Monday, January 31, 2011
So, I'm sitting here thinking of who to mention and this may be kinda corny, but I really have to thank Madeline L'Engle--I never knew her, never had any contact with her, but without her I would have never started writing. It was her books that inspired me as a kid, and still do today. Seriously, I have to pay a little tribute to her. There are a million other authors who have shaped who I am through their work and art, but I can't list them all here :)
There have been many others in my personal life, too, including my adviser in grad school who took a chance on the crazy lab tech and let her start school. I may not particularly love grad school sometimes, but he's been awesome through the whole process.
My husband! He may think my artistic side is a little nuts at times, but he's usually rather supportive. Even when I'm sobbing over a rejection. Hehe!
The rest of my family has also been an amazing source of support for me. They may not think very highly of me writing, but they are always there for me with my rather insane belief that I should carry on with my education.
For all of these people, and the hundreds of others I'm probably missing, THANK YOU!!!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth.
With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.
This book was a test to see how well I was going to like reading a full book on my iPad. I've read a ton of academic papers on it, and a lot of sample chapters, but not a full book until I read Switched. The good news: reading on my iPad is utterly awesome. I really loved it, though I will admit that the kindle reading app leaves a little to be desired. I like the iBooks better. The bad news: wow did this book leave a whole lot to be desired. I'm rather glad I only spent a buck on it, but even that was too much. I try not to be so negative about books on here, but sometimes I come across a book that is just so bad that I have to say so. This is one of those times. The plot was utterly typical and the writing was really horrible. I found myself wishing I had a red pen after the first paragraph. Over-writing central! The characters were flat and I felt absolutely nothing for the supposedly attractive male love interest. And the MC would have been interesting, had she been able to pick a personality and stick with it. Dang. Anyhow, I will certainly be avoiding the rest of these books and hope to find something better for my future eReading!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris– the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax– but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they’ve worked for.
I enjoyed this book, particularly the sisterly dynamic, which made me miss my own sister! (And I just saw her a couple of days ago, haha!) Anyhow, this was definitely an older YA book, and there was quite a bit of violence and such throughout, which I must admit I kind of liked. Anyhow, I read As You Wish a while ago, Peace's first book, and while I liked it, there were certain elements that I did not, particularly the ending which felt a little over-the-top for my tastes. This book avoids that same pitfall, but I was a little turned off by the fact these girls are so young and a 16 year-old with a 21 year-old is a bit of a stretch. Also, um, school? I don't know why that bothered me quite so much. Anyhow, the sisters themselves were relatable, though at the end I found myself feeling really sorry for Scarlett. I will have to check out Sweetly, the companion book to Sisters Red, to see how the story continues. Overall, a good read.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so. Accepted as a lady's maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold--as well as plenty of jewels for the taking. But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren't as apolitical as she thought... that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.
This was a really fun read, and I totally loved A Curse As Dark As Gold, Bunce's previous book, and the writing here didn't let me down! There were a few "lagging" bits in the middle, but I liked the world building and detail with the characters and their backgrounds. Everyone had a story. I also love how Bunce weaves together all the little details, even things you thought were not important play a role in the end. Such a lot of fun! The sequel, Liars Moon, will be coming soon. The only real problem I had with this novel, and I'm not even sure I want to post this, but I will the interest of noting my thoughts: there is little here to really distinguish this book from a whole lot of other fantasies I've read (the Tamora Pierce series come to mind). While I really enjoyed the book, it just didn't seem different enough to make it stand out--not that I'm even sure how one would do that in a field so saturated. Anyhow, my two cents :)
Thursday, January 6, 2011
At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago , everyone knows that south-siders mixing with north-siders can be explosive. So when Brittany Ellis and Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, this human experiment leads to unexpected revelations – that Brittany ’s flawless reputation is a cover for her troubled home life, that Alex’s bad-boy persona hides his desire to break free from gang ties, and that when they’re together, life somehow makes more sense. Breaking through the stereotypes and expectations that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart, Perfect Chemistry takes readers to both sides of the tracks in a passionate love story about looking beneath the surface.
Okay, I loved this book. It was mushy, had a sappy ending, and the plot may have been a bit on the predictable side (hello 10 Things I Hate About You, and ya know, the Shakespeare play that's based on that I'm feeling too lazy to go look up). Anyhow, the reason I loved it? Totally and completely reminded me of high school. I mean, I went to a school in a small town that had a very similar dividing line between the haves, and have-nots. Often this was split right down the race line. Because I went to school in Spanish up until middle school, I found it a tricky line to live on. I worry, looking back, that I was a royal snot at times, but in my defense, I was young and never saw it anyone as "other"--just not someone I didn't want to be friends with. Anyhow, I'm blabbering. At times, the Spanish was a bit forced, but overall Elkeles does a good job capturing the Spanish household, with all it's complexities and warmth. I'm going to have to check out the next book, though I'll be honest, I'm going to do so without the dust-jacket. The covers on this book were really not to my liking, and my husband laughed at them every time I had the book out... :)
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Congratulations! You have been admitted to the most prestigious university in the world. Now what are you going to do?
Callie Andrews may not have money or connections or the right clothes, and she may have way too many complications in her love life, what with—
the guy she loves to hate
the guy she'd love to forget
the guy she'd love to love
the guy she really should love
—all vying for her attention.
But she has three fantastic roommates (best friends or her worst nightmare?) and a wholesome California-girl reputation (oops) and brains and beauty and big, big dreams.
Will it be enough to help her survive freshman year at Harvard?
Honestly, I can't express how happy I am that my library is open again, so I can check books out like this! This read was quick and a lot of fun, and it enters rather uncharted territory in YA: college! Okay, I have mentioned before how I really, really think there needs to be more college-aged books out there. If only because teens want to read about it and possibly have an idea of what to expect before they enter the hallowed halls of higher education (or, well, not so hallowed). Anyhow, this book was certainly "over the top" in terms of a few things (I deal with college freshman every day and don't see this kind of craziness, but then again, we're not on the East coast, and most of the students here are not super rich). Anyhow, this was a fun read and I was heartily annoyed by being dropped right in the middle of the giant mess Callie had made for herself. Only thing that kinda distracted me was the head-popping in the book, as in drifting in and out of different characters heads too much. Rather ineffective, really. Anyhow, I'll certainly be grabbing the second book, Secrets, when I can!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Sunday's at Tiffany's
Love Walked In
The History of Love
Mistress of the Art of Death
13 Little Blue Envelopes
The Lost Symbol
Give Up The Ghost
Prada and Prejudice
The Thirteenth Tale
Pretty Little Devils
The Friday Night Knitting Club
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
As You Wish
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
Eighth Grade Bites
Ninth Grade Slays
The Demon's Lexicon
The Sweet Far Thing
My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters
A Curse Dark as Gold
A Great and Terrible Beauty
-Query at least 10 more agents for Travelers. (Completed--still have one full out and another with a publishing house...)
-Query (hopefully successfully) widely for Colors Like Memories. (One massive revision, many queries, and many fulls and partials still out in the world. Please, please, please let 2011 be the year I make this happen for this book. It is the best thing I've ever written and I love it. I honestly can't stand the thought of letting it gather dust-bunnies in a drawer.)
-Prep at least two academic papers. (I got one published, and another is very nearly complete, and I hope to get it in to a journal early this coming year!)
-Lose 20 pounds. Attend gym/run at least 4 days a week. (Well, I lost 10 pounds, still working on the other 10. I was very diligent about the gym though--maybe not 4 times a week every week, but close!)
-Read at least one academic paper a week. (Uhhh, I kind of did these in batches, but I think it evens out :)
-Start looking for jobs for Ryan and me. (Well, I did at least. Nothing has come of it. Grrr!)
-Finish and revise Polyandry. (Yeah, this story is now languishing in the eternal netherlands of my hard-drive, as I kinda got stuck...)
-Visit Japan! (Yeah, maybe this year. Really, I swear. We're going to do this!)Okay, I have yet to put together my goals for this coming year, but I will soon. I really just want this year to be better. More productive. More positive. Is that too much to ask? Undoubtedly yes. But still, a girl can hope, right?