved and shaped by the things they come in contact with.

What book would suggest to be on the lookout for besides yours?
I’m very excited about The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore, a gorgeous Romeo and Juliet meets Night Circus book. I’m also excited for A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, which is a historical thriller set in an insane asylum at the turn of the century.  

Hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for tomorrows Spooky Reads recap.


Halloween Party

When: 3pm PST

How: Use the #NightOwnChat to join in.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. This year as you can see I was able go to a spooky haunted forest with the Bae. This was for sure the highlight of my October.

I hope everyone has a safe and haunting Halloween.



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