Archives for January 2016

January 17, 2016

Glimpse Behind the Keyboard|Infrequency and Life

Glimpse Behind the Keyboard

Boy, has the beginning of January been a rough few weeks for me!

If you aren’t aware I have started my last leg for my BA in Elementary and that can only mean one thing; student teaching. Instead of spending my time thinking about post ideas and reading books it has been consumed by getting up early and reintroducing myself into the working society. I have twelve weeks and hopefully by April 1st (when my student teaching ends) I will be graduating in May!

I have been working my butt off to get to this point and it is very stressful to have to now apply everything that I learned in an environment that unfortunately teaches one thing and that as far as I’m seeing can have ANYTHING happen that hasn’t been covered in the books. So, through making lesson plans and getting to know my 1st grade class I will be trying to post as frequently as I can. I’m still going to post but compared to how much I posted in December it is going to be much more infrequent. I apologize and hope that everyone understands. Hopefully, by the beginning of February I will have everything planned and worked out so I can fully come back with a vengeance!

January 12, 2016

You Don’t Need a Sword to Be Badass|Sword and Verse by Kathy Macmillian ARC Review

“I never knew Tyasha ke Demit, but her execution started everything”
ARC pg. 1

I don’t usually want to give anything away, even a line in a book that I love, but I had to share this line. It has been a long time since a book’s first line has gripped me like this first line in Sword and Verse. It kept me glued to the pages and didn’t let me go! I want to preface with this review that even though this book only earned a 4.5 it honestly was one of my favorite books by a debut author in a long time! I don’t think that my review will honestly do it much justice but I will try.
One of the things that I loved about this was the characters; especially Raisa. A slave Raisa is torn between duty and to her people. The thing that I loved about Raisa was how realistic she was portrayed. She was scared to help the resistance and did not want to mess up her chance at leanring something very important to her; her heart verse. I LOVED the fact that Raisa did not need to be a soldier or badass to be brave. Her power was in her pen and knowledge and that is so refreshing to me to read in a main character, especially one that is a woman!
I got a different feeling about Prince Mati. Honestly, I thought he was spineless and whiny for most of the book. He spoke about wanting to help the slaves but kept talking about how he couldn’t do anything about it. Come on guy, grab your nuts! He especially irritated me when it came to something that happened in the book. I won’t actually go into it, but he proved his spinelessness in spades. Afterwards though, I did warm up to him but couldn’t really get over his actions towards Raisa.
With that being said, one of the things that I wiffle waffle about this story is the romance. A part of me understands and applauds MacMillion on her realistic interpretation of how a slave and a prince, if they were to become romantic, would be like; both heart wrenching at times and hard to swallow. As much as the romantic part of me loves the idea of a forbidden romance I almost think that the romance took away from the story and hurt Raisa in the end. Hear me out, like I said, this romance was realistic but brutally so. On the same coin, there were times that I wanted to kick Mati in his soft prince head until he sobbed on the floor like the little sniveling asshole he was being. Dramatic right? Well there were scenes that I felt that he was being emotionally and verbally abusive to Raisa, someone that was a slave yes, but also someone you JUST got done telling her how much you cared for her. Raisa should have just dropped her pen and ink and threw her hands up and said “I’m out because I don’t need this shit. I got too many problems and your ego isn’t one of them”. That’s all I’m saying and leaving it at that.
The ending blew me away. I don’t think I have enough adjectives to describe how I felt about it so I’m just going to leave it at that. But I will tell you the most satisfying thing about it was the fact that it ended. This book is a standalone and the ending left it ended. I wish sometimes at night that there might be a sequel because this book and world was so FANTASTIC, but there doesn’t need to be one. That is such a rarity in the fantasy world and such a breath of fresh air!
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a heroine that doesn’t need a sword and shield to get things done. A heroine that is realistic and loves and hates just like everyone else. So pretty much READ this book!

Quotes I loved:

“All my life, I’ve made choices based on caution. But I saw them now for what they really where; cowardice.”
-Raisa

 

“It wasn’t rational I had just escaped punishment and should feel grateful but all I felt was anger – at Mati, at Janis, at my own folly. No matter what I did now, I would betray someone.”

 

four-half-stars

January 5, 2016

HA You’d Think I’d Give Away the First Emotion in the Title|The Emotions of Reading Feature

Emotions

 

Last year (haha) I spoke about a new feature coming to my blog called the Emotions of Reading. Each month I am going to choose an emotion that I myself and maybe you have felt while reading, before, or even after. I’m going to highlight this emotion in several post and at the end of the month I will pick one winner from the United States and someone internationally (were the Book Depository ships to) to each win a prize.
Be warned, most times people who do Book Depository books let the winner pick but this isn’t the case. I will be asking the international winner to list a few books that they believe utilizes these feelings to them (in some way, I’m not judging HOW or WHY they feel a certain way about a book). The U.S winner will win a medium rate flat rate box full of things (and books of course) that I have personally picked out that I believe fit perfectly. Hopefully some of these books are new and can widen the winners scope. Hell, or they just win a box full of free shit. Who would turn their nose up at that?
Okay, without further ado January’s emotion is:

Comfortable!

I’m talking about those books that remind you of a well-worn pair of socks. They hug your feet just right and you would be completely beside yourself if your dog tore them up or your cat peed on them. Or vice versa. Cats are assholes and dogs are unpredictable. Tune in a little later in the month to find out some of the books & things that make me feel the most comfortable. I’m talking about those books that you read and you feel like you’re revisiting old friends and just have lost their number for awhile.

I chose comfortable because the holidays can be a hectic and hell raising experience for some people, especially fellow introverts like myself. They make you want to hold up and never come out the the light of day again. For me, they’ve always made me want to read and read comforting books.

 

Do you agree about my choice for January? What do you think February should be? What are some of your “comfortable” books?

U.S Please Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

International Please Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

January 1, 2016

In Which I Am Pained & Conflicted|Zodiac by Romina Russell Review

Zodiac, Zodiac, what do I say about you? I am very conflicted about how to review this book. On one hand, and don’t say this lightly, I don’t normally like sci-fi books because I get confused way too easily about all the science and math they tend to use to explain the whole space travel that goes on in them. This isn’t the case with Romina Russel’s Zodiac. There are two things that make this review conflicting and I can go into greater detail with both below:

1. I loved, I mean loved, the story of Zodiac. When I first started reading it I couldn’t get past how well Romina Russell weaves together the idea of the Zodiac and an epic battle that just makes you want to keep turning the pages. It reminded me of Eon: The Lost Dragoneye and how both of these authors wove together popular and well-loved mythology to make incredibly compelling stories. My only issue with the plot and story is that the Cancer world seemed to be held in a better light than most of the planets that were visited. Gemini was full of people that didn’t want to grow up and did horrible things to keep their youth, Libra was well I won’t say what Libra did because it’s a big spoiler, and Aries is a horrible place to be because of the crime. I’m not going to lie, I’m an Aries, and when I read the list of what the houses bring and read that Aries was military, I felt kind of jipped. Cancer was nurturing, Libra was justice, Sagittarius was curiosity. All of these seemed to be positive and Aries seemed to be more of an occupation and negative with their contribution being military. Why not determination?

2. Unfortunately, where Eon: The Last Dragoneye had fractured and damaged characters that compelled me and drew me into the story, Zodiac did not. I felt myself frustrated not only with the characters and their choices but their choices; the romance being a big part of what I did not like. I’m going to break it down a little further to make it easier to read because I feel like this paragraph might get a little big if I was to do it all at once.

• Rho or Rhoma: Rho’s personality and a lot of her choices made it very difficult to connect with her and unfortunately is one of the biggest reasons that I thought this book was okay and not spectacular. As in any story when you are dividing people into groups based off of a personality trait the world is innately flawed right off the bat because people do not fit into one specific box. Rho herself is a conflicting character that made it very hard to understand her let alone connect with her as a main character. Cancrian’s are described as being nurturing and above all else put their mothers in high esteem. When Rho is faced with the accusation that her mother, who left Rho when she was younger, was not only found but accused of treason she acted very oddly. She doesn’t act emotional (which is another Cancrian trait) in the fact that her long lost mother has been found. Instead of wanting to see her mother she gets angry at the accusation that someone that is a Cancer would commit treason.

 

• The Romance: While reading this book I tweeted something that I think sums up my feelings about the romance in this book.

 

The thing that sent me reeling is how unrealistically fast and not only how it turns the story at sometimes from an interesting and compelling story into a soap opera; not even a compelling soap opera that you want to watch. I hate when things are used in plots and they are blatantly just plot devices to start a romance that shouldn’t actually exist, and if it does it should be harder than just snapping of the character’s fingers. When Rho is picked (with so much hesitancy) to be the new Cancer Guardian when the old one dies she is told by Mathias she is to select her twelve Advisors that she should designate one as her Guide.

“I’ve been sent to deliver a message. Admiral Crius has transmitted the candidates for your Council of Advisors to your Wave.”

Then:

“Once you have selected your twelve Advisors….”

Then:

“In one week,” he says picking up the old thread again, “there will be a ceremony and dinner in your honor, where you will be sworn in as our House’s new Guardian…Rho. It’s important you select the rest of your Advisors before then. During this week, I will also be training you.”
(pg. 48)

Conveniently and without thought Rho chooses Mathis as her Guide and by default one of her Advisors. Is any time spent for Rho to find her other 11 advisors? No. Mathias is the only one that we get to see her pick, interact with, or any time being spent to get to know.

The next day I return to the room where I was made Guardian, and I sit with Crius, Agatha, Dr. Eusta, and Mathias, while they introduce me to eight people – the rest of my Advisors.”

So, the jackasses that lied to you and treated Rho like she was an incapable child automatically get to be four of her advisors? Mathias said that she had a week to pick her advisors and they get chosen for her within a day? I love political intrigue and backstabbing politics and I felt that this was not only a great way to introduce this but to put some dimension into some secondary characters. Unfortunately, it was not in fact that but a fucking plot device for an otherwise impossible romance to be more possible. Horrible and after this I had zero interest in the relationship of this book.

Now, this next thing happens to mix a little bit of my issues with Rho’s personality and the romance aspect together. A week goes by in a matter of a chapter and a half and the only thing that is accomplished is Rho spending time and working on her relationship with Mathias. Really? No time is spent with her other three advisors, let alone the other eight that are mentioned only in passing. Then, when Rho figures out that what happened in Cancer is going to happen to the other planets and that it is Ochus, their boogeyman, she expects them to just believe her and feels offended when they don’t. Of course, especially when despite them only having serious interactions with each other a week ago, Mathias distrusts her.

Mathias scrutinizes her, then me. I’m so furious with him that I’m trembling. Does he really think I would be going through this if I wasn’t sure of what I saw? How could he swear his allegiance to me on his Mother’s life, and a few hours later turn his back when I need him the most?”

He’s just like Dean Lyll, Admiral Crius, Dr. Eusta…. They don’t take my readings seriously because they don’t take me seriously. They don’t respect me. Mathias does not respect me.
(pg. 94)

Then fucking magically, he reads her face and her hurt feelings and then sticks up for her? These four people don’t trust you because you’re young or you haven’t done or said anything that proves otherwise? I have decided to condense my feelings, especially towards the romance, to the beginning of the book because it is where most of my issues stemmed. After the first 100 pages I was just in it for the mythology and story, not the characters or invested in much of how they felt.
The only thing that saved this story in my opinion was the story and most importantly the world that Russell created. I will definitely pick up Wandering Star because I loved it so much and want to see how the story all connects. Unfortunately, though, it will not be with as much enthusiasm as I had picking up Zodiac because of how I feel about the characters and the romance that I know is going to continue during the story.

three-stars