Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why I Love Hate to Love (And a Teensy Rant on InstaLove)

I am so predictable in my shipping predilections.

The moment a character decides they hate another character with every fiber of loathing they possess, I'm like "YEAH. They need to kiss. That's a thing." And the character is like BUT NO, I HATE THEM and I'm like "But no, you're not kissing, get on that." And lo, a ship is born, and I am on that ship, and we are sailing toward the sunset and bantering all the way.

I mean, the two characters don't need to want to blow up the object of their non-affection in a hail of Wildfire right off the bat. Like, there are degrees on love interest antagonizing, I realize. They can have a healthy but friendly banterthing, being adversarial opposites without being straight up adversaries like Luke and Lorelai, for example. But oh, OH my little shipper heart beats a million miles a minute when two characters lock eyes and decide they loathe each other beyond all sense and not even divine intervention can change their minds because HE IS THE LAST MAN IN THE WORLD WHOM I COULD EVER BE PREVAILED UPON TO MARRY. 

lol as if see you in 350 pages when you're legit married

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: Yes, #1 in the Kingdom on Fire series
Release date: September 16th, 2016
Publisher: Random House
Length: 416 pages
Source: ARC from BEA16
Rating: I LOVE THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH. Hello, slump-buster.

Henrietta can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s named the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years and invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the prophesied one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta is not the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves? 

HI THERE. Before I start reviewing and whatnot, a few quick questions. Do you like:



--reversing the Chosen One trope

--plot twists


--shipping a lot

--continuing to ship

--still doing the ship thing

--yeah the answer is still ship

--I know what I am about

then I'm preeeeeetty sure you will love A Shadow Bright and Burning, one of the most fun fantasies I've read all year.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Reading Out of My Comfort Zone

I have a pretty well set comfort zone when it comes to books. Gillian books are super easy for me to recognize.

Non-Gillian books are basically anything without magic or kissing or explosions or dragons or princesses or warriors or banter. They're issue books, and adult novels, and books with  no kissing whatsover. Books where nobody even thinks about kissing. Like, not even for a teeny second.

Monday, September 19, 2016

What I've Read Lately (Ish): Fantasy Edition

Okay. So by lately, I the last four months. I have been hideously remiss at writing book reviews lately. Considering I'm, you know, a book review, I don't know why those are always the posts I have to dredge up the most focus/concentration/perseverence/five shots of liquor  to get done, but sometimes i just REALLY DON'T WANT TO WRITE REVIEWS PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME HOW MANY WAYS CAN I SAY THAT THE WORLDBUILDING WAS REALLY LUSH??

Zeus almighty, I'm lazy.

So today, I'm taking the lazy way out, with Zeus' gift to the lazy word-putting-into-sentence-doers of the world: the bullet point. Bless you, oh beautiful bullet point.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Empire of Storms #MaasThirteen Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Hello and welcome and how are you and HUZZAH! Today is a most special day: it is the my day on the Maas Thirteen Empire of Storms blog tour! *tosses confetti in the air* I've been so honored to be a part of the last two Throne of Glass tours, and I'm keeping up the tradition of doing something arty and way too time consuming in the name of one of my fave fantasy series by drawin' you some picture stuffs.

My Heir of Fire blog tour post | My Queen of Shadows blog tour post

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Classics

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
Yay classics! I was a huuuuge reader of classics back in the day. When I was a teenager I was determined to conquer as many as possible. Some, obviously, were more enjoyable than others (I will never, ever love Catcher in the Rye or Hemingway or Thomas Hardy. I just won't. I have tried. I have come close. And I have failed.) (Okay I never came close with Hardy but that's because he's a depressing old bastard, really)

I'm only picking things published before I was born, since classics is a bit of a wibbly category and heck if I know what a classic is (besides what general convention says it is, something dense and boring written by an old white dude). But I love classics! Not all of them--some of them are REALLY WHITE DUDE-Y--but I've always been a huge lover of older literature. Obviously my tastes run toward the kinds with kissing and petticoats and brooding men with collar points, but there's stuff here for all the kids to enjoy.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Review: Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall

Been Here All Along by Sally Hall
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: No
Release date: August 30th, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan)
Length: 320 pages
Source: print ARC from the publisher (I am sorry, publisher)

Gideon always has a plan. His plans include running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. They do NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend and next door neighbor, Kyle. It’s a distraction. It’s pointless, as Kyle is already dating the gorgeous and popular head cheerleader, Ruby. And Gideon doesn’t know what to do.

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. Then, both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, and Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong…

Oh, man, I sooooo don't want to write this review, because I really--really--REALLY--wanted to love this. A book full of tropey T-Swift cuteness starring two nerd boys in love? This sounds like everything my little heart could ever want! And oh, it could have been. If it hadn't been for...well, everything besides the premise, alas.


I apologize for that ear worm. Those of you too young to know that song, please don't tell me. All righty then.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Series: Yes, #1 in Three Dark Crowns series
Release date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 416 pages
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss/print ARC from BEA16

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Oooo, that was very dark and intriguing and bewitching! It starts sort of slow and slinky, if that makes sense, and it does throw a lot of characters at you (arguably too many), but once I was lulled into this world I didn't want to leave it. Every time I put the book down, I found myself thinking about it and wanting to get back. The concept of the three dueling queens, heirs to three different magical bloodlines, raised to kill one another to be QUEEN OF THE QUEENS, is fantastic.

I loved the slow, sensory, almost vicious prose. I also loved what worldbuilding we got, though it's evident there is a LOT we don't know yet. And there were also a LOT of things I would have liked clarified, and to be honest a lot of the names drove me batty. But I know all the answers and what not are coming, and will probably fuck me up something real, because Kendare Blake apparently likes to blow my mind.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The YA Sorting Hat: #BacktoHogwarts Edition! (6)

One day, I asked myself the not at all ridiculous question, "Which houses would I sort my favorite literary characters into?" So got Ye Olde Sorty out of the Headmaster's office and put him on the job of sorting some of my favorite non-Harry Potter characters into Hogwarts Houses.

Last time on The YA Sorting Hat

It's September first! Which means all the witchy kiddos are on the train on the way to Hogwarts/already there because Scotland is in the future. So it's a perfect day to Sort some YA characters!