Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Less Than a Day Away)

Yes, I'm back, and boy am I glad to be back! I don't want to ramble too much in this post, but, but, BUT Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes out tonight and I thought it was coming out tomorrow night so I almost missed it! What was I thinking? I don't even know. But, thank to the internet and my email I was reminded it was today. So, yes, I am so happy and excited and I'm ready to blow money at the bookstore tonight! Who's with me? YES!

Finished Since I Last Popped By
I managed to reread Assassin's Blade, Chamber of Secrets, and Throne of Glass (all of which were fantastic rereads) and Monstress. Reviews for all will be coming soon.

Currently Reading
Blue Lily, Lily Blue! I'm so excited to be back in this series though I have no idea where it will go. After I finish this I'll be picking up Elantris by Brandon Sanderson.

Since I Was Last Here

Next Week
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- Review of Assassin's Blade
Friday-- Review of Monstress
Saturday-- Wrap Up

Are you celebrating Harry's birthday/the release of Cursed Child?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'M BACK feat. A HUGE APOLOGY (with a special guest appearance from DAMAGE CONTROL)

You may or may not have noticed that I haven't blogged in like two weeks or so.  I actually kinda stopped on the 14th.  Which is crazy.  I did try to write a few posts and I did already have a few set to post already, but beyond that I just kinda gave up on blogging for a short period of time.  

It was completely unplanned but things just snuck up on me and I didn't have the time or the state of mind to dedicate time to blogging of any sort.  After the first few days I scrambled to catch up but I fell asleep while I was working on it and the next day I realized I shouldn't push and stress myself out about this.  So I rolled with it and didn't stress out about it at all.  I didn't allow myself to.  I let this unplanned vacation from blogging happen and now I'm ready to come back.

I have been spending a TON of time on twitter lately and it has helped remind me why I started blogging and why I love the community.  It's also a great place to kill time and just hang out with people, something I didn't realize I was so sorely missing since being home from school and my friends there.

One big thing happened since my little vacation happened and I wanted to bring attention to it: I started a side blog.  It's called Fernweh and I'm not going to talk about it a bunch here but I thought I would mention because it will be taking a (very very small) fraction of my time.  Fernweh is a small corner of the internet and is a darker place for me to just rant or talk about how I feel about the state of things or my adventures (that aren't book related).  I will also be doing most of my writing posts over there from now on and if something big happens in a book I'm working on I will link it during the weekly wrap up for those who are interested.  Fernweh is going to be more of a "me" blog and it's going to be intensely personal.  It's a nice reprieve to have it there since I'm not super good at keeping a physical diary.  I don't really expect people to visit Fernweh but I don't want to discourage you if you're interested.

Anyway, that's where I've been.

And let me say I AM SO SORRY!  I didn't plan this at all and while I realize I desperately needed it I hate just disappearing like that.  

Which leads me to Damage Control.  Well, I'm certainly behind on what I wanted posted and read and a dozen other things blog related so these next few days will be dedicated to that.  Tomorrow I'll be doing a lot of background stuff like updating goodreads and tumblr and small pieces of this blog.  Thursday I don't think I'll be around but Friday I should be finishing all the bigger things I need to get caught up on and on Saturday everything will be back to normal! 

Thank you for sticking with me throughout all of this, guys!  I hope to be back blogging regularly by next week and I'll be back to visiting blogs and commenting on them and just re-emersing in the community again by Saturday.

See you all soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Traveler

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities.
But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles…Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it… this Jessa is going to live.
Why I'm Waiting
The description!  It just sounds amazing!  I'm actually salivating at the mouth for this one.

Traveler releases February 7th, 2017 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Writing Corner: Every Chapter A New Beast

Writing corner is the little corner of my blog where I talk about writing.  If you're interested in the rest of the corner, click here.

Currently I've been working on The Queen's Ransom (or TQR) which I've talked about before.  Normally when I sit down to write I have an idea of what's going to happen and if something huge changes in my head I just start over because when it's something that changes the "roots" of the story I have a hard time continuing writing.

Well, that's a bit different this time around and I don't actually know why.  I began with a really basic plot and a really basic outline but knew where I wanted to go with the story.  While writing each chapter though, I tend to stumble upon an idea that betters the story and absolutely changes the "roots" of it.  But, instead of going back and starting over, I just roll with it and let it play out as it's playing out just with these new changes.

For example, at the end of the first chapter I realized that one of the two MCs had to have a different motivation.  His motivation is a major plot point in the story (understandably) and changes a lot of what his character means.  As I go through, too, I keep streamlining why he does what he does and his character has done a near 180 since he was first spawned into my head.

The quest itself- the driving force of the whole novel- has changed quite a bit as well.  It went from being a rather solitary thing to being something where a whole bunch of outsiders can take part of.  This was the hardest change to enact because I will have to rewrite most of the first chapter and the prologue but it's also the best change for the story so far.

Smaller things have changed as well.  Things I didn't realize I was missing or were weak are now there and are strong.

Every chapter is a new beast when I sit down to write it because right now it feels like each chapter belongs to a different story.  I'm looking forward to editing it when it's done because then I get to straighten all the lines out and finally wrangle it into one definitive story.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 Star ARC Review: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga, #1)

Author: Kiersten White
Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr
Edition: ARC courtesy of the publisher
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository
Goodreads Link
Rating: 5 Stars
I received this book from the publisher when I went to Chicago's C2E2 event; thank you!

I read the Paranormalcy trilogy by Kiersten White many years ago and wasn't really a fan.  I think I was fading out of that genre and it felt like it was meant for a reader younger than I had been, so things just didn't click.  When I heard about this book I wasn't too eager to pick it up even though it did have a surprising description.  But as time passed (and as an ARC landed in my lap) I kept coming across it and being incredibly interested.  So I picked it up and the was one of the best decisions I've made in a long time.

And I Darken is a historical fantasy where Vlad the Impaler is gender swapped and now named Lada.  Lada is vicious, brutal, honest, brave, brilliant, and so many other things in a world that shuts women in a harem.  Lada and her brother, Radu (the other narrator of the book), are, more or less, sold to the Ottoman Sultan in exchange for the freedom of their country.  While at court they are caught up in the politics in a way they never could have predicted.

This is a long, dense book.  It takes its time telling its story and doesn't shy from any details.  It simmers just under your skin as it tells its story and wriggles its way into the corners of your dreams. This book took me much longer than I anticipated to read- and I was grateful for every second of it.  Sometimes books that take me a while make me sick of them.  But this one made me appreciate it more and more.  The reason?  It felt so realistic!  I felt like I was there!  Everything was vivid, not just thanks to Kiersten's wonderful writing, but also thanks to the aura the book cast over everything.

I don't know much about her historical counterpart, but Lada is amazing.  She was everything I wanted and then some.  Going into it I wasn't sure if I would like her character or if she would live up to her description on the back of the book, but whatever I thought was completely surpassed by the character within the pages.  Besides Lada there is Radu and he was a real treat to read as well.  I didn't know there were going to be two main characters.  And I certainly didn't know that they would pull my heart strings in every direction at once.  Sometimes with multiple narrators it's hard to balance a story, but that balance is perfect between Lada and Radu.

This is one of those books you won't regret reading.  Go pick it up immediately!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Poison's Kiss

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya a poison maiden is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.
Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.
This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Why I'm Waiting
This has been one of my most anticipated 2017 debuts since I stumbled upon it a few months ago while wasting time on Goodreads.  It sounds amazing and I'm a huge fan of non-western fantasy starting to take a leading role in the genre.  Also, this cover?  Makes me swoon every time!  Can't wait to see it on my shelf.

Poison's Kiss releases January 10th, 2017

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Writing Corner: Returning to Wheel and Cog

Writing corner is the little corner on my blog where I talk about my works in progress.  To find the rest of the content, click here.

Last week I talked about shelving Sand and Storm for the time being and mentioned that I've been working on another project in a pre-writing phase.  I wanted to talk about that projected a bit because it's been a story idea I've had for a while and returning to this world has been one of the best possible decisions I could have ever made.

It's a steampunk trilogy featuring a very large group of characters, though it has a very tight story (in which I mean that everything ties up and is connected and means something- I try to make nothing extraneous).  Ever since I had the idea, I knew the series would be called The Wheel and Cog Chronicles.  Don't ask why, but it came with the original cast of characters and it works so absolutely well.  Thus, the first in the trilogy has been dubbed Wheel and Cog (or, affectionately, WAC).

The idea hit me in junior year math class.  I didn't want to pay attention because I hated my teacher and I sat in the back so I sketched out the original eight characters and how they were all connected then and there.  I didn't even know what the story would be, just what the first scene was, and the names.  Rarely does this sort of story ever work out for me, but it all just slotted in so perfectly that I was left with eight well rounded characters.  That was several years ago, and the majority of them have kept the same names and all of them have kept the same connections between them (though I added a few new relationships to tie things together better the old ones all remained).

I worked on the idea a little and had a rough idea of the plot of the series, but didn't pursue it too much until that summer when I was in Europe.  One day, in Paris, we were walking and it just hit me that there could be a scene from the book in Paris.  That scene has now been scrapped for good since it was completely unnecessary, but after I figured out that scene I latched onto one particular character and followed him through his journey (which isn't set in Paris- none of the book is set in Paris at this point, actually).  I got from the beginning to the end, and since he interacted with every other character, I got to visit major points in their stories as well.  And suddenly, after a whole day of being completely lost in my head daydreaming, I had a trilogy laid out in front of me, nearly perfect.

And so I tried to write it.  But the time wasn't right.  I got a little into it, but I knew I just couldn't give the story what it needed at the time.  I was a senior in high school and as much as I loved writing I can honestly say I wasn't as mature as I am now in it.  I hadn't read as many "good" books and hadn't really studied craft at all.  The books I was reading at the time didn't really align to the sort of story I wanted to tell.  So I set it aside.  I've always known I would come back to it.  And I have.

As I am writing The Queen's Ransom I've decided I shouldn't just focus on that project.  It's going really well, but sticking to one story almost makes me hate that story.  So pre-writing Wheel and Cog has been a relief.  I think, now, I can finally give this series the heart it needs.  I hope to finish the pre-writing in a month or so, but I'm not going to rush it.  I'm taking my time to finish perfecting it (to the best of my ability) and then I'm going to dive in and seriously get to writing.  It's time.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where Pokemon Go Was Released)

Who else is playing?  Because Pokemon Go was everything I wanted from this app and I couldn't be happier!  Unfortunately, my brother used most of the wireless data so I have to wait until the 11th before I can go properly exploring, but I did sneak in a few car rides worth of Pokemon and am officially Team Yellow :)

In other news, I start work tomorrow (it's just a short two-hour meeting but then Monday and Thursday are like nine hour shifts) and I'm nervous but excited at the same time.  Fingers crossed it's only good experiences from here on out.

As for my emotional/mental health, this week was up and down.  Some days were much worse than others.  But it didn't get the best of me or prevent me from doing anything I needed to do, so I count this week as a win for me!

Finished this Week
I finally finished And I Darken and, guys, I absolutely loved it!  Five solid stars.  Definitely go pick it up.  I also started a new manga and read the first volume of Demon Prince of Momochi House.  It's not bad, but I'm not going to weigh in on it definitively until volume two.

Currently Reading
I'm just under the halfway point in my Assassin's Blade reread and wow did I miss this world!  It's not unlike coming home after a long trip whenever I reread these books.  I will be finishing this one up quickly and then moving onto my reread of Chamber of Secrets (another series that feels like coming home whenever I read it).  I also plan to tackle the graphic novel Monstress this week and I can't wait!

Last Week

Next Week
Tuesday-- Writing Corner
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday

I know it's a bit of a short week next week, but I have a lot going on (besides work I'm going with my brother on a college tour in Wisconsin) and it will be a good chance to catch up on my reading.  How was your week?  What are you currently reading?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Review: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1)

Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover & Audible Audio Book
Rating: 4 Stars
This book and I had an interesting adventure.  Normally, I read a book by picking it up, turning pages, reading words, and then finishing it.  However, with Rebel of the Sands I got it as an audio book first.  I wasn't intending to fall in love with it, but enjoy it, so I thought it would be a good book to fall asleep to.  Since I tend to only buy audio books of novels I know for a fact I enjoy, this was a bit of an experiment.  Then, once I reached the halfway point or so I decided, because I loved it, I'd rather have a physical copy that I could touch and put on a shelf.  So I stopped listening to it and waited to go and buy it.  And then, after buying it weeks later didn't pick it up for another month or so.  But I did it- I finished it!  And I really, really liked it!

Rebel of the Sands is set in a wild west/middle eastern desert-type setting and follows Amani, a master marksman who is desperate to get out of her small town and escape the traditional life of a girl.  She escapes with the help of a foreigner who has ties to the rebellion and with him they traverse the desert to freedom.

I really, really loved this book.  I loved the setting, the mythology created by Hamilton for this world, and the characters.  I could go on and on about how wonderful this book is and sing its praises.  Basically, if you're looking for a nontraditional but still fantastic fantasy, pick this up.

But now onto what I didn't like and what led to the book only getting four stars instead of five.  Honestly, it's a matter of taste and what tropes I dislike in novels.  And these tropes aren't really ones I see other people complaining about, so I think I'm in the minority here.  Anyway, somewhat minor SPOILERS:

In the final third of the book a bunch of new characters were introduced.  That's fine, but suddenly we, the readers, were meant to be buddy-buddy with them and invested in them.  I hate when a torrent of characters are thrown into one place and without all the development of the main characters they're given huge roles and we're expected to just click with them.  I think part of my dislike of this is that I just can't connect with a character that quickly and I like to see development- it's what I enjoy most from books!  When new characters come around that's fine, but I want to see them grow and develop and be interesting before I actually appreciate them.  Anyway, that's why I couldn't give the book five stars.

Overall, this book is fantastic.  It raises interesting questions and also entertains.  If you even considered picking it up, stop considering and just pick it up.  You won't regret it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Writing Corner: Shelving Sand and Storm (For Now)

Welcome to writing corner- the corner of the blog where I talk about my works in progress!  Follow this link if you want to find out more about my writing.

One of the two projects that have really claimed my time lately is Sand and Storm, a wild-west fantasy novel about a sharpshooting girl, exiled tribesman, adventurous widow, and powerless god as the work to save their world from the Storm.  It features sand based magic and I created a rather extensive mythology for the world.  I've been working on it for about a year and a half now, but I think it's time to shelve this for a bit.

I didn't get anywhere with it.  I kept trying but things kept getting in the way and I found myself restarting it either because I was unhappy with the direction or because I lost all the files.  I was starting to really get to know the characters and the early chapters, but I never got as far as I would have liked.

It's not as unique as it once was and I need to regroup.  This isn't really a bad thing, since it means people are interested in it, but I was seeing things I wanted to do, big plot points in fact, in other books and I need to step back and consider if those things can be changed or whether it will look the same.  For example, the sand magic in my story is pretty similar to the sand magic in Brandon Sanderson's newly released White Sand.  And the world shares a bit with the world in Rebel of the Sands.  Both are fantastic books that I would thoroughly recommend, but they share a little too much with my novel.

I'd rather work on other projects.  I'm hard at work on a small novel called The Queen's Ransom that is going so well, I don't want to have such a massive world like the one in Sand and Storm sitting over my head.  I like keeping it in the back of my mind to tweak with but I don't want to give it all my attention.  I've also been pre-planning for another series, one that has been around much longer than Sand and Storm and returning to it, just to sketch out characters, is like getting in a warm bath after a very long day.  I missed it, and I like how well things are going.

So, for now, Sand and Storm is being pushed to the side.  I made this decision rather unconsciously a few months ago, and already I can tell it's sort of healing the fissures that were in the book.  If I take time away from it and let it figure itself out things will turn out much better.  I have every intention on going back to it (maybe sooner than I originally thought) because the story is important to me.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Winds of Winter

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
The Winds of Winter is the forthcoming sixth novel in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.
The previous installment, A Dance with Dragons, covered less story than Martin intended, omitting at least one planned large battle sequence and leaving several character threads ending in cliffhangers. Martin intends to resolve these cliffhangers "very early" in The Winds of Winter, saying "I'm going to open with the two big battles that I was building up to, the battle in the ice and the battle at Meereen—the battle of Slaver's Bay. And then take it from there."
Why I'm Waiting
 I'm rereading the first two books and then reading the final three and I really do love this series.  I may not be caught up with the books, but I do know what's going on (thanks to the internet and my friends) and I couldn't be more excited to see what happens next!

The Winds of Winter will release whenever George RR Martin finishes writing it, LOL

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer Goals Update 1

A whole month of summer has passed!  Isn't that crazy?  I'm sure some (probably most) who are on break see theirs quickly coming to a close, but I am blessed to have a strange school schedule where I still have over two months before I have to go back.  So, really, my summer hasn't even gotten to the halfway point, yet, but it still feels like I have no time left!  Last month I posted my goals for the summer and I wanted to update you all on them and give myself the kick in the butt I need to complete some of the goals.

The Book Related Goals

- Finish writing my current WIP, dubbed, at the moment, "The Queen's Ransom"
Status: I have been working on it, and while I'm a few days behind my goal, it goes well.

- Reread the Harry Potter series because, can you believe it, I haven't reread these books in years!
Status: I reread the first one and I think I'm expanding this goal to go past the summer because I want to take the time to enjoy these books.

- Read the Poison Study series; I've been saving this one for this summer and already have all the published books on my kindle waiting for an epic marathon
Status: So I don't know if I'm actually going to do this this summer now... But if not this summer then definitely over winter break before the final book comes out!

- Read The Chronicles of Narnia; I've never read these, either, but I feel like it's time; a friend of mine recommended that I listen to the audiobooks, so that might be the way I go
Status: I still want to do this, but not as badly as I did at the beginning of the summer, so it's been pushed back a little bit.

- Buy a Camera; this may not seem book related, but I actually want one so that I can take some really nice pictures for Instagram and the blog (and maybe Youtube videos someday...?)
Status: I may not need to! I've been using one of my parent's camera's and it's been working really well for me and I think they'll let me take it to school. Now I just need another memory card but I think we have a few of those laying around.

- Focus more on Instagram; this goes along with the previous goal; basically I just want to devote more time to what I put out on Instagram because these last few months I've been very poor on there
Status: I have definitely put more thought into what I post on Instagram.  I don't post every day (that's just too much) but I spend more time posting and have created some really great content (imo).

- More original content on Tumblr is pretty self-explanatory; if you have any ideas for what you might like to see on my Tumblr please let me know!
Status: I have been working on a set of Mortal Instruments/Hamilton posts that I'm rather proud of and I can't wait to post them!  I also have a bunch of ideas for things to post.

- Catch up on ARCS because I am so far behind and I feel awful about it
Status: I have been integrating more ARCs into my reading diet but I haven't made much headway with the pace I've been reading at.

The Non-Book Related Goals

- Cut Hair is just a reminder that I need a haircut so that I can take a proper profile picture instead of my dog (LOL but he'll probably be in the picture, too)
Status: I did get my hair cut... but I'm not super happy with it.  Not the hair dresser's fault; it's mine.  I think I'll be getting it cut right before I leave for school, though, so I will absolutely take a profile picture then.

- Get a job preferably at a book store
Status: Well, it's not at a bookstore, but I have a job!  I go in tomorrow to sign paperwork.

- Working Out is part of my plan to lose some weight and I also want to Eat Healthier because I feel sluggish all the time lately
Status: I did really well with the eating healthier at the beginning of the summer, but it's been hard to keep track of.  I think I'm going to buy a planner for keeping track of meals.  As for exercising, I have definitely gotten better at it.  I try to either run or bike a mile every other day and I hope that in a few weeks I can manage to do this every day.  And then, by the end of the summer, I want to be able to run steadily (I don't care how far) for at least 45 minutes.

- Learn a language and it will probably be either Russian or American Sign Language (for two very different reasons)
Status: I was really keeping up on this at the beginning of the summer but it sort of fell through.  I'm going to check my library to see if they have a book that will help.

- Start going to Church again because I unfortunately fell away from the habit while at school and I really miss attending Mass
Status: So far, so good

- Catch Up on TV because I haven't watched anything in ages!
Status: I'm not really catching up (yet) but I am getting back into the habit of watching television (to my own detriment).

- Locate a comic book store and frequent it; I have one at school that I adore, but I don't actually know where my local one at home is
Status: I'm still working on this one.  I visited a few and they weren't really what I was looking for in a store so the hunt continues.

- Go outside more even if it is just to read
Status: Not really happening yet, but that's because I hate the heat and it's been pretty bad lately.  It's either a million degrees or raining.

- Keep in contact with all of my friends is one of the easier goals on this list, but sometimes I need to remind myself to do this
Status: Going surprisingly well

- Read more news in order to help myself be more knowledgeable about the world
Status: I'll be honest, I completely forgot about this goal.  I shall get on it now.

- See family; by which I mean make it a priority to see extended family even if I'm not in the mood because they are important people
Status: At the beginning of the summer I pushed myself to make sure this happened... and my anxiety and depression got the better of me because of it.  I'm taking it a little slower and trying to limit it to every other week or so, but things have gotten much better.  I'm going to a cousin's graduation this weekend!

- RELAX it's summer; I need to remind myself of this
Status: I need to continue to remind myself of this.  I think I might set aside a certain time each week just to do nothing.

So here's how my goals have been going.  How has your summer been?

5 Star ARC Graphic Novel Review: White Sand Volume 1

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Illustrators: Rik Hoskin and Julius M Gopez
Edition: eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
I received an eGalley of White Sand in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

First of all, I'm a huge Brandon Sanderson fan.  I loved the Mistborn trilogy and Way of Kings.  I also own pretty much every other book he's written, even if I haven't read it yet, and most of them I got signed when I got the chance to go to a book signing two years ago.  But I still tried to approach this graphic novel from an unbiased place.

White Sand is billed as a missing piece of Sanderson's Cosmere (aka that grand plan he has for all his epic fantasy novels- go google it, it's awesome!) finally being released.  Sanderson himself said it works great as a graphic novel since the magic system is better seen than read and it also helped trim down the story.  It follows several characters, but most notably Kenton, a young, and rather talentless, sand mage who is trying to impress his father.  Tragedy strikes and sends him, and his world, into a tail spin.  He ends up traveling with a Duchess, Khrissella (better known as Khriss- and if you follow the Cosmere this probably means A LOT to you) from Darkside as she searches for answers.

Brandon Sanderson is the king of twists, at least for me.  I don't know how many times, when reading his books, where I just have to put it down and go "Did that really just happen?" in such a wonderful way.  Part of that is his fast-paced writing and exciting characters that don't give me the room to sit back and try to guess at what might happen, and part of it has to do with how good he is at timing and hiding things in plain sight.  Even knowing a little bit about what this was before starting, at the end of each chapter I ended up getting blown away and I couldn't stop reading.  The first chapter was a little rough for me, if only because I didn't care for any of the side characters and there were a lot of them, so it got a little distracting.  But then I read chapter two and I didn't put it down.

My favorite thing, beyond the amazing and unique magic system (do you expect anything else from Sanderson, though?) and crazy awesome world building (I really, really hope we get to explore this world more!), were the characters.  Kenton immediately draws the readers attention, but all the major players, revealed by the end of the book, are ones I'd love to read about even if it was just them.  Particularly Khriss.  I didn't know how I would feel about her when she was first introduced, but within two lines she has made herself a favorite of mine.

I can't wait to pick up a final copy of this one.  It's already released, so the only thing holding me back really is cost (and how much money I've been spending on books lately is getting ridiculous).  If you're a fan of Sanderson, or epic fantasy, or graphic novels, or just good stories, pick this one up!  The wait between them might kill you, but it will also give you the perfect opportunity to read the other books in the Cosmere (or reread them, whatever the case may be).

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I Got A Job)

I officially have a job!  I mean, I have to fill out the paperwork on Tuesday at the regional headquarters, but then I will be officially employed!  It's just a little part-time job, but I couldn't be happier.  Not only does it mean more money for books (yes!) but it also means I can start saving up for my Junior year study abroad program.  It's not until 2018, but I'm already looking forward to studying half the year in London.  Anyway, things are really starting to look up :)

When I got called in to do an interview at first I was excited and out of my mind with joy... and then I was out of my mind with worry and anxiety.  It was pretty bad again.  Not as awful as it was a few weeks ago, but I definitely wasn't able to think clearly.  People in the bookish community have been super supportive, but I wanted to do a quick shout-out to a few who were at the right place at the right time and helped me out more than my words can describe.  Even if it's just a simple piece of advice, it helped me more than they might know.  Those people are:
Lauren Stoolfire (@SunSoar25)
CoolGreenPines (@CoolGreenPines)
and, one of the most wonderful people on the internet,
Becci (@rebecca2204)
You should go follow all of them right now!  If you don't have a twitter or tumblr, create one just to follow them!

Now, onto the bookish things!!!!

(Also, I'm sorry this post is so late I traveled yesterday to visit a town two hours away just to have lunch and look at some canons from the civil war and when I got back I was so tired and the days before were full of anxious energy.)

Finished this Week
Nothing huge, but I'm glad because I don't want to burn myself out.  I read volumes 12 and 13 or Noragami and it's really, really good.  They've been such a good resource for turning my smile into a frown lately and also making me feel all the feelz.  When I'm all caught up with the series I think I might review it, but we'll see since it's a hard series to review without every other sentence being "JUST READ IT".

Currently Reading
I'm still in the middle of And I Darken and really enjoying it, it's just dense (in a good way!).  I'm also about two thirds done with Clash of Kings, and I'm enjoying that as well.  When I finish And I Darken I will be picking up Assassin's Blade, and that should take me through the week.

Last Week

Next Week
Monday-- White Sand Review
Tuesday-- Writing Corner
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- Rebel of the Sands
Saturday-- Wrap Up

(some shameless self-promotion, sorta: go follow me on Instagram @tsundoku_sam)
I put a lot of hard work into these photo's and don't get a chance to show them off here, which is a shame, so I've decided to change that.  I hope you enjoy them!

How was your week?  What are you currently reading?  Thanks for stopping by!

Real Neat Blog Award

I was nominated by the wonderful Lauren from Always Me.  Thank you so much!

1. Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the seven questions set to you.
3. Create seven questions for your nominees.
4. Nominate seven other bloggers.

Lauren's Questions

1. What is your favorite food?
Get ready for one strange answer.  My favorite food is Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable soup with pepperoni on the side and also soaked up in it.  It's very strange, but even just thinking about it makes me hungry... I think I'll go make some as soon as I finish this post, actually.

2. How many languages do you know?
English is my first language, but I can read French really well and can speak it a little.  I can also read Latin rather well and write in it a bit and can say a few choice phrases.  I've also been meaning to learn Russian and I know how to say "Yes this is a house" because, obviously, that's the most important thing I need to know.

3. Describe the last book you read using only one word.

4. What books are you currently reading?
And I Darken is my main read, but on the side I've been dipping into rereading A Clash of Kings and a book about George Washington.

5. Of all the unread books on your bookshelf, which has been there the longest?
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead.  For the longest time I kept meaning to get to it, but now I think that's just lying to myself.  I loved Vampire Academy, but Bloodlines didn't blow me away, and I'm not really interested in that world anymore.

6. What is the last dream you recall?
Some nightmares I had a few nights ago.

7. How long have you been blogging?
About a year and a half, now!

My Questions
1. What's your favorite place to read?
2. How many countries have you visited?
3. What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
4. What are you currently reading?
5. How do you organize the books on your shelf?
6. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
7. How long have you been blogging?

I Nominate
Olivia @ Heir of Glitter
Christina @ Books and Prejudice
Lizzie @ Big Books and Grande Lattes
Tracy @ Cornerforlds
Shouni @ Through the Book Portal
Emily @ Loony Literate
Reg @ She Latitude

Again, thanks a bunch Lauren!