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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Stormlight Archive

Please note, this (supposedly) contains major spoilers for books 1 and 2 of the series. Please read at your own risk.
17th Shard has this posted, so I figure it's allowed since the newsletter is public and said nothing about not posting it... so, here we are. A completely unedited chapter of book 3 of the Stormlight Archive, sent out in Brandon Sanderson's newsletter. If for some reason my posting this isn't okay, please let me know and I'll take it down.

Stormlight Three sample chapter

Kaladin trudged through a field of quiet rockbuds, fully aware that he was too late to prevent the disaster. The knowledge slowed him, pressing against his shoulders with an almost physical sensation, like the weight of a bridge he was forced to carry all on his own.
The land around him should have felt familiar. Instead, it seemed wild, overgrown, alien. After so long in the stormlands—those eastern lands that bore the brunt of the storms—he had almost forgotten the sights of a more fertile landscape. Rockbuds grew almost as big as barrels, with vines as thick as his wrist spilling out and lapping water from the pools on the stone. Grass spread in fields and came up to his waist, dappled with glowing lifespren. The grass was vibrant green and slow to pull down into its burrows as he approached.
Kaladin shook his head; the grass back near the Shattered Plains had barely grown as high as his ankle, and had mostly come in yellowish patches on the leeward side of hills. Almost anything could be hiding in these fields. All you’d have to do was crouch down and wait for the grass to sneak back up around you, and you’d have a perfect ambush point. How had he never noticed that during his youth? He’d run through fields like this, playing catch-me with his brother, trying to see who was quick enough to grab handfuls of grass before it hid.
Something caught his eye, and he turned toward it, startling a patch of grass around himself. Kaladin felt drained. Used up. Like a . . . a mighty storm that had lost its fury, and was now just a soft breeze. His dramatic flight had begun with more Stormlight than he had thought he could hold, and a wealth more tucked into his pockets and pack, in the form of gemstones. It ended with this, a limping, exhausted trudge through fields. Perhaps he could have flown all the way to northwestern Alethkar from the Shattered Plains if he’d been more practiced with his powers. As it was—despite bearing a king’s wealth in gemstones—he’d run out of Stormlight somewhere in Aladar’s princedom.
He’d traveled hundreds of miles in half a day. And it still hadn’t been enough. This last bit—not thirty miles to walk—had been excruciating. So slow! He would have passed this distance in an eyeblink before, but he’d been walking for two days. He felt like a man who had been winning a footrace, only to trip and break his legs a handspan from the finish line.
He neared the object he’d seen earlier, and the grass obligingly pulled back before him, revealing a broken wooden churn. For turning sow’s milk into butter. Kaladin rested fingers on the splintered wood; only the wealthy had access to enough milk for this sort of thing, and a churn would have been locked up tight before a storm. He glanced to the side at another chunk of wood peeking out over the tops of the grass, like the hand of a drowning man reaching toward the sky.
Syl zipped down as ribbon of light, passing his head and spinning around the length of wood. He could sense an inquisitiveness to her motions, even though she hadn’t manifested a face yet. Was he mistaken, or was their bond growing stronger? His ability to read her emotions, and she his, improving?
Perhaps it was just familiarity. “It’s the side of a roof,” Kaladin said. “The lip that hangs down on the leeward side of a building.” Probably a storage shed, judging by the debris he’d spotted in the field.
Alethkar wasn’t in the stormlands, but neither was it some soft-skinned, stormless western land. Buildings here were built low and squat, particularly outside of big, sheltered cities. They’d be pointed eastward, toward the storms, and windows would only be on the leeward—the westward—side. Like the grass and the trees, mankind bowed before the storms. The alternative was to be ripped apart, for the Stormfather did not suffer the insolent.
But, then, these objects—ripped free in winds, deposited miles from their origins—had not come free in a highstorm. Another more fell wind had done this deed: a storm that blew the wrong direction.
The mere thought of that a panic rise inside of him, a feeling like he got when watching a hail of arrows fall on himself and his men. The everstorm, as it was called, was so wrong, so unnatural—like a baby born with no face. Some things just should not be.
And, the most troubling part was that the storm itself was not the worst of their problems.
He stood and left the debris behind, continuing on his way. He had changed uniforms before leaving—taking the Oathgate to the Shattered Plains, then streaking into the sky and rushing in desperation toward Alethkar. His old uniform had been bloodied and tattered, though this one wasn’t much better. A spare, generic Kholin uniform, not even of the old Cobalt Guard. It felt wrong to not bear the symbol of Bridge Four. But, then, a lot of things felt wrong to him these days.
I swear I recognize this place, he thought to himself, cresting a hill. A river broke the landscape to his right, but it was a small, impermanent one—it would flow only following a storm. Still, trees sprouted along its banks, hungry for the extra water, and they marked the route. Yes . . . That would be Hobble’s Brook. So if he looked directly west . . .
Hand shading his eyes, he spotted them. Cultivated hills; they stuck out like the balding crowns of elderly men. No grass, no rockbuds. They’d soon be slathered with seed-crem, and lavis polyps would start growing. That hadn’t started yet, most likely. This was supposed to be the Weeping. Rain should be falling right now in a constant, gentle stream.
The everstorm that had blown through early in the morning had swept the clouds along with it, stopping the rain. As much as he despised the Weeping, he was not happy to see those rains go. They should have lasted another seven days, but the wrong-way storm had apparently disrupted them. Another unnatural effect.
Kaladin had been forced to weather the thing in a hollow of rock, cut with his Shardblade. Storms, it had been even more eerie than a highstorm.
He crested a hill, inspecting the landscape. As he did, Syl zipped up in front of him, a ribbon of light. “Your eyes are brown again,” she noted.
It took a few hours without touching Stormlight or summoning his Shardblade. Once he did either thing, his eyes would bleed to a glassy light blue, almost glowing. A few hours later, they’d fade again. Syl found the variation fascinating; Kaladin still hadn’t decided how he felt about it.
“We’re close,” Kaladin said, pointing. “Those fields belong to Hobbleken. We’re maybe two hours from Hearthstone.”
“Then you’ll be home!” Syl said, her ribbon of light spiraling and taking the shape of a young woman in a flowing havah, tight and buttoning above the waist, with safehand covered.
Kaladin grunted, continuing down the slope.
“Do you like the new dress?” Syl asked, wagging her covered safehand.
“Looks strange on you.”
“I’ll have you know I put a ton of thought into it,” Syl said with a huff. “I spent positively hours thinking of just how— Oh! What’s that?” She zipped away, turning into a little stormcloud that came to rest over a lurg clinging to a stone. She inspected the fist-size amphibian on one side, then the other, before squealing in joy and turning into a perfect imitation—only pale white-blue. This startled the thing away, and she giggled, zipping back toward Kaladin as a ribbon of light.
“What were we saying?” she asked, forming into a young woman and resting on his shoulder.
“Nothing important.”
“I’m sure I was scolding you,” Syl said, tapping his shoulder with her fingers in a pensive way. “Regardless, you’re home! Yay! Aren’t you excited?”
He shook his head. She didn’t see it—didn’t realize. Sometimes, for all her curiosity, she could be oblivious.
“But . . . it’s your home . . .” Syl said. She huddled down. “What’s wrong? Why are you feeling like this?”
“The everstorm, Syl,” Kaladin said. “We were supposed to beat it here.” He’d needed to beat it here.
Storms, why hadn’t he been faster? He’d spent much of the day before at a forced march, as fast as he could manage, not even stopping to sleep. Perhaps that was why he felt so drained, like even lifting his arm was a chore.
Being without Stormlight after holding so much was part of it too. He felt like a hogshide tube that had been squeezed and squeezed to get the last drops of antiseptic out, leaving only the husk. Was this what it would be like every time he used a lot of Stormlight, then ran dry?
The arrival of the everstorm in the morning had caused him to collapse, finally, and give in to his fatigue. That had been the ringing of the bell, the notice of failure.
He tried to avoid thinking of what he’d discover in Hearthstone. Surely, someone would have survived, right? The fury of the storm, and then the worse fury after? The murderous rampage of once-servants turned into monsters?
Oh, Stormfather. Why hadn’t he been faster?
He forced himself into a double march again, pack slung over his shoulder. The weight was still heavy, dreadfully so, but he found that he had to know. Had to see.
Someone had to witness what had happened to his home.

The rain started again about an hour out of Hearthstone, so at least the weather patterns hadn’t been completely ruined. Unfortunately, this meant he had to hike the rest of the way wet and accompanied by the constant patter of a light rainfall. Storms, but he hated the Weeping.
“It will be all right, Kaladin,” Syl promised from his shoulder. She’d created an umbrella for herself, and still wore the traditional dress, instead of her usual girlish skirt. “You’ll see.”
Her reassurance did little to budge his sense of dread. If anything, her optimism only highlighted his mood—like a piece of dung on a table surrounded by finery only made it look that much more nasty. It wouldn’t be “all right.” That was just not how his life went.
The sky had darkened by the time he finally crested the last lavis hill and looked down on Hearthstone. He braced himself for the destruction, but even still, it shocked him. Buildings without roofs. Debris strewn about. Some houses had even fallen. He couldn’t see the entire town from his vantage, not in the gloom of the Weeping, but the houses he could make out in the waning light were hollow and ruined.
He stood for a long time as night fell. He didn’t spot a glimmer of light in the town. The place was empty.
A piece of him scrunched up inside, huddling into a corner, tired of being whipped so often. He’d embraced his power, he’d taken the path he should. Why hadn’t it been enough?
His eyes immediately sought out his parents’ home near the center of town. But no. Even if he’d been able to see it in the rainy evening gloom, he didn’t want to go there. Not yet. Instead, he rounded toward the northwestern side, where a hill led up to the citylord’s manor. He would start his search here; this was where the parshmen had been kept. When the transformation had come upon them, here was where they would have begun their rampage. He was pretty certain he could run across Roshone’s corpse and not be too heartbroken.
He passed the hollow buildings, accompanied only by the sound of rain in the darkness. He went to fish out a sphere for light, but of course he’d used up all of those. They were dun now, and wouldn’t be refreshed until the next highstorm—weeks away, assuming normal weather patterns. Not something one could assume any longer.
He shivered in the chill and walked a little further out from the city, not wanting to feel the holes of those gaping homes upon him like eyes. Though Hearthstone had once seemed enormous to him—it was a town of some hundred buildings, far larger than the numerous tiny villages surrounding it—there was really nothing remarkable about the place. It was one of dozens of towns like it in Alethkar. The larger towns like this, though still very rural, served as a kind of hub to the farming communities spreading out from it.
And, because of that, it was cursed with the presence of a lighteyed ruler of some import. Citylord Roshone, in this case. A man whose greedy ways had ruined far more than one life.
Moash . . . Kaladin thought. He’d have to face what his friend had done at some point. Now, the betrayal was too fresh, and other wounds would need nurturing first. More immediate wounds.
Kaladin climbed up to Roshone’s manor, a very familiar path. Once, he’d come up this way almost daily. Back when they’d had a different citylord. That life was surreal to remember. A past that almost didn’t belong to him any longer.
“Wow,” Syl said. “Gloomspren.”
Kaladin looked up and noted an unusual spren whipping around him. Long, grey, like a large, tattered streamer of cloth in the wind, it wound around him, fluttering as if in a phantom wind. He’d only seen its like once or twice before.
“Why are they so rare?” Kaladin asked, continuing his hike. The manor was just ahead. “People feel gloomy all the time.”
“Who knows?” Syl said. “Some spren are common. Some are uncommon.” She tapped his shoulder. “I’m pretty sure one of my relatives liked to hunt these things.”
“Hunt them?” Kaladin asked. “Like, try to spot them?”
“No. Like you hunt greatshells. Can’t remember her name . . . Anyway, the hunts were grand things. Quite the endeavor.” Syl cocked her head, oblivious to the fact that rain was falling through her form. “What an odd memory.”
“More seems to be coming back to you.”
“The longer I’m with you,” she said with a nod, “the more it happens. Assuming you don’t try to kill me again.” She gave him a sideways look.
“How often are you going to make me apologize for that?”
“How many times have I done it so far?”
“At least fifty.”
“Liar,” Syl said. “Can’t be more than twenty.” She looked at him expectantly.
“I’m sorry.” He sighed. He needed to be on with it. No more delaying.
Wait. Was that light up ahead?
Kaladin stopped on the path. It was light, coming from the manor house. It flickered unevenly. Candles? Someone, it appeared, had survived. That was good, but also worrisome. What if it was the parshmen—or whatever one called them now that they’d transformed? Voidbringers would probably do.
They could have slaughtered the people of the town, then set up here in the manor. He needed to be careful, though as he approached, he found that he didn’t want to be. He wanted to be reckless, angry, destructive. If he found the creatures that had taken his home from him . . .
It was supposed to have been safe. Far from Kaladin, far from his new life of pain and lost friends. “Be ready,” he mumbled to Syl. She was his Shardblade now, his weapon, like the spren companions of the Knights of old.
He stepped off the pathway, which was kept free of grass or other plants, and crept through the night toward the lights. The manor was occupied. The light he’d spotted earlier shone from windows that had been shattered in the everstorm, which would have come upon the city not only from the wrong direction, but at a completely unexpected time. No Stormwarden could have predicted this. The shutters would not have been put on windows, and people wouldn’t have known to stay indoors.
The rain muted sound and made it difficult to spot much about the manor other than the broken porch, ruined windows, and shifting light. Someone, or something, was inside, though. Shadows moved in front of the lights. Kaladin reached the side of the building, heart thumping, then rounded toward the northern side. The servants’ entrance would be here, along with the quarters for the parshmen.
The rain muted sounds, making it difficult to pick out specifics, but he did hear an unusual amount of noise coming from inside the manor house. Thumping. Motion. Each sound put him further on edge.
It was now fully night, and he had to feel his way through the gardens up to the building’s side. Fortunately, he remembered this place well. He’d spent much of his youth up at the manor, playing with Laral, the old citylord’s daughter. The parshmen had been housed in a small construction at the side of the manor, built in its shadow, with a single open chamber with shelflike benches inside for sleeping. Kaladin reached it by touch and Syl zipped up in front of him, giving off some miniscule light—enough for him to make out a gaping hole in the side of the building.
Well, that wasn’t a good sign. Kaladin felt around it, rain patting his shoulders and head. The entire side of the building had been ripped out, and the inside was apparently empty. He left it, scouting through the gardens—full of chest-high ridges of cultivated shalebark—looking for some sign of what had happened.
Sounds from behind.
Kaladin spun with a curse as the back entrance of the manor opened. Too far from the parshmen quarters to seek cover there, he dove for a shalebark mound, but it was pitifully small. Light bathed him, cutting through the rain. A lantern.
Kaladin raised one hand—no use hiding—and stretched the other to the side, prepared to summon Syl. Then he hesitated. The person who had stepped from the manor was human, a guardsman in an old helm with spots of rust on it.
The man held up his lantern, pale in the face at having seen Kaladin. “Here now.” The guardsman fumbled with the mace on his belt. “Here now! You there!” He pulled free the weapon and held it out in a quivering hand. “What are you? Deserter? Come here into the light and let me see you.”
Kaladin stood up warily, still tense. Someone, at least, seemed to have survived the Voidbringer assault. Either that, or this was a group investigating the aftermath.
Still, it was the first hopeful sign he’d seen since arriving. He held his hands to the side—he was unarmed save for Syl—and let the guard bully him into the building.

This is copied directly from the email newsletter I received. I am personally reading the series and was overjoyed to receive this- hopefully this made someone else happy.


Okay, I'm going to try something new: I'm going to post a whole bunch of short reviews at once (I haven't had time to write long ones lately).

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: 2/5
Cruel Beauty It was okay until the end. Then things...um... I don't even know. I don't get it. At all.

Half Bad by Sally Green: 2/5
This one I actually plan to write a longer review for at some point.
Half Bad (Half Life, #1)2.6 (-.4 for the unexplained magic system and the "Black VS White" setup).

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: 2/5
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Rather fun (Cinderelle as a cyborg? Awesome!). The annoying "plot twist" got on my nerves, though. Also... it kind of wasn't a retelling. More based on.

Of Beast And Beauty by Stacey Jay: 1/5
This one actually has a long sad story in which I wrote a really long, awesome review and it got deleted. I will post it here once I've rewritten it.
Of Beast and Beauty

#16thingsithoughtweretrue by Janet Gurtler: 2/5
#16thingsithoughtweretrueIt reminded me strongly of Twilight for some reason...

This book was weird. It switched plots so quickly it was a bit hard to keep up. The editor also didn't do his/her job at all- there were a lot of sentences that either didn't make sense in context or simply didn't make sense at all. The blurb was wrong. There's nothing else to say about it. It talked about things that never happened, and overemphasized things that didn't matter (as did the book- what's with the hitchhiker? The random lady with the dog?). The blurb also ruined several plot points.
I didn't like Morgan. She was moody, she was unfriendly, and her response to public humiliation is to act completely innapropriately in public gatherings.
Her mom's heart disease served no actual purpose in the plot at the end, except to make me hate Morgan even more for abusing her mom like that when she was at high risk for a heart attack.
Adam was weird. He was also such an uninteresting character that I don't even remember whether he went on the road trip with them or not.
Amy... where do I start? Inconsistent, strange, and a tragedy that I would have cared about had her cancer not felt like a contrived plot device to end it thought up thirty pages away from the end.

This book and I just did not get along. With a lot more editing and foreshadowing it could have been good.

Also, there was seventeen #thingsithoughtweretrue.

I apologize for any spoilers; I try to remove them all because the HTML spoiler hiding thing won't work, but sometimes I miss some.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: 3/5
Allow me to make clear that I wasn't actually all that fond of this book. I will not be continuing the series. But objectively, it was a good book, and I'm all about fairness.
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)I fully expected to hate this book. I read a few lines and nearly returned it without reading it.
And then... it was a good book. Ending left something to be desired, but... wow. It was weak in parts, of course. I'm more rounding it to 3 (2.65, maybe?) than giving it one wholeheartedly, because of the ending, the attempts at shocking the reader that failed utterly, and the irritating misspellings.
But other than that, it was a good book.
I still can't believe it.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson: 2/5
Elantris (Elantris, #1)I really wanted to love this book. The premise sounded interesting, I like the author, and I'd been told it was his best.
It even had its tagline by Orson Scott Card- what's not to like?
The beginning was weak, but the book really did get stronger (although there were a few instances where Moshe Feder was just not doing his job- "his heart was as unclear as a room filled with smoke"?). An appearance by Hoid had me all set to give it three stars.
But the ending.
If Brandon Sanderson has one weakness, it's endings. If he has a second, it's being Brandon Sanderson.

The 3 Cardinal Rules of a Brandon Sanderson Book (Elantris Edition):
1) If there is an arranged marriage, it MUST go through. Nothing must happen that would be a violation of it. The engaged parties must be in love before the marriage is consummated.
2) Main characters must not differ between books.
3) The ending must be rushed with not enough build-up, including a magical solution which is only revealed to us after it's already worked.

Our main characters (POV):
We have Sarene, our tall, thin, blond (but really people, she's not at all attractive), and smart princess. Due to her high ideals of female empowerment and years of diplomatic experience, she's gone to an arranged marriage in order to solidify a treaty for a reason that is never properly explained. While there, she'll proceed to give fencing lessons, change her mind so many times that even I couldn't follow it, and feel sickened by the sight of happy couples. Her lack of sensitivity toward's others' feelings will also reach never before seen heights. Her connection to the beggars is of unknown origin, although Hoid is highly suspected to be the culprit.
Raoden. When not assuming disguises for his own amusement, he enjoys being stabbed by his wife and obsessively drawing symbols in the air. Almost immediately incapacitated by a stubbed toe, we get to watch the crown prince struggle with his non-healing injuries while carelessly slapping, squeezing, or punching other people with the same condition. Don't worry, Sarene- I'd have stabbed him too. And besides, it's an important experiment- it's about 50-50 odds whether the wound will ooze "dark Elantrian blood" or refuse to bleed at all (just like all the other wounds... ignore the dark blood behind the curtain).
Hrathen is an initially interesting character who eventually fell to the aforementioned horrible "smoky room" line. In between mass conversions, praying, and ordering mysterious poisons, Hrathen walks around in bright red armor and fights with moves seen before only in partiularly bad TV shows. Doomed to love never returned, Hrathen mopes around on walls when not engaged in the highest form of serving his god- personal ambition.

Our Plot:
So, there was this city, full of these awesome glowing people.
Then they all turned into ancient David Tennants.
This happened to the crown prince.
Meanwhile some people try to conquer them.
Sarene organizes some conspiracies.
Stuff is found out.
The end.

Okay, it wasn't that bad. The interesting findings were all at the end of the book, and rushed so that they weren't even all that cool. The ending was a disappointment.

It's a 2.5. My plot summary is completley unfair; I shouldn't write these things when I'm tired. Imagine a non-sarcastic version of it designed to make the book sound good.

I enjoyed it, but it wasn't awesome.

I'm sure there are more reviews I've failed to post on here, but this will do for now. The ones that deserve their own posts will hopefully be getting them just as soon as I have this fabled thing called free time.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Can't Think Up a Good Title for This One

It might be a week or two before I publish any reviews on here due to technical difficulties and also my general frustration with YA fiction. I am reading things, I'm even reviewing them, so if you want reviews please see my Goodreads account. I hope to have the problems resolved soon.
If you'd like to request a review, please message me on Goodreads, email me at hamsterhuey126@gmail.com, or comment on this post (or any other).

Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was okay until the end. Then things...um... I don't even know. I don't get it. At all.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 22, 2014

Goodreads has failed me again

I'm going to give it a few more days and then go back to posting on here manually (shudder). Sorry about that, I've actually posted a few reviews but they haven't shown up for some reason.

As a reminder to myself, the reviewed books should include:
The Knife of Never Letting Go

I think that's all of them. Hopefully I can get this sorted out.

It just occurred to me: I think it's the header that's stopping them from going through. But I need the header. So I'll have to figure this out. Sigh.
And apparently it doesn't hide spoilers in the ones that post on here. I think it might be time to give up on linking them.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: The Alloy of Law

The Alloy of Law
The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Like Alcatraz, this was just Brandon Sanderson having fun.
"Wax and Wayne". Tinfoil hats to stop mind control. Wayne in general (I loved the interrogation scene).
It's not that it didn't work, or that I didn't enjoy it, although it's certainly not my favorite of his books.
It only gets 2 because I was hoping for a more fleshed out version of how the world had evolved, rather than a western with magic. Why aren't there any mistborns? How can someone be twinborn? What on earth is compounding, and how can they heal fast enough to survive a shot to the head? What happens to the bullet?
Also, the romance was really weird. But I liked the ending of it (if that was the ending). I also loved whatever-her-name is, the arranged marriage one. She was awesome.
So... yeah. Amusing, but not awesome.

View all my reviews

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Really Need to Read Shorter Books

That's why there haven't really been any reviews lately. Because I'm reading the Wheel of Time, a 14 book epic fantasy series.
I know, I'm a genius for reading something that long. But to be fair, I am taking breaks to read other books.
But review posts might get scarce while I read the next 10 books of the series (although they certainly won't vanish- I'll go crazy if I read WoT through and nothing else.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Channeling My Thoughts Through Writing

I've gone totally off-topic with all the death and personal life stuff (just one more- we have two new mousies!). So, back on the real topic- books, writing, etc.
Does anyone reading this keep a diary/journal? I keep starting them- it really helps me to write it all out- but I can never keep it up. This blog is also really helpful, but I recently started doing something else.  I've begun using writing a novel as a journal. I change names and some events, and I write down how I felt and what happened in that sort of random-snippets-of-my-life format. I think this way anyway (yes, I narrate pretty much everything I do in my head- but hey, compared to what I used to do (doing this in third-person past tense) it's totally normal). It's helped me a lot. Just a side note- it wasn't really off-topic because it was about writing.
In reading I'm on book four of the Wheel of Time series, but there are fourteen of them so I'm also reading stuff in between. The last book I read was Speak, which is also the first review I successfully (that isn't spelled right, is it...) published on here through Goodreads (yay).
I've noticed lately that I use parentheses a lot. That's my weird brain. Sorry.
I'm planning to do NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, so I'm kind of nervous to start anything in case it would have been better as a NaNoWriMo novel. It's silly. I should get past it.
I have a few books I need to read, and then a whole to-read list, so it's probably a good thing that my non-existant readers aren't recommending me books (although I blame the one person I think is reading this for distracting me with Speak- let's all take a moment to appreciate her, shall we? Someone could actually be reading this right now).
So, I think that's it for today. If anyone's reading this... how are you? What have you been reading/writing? What brought you here?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Grief, Interruptions, and Death

There's been a lot of death-talk going on in this blog lately.
And unfortunately, this post is going to be more of the same.

Goodbye, mouseling. I loved you so much. You were an amazing mouse. You were always willing to come onto my hand and nibble my fingers or eat a treat. You were old, and it was your time to go, but I wish I could have had even just one more day with you healthy, running around your cage like you did before you got sick. I don't know what killed you, whether it was old age or something more sinister. But I hope that you weren't in pain and you died peacefully in your sleep.
Sweet dreams, Martha. I hope that you and Ace are together somewhere.

I'm not going to put a picture in because Martha hated being photographed, but she was a beautiful mouse and she will be missed.

Review: Speak

It worked! I totally forgot I'd clicked post to blog, but it WORKED. This is awesome. Can I just say that IT WORKED?

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a three star book. It really was.
Right up until the last page- although it was the last sentence that really got to me.
Why not your parents? Why not your friends, your guidance counselor? Your ART TEACHER? What? How is that healthy? Also, you just magically recovered from severe depression. Yay?
I mourn you, book. You were really, really good, and then... what happened?

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 7, 2014

To interrupt our regular programming...

More than a year ago, I discovered a webcomic called Arthur King of Time and Space. I quickly read through the archives, catching up on something like 7 years of daily updates in just a few months.
Once I caught up, I started reading the creator's other webcomics and LiveJournal, as well as other things. I watched as the updates became more and more just filler and summaries of what would have happened, and from reading various sources I knew that this was because of his wife's longstanding battle with cancer.
Eventually, the updates stopped, the story wrapped up hastily. For a bit, I read his other stuff, but eventually I stopped except for occasionally checking AKOTAS to see if by come miracle his wife had recovered.
Today, I discovered that Leah Ruth Gadzikowski, his wife, passed away on August 17th.
I have idea if anyone will ever see this, but I'd like to pass my condolences on to Paul Gadzikowski (the cartoonist).
Thank you.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Stages of Grief

So, this is going to be different, because I'm going to be updating this post as I go (I know, what a novel idea). This post is going to be an ongoing updates of my experience reading a book called The Girl of Fire and Thorns, hopefully I'll get through one update a day with a total of 5-6 updates (depending on if I have a separate conclusion). You can follow what will be pretty much page by page updates at my Goodreads account or you can read the ones I deem worthy here, along with what I feel should be called "exclusive content (except for the fact that I'll be copying this to Goodreads when it's done), only to be found here at www.threestarslimit.blogspot.com", to bring out my inner advertiser (we all have one, you just don't know about yours yet).
So, let's get started (oh wait- first we need the disclaimer. Please note that while I'm using the titles for the stages that I find on Wikipedia, I am twisting their meanings for the purpose of writing a comedic book review. I mean no offense. Okay, all done.)

Stage One: Denial
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)
What an odd cover. Looks interesting. And Tamora Pierce liked it- how bad can it be?

See? There was even originally a better cover! So what if it supposedly contradicts a major plot point?

*Pause while I read the blurb*

Awesome! This book sounds great.

*Pause while I read the reviews*

It can't be as bad as they say. After all, look at the awesome blurb! I wonder if my library has it...

*Pause while I discover that my library has both the ebook and the regular book. I get the ebook out and download it, and request the book, which is at the library so I should be able to get it by the next day or two.*

It only comes in the format I don't like- whatever, it's worth it for a book that's bound to be so awesome. I'd better put down the book I'm reading and start this right away.

*Join me tomorrow for Stage Two- Anger.*

Okay, time to admit that I'm too busy to do a stage a day. Probably stage two will come tomorrow. 

Stage Two: Anger
I can't believe the book is this ridiculous. It revolves around a stone in our protagonist's belly button! And the writing is terrible. And Alejandro is a jerk. I don't even like Lord Hector.
And what's with the in-depth food descriptions? And why does our protagonist have an eating disorder, anyway? Why is no one worried? It's nice to have an overweight protagonist, it really is. But must she also have an eating disorder? That's kind of offensive.
This book is terrible.
Why am I wasting my time on this?
Oh, right.
Nonexistant reader, this book is terrible.

*Next up: Bargaining.*

Sorry that was so short. I'm doing this by quarterly increments, and I'm doing it as I read the book, so my predictions aren't always accurate. Thanks for reading!

Stage Three: Bargaining
I'll do anything if the main character stops describing her meals in great detail. If the plot begins to interest me. If her idiotic plans make sense. If she'll stop using religion as an excuse for self-harm (they stab themselves with thorns when asking for advice). If people could have liked her before she lost weight. If someone would explain to me where all this food comes from. And why they're in the desert. After being in the jungle. And if this stupid stone in her navel would stop changing temperature.
Seriously, anything.

Stage Four: Depression
This book. It's so bad. It's sucking the energy out of me. Why is she so skinny now? Why didn't anyone like her before? Why did she need to become athletic and put on a tight black outfit? Seriously, why?
And would she stop falling for guys? Yes, teenage girls are like that, but every time she glances at a guy she thinks she's found true love! Honestly.
What's the point of it all? Why read on if it's going to be this ridiculous?

Okay, it's time to admit I'm being unfair. The book isn't nearly as bad as I'm making it out to be. Then again, it would be very hard to achieve something that bad.
It's a bad book, don't get me wrong. But I had a moment of guilt.

Stage Five: Acceptance
It was really awful (that last scene... it was so ridiculous that I was cracking up). But there are good books in the world. I'll live.

Thank you for reading. What did you think of the book? Let me know in the comments section below!