Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where My Parents and Grandparents Come to Visit)

My mother decided to let me know very last minute that she, my father, my brother, and her parents would be stopping by today sometime around lunch.  Which is nice and all, but I like a little more advanced notice.  So don't expect to see me on social media until later tonight when I'm going to have a mad dash to catch up on everything.

Finished this Week
*hangs head* nothing

Currently Reading
Same as last week so Game of Thrones, Rebel of the Sands, and Siege and Storm

Last Week
Saturday-- April Wrap Up

This Week
Sunday-- 12 2017 Debut Authors to be Excited for Part 2
Monday-- Monthly TBR
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- Glass Sword Review
Friday-- Tag
Saturday-- Wrap Up

That's really all for me right now.  I'm making plans to drive an hour to visit the nearest bookstore, but I don't know when that will be.  What did you finish last week?

April Wrap Up

It's been a little since I've done a monthly wrap up, but I do enjoy doing them, so here it goes again.

What I've Read This Month
Age of Myth (Legends of the First Empire, #1) by Michael J Sullivan
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brenna, and Maureen Johnson
White Night (Dresden Files, #9) by Jim Butcher
Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) by Victoria Aveyard

What I've Reviewed This Month

Top Ten Tuesday

Waiting on Wednesday

Tags & Original Posts

Non-Book Related Posts

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: A Shadow Bright and Burning

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.
Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.
But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city--and the one she loves?
Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.

Why I'm Waiting
I mean, beyond this cover just being freaking gorgeous, I think the description sounds pretty awesome.

A Shadow Bright and Burning is released on September 20th, 2016 (and I already have it preordered!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Cast of American Gods

You may not know this about me, but one of my absolute favorite books in the entire universe is American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I read it two summers ago when I was overseas and fell in love with it.  Oftentimes, I could be found devouring this instead of hanging out with the people I had traveled with (I had a digital copy on my phone and would read during meals, particularly breakfast, and, once, when I was at the Eiffel Tower).  If you haven't picked this book up, you're seriously missing out.  
The premise for the book is that Shadow, a recently released convict, returns home to find a tragedy has left him a leaf in the wind.  He runs into a mysterious figure named Mr. Wednesday and ends up working as a pseudo-bodyguard for the imposing figure as he goes on a cross-country journey to collect old debts and get people interested in his unusual mission.  To say anything else would give away even one small piece of this book.  But, seriously, PICK IT UP!

Not too long ago they announced they would be turning it into a TV show and I'm very, very worried for it.  But, at the same time, I'm excited.  Those are the pains of being a reader whose beloved book is going onto the screen.  The cast and crew seem pretty solid, though, so perhaps I'm leaning a little more towards excited.  I thought I'd spotlight the cast to maybe get a bunch of new people excited.
Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon
Ian Shane as Mr. Wednesday
 Peter Stormare as Czernobog
Emily Browning as Laura Moon
Sean Harris as Mad Sweeney
 Yetide Badaki as Bilquis 
Chris Obi as Anubis
Jonathon Tucker as Low Key Lyesmith
Clovis Leachman as Zorya Vechernyaya
Mousa Kraish as the Jinn

Who are you most excited to see on screen?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review: White Night (Dresden Files, #9)

Author: Jim Butcher
Edition: UK Paperback
Related Reviews: Dead Beat, Proven Guilty
Rating: 4 Stars 
It's been almost a year since I read a book in the Dresden Files!  What is wrong with me?  I love this series so much, and have no excuses except that there is not enough time in the day for me to read all the books I would like to.

It's always hard to summarize these books, especially at this point in the series, because I don't want to spoil anything.  Quickly: Harry helps out a group of magically talented women who are being picked off one by one and may be pawns in the White Court vampires' game.

This was not my favorite book in the series.  The first half was very good and the second half was very good.  All of it was very good.  It just felt disconnected in the middle, like there were two acts and the cord that tied them together was stretched thin.  Normally, Butcher delivers a novel where everything fits together like a perfect puzzle, and while things did make a bunch of sense and it wasn't really disappointing, I'm used to much better connective tissue in this series.

As always, Thomas was my favorite character outside of Harry (because I adore their relationship; and there are some great scenes between them in this one).  We finally discover what he's been keeping secret from Harry for a bit (and it well worth waiting for, if you ask me).  The character that surprised me the most was Lash, who, up to this point, has been interesting but not really a character I could connect with.  I was pleasantly surprised where her character ended up going, too.  Another surprise: Carlos Ramirez!  I forgot how much I actually really like his character; plus, hinting at a Molly X Carlos relationship? I'm pretty interested to see where that goes or if it's dismissed.

The ending broke me a bit.  I can't say which part, but if you've read it, I think you'll be able to figure it out (hint: it's the same reason Harry cries; my eyes teared up quite a bit).  It was all wrapped up beautifully, and save for that little bit of disconnect, I liked this book quite a bit.  Unfortunately, the next book in the series is the only one I don't actually own, so I need to get it before I can read it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I'm Really, Really Sorry That It's So Late)

I'm sorry it took me almost a whole day late to write and put this up!  I love writing Wrap Up's because I write the post and it goes up immediately.  Normally I write something then schedule it so that I can stay on top of things, but it's a pleasure to always do one thing at least somewhat spontaneously.  Of course, that means if things come up I don't necessarily get this out on time, and that's sort of what happened.  It was a busy Saturday day/night and I ran out of time.  For those wondering, midterms went really well (until I get a grade that tells me otherwise...) and I only have about five weeks left of school!

Finished this Week
I finished reading Glass Sword and will be writing the review for it very soon.

Currently Reading
I'm still in the middle of listening to Rebel of the Sands and I'm still enjoying it, but I don't know when I'll finish it.  I'm also rereading Game of Thrones and I forgot how much I love this series.  I'm going to start Siege and Storm very soon (I'm buddy reading with someone on instagram, so that'll be a bunch of fun) and when that's done I hope I will finally pick up Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge.

Last Week

This Week
Sunday-- Trailer Roundup (posted)
Monday-- White Night Review
Tuesday-- The Cast of American Gods
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Friday-- Monthly Wrap Up
Saturday-- Wrap Up

I hope you have a wonderful week!  What are you currently reading?  Let me know in the comments!

April Trailer Round Up

I am a huge fan of movie trailers.  In fact, I tend to like trailers more than I like actual movies.  There's just something about a shiny new trailer, with all the potentials and possibilities still left to fate, that gets me really excited.  And these last few weeks have been chock full of awesome new trailers.  Here's a collection of my absolute favorites:

Doctor Strange
Release Date: November 4th, 2016

Suicide Squad
Release Date: August 5th, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Release Date: November 18th, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Release Date: December 16th, 2016

A Monster Calls
Release Date: October 14th, 2016

What upcoming movies are you excited for?  Any of these?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, April 22, 2016

TV Review: Shadowhunters Season 1

You may or may not be aware that I am a huge fan of Shadowhunters (not the show, the books).  I started reading Mortal Instruments when I was in middle school, right around the time book three had come out.  I picked City of Bones up on a whim and quickly discovered that it was one of the best books I had ever read.  Since that point I have avidly kept up with the books (recently reading, reviewing, and loving Lady Midnight) and this year even plan to reread them all.  A few years ago when the movie came out I was super excited for it, but my dreams were crushed by the film itself.  While it wasn't the worst adaption I've ever seen (Vampire Academy steals that award) it is up there.  Which led to me starting this show with a mix of fear and excitement.

As a show:  It's not a good show.  The acting was pretty bad when it started off (though all the actors did grow throughout and I'm rather fond of them each as people thanks to social media) and the special effects are absolutely atrocious (I'm sorry, but the seraph blade noise comes from the toy section of Target).  The sets are all really nice, the story lines are interesting, and the world building is on point, but if I hadn't been a fan of this story ahead of time I wouldn't have even given it a shot.

As an adaptation:  Better than the movie, if you ask me.  They stuck to the plot more or less, but where they deviated I think they made smart decisions.  Things were introduced early, but they weren't half-assed when they were introduced.  The world that Cassandra Clare created in her books is this same world.  I liked that while the core of the story was there I was able to be surprised by certain plot lines and my friend and I have been guessing at what next season might bring (and yes, I am rather excited for next season).

As a fan:  I'm thrilled.  Okay, mostly thrilled.  Beyond it being a poor quality show (but it is on Freeform so it's not like they have an HBO budget) I love being able to see the characters come to life onscreen.  These are characters I've been reading about since I was 13 and 14 years old!  I think the casting for characters was pretty spot on and easter eggs (pretty much that whole alternate reality episode if I'm being honest) are a blast.  Seeing the fandom on tumblr just explode over these books again has been really great, too.

Would I recommend this show?  If you're a fan and you're willing to wade through some shit (maybe a lot of shit, depending on how much you want the show to adhere to the books) I think you'll enjoy it.  I haven't met anyone who's watching the show without reading the books first, so I don't know if it's a good fit for people who aren't aware of the world.  Maybe give it a shot, though?

Thursday, April 21, 2016

5 Star Review: The Bane Chronicles

Authors: Cassandra Clare
Sarah Rees Brennan
Maureen Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 5 Stars

I've put this off for so long and I have no good reason to have done so.  I got it pretty much when it was released, and while I love Magnus, I just didn't see a rush in reading this one.  But I finished Lady Midnight last month, and I've decided that I'm going to read (or reread) something Shadowhunter every month.  Bane Chronicles seemed like the natural place to start with this, and I'm really glad I finally got to it.  I also think it helped kick me out of my book slump, or, at least, I'm hoping it did.

What Really Happened in Peru
Not my favorite from the collection, but a decent start.  It served as a good introduction to the characters, particularly Ragnar and Catarina.  Magnus is a bit too childish in this story for my tastes, but I suppose he is a much younger Warlock at this time in his life.

The Runaway Queen
My least favorite story in this whole piece.  I was not a fan at all.  Like, cute idea, I guess, but just not what I signed up for when I sat down to read it.  I also think this one had the weakest writing throughout the whole book.

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale
The Herondale's break my heart whenever they're on the page!  This is about Will's dad, and that was really great, getting to see him.  It was about, though, the way Downworlders and Shadowhunters used to interact.  In the books, up until this point, while we do see some prejudice, we always see it from the Shadowhunters' points of view.  Seeing it from Magnus, who was front-row and dealing with this prejudice every day, really changed my mind about some things.  It certainly made it more serious and helped set the tone for the whole collection.  Also, this is where Magnus meets Camille, which is very important.

The Midnight Heir
One of my favorite stories in here!  Can I just say I'm more than ready for James Herondale?  My heart hurt for him so much in these few pages.  And also, turning into a shadow?  Last Hours is going to be one hell of a series.

The Rise of the Hotel Dumont, Saving Raphael Santiago, and The Fall of the Hotel Dumort
I consider this, more or less, the vampire trilogy.  I liked all three of the stories a lot, but the one about Raphael just broke my heart.  I never really appreciated him as a character, but when I go to reread the books I won't make that mistake again.  He's a darling and very important character that I will never take for granted again.

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (and You're Not Officially Dating Anyway)
This is absolutely adorable!  It had me squeeing the entire time.  Malec is the best ship in the Mortal Instruments (if you ask me) and of course anything where these two are on the pages together, or merely referencing each other, will more than please me.

The Last Stand of the New York Institute
This was a surprising story.  I wasn't expecting it to be in here, and it shocked me.  Seeing the Circle when they were younger, and seeing what they were actually capable of, and what they ended up doing to the Whitelaws was... wow.  It was just wow.  I can't describe this one so much.  It was a great read, but it was probably the darkest in the whole collection.

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)
This was the most adorable story in the whole piece, and probably my second favorite one.  It's Malec's first date and it's beautiful.  If you were to buy the book for one story, this would be it.  I think I was smiling the whole time.

The Voicemail of Magnus Bane
This was rather sad, but an important view of Magnus' character, particularly during a hard time (that I won't spoil because, you know, it takes place further in the series than any others do).  However, it was probably on the lower end of stories for me.

Overall: It was a wonderful collection and I can't wait until Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy releases in hardback!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Strange the Dreamer

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep.

Why I'm Waiting
Laini Taylor is an amazing author who wrote an amazing series (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) so of course when I heard about this one I was intrigued.  And, honestly, even if it wasn't written by her, I would have picked it up.  It's just really appealing to me as a concept.  And now the cover?  Absolutely gorgeous!

Strange the Dreamer comes out September 27th, 2016 (and I already have it preordered!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

12 2017 Debuts To Be Excited For (Part 1)

We're only in the midst of April, but it's never too soon to get excited for new releases.  I recently found a list on Goodreads for the 2017 YA Debuts (link) and it got me super excited.  I picked twelve debuts that I'm very, very excited for, and I thought I'd let you know a little bit about them!

Bree Barton -- Black Rose

Mover. Shaker. Paragraph maker. Author of BLACK ROSE (KT/HarperCollins '17). Stories in The Iowa Review, Mid-American Review, PANK. Prefers pajamas to corsets.
Bree Barton's BLACK ROSE trilogy, pitched as Graceling meets Pride and Prejudice, about a girl who, on the eve of her marriage to a prince, discovers she has dark, forbidden magic, magic that her powerful family's sole purpose was to destroy.
Why You Should Be Excited
That description!  Graceling, if you haven't read it, is one awesome book and it's an even better series.  A lot of books end up getting compared to Graceling, but they always catch my attention because of it.  I'm not a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice, but I do like the aesthetic of it, so I think it'll make a nice mix for this story.  Add in handsome princes and I'm a sucker.  Doing a little more digging I discovered the main character, Mia Rose, is a feminist, which is an automatic buy for me.  Bree Barton, while being a debut author, has short stories published and has done work as a ghost writer.

Mary Taranta -- Until Our Blood Runs Clean

I write stories and also draw. YA fantasy UNTIL OUR BLOOD RUNS CLEAN coming Summer 2017 from McElderry Books/S&S. Represented by @adamsliterary
Set in a world where magic is poisoned and using it can be torturous – or dangerously addictive – Faris is tricked into a plot to overthrow a tyrannical king and must find her own power to survive.
Why You Should Be Excited
So, I have this thing for interesting names, and when I saw the name Faris I just fell in love instantly.  It drew me into the story, which sounds intriguing on its own.  The idea of dangerous and addictive magic isn't new, but I also haven't read it in ages (somewhere around five or six years) and I rather miss it.   On her blog she does original art for the series, and guys I am in love!  If I wasn't sure I was interested in the book before pursuing through her artwork, I'm sure now.

Lana Popovic -- Wicked Like Wildfire (previously titled: The Hibiscus Daughter)

Literary agent & proselyte of the Order of the Flagrant Nerd. Author of HIBISCUS DAUGHTER, Katherine Tegen Books/HC Summer 2017. Repped by @tayhaggerty
All the women in the Marević family are born with a gleam—a unique way of experiencing and manipulating beauty through magic. Seventeen-year-old Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, her twin sister Malina interprets moods as music, and their cold, distant mother bakes scenery into decadent treats at her confectionery in Old Town Cattaro. But when a mysterious, white-haired woman attacks their mother and leaves her hovering between life and death, the sisters must trace their way back to the ancient curse that haunts their line. To break the curse and save each other, the sisters must untangle a thousand years of lies and come to terms with their own secrets. Pitched as the sensory magic of The Night Circus meets the storytelling tradition of The Tiger's Wife.
Why You Should Be Excited
I still haven't read The Night Circus (because no particular reason) nor The Tiger's Wife, but I knew I was interested in this one from the very beginning.  I love how stories about the relationships between sisters have really started to become popular and, even though I don't have a sister myself, they're a lot of fun to read.

Vic James -- Gilded Cage

Human avatar of Pusheen. Author of GILDED CAGE (Jan 2017 @panmacmillan@penguinrandom) Take a look! …

In a modern Britain, everyone must endure ten years of slavery for a magically-skilled aristocracy. Here a teenage boy dreams of rebellion. His sister thirsts for knowledge, and will find love. And a dangerous young aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.
Why You Should Be Excited
The description?  I think that's my answer for all of these, but it's also true for all of these!  It reminds me, slightly, of Red Queen or Bone Season, two of my favorite books!  I'm sure I'll fall in love with this one.  And, by the way, I'm dying to see the cover!

Breeana Shields -- Poison's Kiss

YA Author of POISON'S KISS (Random House, Spring 2017) Rep'd by @KatRushall.
Caroline Abbey at Random House has preempted Breeana Shields's debut YA fantasy novel, Poison's Kiss, set in an alternate world based on the mythology of India, in which a girl has been trained since birth as a “poison maiden” in the Raja's service. When she is ordered to kill a boy she has feelings for, she begins to question not only her role but the Raja's end game.
Why You Should Be Excited
"Based on the mythology of India" and need more be said?  I'm really into non-western fantasy and whenever another one hits the market I get excited.

Rhoda Belleza -- Empress of a Thousand Skies

Author of EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES (@RazorbillBooks 2017). Editor at the imprint Imprint (@ImprintReads).
Perfect for fans of RED RISING and Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, this epic sci-fi fantasy adventure follows two fugitives – a young princess-in-exile and her would-be assassin – across the far reaches of the galaxy as they fight to reclaim her dynasty and save the universe from a deadly threat.
Why You Should Be Excited
Red Rising meets Lunar Chronicles?  I'm a little cautious about such a perfect sounding description, but I'm optimistic about it, too, since I love both those series'.  Outside of that, the description on its own sounds really good and sort of reminds me of another series I read ages ago (though that series didn't take place in space). 

These are just six of the lovely authors who will be debuting in 2017!  I hope I've enticed you to take a peek at their books...  Part 2 will be out in two weeks, so keep an eye out for that.  Let me know in the comments whose book you're most excited for!

*pictures and bios taken from each respective twitter account
**book descriptions taken from Goodreads

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where Midterms are Right Around the Corner)

I have midterms this coming week, so if I'm a little bit absent, that's why.  I have been a bit AWOL from Instagram already, so apologies for that.  I should be back in the swing of things soon.  Nothing really exciting happened this week, honestly.  I did get the chance to watch The Invention of Lying and if you've never seen it, I really recommend it.

Finished Last Week
I managed to finish White Night and I really enjoyed it!  Not my favorite in the series, but a fantastic ending, as usual.

Currently Reading
I'm just about halfway done with Glass Sword, and I expect to finish it in a day or two.  I'm also just under halfway through listening to Rebel of the Sands and I'm absolutely loving it!  When I finish these I'll be finishing up Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge.

Last Week

This Week
Sunday-- 12 2017 Debuts To Be Excited For (Already)
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- Bane Chronicles Review
Friday-- Shadowhunters Season 1 Review
Saturday-- Wrap Up

How was your week?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Why I'm Waiting
Seriously?  These are gorgeous editions of one of the best series' of all time!  Of course I'm excited for this one to release.  I probably won't get it right when it comes out (I'll save it for Christmastime because these, to me, are Christmasy books).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition comes out on October 4th, 2016.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Cleaning-- DNF Reviews

So, I realized how many books I have marked as "Currently Reading" on Goodreads and I've realized that I'm not actually "Currently Reading" many of these anymore.

Author: Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. For centuries, gleemen have told of The Great Hunt of the Horn. Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages.
And it is stolen.
Why I DNF'd
I think I'll return to this series again, but right now I just need to take a break.  These are hard books to read, because they're so dense and because I have a hard time connecting to the characters.  Since it is really classic fantasy, though, I feel like I need to return when I have more time to waste reading these arduous books.  I might, actually, try the audiobooks this summer.  For now, though, it's going to be marked as "UnRead".

Author: Betsy Streeter

I received an ARC of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Silverwoods are a clan with a messy history and an uncertain future, responsible to protect humanity from the shape-shifting Tromindox. Helen Silverwood, fourteen, is beginning to realize that she will never lead a normal life. There have been clues: Her mother's unusual work habits, her father's absence, her brother's strange abilities with a pencil and paper, and her own recurring dreams and hacker tendencies. And, the family's constant moves from place to place.
Things are about to get much more complicated, and it all leads to the remote town of Brokeneck, California. Can the Silverwoods keep from losing each other in space and time, while unraveling a dangerous mystery?
Why I DNF'd
This is a more permanent DNF, unfortunately.  I'm over halfway through with it, but I just cannot go on.  There was just too much happening, none of it felt connected, and the characters were either much older than me or much younger and I couldn't relate.  I wasn't that excited about this one, either, when I picked it up, so I probably shouldn't have even requested.  My fault completely (though, for the record, I did request this when I was still a relatively new blogger before I actually sat and considered each book before requesting).

Author: Jason Fry
Zare Leonis seems destined to become a poster boy for the Empire. His sister, Dhara, has been accepted into the esteemed Imperial Academy on Lothal, and Zare is confident he'll join her in a year's time. But a year can bring plenty of unwelcome changes. Not only does he begin to uncover the Empire's destructive plans for Lothal and the livelihood of its people, but his unease hits home when Dhara mysteriously goes missing. Zare is forced to question everything and rethink what it means to be a good servant of the Empire.
Why I DNF'd
I hate to say there are "Boy books" and "Girl books" so instead I am going to say there are books aimed at "Sport kids" and books aimed at "Not-sport kids", by which I mean, there are books that features sports heavily and that's a main focus and lots of details are spent describing said sport and kids who like sports in general would enjoy those books.  And then there are most other books who might mention sports, dedicate only a few paragraphs, and then move on, keeping everyone else entertained.  This book was the former.  I think, from what I read, over half of it was dedicated to some fictional sport that I don't even remember the name of.  And it was SO BORING!  I'm sure "Sport kids" will love it, but not every Star Wars kid will.  The amount of Star Wars stuff was just... lacking.  Sure, it takes place in space.  And, yeah, Stormtroopers.  But, what else?  Nothing.  Nothing else.

Author: Jeff Altabef and Erynn Altabef

I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Juliet Wildfire Stone hears voices and sees visions, but she can’t make out what they mean. Her eccentric grandfather tells her stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but he might as well be speaking another language. None of it makes any sense.
When she stumbles upon a series of murders she can't help but worry her grandfather might be involved. To discover the truth, Juliet must choose between her new life at an elite private school and her Native American heritage. Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep her safe, she starts to wonder whether there’s some truth to those old stories her grandfather has been telling her.

All she wants is to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but she has never been average—could never be average.
Betrayed by those she loves, she must decide whether to run or risk everything by fulfilling her destiny as the Chosen.
Why I DNF'd
This wasn't a bad book at all and I was rather excited when I got it for review.  Unfortunately, I didn't get very far through it before I realized this wasn't the type of book I was into anymore and it just had no hope of keeping my attention.  If it sounds interesting, I'd recommend it, though from how far I got it reminded me of some YA paranormal romance books that I read several years ago.

Author: Paul Cude

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Following his harrowing and near death experience at the talons of the evil dragon Manson in 'A Threat From The Past', Peter Bentwhistle, the human shaped dragon and reluctant hero, finds himself on the slow path to recovery.
Helped by his dragon friends, Tank and Richie (both in their human forms), he finds solace in his new found friendship with the dragon king. But the three friends are soon unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from his mission in Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.
Blackmail, intrigue, forbidden love interests, a near fatal mantra gone wrong, a highly charged rugby match in which Tank takes a beating, combined with enough laminium ball action to please dragons the world over, stretch the bonds of the dragons' friendship like never before. New friends and ancient enemies clash as the planet braces itself for one of the most outrageous attacks it has ever seen. Lost secrets and untold lore come to light, while sinister forces attempt to steal much coveted magic.
Explosive exploits, interspersed with a chilly backdrop and unexpected danger at every turn, make for an action-packed, electrifying adventure.
'Snow way you'll wanna miss this!
Why I DNF'd
This one will definitely not be a permanent DNF since I rather enjoyed the first one, but I just haven't been in the mood for this lately, and that sucks.  I'm gonna take a month off and then come back to it as a top priority (I think; it could be longer, but not by much).  I do recommend these books, if you're interested- just don't take them too seriously.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I Finally Finished Some Books)

These last couple days have been really strange.  Wednesday night and most of the day Thursday was just really bad.  Thursday evening was better, but still not great.  It wasn't until Friday when I was starting to feel more like myself again.  And yesterday was actually really fun once classes let out.  Some friends and I all went to Target (since I brought my car down to school and now we have some more freedom) and I, along with two of my friends, ended up buying Pokemon cards!  I haven't owned Pokemon cards since I was twelve and I can't remember how to play at all, but we're all intent on learning and it's going to be so much fun!  I'm rather looking forward to it.  We actually spent about half an hour trading cards we didn't want and it was a blast.

Later, after dinner, a bunch of my friends went to go see a speaker the college had brought in, but I had work I wanted to get done and my one friend just wasn't interested.  I didn't end up getting much work done, though, because ten minutes in the library and I remembered we had forgotten to go to the dollar store and comic store like we had planned earlier.  So we ended up walking over and I picked up some comics!  I haven't read comics in such a long time (you may have noticed the lack of comic reviews) but maybe now I'll get back into the habit. I got the first issue in Poe Dameron's new series (because Poe is my favorite character, in case you weren't aware) and the first issue in the Starbrand and Nightmask series.

Another friend of ours had an improv show at 2am (it was so early and I'm so tired) and we went to part of it.  It was pretty funny, but we were all so exhausted that we were just making fools of ourselves.  A rather good time.  And, today, I'm actually going home for the weekend to celebrate my brother's birthday.

Sorry to ramble on about myself, haha.  Here's the book related stuff:

Finished Last Week
I think I may finally be out of my book slump!  I finished reading both Age of Myth and The Bane Chronicles!  It was so great to finish something.  Finger's crossed my reading doesn't slow down again any time soon.

Currently Reading
I'm still listening to Rebel of the Sands on audiobook and loving it so much.  It far better than I had originally thought it would be.  I'm also going to try to finish White Night either this weekend or early next week.  After that I'll be continuing on with Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge.

Last Week
Wednesday-- Gemstone Tag

This Week
Monday-- Spring Cleaning: DNF Reviews Round 1
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Saturday-- Wrap Up

Sorry it's going to be a bit of a quieter week, but because of my slump I just have less to talk about.  I will be writing a Bane Chronicles review, it just won't be up until next week because it normally takes me about two weeks to write a review.

Do you have any plans for the weekend?  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Movie Review: Batman v Superman- Dawn of Justice

The only reason I was excited for this film was because of Wonder Woman, and I feel like there are a lot of people out there who would agree with me in this regard.  She was the main draw- the first time she's been on the big screen in such a way and, finally, the DC trinity lined up together and ready to take down some bad guy.  The whole idea of seeing all three of them in one shot is just crazy awesome, and, in that regard, the movie stunned.  Visually it was beautiful (if dark) and just the fact that it finally happened was nothing short of a dream come true.

The acting from Ben Affleck (Batfleck), Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, and, to a degree, Henry Cavill, was up to par.  Batfleck was actually pretty good (and this film centers quite a lot around him, so it was good that he was good) and Gadot was the perfect Wonder Woman (can't wait for her solo film!), though her character did just seem thrown in there for most of the story.  Amy Adams hadn't thrilled me in Man of Steel, but she's got a central role in this film and did a fantastic job!  I was very happy with how her performance in this one turned out.  And Jesse Eisenberg.  Well, here's something that's controversial.  He was a HORRIBLE Lex Luthor.  Like, really, really, really bad.  But he was a FANTASTIC villain.  I mean, I'm pretty terrified of his character.  There's a scene halfway through that is just absolutely scary, and he delivers it well.  But Lex Luthor, he is not.

I have so many problems with this movie that I don't even think I could list them all.  The fight scenes, while okay, weren't anything special (not even the big one between the Dark Knight and Man of Steel), and the climax was just blah.  The ending, which surprised me, seemed to go on forever.  My biggest problem, though, is the lack of answers.  By which I mean, there are so many stupid things that happen in the film (whether from the all the scenes that were cut- which is very noticeable, or because there were silly decisions made) that I just can't seem to wrap my head around.  And other people seem to agree.  Some of my personal favorites are below, written in white text, so you'll have to draw your cursor over them to see (they're full of spoilers).

  • How does no one realize that Clark Kent isn't Superman at the end of the film?  Besides the fact that the funerals are happening the same day, Clark had an open casket and wasn't wearing glasses.
  • How did Lex get that information on the MetaHumans?
  • Why did Aquaman approach the camera like that?
  • So that dream sequence?  And the flash?  What was going on there and why is it Batman who sees this stuff?
  • What exactly did Lex Luthor learn from the space ship?
  • What exactly was Lex's plan?  He built Doomsday to take on Superman, but also tried to get Batman to kill Superman, so what would he have done if Superman lost?
  • What does Lex stand to gain from any of this?
And those are just a few.  Google "unanswered questions from Batman v Superman and you'll find a surplus of fun things to ask your friends.

Basically, it's a fun movie, and it'll probably look better on the big screen than anywhere else.  So, if you get the chance to see it, I recommend going whenever it's cheapest and taking some friends along.  Don't take it to seriously, and don't worry.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Writing Corner: My WIP

This is a new monthly post I'm going to try out.  It'll be a way for me to check in, tell people about how and what I've been writing, and also hold me somewhat accountable to keep writing.

I've wanted to be a published author since I was much younger, but I've always had trouble finishing stories that I've started.  My friend and I did finish writing a novel one time (though we both agree it's best to leave that one locked away since it's not very good) but on my own it's hard to keep up the momentum.

The project I've been working on, which I've named Sand and Storm (SaS for short), is one that I've been working on for eight months (I originally had the idea in August of 2015).  It's gone through several iterations in its time.  Sand and Storm is a fantasy western where it hasn't rained in hundreds of years (they get their water from oasis'- sources provided by the gods).  The main characters, Will (short for Willow) and Short (a translation of his name), accidentally awaken the goddess of the storm, who has some revenge in mind for the world.  With her they also awake the trickster god, Coyote, who must play an integral part of taking her down.

Here's how I got the idea:

I was lying in bed thinking about how there aren't enough western's in YA literature and decided I should write one.  I quickly realized the amount of research (by that I mean watching and reading westerns, a genre I'm not too fond of) was overwhelming and would take away from the fun experience of actually writing the novel, so I couldn't actually write a western.  It then came to mind that it could be a fantasy world set, pretty clearly, with roots in the stereotypical version of the Old West, with the major differences being the magic system and the pantheon of gods.

I started writing it shortly after this idea came to be and was keeping it on a flash drive.  It was coming along well, though I had the novel starting around where chapter three is located now.  Which was fine, but a little rushed now that I think about it.  Then, my flash drive wiped itself.  All my work was lost.  Forever.

The next day I decided to start over, completely, rather then let it get to me.  But instead of writing, I planned out the first couple of chapters in rather large depth.  And in this planning I decided that it wasn't going to be a YA trilogy anymore, but an adult duet (possibly trilogy).  So I started writing it as if all the plot I had for the first three novels would be built into one.  I also started the novel several chapters ahead of where I start it now with scenes that don't exist anymore (and won't exist, ever again).  I realized quickly that the story was becoming something I didn't want to tell and that I wasn't connecting with the characters at all.  So I scrapped that and started again, with my original plan.

Which was going fine for several chapters, but around chapter ten the plot completely stopped, the motivation was strange, and I was still having a bunch of trouble connecting to one of the main characters.  It was a struggle to write and I had no idea where anything was leading, so I stopped for a month and made a big decision.  I would give the novel one more go before I put in a drawer and worked on another project for some time.

I tried starting chapter one a couple more times, once or twice on my computer, where I quickly realized it just wasn't flowing, and then again handwritten.  This was working for a while, but I was writing during class when I should have been paying attention, and both the novel and the grades were suffering for it.  So, deciding none of these were my official "last go at the novel" I bought myself a writing pad, decided I should give myself two or three days per chapter, and began writing again.

This version, which will be my last Rough Draft before I take a break to focus on something else that might actually flow a bit better (I've never given myself so much dedication to one work before; normally if a problem arises I try to fix it once and if that doesn't work, I go on to something else), is very similar to my original ideas, but has the bonus of all the internal development I've created for the novel from the point of the first version to this one.  I've already written two chapters and a prologue, which amounts to around 12 pages handwritten (or 3k words, which is shorter than I originally wanted, but when I transcribe it to my computer I'm fairly certain it will get much longer).

I hope to keep you guys updated.  Maybe I'll write my next post when I get through about half of the novel.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gemstone Tag

I was tagged by Caroline from Just Another Bookish Blog to do this tag and I'm super excited!  Thank you so much for tagging me!  If you don't already follow her blog, go do that because she's awesome!

Also, you may have noticed I've been doing a lot of tags, which is strange for me.  This will probably be the last of them for a while (though please tag me if you want, just know I won't get to them for some time since I think I've overwhelmed everyone with the sheer amount of tag's I've been doing).  Now, onto the tag:

BTW, I was born in October, so my gemstone is Opal :)

1. Garnet (January) - Name a book with the darkest/evilest character you can think of
Well, I'm going to go either City of Glass or Lady Midnight for different, but spoilery reasons.  Also, every single book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, because, seriously, those people are messed up!

2. Amethyst (February) - Name a book with regal qualities... you can off the characters, or choose the King of all books.
Regal qualities?  Either Red Queen or Queen of Shadows.

3. Aquamarine (March) - Name a "wishy-washy" character, a character who is not strong or a follower.
I don't know about wishy-washy, but I can bring to mind about a million two-dimensional characters. Let's just start with... all the side characters in Fool Moon, the second book in the Dresden Files.  I love these books so that may come as a surprise, but for all my love of this series, I will always hate book two for the poor writing and even poorer character development!

4. Diamond (April) - A book that you love but is still not well known.
My answer: Hunter's Moon.  It's a book about faeries and the best book about faeries that I've ever read.  Here, let me include a LINK to the book on Goodreads to entice you to pick this one up :)

5. Emerald (May) - Name two characters who balance each other well.
Jem Carstairs and Will Herondale

6. Pearl (June) - Name a character who was loyal to the end.
Inej, from Six of Crows.  She stays loyal to Kaz and the crew even when things start to go a little skewed.  I mean, she has her doubts, but she doesn't abandon the group ever.

7. Ruby (July) - Name a book that made your blood boil, that made you angry.

8. Peridot (August) - Name a supporting character who you like better than the main character.
Kenji from Shatter Me.  I never read past book one since I was not a fan (in fact, I've blocked most of it out of my memory), but he's the one bright spot in that whole novel.

9. Sapphire (September) - Name a book that had a calming effect on you.
I have read The Lightening Thief countless times, and one time, when I was younger, I remember, when feeling overwhelmed by all the strangers (friends of my mom) at our house one night (I was much younger) I sat in the chair in my parent's bedroom and just read the book for a couple of hours, and it calmed me down quite a lot.

10. Opal (October) - Name an iridescent book (pretty cover, or colorful characters).
There are so many to choose from!  Okay, I go with either A History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downward or Illuminae.

11. Topaz (November) - A book with a character who rises to the top win a time of adversity.
I'm going with Katniss and Hunger Games.  Always a classic for me.

12. Blue Topaz (December) - A book friendship you'd love to be a part of.
I've used Shadowhunters a bunch, so I'll have to skip this easy answer... and go to another one: I'd love to be friends with the gang from Harry Potter.  All of them!  Can you imagine having out with Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Neville, Ginny, etc.?  It would be so great!

Okay, that was a really fun tag!  So, here's who I tag:
And, yeah, that's me being lazy again.  But please, if you like the look of this tag, do it!  And let me know so I can see your answers!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Top Ten Blogs You Must Be Following

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

These are in no particular order, and I love every single blog here.  I forced myself to choose only ten, because I didn't want to go overboard.  Likewise, I forced myself to choose only blogs (and not tumblr, twitter, or instagram accounts) for the same reason.  Here we go:

Christina @ Books and Prejudice

Lauren @ Always Me

Natalie @ Netflix and Books

Mariah @ Vibin With Books

Shayna @ The Bibliotaph

Jen and April @ Starry-Eyed Review

Michelle @ Michelle's Minion's

Tracy @ Cornerfolds

So those are just some of the blogs that you just NEED to follow.  Seriously.  I'm serious.  Maybe I'll do another one of these because this was a bit of fun and there are so many other blogs to spotlight!

Monday, April 4, 2016

5 Star Spoiler Review & Discussion: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare
Edition: Hardcover (First Edition)
Rating: 5 Stars

I recently published my non-spoiler review for Lady Midnight, so if you have not read the book, go read that review instead!  There will be A LOT OF SPOILERS BELOW (like it will ACTUALLY RUIN THE BOOK FOR YOU IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT YET) since this is part review, part discussion on the book.  If you've read the book, please feel free to read my earlier review, which talks about the book in more general terms, but also feel free to comment with your own thoughts and theories on it in this post.  Thanks!

Lady Midnight takes place several years after the events in the Mortal Instrument's series.  It follows Emma Carstairs, her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, his family, and her new friend Cristina Rosales, as they illegally investigate some faerie murders that are taking place.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

College Journey: Cozy the Room Challenge

You may remember a challenge I gave myself last year in October where I would try to do something new each day (or so).  You can read about that here.  I didn't do a good job at really keeping anyone posted on how the challenge was going, but it actually went pretty well until it started to snow.  However, now that it's warming up I'm starting to do new things again.  And I've decided to give myself another challenge- I'm going to try and make my dorm a little cozier.

Two things I know: it's a little late in the game for this; my room is already cozy.

But I want it to be COZIER.  More specifically, I want it to have more of my personality in it.  So, for the rest of the year I'm going to make the room cozier, and whenever I write up a college journey post I'll tag on whatever I've done last so you can see how it's going.

Wrap Up (The One I Write Really Late)

So I'm cutting this one a bit close, aren't I?  As I start typing this it's 11:54 pm and I probably won't have it done in six minutes.  Sorry about that, but today was rather busy!  Last night I watched Schindler's List for the first time (it was very good but also very long and I recommend watching it with friends) and today I went and saw Batman v Superman (which is not as good but also very long).  I actually have so much to say about BvS that I'm going to write a full-fledged review for it in order to get all my thoughts and concerns and just plain "whats?" out.  I'm looking forward to writing that review :)

Finished Last Week
Still nothing :(

Currently Reading
Are you ready for another list?  It's quite a few.
Rebel of the Sands - I picked this one up from audible (I'm doing the free trial so I'm not breaking my book-buying-ban, so that's good!) and I've been listening to it as I fall asleep.  I'm enjoying it so far.
Age of Myth - My goal is to finish this tomorrow (and since I finished all my homework today, I think I can manage it!)
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge - I put this one down when I picked up Age of Myth, but I'm not actually quite sure how soon it will be before I finish this because I'm not sure when I'll be in the mood for it again.
White Night - I hope to finish this one soon...
Bentwhistle the Dragon #2 - see the last two answers; I'll finish this maybe soon maybe not so soon, I just don't know when I'll be in the mood for it again.

Last Week
Sunday-- TV Wrap Up

This Week
Sunday-- College Journey
Monday-- Spoiler Review Lady Midnight
Tuesday-- Top Ten Tuesday
Wednesday-- Gemstone Tag
Thursday-- Writing Corner (A New Posting Type)
Friday-- Batman v Superman Review 
Saturday-- Wrap Up