Update Schedule

There was once an update schedule. It lived a good life, a peaceful life. A quiet life. But then... things began to change. It became more and more erratic, sometimes completely disobeying its very reason for existance. And at last, the update schedule could take no more. It cast off its chains and went free, seeking new lands where it would be appreciated. This message it left where once it had lived, to warn other schedules of the peril.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


So, for those of you nonexistant readers who have been following my Goodreads account, you've probably noticed that I've started adding annoying headers to my reviews (I'm talking about the italics here, I'm rather fond of the linked one). Sorry about that, they will be gone very soon.
Were you to exist, you'd also notice that I haven't posted very much recently. Sorry about that as well- I'm a bit busy. So, here's some stuff that I would have turned into full-length posts were I to have the time:

I've been reading:
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
The plot is kind of strange- I didn't altogether get what was so important about the election, but that was really mostly background, so it was okay. Like with Harry Potter (except about one hundred times more extreme), J.K. Rowling created characters I can't imagine liking (kill... Fats... kill), and yet by the end I really cared about them. I didn't like this book when I started it, but now I'm mostly just in shock from the ending.
This isn't really my kind of book. But it was an excellent reminder that J.K. Rowling can write.
Warning: This is not a happy book. At all. It's a book about tragic characters in a snooty and deeply troubled little town, almost all of whom are completely miserable by the end.

This is also nothing like Harry Potter. Which I actually liked- Harry Potter is over, and I enjoy seeing authors branch out. Okay, I never would have read this (or finished it) if it hadn't said J.K. Rowling on the front cover (which, by the way, is ugly and just awful). I felt I owed her something for Harry Potter, and it was well written.
Don't expect a murder mystery, either. Or even an ending (I made the mistake of assuming there would be a final conclusive ending- there isn't. At all).
And then there's the profanity. I kind of see what she was trying to do, but she also used the f-word more times than I have seen since Game of Thrones. Actually, if you added it up, her book just might contain as much swearing as the entire Game of Thrones series, which is pretty impressive.
And all of this swearing and sex and smoking and doing drugs and drinking served no purpose when done by teenagers (view spoiler), or even by Terri. Yeah, they're lower class (speaking of which, what's with the dialect? Okay, they're at the bottom of the social and economical scales, but you're writing a book. Surely you could have gone entire sentences that I didn't need to pause to translate.), but does lower class and drugged= insane amount of profanity? And if so, does it need to be on-screen?
Now I sound stuck-up. I (hope) that I'm not. But the amount of swearing and casual sex between teenagers seemed excessive to me.
So... yeah, not my cup of tea (never understood that saying). Harry Potter fans will probably be disappointed.

The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time, #3)
The ending is still the same as for the last two books, but it's a ton of fun. :) On to the next book!

One Is Not A Lonely Number
The writing was a bit choppy- the main character randomly inserted thoughts, often beginning with "hey", something that annoyed me after the first few times.
The Jewish part was done very well, and the plot was pretty good. I completely understood Talia's feelings, although all of her money made her kind of look like a spoiled brat (she wasn't.) I liked that the "nemesis", Hannah (I wonder why it's Hannah and not Chana/Channa/Channah... I don't remember any other names being translated like that) was actually just a normal(even nice) person who our narrator happened not to like.
Gabrielle was a bit strange, and I felt there was a lot to her story that we never found out, but she also rang very true to me. She reminded me strongly of someone I once knew, and that made the story feel real and had me very interested in whether the outcome would be happy.
Which brings me to the ending, which is actually quite realistic (as was the whole book). I've seen that other people were unhappy with it, but I thought it was pretty good.All in all, a fun read, but nothing too deep. This is a pre-teen to early teen book, not really YA fiction.
Agent of Change (Liaden Universe, #9)
Hard to get into initially, but fun.
The Winter Prince (The Lion Hunters, #1)
Odd. An interesting take on what would have happened in Guinevere had been able to have children after all. I'm not sure I've seen that before.
It was all a bit fast for me; I felt I never really got to know Medraut, and so didn't quite understand his actions. I think the book could have benefited from being a little longer and giving some more background.
The names used were also an interesting choice. I wish Goewin had had a different name; I kept confusing her with Gawain (the author uses Gawain's Welsh name, Gwalchmai in the book). Lleu's name I couldn't quite figure out how to pronounce- my knowledge of how to pronounce Welsh names is sketchy at best, and comes mostly from a bad fantasy novel. I'm not sure I've ever seen Medraut for Mordred before. Same for Artos and whatever Guinevere is, I'm blanking right now (she had a very small role). I assume these are the Welsh versions, although I can only be sure of Gawain's.
So... it was interesting. I'm not sure if I plan to continue with these. It wasn't a bad book at all, but I'm not sure I liked the style. There wasn't anything really wrong with it that I can pin down, it was just... not me.
I hovered between 2 and 3 stars but in the end I didn't like it enough to give it 3. It was a very quick and easy read, although at times it was kind of disturbing (especially for a children's book)
The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
Well... that got ridiculous.
Life lessons learned from this book:
1) Becoming all-powerful does not actually help.
2) When in doubt, kill yourself..
3) Don't learn life lessons from fantasy books
The Orphan Master's Son
I wavered on the rating for this. But even though it had its issues, as every books does, my overall feeling was "that was a really good book".
Ignore the back cover. I don't know who wrote it, but they only read fifty pages of the book (and not even in order).
It's disturbing, it's tragic, and it is good. I would like to say I read it all in one day because it was so good, but despite my best efforts, it was 12:03 AM when I finished.
Shadowfell (Shadowfell, #1)
I learned something about 150 pages into this book.
Some books are really, really, bad.
And when they are, you should just put them down and move on.
So I did.

So... that's me. What have you guys been reading?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Couldn't Stay Away

I tried, I really did. I told myself I needed a vacation. I needed to read without feeling I had to review the books. That failed, I just reviewed them on Goodreads.
And so here I am, a full week or so before I meant to return.
I don't know if the format/ update schedule is staying the same; it was feeling too restricting to me, so probably I'll go back to the informal posts thing. But don't worry, this should actually make the posts more frequent.
Some things that are changing:
1) I'm trying (it's in progress) to have my Goodreads reviews appear on here automatically, which will make things a lot easier. I don't think there's a way to transfer the old reviews, though, so if you want a particular book reviewed feel free to ask me and I'll read it (if necessary) and tell you what I think. Don't worry, I'm a fast reader.
Update: This is in trial stages now; I hope to have it working by next week. Sorry about any weirdness that occurs during the tests.
2) The update schedule was just killed. I rather like what I've replaced it with.
Update: Due to #1, the site header has changed. The original should be appearing at the top of every review from now on (on Goodreads, too) but that will take a while.
3) I'll probably post more things that aren't reviews. But quality should go up with the schedule's demise.
So... yeah, that's about it. If anyone's reading this, I'd love to know.

Currently reading: The Hero of Ages (Brandon Sanderson), The Dragon Reborn (Robert Jordan), and Shadowfell (I don't care enough to know the author). Sense a theme? Yep, that's right- I'm moving back into fantasy. Especially epic fantasy. This doesn't mean no YA, Dystopian, etc., and I'm still happy to read any sort of book on request. But I'm finding myself much happier with fantasy right now, so this trend will probably continue for a bit (there's only so much readable epic fantasy- Robert Jordan is already pushing it).

Basically, I'm back. Expect more posts soon. :)

And if you're reading this, I'd really love to hear from you.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stolen Review

Image result for stolen book
Beautiful cover. Sometimes simplicity is the way to go. Nothing to do with the book, but beautiful.

Plot: a rather good one, actually. Gemma is kidnapped by a stranger in an airport and wakes up in the middle of the desert in Australia. The book follows her time with Ty (the abductor) in the desert, and eventually she finds herself falling for him. But wait- before you run away in fear, let it be known that the ending was actually quite satisfying.
Writing: It was a quick read. Nothing stood out, either amazing or awful. There is rather more cursing than I'd have liked, and a few words that really weren't necessary, but nothing that made me need to close that book (although, having read A Song of Ice and Fire, I guess I'm pretty much immune). There is one scene that I particularly like that implies that Gemma has regular body proportions, rather than the usual "I'm so skinny and attractive, why am I so ugly?" protagonists we get. Although she does lose weight over the course of her imprisonment, which is completely normal considering the lack of proper food and the stress. The book is written as a letter from Gemma to Ty; Gemma is in first person and Ty is in second.
Characters: Gemma wasn't all that fascinating, nor deep, although her attitude towards Ty was a beautiful example of capture bonding. Ty was... interesting. I didn't quite understand him in the deep way it seemed I was supposed to, and he kind of cracked me up with his deep connection to "the land" but he was also a tragic and deeply messed up person, and we do get a lot of insight into his personality. There aren't really any other characters worth mentioning aside from the camel (who was awesome; I want one).
Stockholm's: It seems I get to use this category more and more lately. Gemma was actually an excellent example of Stockholm's (from what I know of it, I am admittedly not an expert). And from the way the book was structured, the reader is taken through it to. Ty was disturbing and insane, but from our glimpses of his past and his lucid moments, I could see Gemma falling for him. I won't spoil the ending, but although it seems a lot of people disliked it, that was the point at which I realized it was a good book. The ending was satisfying in a way most endings aren't.
What interests me is the way this book succeded too well. All over the internet are people who are upset at Gemma's "harsh treatment" of Ty. People who say they can't bear to think of Ty as a kidnapper. To me, the point of the book was that Gemma was in this bad and psychologically messed up situation, and overcame it. Apparently this isn't the majority opinion, although I thought it was obvious.
Rating: 2.569 (It came close to three stars, but the truth is that the middle kind of dragged at times and I don't really understand Gemma's relationship with either Anna or Ben, which seemed weird considering how often they were mentioned).

Note: There might be irregular updates for a while. I'll try to at least keep up with the reviews. Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Probably you've noticed that pretty much nothing interesting has ever happened on a Thursday (although I thought the Slaves of Socorro post was acceptable- by the way, it was okay, although I liked Gilan better when he was just a minor character).
That's because Thursdays are for random updates, and I don't do anything interesting enough to blog about except read.
So I'm going to keep trying to post on Thursdays, but it might be an extra book review or a writing post or possibly as update if I have anything to say. I might even do the unspeakable and talk about movies (wait, I already did that once... oops).

For now, what do you guys think of this paragraph as an opening (and could someone help me with my publishing after posting question)?
                 "When I close my eyes, I can hear everything in the universe. There's Mim, humming to herself as she mends clothing and washes dishes. The needles click and the dishes rattle and the fire crackles and the wind howls outside and owls hoot and Mim hums.
                But tonight, there's silence."

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Second Person

Today I finished the book Stolen. It was possibly my first book written in letter form like that, and while the letter form wasn't exactly believable, it did lend an intimacy to the reading that allowed the reader to experience Stockholm's from the inside (more on that in my review, which will be coming soon).
But  it made me think- second person. I'd never really thought of it as a good option for writing, even when combined with first person like it is in Stolen. I did admittedly write a fanfic in the same format, but it wasn't a good choice at all. I just ran out of reasons for my character to be writing to the other character (honestly, the whole thing was kind of a disaster, and if I'd just written an outline it might have been fine).
In Stolen, though... I can't say I really think Gemma remembered every single detail of her experience like that. But the letter format, when explained in the ending, was actually quite powerful. It was me and you, not Gemma and Ty.
So I guess it does sometimes work. Suspension of disbelief and all that. It can even be the best way to write something, especially when combined with first person
Okay, time to admit that I actually have zero direction for this post (my internet failed, that's why this is late and I don't have much of a topic... plus I wanted to talk about Stolen, and review day isn't until Sunday and I'd planned a different book (Parallel) then anyway.) I guess I just wanted to bring up the idea. What do you think of second person/ letter formats for books?

Sorry about the lack of pictures, content, witty comments, and anything else constructive. Blame my internet.
Thursday's update should continue as scheduled. Sunday's will be a review, probably of either Parallel or Stolen (although I did read another book today called Mayday...), I haven't decided yet. I do plan to review all three of the aforementioned books, though.
Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Reformed Vampire Support Group Review

It's almost impossible for a book to live up to a title like that, but this one just about managed it. It wasn't an amazing book, but it was a refreshing take on vampires and the price you have to pay not to be a monster. In a genre normally populated by young, inhumanly strong vampires with the ability to go  out in sunlight, vampires who are usually too weak to go out of their dark basements anyway were a wonderful and highly needed thing.

The plot was not particularly... there. Looking back, I'm not actually sure if it was about Nina's journey to accepting herself as a vampire, freeing the abused werewolves, solving the murder, or... yeah, you get the picture. It's not that there was too much or too little plot, the book just didn't focus too much on any one thing. I didn't mind this, and there was certainly an overarching plot, but be prepared for several subplots. Most of the plots/ subplots are interesting and creative.

Although the first chapter threw me with its rapid switching between Nina's book, Nina writing in third person, and then finally Nina writing in first person, which is where we stay for the rest of the book, the writing in general was pretty good. Not "that was the best book I ever read", but certainly acceptable, and in some places approaching good (but remember, this is by my standards.) A few bits reminded me strongly of Eoin Colfer, but that's probably just me. It's a little slow-paced at times, with a lot of sitting around and talking, but I don't remember ever being bored while reading this.

The characters were not filled with depth, but they were acceptable. Nina's journey of self-discovery was not amazingly meaningful, but I cared enough about her to be happy that she was happy with herself in the end. Her struggles to retain her humanity at the price of being forever terminally ill led to some excellent character development. Other characters were mostly unimpressive, although Reuben does gain some depth in the sequel, The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group.

Image result for the abused werewolf rescue group
Quality is my fault; the cover is not all fuzzy like that. The first book does have a parallel cover to this, by the way.

I haven't actually finished the sequel, but allow me to just say that it led me into a fascinating journey of Googling, leading to the discovery that baby dingoes are some of the cutest animals in existence.

Can't you just see this adorable puppy taking down a full grown kangaroo?

Rating: I'm going to give this a 2.28. It could have gotten a 2.32, except for the many direct pokes at Twilgiht and Stephanie Meyer. It's okay to have opinions, and it's okay to publish them, but to publish them in your own book in the same genre? Really? It was immature and it was annoying.

Next week's review is tentatively a book called Parallel (blanking on the author right now), but I'm not promising anything.
Did you read this book? What did you think? Let me know in the comments section below!