Monday, February 29, 2016

February Wrap-Up

I think this month was my winter doldrums . I had absolutely no energy to do anything. I didn't have a full blog this month and I certainly didn't feel like commenting. In fact, each week, I thought it was a week later in the month than it was.

I blame part of this on the weather. We have been crazy warm this winter. Two saturdays ago it was eighty degrees for a high! We've not even had any snow this year besides a light dusting one evening that was gone a day later. I want snow, I want a winter.


Beyond that, I've turned a year older and don't feel a bit different. You're supposed to, right? Like feel a whole year older from one day to the next?

I also came really close to making my reading goal this month. I wanted to read 12 books for a total of 4000 pages. Well, I made the books and only missed the page count by 33. Happy with that, but I actually thought I'd be reading more than that. Of course, I've been playing computer games a lot recently, and reading has taken a kind of back seat to that.

What I've been reading...

Air Awakens by Elise Kova - ***** - Review
The Seventh Spell by Danielle E. Shipley - ****
The Mermaid's Madness by Jim C. Hines - ****

Beauty & the Beast by K.M. Shea - *****
Decrypted by Lindsay Buroker - *****
Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce - ****

Viper's Creed by T.L. Shreffler - **** - Review: 3/9
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - ** - Review: 3/16
Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne - **

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - *
Feyland: The Bright Court by Anthea Sharp - ****
Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas - *****

Arisa Vol. 9 by Natsumi Ando - *****
Arisa Vol. 10 by Natsumi Ando - *****

Buying ban information to date...
I can buy/get free 1 book for every 5 I read.
Series continuations are free.

Physical books read: 39
E-books read: 23

Physical books bought: 2
E-books bought: 5

What I've been watching…

Kamigami no Asobi. I adore this show. I've seen quite a few otome games turned into anime, but this one is definitely my favorite. And, now, I want to play the game. An English translation would be lovely…

Falling Skies season 3. I still do dearly love this show, but there was a couple of episodes in there where the two main characters started action soo strange. I mean, seriously, what was up with them?

Finally finished the first half of Nobunaga the Fool and will not, ever, be watching the second half. Because, blerg. (So it totally counts.)

Rewatched season 5 of Warehouse 13. You know, I totally thought the ending was out of left field the first time I watched this…But I can kind of see them pointing in that direction through season 5. Which was only 6 episodes and still does not make up for the previous four seasons that seemed to want to avoid this for all it was worth. So, yeah, still a little unhappy with it. But at least they handled it as well as everything else on the series. (Except for several more out of the blue 'reveals.' Now that I think it…Season 5 was really odd…)

Rewatched Saiyuki Reload (which is season 3 of the entire series). What can I say? Still love the show. Still adore the people. The music from this season has even started to grow on me. And, I definitely think that season 3 is still my favorite. Course now I have to watch season 4 to make sure. ;)

Really lazy, unproductive month for me. How was your February? Did you get snow? (ake me jealous.)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

February Book Haul

I definitely feel like I went a little crazy buying books this month, but it was my birthday, so that's totally okay. Right?

Physical Books...

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weeks

Kindle Books...

Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge
The Scarecrow King by Jill Myles
Radiance by Grace Draven

A Devilish Slumber by Shereen Vedam
The Ruins of Karzelek by Ruby Lionsdrake
The Bright Court by Anthea Sharp

The Dreamer's Curse by Honor Raconteur
Volcrian's Hunt by T.L. Shreffler

So, I felt like I was running out of things to read on my kindle. That's the only way I can explain this.

I also bought my first adult coloring book - The Time Garden by Daria Song.

It's really neat because it tells a story about a your girl's journey through a clock. (I also totally did not include it on my ban.)

And I bought myself gifts.

I've been doing this for years now, where I'll buy myself something that I consider my birthday gift to me. Sometimes it's a TV show - sometimes it's a couple of books. Well, this year it was three books.

Loki: Agent of Asgard: Trust Me by Al Ewing & Lee Garbett
This is the bind up of, I think, the first 5 volumes. I've actually never gotten truly involved in reading comics, but considering how much I love the character of Loki from the MCU, (and most versions of Loki, anyway) this seemed like the obvious place to start. (Just like my manga, I am not including comics in my ban in any way.)

Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
How could I not buy this for my birthday? I mean, it released ON my birthday! It's like a sign!

Fire Falling by Elise Kova
This wasn't actually supposed to be part of my gift, but once I held it in my hands and saw that gorgeous, gorgeous cover in person, I couldn't resist. I loved and adored the first book, but I am super terrified of this one. Because I can totally see everything falling apart and my poor little - half shriveled and slightly dead - heart getting pulled from my chest. And quite possibly stomped on. Just so long as I still like the people, that's all I'm asking for.

Finally, I got books as birthday gifts!
Yay! My mom knows me so well. :)

The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr

The Worlds of Earth by Pauline Marquez

Celtic Designs by Carol Schmidt

And, finally, this absolutely gorgeous book. This actually tells the story of the hunt for and the discovery of his tomb and has some beautiful pictures of his sarcophagus, hieroglyphics and statues from his tomb.

The Gold of Tutankhamen by Kamal El Mallakh & Arnold C. Brackman

Buying ban information to date...
I can buy/get free 1 book for every 5 I read.
Series continuations are free.

Physical books read: 38
E-books read: 23

Physical books bought: 2
E-books bought: 5

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Series: Air Awakens #1
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...

The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.

Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top Ten Recent Books I've Enjoyed That Were Outside My Comfort Zone

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

I have to admit, try as I might, I tend to not stretch my reading as much as I should. I have favorite genres and I don't often leave them. However, every so often, I do find a book that isn't what I'd usually read that I just adore.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: The Web of Titan by Dom Testa

The Web of Titan by Dom Testa
Series: Galahad #2
Genre: Sci-Fi
Add on Goodreads

After triumphing over a saboteur bent on destroying Galahad, Triana and her Council are eager to avoid any further complications. But as Galahad swings around the ringed planet Saturn, they encounter a mysterious metal pod orbiting the moon of Titan. The teens prepare to bring the pod and its contents aboard, only to be faced with a another crisis: an illness that is beyond their medical experience. Dozens of crew members fall into a comatose state, only to awaken with strangely glowing eyes. To make matters worse, the systems of Galahad begin to fail. With time running out, can Triana and her shipmates escape the Web of Titan?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Top Ten Songs I Wish Were Books

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

This week we get to combine two things that are very near and dear to me: books and music. I actually did a post a little like this - only that one was saying what kind of books I imagine would come from the songs. But this is going to be a lot of fun - and definitely make me think about what kind of story the songs tell. And because I totally couldn't pick one song to leave off, you get eleven instead of ten. Yay for being a rebel!

(Sorry, but you're not getting youtube videos with this. I nearly killed myself for my Halloween playlist because the videos randomly disappear. Seriously, I had the first one loaded and when I loaded the second one, the first one disappeared. Instead, click on the artist and song and you'll be taken to the youtube page.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mean Girls Book Tag

Discovered over at A Fool's Ingenuity.
Is it weird that my brother was a bigger fan of this movie than I was? But I did like it, it was a lot of fun, and I haven't seen it in years. So, I decided to do this book tag.

It's Pronounced Like 'Cady'.
Which fictional characters’ names did you get completely wrong?

Usually, I do a pretty good job of getting the names right - at least for those names that I eventually find out how to pronounce. I guess the one that I didn't was Agnieszka from Uprooted. I pronounced it ag-neez-kah when it's pronounced ag-NYESH-kah.

She Doesn't Even Go Here!
Pick a fictional character that you would like to place in another fictional character's world.

Hmm... That's interesting. I've never much thought about just dumping someone from one book into another. I really can't think of anyone right now. But I do like 'fish out of water' scenarios, so something like that would be awesome!

On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink.
Repetition, repetition. Which book gave you déja vu of another book while reading it?

Well, if I can talk about books by the same author: the second-fourth books in the Ladies of Distinction series by Jen Turano gave me deja vu of the first one. And Crimson Bound gave me deja vu of Cruel Beauty - both by Rosamund Hodge. Beyond that, I know there's one that I will probably remember as soon as I post this.

You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.
Which book gave you the complete opposite of girl power feels?

I'm really lucky in that I usually can avoid these books. In fact, this is probably the most common reason I've passed on books. Hmm, the only one that's coming to my mind is Heart's Blood though I know there are more.

You Go Glen Coco!
Name a character you felt like you wanted to cheer on whilst reading.

Oh, there's so very many. When I like the characters, it seems like I can't help but to want to cheer for them. Let's see, Penny from Ticker by Lisa Mantchev, Brad from V is for Villain by Peter Moore, Jarra from Earth Girl by Janet Edwards and Sevana from The Child Prince by Honor Raconteur name just a few recent ones.

Get in Loser, We're Going Shopping!
How long do you typically spend at a book shop?

Typically? I don't even go into them. I do almost all my shopping online. If I do have time and a ride (I don't drive) and get to go to a book store, well... I can easily spend an hour or two in there.

It's Not My Fault You’re Like In Love With Me Or Something!
Which character would have to get out a restraining order on you, if they were real?

Interesting question. I really don't think I'd tend to stalk anyone. At least, I hope I wouldn't. But...Probably the entire four person main cast of Prudence by Gail Carriger. (Especially Rue and Quesnel.)

I Can't Help It That I’m Popular.
Which over-hyped book were you cautious about reading?

Pretty much every overhyped book I've read in the last two+ years. Typically speaking, the more popular a book is with readers and critics, the less I like the book. I don't mean for it to happen. It just does. And I've been heart-broken more than once because of it. There was Uprooted by Naomi Novik and the entire Harry Potter series. Usually, if I'm unsure, that's a pretty clear sign I should just forget it, because I know what I like and the hype usually leads me astray. If we want to talk about books that I didn't need to be cautious about...Throne of Glass immediately leaps to mind. And, after a while, Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

She's A Life Ruiner. She Ruins Peoples' Lives.
We all love Regina George. Name a villain you just love to hate.

I love villains. A well written villain has a very good chance of being my favorite character in the book. So, we're not talking about them, right? We're talking about the villains that I want dead, yes? Levana from The Lunar Chronicles fits that bill about as well as any ever could. I seriously hated her.

I'm Not Like A Regular Mom, I’m A Cool Mom.
Your favourite fictional parents.

Even though I thought her daughter needed to be turned over her knee, I adored Megan Robbins - mother of bratty Quin - in the Dusk Gate Chronicles by Breeana Puttroff. That's all I can think of right now, besides the obvious of Amelia/Radcliff and Walter/Evelyn from the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. Though I hardly feel right including them, because we followed them before they had kids and now, thanks to the passage of time, we follow their kids a lot.
That Is So Fetch!
Which book or series would you love to catch on?

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas? Seriously, I love this book like crazy and can't for the life of me understand why so many people hate the book. But if we're talking lesser known books - and not just the unloved ones - I'd definitely say anything by Lindsay Buroker. She writes some awesome fantasy book! And, specifically, The Child Prince by Honor Raconteur.

How Do I Even Begin To Explain Regina George?
Describe your ideal character to read about.

I don't know that I necessarily have an ideal character. I'll give it a go though. One that is: funny, humor is a must. Preferably dry humor - witty, sarcastic kind of stuff is all good. A smartass response to most things. Not someone that is 'lawful good' if you'll accept a D&D term. I like my characters to be a little morally grey. They always do the right thing, eventually, but there's a lot of work for them to get to that point. Confidence is a must. Cockiness is totally accepted, too - especially if they're not always as good as they think they are. I like people that aren't doormats by don't treat other people like doormats either.

I Just Have A Lot Of Feelings.

What do you do when a book gives you a bad case of 'the feels'?

Uh... You mean emotional wreck? Books don't often inspire a lot of tears from me. I was going to say 'a lot of emotion' but I can laugh like a madwoman when something tickles my fancy. (And then there's the violence I perpetrate to books I hate.) Let's see, Air Awakens by Elise Kova gave me one doozy of a book hangover where nothing would compare to the awesomeness of it. (Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff did the same thing, though with more wet eyes.)

Nice Wig Janice, What’s It Made Of? – Your Mom’s Chest Hair!
Which character’s one liners would you love to claim for your own?

Cinder from Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I love her sarcastic sense of humor and wish I could think of retorts like that in the moment. (As opposed to five hours later.)

Boo, You Whore.
Name a time a characters decision has made you roll your eyes.

That's...kind of a common occurrence for me. Definitely half the decisions Darian made in The Tales of the Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding (and every decision he made about Trinica). And every romance book I've ever read has at least one eye roll moment. Plus all those times in YA books where someone makes a questionable decision. Honestly, by now it's a wonder I still have my eyes where they belong. ;)

That was fun, and I love how some of these questions are so different. Anyone that's interested: consider yourself tagged!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Rip It Or Ship It - Valentine's Day Edition

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Discussion topic this pre-pre-valentine's day, to offer you frivolousness.

I'd almost forgotten about this. I originally found it over at The Regal Critiques - like over six months ago - and couldn't remember what it was called. Then I found it over at Josie's Book Corner and promptly decided I was doing this for Valentine's Day.

Basically, the idea is that you write down an even number of character names from different book on scraps of paper. Then you shuffle them around (like in a hat or something) and draw out two names and decide whether you want to rip or ship it. *rub hands together* This is going to be fun.

Crash from Sora's Quest and Brad from V is for Villain
Wow, okay. Starting off with an interesting one. Crash is serious and athletic and very used to being in charge. (He's also an assassin.) Brad is kind of less serious, very intelligent and sneaky and so used to being in charge. (He's also a supervillain in training.) I think they'd annoy each other on first meeting, prompting them to each try to kill the other - turning into grudging respect when it didn't succeed. I think it would be a lot of fun to see. Ship it.

Karou from Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Katsa from Graceling
*Whistles* I got stubborn people. I don't know... I mean, they're both tough, kickbutt girls that have a lot to overcome. I think they'd understand where the other is coming from and the struggles that they face. I'm just not sure because there's such a thing as being too similar. I think they could help ground each other. Ship it.

Neville from Harry Potter series and Fian from Earth Girl
Nope. There's absolutely nothing about these two that makes me think they'd be a good pair. Fian likes the idea of a hot girl throwing him across the room (actually the jungle clearing) and I think Neville is way too quiet for him. They'd stare at each other all the time, wallowing in the uncomfortable silence. Sorry, these guys are both sweethearts, but: Rip it.

Emily from Steampunk Chronicles and Alina from Shadow & Bone
LOL What is it with these strange pairings? Honestly, I don't see this working at all. To me, these girls are way too different and I don't even see them being friends. Rip it.

Magnus from Falling Kingdoms series and Bon from Galahad series
I don't even know what to think about this - much less say. They're both very stubborn, that's for sure. You know, in an odd way, I see this totally working. They both have problems with their respective fathers. They would understand that you don't need to act bubbly and happy all the time. I think they'd be good for each other, someone to lean on and gather strength from. (If they'd quit being so stubborn and admit they need it.) Also, I think Bon could help Magnus to quit caring quite so much what other people think. Ship it!

James from All Our Yesterdays and Penelope from A Breath of Frost
No! No, no, no, no. There are some people that I think could handle James and his - how do I say this without spoilers? - mental issues. Penelope is not one of them. She's a party girl. She likes dancing and flirting and being around people. She's everything that I can see James hating. Rip it!

Stellan from The Conspiracy of Us and Gabby from The Dispossessed series
Oh, this would be fun. Two stubborn, determined people. In a way I like the idea because this is finally a girl that Stellan couldn't walk all over - but I also hate it because he'd try to keep Gabby safe and not let her out to fight. Something that would quickly drive her to sneaking out on her own. Rip it.

Aurora from A Wicked Thing and Sophronia from Finishing School series
I don't know. Uh...okay, Aurora's kind of - but not really - meek. She's definitely the sort to think things out. Sophronia is much the same, though a little more loud about it. They both gather all the information they can before making decisions. I can kind of see it working. But, it wouldn't be exactly 'consumed by passion' and I think Aurora would have things to say about Sophronia's choice of job. (She's a spy.) Ship it. I think.

Well, this was interesting. My conclusion is that I'm very difficult to please, even when I choose the people in the couples. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Think I've totally got it all wrong? I'd love to know!

Ship of Hearts from here.
Divider from here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Top 5 Friends Forever

This post has been on my mind for a couple of months. Last valentine's day, I went the typical route and talked about favorite couples. But, honestly, I'm not a fan of valentine's day and ... well, I felt like I should celebrate it a bit differently.

I am happily single - and I get really tired of being asked by acquaintances if I've 'fallen in love yet' like it's some be all end all. And then one woman made it worse by adding 'or are you still looking for the right man?' No, I'm not looking because I'm HAPPY. Blerg. (And it's just gotten worse since my sister married.)

This post is going to be about something that means much more to me than romance: friendship! Give me a well written friendship and I'll take it over romance any day. So, here's my top five favorite BFF's.

Royce & Hadrian from The Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan

"What’s going on?' Royce asked as throngs of people suddenly moved toward him from the field and the castle interior.
"I mentioned that you saw the thing and now they want to know what it looks like," Hadrian explained. 'What did you think? They were coming to lynch you?"
He shrugged. 'What can I say? I’m a glass-half-empty kinda guy."
'Half empty?" Hadrian chuckled. 'Was there ever any drink in that glass?"

Kaoru & Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

"So violent. You want to mug and tase everybody these days."
"I do," Zuzana agreed. "I swear I hate more people every day. Everyone annoys me. If I'm like this now, what am I going to be like when I'm old?"
"You'll be the mean old biddy who fires a BB gun at kids from her balcony."
"Nah. BBs just rile 'em up. More like a crossbow. Or a bazooka."

Jem & Will from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

Will rolled up his sleeves. "We'll probably have to knock down the door--"
"Or," said Jem, reaching out and giving the knob a twist, "not."
The door swung open onto a rectangle of darkness.
"Now, that's simply laziness," said Will.

Sandry & Daja & Briar & Tris from The Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce

Sadly, I'm unable to find a quote with all four talking that both truly captures their personalities and indicates why I love them so much. (And, also, that doesn't give away spoilers.) Suffice to say, I adore their friendship and the fact that all four are very different people and come from very different worlds.

Cora & Nellie & Michiko from The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
No quotes here, either, but much like the last one, I adore the friendship forged between three very different girls. They all complement each other perfectly I love it.

So, there we have five of my favorite friendships ever. Interesting to note, it was difficult to actually find friendships where there's no romantic feelings at all between them. One of my original choices got tossed aside because there's romantic feelings to be found. At least one-sided. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think and let me know what you're doing for valentine's day! (Not my glitter swirl, but I forget where I found it. Sorry!)