February 27, 2013

February update: And Chuck makes 4!

The month as described by My Little Pony:
Source
For some reason February felt crazy even though nothing really happened.


Some Happenings:

- Scarlet launch party
I got the chance to go to the Marissa Meyer's launch party for Scarlet (first launch party ever!) and it was interesting... Nothing was bad about the launch itself, but I had to take a two hour bus ride (and the bus was late). I finally got there about 10 minutes late, listenend to Marissa talk for a while and read from Scarlet, then it was time to wait to get my book signed. For a long time. So long, in fact, that I still hadn't gotten my book signed and was less than 10 minutes from missing the last bus home. Luckily, Marissa's husband was nice enough to give me a ride to the bus stop with more busses (oes that make sense?) Sorry I don't have any pictures Still working on that.

- Visited home
Which by the way, is a really small town (our school is pre-k - 12) two hours from where I currently live. It's the first time we visited since...last October, maybe? Jacob had a three-day weekend so we had time enough to visit both families as well as some good friends.
Chuck Taylor watching the candle

- Got a cat
While we were visiting home we got a cat. There's a whole post about it if you wish to know more.

- My brother visited
My younger brother visited and we basically sat around did nothing which is what we do every time he comes up :P Usually he picks a game to beat while he's up and he was this close to beating Minish Cap. He was also bent on rewatching Fullmetal Alchemist. Which he did.
- Game Night
We actually did do something when he was up this time, though. It was a lot of nothing, yeah, but the EMP (Experience Music Project) was doing this Game Night thing to launch a new exhibit which we went to. Old games like Tetris, Pitfall, Super Mario Bros. 3, etc. were up on a big screen open for people to play on. It was neat, but also a little bit of a letdown. I'm glad I got to take my brother, though :]

- Decided to get healthy
You should already know these posts are bound to get personal, but here's your warning just for the record.
I don't generally talk about this at all (let alone to the internet) so it's a little scary. I'm underweight. Okay, I know a lot of you are cursing me right now, but I'm not saying it to be that way. It's actually a problem. I finally realized I needed to do something about it when I got lightheaded and couldn't really breathe at work a week ago or so. So you know, I don't intentionally not eat or anything like that, I just don't make good food choices and sometimes just forget to eat. So, I'm working on it.

Some Current Favorites:
I started watching them a while ago, but got distracted by other things and didn't make it past the 25th episode or something like that. This month I just put it on again one day and proceeded to watch the rest immediately. You should definitely watch it if you haven't since it's fantastic. By the way, I've never read P&P and don't plan to. I said it.

- So Delicious coffee creamer
I have a weird stomach. Sometimes it doesn't get along well with milk and it never gets along with too much coffee. So, I figured it couldn't hurt to at least take the dairy out of the equation and I'm not sure I'll go back. It is delicious (yes, like the name ;])

- Owl socks
I <3 these socks.

Song: Well, I don't just have one this month soooo. Skinny Love by Bon Iver perfored by Birdy, Red Hands by Walk off the Earth, Gang of Rhythm by Walk off the Earth, Little Talks by of Monsters and Men, Angel Beats theme (the videos for the Walk off the Earth songs are good so you should look them up :])

Show: OMG ANGEL BEATS WATCH NOW GO. Ahem, and I've been watcing the 3rd season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic
(I was going to use the opening scene, but this one is one of my favorites and I couldn't resist)

Movie: Warm Bodies. Not that much like the book, but really good in it's own right. Also, Nicholas Hoult.
Source
Book: Skylark by Meagan Spooner, The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe, and Pivot Point by Kasie West

February 26, 2013

There's something you should know.

I'm a Whovian.
Source


Source
Okay, most of you probably already knew this, but I decided it was time to write up a post and make it official. Plus, I figure fangrling is a pretty good way to share more me. Warning: This post is going to get a little crazy.

Early last year I caved to peer pressure and decided to start Doctor Who on a whim (well, I guess if we're going into specifics then it was my husband's whim.) I get to take most of the credit, though since I stuck with it after the first episode (which, let's face it, isn't all that great) and he didn't.

Souce
So, I watched the second episode not expecting too much, but by the end of season one I was completely obsessed. Guys, this show has ALL THE FEELS. I can't even count how many times I just sat on the couch doing the ugly cry. Sometimes I got all ragey and threw things (non-breakable things.) And I loved it. I felt like the characters were my best friends. Is that weird? If so, I don't care.

This show, my friends, has everything. Drama, aliens, spaceship that's bigger on the inside, time travel, great storylines, hilariousness, and...I could really go on all day.

Source
My husband started watching it a couple months ago (finally!) and I've been rewatching whenever I can. And let me tell you, it's just as emotional the second time around. Jacob (my husband) is always laughing at me because I end up crying 5 minutes before the sad thing even happens.

I know this post is pretty terrible, but the fangirl feelings were just building up inside me and I had to get them out. And I feel pretty good about it (I'd feel even better if I managed to convert someone ;])

Source
Let's just end this with some favorites - 

Doctor: I was a total Ten fangirl, buuut if pressed I'd have to say Eleven is my favorite.
Companion: Rory. Rory forever <3
Villain: The Silence (I know a lot of people like the Weeping Angels, but I can never forgive them for what they did in Manhattan)
Christmas Special: The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wordrobe
Companion Send-Off: Rose (because I just can't with the Ponds. Don't even talk about it.)

February 25, 2013

Mind Games by Kiersten White {Review}


Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: February 19, 2013
Source: Publisher for honest review
Pages: 256
Series: Mind Games #1
Rating Near Miss/Hit
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her -- except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.
Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways...or risk each others' lives by refusing to obey.
Mind Games was a really quick read, but I didn't really feel invested in the characters until the end.

I liked the story and world what with the abilities and all, but I'm still a little fuzzy on all the “rules” of the world. Everyone kind of acts like the abilities are normal, but it also seems as if they don't really know a lot about them, so that has me a little confused. I know the goal of a first book is to set things up, but I feel like nothing at all was resolved an I'm still just confused about everything.

I liked that both Anna and Fia were distinct characters. Fia is an angry, messed up girl who only wants to save her sister. She's not exactly the most likable person since she's so angry all the time, but I can't help but feel for her since she's just so broken inside. And poor, poor Annie just wants to take care of her sister, but is stuck being the one taken care of. I like that she isn't bitter about being blind, it's just a thing that is.
James is...well, I'm not sure what James is. I hated him for a majority of the book because that's the vibe I was getting from Fia, but then things started to get complicated with flashbacks. So, at the moment I'm really not sure if he's a good guy or a bad guy and whether I even like him or not.
The Nutshell: All in all, Mind Games is a solid read, but it didn't suck me in the way I was hoping. Still, if you're looking for a book with a touch of paranormal, strong female leads, and plenty of mystery, then Mind Games is a good choice.


February 23, 2013

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon mini-challenge #5


For the final mini-challenge we're talking top blogging moments!

My top moments outside of the internet:

- First signing ever with Kimberly Derting
I finally went to my first signing ever this past year. It was a small thing at a local bookstore with
Kimberly Derting. She talked about The Body Finder series, her covers, and there was plenty of
laughing :] It was the perfect first signing!

- Blogger dinner
Back in December a rep from Harper was here in Seattle and invited all of us Seattle bloggers to a
dinner. It was the first time I really got to know the local bloggers and it was super fun (and tasty!) Plus,
it made me feel like I was a part of something awesome :]

- ALA
I still can't really believe it happened even though I had the sore muscles to prove it for a week. It was
fantastic to hang out with the Seattle bloggers for the weekend and get to talk with some of the
publishers. I've always been a little scared of publishers because I feel like an ant that doesn't register on
their radar, but most of them were super nice :] Mostly, though it was just great to be surrounded by
loads of people who also loved books!

On the internet:
- First time an author tweeted at me (I believe it was Elizabeth Miles)
It was so surreal. I never in a million years would have thought an author would care about my review.
It was one of those moments that made me like people actually cared about my little blog.

- When Jaime (Perpetual Page-Turner) tweeted about my blog
I don't even remember when this was (it wasn't a dream, right?), but I do remember practically falling
off the couch when I saw it. I mean, when the awesome Jaime tells people to look at your blog you
tend to freak out a little.

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon mini-challege #4

The fourth mini-challenge is to write a letter to your younger blogger self so here's mine :D

Dear Younger Self,

Slow down. Despite what you think, you're not "behind" in the book blogging world. Sure, you and A Room with Books may be but a speck in the great cosmos of the blogosphere, but everything has it's time.

I know talking to people on Twitter terrifies you, but do it anyway. There are some great people on there. And no, nobody is sitting at their computer going "who is that and how dare she @ me."

Don't be afraid to show a little personality. Yes, it's a book blog so the books come first, but it's your book blog. So do what you want. Share some tv shows you like, tell everyone about your long-time love affair with Converse, share some love for the video games you spend hours playing -- really, everything goes (you know, to a point) so show everyone you're not just an anonymous face behind some reviews.

You're always going to care about followers and page views, but it's not as big a deal you think it is right now. Bask in the joy of having a new follower, sure, but don't forget the blog is something you love, and numbers are just that. Keep the focus on your love for the blog and build relationships with other bloggers. (Also, maybe take a step back from IMMs and the like as they're only going to feed the green-eyed monster and he's already fat enough.)

Your older, (more mature?)
Self

Book Blogger Love-A-Thon mini-challenge #3

The third mini-challenge is a book playlist and I'm going to be straight with you: I'm terrible at these. I'm not the best at picking music that fits as opposed to music I just really like so some of the songs might be a bit of a stretch, but I at least had some reason when I picked them. Seeing as I'm finishing this post at 3 in the morning, I don't necessarily remember what those reasons were... I apologize if this post is a little all over the place since I'm currently barely staying awake and feeling a little out of it :P

I chose to base my playlist around:
Divergent

Red Hands by Walk off the Earth
New Heights by A Fine Frenzy
You are a Tourist by Death Cab for Cutie
We Can Try by Between the Trees
The World Without by A Fine Frenzy
Trying by Eleventyseven
Monday Morning by Death Cab for Cutie
Defying Gravity (Glee version)
Move by Between the Trees
And Run by He Is We
Stood Up by A Fine Frenzy
A Time for Yohe by Between the Trees


Book Blogger Love-A-Thon mini-challenge #2


For the second mini-challenge we've been tasked with making book spine poetry. I'm not really sure 
how poemy mine is, but here it is:




Blogger Love-A-Thon mini-challenge #1

For the first mini-challenge, we're basically just having one big lovefest! That's what the whole event is about, after all :P So, we have four different categories here: Best reviews, best bookish discussion posts, best layout, and a random one which I chose to be my favorite bloggers.

Best reviews:
Anna Reads Books
Anna's reviews are short and too the point and I love that! I can read her reviews quickly and know exactly how she felt about it. Plus, they're usually rather amusing.

Makeshift Bookmark
Jen (I haven't read as many of Carla's reviews) isn't afraid to speak her mind and do so with Caps lock and exclamation points. I love that her reviews are real and uncensored (and not mean ;])

Read.Write.Ramble (Rachel)
Rachel is basically the bomb. Her reviews are full of enthusiasm, but also take a look at the book critically; it's the best of both worlds :D

Best discussion posts:
Perpetual Page-Turner
This lady knows how to write a post. I find myself relating to almost all off her discussion posts. A while back she wrote a post about reading in the car and how she helps combat car sickness and I honest to goodness think about it every time I read in the car. Another post that comes to mind is her post about how audiobooks have helped her excerise. See, she writes about everthing! Go check her out :D

Radiant Reads
I love Harmony's bookish discussion posts; they're hilarious and creative. It's actually her non-bookish posts I like the best, though (I know, I know that's not what the category is, but stay with me.) I love her posts about anime/manga since I feel that's something hard to come by in the blog world, but it's something I love. It's nice to see someone else share their enthusiasm for something I enjoy :]

Nicole is going to tell you exactly how she feels in her discussion posts. While I'm not always on the same side as her, I love reading her posts because she puts so much of herself into each of them.

Best Layout:
Mint Tea and a Good Book

Favorite Bloggers:
Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks
Heidi is one of the people who continually comes back and leaves meaningful comments on my blog which automatically makes me love her, but she's also just a lovely lady who's fun to talk to :]

Lisa of Lisa is Busy Nerding
How could someone with a blog name like that not be awesome? Not only is she a gamer of the video variety (yay for girl gamers!) she plays and reviews board games on her blog. That's not to mention all her other random nerdisms. Basically, if you identify yourself as a nerd, Lisa is your lady ;]

Rachel of Read.Write.Ramble.
I already mentioned Rachel's awesome reviews, but she's also just a all around awesome gal. She leaves the absolute best comments and she's just a little bit spazzy in the best possible way. Plus, she's a nerdfighter (DFTBA!)

Erika of Rescue Reads
Erika was one of the first people and met and got to know through blogging. She's one of the few people who will gush about anime with me which automatically makes her awesome in my book.




February 22, 2013

Book Blogger Love-a-thon kick-off/interview swap

The Love-a-thon is basically what it sounds like: a whole bunch of bloggers getting together and just sharing the love! Katelyn of Kate's Tales of Books and Bands and Alexa of Alexa Loves Books got together to host it this year so head over to their blogs to check out more about it :D

As the first order of business for the Book Blogger Love-a-thon I got to interview April of Good Books and Good Wine!



And without further ado, the interview:

If you had to pick only ONE fandom, what would it be?
Harry Potter, all the way. Love those books and the type of devotion they inspire. 

What's currently in your fridge (you don't have to catalog the whole thing, just name a few.)
Dark Chocolate Silk Almond Milk, Chobani Vanilla non-fat, peppers, Sargento ultra thin cheese, deli style turkey. I eat boringly healthy.

Favorite childhood book?
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster. I will forever love Milo and Rhyme and Reason.

If you logged onto your blog one day to find it had been completely erased, what would your first reaction be and what would you do after?
Thank the flying spaghetti monster that I back up my blog to my computer pretty regularly. I'd probably also send my webhost a strongly worded letter. And I would cuss. A LOT.

Do you consider yourself dog/cat/flying squirrel person?
Absolutely a dog person. As Ron Swanson said on Parks and Recreation: "Any dog under 50 lbs is a cat and cats are useless."

Where do you spend the most time on the Internet that isn't book related?
Jezebel and Gawker, I like their take on various scandals and news.

What would you do if you saw someone in a coffee shop reading your favorite book?
Give them a high five in my head. I try not to interrupt people who are reading because I know how irate I get when people interrupt my reading.

----------------------------------------------------

I feel like I'm probably really strange in this, but I like to know what's in other people's fridge. Frankly, I'm a little jealous of April's :P
Also, I'm so there with The Phantom Tollbooth! I remember reading it sometime around 4th or 5th grade and it's stuck with me ever since. 
I'm going to have to disagree about cats, though. Don't get me wrong, I love my dog to pieces and fawn over cute dogs in the streets, but if you go back about two posts you'll see that I just got a cat and he's pretty adorable ;]

If you happen to be one of the few people on the internets who doesn't know about April then you best get on over to her blog and check her out. She's basically the bomb. She writes fantastic reviews that manage to be both analytical and entertaining. What I'm saying (in the most awkward weird way ever) is that you should really go visit her blog. Pretty please :]

Oh, and since it's actually an interview swap, you can head over to April's blog to see mine if you'd like...

February 21, 2013

Skylark by Megan Spooner {Review}

I'm terrible with library due dates &
forgot a pic before I returned it :P

Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Publish Date: August 1, 2012
Source: Library
Pages: 344
Series: Skylark #1
Rating: Direct Hit
Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.
Her world ends at the edge of the cast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that's left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence.
When it's Lark's turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend herself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it's been stripped.
Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city's clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She's heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret -- but can she stay live long enough to find them?
I've read a lot of just good and pretty meh books lately and let me tell you, Skylark was a breath of fresh air. This is the book I've been waiting for and silly me didn't pick it up until now.

Man, I just don't even know where to start because Skylark is just this explosion of awesomeness packed in between two covers. There's just enough action and suspense to keep me glued to the pages without being overwhelming. The little (and big) mysteries of the world and the story are subtly weaved in so it doesn't feel like the reader is constantly being bombarded with THIS IS A MYSTERY AND IT'S A MYSTERY SO I WON'T TELL YOU WHAT IT IS YET.
And oh my gosh, the twists. Yeah, I didn't see any of them coming. Well, there might be one, but I don't really think Spooner was hiding it from the reader, only Lark. It was so nice to actually not know what was going to happen which has been the case with most of my reads lately.

I'm not going to lie, it was kind of a lot to take in at first, but I got into the groove of the world after a bit and loved it. It's absolutely nothing like anything I've read before. I love the idea of magic being some kind of natural resource. And, as with any limited supply of anything, the government has complete control over it. So the magic isn't for personal use, instead, the city uses it to power itself. And we're talking everything from their artificial sun to little “pixies” which fly on their own and serve kind of as a police alarm (can that be a thing). I don't really want to spoil anything, so I'll just say that I found the pockets of magic fascinating (read it and you'll know what I mean ;])

And boy, does Spooner have a way with characters. I fell in love with all of them. Well, besides a certain guy (no, I didn't even like him from the moment he was introduced) and the rest of the evil city people.
Lark was stubborn and scared and realistic. She had some serious trust issues so I wanted to shake her and be like “just trust them!” but I can't exactly fault her for it. I wouldn't trust anything or anyone after what she'd been through either.
Ohmygosh, Nix. I liked it (always thought of it as a her for some reason) from the moment it entered the story. I can't really say much about it since 1) it's kind of confusing and 2) it's a little spoilery.
Oh, Oren. Despite all the reasons he wasn't to be trusted I just kept thinking “Lark and Oren 4evah.” He's such a complex and wonderful character. Talk about a tortured soul (not in the usual way, though. Ponder that one!)
The Nutshell: Basically, I could go on and on about Skylark so you should just trust me on this one and go read it. I mean it has magic, complex characters, twists you'll never see coming (unless you're the master of figuring things out), and a world that you've probably never seen the likes of before.

February 20, 2013

Chuck Taylor joins the family!

Remember how last month I said I'd be getting a cat? Well, if you follow me on Twitter then you've probably seen pictures and know that happened about two weeks ago. I wanted to post about it sooner, I really did, but I also wanted to make a video to show you guys, and, well, it really wasn't working. I'm the type of person who has to get one thing done before moving on so this video has been a road bock in front of my blog and other various real life things.

 So today I decided screw it, I'm posting the crappy video anyway. And when I say crappy, I really, really mean it. There's parts where it just pauses for 30 seconds or more and other parts where the music inexplicably stops working while the video goes on its merry way. So, yeah, it's pretty bad. BUT, I shan't let it stand in my way any longer, so here it is:

video

On February 7th Jacob (my husband for those confused) and I were down visiting family and on a quest to get a cat. We visited a local no-kill animal shelter and were overwhelmed by all the cute kitties. There was one that kept trying to attack my face, but in a cute way. But there was one little guy who nuzzled my hand and licked my fingers every time I stuck my hand by the cage and it was love. So, Chuck Taylor came home with us (the name is a thing between Jacob and I from way back when we first started dating.) 

While he's still the loving cat I saw at the shelter, he definitely has a crazy side he was hiding. He likes to lick people and things. A lot. Basically, if it's within reach he'll lick it. So sometimes that means he's trying to scrape off all the skin from my arm or under my chin. Pugsy doesn't escape the licking either. In fact, Chuck is rather fond of grooming her. He also seems to think her tail is a fun toy...
He also does this thing where he's all "look at me, I'm so cute and you want to pet me" and as soon as your arm is close enough he grabs on with all four paws and commences biting or possibly licking, if he's feeling kind.



And pictures! (At least there's nothing wrong with these :P)
From top left to right:
1) He kept sitting in my mother-in-law's chair. She hates cats.
2) Sleeping folded in half.
3) He decided he really liked my Disney Hyperion bag.
4) Completely stretched out and sleeping. I wear he takes up more room than Pugsy sometimes!
5) Hugging Pugsy. This was his first night at home and she was certainly not impressed and did not share the hug love.
6) This is how I woke up after his first night in bed: Pugsy peeking out at my side and Chuck lounging in my legs.
7) His very first picture :]


February 14, 2013

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook {Review}


Publisher: Harper Teen
Publish Date: January 29, 2013
Source: Publisher for honest review
Pages: 272
Series: No
Rating: Hit
They're young. They're in love. They're on the run.
Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger...
When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can't run fast enough.
I really wish I hadn't seen any reviews for Nobody But Us before reading because I feel like they were all just sitting in the back of my mind poking at the story while I was reading. Still, I did end up enjoying it.

I did not, in fact, really like either Will or Zoe, but I could appreciate their characters. They were supposed to make bad choices and be caught up in each other. I was so torn while reading because on the one hand, I know what new love feels like and that Zoe and Will's was multiplied by their terrible home lives taking it to an even more obsessive level, but on the other hand, I just wanted to take them both aside and slap some sense into them. It wasn't even just the spiral of terrible choices; I wanted them to see the poisons in their relationship as well.

The setting was perfect. I couldn't imagine a better way for this downward spiral of a relationship to play out. Usually when you think 'road trip' happy, carefree thoughts come to mind. That's definitely not what Nobody But Us was about, yet I still loved it. I think the excitement of being on the run really adds something important.
The Nutshell: Nobody But Us isn't my usual read because I usually stick to the fluffy stuff, but I'm glad I gave it a chance since I ended up really enjoying it. If you're looking for a quick read about two teens running away from everything while clinging to each other then you should read Nobody But Us.

February 13, 2013

Cover Lover {68}

Of course we all know you should never judge a book by its cover, but do we ever really listen to that?
Cover Lover showcases eye catching, intriguing, and beautiful covers.
 




This week's Cover Lover goes to The Key & the Flame by Claire M. Caterer
Publish Date: April 2nd, 2013
I just have a thing for MG covers. I love that even when they're dark (not that this one is) they don't make you feel all depressed like some covers do (I'm looking at you, Sad Girls in Dresses.) I love the frame with it's pretty little leaf-like frills. Generally, frames look really neat. I also really like the contrast in colors and how the way they work together still makes it a little understated. The shades of green are just enough to balance out the dark tree and the whites.

February 11, 2013

Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum {Review}

This is my new cat, Chuck Taylor.
He thinks the book is tasty.

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publish Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Publisher for honest review
Pages: 272
Series: ?
Rating: Near Miss
Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.
Only a few escaped the robot revolution of 2071. Kevin, Nick, and Cass are lucky -- they live with their parents in a secret community in the woods. Then their village is detected and wiped out. Hopeful that other survivors have been captured by bots, the teens risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world -- by infiltrating a city controlled by their greatest enemies.
Revolution 19 was pretty middle of the road for me. I enjoyed it for the most part, but there were definitely a few things that kept me from loving it.

Let's start with the good.
Creepy robots.
The idea of machines taking over the world has never really been one that held any particular interest for me, but there's certainly something about creepy about human-like robots. Most of the robots didn't do much for me. I mean, floating sphere robots are cool, but they don't particularly scare me. There were a few, however, that made me want to keep reading. If it weren't for the epilogue and the creepy I-want-to-understand-taste-so-I'll-chew-up-this-steak-and-spit-it-out robot I probably wouldn't have any intention of reading the sequel.
Post-apocalyptic world.
I always love learning about how the world works and Revolution 19 certainly isn't short on interesting details.
Length.
Revolution 19 is somewhere around 260 pages, so it's a quick read. A lot of stuff happens and it even manages to not feel rushed most of the time.

Things I didn't like:
Characters.
I always feel a little heartless for criticizing characters thrust into crazy/new/scary situations, but I had some serious issues with Cass and Nick. They've both mastered the art of jumping to conclusions. “Guys, a bot just turned the corner five blocks away! We've been caught! They're gonna burn us alive! Make a break for it!” That's not a direct quote, if you're wondering, but it sure felt like that. About every other page they thought they were going to get caught and killed and I just wanted to slap them. I mean, I get being scared, but seriously, we have to draw the line somewhere.
And then there's just Nick. “I must sacrifice myself for the good of the cause!” Okay, buddy. Wanting to take care of your brother and sister and rescue your parents is admirable. Being an idiot about it, however, is not. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see how throwing yourself in front of every robot that passes is helpful.
Pacing.
Yes, I did say that it was generally good, but not completely. When they're traveling in the woods it pretty much goes “they traveled for the day” and then “two days later” and I couldn't help thinking a little info on those lost days would have been nice.
The twist I saw coming a mile away.
Seriously, I suspected from the moment it occurred which just happened to be in the first chapter. The twist itself isn't bad, just the fact that it wasn't a surprise to me AT ALL.
The Nutshell: I didn't hate Revolution 19, but it did leave much to be desired. I'm hoping for character growth, a twistier plotline, and more creepy robots in book two.

Edit: I don't actually see any info on a book two from Goodreads, so can anyone confirm this for me?

February 10, 2013

Have Your Cake and Read it Too {6}

Have Your Cake and Read it Too is a bi-weekly feature that will take a book and pair it with a food whether it be savory or sweet.

Book
Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.
It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities….
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I promise one of these days I'll actually start making the food I choose for these posts...just not this week :P

I goes with it in so many ways that I couldn't NOT use cherry cheesecake. I know it's kind of the most obvious choice ever, but guys. The title, the dribble of blood on the cover, the blood in the book...see, how could I not? You probably don't want to eat it while reading if you have a weak stomach, though.
Also, I just want to point out that I'm not a fan of the book, but I think it makes for a good/interesting food pairing.

Recipe
Cherry Cheesecake
Recipe from Food Network

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 stick soft unsalted butter
10 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 (10-ounce) jar black cherry spread (recommended: St Dalfour Rhapsodie de Fruit)


Source: Food Network
Directions
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until beginning to turn to crumbs, then add the sugar and butter and whiz again to make the mixture clump. If using graham cracker crumbs, you can use a bowl and wooden spoon to mix the butter in, with the sugar added.

Press this mixture into a 8-inch springform tin; press a little up the sides to form a slight ridge.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth.

Lightly whip the cream, and then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.

Spoon the cheesecake filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth with a spatula, put it in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.
When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, un-mold and spread the black cherry spread over the top.

February 5, 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer {Review}


Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publish Date: February 5, 2013
Source: The lovely Heidi :]
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Pages: 454
Rating: Direct Hit
Cinder's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
Though it's just come out I have no doubt you've already seen countless raving reviews for Scarlet.
And this one will be no different.

I must say that I feel like all the hype spoiled it just a little, but I still loved Scarlet. It's just that true awesomeness is better appreciated when you're least expecting it, you know?
Moving on to the lovefest review.

First of all, I love the way Meyer weaved together all the different POVs. It didn't feel jarring or awkward. It was natural and one flowed into the next easily. Normally a ton of POVs throws me off, but I loved that Scarlet, Cinder, Kai, and then some were all included. Although, it does help when you love all the characters ;]

Speaking of characters.
Cinder: Definitely my favorite. Gosh, I just love her and don't even know where to start! She's stubborn, but she's also vulnerable and confused. I appreciated that she was confused by all the new craziness in her life instead of just marching forward without thinking (which seems to happen with a lot of YA heroines.)
Scarlet: Now, I liked Scarlet, but she's not my favorite heroine ever. There's nothing wrong with her character, but I'm not quite as drawn to the “punch now, think later” kind of gal. I did like how wary she was of Wolf and how reluctant she was to start anything with him. Woo for non-insta-love!
Wolf: I loved how gentle he was with Scarlet. I could tell how much he liked her, but instead of being all “you're cool, let's makeout” he was actually a little scared to get too close to her. I liked being able to see them grow and bring out the good in each other.
Captain Thorne: Okay. So, there's absolutely nothing wrong with him (once you get to know him,) and I've actually grown quite attached along the way. But. For most of the story I couldn't stop picturing him as Zapp Brannigan of Futurama. It was a little disconcerting :P

Now about the fairytale bits.
Meyer is officially my favorite reteller. You wouldn't think cyborg Cinderella could work, but it did. You wouldn't really think scifi Red Riding Hood would work either, but it SO DOES. You can certainly read the story and probably not pick up on the fairy-tale bits (without the red hoodie mentions, because those are a little obvious :P) and yet, they're there and they're great. The grandmother isn't eaten, but she is captured. The wolf aspect fits in so well with the overall story that it just feels natural instead of stuck in for the sake of the retelling. And of course, Scarlet isn't walking to her grandmother's house to deliver cookies, but spaceships and being on the run is really the way the story ought to be told anyway.
The Nutshell: Basically, the characters are great, Meyer is a master storyteller, and you need to read this book now. Also, I really need Cress. And Winter.

February 4, 2013

My Next Five {2}

This is my first time uploading a video straight to Blogger, so hopefully it works out and we won't have to deal with the annoying audio/visual issue anymore.
*But obviously it didn't, because I'm a space case and forgot uploading it to Blogger basically meant uploading it to Youtube anyway. Does anyone have any suggestions or programs I should try? It works perfectly fine on my computer, so it happens somewhere in the uploading process. Also, I use Ubuntu just as an FYI.*

video

My Five:
1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
2. Revolution 19 by Gregg Resenblum
3. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
4. Skylark by Meagan Spooner
5. Mind Games by Kiersten White (Actually it's more like the third week of Feb, my bad :P)

February 2, 2013

The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson {Review}


Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Publish Date: January 8, 2013
Source: Publisher for honest review
Pages: 240
Series: No
Ratng: Direct Hit
In this modern-day suburban town, one percent of all fatalities come about in the most peculiar way. Deaths -- eight-foot-tall, silver-gray creatures -- send a letter ("Dear So-and-So, your days are numbered") to whomever is chosen for a departure, telling them to wrap up their lives and do the things they always wanted to do before they have to "depart." When sixteen-year-old Gabriela receives her notice, she is, of course devastated. Will she kiss her crush Sylvester before it's too late?
I never thought I'd find such a wonderful story hidden behind this unassuming cover and strange description, but there it sits, nonetheless.

I would describe Arnston's writing as uncluttered. He doesn't use extravagant descriptions or take more time than necessary to get the point across and it works splendidly. Often times, this kind of approach creates a disjointed story that doesn't pull you in, but that isn't the case with The Wrap-Up List. The writing makes all the emotions more palpable and real. During the last few chapters I was finding it difficult to read because my tears were making everything blurry. And what an ending it was. Beautiful and yet melancholy. I honestly didn't have any idea how it would turn out either.

Gabriella is an admirable character. She is shocked and mournful when she first receives her letter. But then she comes to terms with it. She keeps it together and doesn't spend her last week tears. She works towards getting her pardon, but she's also there for her friends. It should be the other way around, and they are there for her, but she's right there supporting them as well. She's not helping them mourn the loss of her, she's helping them continue their lives once she's gone.
I love how much Gabriella grows as a person in her last week, as well. She starts to have different views on life and start forming opinions that she can call her own.
The Nutshell: Don't let the simple cover and somewhat strange description put you off of The Wrap-Up List as it is an amazing book. The story is one that's completely new and yet still conveys some of the struggles most of us go through in our lives whether it be in our teenage years or when we face death, that of a loved one or your own. I know this will end up being another book buried under all the shiny covers and trendy plotlines, but it's a book that deserves to be read.

February 1, 2013

Valentine's Giveaway

Since it's Valentine's Day here in a couple weeks I thought I might celebrate with a little giveaway (and clear my shelves a little :P) And since nobody reads long-winded pre-giveaway stuff anyway, let's just get down to it!


I decided to pair up a fluffy romance and a less fluffy romance to kind of round things out. Plus, chocolate :]
There will be two winners.
The first winner gets to choose between the two sets and the second winner will get what's left.
U.S./CA only (I'm really sorry to all my lovely international followers, but I have a lot of books to ship lately and I can't really afford it.)
13 or older.

a Rafflecopter giveaway