Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Waiting on Wednesday is a classic blog hop feature hosted by Breaking the Spine. As a book blogger myself, no matter how inconsistent I may be ;), I know a lot of the blogging community is plugged into, such as when a sequel they've been salivating over or their favorite author's new book or even a brand new author who's getting a lot of buzz, when books come out. WoW is a way to share our tastes and signal boost upcoming books, as well as a wonderful opportunity to socialize and hop on other blogs.
Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.
She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.
Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.
They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.
War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.
I'm too excited for this book. This is the final book and I'm so ready to find out what happens :). I need a happy ending Mrs. Armentrout. Give me the happy ending. Pleeeeeease.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created at the iconic blog, The Broke and the Bookish. If you like making lists then I highly recommend that you participate in this. Check out about how to participate in the feature HERE.
This weeks topic is Blogging Confessions. Eep! I hope people don't kill me.
1. This shouldn't be a surprise, but the reason I don't read like I used to is because of Teen Wolf fanfiction. I download an obscene amount of ePub files from Archive of Our Own. My favorite ship is Sterek. I actually write fanfic as well.
2. I'm not a huge fan of classic literature. I'll read anything you'll put in front of me, but I hate it when I don't get drawn in. Most classics drag on for forever and it irks me.
3. I hate it when people are super snobby about books. Like I said, I'll read anything. However, I don't think it's okay to judge people on what they read. Reading should be fun. For me its an escape and I don't take kindly to book shaming. You like what you like and no one has a right to comment on that. I'm not going to say who it is, but the best example of this is an actor on twitter. He tweets about books a lot, however he will go ham on adults for reading Young Adult fiction. He was talking to a person on Twitter and said that (in reference to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green) the characters were to sophisticated with their dialogue to be real teenagers. He also went on to say that adults were turning their brains into mush and attacked the quality of YA and NA fiction. First of all, my co blogger and I grew up watching Dawson's Creek and The OC. We talked exactly like Gus and Hazel. I know plenty of people that are younger than me that can hold their own in an intellectual conversation as well as many adults who just prefer a certain genre of literature. It's really crappy to slam people for the things they love. It's also a really easy way to start a rumble with an army of book bloggers.
4. I don't believe Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games is a heroine. I believe that she's an antiheroine. People slam her for not wanting to join in the war or her reluctance to be the symbol of the resistance. What they seem to forget is that Katniss is ANYTHING but noble and selfless. She only went into the games because she loved her sister. Prim meant everything to Katniss. She would have never volunteered if Prim hadn't been drawn. When they were safe inside District 13, she had what she wanted, which was her family safe and healthy. She wanted to run away with Gale. I don't believe she would have saved his family if they had not been important to him. She is a survivor first and foremost. It's what she's done her whole life. She never wanted to be the hero. She was not Harry Potter. She shouldered her responsibility, yes, but she hated it and she was never graceful about it. And she shouldn't be. Katniss is one of my favorite characters because she was so incredibly flawed.
5. I love Goodreads, but it irks me when I reread a book and I can't put it in my book count for the year without taking it off another yearly goal (if anyone knows a remedy for this I'll love you forever). I'm extremely persnickety about the way I want certain things.
6. I screamed when I found out that Jennifer Echols was following me on twitter.
7. I like to be comfortable when I read, which involves me stretching my body into weird looking positions. When I read at the library people end up asking me if I'm okay. It's really funny.
8. I cannot read in silence. If I'm at the library I listen to music with headphones in my ear. If I'm at home I have the TV on, music playing, and then I can read. I pretty much have music and the TV on at all times. Silence is not my favorite thing.
9. I read the final Harry Potter book in less than six hours. My friend came with me to the midnight release party and she genuinely thought I'd read the book after she left the next day. Unfortunately for her I started the book the absolute minute I got home. I was up til 6 am and then I passed out after I was finished. I get really angry when people try to dispute this. Someone called me a liar when I told them this and my mom had to tell them I wasn't lying. I read really fast.
10. I hate participating in book tours. I think they're good for some bloggers and the author of the book, however if I never do one again it will be too soon. I've met some amazing people and authors through doing this, however I HATE being told how long I have to read a book and being told when I'm going to post my review. I end up enjoying the book a whole lot less if I don't read it on my own time. I do love getting arcs and reviewing them. I almost never say no. I just suck at sticking to a schedule. I also feel unethical when I'm asked not to post a review because I want to give the book less than three stars. If I put effort in reading the book I want to see the fruits of my labor in a review.
That's all for today. Link me to yours and I'll come visit. Have an awesome day.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Do it on whatever day that floats your boat and you're invited to put your link in the list on her page and blog hop comment for comment. Vicariously! participates in the blog hop on Mondays, showing my fellow bloggers my haul for the week or the month.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.
Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
I'm insanely excited to read these books. They're making it into a series on Starz and I've been really excited about the casting. Plus I'm trying to branch out on content.
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.
Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?
I've had the first book for awhile. Now I have the whole series. I definitely prefer to have entire series when I read books. That way I don't have to die of curiousity after I finish the first book.
Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins
Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.
The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.
In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.
I just found out that a fourth book is awaiting publication. I don't know how I feel about all these companion books from the love interest's point of view. However, if it's good it's good and I definitely want to read it. ;)
Quiet by Susan Cain
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts--from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a "pretend extrovert."
This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.
My therapist suggested this book. I'm an introvert through and through. I nervous babble a lot so people tend to think I'm a shy extrovert. I'm already a fourth of the way through and this book is a godsend. I love it. I would definitely recommend this book to every introvert I know.
Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan
Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors.
Meg’s natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: Not everyone is who they appear to be. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?
I'm definitely laughing so hard right now because I JUST got the double meaning in the title. I swear sometimes I have the slowest brain ever. I love historical romance though. Even when it's not accurate it's just hella fun to read. It's my favorite genre next to Fairy Tale Retellings.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother's side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man any times her age-and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself, and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.
The great Maya Angelou died a few weeks ago and I cried when I found out. This woman is an icon and always will be. I always wished I could meet her, however it wasn't meant to be. She was a phenomenal woman with a story that spoke of absolute strength. I can't wait to read all of her work. :)
That's all for this week. Comment and leave me a link. I always reply and comment on your page. And if you follow me I follow you. Hope everyone has a good week :)!
Saturday, June 21, 2014
So I met Karolina because she asked to interview me. So I was like....ok, but only if you let me interview you. So we both did. You can check out my interview for her blog HERE and this below is hers. Click on the button to go to her blog or the Bookshelf Reflections in my blogroll! She's awesome so please go love and follow her.
Hi Karolina and welcome to Vicariously! We're so excited to have you on the blog. Why don't you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your blog?
Thank you for having me! I'm really excited to be here!
There's not much to tell about me. I am your average boring person. I'm twenty-one and a law student. I live in Munich, Germany, and I speak four languages fluently. I have two cats and cry when watching videos of puppies and kittens, because they are just that cute. I laugh inwardly, which drives people around me crazy... and I snore. I'm also very sarcastic.
I've been blogging on Bookshelf Reflections since this February, so I am still green behind the ears when it comes to book-blogging. I have blogged about other topics before, though, so I'm not a total newbie! I post longish reviews and interviews once a week. I love typing up discussion posts, though, and following all the aftermaths! You want me happy? Disagree with something I say, so I can try to "lawyer" you ;)
What made you want to get into this awesome world off book blogging? P.s. Kudos on the layout, who did it for you?
Thank you! I want to say that I did it completely on my own, but that would be a lie. I bought a Wordpress Theme on Etsy and have tweaked the hell out of it since. It's unrecognisable, really, but the base code wasn't mine.
I didn't really know there was such a thing as book blogging until last year, when a friend of mine shared the link to hers. I'd never thought I would join her in this endeavour. It always seemed like too much work! At the beginning of this year, though, I went through somewhat of a self-discovery phase when it comes to reading. I used to read maybe twenty books a year, and I ended up reading twenty in two weeks. I had no-one willing to talk with me about all the feels I was drowning in, so I decided to start up my own blog after all. This is also a reason why my reviews of books are always so long. It's important to me not only to point out all the things I liked or didn't like about a book, but also all the little things it made me feel and why... sometimes in an abstract way and with many metaphors in order not to spoil the book for anyone.
Do you prefer certain genres of books or are you like me where if the book piques your interest in any kind you want it? What's your favorite genre?
I like to think that I will read anything as long as it piques my interest. Truth is, though, that if it doesn't include some romance in it, I won't pick it up. I'm single. I'm a law student. My life couldn't get more boring if I tried. Which is why when I read books, I like to read about exciting things or things I would never do myself. I like experiencing things I never would myself through the books I pick up, so they tend to be in the paranormal/dystopian or crazy yet predictable contemporary genres. I also tend to read more NA than YA recently, simply because I have stopped being able to identify or sympathise with many of the characters and get annoyed with childish and outlandish scenarios and actions. My favourite genre remains dystopian/paranormal, though. I love it when books intended for younger audiences tackle social issues and that does happen mostly in those genres.
With all the indie and self published authors coming out, we have such a huge selection to choose from when we find books for pleasure reading. So you think this is beneficial or detrimental to the book industry? As in, do you feel like it's enriched our choices or dumbed down our standards?
This might sound harsh, but I do think it is detrimental to the book industry. I know there are many self-published authors out there who do a great job and really do bring beautifully crafted and thought-provoking books to the market. I know and love many. Truth is, though, in comparison to the vast amount of self-published books, the truly great ones are far in-between.
Self-publishing allows future authors to skip the step of their work being broken down and analysed by experts. It allows them to publish exactly what they want to when they want to. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. But some authors take this as an invitation to skip the incredibly vital steps of editing, cutting and rewriting their story. Many only have a friend look over their manuscripts before they publish. This results in books being riddled with mistakes and including phrases, which should simply not be included in something considered "literature". Basic grammatical mistakes, forced dialogue and chapters which seem to be going on forever without driving the plot are only a few of the problems I often encounter in self-published books. Many tend to be retellings of the same story over and over. They neither provide something new and exciting to the "book industry" nor do they make much of a good read.
Again, there are exceptions to this.
Do you have some standby favorite authors, where no matter what they write or write about, that you'll buy without question? Or does it really just depend on the book?
There is only one author I will buy every book of, no matter the topic. Sadly, despite being part American and having grown up in the US, she only publishes her books in German. Her name is Lynn Raven a.k.a. Alex Morrin and she writes High and Dark Fantasy. (Which means there is a lot of vampires running around and dark magic being practiced.)
As a book blogger, how to do you feel about the fact that libraries with physical books are not likely to exist one day?
Truth be told, I almost never go to the library. I live in Germany, but I mostly read English books, so unless I want to read the classics, there isn't much to choose from. I always end up buying the books I want to read. I just like knowing that they are mine to do with as I please. Also, now that I have started blogging, when I want to read and review a book, I simply request it from the author or the publisher, and most of the time, they send it to me, making the trip to the library seem even less appealing.
Nonetheless, I do think that the library as an institution is very important. Not everyone has the means to buy books as they please. Yet the knowledge, passed through books, should be accessible to everyone. We live at a time, where reading is still a privilege and the extinction of libraries would be robbing people of their privilege to access this knowledge. A privilege, whose grave importance was already recognised by the Ancient Greeks, who created the first public libraries in Alexandria first and later in Constantinople, which where accessible to everyone and included all kinds of scripts. I refuse to believe, though, that such an important tradition and part of history would die out.
If I were to walk into your room, what would I see? Are you a crazy organized person, a slightly messy, an organized mess, or a completely chaotically messy person?
That totally depends on my workload and which apartment and room I am in! In my apartment in Greece everything is cleaned up and in its place. Always. You won't find anything lying around or on a table or shelf it's not supposed to be. I clean the bathroom every day, the kitchen after every time I use it, heck, I even wash the windows multiple times a week when I'm there. It is so pristine, you could eat of the floor.
Now, how my house in Germany looks depends completely on how much I have to do. I try to keep the kitchen and bathroom clean at all times, but the living room and my bedroom go through mood swings just as I do. Truth be told, everything has its own place it's supposed to be as well, but chances are the more things I have to do, the more responsibilities I have to meet and the more deadlines are hovering over my head, the bigger the chance is that I will spend a few hours cleaning. The more free time I have on my hands, though, the messier my room gets.
What do you do outside of blogging? What's your day job and the things, other than reading, that bring you joy?
As I mentioned before, I am a law student. I'm in my fourth semester (out of nine) of acquiring my Master of Law in Germany and well into my sixth semester (out of eight) of getting my Bachelor of Law in Greece. Weird. I know. Long story. Better not ask. As you sure can imagine, this takes up quite some of my time. When I'm not attending classes ( - Which I rarely do anymore. I'm really lazy. - ) or reading books, I tend to watch series or meet up with friends. As creepy as it might sound, I love dancing around in my underwear and do all the crazy moves when I'm living alone (which happens periodically over the year). Other than that, I enjoy writing stories and acting. I haven't had many chances to do much of either over the past few years, though. I love drawing, but I suck at painting, and I like to pet my cats for at least an hour every day. If you want to get in my good graces, you should get me a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato if it's Winter or Spring, a Caramel Frappuchino in the Summer and Java Chip Choccolate Frappuchino in Autumn.
As to my day job, I work as a part-time Student Assistant in the Editorial Office for Online Publishing for Publishers C.H.Beck. Occasionally, I will also work as a Freelance Student Legal Research Assistant or do translations. Pretty boring stuff.
Some people are just born entirely too attractive. Pick your top three men and women you think qualify for this 'achievement?'
Ah, this is not fair. It's always hard to choose between who I think is just a really attractive/charming person and whom I would drop my panties for immediately should the opportunity ever arise! So, I'll do somewhat of a mix... My top three picks are... *drum-roll*
1. Stephen Amell
2. Theo James
3. Ian Somerhalder (from five years ago)
1. Zoey Deutch
2. Leighton Meester
3. Angelina Jolie
If I looked at your iPod, what kind of music would I find on there?
All kinds of music! I don't have a specific genre I listen to. You would find a lot of Chopin, Lana del Rey and Muse. Other than that Agnes Obél, Bitter:Sweet, David Usher, Digital Daggers, Marina And The Diamonds, Florence And The Machine, Muse, Oh Land, Imagine Dragons, Ron Pope, Sia, Sick Puppies, Simon & Garfunkel, Tenacious D, Birdy, IYEOKA, Linkin Park, Adele, Hoobastank, Bryn Christopher, Christina Perri, 30 Seconds to Mars, Ellie Goulding, Dido, Dianna Vickers, Incubus... and even some Glee covers! And those are just a few! Really, chances are, as long as it isn't Hard Rock, Metal, Country or being played on the radio 24/7, I have it on my iPod!
You meet a person in an online setting. You guys end up talking for over three years. When they ask to meet in person do you go?
If I have been talking to this person through Skype and we meet in a public space, then, yes, I'm all game. If I've NEVER actually seen the person (i.e. actual live prove that it is them talking to me) then there is no way in hell! Unless you are coming to visit to Munich and ask me to take you sight-seeing. That I might do.
I'm looking through your DVR (if you don't have one pretend), what shows am I finding and is there a show that you watch that you will not tolerate interruptions during?
First off: I will not tolerate interruptions during ANY show I might be watching. Show time is me time, so you better stay away or your head will roll.
As I mentioned before, I am a series junkie. So here are the shows which I have watched in the past two years (some of them religiously, though I can say that I have watched every single one episode from all of them):
Lost, Arrow, Nikita, Castle, Suits, The 100, Orange is the New Black, Ringer, Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Friends, Downton Abbey, 90210, Hart of Dixie, Pretty Little Liars, Revenge, Hannibal, The Vampire Diaries, The Lying Game, New Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Star-Crossed, Deception, Drop Dead Diva, Mistresses, The Client List, The Originals, Jane by Design, Do No Harm, Bunheads, Don't Trust the B**** in Apartment 23, 2 Broke Girls, The Secret Circle, Glee and even Keeping up with the Kardashians. Really, this is where I lose all my brain-cells. I only took up watching TV series two years ago and those are the ones I have been through...
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, learn the language, and immerse yourself in the culture, where would it be and why?
This might sound cliché, but I'd really like to live in New York for a year. I have been fascinated with the city and the life-style since High-School. I even wanted to move there. By now, after having met many people from there and taken classes on American Law, I have realised that I don't want to raise my future children in a country, where everyone is allowed to carry a gun, where the police is allowed to shoot you if they think you might be "dangerous", where they can stop and frisk you whenever they want (this would never, ever happen where I live. Hello? Boundaries?), where you might get sued for damages and liabilities if you try saving someone who's drowning and you are not a lifesaver, and where people can sue McDonald's for becoming fat, or the producer of a washing machine for not warning them that they aren't allowed to wash their pets in it, and actually win the law-suits! (You can check, all of those cases actually did happen and still continue happening!) I would, however, love to live there for a limited time. Not to raise a family. Just to experience life on the other side of the Pacific, have some fun and do all the things I shouldn't be doing far away from my family's prying eyes!
What are your top three pet peeves?
1. Naked feet. - I understand that you won't wear socks in summer. That's totally understandable. I don't wear them either. But you better take care of how your feet look and if I see them anywhere but on the floor, I will stab you. If you need to put them on the couch, cover them or at least place them in a place I don't see them.
2. People who don't know how to form and wait in line. And people who complain about it. - It's a simple concept. You stand behind the person who came before you. You wait for your turn. You shut your mouth and don't complain.
3. People moving my things. - When I put something somewhere, I do that because it's where this thing is supposed to be. It's mine. And it's there. Move it without my permission and I will be pissing you off for the next two weeks. I can assure you of that.
I've heard you had some fictional affairs. Let's say these fictional affairs happened with three book character. Pick three and mention the series they're from?
1. Julien du Cranier from the Dawn & Julien Trilogy (Kuss des Dämons)
2. Daemon Black from the Lux Series
3. Tobias Eaton "Four" from the Divergent Trilogy
Now pick one of each (of the three) to kill, shag, or marry. ;)
I hate you.
Kill: Tobias Eaton - for being stupid enough to believe Tris wouldn't try to save her brother.
Shag: Julien du Cranier - 'cause I know he'd eventually cheat on me with Dawn... and he has a reputation for being great in bed.
Marry: Daemon Black - let's just say I love his humor.
Though should polygamy be an option, I choose to marry all three of them and never let them go.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with the readers?
I read a lot of crap. But sometimes, amidst those piles of crap I will find a book covered in it, which if you clean it up, you will find it is made of gold. I try to cherish those few books on my blog. And I also post rants about all the things that make the other books as crappy as they are.
Lastly give me a quote, any quote, that you find inspiring, that describes you, or you just like.
“Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.” - Lauren Oliver, Delirium
I have many quotes from this book I love, each I find special for a different reason. This one reminds me of the impact a person can have on your life and how, no matter how hard you try, if they have claimed your heart once, you will never forger it.
Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview!
I should be thanking you for asking me to participate! :)
About KarolinaI’m a 20-something-year-old book lover from Munich, Germany, currently going to law school and envisioning myself finally holding my degree in spring 2017, only to then start my legal clerkship and flush my hard work down the drain! My social life is limited to hanging with other individuals foolish enough to embark on a journey of eternal damnation by applying to law school, spending time and obsessing over books with my BFTTFE, and drowning the depths of my desperate soul in alcohol (which I am really picky about!) with anyone imprudent enough to join me (I’m not so picky about company – cue: hermit). My best friends’ names are Vanity and Megalomania and if I’m not with them I’m hiding in a corner sobbing myself to death over some (not even dramatic) scene in a YA book.
Despite people contradicting, I can attest to having a great sense of humour. According to my sister and people with common sense, I am to have corrupted my little brother with my dirty mind, an accusation which (just to clarify) I deny. I’m fluent in four languages and am attempting time and time again to learn French. I fail miserably every time, but that’s a story for another time. I’m also creative and like to think of myself as literate, facts of which the world has yet to see. I do experience random laughing fits. So beware.
Apart from having imaginary affairs with an abundance of fictional characters I am also in love with a living specimen called “Phoebos Baby”. The fact he is a cat is inconsequential. I also experiment with my hair a lot. Hopefully enough for any of you actually wanting my brains to not be able to find me.
But I’m not going to be that mean to you. After all you’ve made it this far. You can look for more stalking tips on my social media sites! Good luck!
Friday, June 20, 2014
Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Genre(s): Young Adult, Dystopian
Summary: When Thomas wakes up trapped by a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape.
Available at Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository
Review: From the very first page, I was judging this book. I was judging it hard. I needed it to be awesome. I needed it to be a book that kept me invested and dying to read the next one in the series.Why? His name is Dylan O'Brien and I love him more than everything. Okay, not really, but I do appreciate him as an actor thanks to a little MTV show called Teen Wolf. And, because somebody really likes me, Dylan is playing the main character of Maze Runner, Thomas, in the latest young adult adaptation to be hitting theaters later this summer.
For those of you who don't know, YA's history in the box office is somewhat muddled. For every successful Harry Potter there's a poorly received Beautiful Creatures or Ender's Game and, seeing as how my television crush is playing the lead, you can understand why I don't want this film to end up in the latter category.
The good news is, I don't think that it will and this is why. From the very first page, James Dashner thrusts you into this saga's mystery with no apologies. The vibe of the story reminds me of the television series LOST in a lot of ways. There's a group of strangers that are forced to work together to form a community in a mysterious place that they know hardly anything about and there's a dangerous mystery at work that could kill them all if they don't figure it out fast.
Unlike other dystopian series, Maze Runner isn't about a teenage girl trying fight for what's right against a corrupt government - which, quite frankly, is a breath of fresh air. Instead, this series has a teenaged male lead and the only focus is on survival. With no memories of their former lives, the main cast of this book is trapped by a huge and ever changing maze that holds as many answers as it does deaths thanks to some very nasty and dangerous enemies. (Think Lord of the Flies meets Lost meets the maze from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)
Despite keeping a brisk pace from the beginning without much slowing down, Dashner does a very good job of making us root for these characters to survive. And even though we barely get any information that can answer the obvious questions, (Why were they sent there? Who put them there? Why don't they have any of their memories?) Dashner compels us to keep going and care about these unfortunate schmucks and their circumstances. He gets us caught up in the mystery that surrounds them. And even better? He accomplishes what every starter book in a series must in order to become a success. He makes you want to know what happens next.
With a mystery that feels wholly original, a colorful and diverse cast, action sequences that seem to be born for the special effects of a silver screen, and quick paced writing, Maze Runner has easily captured my attention. And, the best compliment that I can give it, is that I'm going to binge on this series like it was on Netflix.
Rating: 4 out of 5
About the Author: James is the author of THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy and THE 13TH REALITY series. He also published a series (beginning with A DOOR IN THE WOODS) with a small publisher several years ago. He lives and writes in the Rocky Mountains.
Goodreads / Twitter / Author Website
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Title: Brunette Ambition
Author: Lea Michele
Genre(s): Biography, Advice, Non-Fiction
Summary: The star of the hit show Glee shares her experiences and insider tips on beauty, fashion, inner strength, and more in an illustrated book that’s part memoir, part how-to, and part style guide.
Lea Michele is one of the hardest working performers in show business. Whether she’s starring as Rachel Berry on Glee, rocking a glamorous look on the red carpet, recording her solo album, or acting as the spokesperson for L’Oreal, Lea is the ultimate multi-tasker. She knows better than anyone that it is difficult to be your best self and keep things in perspective when your to-do list is overflowing and you are faced with challenges, so she’s developed a foolproof system for remaining healthy and centered. In Brunette Ambition, she reveals the lessons and advice that have worked for her--from beauty and fashion secrets to fitness tips, and career insights. Supplemented with never-before-seen photos and revealing anecdotes, it’s the book Lea wishes she’d had in her teens and early twenties: A practical and inspirational guide to harnessing tenacity and passion and living the fullest life, no matter what obstacles life puts in your way.
Review: I don't know if Lea Michele is just this savvy or if someone on her PR team is that smart, at the moment I'm going to go with Lea being savvy.
If you've ever watched Lea in an interview you'll understand me when I say this: This book sounds like her word for word. The entire time I read her book I heard her voice in my head. And it's a very smart book. Why do I say this?
Anyone who knew this book was coming out probably only heard the part of the summary that said "memoir." And in a way it is, however Lea accomplishes something that most celebrity memoirs don't. It's that she's classy. You read her book and you feel like you know her. She doesn't name drop just to drop a name. She talks about her life and the people in it.
I think most readers are going to walk away thinking they know Lea.
But they don't.
Lea is very careful in how she wove this story. She tells you funny anecdotes, gives some interesting recipes, comes off very down to earth, and dishes out some, surprisingly, good advice. The reader never feels like they're being talked down to or reading something that was manufactured to further her career. It feels honest and it is, in a very surface way.
And that's where I feel partially duped and also want to applaud her. Lea told us very little that we didn't already know. Yes, she added details and infused her personality and perspective into the stories we read, but she never went into the troubles she's had. Of course, this could be because she's faced very little trauma. However, we all are aware that she has, and are reminded of this in her thank yous, faced a very awful loss recently. If you picked up this book expecting her to talk about Cory and how she felt about everything? You might want to put it down and go look for another book. Also you may want to think about how devastating it is to lose the love of your life and just give her a mental hug.
In fact if you're looking for a tell-all about Glee? You should put it down too. She only talks about it for about twenty pages and it's not til the very end of the book.
I guess what I really want to say is that it's a bubbly, very pleasant, if not a bit mindless read. If you wanted a glimpse into who Lea Michele might be, interesting stories, solid advice, and vegan/vegetarian recipes? I'd pick it up. If not? Pass it by.