Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Warbringer

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine
The highly anticipated coming-of-age story for the world's greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.
She will become one of the world's greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn't know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.
Why I'm Waiting
First of all, Leigh Bardugo is a goddess and anything she writes is gold. Second of all, Wonder Woman is just amazing. Third of all, this cover and this title! I'm so stoked for this one.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer releases August 29th, 2017, and you can preorder it here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TV Review: Stranger Things, Season One

Like many others this year I was sucked into this show. How do I even begin to talk about one of my favorite things of 2016? I can start with the plot- which is straight forward but not boring- or I could start with the characters- all of which I adored- or maybe I could start with the visuals themselves- which were not only spot-on 80's but really well done in general.

I think I'll start with how I pushed this off forever. Back when it originally was released I told my mom about it because it sounded right up her alley. I wasn't wrong- she praises the show all the time because it brings her back to the 80s and because she's a sucker for classic science fiction. I kept intending to watch it after she assured me it wasn't scary (she's right, it really isn't scary it's just got a touch of horror influencing the plot) but pushed it off, and then school came and I didn't have any time whatsoever. But then. Finals. I needed a way to blow off steam between studying that wouldn't give me the headache that reading sometimes does. Netflix was my answer and Stranger Things just stared at me until I was forced to watch. After the first episode I knew it was too late to turn back and that I was thoroughly sucked into the show. I forced myself to only watch an episode a day so that it wouldn't run through too quickly, and even though it's a very binge-worthy show I think it's better viewed slowly.

The story itself is pretty straightforward, at least for someone who's well versed in the conventions of science fiction and fantasy. But that didn't take away from the enjoyment- sometimes classic conventions are the best. Particularly when they're done well with an interesting cast. The kids made the show for me. From the very first scene where they're playing D&D and getting so into it I was in love. And then Eleven, who's just one awesome BAMF. I don't think there are enough words to cover her. Besides the kids, my favorites were Hopper, who I adored for being a complete subversion of the stereotype, and Nancy. Her arc was my favorite to watch and I really liked how her relationships with Steve and Jonathon turned out.

And the cinematography! The editing! There's so much love to give there. It was so well done I didn't dare look away in case I missed something. There were so many ways this could have fallen into a pit but it didn't- it always remained interesting and fun to watch.

If you haven't seen this yet, my only question is why not? It took me long enough and I didn't regret it at all.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: Watchmen

This is my first post of the DC Read-through that I was talking about earlier this month. A quick introduction to catch everyone up to speed on why this will be a sort of different review: I recently got a booklet by DC that talked about where to start with graphic novels and comics. It was packed full of so many books and characters that I decided to simplify it a bit. I picked out a dozen or so graphic novels to give a try, based on whether DC claimed it was a good place to start, whether it was critically liked, and whether I had an interest in it. Every ten days or so I'll be posting a review for one of these graphic novels. I started with Watchmen because it has constantly been listed as one of the best novels of all time and how can I pass that up? It also has a of positive recommendations from friends that I trust so I knew I would be getting to it eventually. Going into it I had read already read the synopsis, though that was years ago. The details were all faint in my head and I honestly couldn't remember a single character's name. Even so, had I known what was coming I would have enjoyed the book the same. The goal of this review, and the other reviews for the DC Comics Read-through, is not whether I liked it but whether I think it's a good jumping on point for newcomers or people still getting their feet wet in comics.

Describing Watchmen is very hard. The story itself is less important than the themes that story unearths and the backdrop. Watchmen is about morality, it's about politics, it's about humanity, it's about what being a superhero is, it's about comics in general, and it's about power. I don't want to put down the plot, but like art-films, you don't read this for the story. You read it for the elegance through which the themes are developed. It's a slow burn story that packs one hell of a punch in the end, but isn't necessarily something you'll care about for the majority of the book.

The big question is whether it's a good place to start in comics. I wouldn't recommend this as the first thing you pick up due to how dark it is, and how you should have some idea of how comics function normally to see how well they're being subverted and twisted here. Of course, since pop culture is stuffed full of superheroes right now it's not something you really need to worry about if it is the first thing you pick up.

The biggest problem that would stand if you picked this up for the first time is that it doesn't really introduce you to the wider world of DC comics. Yes, it's a wonderful story, and if you want to add diversity to your shelf and play around in the corners of the comics world, it's wonderful. But if you want to read superhero comics and want an introduction to that world, this is the wrong place to go. I do understand there was a set of prequel comics released at one point, but they aren't written by Alan Moore (and he actually hates that they happened, if I understand it correctly) and didn't last very long. I, personally, have no plans to read them since I'm not really interested in seeing what happened before this book.

My opinion of the whole graphic novel: wow it was amazing! It was not what I expected but I loved it all the way through. In no way did I expect it to take me this long to read, and it does disappoint me that it did, but every second really was a pleasure. If it's been something you've debated I recommend picking it up sooner rather than later, even if it's just from your library.

TL;DR? It's not the best place to start, but is a wonderful book I recommend everyone read at some point in their lives.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where I'm Finally Home)

So, if this post comes across as distracted, it's because I'm currently binge-watching Gilmore Girls. I started over summer but didn't get very far since during the school term I had a hard time watching anything. I started bingeing as soon as I got home and it has very much been worth it.

And, yes, I'm finally home! I'll be away from school until the beginning of the new year, but I'm actually taking a trip to Colorado this week, which I'm so excited for!

Cutting this short so I can go back to Gilmore Girls:

Currently Reading
haha #same

Last Week

This Week
Monday-- Watchmen Review
Tuesday-- Stranger Things Review
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Saturday-- Wrap Up

Okay that's it for today. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

College Journey: Returning Home

For me Winter Break is a month and a half long experience. I know most people don't have that, but it isn't uncommon to have both a Thanksgiving break and a Christmas/Winter break, so most people do get the chance to spend several weeks with their family. Last year taught me that these aren't always ideal times for me. There are a lot of things about being at home that cause me to spiral down and over the summer it was truly bad. Winter break is shorter and to prepare I looked into things to do that might help. I have a feeling being back is similar to post-culture shock, the feelings of reversal back into a world you feel you may have grown out of. I hope these things I've found can help you adjust healthily back into life at home.

Don't give up your independence. It's great to be surrounded by my mom and dad who will gladly do my laundry, take me to the store, buy me food, or see a movie with me. At school I'm used to doing many of these things myself or with friends, who I would consider more equals than my parents (who, and this is a weird way to put it, are superior). I grew up under my parents and while I like spending time with them I don't want to get choked out of a lot of the independence and agency I worked for. So I'm doing my own laundry, taking care of at least half of my own meals (it would be rude to eat away from them all the time but if I'm coming home from work and tired I might get my own food), and going shopping when I feel like it for what I need. I don't want to depend on them and I can be a big girl, too. Of course, this doesn't mean cutting them out, it just means doing things for me because I need to and because I can and not depending on another person.

Don't let them treat you like a kid. It's easy to revert when you're back in the place you grew up. But don't let "them" treat you like you're younger than you are. By "them" I'm referring to anyone who might, whether that's the cashier, your uncle Pete, or your parents. If you're in college you're probably an adult and you deserve to be treated like one (as long as you act like one). It probably won't be a conscious decision on anyone' s part to treat you like you're younger than you are, they're just used to it. And you may be used to being treated that way. Remember: you're an adult. If you're anything like me, you're still learning how to be an adult, but reverting to a younger version of you won't help that.

Keep in contact with friends. This may be one of the most important. Make sure to keep in contact with people from school. It will help you feel less isolated at home where you have different friends who don't share the more recent experiences you have had. This year I'm lucky enough to visit some of my friends in Colorado next week, and I have regular Pokemon TCG battles over snapchat with a friend every week (or so). We also do a secret santa book present exchange over Winter Break and that's a fun way to remind each other we exist.

Keep busy but make breaks. You don't want to be bored. It can be the worst thing that can happen. Having a job help eliminate a lot of that for me, but even outside of work I don't want to be bored. I have a list of tasks I need to accomplish at some point, but none that are so pressing that I would get stressed if I didn't finish them right away. It's a good balance. And I never plan to do anything after ten pm or so, and that way I have time to read or watch TV for sure. It's good me time, and since no one is really awake in my house after that it really is peaceful.

Unpack. It's really important that you unpack your bags. I mean, I haven't, yet, but that's because I'm leaving in a week to go to Colorado. As soon as I'm back from that trip they're all getting unpacked. Why? Seeing them sitting there is distressing. Not just because they're a mess but because they make me feel like a stranger in my own house. That's bad. That's not something you want when you want to settle back into your life here.

Don't feel bad for feeling bad. It's okay to feel bad. If others give you a hard time don't let it get to you. Your feelings are valid and they matter and anyone who tries to undermine them either doesn't understand or doesn't care or isn't thinking clearly. Get yourself out of that situation, take deep breaths, try to relax, and if you can talk and it helps, talk to someone who will help. If you don't have that person and you want to talk, just hit me up on twitter where I'm always willing to respond.

I hope these tips help. I know they help me for sure. If you have any of your own advice, let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Lord of Shadows

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine
Sunny Los Angeles can be a dark place indeed in Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows, the sequel to the #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Lady Midnight.
Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?
And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.
Why I'm Waiting
Need I explain? Honestly? Lady Midnight was one of my favorite books of the year. This one is a Must Read.

Lord of Shadows releases May 23rd, 2017 and you can preorder it here.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where Finals Are Happening)

I have two more finals left, both tomorrow, and then I'm on Winter Break and I couldn't be more excited! Of course, the studying means I haven't had very much time to read or post anything. Which is why this will be a short post and I'll be mostly nonexistent for the next week as I catch up on reading. Off we go!

Book News
On twitter I brushed past a conversation featuring Michael Grant saying some icky things. I don't know the whole details, but I logged right off after seeing what was going down.

The title of ACOTAR3 has finally been revealed! And it's A Court of Wings and Ruin! So many theories right now but mostly excited.

Kristin Cashore is publishing a new book- very unexpected but absolutely wonderful news.

Lord of Shadows, the sequel to Lady Midnight, finally has a cover and it's gorgeous!

Currently Reading

Last Week

This Week
*originally my review for Watchmen was set to be posted this week but because I haven't finished it I'm pushing it back a week
Wednesday-- Lord of Shadows
Thursday-- College Journey
Saturday-- Wrap Up

Announcing the winner of the MeltingLibrary Candle giveaway...
Congrats to Lauren Stoolfire!
You will be receiving an email shortly!

Thank you to everyone who entered my recent giveaways. I love running giveaways and wish I could always have some! Look for one around my two-year blogoversary (it will be international).

Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Review: Hannah (The Ugly Teapot, #1)

Author: Fred Holmes
Edition: eBook
Rating: 4 Stars
I received a copy of this for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

The Ugly Teapot is about Hannah, a young girl who has just lost her photographer father. She discovers that the magic lamp he gave her is, in actuality, a real magic lamp, and so she uses her wishes to bring her father back to life, which begins an adventure that takes her all the way to the middle-east in order to stop an evil magician from gaining his powers again.

I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The concept sounded really good, but the first chapters through me off. Not in a bad way, they just weren't what I was expecting. It wasn't hard for me to get back on board the narrative, though, and soon I was thoroughly enjoying the adventure within.

This is a fast paced book, which is something I really needed right now. I think I read it in two or three sittings, actually. The pace lends itself to the story, allowing the reader to feel the peril as Hannah does. Even though things are speeding past, this doesn't prevent from good character development and description. 

Another pleasant surprise was Hannah's mother, V. I really, really, really disliked V at first (and I think we're supposed to) but as the novel plays out we slowly get to see more of her and suddenly I was her biggest fan. When we get to see things from her perspective the story starts to change and things get a little darker and more mature, all in good ways. The two story's, V and Hannah, parallel each other quite a bit, and they're both stories of women looking to "save the world" in a way. For V her family is her world and for Hannah, well, she's quite actually working to save the world. Hannah, too, was a great character, and a great protagonist. I enjoyed being in her head and going on an adventure with her. Even if at some points it was dangerous and terrifying, it was also a bunch of fun.

On the ending (no spoilers here, just thoughts): I really liked it. By the end of the book things have changed quite a bit since the beginning. More mature themes and a darker tone do prevail for a point, but they pull the story together in this "wow I can't believe it went there but I'm so glad it did" way. Beyond Hannah's own story, a grander world is built for this teapot, and it's a world full of stories I very much want to read.

Don't let the first few chapters fool you, this is a wonderful book that tackles important issues in an appropriate way while also bringing the reader on a fun adventure.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

College Journey: Preparing for Finals

If you're just discovering College Journey for the first time, welcome! This is a series I post twice a month on the last two Thursdays of each month (with a break during the summer). It's one part diary, two parts advice. I'm by no means the best source, but I think I'm a pretty good source, since I'm currently living the college experience.

For returners: yes, I know, I've been promising a dorm/campus tour. This really is my bad. Time has been getting away from me! So I promise, before February 2017 is over (yes, it seems far away, I'm sorry) there will be a tour of both up. There will probably be snow, but my goal is to record before the snow hits. I really am sorry for this taking so long but I fully intend to do it and deliver a good final project. Just give me a little more time.

Now, it may seem a little early, but it's already time for finals, at least for me. In fact, they're this weekend (finals on a weekend? yes it really is the torture it sounds like) but seeing as they're my fourth go at this sort of thing you'd think I'd be prepared. That might be a stretch, but I certainly am more equipped in knowing how I study most efficiently even if I'm not, what you might call, "prepared". Here's my best advice to prepare, for those taking finals for the first time and for those who have done it a million times.

Give yourself time- but not too much. I planned out two weeks of studying in order to get ready for this year's, and that's more than enough time for my classes this term. In fact, it was too much. If you pay attention during class and generally know what's going on then two weeks are probably too long. To play it safe, go with a week and a half for each final. Of course, if you think you need more, go with more! But don't go with more than three weeks. You'll stop learning at a certain point and there's also important information still being taught at that point that you can't ignore. It could hurt your grade in the classes unintentionally.

BREAKS are VERY important. Trust me. Don't over plan what you want to study, is a good rule of thumb. That's why the range of a week and a half to three weeks works well. This year I was able to spread a chapter out over the course of two days for my classes, so, say, I would study chapter thirteen on Monday and Tuesday, take notes as I go, and then move onto chapter fourteen on Wednesday and Thursday. It worked well and I was never overwhelmed. Even if you do this- TAKE BREAKS. You're brain stops processing after about an hour (it's actually less, but I don't know the real number and it is slightly different for everyone). As a rule I don't spend more than an hour at a time on one thing. In fact, I try to only spend half an hour, take a break, and then return for another half hour. And I never spent more than an hour and a half each day studying a topic. Why? I didn't want to burn out and lose motivation. This way it really was spread out. Some break ideas: a short walk, particularly during golden hour (which is this really cool time of the day where the world turns golden. Since it changes every day the best option is just to google "when is the golden hour today" and you'll find it); reading a chapter (though I don't recommend it because it will distract you more than you might think); eating lunch or dinner (pairing food and break works well for me but it may not for you); showering (my favorite sort of break); spending time on tumblr or twitter, as long as you can control that time spent; listening to music, which is actually proven to have a positive effect on your mental health (sometimes I would lay in bed, eyes closed, earbuds in, and then feel infinitely better); or just hanging with friends (again, if you can control this time you spend together).

Write things down. Whether that means transcribing your notes again, or retaking them fresh as if you hadn't already, or making notecards, write things down to get it in your head better. Yes, the computer can be a fine place, but I really recommend actually printing it on paper with a pen. It just helps. I know there's actually a scientific reason, too, but even just speaking for experience I do better on tests when I do this. And don't be afraid to use a but-load of colors in your writing! I use at least five because it makes the taking of the notes interesting and when I look back over it I can easily identify what's important for what reasons and be pleased by the colors.

Get a lot of sleep. Okay, not too much, don't be lazy, but don't let exhaustion get the best of you. 8 hours a night people! And not just the night before the exam (which is really, really important, alongside a breakfast) but every night leading up to the test for like a week. The rest will help both your studying and your test taking. It reduces stress and tiredness (obviously) and you'll feel all around better. I know sleep can feel unimportant when you need to remember all those important facts, but, really, this can save your grade. Seriously.

Prepare for winter break. This isn't directly related to finals, but for me, when finals are over I have a really long winter break. It lasts, this year, from the week of Thanksgiving to January 2nd. Which means I have to pack clothing to bring back home to wear and anything else I might need. I need to clean up my room so I don't come back to a slobbish mess and I need to make sure there's no left over food. This goes along with a lot of things I said when I wrote my Preparing for School post.

These are best pieces of advice. And there are so many other great pieces of advice too! If you have any you'd like to share, please do in the comments. Next week will be a combination post of advice from the comments section and online sources and also some advice for returning home from school and dealing with post-culture shock and depression at home. It'll be an interesting post!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Thick as Thieves

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine

Thick as Thieves is the eagerly anticipated new stand-alone novel set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. New York Times—bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics and feature one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.

Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. Set in the world of the Queen’s Thief, this epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission. The Queen’s Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans, and have been honored with glowing reviews, “best of” citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Discover and rediscover the stand-alone companion stories The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, and A Conspiracy of Kings, all epic novels set in the world of the Queen’s Thief. Thick as Thieves includes two maps, a map of the world of the Queen’s Thief, and a map of Kamet’s journey.
Why I'm Waiting
I've only read the first two books in this series so far but I loved them to death. The publication of this one gives me an excuse to finish the series and read this one, which sounds amazing.

Thick as Thieves releases May 16th and you can preorder it here.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Review: Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)

Author: Susan Dennard
Edition: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Confession time: I have a paperback copy but I decided to just buy a hardcover copy anyways because I am a glutton. The paperback copy has been sitting on my shelf for several years, now, and I've always said I would read it next month when indeed that next month never came. Now that they're all getting new covers (just as pretty as the original in my opinion) I was spurred to finally pick it up. And I'm kinda glad I did.

Something Strange and Deadly is a zombie steampunk set in Philadelphia and follows Eleanor Fitt, the youngest member of a once wealthy family that has fallen on hard times. When she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped by a necromancer she begins a search that leads her to the Spirit Hunters (who are kinda like Ghost Hunters) and into a romance with Clarence, someone who's shady past makes it hard for her to trust. 

Steampunk is my favorite genre, for reasons, and while this didn't go all the way with most steampunk elements it did brush up against that genre and for that I did appreciate it. However, I was expecting more from the world building in general. The zombie element of the story, though, which I honestly would consider part of the setting, was so well done! I wasn't completely convinced right off the bat but by the end I was legitimately afraid of these zombies and how brutal they were.

As for the characters, besides Eleanor and Daniel, to an extent, everyone felt kinda like a stock character for most of the time. Again, near the end, things started to feel more realistic and I even began to like everyone more, but I wish the development of the characters had gone further. Hopefully the next book will help remedy this.

My favorite part, though, and what surprised met the most with this book, was the ending. Oftentimes the consequences for actions, whether heroic or villainous, don't always seem realistic, but this book really did manage to grab the real consequence and make them happen. I won't say what, but the consequences did end up being quite the twist and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the series will progress after this twist.

It's not perfect, and in fact a little shallow, but it begins to make up for it near the end and things look like they'll be looking up for the rest of the series.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where Many Things, Including the Presidency, Are Decided)

For me this week has been incredibly hard to get through. I think this is the same for many people. Donald Trump, a name many of us laughed at when we first heard he was tossing his hat into the ring two years ago, is now President-Elect and the future does not look bright. I stayed up all night to watch the election, fairly certain Hillary Clinton would be taking home the honors, but as the night crept on and the polls closed dread grew until, finally, it was announced that my fears were coming true. The next day three of my classes were cancelled and I skipped the fourth. I stayed inside and watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, studied for finals, and cried on and off. I'm actually getting overwhelmed writing this post. The next day I went to my one class, ate lunch like a normal person, and then retreated to watch more LOTR and read. I have done so much reading to escape reality lately. Yesterday things were more normal. Today I actually exerted a bit, went on a shopping spree with friends, and actually had a good time. Every day is going to get easier, but I think there will always be a little bit of tension under the skin for quite some time.

I considered taking a break from blogging. I haven't felt the need to blog. I haven't felt the urge or the passion for it. It's similar to how I feel when I'm depressed, but this time it's not just me but, seemingly, the whole country. My whole school, for sure. Everyone here is reeling. But I'm not going to let this beat me out of blogging. This week I was quiet, which allowed me to take stock, and even though I posted some things they aren't my finest posts. Here's what I have decided:

No more instagram. I really love the idea of instagram, but I have neither the time nor the talent to push out things that I enjoy regularly. So I've deleted my account. I may, in a year or so, end up creating a personal account, but that's to be seen still. 

More twitter. I do like twitter even though it can get combative, and I want to continue making friends on there. This week I haven't logged on (except to talk to people through DM) since Tuesday evening. However, I have been posting a lot of pictures of digital fish. It's from an app called Abyssrium (strongly recommend because it helps reduce stress which is why I've been playing it ALOT) and the amount of digital fish will soon be going down and I will soon be returning to the regular sorts of things I post.

My other blogs. I actually have two other blogs, one of them newer, that you may not know about. This blog here is my baby, more or less, and I put the most work and effort into it. I wouldn't have it any other way because I love spending time on this blog and in this community the most. But I do have two other blogs and I wanted to bring them to your attention again, which I do on occasion, because why not. First, my writing blog, called, at the moment, The Motley Bird, but which title changes a lot. I talk about writing and personal things, like depression or anxiety, there. There's no regular schedule for it, just when I feel the urge, but I try to post at least once a month. It's an interesting place. My other blog is newer, and it's my try at a lifestyle blog. It's called My Work in Progress Life. That will be, again, a personal blog, but it's more for chatting my lifestyle and aesthetic and is for fun more than anything else. Check them out if you're interested.

Book News
I've been out of touch with the community this week because of the election, so if I missed anything big (or small) let me know in the comments!

Currently Reading
Same as last two weeks ;)

Finished this Week
Something Strange and Deadly (review coming this week), The Ugly Teapot (review coming this week), and Noragami Vol. 17 were all finished this week.

Last Week
Thursday-- DC Read-through
*there was supposed to be a discussion on Sunday but I ran out of time and didn't feel as passionate about the subject as I once did. there may come a time when I want to discuss it and I shall.

This Week
Monday-- Book Review
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- College Journey
Friday-- Book Review
Saturday-- Wrap Up

This is the final week to enter into the Melting Library candle giveaway. Enter before it's too late!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 10, 2016

DC Read-through

This is going to be a a short introduction post to something I'll be working on for the rest of the year. The other day I got a download from Netgalley that's more or less a magazine of all the finest graphic novels DC Comics has to offer. Me, being a fan of graphic novels in general, decided to make a list of all the ones I wanted to read by this time next year. And I figured, why not share some of that list with you. I'll be posting these reviews pretty regularly and I'll be reviewing them with a certain slant in mind: whether someone new to graphic novels and DC comics pick these up as a starting point.

There were some rules I put into place when creating the list.
1) No New 52. I've read a fair share of it, and besides Batgirl I can't really stomach what comes out of this series. So, skipping that.
2) No rereading. This is all new too me as well.
3) One book every twenty days or so. That's to keep me consistent in my reviewing.
4) If it's the first of the series and I want to continue with the series I can, but those reviews won't be part of this read-through.
5) No two batman graphic novels in a row, because there are a lot on this list and I'm not a huge batman comics fan.

Feel free to read along with me! The first book I'm reading is Watchmen, with a review slated for the 21st, I believe. After that I'll be digging into The Dark Knight Returns.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Our Dark Duet

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Breaking the Spine

Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human, no matter how much he once yearned for it. He’s a monster with a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.
Why I'm Waiting
I still haven't read the first one, but I've heard really good things and I love Victoria Schwab's writing. Once this comes out I'll be able to binge the duet together (which sounds perfect).

Our Dark Duet is released June 13th, 2017 and you can preorder it here.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Wrap Up (The One Where Nanowrimo Has Started)

I'm low-key participating in Nano this year by working on editing my current WIP (which you can always learn more about at my side blog here if you're interested). Step one, which will probably only take half the month, is to change everything from first person to third person, which sounds like a headache but is actually pretty easy and a nice way to reread the work. Step two, which will take me pretty far past the end of the month is to fix all the continuity errors and answer some questions I've been asking myself about the story as I reread. And then it'll be ship shape to send to people to read! But that's still a few months away so lots of work left.

On another note, I have finals in two weeks. Which seems far away, yes? Well, being as I am, I have all my studying planned out already and that's something every day I need to study. Something everyday for two weeks. I'm groaning internally right now. But first, I need to finish writing this 6-8 page paper. For some reason I'm having a major writers block with it and it's stressing me out quite a bit, which is why I've been a little quieter on social media than I would like to be. I'll probably be quieter for the rest of the month, or at least until finals are over, but by no means do I want to take a break from either twitter or the blog.

Book News
First of all, Tor published a wonderful article about Ginny Weasley that I strongly recommend reading. I've always been a Ginny fan and I love what they've done. Check it out here!
In a not-book-related moment, Michael Emerson (aka Ben from Lost and one of my favorite characters of all times) spoke about what the ending of Lost meant. It was more or less how I had interpreted the ending myself, but him confirming it is pretty cool. I recommend checking it out here, but beware of spoilers if you haven't watched the show.
And can we talk about Beauty and the Beast for a minute? Those pictures! That cover! THAT DRESS! I am so ready for this movie it's not even funny. And did you hear that she's getting a backstory in this one? She's going to be an inventor alongside her father and I am so here for it. This movie is going to be so great!
Barnes and Noble picked some top reads for November and I think some of them sound pretty good. I'd recommend checking out this list if you're looking for SF&F and you can find it here.

Now, this one pisses me off, but I needed to mention it: Johnny Depp is in Fantastic Beasts. I have been looking forward to this movie, and this movie series, for a long time (since it was announced more or less) and I didn't think anything could stop my excitement. Well, something did. I can't stand Johnny Depp. At all. I've never been a huge fan of his acting, and I didn't like that he was cast as Tonto in the Lone Ranger movie years ago (for obvious reasons), and now that it's been confirmed he's a domestic abuser I hate him even more. He and his actions were disgusting and I don't want to give him anymore of my money (not that he got much of it in the first place). But having to choose between Harry Potter and Johnny Depp? That breaks my heart. I'm going to see Fantastic Beasts because he's only got a cameo and if I didn't see it, well, it might ruin me a bit since I've been hyping it in my head for so long. After that, if he stays as a main character for the franchise? Well, I probably won't see the films, at least in theater. I'll wait for them to show up as rentals when he'll get less of a check when I choose it. I hope there's a clause in his contract so they can dump him from the franchise because, personally, I find it completely inappropriate that for such a beloved franchise someone who goes against all those things it stands for can be cast. And, sure, he was probably cast and filmed before any of this came out. I'm not mad they didn't have foresight. I'm mad that he's still, now, going to be in the movies. Your move Warner Bros.

And the last hot topic for the week: The Continent. Did you hear the stirrings in tumblr this week? The Continent is a book coming out next year which is a dystopian/scifi survival story where there are the rich and privileged living in one part of the world, and the savage and poor living on a continent. The rich go to watch the savages fight as a form of entertainment. Sounds like a fine novel, right? Well, it's racist. At least, that's what people who have ARCs have been saying. Painting Natives as savages is absolutely disgusting and a step too far and something that shouldn't be published. And all reports coming out have been saying this is the case. I wish I knew who had brought it to the attention of the community because I want to know more, out of sheer curiosity of how this sort of thing could make it so far as to be a book. Well, the obvious answer is ignorance, obviously, but beyond that I'm curious. Now, I don't have an early copy of the book, so I can't confirm these things for myself, but I don't know if I really need to. If people are saying it's offensive and racist why wouldn't I believe them? And so I am. However, I want to know this: how does the book end? Is it, perhaps, a book where it sets up the native characters as savages and then we, and the narrator, get to realize, hell, this is wrong, something needs to be done. Is it a commentary on society? This is my question. I haven't seen anything to make me believe this is the case, so I'm going to go with it's a racist and ignorant book. But I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I wonder if that was the original intention. If anyone can answer this question for me PLEASE DO because I'm honestly curious if anyone else thinks this may have been what was trying to get across. Everything I've seen on twitter has had to do only with early chapters which are indeed very offensive. But is it a commentary? Just some thoughts for everyone.

Finished this Week
Nothing, again, but I'm not too mad about it. I have a good feeling about this month.

Currently Reading
The same as last week ;)

Last Week
Sunday-- Liebster Award

Next Week
Sunday-- Discussion
Wednesday-- Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday-- DC Comics Reading Plan
Saturday-- Wrap Up

And one last reminder: there are about two weeks left in my MeltingLibrary candles giveaway! I love these candles so much and light one every time I get back after classes. They're relaxing and transport me to fictional worlds!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 4, 2016

5 Star Book Review: On Writing

Author: Stephen King
Edition: Softcover
Rating: 5 Stars
One of my close friends lent me this book and I was blown away by how much I would like it. Just beyond the craft level, it's a wonderful memoir. It made me want to read more of King's books (and I've tried before, so it's time to try again, I suppose).

For a nonfiction book it read incredibly fast. I never wanted to put it down. In fact, I would stay up rather late reading it I was enjoying it that much. The writing itself is quick, witty, to the point, and beautiful all at once. It's a style that pulls you in by it's matter-of-fact nature and doesn't let you out.

There were a few moments throughout the writing where I was so emotionally invested in his life that I actually started crying- whether in joy or fear, depending on the moment- and I hadn't imagined I would become that ingrained in the story, particularly since nonfiction doesn't tend to affect me the same.

If you're interested in learning more about writing I do recommend this one strongly. It won't just teach you the craft like a textbook, but will coax and gently nudge you in the smartest direction for writing. Tied with his own history it makes for an enlightening read.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Traitor to the Throne

Waiting on Wednesday is created by Breaking the Spine
Mere months ago, gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she's fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.
When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan's palace—she's determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan's secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she's a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she's been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about djinni and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.
Why I'm Waiting 
I loved Rebel of the Sands (review here) and I've been anticipating this one for a while. However... the cover change makes me sad. While I do love this new cover, and replacement for the original of Rebel cover (link here; yes I know the link doesn't go to the American version but that's the new cover regardless) I miss the stylized art of the original covers. And, now they won't match :(

Traitor to the Throne is released March 17th, 2017 and you can preorder the book here