Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Pentrals


Title: The Pentrals
Author: Crystal Mack
Series: The Pentrals #1
Publisher: Apologue Entertainment
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Format: ARC
Genre: YA; Sci-Fy; Fantasy; Mystery
Rating: ✎✎✎✎✎


Picture your life without free will. 

No choice. No voice. No personal direction. 

For 17 years, it's the only path I've known. Always a follower, never in control, I am an afterthought, burying my impulses as I bend to the whims of another. I dream of someone taking notice-of falling in love and being kissed. But I probably never will. 

My name is Antares. I am a Shadow.

Deep in a secluded canyon lies Talline, a metropolis of mirrors filled with forces called Pentrals that outline our very existence. Antares, Pentral Class Two, took an oath to act without influence—to echo without opinion. But in a cruel twist of fate, she must watch as Violet, her person, encounters a tragedy that will change both their lives forever. When Violet starts making careless choices, Antares can no longer remain a silent silhouette. She won’t allow lost friendships, broken hearts, or those mysterious menaces looking out from the glass to tear apart Violet’s very being. In doing so, Antares unknowingly crosses forbidden boundaries and ends up illuminating a darkness much deeper than her own.

My Thoughts and Reflection:

Let me just say that I fell completely in love with this book, from the very beginning.  The premise is entirely intriguing, an I immediately fell into the concepts of the shadows and classes of Pentrals.  All of that information was fed evenly yet quickly in the beginnings of the book.  It was very well done.  When relationship (although that isn't quite what it is) between Violet and Antares is introduced, Antares' character really starts to build as you can feel her emotional attachment and concern for her "person".  Violet's complicated life and exterior relationships are also well introduced into the story.  
After the "Switch" Antares' character really begins to manifest, because she struggles with deciding to either do the right thing, or to act as Violet would really begin to act.  As all of this is getting introduced, the world building and overall plot problems begin to show.  As soon as we realize the problem with the Pentrals in the mirrors the rest of the story begins to fall into place, although not quite.  I would say that there are quite a few surprises towards the end that surprised me, and please me.  The end managed to wrap up the story just enough, but leave me craving so much more.  I cannot wait for the sequel and other following books.  Overall, this book impressed me and I have fallen in love with Crystal Mack's beautiful words.


Friday, November 22, 2013

On NaNoWriMo

The word dream to me has two meanings; one is some sort of wishful thinking, and the other is what happens when you are asleep.  Dreaming when you are asleep I find fascinating, and it always seems that my dreams see straight into my soul and pick out my deepest desires.  But anyway, dreams that are wishful thinking I find sort of weak.  If there is something that you dream of, wish about, yearn for, you should take it to the next level, and make it a goal.

I have a goal, as you might have guessed.  My goal is to be a writer.  

When I renamed this blog earlier this year "Books In Her Head" it sort of had a double meaning.  While yes, books that I read tend to stay in my head as I contemplate them, I feel like this title also represents the fact that I have all of these ideas and stories in my head too, or in other words, future books in my head. 

My goal to be a writer has been something I've thought about since elementary school, but I have never taken it as seriously as this year.  My first step in taking that seriously was to pledge myself to NaNoWriMo, or to those of you that are unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month.  The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write an entire novel in a month, 50,000 words for the adult one, and 30,000 words for the Young Writers Program.  

I was excited, nervous, and distracted with school in the weeks following up to November, and when that first day hit, I had not decided what to write about.  I quickly chose an idea from my head and sort of ran with it for the first two weeks.  

This past Monday I was working on my novel, and I just sort of got to this point where I realized that I absolutely hated where the story was going.  I didn't like who my characters were becoming.  Most importantly, I had this enormous gap of space between where I was at and how the story needed to end.  

Some people might criticize me for not planning, but I disagree.  In my previous experiences, the only stories that I ever finnish are ones that I only half lay out in my head, and run with the rest of the way.  When I try and plan out stories I get too caught up in little unimportant details and never get anything done.  

Regardless of why I got to that point, there I was, half way through with a novel that was not what I wanted it to be.  The first step was taking ownership of the fact that I was unhappy with my writing.  After that, everything came a little bit easier.  I consulted with a writing mentor of mine and was able to pinpoint a clearer theme and purpose for the plot.  I also laid out the bare bones for my characters, so that I at least had something solid to shoot of from.   

The hard part though, was looking at my novel, starting from the beginning, and revising.  It was painful to be on day 22/30 and have to re-write all my previous words.  However, while I'm not quite done with this part, I have confidence that I will get back on track and will finish on time on November 30th.  

The lesson I learned today was not that I need to plan more, not that I need to be completely confident with all the ideas I start to write about, but that it is okay to make mistakes.  I'm glad that I stopped writing the novel that I was writing, because it was very, very bad.  Now I can change it, and make it into something that I'm proud of, not something I want to hide in a drawer and never think about again.

In the words of Samuel Beckett,



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stacking the Shelves & Super Six Sunday!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly Saturday meme hosted by Tyngas Reviews where you can share the books that you received this week!


Legend by Marie Lu
Champion by Marie Lu *SIGNED

I'd heard lots of great things about this trilogy!  When I saw these books cheap, and one of them signed (!) I couldn't resist picking them up!

(Local Indie Bookseller)
A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
The Fitzobornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper
the Fitzbornes At War by Michelle Cooper

I like to read one historical fiction series or trilogy every holiday season!  (Last Year it was The Luxe series, if you recall).  Anyway, I was on the lookout for a new seires when I discovered this gem at my local Indie Bookseller!  The ladies in there were abbsolutly raving about these books, so I'm hoping that they're good! :D


The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Save the Enemy by Arin Greenwood

Anyway, that's all I picked up this week!  Now on to... 

Super Six Sunday is an awesome meme hosted over at Bewitched Bookworms!

This Week's Topic is "Super 6 Characters that You Want to Be"

With no further ado, and in no particular order...

Hermione Granger 
(Harry Potter)
Credit to Burdge Bug 
Check her out!  I love all of her fanart!
This is even the background on my phone!

Hermione is just so–ack!  She's smart and gorgeous and sexy and just everything that you would want to ever be all rolled up into one!  Oh, and she gets to have that lovely Ron of course too! ;)

Katniss Everdeen
(The Hunger Games Trilogy)
Credit to Burdge Bug
Check her out!  I love all of her fanart!

Now, I know what you're all thinking... Who on earth would want to be Katniss Everdeen?!? She has to endure such tragedy and suffering!!!!  
I get it, only me and any hard-core lovers of Peeta would dream of wanting to be Katniss.
But when I added Katniss to this list, I want to be her in the scene that Burdge Bug drew.  The scene when Katniss' dress erupts in flames.  I would want to be her just for that moment, when all of the daily troubles and hardships are gone from her mind, and she is just in this daze of pleasant surprise about the magnificence of her dress.

Credit to For All Love

In so many ways, I feel like Cather is me, so why wouldn't I want to be her?  And Levis sure is a catch! :D  
Really though, Cath gets these amazing opportunites at college, and her English Professor is just amazing!  Of course I'd want to be Cath!

 (The Tiger Saga)
Credit to Compound Breadd

Okay, who wouldn't want to be Kelsey?  She gets to have two hot indian princes after her!!!!!!  Sigh, I love the characters in this series so much.  I could deal with the life or death quests just for those two boys!!!! :)

(The Raven Cycle)
Credit to Heilow

Blue gets to hang out with these amazingly adorable, hot, rich, smart boys!  And her family is physic?!?  What?  She also goes on this journey/quest and–WHY CAN'T I HAVE HER LIFE?!

Frenenqer Paje
(The Girl With the Borrowed Wings)
*Because this book has such a small fandom :( there is no fanart of it!  I suppose the cover will have to do*

While Frenenqer does have to deal with the oppresion of her her father, (and I'm not trying to downplay that at all) she does get to have the amazing, wonderful experiance with Sangris!  And her room is a giant library practically!  Even though she has some burden's, other parts of Frenenqer's life equal out, at least for me!

Well that's Six!  I better link up and go work on my NaNoWriMo novel! :)


On a completely unrelated note, I watched Captain America on Friday night and just about bawled my eyes out at the end.  :(  Anyone else feel the same?


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Across the Universe


Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe #1
Publisher: Razor Bill
Format: Library Copy
Genre: YA; Sci-fy; Romance
Rating: ✎✎✎


Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

My Thoughts & Reflection:

Across the Universe is told in alternating POV's between characters Amy and Elder, which you might not think from the way that the blurb is worded.  In the beginning, how Amy is involved in the story is unclear, making Elder be the protagonist, in my opinion.
The world building and set up in this book are fascinating; first with Amy and the concept of the ship and as well as with Elder and explaining exactly how society is run.  This part of the book is intriguing and such a great beginning.
As the story progresses, Amy is awoken, and the mystery develops about who is unplugging everyone.  This appears to be the main plot of the book.  Later, it becomes clear that Amy and Elder are discovering all of the lies that the ship is built on, and revelation upon revelation occur until it just stops.  
The second half of the book is very awkward.  We know all these lies, and we also know that the ship isn't going to leave.  I found here that I couldn't connect well with Elder and Amy, and the story was growing increasingly boring.  The only character of substance was Harley, and he gets taken away to soon for his magic as a character to manifest.  
Eldest is the clear intended antagonist, and while I hated him with a passion, it wasn't because he was evil, it was that all of his actions and words were so cliche and perfectly wrong, that there was no depth to it.  He was so meaningless, and nothing about his character was unique.  
Orion was a character that had so much potential, and a lot of that really shined through, except that it just wasn't executed perfectly.  All of the foreshadowing was incredibly obvious.  It wasn't even shocking that he was the Elder that "died". 
The end of this book begins as if it will redeem its self.  Amy becomes suddenly relatable and the rawness in her struggle with realizing that she will never get to live on the new planet, that she will never see her parents be awoken, is touching.  
However, this small fantastic piece is easily pushed out of the spotlight by the strange information we receive about who unplugged Amy.  Why Elder would do such a thing is completely out of character.  This seems like a poor attempt at a wedge placed in Elder and Amy's relationship.  Of course, Amy is only angry for about two pages before the pair are pledging to stay together forever.  Ugh, it was completely not realistic.  If the author really wanted Elder to be the one to have unplugged Amy, she should have announced it somewhere else in the book, not at the very end when everything is pretty much wrapped up.  Or at the very least she should have given Amy a little more credit and stretched the anger out a little longer.
Overall, this book didn't sit very well with me.  While the concept was intriguing, nothing about the body of the book was pleasing.  The Elder/Amy relationship was unplanned, awkward, and childish, (along with all of the sex references and "Season").  There are two more books, as well as a prequel novella.  While I'm not exactly excited about this trilogy, I can't help but be curious about what the author could possibly put in the next two books.  Basically, the characters are on this ship and they will die on this ship and never make it to the new planet.  I'm not sure what the author did with the series, and that is the only reason I'll probably pick up any of the other books.
It's such a bummer that this didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped.  I'd heard about this book and seen it a lot, and just never got around to reading it.  I'd been really anticipating it.  Oh well.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves


Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Etiquette And Espionage by Gail Carriger



You know how I said I was back, well that was before I got Allegiant.  That required me to take some time off if you haven't noticed.

First let's just appreciate the amazing cover of Allegiant.

I remember when the cover was revealed and I was just all, *GAH!!!!!*  I can't believe that the book is already here and that I've already finished it!

Because this is the last book in the Divergent Trilogy, I suppose I should show you all the other covers as well.  

I guess I should just get to it.  




1) Oh my gosh I love this turn of events!  I was so surprised that the factions were an experiment and the whole GP/GD was fascinating!
2) The characters and relationship strain/building in this book was fantastic! Veronica Roth has such a grasp on how people act that she makes them realistic her sharply strange dystopian world.
3)  I was so annoyed with Tris and Four's relationship troubles in Insurgent, but in here the were pleasing and made them seem so much more real!  
4) I adored this book, and was not bored the entire time.  Now here comes the big part
6) *In hindsight, it was very much Tris' character to do something like that, and I should have probably seen it coming, but alas, I did not.
7) I had very few problems with this book, but not to say I didn't.  First of all, I was a little confused about why Veronica decided to make Four not Divergent.  Was it supposed to be a wedge between him and Tris? Second of all, I didn't really take the whole Matthew/Nita distraction thing seriously.  If that was the "other guy" Veronica talked about before the book was released, I'm surprised, because that aspect of it didn't take up as much of the book as I would have expected from the way she made it sound.  Third of all, the Epilogue was a little vague about what exactly happened to the Bureau, however, I kind of like the mystery of it.

None the less, 

I reccomend this link to help with your Allegiant hangover: How To Get Rid of Your Allegiant Hangover