Saturday, August 16, 2014

I Moved

Hey everyone, I moved my blog from this url.  If you want to keep following me click the link here
There will be no more posts on this site.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Unforgotten: Heart-pounding Sequel

Title: Unforgotten
Series: Unremembered #2
Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: February 25th, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA; Sci-Fy; Romance

*The Following blurb and Review will contain spoilers for Unremembered

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await Sera and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her. A weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect. And it won’t stay forgotten for long.

My Thoughts and Reflections:
After initialing reading Unremembered I requested this from my local library.  Unremembered had left my craving more from the story, in a good way (not a cliff hanger sort of way).
We open the story in what should be a state of serenity and a dream come true; Zen and Serephina have made it to 1609, and they can finally be together.  Obviously things end up not going as planned, but I was surprised by the problems Sera and Zen were having even before Diotech and Zen's illness become present.  Sera struggles to hide her abilities when doing farm work, and also had troubles adjusting to Medieval times.
We see very little of Sera and Zen's romantic relationship in Unforgotten.  In the beginning there are implications of Zen wanting to "teach" Sear something that they haven't done before.  However, the majority of the book Sera is on a mission to save Zen, so there really isn't much time for "learning".
The plot of this book brought in new aspects that I wasn't expecting; Sera is sent on a literal  journey to uncover a secret in her mind that Diotech desperately needs.  A secret that Sera desperately needs too.  
There were other surprises along the way, but I felt like they challenged Sera's character in a nice way.   Sera comes across as an immature character at a first glance because she is so unaware of some any things.  Yet, if you pay close attention, you can watch her retain everything that happens around her.  She responds to each challenge and interaction along the way in a new, mature way.  
More secrets are uncovered in Unforgotten, but we never get all the answers.  A third book is on the horizon, to continue (or perhaps end?) the saga of Seraphina: The Lab Created "Perfect Girl"

I really appreciated the direction Brody took the story in.  No clich├ęs, no disappointments.  Looking forward to an exciting third book.

Dust Jacket Ramblings:
I don't love this cover, but I don't think that it's bad for the book.  A kiss is a major plot point, and think that this cover sort of embodies that, but I think that there are possibly alternative ways to capture the story.

P.S. Sorry that my review was kind of short, I was trying to avoid spoilers!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Throne of Glass: My Cheeky Assassin Friend

Title: Throne of Glass
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Author: Sarah J. Mass
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication Date: August 7th, 2012
Literary Awards: Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2015)
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA; Fantasy; Action; Romance

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 
Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. 
Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

My Thoughts and Reflections:
I can't remember where I heard of this book, probably a list somewhere of great YA Fantasy books, but needless to say I  requested it from the library and read it over my vacation.
I feel like I should address the misleading blurb above.  In my opinion, Celaena's relationship with the crown prince is much more prominent than her relationship with Captain Westfall.  Despite the implications of a love triangle, (which really is a love square because of the presence of Lady Kaitlin), I never really got that vibe from these characters relationships.  Mostly because Celaena was never debating between the two of them, she never was pining over either of them at all.  She sort of just went along with her relationships in her own manner, hiding her emotions from her suitors and the reader.
Celaena was an interesting protagonist, and I mean that in the best way.  Her tendency to hide her thoughts and feelings added a layer of mystery to the story, because it was harder to grasp her perspective in certain situations, so the reader was forced to look at all angle to get an idea of what was going on.
Captain Westfall was my favorite character overall.  He was such a respectable man, and his inner struggle throughout the story is quite visible and fun as a reader to observe.  The Crown Prince, on the other hand, felt bland in comparison.  There was nothing significant about his personality, (of course he differed like all princes do from what their fathers say), except from his ability to hold out from Celaena for so long.  
The plot had a good, steady pace but the climax felt underrated as if there could have been more to it.  There were times when I thought certain things were going to happen, but the didn't.  However, those things would have fit better with the story.  Despite how bizarre the ending felt (and it was a tad bit rushed) I feel like it did stay true to Celaena's character.  I praise Mass' writing because it had a way of keeping my glued to the story, and when I was forced to pause the previous scene would linger in my mind for some time.  Mass also peppered in small instances where she implied that there was more story to come, which was great.  It was a perfect way to set up a series, because the reader knew that we didn't quite have all of the information.  To be honest, we don't really know Celaena that well at all.

I absolutely adored this book.  Anyone who is a fan of Fantasy, Actiony books, and lots of feigned romance will love this.  I can't wait to read more; Sarah J. Mass has passed with flying colors.

Dust Jacket Ramblings:
This is the redesigned cover (I'm not even going to talk about the original).  I think that this cover captures the book in such a good manner and this is a perfect example of a time to use an illustration over a model.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Monthly Recap: July 2014

Well, this is my second monthly recap ever, so I'll still be working out more kinks.  July was more of a relaxing month for me.  I went on vacation, had a ton of fun! 

  • I read 18 books in July, just two short of my goal.
  • I spent A LOT of time at the library
  • I became reacquainted and renewed my obsession for the Morning Glories comic books
  • I saw HTTYD2 and Dawn of The Planet of the Apes, both of which were absolutely amazing!!!
  • Favorite Book This Month:
  • T.V. wise, I have officially watched all of the seasons of Law & Order: SVU on Netflix (not all in one month though!!)
  • 8Tracks is seriously my life.  Lots of Arctic Monkeys and Portugal the Man this month
Blogging and Other Media:

My Blog Posts:

Other Posts I Enjoyed:

It's Way Past My Bedtime's Cover of Royals (This is sort of old, but I still like to listen to it)

July's Goals:

Ummm… this is going to be embarrassing:

  • Participate in Camp NaNoWrMo, my own way (I always feel pressured by NaNoWriMo and always give up halfway through because I struggle sticking with a longer story.  My goal for this Camp is to write around 1500 words daily, whether it be in poetry, short story, or the revisions of some of my past work). Yeah, this didn't happen at all.  I instead opted to try and respond to at least a prompt or two a day.
  • Finish my summer reading for school.  Ugh, I'm so close.  
  • 20 total books in July  Two books off
  • Starting knitting my friend and myself Weasly Sweaters No, BUT I did buy the yarn and needles and set up my lesson for this week, so this counts.
  • Everyone has been raving about Blogilates, so I figure, why not?Nope, not for me
  • I'm taking my first Bikram Yoga class on Wednesday, I hope to try to do more!  I missed that class and never got around to going to a different one, so no.
  • I also am making a commitment to go on runs with my dad every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Noooooo.
Wow, clearly that was just disappointing.  

Goals for August:
  • Make friends at my new school (Don't be so shy)
  • Start seriously planning my switch from Blogger to Wordpress
  • 20 total books in August
  • Make progress on my Weasly Sweaters
  • Make an Instagram for the blog and post book pictures
  • Make some $$$$
  • Write to a couple prompts a day
  • Start singing and playing piano again
  • Draw!!! (A Captain America doodle is still lurking in my mind)
  • Comment More on Other Blogs (Again, don't be so shy)
  • Post Some More Discussions

Hopefully I don't fail as much at these!  Where's the laughing-so-hard-you're-crying emoji when I need it?