Friday, December 28, 2012

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 the characters live in, or the romance. I've been reading all the positive reviews here, and I'm just not seeing what other people are seeing. When I read a book, I like to be swept away, to be transported. It didn't happen with this book.

Feature and Follow #18

 

 

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #129

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.  

 

 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

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 pretty much figure it out. That's what I mean by realistic. Teenagers have sex, duh. I hate authors who treat teenage sex like its a disease, or have some hidden purity message. 
So, anyway, that's my take on Shiver. I now have more books to add to my TBR pile!

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
If there was anything I didn't like, it was not knowing too much about Sam's pack. I completely understand the author's choice to leave some background undisturbed--this is a story that happens in the present after all, not a werewolf history lesson, but I would have liked to have known more about Paul and Beck and Salem and Shelby. It seems there were stories unwritten there, even if the story was really about Sam and Grace.

Friday, December 21, 2012

#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 and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
~)0(~

This was really a sweet little story. It's a great YA and Urban Fantasy blend, perfect for a younger audience.
What I really liked is that the use of fangs in this novel is so refreshingly different than the tired old vampire trope. Instead of being a pale and pining heroine *cough, cough Bella, cough* our main  character has fangs that are used to inject venom rather than suck blood. Utterly brilliant.

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 place to sound off, and because of different issues, I can't always do that on Facebook or other places. 

I've learned that fiction can happen in small bites. Following #flashfiction or other memes like #fridayflash have given me the hope, courage and motivation that stories don't need to be giant epics, and that a story can happen in small sentences, and those sentences can either stand alone or link together to form something bigger. Kind of like knitting. =) 

Hit me up on Goodreads or Twitter, I'm always happy to meet new friends! 

 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

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 - Vampires
  • February - Angels/Nephilim
  • March - Fey
  • April - Demons
  • May - Aliens
  • June - Zombies
  • July - Witches and Wizards
  • August - Mermaids
  • September - Dragons
  • October - Ghosts
  • November - Werewolves/Shape-shifters
  • December - 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.)



2013 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge


 Challenge Rules:

  1. 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)
  2. Grab the reading challenge button (code & button below) and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate- you could track your progress and post reviews on  Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.
  3. Any full length book that includes a witch as a main character or major witchcraft elements counts.  They may be fiction or non-fiction.  However, they should not be reference books which are not read cover to cover-I will leave this to your discretion.  
  4. Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  5. Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  6. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  7. When you sign up in the linky put the direct link to your post about joining the 2013 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge.
  8. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  9. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  10. Have some Witchy Good Fun !!!
The Levels:

Initiate:  Read 1 - 5 Witchy Books
Maiden:  Read 6 - 10 Witchy Books
Mother:  Read 11 - 15 Witchy Books
Crone:  Read 16 - 20 Witchy Books

Some book suggestions to get you started (for series' I've just listed the 1st):
(Most of these I have not read and am not recommending-just sharing the list of books that I will be looking into and considering for the challenge! Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments and I'll add them to the list!)

Fiction:
Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman
Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
Casting Spells (Sugar Maple, #1)- Barbara Bretton
A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) - Deborah Harkness
The Trouble With Magic (Bewitching Mysteries, No. 1) - Madeline Alt
The Book of Shadows (Herculine #1) - James Reese
New England Witch Chronicles - Chelsea Bellingeri
The Near Witch – Victoria Schwab
The Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family, #1)– Melissa de la Cruz
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)- Jessica Spotswood
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Second Hand Spirits (A Witchcraft Mystery, #1)- Juliet Blackwell
It Takes a Witch (A Wishcraft Mystery #1)- Heather Blake
Once a Witch (Witch #1) - Carolyn MacCullough
Book of Shadows (Wicca, #1) - Cate Tiernan 
Random Magic - Sasha Soren
Witch Way to Murder (Ophelia & Abby, #1) - Shirley Damsgaard 
Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) - Rachel Hawkins
The Witching Hour (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #1) - Anne Rice
The Night Strangers - Chris Bohjalian
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Jolie Wilkins #1) - HP Mallory
Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) - Kim Harrison
A Witch in Winter - Ruth Warburton
Jinx - Meg Cabot
Would-Be Witch (Southern Witch #1) - Kimberly Frost
Girl's Guide to Witchcraft (Jane Madison #1) - Mindy Klasky
50 Ways to Hex Your Lover (Jazz Tremaine #1) - Linda Wisdom
The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent
Entangled - Nikki Jefford
Crushed (The Witch-Game #1) - KC Blake
Witch Hunt (The Witch-Game #2) - KC Blake

Monday, December 10, 2012

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!

Not there yet, but a little closer than yesterday

3500 WORDS PER POUND WEEK 9 (I THINK) WRITING So, how’s the writing going? Not that great, but I did just rewrite a chapter of the WIP I’v...