Monday, September 29, 2014

{ARC Review} The Jewel (The Lone City #1): Amy Ewing

Rating: 77%

Series: The Lone City Trilogy #1

Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction, Magic,

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Page Count: 358

Format: Physical ARC

Source: HarperTeen via giveaway from Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

Disclaimer: I received this book from HarperTeen as a giveaway prize from Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books and the fact that this was an ARC copy did not effect my honest opinion in any way.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?

Fans of the Selection (Kiera Cass)

Would I Buy It?

Because I was not in love with the novel, I don't think I would purchase it at full price, but I would definitely ask for The Jewel as a gift because I did enjoy it and the cover is simply gorgeous enough to want to own the finished, hardcover copy.

Background & Backstory

As you may know, The Jewel is probably THE most anticipated Young Adult Dystopian debut release of September. I had put the book on hold at my local library so I could be on of the first readers when they ordered it in, but I won a giveaway and had the book sent to me instead. I mean, how could I pass up an opportunity to read The Jewel?

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?

I had three thoughts: first, that was a cop-out; second, I knew I liked that guy; third, sequel, NOW!

The Jewel was marketed as "The Selection meets The Handmaid's Tale" while I have not read The Handmaid's Tale, I have read the entire Selection Trilogy (in terms of all the books out to date), and that series was marketed as "The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor." I understand where the publicist got both pitches for The Jewel, but I sincerely think it should have been pitched as, "The Hunger Games meets pretty dresses and an intriguing dystopian premise." Then again, I am not, nor do I claim to be a book marketer.... so some might disagree with that statement. 

There were so many indirect Hunger Games references and parallels to a point where it got on my nerves. The most prominent (and most annoying) parallel between the two was Lucien who is Violet's prep artist before the auction took place. And guess what? He chose to be her prep artist AND helps her throughout the story AND says some cheesy line before the auction, proving that he believes in her. That doesn't sound at all like Cinna from the Hunger Games and "I'm still betting on you." I know there was  reason I was so hyper-aware of the similarities, but it got to a ridiculous point where so many the customs, preparations, and guidelines of The Jewel's world was like THG.

I can take a lot from a story before I get annoyed, my taste is not on par with the classics. Yet, the poor excuse for a "relationship" between Ash and Violet was the most insane form of insta-love I have EVER seen. I've read books where the two protagonists have an instant connection or some kind of bond between them that immedieatly draws the two of them together. However, it's even more pathetic than Shatter Me, where Juliette falls in love with the very first guy who ever talks to her, because at least they have a childhood connection. In The Jewel, Ash talks to Violet for a page and she's already talking about being in love with him. In terms of chemistry, I felt Violet cared more about characters we saw for a single chapter, rather than a large portion of the story.

I know this comes from me being a teenager who has not experienced all the world has to offer, so she doesn't have the respect for great works of literature (look, I'm talking in 3rd person), but fast-pace is one of the most enticing elements of writing, as well as one that will make me stay in the long run. The Jewel's pace was break-neck, and I could have read it in one sitting.... you know, if I didn't have that pesky thing called school. 

The best, defining quality of The Jewel was its premise. In terms of dystopian, this one outshone all of the others. It was extremely innovative and the execution followed through. The ending, on the other hand was predicable and the one time I wasn't loving the story (besides the romance). 

How Likely Is It That I Will Re-Read This Book?

As I described it, The Jewel, is a lot like The Selection Trilogy in terms of my enjoyment, pacing, and engagement as a reader. With that said, I don't think I will be re-reading it any time soon because of the aggravating characters (What book does that sound like? *hint*), I think I may have to so I can read the sequels.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read The Sequel To This Book?

The Jewel was a fun, exciting, light, suspenseful read that left off with a cliffhanger ending. My brain will certainly crave a "guilty pleasure book" such as the sequel to The Jewel in a year or so when I need some comic and stress relief after starting school.

Conclusion: If you're in the mood for a fast-paced, intriguiging, innovative dystopian read, The Jewel will not disappoint.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

{Book Review} The Beginning of Everything: Robyn Schneider

Rating: 86%
Series: None
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Young Adult, Romance, Friendship,
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Page Count: 331
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a Friend

Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?

Fans of a quality, inspirational, feels-filled, humorous, young adult, contemporary romances
Winger (Andrew Smith), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie), Two Boys Kissing (David Levithan), These Gentle Wounds (Helen Dunbar), This Song Will Save Your Life (Leila Sales), If I Stay (Gayle Forman), 

Would I Buy It?

It's not even a question of "Will I buy this book or not?" it's merely, "Will I purchase the hardback or paperback editions?" By the end of the year, you will most certainly see TBoE in a book haul. I loved this book so much and the cover, in terms of relevance to the book, is perfection.

Background & Backstory

There are those books that are super-hyped up in the blogging/vlogging/bookish community that the rest of the world hasn't discovered yet. Then there are those books that I see EVERYWHERE around school and every non-reader and their jock best friend has read. (I say that only as a comparison and joke, not a judgement) The Beginning of Everything is the latter, and so many of my non-reader friends had read, recommended, and loved it, that it was only a matter of time until I picked it up.

My fellow student council member lent the book to me, I started reading (and put aside the book I was currently reading, I had anticipated it that much), and veraciously devoured it in 2 days with a TON of homework. 

End of back story.

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?

I go into the book knowing the ending for crying out loud, and I am still THIS emotionally effected? WTF!?! 

Cover 95%: This story could have been written by the crappiest 3rd grade writer and I would have picked it up based on its cover. So it was just a huge bonus that the story it contained was astounding as well. There is a hilarious scene that happens near the beginning of the novel, involving a roller-coaster, that could be what the cover is based off of. Instead, it incapsulates one of the most over-used, yet insightful comparisons ever about life being like a roller-coaster. And if any YA contemporary novel features a protagonist who goes on a roller-coaster, it is Ezra Faulkner.

Romance 55%: One of the most-hyped (that's not actually a phrase) qualities of TBoE is the romance and I have to admit that I was not a huge Cassidy/Ezra shipper. I never got a firm grasp on who Cassidy was and how she effected Ezra so much. Sure, I know what actions were the catalyst for how she "changed" Ezra as a person. Yet, I never knew how. It seems that I missed the "Cassidy Thorpe is one of the best female leads I have read in a long time" boat. Therefore, I missed out on why their love story was so good. IMHO,  their dynamics were better as friends and during the chase before they became a couple.

Writing Style 90%: As readers, we always know of a certain narrator that encompasses everything you ever wanted said by somebody other than yourself. Ezra Faulkner is that person for me. He spoke in such a frank, humorous, and thoughtful way. It was as if everything he said is something I would want in a pretty font and gorgeously edited background so I could pin it on Pinterest. It's not that he was a perfect person or I agreed with all of his decisions. He just had a way with words and a gift for storytelling that made me wish I knew him in real life. (By translation, I'm praising Schneider, because she obviously wrote this, and not Ezra, but she gave him life)

Ending 25%: I don't think I have ever hated an ending more than I loved a book. I also don't know if I have ever had a book spoiled for me and still been extremely emotionally effected. Well guess what, The Beginning of Everything makes history. Yay! *jazz hands* 

How Likely Is It That I Will Re-Read This Book?

Some people go to a Stephanie Perkins book to cheer them up after times of bookish hardship and hangover. Having the weird reading taste that I do, I head towards the emotionally heart-breaking, gut-wrenching reads I'm sure to love. I don't think I have given a book that high or a re-readability percent in a looong time, The Beginning of Everything is on that level of bookish goodness.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read More Books Written By This Author?

Ironically, this percentage is way lower in comparison. It's one of those cases where you have read such near-perfection that the only thing that could top it, IS perfection (impossible to attain with critical readers). I probably would give another one of Robyn's books a shot, but I would be extremely on-edge and judgmental because I don't think I could respect another novel on the same level. But you never know ;) *winky face*

Conclusion: The Beginning of Everything is the kind of book that will tear your heart into shreds and you will like it. The humor, plot, insight, and characters have no competition in the literary world. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

{Discussion in GIFs} I Hate Big Books and I Cannot Lie

Every time I sit down to compose a new discussion post, I feel like I write them on same or relevant topics and today's topic makes me want to rename this "Confessions in GIFs" because if you missed my last two discussion posts, I talk about confessing to the world that I'm a mood reader and my opinion on quality versus quantity. Anyway, today's topic is about something I have been thinking about for the past two months and is something that actually relates to my last two discussions.

This aint me!
Let's rewind a little bit to the BACKSTORY behind this.... (you should probably grab a cup of coffee or other beverage of choice, because Sofia backstories are always long) At the beginning of August, when I moved in with my friend's family [the long backstory can be found here] I made a promise to my now "little sister" [you really need to read the backstory on this] that I would read this book. 

You might have heard of it
Now it's almost the end of September, and I still haven't read it. Albeit, I didn't want to read it in the first place, but I really need to because I made a promise, and there's that whole, "sticking to your word" thing that humans on planet Earth value so much. Now this promise would have been a heck of a lot easier to fulfill if The Glass Sentence was a measly 250 page book. 

Instead, I pick up this "pleasant, Middle Grade adventure" novel, and....

It is 515 pages! Five Hundred and Fifteen I tell you!!!
Let's back this up to BEFORE I started blogging aka. "the dark ages" It would not have been a problem. I probably would have taken the book from my little sister Ally, spent 2-5 days reading it (no biggie), enjoyed it, and went on my merry reading way. Before I started blogging, I hadn't had TBRs. I never had to structure my TBR for the month based on all the kinds of books and sources I got them. I also read only one book at a time, and I felt fresh as a daisy if I had to DNF a book because I wasn't feeling it. 

Now there are SOOO many books I want to read and SOOO little time to read them!
These are the reasons why I don't read big books anymore....

1. The feeling of accomplishing.... nothing ~ When I was in 2nd grade, I thought reading a "big" book was the best thing in the world, and I was a pro at reading them. (I was in 2nd grade, a big book was 350 pages long) But I'm not in 2nd grade anymore. I am in the middle of what was predicted to be one of the most arduous school years I have ever had on personal and academic levels. I don't have the time I used to have to read. I spend every spare moment when I'm not doing homework, eating, sleeping, or blogging reading. 

How I am at night, when I actually have time to read
Here's the fact of the matter.... I'm lucky to read three average-size books in a school week (300-ish pages). Even though the page count is the same, I would rather read 3 average-sized books than one HUGE 900 page book. It's some psychological issue I have, but I feel so much more proud of myself to have read more individual books.

2. There are the books I NEED to read, The books I WANT to read, and Those "Other" books.... In no way is book reviewing my job (we went over this), but I signed up to read and review those books in a timely manner - whether they're Netgalley or physical ARCs, and I feel sooo bad when I can't stick to those deadlines especially the self-imposed ones. So after I read those blog tour/review books, I want to settle down with a guilt-free book, something that I don't have to review or take notes on. (Believe it or not, those are actually the books I am most excited/willing to review).
There's no way on heaven or earth that I want to read those "other" books that I don't need to or don't want to read
*coughs* Glass Sentence *coughs*
3. There is usually a reason why those books are so long.... I mean, it might just be because the author needed that many pages to tell such a complex story. Yet, when I'm in one of those moods where I want instant satisfaction and thrilling, fast-paced reads, I'm not going to sit through 500 pages of world-building and character development. There are those times when I want nothing but long-winded, intricate descriptions, and to get lost in a good, thick book, where I can get invested in the characters. But that isn't the mood I'm now which is why I don't want to read The Glass Sentence. It took me way longer than it should have to read Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas and that was a book I had desperately wanted and anticipated.

Now this isn't to say that I don't want to read chunksters or think they're horrible. I am not about to go around shaming big book lovers (you're looking at one of the biggest "everyone can read YA" advocates and won't hypocritically say that reading chunksters is bad), but the fact of the matter is that I'm not in right place in my reading habits/taste at the moment to fully endure, I mean, respect everything that big books have to offer. It's kind of like when a little kid wants to do something the "big kids" do, but they're too little (and are fully aware of that fact), yet attempt to anyway. I don't want to always be like this - I know I will have ulcers by the time I'm 25 if I continue putting this much pressure on myself - but for now.... I will stick with my word. 

I don't like big books and I cannot lie.

So what's your verdict?
Do you love nothing more than curling up with a chunkster and plowing through that sucker faster than  a hunger games tribute?
Are you indifferent to chunksters and don't put pressure on your reading habits/dictate what you're going to read by your blog schedule?
Do you wish you read more chunksters, but have suffered through the same plights as I have?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall 2014 Anticipated Releases: Top Ten Tuesday (13)

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that I do arbitrarily when I like the topic. This week's one was one that I HAD to do, because if I participate in one Top Ten Tuesday per season, it will be my most anticipated releases. I am only listing releases that come out today and after, because if I include all of the earlier September releases.... we will be here all day.
*These are in order of release, not anticipation, because we all know what would be #1*

 Release Date: September 23, 2014

Backstory: I first heard about this book when everyone was hauling books from BEA, and while I wasn't the biggest fan of Uglies, I am looking forward to checking this one out.

Premise: This book alternates from a young debut novelist and the novel she is writing, so we get to see the events in her real life that impact the novel.

 Release Date: September 23, 2014 

Backstory: I had been eyeing this book on Netgalley, but was sadly not approved. That did not hinder my anticipation for it, and I would just like to say, "Happy Book Birthday Kendall!"

Premise: Witches and a Historical Romance, what more could a reader ask for? The plot sounds so intriguing, and I would practically pick up the book for the cover alone.

Release Date: September 30, 2014 

Backstory: I had been eyeing this since May and was fortunate enough to get an ARC copy which is actually next on my September TBR. 

Premise: In 1959, Sara Dunbar is the first African-American to be admitted to an all-white school where she will be bullied and ostracized for her race. When she is forced to work with Linda Hairston, the two must make up their minds about their personal morals and that their present realities aren't all that meets the eye.

Release Date: September 30, 2014

Backstory: I saw the interesting premise, requested it on Netgalley, and was approved.

Premise: This is a "what if" novel about how the world would be NOW if Hitler had won World War II, and if that doesn't sound like a gripping enough plot, I don't know what will.

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Backstory: Marie Lu is one of those authors who I would read grocery lists of.... if I could, and I am psyched to see how she does with the new genre and too see if I will fall in love with the characters as much as I did with Legend.

Premise: Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever which left her with mysterious and powerful abilities, so she must come to terms with who she is and what she can do. This will be a lot darker of a book, especially because Adelina is a villain, and I am dying to read it.

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Backstory: I have been reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians series since 3rd grade, this is the 10th book about Percy, as well as the end of the most epic book saga of my lifetime (in terms of length), and I cannot wait to see how the series ends. 

Premise: This is the 5th and last book in the Heroes of Olympus series so any synopsizing will be spoilery but the main idea is that it will be epic and a feels-full adventure. 

 Release Date: October 8, 2014

Backstory: This was another Netgalley approval, and I must say that I it was an impulse-request because of that mysterious cover.

Premise: This sounds like a fascinating psychological thriller/romance/mystery mashup that will be perfect to get me in the mood for Halloween. 

 Release Date: October 14, 2014

Backstory: I read the first book in the Unwind Quartet almost a year ago and was enraptured with the premise and fast-paced plot. While I wasn't the biggest fan of the third book, the cliffhanger is what is drawing me in.

Premise: This the 4th and last book in the Unwind Quartet which is centered around this dystopian society where kids (between 12 and 18) are "unwound" which means that 99% of their body is divided up so it can go to people that need the parts. As you can see, there a lot of moral and ethical questions, so chaos and rebellion ensue.

 Release Date: October 14, 2014

Backstory: I first heard about this book in JANUARY from Fiction_TheNewReality's New Year, New Books celebration and have been in rapt anticipation ever since because of the fantastical premise and breathtaking cover.

Premise: The Winter Kingdom's magic and ruler was stolen, and its fate depends on 8 survivors, and Meira -the protagonist- goes on a quest of her own to save her kingdom.

 Release Date: November 4, 2014

Backstory: I have only recently heard about this novel, but the pitch (it involves parallel universes) and the cover is simply stunning.

Premise: Marguerite's parents invented Firebird, which allows them to jump from parallel universe, but in our's her father is murdered, and she must use Firebird to track him down.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

{Book Talk} The Ring and the Crown #1: Melissa De La Cruz

Rating: 8.9/10
Series: The Ring and the Crown
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Romance,
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Page Count: 372
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library

Barnes & Nobles ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.

Disclaimer: Here at Loving the Language of Literacy, the term "Book Talk" means that there will be spoilers, while the term "Book Review" refers to a review having NO spoilers. However, if you would like to still read a "Book Talk" without being spoiled, all questions answered are non-spoilery, and spoiler-filled paragraphs do have stars next to them. As a disclaimer on the disclaimer, I was trying out a new type of review where I discuss individual plot points, which is why this particular review has so many spoilers.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?
Fans of the Titanic, Turn-of-the-Century type stories
Shatter Me, The Selection,

Would I Buy It?
So a few weeks ago, I had stumbled upon The Ring and the Crown where shopping in -of all places- Coscto. While there, I resisted the urge, knowing my wallet couldn't take it. You don't know HOW MUCH I freaking regret that decision now. I know that the next time I see it, for even a fraction off of normal price, that I would purchase it because of how much I loved this book.

Background & Backstory
So I've only read one other book by Melissa De La Cruz and that book was Blue Bloods. My friend was obsessed with the whole series, so I read it on her recommendation, and it was an okay book. I was pretty indifferent. But let me tell you, there was SOMETHING about The Ring and the Crown that made me want to read it, some "it" factor behind it that I'm still unaware to.

What Was My Reaction After I Finished This Book?
That's the end?!? *sniffles*

Something magical happened with The Ring and the Crown. I took detailed notes. I know a lot of book reviewers take notes and/or go back through the book to take notes, but I am usually too lazy to do that. Lately, I have been sticking Post-Its on the backs of my books so I can jot down all of my feels towards it without having to hunt down a piece of paper. Now, not only did I take notes, I took A LOT of notes. So I have a lot of individual plot points to discuss.

*P30 ~ So I know that Merlin is magical and has incredible powers beyond human imagination, but seriously. How the heck did the Queen get pregnant? Merlin waved a wand (or something like that), and presto, an a hundred or something woman is pregnant with two children, one from him and one from her long-dead husband? The questions I have as to how the magic in De La Cruz's world works are endless and I hope that she goes into more detail with that in the sequel.

P38 ~ It took until around page 38 of The Ring and the Crown for me to realize how amazing Melissa's writing is and the contrast between Blue Bloods and this was incredible. She created a new world with extremely detailed rules about how society and magic works. The descriptions were vivid and rich without distracting or boring the reader. And I felt transported to another universe while reading.

P43 ~ This is when we were first introduced to Ronan and I must say that she was my favorite character because of how much she was like me. She was witty, humorous, had a fiery spirit, and her motives weren't always pure. She knew how to work the system and play the game (you know, the one where you end up with a husband). 

P52 ~ Then we have Wolf was my favorite male character, probably because he seems like a guy I would want to date. (I'm sensing a pattern between liking/being like the character and having them be my favorite) He's strong and loyal and most certainly handsome, but he was so sweet and flirtatious when it came to Ronan, and his relationship with Marie -which we learn about later- was such a sincere one. 

P43 ~ Interestingly enough, De La Cruz made it so I wondered if technology could hold a candle to magic. I presume you have read a few fantasy novels where magic is so awe-inspiring and made you with it was in our world (come on, we've all read Harry Potter). Yet, in The Ring and the Crown, magic was only something of people of certain status were able to obtain, and therefore paled in comparison (at least in my opinion when it came to technology) to electricity and inventions like the steam engine.

P78 ~ Something I would want to warn people about is that the plot isn't too hard to follow, but the characters are. There were six main characters that each had their own third-person Point of View. Page 78 was where I was actually beginning to grasp and understand the complex interworkings and dynamics between all of them. So if you're a bit confused.... hang in there.

*P81 ~ I honestly want to know, did you guess that Gill was the bad guy? While I never suspected treachery from him, I was never a big fan of Gilrie (their ship name) and something felt off about them.

P97 ~ In my extremely messy handwriting, I say, "Romance in the olden days *SWOONS*" I actually remember trying to describe (and failing) what olden days romance was in my How to Say Goodbye book review. Things were done so much properly and politely, so when romance actually did flare up, it was made all the more exciting and special. The feels in The Ring and the Crown when it came to romance were unlimited. *squeals*

*P113 ~ That little sh*t known as Leopald. I hated his guts and character because of his pristine "good guy" reputation that proved to be so untrue and I was thoroughly exploding with glee when he died. End of story of my (not-so-high) opinion of him.

*P153 ~ My heart almost broke in two when Ronan rejected Wolf because she didn't think he was rich. I know it was all for plot's sake and it would have changed the entire story, but the tears ;(

*P169 ~ I still think the decision De La Cruz made, making Marie marry Wolf, was insane. They are waaaay too much like Laurie and Jo from Little Women. They are good friends and they should have stayed good friends. What did you think of that ending?

*Ending 5/10: The reason The Ring and the Crown was downgraded to a 4 out of 5 star book was because of the ending. The explanation of the last 40 or so pages was too rushed and I disliked it.

How Likely Is It That I Will Re-Read This Book?
I think I will have to re-read this book because the darn sequel isn't coming out until SEPTEMBER of 2015 *curses the world* I have a discussion post coming soon about how I hardly ever re-read books, which is why the percentages are always so low. So by the Sofia scale, 50% is pretty good for re-readability.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read The Sequel To This Book?
Absolutely, YES! The Ring and the Crown is one of the best books I have read in 2014 and the fact that there is a sequel makes everything even better. 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

{Discussion in GIFs} Quality VS. Quantity

*Clears throat as crowd applauds wildly* 

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time that I compose the post that EVERY blogger, vlogger, or anyone who gives other people information inevitably posts. 

Quality VS. Quantity.

I swear, EVERYONE has posted about this and given their verdict. I'm just another discussion post in a sea of *ponders because she has no idea how many people have actually written this post* hundreds. In fact, this post should just be re-titled, "My Two Cents" because how many people are actually going to read about this common topic? 

There HAS to be a reason so many people post about this

It's because EVERYONE goes through the times when they have EVERYTHING in the universe raining down on them, making them figure out what's important

Let's face it.... I just started one of my most important grades and the hardest I have ever gone through. My mom recently passed away. My brain is going through a heck of a lot of extra processing. It was hard BEFORE to get everything done in the day. 

There aint no way that gon' happen.
I have to admit.... I have felt a bit down and out at times when it comes to trying to balance school, homework, friends, blogging, reading, and (hopefully soon) vlogging. 

I swear.... this is how I feel at the start of every day
And THIS is how I feel at the end of every day
So I've come to terms with this simple fact.... I won't -no matter how much I try to be superwoman- get ALL of the things done. So instead, I have to accept how much I actually can get done with the hours of the day I have. Most of the time, this has meant that I have had to sacrifice blogging for other things like eating and doing homework. (By rule of thumb, these generally seem like things that have to be number one priorities) 

Yet now.... something magical happens when I do have time to sit down and compose a post filled with oodles of rambles and randomness. 

I have been so much happier, satisfied, and proud of the content I have been producing. I have been !!!excited!!!

Some may even say electrified
Passionate and Enthusiastic about what I'm writing. That Evangelical zeal for blogging that I had had in the beginning of it all has returned. 

I no longer feel obligated, like "UGH, I need to write a post for today."
I instead feel like, "WOW. I get the honor of composing my insane thoughts to share with people on the internet today!"

So there you have it.... my two cents on quality versus quantity in hilarious GIFS (If I do say so myself). What seemed like a curse -not being able to blog as frequently- turned into a blessing that brought me back to the reason I started in the first place. In no way is blogging my actual job (yet you don't know HOW much I wish it was), and I had been putting as much pressure on myself as if it were.  

I will see you soon (hopefully, though I make no promises) with another passion-filled post.

Disclaimer: I don't own, nor do I claim to own any image used in this post other than the signature.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Authors I NEED to Read More Books From: Top 10 Tuesday (12)

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish that I do arbitrarily when I like the topic. This week's one sounded really fun because of how many books that are on my TBR (Over 1,000) and the large fraction of those that are written by these authors.

Cassandra Clare: I FINALLY read Clockwork Angel in the beginning of September and can't wait to read the rest of The Infernal Devices as well as start reading The Mortal Instruments. It seems like everyone and their second cousin is in love with Jace, Will, and Cassandra's amazing world.

Maya Van Wagenen: I read Maya's debut novel Popular, in August, and I think it may be one of the best debuts I have read this year. I normally am not the biggest fan of memoirs, but Maya just had such a strong, humorous voice and a gift for telling stories that kept her reader (me) captivated in the entire duration of the book.

Matthew Quick: I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock over a year ago and the novel still resonates with me every time I need to recommend a gritty, inspirational contemporary to anybody. The writing style was unlike any I had ever seen before (half-page annotations), and the main character had a brutally honest teenage voice that couldn't help but speak the painful truth.

Megan Shepherd: The Madman's Daughter was my first ever gothic thriller, and I loved every moment of the creepiness and pure insanity of the premise. The pacing was incredibly fast and the ending left me wanting a heck of a lot more from this author.

E. Lockhart: As you may know, Lockhart's latest novel -We Were Liars- was one of the most buzzed-about summer books for the mysterious outrageousness and plot twist. I really want to see if her other books are just as lyrical, with other unreliable narrators.

Amy Zhang: This teenager's debut novel Falling Into Place just hit shelves last week and was my most anticipated contemporary read of 2014. The prose was beautiful, the narrator.... a puzzle, and the plot.... a multi-layered onion. I can't wait to see what Zhang does with her talent with her standalones which are to be published in 2015 and 2016.

Winter Page: This is ironically another high schooler who had her debut novel come out this year. Breaking Free was about a Lesbian Transgender person and the struggles she went through in high school as well as her romantic life. If this premise could have been imagined and executed by a 15 year old, then I am dying to see what Winter can do as she gets older.

Helene Dunbar: This author's debut novel These Gentle Wounds came out May 2014, and was one of the most memorable and unique books I have ever read. The story is told from the perspective of Gordie, a teenage boy who has a serious case of PTSD because of a terrifying event that happened when he was little. The story was inspirational and thought-provoking, and I most definitely want to read more from Helene.

Leila Sales: In 2013, EVERYONE had gone crazy for This Song Will Save Your Life, and when I read the book in January.... my reaction was no different. Elise was such a neat character that I would die to be BFFs with in real life. The premise and musical aspect was interesting, and I just want to read more of Leila's dry humor and enjoyable prose.

A.S. King: The BookTuber Ariel Bisset is always raving about King, and the amount of passion Ariel has for this author makes me want to read more books by her. I wasn't the biggest fan of Everybody See the Ants, but reading only one book is subjective in terms of your opinion of the author, and I really want to read more by her.

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