Monday, August 31, 2015

August Wrap-Up

August was the month of short books. A lot of short books.

The Assassin's Curse by Lindsay Buroker - *****
The Swan Prince by Danielle E. Shipley - **** Thoughts here
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall - ** - Review: September 2nd

The Dark Deeps by Arthur Slade - DNF - Thoughts here
Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Re-Read for #TLCReadAlong - Thoughts here
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen - ** - Review: September 9th

Vicious by V.E. Schwab - ** - Review: September 16th
Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce - ****
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - ****

How To Date A Nerd by Cassie Mae - *** - Thoughts here
Oedipus the King by Sophocles - ** - Thoughts here
A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes - ***

A Seamless Murder by Melissa Bourbon - ** - Thoughts here
The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury - * - Thoughts here

Books and Blog
I think August was my very own Dog Days of Summer. Not only do I seem to not understand the way time works (or maybe I've finally hit that age that everyone talks about 'time flying' with) but I have gotten very lazy. Even more so that usual. Combine an absolute lack of energy for working on this blog with an internet that works horribly, and I am so glad I had most of my posts ready for the month - otherwise this blog would have probably taken an unintended hiatus.

In My Life
A lot of times I see people posting a weekly update about things that are happening to them away from their blogging life. There's actually a pretty good reason why I don't do this: my life's pretty boring. The average day for me is: get up, eat breakfast, go to work, eat lunch, maybe read if there's nothing else to do, go home, eat supper, read and/or watch TV, go to bed. The I wake up and do it all over. Weekends are almost as boring. Saturdays are the day that I do laundry and clean. Usually spend a lot of time just being lazy. Sundays is shopping day and, besides a little time in the morning reading while my mom's at church, that takes most of the day. See, if you had to read about this every week, I doubt you'd appreciate me updating weekly.

Oh, btw, this month was boring. ;) Summertime, so all I want to do is laze around by my AC. Course, I'm just as lazy in the winter when it's cold outside. Though I'm so happy we're almost done with summer because my allergies have been driving me nuts. I've taken so many Benadryl's this summer it's a wonder I haven't turned pink!

TV & Movies
I have been watching a ton of stuff this month on TV. I finally finished Hiiro no Kakera season 2 and didn't like it at all. Season one was enjoyable enough - mostly because of the main girl. She was awesome in season one but terrible in season two. I also watched season two of A Certain Scientific Railgun…Uh…Didn't enjoy it much because I can't stand the main girl, but it was almost worth it to see the extended version of Toma and Accelerator's fight. Watched InuXBoku: Secret Service and am totally confused at what the show was even supposed to be. I didn't hate it though, so there is that.

On better notes, I watched season 5 of Rizzoli & Isles. While I didn't actually like how predictable the major plot point for the season worked out, the show was as fun as always. I also watched Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue. Not one of my favorite seasons - though the only ranger I had any problems with was the spoiled brat. And I've gotta say, when this season was on, when everything came together, it was nearly perfect. Pity there weren't more moments like that.

I've recently found Falling Skies and I love the show. I've only seen season one so far, but it is so great. I was interested in it when it first came out because of Noah Wyle and I've liked him since his days on ER. But when I started watching it…Not only does it have him in it, but it also has Will Patton and Moon Bloodgood. Definitely was thrilled to see that. I'd put of watching it partially because I was hoping Walmart would get season one in for fifteen bucks - which they did, eventually - but also because alien invasion shows aren't really my thing. I've seen enough of them to know that. Sure, there's a few I liked - especially season one of 1988's War of the Worlds (won't watch season two) - but as a whole? Not my story. So glad I took a chance with this one though.

I rewatched season 3 of Leverage and am in process of rewatching Yu Yu Hakusho (finished season 2 and moved right into season 3.)

I think next month will be the month of a lot of TV shows as most of mine shows are finally getting last seasons release to DVD.

For everyone that started school this month, I hope it started well!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cinder Talk (#TLCReadAlong Update) - Spoilers for Cinder by Marissa Meyer

taking place here

To be on the safe side, assume that there will be spoilers for the book here. If you want to read my review of Cinder - spoiler free! - for the first time I read the book, click here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Book Haul

So...Remember what I said about not buying as many books? Yeah, didn't happen. I should have known it wouldn't though, because I am one of those people that, as soon as I'm told I can't do something, I do it. Seriously though, I'm going to have to quit buying as many because I'm almost out of room. Now, on to the fun stuff.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Series: Standalone
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Books On My Steampunk 101 Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I was going to do fantasy - either YA or adult or mixed - but then I thought of steampunk. As a genre, steampunk is still in the early stages of public awareness. Me, I like to think I was a fan of steampunk before it became cool, be it really doesn't matter if you've been a fan for years or are only now trying it. I love steampunk, I love the look and the feel and what it is. So, if I taught steampunk, these books would be on my required reading list.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Favorite Sci-Fi

Sign-Ups Here

I'll admit, I'm still fairly new to science fiction. Not for lack of trying, but sci-fi and I have an odd relationship. I love it in theory, but struggle to find entertainment in the genre that I like. Seriously, as of making up this post, I have 27 books on my sci-fi shelf over at Goodreads. And 7 of those are media tie-in novels.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Dreaded Book Hangovers

I was going to say: I don't get them. But then I started thinking about it. That's not the truth, although they are very, very uncommon. In my entire life - at least, that I remember - I've gotten two book hangovers. Two. That's like…I've got over seven hundred books marked as read on Goodreads and there's probably twice that many that I've forgotten.


The first one was Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I'm making a huge jump of logic here and saying that anyone who's read that book understands why. (I'm also not a crier and this book had tears rolling down my face. Thankfully I'm not a blubberer at all. Otherwise…) 

The other book that gave me a hangover was the one I reviewed last week, Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff. That book is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. It sneaks up on you, it's all silly and light until you're left with war and destruction and death and everyone being all heroic.

I used to think it was me - that I didn't get it because I don't drink alcohol so I've never had that kind of hangover either. Or maybe it was because I gravitate more towards light books and they don't exactly give a huge emotional payoff. (When they do though, look out. There's not much more amazing than that.)

But now I have experienced this - I might have been happier if I hadn't.

Book hangovers leave me feeling restless. I want to start another book, but I can't. The book was my life for however long I was reading it and the 'real world' just doesn't seem as vibrant.

I need to stay in this world just a little longer but…it's time to leave.

I recover, eventually, but then I'm off on the hunt for another book that leaves me with the unexpected emotional connection and physical gutting.

Share with me your experience with book hangovers! I'd love to hear how you cope or if you never get them. Feel free to name the liquor book that caused the hangover too, I'm always curious.

The 2nd & 3rd pictures are not mine.
Credit wherever credit is due.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

So, I saw this tag over at Howling for Books and thought it looked like a lot of fun.

1. Best Book You've Read So Far in 2015

Just one? *whimpers* I've read so many awesome books already this year. I think it's probably one of these two though.

2. Best Sequel You've Read so Far in 2015

While I liked the first book well enough, the characters in this one really caught my heart.

3. New Release You Haven't Read Yet but Want To

So very, very many, but I'll go with this one because I love steampunk.

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half of the Year

There's a lot of new books that sound good as well as several 'next-in-series' books I'm looking forward to - but no book compares to my excitement for this one.

5. Biggest Disappointment

There's a lot of books I've read this year that I either wanted to be better or I thought it would be better. Instead of going with one of my 'hated' books or one that I had crazy high hopes for, I went with a book that I didn't think could be bad. (It was, btw, really, really bad.)

6. Biggest Surprise

I choose to interpret surprise as 'in a good way'. Because this was a book that I really didn't think I'd much care for. It had a lot of things that I don't really like, but then I started reading the book and was totally shocked at how much I was enjoying it.

7. Favorite New Author (Debut To You)

I've been really stretching my wings - so to speak - this year and have found a lot of new authors that I like. However, two stand out quite a bit from the rest. These are both awesome books that blew me away and I can't wait to read more by these authors.

8. Newest Fictional Crush

There's actually two guys that I've first read about this year that I definitely have a bit of a crush on - or I would, if I actually developed crushes on fictional people. Which, of course, we know I don't. Right?

Finn Abbott and Quesnel Lefoux, respectively.

9. Newest Favorite Character

Well, definitely the titular Prudence, but I've already mentioned that book twice, so I'll go with these two.

Aurora and Rose Hathaway, respectively.

10. Book That Made You Cry

None so far this year. I'm either reading the wrong books or cold. Actually, both, so whatevs.

11. Book That Made You Happy

Sometimes cloyingly sweet, this has been a great series so far to escape with. I've read the first three books in this series and they are light, happy, fluffy fantasy at it's best. And sometimes sappiest.

12. Favorite Book To Film Adaptation

Uh... There's actually none that I've read/seen both this year. And although it's not an adaptation, more a companion novel, I feel I must mention this awesome book.

13. Favorite Review You've Written This Year

I don't know that I really have a favorite review I've written - and there was definitely a part of me that wanted to go with either the one that had the most views or the most comments, but, finally, I decided on this one. I think why I like it so much is it's kind of a chatty review and isn't as flat-out confusing as some of my reviews are. (So sorry!)

14. Most Beautiful Book You've Bought This Year So Far

Content or cover? If content...uh...yeah...I got nothing. Covers though, I'm going to go with this great book because that cover is just amazing - and delightfully creepy if you stare at it long enough.

15. What Book(s) Do You Need To Read by The End of The Year

The first one is by an author that I love and the other two sound to be very solid fantasy books so I'm hoping to get a chance to read all three of them by the end of the year.

If you're interested in doing this tag and haven't yet, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
Series: Wrapped #1 (book 2 supposedly out in 2017)
Genre: Historical/Mystery
Add on Goodreads

Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter's estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic "atmosphere" for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.

This is the start of it all, Agnes's debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It's also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn't just a mummy. It's a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.

Get wrapped up in the adventure . . . but keep your wits about you, dear Agnes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I love the idea behind this, but 'auto-buy' isn't something I do. Even if I think the world of the author, there's just some things that are a turn-off for me. However, I do have authors that, as soon as I find out they're releasing something new, I'm over at Goodreads seeing what it is. There's definitely some that, even if I have my doubts, I'd probably still buy the book anyway. I don't do 'auto-buy' though as I don't actually 'auto-buy' anything. If I did though, these are the authors that would be auto-bought. (Now I'm thinking of the Transformers. The autobots!)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Books With Royalty

taking place here
It's because of posts like this that I didn't want to announce what my topics were going to be. Because this isn't what I had planned. At all. But my other plans fell through and while I was scouring my books for a recomendations post I could pull together, this came about.

Prince Kai is actually one of my favorite nobles I've come across because he's willing to do anything for his country. I've always found those sort of nobles (kings, queens, princes and princesses) to be so great to read about. But, there's some nobles in these six books that are as great and I highly recommend all of them.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Rant & Review: Casual Sexism in Fantasy & The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

A new feature I've created whenever I feel the need to get more in depth in a certain part of a book without talking about the entire book. I was going to wait to talk about sexism in fantasy until I was able to get my point across better - but this book angered me so much and there will be plenty of time and material for me to revisit this topic whenever I want. I also noticed that I haven't had a rant since I started this blog, and I need a good rant.

(Possible spoilers for the first 138 pages of The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace.)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

I'll admit that this was such a surprise to be nominated by Tiffany (thanks so much) over at The Bookish Thoughts. This is my first award and I'm actually a little at sea about what I'm supposed to do. (And I totally fail at getting this up in anything resembling a timely fashion!) I'll admit that some of these aren't exactly new blogs, but they've all started within the last couple of years - so that's good enough for me. My apologies if you have one of these not-so-new new blogs and dislike being on this list.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff

Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff
Series: Confederation #1
Genre: Sci-Fi
Add on Goodreads

In the distant future, humans and several other races have been granted membership in the Confederation - at a price. They must act as soldier/protectors of the far more civilized races who have long since turned away from war... — Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr was a battle-hardened professional. So when she and those in her platoon who'd survived the last deadly encounter with the Others were yanked from a well-deserved leave for what was supposed to be "easy" duty as the honor guard for a diplomatic mission to the non-Confederation world of the Silsviss, she was ready for anything.

At first it seemed that all she'd have to contend with was bored troops getting into mischief, and breaking in the new Second Lieutenant who had been given command of her men.

Sure, there'd been rumors of the Others - the sworn enemies of the Confederation - being spotted in this sector of space. But there were always rumors. The key thing was to recruit the Silsviss into the Confederation before the Others either attacked or claimed this lizardlike race of warriors for their own side. And everything seemed to be going perfectly. Maybe too perfectly...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books By

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This is, I believe, actually going to be a little embarrassing. I always talk about how I'm such a fantasy reader, but this is still fairly new. I've only been reading fantasy for about ten years - prior to that was when I was reading almost exclusively mystery. And a lot of my favorite fantasy authors don't have more that six or seven books published so... Not embarrassing, I've changed my mind about that. But this this isn't exactly an indication of what I'm currently reading. (Okay, so as I was making up this list, I decided to make this a little more strict. Not only do I own all these books - but I can actually find them.)

Monday, August 10, 2015

In Honor of Cinder: 8 Cinderella Retellings (And I Totally Fail Because I've Not Read Any Of Them)

August is the month of Cinder for anyone participating in The Book Addict's Guide (re)read along. As my first post, I decided to focus a little on other Cinderella retellings.

I'm sure we all know the story of Cinderella - it is, after all, one of the most popular fairytales ever. (I guess there's something about a guy that recognizes feet better than faces?) However, the great thing about retellings is how things are changed. That's why I love retelling so much, because the core elements are there (usually rags-to-riches and a happily ever after) but the author is allowed to make things twisty and turny and basically just play with your expectations.

Let's take a look at these other retellings.