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Graceling Review

What did I think? I think this book was WAY over hyped for what I got in this story.

WHAT I LIKED
The only really interesting thing about the characters were the Gracelings with their different colored eyes, and special powers. That's about it.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
The world-building didn't seem extraordinary to me. It was just a run of the mill fantasy story. I've built stronger worlds in RP games in a few hours of dice rolling. I really didn't get the hype. The characters are ordinary, and by page 100, I'm wondering where the story is. Katsa is strong and doesn't like to wear dresses, I get it. That's pretty much what the first half of the book is about. The minor characters (Randa, Oll, Giddon) all of them are pretty much forgettable and have no distinguishable personalities. What really confuses me is how this book became a bestseller? There is nothing really remarkable about what little action there is, what story is there, the world …

Feature and Follow #18

Q: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book? This is such a hard one, because what works for me and changed my life might not neccessarily change someone else's life.  But if I absolutely had to pick, I'd say any of the "Artist's Way" books by Julia Cameron, especially if you are a writer, a poet, an artist, a musician, an actor/ess. Or maybe you wanted to be or do any of those things and thought, "You know, it's too late for me. I'll never play the piano now."  It's never too late to pick up then pen, to walk on a stage, to strum a guitar, whatever it is that makes your life yours. I really believe this, and I believe Julia's books helped me realize how to help myself realize my potential.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater Review

Well, I've found a new favorite author! It's not a honor I hand out lightly, but when I do, I'm (usually) a fan for life.

WHY I READ IT
It was one of my Goodreads book club reads, and it was seasonal. Perfect for winter.

WHAT I LIKED
I like an author that can treat teenage relationships realistically. So often in YA novels there's this insta-love thing that really gets under my skin. And while the book makes one mention from an outside character about love at first sight, and yeah it kinda is, it has the ring of truth to it rather than something forced so it fits the genre.
It feels authentic. The characters are aware that love is fragile, and the people and things around you that you know and love and trust can be whisked away from you and broken in a flash. That's real.
And not that this is a major plot point or anything, but Sam and Grace do have sex. It isn't wildly graphic or anything, but there's no rule I'm aware of where it HAS to be. I can…
#NowPlaying on @8tracks: "Bitchtapes: Holiday Chillout" at http://8tracks.com/bitchtapes/bitchtapes-holiday-chillout - Sent from the 8tracks Android app

Sweet Venom Review

Book Description from Amazon:


Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite …

Feature an Follow #17

Q: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn’t know before about the publishing industry?My answer is pretty similar to a lot of responses, so not much is unique here. I have learned a lot more about the publishing industry, which was my initial goal as a book blogger. I started this blog as a way to connect with other bookish people, but also to put my thoughts and posts out there as a writer.  As a book blogger I've learned how to obtain a lot of ARC's and to always keep my Kindle fed! I've made some good booky friends through Goodreads, too.As a writer, I've learned a lot about what people seem to respond to, what bloggers (in general, everyone's tastes are different) absolutely love, absolutely hate, and honest opinions about what works in a good story and what doesn't.  I've learned that having a semi-public forum to talk about non-book issues has been invaluable for me. Even if I'm the only one who sees it. Sometimes, you need a plac…

Time for 2013 Challenges!

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Each month, we'll be featuring one of the creatures on the list at both Megan Likes Books and Auntie Spinelli Reads.


January - VampiresFebruary - Angels/NephilimMarch - FeyApril - DemonsMay - AliensJune - ZombiesJuly - Witches and WizardsAugust - MermaidsSeptember - DragonsOctober - GhostsNovember - Werewolves/Shape-shiftersDecember - Other If you're having trouble finding books for one of the categories, you can try these lists:

Vampires - Adult or YA
Werewolves/Shifters
Fey
Angels/Nephilim
Mermaids
Dragons
Zombies
Demons
Witches/Wizards
Ghosts
Aliens
Other (ie: unicorns, centaurs, timetravelers, seers etc.)





Challenge Rules:
This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013.  I will be posting a place to link up a sign-up post (below), reviews and a wrap-up post. (Note: You do not have to review the books to participate, but only those who link up reviews will be entered for the prize)Grab the reading challenge button (c…

Motivation Monday #7

How's this for a motivation monday? One of my favorite authors has some freebie stories on her site. While she's asked not to post the actual stories on any other site, I think it's safe to post the link to the stories. ;)
You can find them at Yasmine Galenorn's blog, here.
Why is this a #motivationmonday post? Because it goes to show aspiring writers, including myself, that you don't have to take on the world in gigantic leaps and bites. Stories sometimes happen in small doses, and it doesn't mean they are any less of a story, or any less meaningful. I'm beginning to learn that less is sometimes more.  A lot more!

Feature and Follow #16

Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.  This is really really out of my normal scope of books that I review or read. I don't really read country romance, or cowboy stuff. But maybe I should start because there's something about a guy in a cowboy hat that just flat out does it for me. So much so that I made my hubby wear one when we got married! Really melts my butter, if ya know what I mean! Frankly, not every guy can pull off the look, but this one sure does!
Don't miss this live chat with Julie Kagawa, author on December 2nd at 7pm ET! And Francesca Lia Block AND Holly Black!

Hope 4 Paws Motivation Monday #6

You know what motivates me? When I start to feel really a lot of pity for myself, or feel sorry for myself, I have to remind myself sometimes that its not all about me. Problems have a way, really, of working themselves out. I am definitely one of those people who believe that I didn't rescue my pets, they rescued me.
After seeing these two videos, I donated to Hope 4 Paws, and I hope it will inspire you to help, too.





Pretty: A Novel by Jillian Lauren

Pretty: A Novel by Jillian Lauren




I loved this book, and I would keep it in regular rotation to read again and again.
I've been there, Bebe.
Bebe is the main character, and I love novels written from first person, inside the character's head. She's currently in a halfway house, recovering from a bad car accident which killed her boyfriend. It's novel about searching, about connections, about family--and lack thereof--about love and loss and sex and drugs. All the good makings of a novel. It's not for the squeamish, it's not for anyone who can't handle drug use, recovery, addiction (of all kinds--sex, drugs, and food), and the impulses that ultimately make us cracked, flawed human beings.



View all my reviews

Things I'm Thankful For x's3: You are Not Alone, Politics and Books!

There are a lot of things I am thankful for.

You Are Not Alone
I can remember many a Thanksgiving and holiday season I've spent alone. And depressed, and probably in some degree of pain from a medical condition. So I'm thankful for my husband, and the love he's given me over the years. I am so happy, grateful, lucky and blessed I have someone who loves me, cares for me and looks out for me.
But I'll never forget what it felt like to be that girl--scared, sick, alone, and depressed. No one to talk to. Nowhere to go. Feeling lost, feeling so isolated from the family experience of love and togetherness, no matter how dysfunctional many of our families can be.
If anyone who reads this blog ever feels that way, and wants someone to chat with, I'm always available on Twitter! Seriously, I'm there all the time! @xbluestockingx
And so I'm thankful for social media that lets me connect with awesome like-minded people. 

Politics
This is from Randi Rhodes, I did *N…

Writing Music

Best Writing Music of 2012 http://t.co/ApYCUJ2I @GalleyCat

I love music. I love combining different disciplines.
When I was in grad school, I adopted the habit of listening to a lot of progressive, house, electro, chill, psybient music. I'm one of those people who can't work in a vacuum. I have to have noise, or else I go crazy.
But, I'm a little crazy anyway.  =)

How to Write Story Through Character http://t.co/IKVrr3Iw via @SHalvatzis http://twitter.com/AnneMCarpenter/status/270624030665625600

Feature and Follow #15

Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?I like movies about how people get fractured, and damaged from abuse, especially young women. Maybe it's because of my own experiences. I tend to write a lot about this issues as well. So one movie I'd like to see turned into a book would be "The Ward". It would be interesting to see a book written from all the different perspectives of the main character's personalities. Hmmm...that sounds like a good idea, actually...lol

No more Free Shit to People!

I hate it when people want stuff. And things. Free stuff and free things, on my dime. 

Things like..being able to marry the person of your choice. Things like control over the decisions about your own body, the private decisions you  make in your own bedroom and in your doctor's office, things like not being shamed if you happen to be assaulted. Some thoughts about what happens to your taxes.
Want to improve unemployment and reduce the amount of people on welfare? Invest in education. Stop this anti-intellectualism. By this I mean the shit I have to hear from students on a regular basis: this arms-crossed-over-chest voice where they inform me they'd rather have an elephant sized needle inserted into an eardrum than read a book--gasp!--for fun. And that, my dear child, is why a career in the fast food arts is the best you can hope for.  
Access to affordable health care? Why, that's just a slippery slope to the Third Reich! Because when I think of Hitler, the first thing…

Who The Hell Cares About These People?

I can't believe these reports I'm reading about secession, and employers laying off workers to be spiteful that their candidate didn't win. If you hate this country so much, leave. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. There are plenty off other places to move to where a national religion is forced on you, you can disrespect women all you want, and you'll never have to worry about getting an education, earning a decent wage, seeing a doctor, or voting ever again. Grow up. 



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America lost...how exactly?

Every candidate--every single one of them that voiced the opinion that women's bodies are something to be legislated or controlled lost in this election. If your response to rape is anything except AW HELL NO doesn't deserve to hold office.
I wish this would give conservatives the opportunity to re-think their values. But what I see on Facebook a lot, because I have Republican friends and family, is this woe-is-the-country America lost, the Constitution lost, things like that.
And I'm trying to figure out how letting people love and marry whoever they damn well please is a loss. I'm trying to figure out how women holding more elected offices than ever before is a loss.
As I teach my students in my critical thinking classes, you MUST look at both sides when writing an essay or academic paper. So I'm trying to take my own advice. Why exactly is this a huge loss "for America?"
The argument seems to be mostly about welfare and taxes. It's this idea that w…

Wordless Wednesday #7 Election Reaction

His inability to do math is also telling, as Obama has won both the popular and electoral vote
Reminder: Mitt Romney is appalled that people feel entitled to food. http://twitter.com/scATX/status/265865031768481794
Seriously. ~Haru "Mitt Romney hasn’t given a national television interview since sitting down with Wolf Blitzer on CNN 23 days ago. He has not answered a single question from the press in 22 days. Among the requests that he has turned down, Romney has refused to answer questions from children on Nickelodeon. He has refused to be interviewed and take the questions of young voters on MTV. Romney was so terrified of The View that he canceled and sent his wife in his place. He has turned down David Letterman, and every major news network including Fox News. Bill O’Reilly has been screaming at the top of his lungs trying to get an interview with Romney before election day, but the Romney campaign made it clear on October 23 that they were scheduling no more interviews. However, this ban has also extended to the members of the press who are covering Romney everyday. The pool reporters covering Romney ask questions each day, and the candidate pretends that he doesn’t hear them. This has…

Just say no!

If you're going out this #halloween, say no to #SlutShaming! http://t.co/8hxRehnF #lbloggers #bbloggers #happyhalloween #girlpower http://twitter.com/jacquina/status/263726196175548416

Shocker!!

RT @SapphicPixie: Romney refuses to comment on his vow to eliminate or privatize FEMA and he has declined offers to survey #Sandy damage http://t.co/4mTTNKKq http://twitter.com/meyer2311/status/263586604780752896

Motivation Monday #3

Music can be a great motivator for me, when I'm writing, when I'm walking, when I'm just trying to get through the day to day. Here are some quotes from bookish quotes from bookish folks:
I think the one from Lady Gaga is my favorite...

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

 “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.”
Emma Goldman


 “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
Bob Marley


 “If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night


 the past is only the future with the lights on.”
Blink-182, Blink 182


 “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Poems of Arthur O'Shaughnessy


“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
―�…
"I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country -- as an American. It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich. But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful -- don't underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer. Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win. So please use this handy tool to make sure your friends in those key states know where to cast their ballot. You will be doing them a great favor. As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress. My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions like, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"…
RT @SapphicPixie: No woman should vote for the party that says rape is a #giftfromgod. #WarOnWomen http://t.co/CgBp3StY #UseThe19th #Republican http://twitter.com/xbluestockingx/status/261154241278791680 This is why I don't understand why WOMEN vote Republican.

Coffin Hop and Literary News

The night before Halloween, talk spooky books with @maureenjohnson, @ransomriggs, and @kamigarcia on @Figmentfiction! http://t.co/UDcFLdh1 http://twitter.com/PenguinTeen/status/261114186095022080

 In celebration of the Coffin Hop: Master storyteller Neil Gaiman recommends spooky books at #AllHallowsEve -including THE PECULIAR by @Stefan_Bachmann http://t.co/rQL31rcv http://twitter.com/SaraMegibow/status/261114892935913473

And more spooky literary news: Yay for the Coffin Hop 2012!




Feature and Follow #14

Q: When you step out of your USUAL genre what do you like to read? Best books in that genre? I have to say a like a lot of genres--paranormal romance and urban fantasy are my favorites, but I read a lot of spec fiction, I read a lot of  feminist essays (Bitch Magazine, Bust Magazine), memoirs/diaries of my fave authors and artists, and first person/true story erotica.

Thursday Rant--I Just Can't Take it Anymore!

I just don't understand Republicans. It's not from lack of trying. I have tried to talk to them, but you know what that's like. Have a rational sane logical discussion that doesn't involve an "offhand" comment about a women's place being in the home, and how blacks and gays are out to destroy life as we know it? Surely, you jest.

I live in a very rural area, where most people are of the extreme kind of conservatism. There's a lot of extreme religion around here, and extreme views on people, especially what a woman's place should be. Not to mention the dirty blacks (still called "coloreds" up here, and forget the limp-wristed homos who want nothing more than to drag you out of the country bar and have their way with you.)

Recent comments from the Romney/Ryan campaign have made me utterly recoil in horror. "The method of conception doesn't matter..." (Attributed Paul Ryan here: ) "Some women rape easy..." attribut…

Top Ten Tuesday #4

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from:
http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com/ Click link or above pic! 

This weeks themes is rewind, so I thought I'd think about books that I have loved in the past either as a child/teen or young adult. It's a little strange because I have some children's stuff mixed in with heavy feminist lit, but I was reading heavy feminist lit before college, so there you have it!

1. The Golden Compass



2. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young GIrl



3. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood




4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte



5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath




6. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley