Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I hope all of you days are full of happiness and cheer during this season. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Warm Bodies

Have you guys heard about this movie or the book?  Well recently I heard about the movie while trolling the internet late at night and when I realized there was a book I had to read it.  A trip to the amazon site and a few days later I was flying through this page turner called Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.

I haven't read that many zombie books despite their popularity.  The blood and gore doesn't really bug me I just haven't picked up the zombie genre.  Now I think this might change.  Warm Bodies throws a twist in the zombie books by allowing the zombie to narrate the story.  This adds a new perspective that I had really never thought of.  It turns out zombies don't just want brains they have them.

R is a great character and you immediately fall in love with him.  Even though he spends most of his time attacking and eating humans he is surprisingly human.  He is funny and insightful which is a characteristic I would not expect in a zombie.  In the end R's narrative/thoughts makes the novel. I mean when do we get to be in the mind of the monster?  That is right hardly ever.

The book is also a good mixture of young adult and adult material.  While the writing is pretty simple the questions the book raises are adult in nature.  There were certain lines that had me sighing because of their beauty.  The characters are also in that precarious age between childhood and adulthood making them relatable to both age groups.  It is nice to find a book that bridges this gap.

Now I must comment on the world.  So often I find myself reading books that take place far into the future, and I am unable to pick out the pieces of my world from the rubble.  This isn't always a bad thing, but I feel it makes it more realistic to build upon what is left from our world.  Marion's world is recognizable.  You can see where our world has decayed and been replaced.  Maybe it is my fascination with the history of dystopian societies but I love to see how my world has been changed.

The only thing I wish was explained more fully in this book was the reasoning behind the zombies.  I am a science person and I like to know the science behind the books.  I wish Marion had added some more details about how the zombies became, well, zombies.  Other than this the book was a fun read.  The gore was not overwelming, which might upset some people, but I think it makes the book more accepted by other audiences.  Overall, a great read and I strongly recommend it.

Oh and here is a look at the trailer!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sometimes Writing Ins't Pretty

The other day I was talking with a group of my friends at dinner about poetry (yes we are all literary geeks).  Two of my friends are in a creative writing class where they are required to write and critique each other's works.  While we were talking about poetry my one friend brought up some of the comments related to her work.  One was especially interesting because it said that the poem started out warm but ended up being cold and unhappy.

Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion about writing and what someone might love I might hate.  However, to say that a piece of writing is too unhappy or cold makes me question what people want from writing.  Sure, poetry can be beautiful, with flowery details of the abstract but it can also be ugly or sad (or both).  Poems let us peek into the soul of the writer.  They allow us to see the hairline cracks in ourselves that make us human and this picture isn't always pretty.

I feel that writing is just like life, sometimes it is beautiful but many times it is ugly.  We have to wonder around in this world looking at everything (unless we are going to be completely ignorant) and finding the meaning in both.  Sometimes the more awful parts of our world teach us the best lessons.  In writing it is the same way.  In every story there is some form of trial or problem that must be resolved by the protagonist.  Many times the journey is difficult and the character overcomes horrible tests of character and/or physical ability.  In the end there is some great lesson to be learned but more importantly it show us that in order to see the beauty we must overcome the ugly.

Sometimes beauty is not all it is cracked up to be.  In my Gothic novel class we often discuss the trope of the sublime.  The best way I can describe the sublime is something that is painfully beautiful.  Personally this sounds incredibly uncomfortable and I cannot say that I have seen many things in my 19 years that are sublime.  I do think that the concept of the sublime definitely undercuts the standard view of beauty.  It demonstrates that sometimes beauty is not feel good, and happy.  It can have razor sharp edges that really should have "caution" signs all around.

In conclusion to this long winded post about beauty I just want to say that perhaps we need to look at the balance between the beautiful and the ugly in writing.  Only then can we really understand the world the author has created.  After all it is part of the human experience to see the beautiful and the ugly.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Arcadia Review (sort of)

So this post has been sitting, unpublished, in my post archives waiting to be finished off.  So what is a better time than when I have two essays to write!  Sometimes my priorities are not all the straight but oh well.  

Anyway, how many of you read plays?  Well if you do I was definitely not one of you.  Sure I have read Shakespeare and other plays for classes but I have never, once, read a play on my own.  For fun.  That was until last weekend.  I read Arcadia.

Before I get into the nitty gritty parts of this review-ish thing, I have some things to clear up.  I don't read plays outside of class, but my room mate this year is a theater geek.  She loves everything about theater and she has introduced me to so many other theater geeks.  A few weeks ago my they forced me to have the play Arcadia by Tom Stoddard.  Now I put off reading it for a while but this past weekend I sat down to read it and surprised myself by loving it.

The play takes place in a mansion during two time periods, the nineteenth and twentieth century.  It follows a group historians/scientists and the original owners of the house.  As the play unfolds it focuses on the intricacies of romance, mathematics, and sex within the universe.  Really it is quite profound but oh so lovely at the same time.

The reasons I love the play?  So many.  The characters are funny and the slowly meshing time periods is intriguing and unique.  I also love the setting.  It is set in an old mansion of which I have a slight obsession with.  At some point in my life I will see an actual castle and these kinds of stories remind me of how much I need to do that.  Can I also say that the play is funny.  You would not think that of something that deals with the meaning of life/reasoning or the universe but this play has a fair amount of humor in it.  It really balances out the sweetness of the ending.

Ah the ending got me.  It is the perfect, bittersweet moment.  I simply love how well it is all wrapped up in a nice tidy bow.  You will have to read it to know what I am talking about.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RTW: Best Book of September

Okay, it has been more than a week since I have posted and I am sorry.  I am not going to make excuses I just have not been on blogger lately.  All that aside, today is Road Trip Wednesday and if you don't know what this is I strongly urge you to check it out.  It is a blog hop over at YA Highway where a reading or writing related question is asked and bloggers answer and hop around to other blogs.

This week's question:
What was the best book you read in September?

Well, this shouldn't be that hard.  Yes, I did actually read things outside of class, thank goodness, because I really did not like any of the novels for my Gothic Novel class other than the Lee stories, which I posted about over the summer.  I read Arcadia which is a play by Tom Stoppard, and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.  I have also been slowly reading pieces of my room mates writing.  I am not going to say anything about it other than she is brilliant and I hope someday she is published. 

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Hands down Pandemonium was the best book I read this month.  I loved Delirium and was excited to read Pandemonium.  It proved to be very good and the ending had my heart in knots.  I don't think I will be able to wait for the third installment of the series.  

In the mean time I would love to hear your thoughts on this book or the ones you have read this month. What have been your favorites?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feature Follow Friday

It's Feature Follow Friday!  If you don't know what this is you should go over and check out all the fun at Parajunkee's or Alison Can Read.  Basically it is another blog hop where you answer a question and meet a ton of new bloggers.  This weeks question is:

What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?

I don't have very many books that I have read but haven't liked.  Maybe it is because I mostly stay within the genre I enjoy  (*cough* dystopian *cough*).  The only book that really comes to mind when I think about this question is Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer. 

Now before all you Twilight fans jump all over me, I have to tell you that I was one of you...when I read them in eighth grade.  I think they were good during that particular part of my life.  I had yet to really get into the dystopian craze and I had just begun writing myself.  My standards for writing were low.  By the time I read Breaking Dawn, though, I realized the difference between good writing and not so good writing.  For me Breaking Dawn fell into the second category.  The biggest problem I had with it?  I could guess most of the major plot points before reading them.  I was fairly sure what was going to happen halfway through the book which made the last 300 pages incredibly boring. 

Oh well, we cannot love everything.  Still, it is upsetting when a book you cannot wait to get your hands on ends up letting you down.  It is a disappointing topic, but what are your feelings about this question?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pandemonium Review

I have done it!  I have read my first book that is completely unrelated to school or college or Shakespeare or any other class I am taking this semester.  What book, you may ask, has captured my attention from my ever growing pile of chemistry homework?  That is Pandemonium!

For those of you who do not know, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver is the second book in the trilogy of Delirium.  It follows the life of Lena after she has left Portland, Maine and the cure for the wild's of the North Eastern United States.  It is written in two parts.  There is the "Now" chapters and the "Then" chapters alternating throughout the book.  Each recalls what has happened in her life from the time she first left Portland to her time in New York city working for the Resistance.

Let me first say that this is an amazing book!  Like Delirium I could not put it down if my life depended on it.  (This is probably why I am behind on my homework).  I might even like this book a little better than Delirium because Lena seemed more real.  Maybe this is why I have grown to love her so much.  If you have read Delirium, you know that Lena has gone through a TON of stuff.  Oliver writes Lena's emotions brilliantly and you believe everything that she is doing.  Overall, I think Lena is one of the more developed dystopian heroines.

It can also be said that this book is an eye opener.  It is sad and you cannot help but feel for the people trying to make their lives happy in a world where love is a disease.  Let's face it, love is hard and when you are shunned from society it only gets harder.  There is also the fact that Lena continually brings up Alex which seemed to stab me every single time.  I really liked Alex and missed him in this book.

The one part of the book I had mixed feelings about was the alternating chapters.  I do not always like this because I usually end up liking one point of view over the other.  This makes me want to skip over parts that I know are important (uggg).  I stuck with it though, and without reading the "Then" chapters it would have been difficult to understand the "Now" chapters.

Okay, one last thing before I stop rambling on about how much I loved this book.  Then ending is amazing and horrible at the same time.  It was so kick ass (pardon the language) but I hate how Oliver fell into a classic young adult novel cliche.  I will let you figure out what that cliche is if you haven't read the book but if you have, what did you think about the ending?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

RTW: What Program do You Write With?

So, this week's RTW is fairly self explanatory and I have to say I am not entirely excited about it.  As many of you know I am a writer of many things but I have yet to finish anything substantial.  I have ADD when it comes to story ideas so thus my computer is filled with many great beginnings but few endings.  On to the question though.

What do you use to write?

Like I said the topic is not very exciting but to answer it I use a mixture of Word and Pages.  I am one of the few people who use both Macs and PC.  I grew up with a PC and learned to use word but in high school we were all given Macs so I learned to use both.  As of right now I am writing this on a Macbook Pro but I would be just as happy to use a PC.  

I think Pages is a pretty simple word processing program but there are few things that it cannot do.  Word, I think, is used by pretty much everyone and I have nothing to wrong with this program.  Now, I really do not have any helpful hints for using this programs.  Just type away I guess!  Sometimes I feel as though there should be a better organized way to keep WiP but as of now I am not interested enough to want to relearn something new.  

Well, I am sorry if that was a little boring, but my best advise for writing no matter what program you are using is to occasionally look back at old pieces of work.  You never know what your past self wrote that your current self has forgotten and your future self can rework. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Feature Follow Friday

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this blog hop and wanted to try it out but simply did not have the time at that moment.  Well, now I have finally done it.  Here is my post for Feature and Follow Friday!  For those of you who do not know, this is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.  Basically you jump from blog to blog making new friends and gaining followers on the way.  (Oh and there is also a weekly question!).   So let's get right into things!

This week's questions is:  What book are you currently reading?

This is an interesting question because as of now I should probably be reading my chemistry book rather than writing this post (oops).  As a side note, we are only two weeks into the semester and chemistry has taken over my life completely.  

Putting that aside, I am currently reading and enjoying some other books for classes.  For my amazing Shakespeare class I just finished reading Antigone by Sophocles, as an introduction to the tragedy.  I am currently reading Romeo and Juliet which I am excited about because I haven't read this play since high school.  I love a good love story and Romeo and Juliet is the most perfect of the tragic love stories.  It really makes me swoon and cry at the same time.

Other than books for school, I haven't read many books that I brought from home.  I think once I have gotten into the swing of college life again I will start posting more reviews.  In the mean time I would love to hear what you are reading right now, so post a comment and I will go check it out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

RTW: Favorite Book Read for School

It's Road Trip Wednesday!  If you don't know what I am talking about, this is a blog carnival hosted by the lovely people over at YA Highway where bloggers answer a writing or reading related question and hop from blog to blog looking at other's answers.  This week's questions is:

What's your favorite book read for a class?

This question took a little bit of thinking for me because I really did not like that many of the books I read during high school.  I just do not like having a deadline to read something.  It makes me uncomfortable and I feel books are less enjoyable when you don't have time to, well enjoy them.  However, I did read some books throughout my classes that I have loved.  

The first being Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.   I love the feeling surrounding the book and the characters (and no it has nothing to do with Twilight).  Perhaps it is the dark and mysterious air shrouding the moors they live near.  It sends shivers down my back.  Another book that I really enjoyed reading during class was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (how bad is it that I almost wrote Mockingjay here?).  

This book will forever be on my shelf as one of my favorite books ever.  I love the writing style and the characters are simply amazing.  Scout is great main character and Atticus is a shows that true depth of a person.  I haven't read this book in a while but I think it is time to dust off its cover and reread it.  Maybe this will be my project over one of my breaks from college. 

And oh my gosh, I almost forgot one more that I really loved reading!  That is A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.  I am utterly in love with this play.  I have not read it in such a long time and I just remembered it a few moments ago.  If you have not gotten a chance to read this play I strongly encourage you.  I just loved the character of Stella and the tensions within the storyline.  Plus the name A Streetcar Named Desire simply captures your attention.  

Ok, well that was more than one piece of writing but I think each of them are amazing and deserve recognition.  I would love to hear what you all think about these books and the books you have read during class.  Have a great day. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Movie vs. Book

First, I would like to say that I have made it through the first week of classes of my Sophomore year.  So, high five for that!  I am quite happy to be back but am not enjoying the piles of homework forming as I speak (or write in this case).  Oh well, the price for education (on top of the ever cumulating debt *shudders*).  Overall it has been an amazing week.  The new classes and professors are what I look forward to every day.  

It is one particular professor I would like to address today.  I am taking an introduction to Shakespeare course, which you all know by my gushing this summer.  All I can say is the professor is AMAZING!  I mean simply perfect.  Ever time I go to his class it makes me smile little a giddy little girl.  A few of my friends and I were discussing how his has the enthusiasm of a golden retriever puppy chasing a tennis ball.

Anyway, the other day we were discussing drama and whether movies are more like plays or novels.  Many of the people in the class felt as though movies were more like plays but a more important question was brought up.  That is, does seeing the movie prevent you from reading the book?  I realized how correct this feeling was for me and it made me a little sad to think that a movie would hold me back from enjoying a novel.

Take Harry Potter, for example, I read the books long before the movies came out, and therefore had a clear picture in my mind of what the characters/world looked like.  Going back and reading them again, as I often do, I continue to see the characters how I pictured them the first time around.  Sure, some aspects of the movies find their way into my imagination but this is blurred or mixed with my own perceptions as a reader.  I do not know if this would be the same had I watched the movies first.  I feel as though the movie pictures would be tattooed into my mind forever.

Take the Game of Thrones series.  A wonderfully created series that is very similar to the books, or so my friends say I haven't read the books.  When I do read them, I don't know how well it is going to go.  I feel as though I will skim through the chapters because, let's face it, the secret is out.  Movies and TV series are spoilers. They should have caution tape wrapped around them because they ruin a book for me.  I have such a difficult time enjoying the reading experience after watching a movie; the spoilers make the story boring, the characters shove my own imagination out of the way, and the world is almost too clean and perfect.

Maybe one day I will get over these feelings but for now I will try my hardest to read first and watch later.  I would like to know what you all think.  Can you read a book after seeing the movie and how much does the movie color you perception of the book?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RTW: Favorite Book in August

Well it is my first Wednesday as a Sophomore at college but that does not mean that I am going to forget about Road Trip Wednesday!  If you don't know what Road Trip Wednesday is, it is a weekly blog carnival hosted by YA Highway.  Every week a reading or writing related question is asked.  Bloggers answer and hop from response to response reading other's answers to the question.  This week's topic is:

What was the best book your read in August?

I have to tell you right now that this might by the first time this question is difficult for me, not because of too many books but because of the lack of books.  That is right, I really did not read that much this month.  I guess I was caught up in leaving for school and working my butt off in order to pinch those last few pennies into my bank account.  I know, I know, those aren't good enough excuses.  I mean I write a blog focusing on books for goodness sake.  *sighs*

Picture by Goodreads
Well, I can say that out of my (maybe) three books I read this past month Legend, by Marie Lu was my favorite.  I fell in love with the characters and felt connected to each one.  I also liked the fact that the story was told by each character.  Now, I don't usually like this, but I found that this book had me loving both points of view.  If you want to read my full review you can read it here.  

Hopefully this month will be full of books since last month was severely lacking.  Maybe you will all have some books for me to read on top of my college list.  I would love to hear what were your favorite  books this past month. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Really Should be Packing...Not Reading

The title of this post says it all.  I leave for school on Saturday and I have yet to pack a single thing.  What am I doing instead you may ask?  Reading.  Yep, I am wasting away my last moments at home in a completely different world.  The worst part about this though?  I am reading through my pile of books for school.

I posted a little while ago about how excited I was to dig into the books for my two English classes and I have definitely dug in a little early.  That pile of books has been calling my name for weeks now but I have put it off saying that I would be reading them in a couple of weeks.  One particular book has been calling to me like a siren from its perch on the pile.  Last night I caved.

Picture by saffronskiesandwanderingminds
If you cannot read the title the book that has captured my attention is Hauntings and Other Fantastic Tales by Vernon Lee and edited by Catherine Maxwell and Patricia Pullham.  The title itself is captivating and had my attention the moment I saw it on my booklist.  I do not usually like contemporary horror but I do love old ghost stories and I must say that the first story in this book made my heart race.

The author sets the stories up with an incredibly well written introduction.  I even think I have found a new favorite classic author.  I usually do not read introductions but her writing style captured me from the first word.  There is an incredibly good mix of humor and suspense to keep you captivated.  I will definitely be finishing this book before the beginning of the semester.

The different stories have their own spin as well.  Many of the stories are told in the point of view of one character either in letters or in past tense.  There are many characters but each has their own diction and voice which makes every story new and different.  The part that I have found interesting is the ability to understand the character's background via the allusions they use.

I would definitely recommend these stories to anyone who wants a little bit of a thinking book and love classic writing.  I loved most of the books I read this summer, but I think my brain was ready for something more in depth.  Hauntings definitely allowed for me to get out of the summer slump of relaxation and back into an academic mindset.  I would highly suggest starting your reading list early. Not only will it help you keep up during the semester but it is a great way to preview the material before you begin classes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

RTW: WiP Love List

Well its Road Trip Wednesday again.  I know I forgot last week but to be completely truthful I had no idea what to say about the topic.  I just do not read anything related to sports.  Anyway, if you don't know what Road Trip Wednesday is it is a blog carnival hosted by YA Highway.  Basically they ask a writing or reading related question and you can hop around to other blogs reading everyone's responses.  

This week's topic: What is your novel's "Love List"?

This was somewhat difficult because I have not written anything for my WiP in a long time.  It isn't that I don't want to write I just have ADD when it comes to ideas (something I addressed Monday here).  Hopefully this will make me get back to work on my WiP(s).  Before making this list I made sure I went ahead and read the post which inspired the question by Stephanie Perkins because I had no idea what a love list was.  It turns out that it is a very simple and fun activity that seems to ground your writing.  (Exactly what I need).

My WiP really does not have a title yet but I always make up titles in the end so that is fine.  It is set in a fantastic world where people can read minds.  Here is what I love about it.  
  • An independent girl with a hidden power
  • Mind reading
  • Beautiful landscapes
  • A sassy old woman healer who doesn't take "no" for an answer
  • Rooftop adventures
  • Dashing young lords with secret agendas
  • Underground societies
  • Fire
  • Mythical beasts 
  • Love
  • Kingdoms
  • A King you love to hate
  • Lavish clothing
  • Castles
This turned out to be so much fun!  Maybe I will do this more often.  I love how it gives you a way to show off what you have written without giving away your ideas.  I would love to see what everyone else has for a love list.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

The (Many) Budding Ideas

Photo by Me
Writing is a never ending process as I am sure many of you know.  There are always new ideas flowing in and out of my mind and onto that shiny computer screen.  The problem that I am often faced with is the influx of too many half developed ideas.  I will begin a story with a great idea but have no way of finishing the story.  In the end, I have found that I have a lot of great beginnings but not a lot of endings.  Needless to say my computer is littered with partially written chapters and short stories that have become lost in the brainstorming process.

Recently, though, I have been planning out a new story centered around a dream world and futuristic society.  I began writing a little bit of the beginning before realizing I had the perfect little bit of story hidden away on my old desktop.  So, the other day I fired that sucker up and transfered the word document into a more friendly google doc.  I vaguely remember writing this particular story a few years ago because I loved the beginning so much.  Overall I felt it was one of my greatest milestones in dialogue but in the end it lost steam.  It was one of those half thought out pieces with the perfect beginning but no middle or end.  With a little pasting and editing I was able to breath new life into the old story.

This experience made me wonder how many stories that are strewn throughout our lives that could be given a second chance.  While I was searching through my documents I came across so many other pieces of forgotten writing that fizzled out at one point or another.  It was fun to see the different things that came out of my mind all those years ago.  I got so many new ideas from looking over those pages  and this is why I think it is so important to give ourselves a break from writing.  Put something on the back burner and forget about it, when you come back new ideas with flow easier.  Who knows, maybe your story will take a completely different route?

Make today the day that you look through your archives and piece together strings of writing that were brilliant but unfinished.  No idea should go to waste.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Legend Review

I recently talked about buying this book but now that I have read it I have decided to give it a review, mostly because I loved it.  Legend, by Marie Lu, is set in a futuristic dystopian North America.  The book focuses on Los Angeles in what used to be the western United States.  The story is told in two narratives one being that of June, who is considered the prodigy of the country, and Day, the terrorist and most wanted criminal of the state.  Their two paths cross when Day is blamed for the murder of June's brother and June sets out for revenge.  She soon discovers that maybe her enemy is not Day but the country she has been trying so hard to protect.

First, I must say that I have been wanting to read this book for a while now.  It has continued to pop up on my recommendations lists all over Amazon and Goodreads.  Now that I have finished it I  understand why.  I loved the book.  There is a perfect amount of action mixed with romance and mystery. If you are looking for some more YA dystopian worlds where everything is not what it seems, Legend is the book for you.

I usually do not like books with multiple points of view because I find myself favoring one side over the other.  I felt differently while reading Legend.  I found that I was excited to read both June and Day's points of view equally.  I never became tired or annoyed by their characters.  This may be because they are both incredibly strong personalities driven by their emotions.

Their relationship is also subtle.  Never does it overshadow the storyline nor is it something that is so minuscule you long for more.  Overall, the characters fit together well and their relationship is believable.  It also adds feeling to an action filled novel.

The only thing that I wish had been included in the novel was discussion of the society itself.  Very little is explained fully and it is sometimes difficult to picture the society.  I guess what I am trying to say is that it is never explained why the society is like it is.  Hopefully this will be discussed further in the future novels.

Monday, August 13, 2012

School Books and Thank You's

Photo by me
Yes, that pile of books there is my reading pile for next semester!  I know exciting and scary, right?  For me, school will be starting in a few weeks leaving behind the leisurely days of summer and going back to the grind stone for some hard core brain exercise.

Of course I am a little sad because my free time will soon be lacking and my to read list will include books I have to read not want to read.  But I guess that is what comes with college.  I always make sure that I leave a little time on the weekends for reading or writing.  It might be at 2 in the morning but hey it gets done.

Anyway I am very excited this year because I will be taking two English classes, TWO English classes!  I am taking a Gothic novel class and a Shakespeare class.  The Gothic novel class includes some books I have read, including Frankenstein and others that seem irresistibly interesting.  A book all about hauntings?  I think yes!  The Shakespeare class is an introductory into the subject.  First semester of last year I had an amazing professor who seriously knew her Shakespeare, now I am getting another look into the subject, so you could say I have grown fond of that dear Elizabethan poet.  Again I will be rereading a lot of the works, such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.

As you can probably see my excitement is spilling onto this page.  I love literature and I love writing essays analyzing literature.  Maybe that is why I have started writing this blog over the summer.  For me I need to write about writing and if I don't have a professor reading it then I need someone else.

So I guess this post has turned into more of a thank you than anything else.  I thank all of you readers for stopping by and listening to my rambling about books and words and random thoughts.  You have all been so lovely to me in the comments and I hope to continue through the year.

Here's to a great summer of writing and reading!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

RTW: Summer Playlist

It's Wednesday and that means it is time to answer Road Trip Wednesday's question of the week.  Road Trip Wednesday is a 'Blog Carnival' hosted by YA Highway where a reader or writing related question is posted and bloggers can hop from blog to blog reading each other's answers.

This weeks question is: What music has been on your summer soundtrack?

I love finding new music so this weeks question is especially exciting!  I have found some new music and listened to some old favorites.  Here is a list of some but definitely not all of them.

"Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons.  I actually started listening to this in the end of May but it continues to by on my favorite music list.

"Summertime Sadness" by Lana del Rey is a recent find but I have had this song stuck in my head for a week now.

Also I have been listening to a lot of The Jezebels.  One particular song, "Endless Summer",  is particularly fitting for summer.

Well, those are some of the songs that have been on my summer playlist.  I would love to hear what songs you are listening to. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Grimoire: Lichgates Review

The Grimoire: Lichgates is the first book in a trilogy and is set in a fantasy world much like the worlds of C.S. Lewis or Tolkien.  The main character, Kara, finds her way into Ourea through a Lichgate and slowly begins uncovering its secrets via a book called the Grimoire.  Overtime she learns that she is the new Vegabond and it is her duty to unite the warring beings which inhabit Ourea.  Now with the help of a few muses and Braeden, who has grown up in Ourea, she must find her way to help without getting herself killed in the process.

I stumbled upon this book while reading through random blogs.  The book review was written well, although sadly I cannot remember where it came from, and the synopsis intrigued me so I decided to give it a try.  I was not disappointed.

Despite the world of Ourea being similar to other epic fantasy Boyce has definitely created something unique.  She has filled her world with creatures both familiar and new which give her world a vast diversity.  It was refreshing to see these new creatures because so often I feel fantasy is repetitive.  Every book seems to have the same centaurs, griffins, elves that you get bored.  As an animal lover I was also quite jealous of the creatures popping from the pages and into Kara's arms.

Kara and Braeden's relationship was also great.  It certainly does not bog down the world surrounding them.  There are simply hints of a budding romance that make your heart flutter.  Overall their characters were well established although at points I felt that Kara could have been a little more accepting of the cultures and people around her.  I am sure that it is difficult to be shoved into an entirely different world, but still when in Rome do as the Romans do, right?  She may have gotten better reception had she been a bit more conforming.

Finally one word about the writing.  Most of it was great but there were points where I felt word choice was a little shaky.  I know this is a little nit picky but I have to point it out.  I would come across sentences that just did not feel right or a word that seemed wrong.  It is a small problem but things like this throw off my inner reader and bring out my annoying inner writer.

That is the only part that I felt was "wrong" with the entire book, though, and I urge you to give it a try if you are looking for some high fantasy to take your mind off your own world.  Overall I give this read 4 stars.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Delirium Review

Yesterday I told you that my favorite book during the month July was Delirium.  Today I think I will talk more about what made this book so interesting and great for me.

Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, is set in Portland, Maine in a time that seems similar to our own despite some minor socio-economic differences.  The main character, Lena, begins the book in excited to be cured of a disease that has run rampant throughout the country.  That disease is love.  However as the date for her cure approaches, Lena does the one thing that she was so against.  Lena falls in love.

As I have said before this book had me from the blurb on the back.  I have seen in posted on the sidebars of numerous blogs and was intrigued the moment I picked it up at the bookstore.  It took me two days to read the book and left me wanting more.

What I liked most about Delirium was the similarity between its world and our own.  These frightening similarities make it seem that much more real.  The fact that I live in Maine may also have a role to play.  I drive through Portland any time I want to leave Maine and it is a great shopping spot.  I could easily picture the scenes from the book in my mind while reading.

The part that I also loved was the entire premise of the book.  The fact that love is considered a taboo disease causes the world of Delirium to become somewhat lifeless.  The cured humans in the book are surviving but they are not living.  I think that an existence like this would be sad and robotic.  I would never want that life but everyone accepts it because of the fear of the disease.  This mass hysteria surrounding the disease is also reminiscent of our own hysteria over pandemics and makes the book all the more plausible.

Now there was not much that I did not like about the book but the one part that I was not sure about was Lena.  I just do not know how I feel about her as a character.  I really enjoyed reading about Alex and similarly liked Lena's best friend Hana but did not love Lena.  This follows the trend that I have found in many dystopian novels I have read.  In Divergent I was not impressed with Tris and in The Hunger Games I liked Katniss but got annoyed with her toward the end.  Maybe the stress gets to the main characters of these books or maybe I am just hard to please.  I don't know.

Overall, this book was a great read and made me think about life in general.  It gave me a perspective on a world that does not have love and how that world may seem stable on the surface but below it is just as messed up as our own.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

RTW: Best Book Read in July

Today's Road Trip Wednesday which is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.
This week's question is:  What is the best book you read during the month of July?

Well, this month I read many books including a self-published book, The Bridge of Deaths, I reviewed for the very sweet author, M.C.V Egan.  That being said it would have been difficult to answer this question had I not finished the book I was reading last night.  Delirium by Lauren Oliver was by far the best book I read during this month.  

This book was the perfect read and I was sucked in immediately.  The book is set in a dystopian society where love is deemed a disease.  This fact alone had me from the back cover blurb.  It is painful to imagine a world without love and seeing it written in a world so similar to our own is frightening.  I cannot wait to read the sequel, Pandemonium.  If you want a full review of this book I will probably be posting one on a later date so you can get a better picture.  

Anyway that is my favorite read this past month but I would love to hear what your's was.  I always look forward to seeing what other people are loving in the book world. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Trip to the Bookstore

Yesterday I went to the bookstore for the first time in a long time.  That's not so say I haven't read I just haven't physically gone into a bookstore.   Anyway, while there I remembered how much I missed being next to all those shelves of books.  They all smell so new and fresh with words covering their pages and it is amazing.

Enough blabbering about pretty new books and shiny covers, though.  The real point of this post is to talk about my recent book purchases from that bookstore.  I purchased two books during my trip, Legend by Marie Lu and my current obsession Delirium by Lauren Oliver.  

I have to say that I feel a bit bad about beginning Delirium right now.  I have another book that I am in the middle of reading but I just couldn't resist.  From the first page the world crafted by Oliver has dragged me right into the bay of Portland, Maine and I cannot seem to get back to shore.  This will have to be one of those reads that puts everything else on hold.  Still, I feel as though I have cheated on my other books just the tiniest bit.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RTW: Reincarnated

I stumbled upon Road Trip Wednesday a few weeks ago and decided to answer the question this week.   The reading and/or writing related questions are posted every week over on YA Highway and everyone can hop around to see what other people have posted.  This week's question is...

If you could be reincarnated as any fictional character, which would it be?

Ok, this was difficult for me as I am sure it was for everyone else.  There are just too many great characters and my love for dystopian novels doesn't help me much.  Dystopian novels are filled with brilliant, strong characters but let's face it they go through the most challenging things.  I am just not sure I would be up for that.  So I continued to rack my brain for other characters and then I remembered one particular character that I loved. 

The main character from Inkheart, Meggie Folchart, was one of my favorite characters and books growing up.  I have always loved reading and books and Meggie's ability to get in and out of Inkheart is amazing.  I also remember relating to her and her father's great relationship.  My father and I continue to be very close even now that I live most of the year at college.  As I have gotten older I also have admired, and been incredibly jealous of, the Aunt's huge home filled with books.  It has always been a dream of mine to have a library, although with the digital age of books I am not sure how that will become a reality.  

Other than that I of course would love to be reincarnated as Hermione Granger or Lucy from Narnia.  Both those characters are so different yet intriguing and the worlds they call home are utterly amazing.  They all remind me of my childhood.

So, that is who I would choose, but who would you choose?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Death Cure Review

I first must say that I was incredibly excited to read this book by James Dashner.  I read The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials about a year ago and had almost forgotten about the series until I stumbled upon this book while browsing through Goodreads.  If you haven't read the first two in the series and you are a fan of dystopian, sci-fi, or just like post apocalyptic books I erg you to try this series.  Here is the Goodreads synopsis. 

Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test.

What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says.

The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine.
Will anyone survive the Death Cure?

First of all, if you haven't guessed by my reading list filled with dystopian novels, this book series is perfect for me.  I am fascinated by post apocalyptic worlds and the world Dashner has created doesn't disappoint.  For the first time we get to see what happens outside of WICKED minus the elaborate variables and tests; and man is it a scary world.  Contrary to many dystopian novels with their dictating governments, Dashner's world is spinning out of control.  This creates a dizzying fear within the reader that is difficult to find in many other books. 

Apart from the world the characters that populate it are some of my favorites.  While I do like Thomas I find that my favorite characters throughout this series are the subordinate characters.  Throughout this particular book Brenda, Minho, and Newt were some of my favorites.   I enjoyed reading every bit of these characters moments and fell in love with their individual personalities.  Minho is especially kick ass (excise my french) and adds a lighter air to an otherwise dark novel.  

This being said, something about Theresa and Thomas just rubbed me the wrong way.  It began in The Scorch Trials but continued throughout this book.  Theresa's character seemed to become unimportant to me.  She was somewhat flat, and while I know this had something to do with point of view it still bothered me.  I loved her in the first book but through the second and now third book I began to feel apathetic about what happened to her.  I hate feeling this way about characters that play such an important role in the beginning.  It is like losing touch with an old friend.  

Other than this I believe this book is a great read for anyone looking for something dystopian.  While it is not my favorite dystopian I liked the unique world and the unannounced twists that will leave you guessing.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Bridge of Deaths Review

I recently was asked to read and review this book for a lovely author on Bookblogs.  Her book is called The Bridge of Deaths and her name is M.C.V Egan.  You can read the good reads description here but if found that that provided very little information.  Instead here is my synopsis of the book.

It begins with the introduction of the meeting between Maggie and Bill.  Maggie follows Bill to a book store where he is attempting to uncover the origin of dreams that have plagued him throughout his life.  Together the couple seek out to find what is troubling Bill.  Their search takes them through the discovery of "The Bridge of Deaths" and a disturbing plane crash.  Along the way they meet a woman, who your realize is the author, who is looking to discover the truth behind the same crash that killed her grandfather.  The story continues on as a mix of facts about Egan's research and a narrative concerning Bill and Maggie.

Now at first I was a little worried about reading this book.  I rarely, if ever, read Historical fiction and  did not particularly like History in school.  I was surprised when I became hooked in the first few pages.  I really enjoyed the fictional relationship between Maggie and Bill.  They were both increadibly likable and real characters.  Their storyline became the part of the book I enjoyed the most.

I was also sucked into the slightly paranormal side to this novel.  While it is mostly fact based there is a little bit of past life/psychic encounters throughout the story.  I believe these paranormal aspects of the book fit seamlessly into the premis of the book while still giving the story an interesting viewpoint.

While I enjoyed reading this book it was out of the ordinary for me.  I felt that some parts were almost too saturated with information.  During these places the story seemed lost behind the facts and it was difficult to follow the narrative.  The lists of books were also overwhelming and unnecessary, in my opinion.  After reading the first few sources I finally skipped that entire section.  While I understand that this shows in immense amount of work that the author has done, I believe the bibliography at the end is sufficient.   As a whole it is already apparent she put spent a huge amount of research into this book and these parts seem to bog down the reading.

This being said this book was a good change from my normal bookshelf full of fantasy/scifi/dystopian novels.  It makes me want to branch out more often.  So, if you are someone who loves history or historical fiction than this is indeed the book for you.  It is a book filled with facts that will open your eyes to something very little people have investigated.  The author has put so much time and effort into this book and I applaud her for that. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Poetry...As a Therapy

Poetry is one of those realms that either scares a writer to death or becomes an addiction.  I recently dove into poetry after taking a class focusing on how madness and poetry are related.  It was a very insightful and interesting class that combined writing and reading so that you really gained an understanding from both sides of the spectrum.   

During this class, as I stated before, I had to write poems *shudders*.  Yes, you heard me correctly write my own poetry.  First of all let's clear some thing up.  I have always been incredibly insecure about my writing.  Since the time I began writing in middle school I never, and I mean never, let anyone read my stories.  They stayed locked away and hidden within the pages of my numerous notebooks, so letting others read my work was difficult if not impossible with poetry.  Next take keep in mine I might have written poetry once and failed before taking this class. 

The deal for the class was to write three papers and at least one of the three had to be creative.  I was terrified when I heard this and decided that my first paper would be analytical.  (Typical me putting off what needs to be done).  When the second essay loomed around I had no idea what I was going to write.  I decided to do an imitation of a poet to ease the pain.  I was surprised by what I found. 

I have to say that by no means did I find that my poetry was anything special.  In fact if we're being entirely honest it sucked, but the experience was not as difficult as I imagined.  I actually felt that I learned more about myself than in any other piece of my written work.  I cried while writing one of my poems, CRIED.  I have seldom cried while writing and when I do it is more along the lines of teary eyes not an all out sob fest.  The poems I wrote were me and only me.  They were parts of myself I either denied or ignored.  I touched on insecurities, flaws, as well as aspects I loved about myself.  
In the end I learned that poetry is personal.  It's deep and it can unlock places within you that you never thought existed.  So even if you know you are not a poet and you know your poetry sucks, I think that sometimes it can be interesting to see what comes out of that pen.  I find so many times that my stories help me cope with life but poetry helped me deal with life.

So next time you open up that word document or pull out your favorite pen try something new.  Try and understand the real you with a bit of therapeutic  poetry writing.  For me it was easier to start with some more free flow and prose but if you feel better with something more regimented go for it! Who knows what you may uncover when you finish those stanzas?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Lucky One Review

So I recently read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks, obvious by the title of this post.  I read the book because the movie came out a little while ago and, as any reader, I had to read the book first so that I can be thoroughly disappointed with the movie.  I also didn't get around to seeing the movie in theaters so I thought I would read the book and wait until the movie came out on DVD.

Now before I get on to a whole review of the book, I must say that I haven't read any realistic fiction in a long time.  Around my junior year of high school I stopped reading this genre in favor of dystopians and fantasy books.  My friend offered to lend me a few books this summer and this just happens to be one of them so I picked it up.

The Lucky One, if you haven't heard about it already, is about a soldier who finds a picture of a woman during his service in Iraq.  After finding the picture he finds that luck is suddenly on his side during a series of near death encounters.  When he returns home he decides to find the woman in the photo.  This lands him in a small town in North Carolina where he works for the woman and her mother.  Their relationship blossoms but problems arise when she finds he is keeping the whole truth about himself and intentions from her.

Well, there were parts about this book that sucked me in and others that turned me off.  Probably the biggest aspect of the book that grabbed my attention and held it by a noose was the romance.  I am a sucker for romance.  I get stuck in it as if it were quicksand swallowing me whole.   This sometimes bothers me because I don't know whether I am judging a book fairly or if I just liked it because of the romance.

The other part that I liked a lot was the suspense and the emotion of this book.  There was never a dull moment and most of the parts of the book felt like they should be there.  I absolutely hate when authors add seemingly useless information that makes you want to skim through pages.  This book didn't have that.  It always kept me engaged and wondering what would happen next.  The end also throws you a bit of a curveball which is fun.  I also really enjoyed reading about the grandmothers.  She is a piece of work and my favorite character in the book.

But, and there is always a but, the other characters left something to be desired.  I felt that sometimes reading this book something was off about the characters, well the two main characters to be precise.  It appears Sparks spent a boat load of time outlining and fleshing out the subordinate characters but just through Elizabeth and Logen together.  Deputy Clayton, was perfect, you hated to hate him.  Elizabeth's son was cute and her grandmother was a great personality, and my favorite character as said before.  Elizabeth and Logan though, flat as pieces of paper.  They were too perfect and too pretty for their own good.  Nothing they did was wrong and I have a problem with that.  My whole philosophy is, a perfect character is an unrelatable character.  

Another part that bothered me slightly was the relationship between Logan and Elizabeth.  Like their characters, it didn't seem real.  They would fight but continually get back together without a hiccup.  Again too perfect for real life.  I know this is supposed to be a feel good capture you and fill you with happiness kind of book but a little bit of reality never hurt anyone.

All in all I would give this book three stars.  It grabbed my attention and kept me reading until the end, despite the lack of character development.  It was definitely driven by the intense romance and the overwhelming drama which is good and bad.  Overall it was a read that took very little thought, so if you are looking for something easy to take your mind off life on a Sunday afternoon I would recommend this book.

Monday, July 2, 2012

In My Own Little World

What if I didn't write?  I recently thought about this question while driving home from work.  I work at a take-out restaurant during the summer that can be particularly boring at time. To remedy this I have found that thinking up stories while I am waiting for a customer is an especially good way to kill time.  But what if I didn't make up stories?

I realize that there are millions of people who have not written their own creative piece of work maybe since a creative writing class taken to fulfill a requirement for school.  Some have never written something like this and that is not a bad thing.  I just wonder what goes through their minds.  They cannot be as barren as I imagine.  There must be something else there.

As an espiring writer and lover of words, I do not know what it would be like if suddenly all the stories in my mind disappeared.  Sure I have had writers block but that usually doesn't last longer than a few days to weeks at most.  I am talking about a serious lack of story.  I don't know about other writers out there, but writing and stories are always in the back of my mind.  It is as if my brain were a giant chalk board rethinking and imagining plots and characters.  Some of these projects get put on papers others get thrown on the shelf or thrown out completely.

Now that I have begun blogging the canvas has become vaster.  What do I post?  What book to read next and how to give a great review? Most importantly, though, I want my posts to mean something to my readers, no matter how many I have.  This has added a further challenge for me but one that I take on happily.

With all these thought going through my mind I wonder what I would do without writing during my most productive time.  It is during the evening when I most often feel the need to write.   I find myself fleshing out a particularly elusive character or dreaming about how my new world functions.  If I didn't have writing to think about I would probably be worrying about some assignment or responsibility and playing out all the possible outcomes of my next week.  It is really awful, I worry about everything.

At the end of the day writing is my passion, my need, and ultimately my crutch.  It lets me get away from my world and enter another for a brief period.  So tell me what you would do without writing or, if writing isn't your thing, what about reading?  I know I would not be as sane as I am now, which is questionable anyway.

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Big Brother is Watching"

I finished my first classic on my own!  Sure I have read other classics: To Kill a Mocking Bird, Wurthering Heights, The Great Gasby, and The Grapes of Wrath to name a few.  However, this is the first time I actually picked up a classic and read it cover to cover without being required, and I must say that it was well worth it.

Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of those books that is right up my ally, and I probably should have read it years ago.  It takes place in a futuristic dystopian society where all hell has broken loose, complete with a romance and an overpowering government.  All these aspects combined create a book that should have my name stamped on its cover.  That being said it did take me a while to finish the book.  First of all I probably did not choose the best time to begin the book.  I ordered it on whim during the middle of my second semester at college.  Bad idea.  College just is not the time to get any major reading done.  With all the friends, parties, and let's not forget the studying, reading gets placed on the back burner.  Needless to say I read Nineteen Eighty-Four sporadically. 

Once I got home for summer, though, I was able to focus a little more and reread parts that I had skimmed.  But everyone knows that May is the month when new books coming flying onto the shelves, and many of these books were highly anticipated sequels (Ahem...Bitterblue and Divergent).  Once again my lovely copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four got thrown onto the shelf for a few more weeks. Just the other night I saw it laying there looking sadly unfinished and I remembered why I began reading the book in the first place. 

Now as reviews go I cannot say that Nineteen Eighty Four leaves a happy feeling in your stomach.  It is more like a sick sensation of impending doom.  Later you find out that, contrary to many modern dystopian novels, the protagonist really doesn't win.  He is stifled by his government and you can only hope that somewhere in that world there is someone else who will bring change and the fog will lift.  

I liked this though.  Happy endings are all over the place, I mean they are nice (fluffy even), but it was refreshing to see something new and real.  The end leaves you hanging in space as you reread the final words and try to pick the meaning out of them.  Does the protagonist really fall prey to those he has been so desperately fighting?  Well, that is for you to decide.  

All I know is that I wish I had read the whole book in one sitting.  I will be rereading this in the near future to get some of the parts I missed or forgot.  Also I hope to get through a few more classics before the summer is over.  I believe it is really important and helpful to developing your own writing.  (And let's not forget that I have a crazy obsession with analyzing writing, but that I will discuss in another post).  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I finished Insurgent a few days ago and I must say that I loved it!   This will not be a complete review but I definitely think that anyone who loves dystopian novels would love this book.  Overall it is fast paced and intense that has plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading and wanting more.

I thought the character development throughout the books was amazing.  Roth kept building on the characters original personalities so that we got to know them even better.  I especially liked getting to know Tobias, or Four.  He fleshed out more in my mind and I love him even more than I did before, if that is even possible.  I also must say that the relationship between Tris and Tobias is perfect.  It is not one of those picture perfect relationship but one filled with realistic hurtles which the characters must overcome.  

All in all, Insurgent has become one of my favorite books for 2012.  I felt myself holding my breath throughout its entirety and feeling every emotion that shook the characters.  This book is a must read in my opinion.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bitterblue Review

Well here is my first real post that might have some relevance to you. Hope it helps any of you thinking about reading this book.

Bitterblue is a YA novel written by Kristen Cashore that takes place in the same world as her first two novels Graceling and Fire.  I can tell you that I have anticipated the release of Bitterblue ever since Cashore debuted her first novel Graceling.  I absolutely loved Graceling and have gone back to reread it a couple of times now.

I found many parts interesting and enjoyable.  First, the characters that I knew and loved were back and interacting with the young queen, which was exciting! I loved that we got to see their growth and what they were doing.  The character of Giddon was also introduced more fully and I liked him.  The growth seen in Bitterblue herself was also refreshing.

 Last time we saw her she was a little girl and in Bitterblue she is a young woman trying to straighten out the flaws within her kingdom.  These flaws turned out to be one of the most interesting parts of the story.  The book also has more dark and captivating mystery than either Fire or Graceling.

I must also say something to the unexpected ease in which Cashore overcomes sexuality and tough issues.  Her societies have overcome issues which our own society continues to battle.  I love the way she mixes these modern ideals with the old society.  It sends an important message to the reader which every work needs.

This being said, for me Bitterblue was a slow read.  There was even a point when I put down the book for a week or two and read something else.  I got bogged down in the puzzles and politics in the book.  In comparison, Graceling was very fast pace.  The characters were always moving, fighting, saving each other.  It was a whirlwind of emotion that ended only when you hit the back cover.  Katsa herself, was a supercharged character that you could hardly keep up with.  I think I was expecting the same from Bitterblue and was not satisfied.

The final aspect to the book that disappointed me, was the relationship between Bitterblue and Saf.  I think my problems with their relationship lie in the way Saf's character changes. He was intriguing, mysterious, and spunky and left me wanting to know him better during the first half of the book.  Then I feel he deviates from his character becoming somewhat soft and flat.  Finally, his story is left so unresolved there is a feeling that he was a last thought.  This is really too bad because Cashore's other characters are so strong in their personalities and he had that potential.

At this point I realized I liked Bitterblue's relationships with many of the other characters better.  I thought her relationship with Giddon was much more substantial and even her relationship with Katsa, though briefly shown, was charming.  In the end I enjoyed the relationships of Katsa and Po over that of Bitterblue and Saf.

All in all, it can be said that Bitterblue was not my favorite book but that does not mean I regret taking the time to read it.  I think I expected more and was underwhelmed.  However, Cashore stays true to her style and her main characters which I applaud.  She also places a message that applies outside her book, which shows that she is not just a story teller but an activist.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hello and Welcome to My Mind

Hello my name is Caitlin and I am a student, reader, and amateur writer.  I call both the breezy coast of Maine and the equally breezy shores of the fingerlakes home.  As of now I am staying busy studying biology and english (a funny combination, I know), writing, and reading.  Most of my writing consists of random moments and short stories as well as a few poorly written poems.   I hope to one day pen a novel but right now my attention span is about the width of a teaspoon.

When I am not writing or studying I am usually reading or spending time playing the piano.  Most of what I read can be found in the YA section in any bookstore but as an English student I do enjoy the classics.  In the recent years I have fully embraced the dystopian novel craze including The Hunger Games and Divergent.  Other favorites of mine will always include The Harry Potter series and Narnia which demonstrates my love of high fantasy.  This summer it is my goal to dig into the Game of Thrones series.  I have already been sucked into the HBO series and can't wait to begin.  Maybe one day I will post a full summer reading list.

Anyway, I hope that this blog allows me to get it together and actually write, whether it be stories or my opinions.  I am one of those people who constantly thinks about writing something but never actually gets around to doing it.  Procrastination is my Mount Everest and the internet my crutch.