Friday, September 16, 2011

Follow Friday (#6) House of Night by P. C. Cast

For those of you who don't know what Follow Friday is, it is a weekly meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read and Rachel from Parajunkie. This week's topic:

Q. It's that pesky magic book fairy again! She has another wish: What imaginary book world would you like to make a reality?

Of course the first place I have to say is the Harry Potter universe. Who doesn't want to go to Hogwarts? Broomsticks and wands, cauldrons and potions, cats and owls. It was made for me.

But since Hogwarts is an obvious answer, I'll mention another story world that is absolutely fascinating:  the world of the House of Night series by P. C. and Kristin Cast. These vampires (spelled vampyres) in the book are teenagers when they are Marked with sapphire crescent-shaped tattoos on their foreheads, dubbing them as "fledglings." The change to an adult vampyre takes a few years, if a fledgling's body doesn't reject the change, which results in horrible death. As an adult vampyre, the crescent mark is filled and more intricate, sapphire tattoos sprout, masking the eyes and forehead.

house of night series

The vampyres in this world are different than most--instead of being bitten or exchanging blood these vampyres are about genetics; "junk DNA" is triggered by adolescent hormones. Once they are Marked they are sent to the House of Night boarding schools--these books are set in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Also unlike in other books, these vampyres don't burn up in the sun, but since it can be very painful to them, their classes take place at night. "Vampyre Sociology 101," fencing, and equestrian classes are only a few of the classes offered at the House of Night. It's an exotic, refreshing twist from reading about normal high school. Not to mention there are many swoon worthy vampyres. (Loren Blake, for example. Yowza!)

House of Night badges by year
The House of Night website can be found here.
Also on the website, there is a place to download your picture and mark yourself. Here is a shortcut.
The author, P. C. Cast's, blog.

What story world would you love to live in? Have you read the House of Night? What do you think of it?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Follow Friday (#5) "Breaking Dawn"

For those of you who don't know what Follow Friday is, it is a weekly blog hop created by Rachel @ Parajunkee and Alison @ Alison Can Read. This week's question:

Q. If you could change the ending of any book (or series), which book would you choose? Why and to what?

Just a warning, I'm going to be very predictable here.

There are very few books that I don't like the ending. Come to think of it, there is only one in my mind at the moment. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. Now don't get me wrong, I did like the book, but there were certain aspects that disappointed me. I forewarn, if you haven't read the book do not read past this paragraph. There are going to be a lot of spoilers, and I don't want to ruin the book for anyone.

This is your last warning. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. Thank you :)

First off, I have to say some of my favorite aspects of the book are the wedding and the honeymoon. I even liked Bella's pregnancy. I thought it was interesting how she had to have blood and was so attached to the child even though everyone was concerned it was going to kill her. I knew she wasn't going to die. Edward and Jacob would never let that happen. Most of my dislikes occur after Bella opens her eyes as a vampire.

First and foremost, I wanted Bella to act like a newborn. I wanted her to let her thirst control her for a while. I wanted to see how Stephenie described newborns through their red eyes. I understood why Bella was different, how she prepared herself for the thirst, but it still disappointed me. Maybe she could have been uncontrollable for a day?

Bella Swan Vampire

I also read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer and finally saw what it was like to be a newborn vampire, but it was still too controlled for my taste.

bella edward n renesmee
Another thing I wasn't too fond of was the fight scene. There was no fight scene. With the Volturi after them, the Cullens calling every vampire they know to fight, and Bella learning to control her special ability I expected a grand fight.

It ended as a confrontation. Not even a heated confrontation. But on the bright side, no one died.

I can't wait for the movie. I hope it's not disappointing!

 Are you a fan of Breaking Dawn's ending? Are there any book endings you dislike?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Even more awards?!?!

I just discovered I won three more blog awards!(Warning: I have gone picture crazy. Just thought you ought to know.)

Ross happy

First, I have to say a BIIIIG thank you to Melanie Stanford over at Daydreamer to Writer for giving me these awards.


She nominated me for:

I've given out the Liebster Blog award before--which can be found here--so I'm going to tackle the others. The Rules of "The Versatile Blogger" award and "The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award" are
1) Thank and link to the person who nominates you.
2) Share seven random facts about yourself.
3) Pass the award to five more blogger friends.
4) Contact and congratulate the blogs nominated.
Seven random facts? These have to be good. *Rubs hands together* Okay, let's get started. (Update: I noticed I put ten facts. I guess I got carried away (hehe). But I like the ten I have so I'm just going to leave them.)
1) When I was a child and most of my friends were playing with Barbies or playing house, I was running around pretending I was Buffy the Vampire Slayer :) (though I did like Barbies, too. Lol.)

buffy swordcatch win
Hehe! I love that fight
Kick his butt Buffy!
2) If I could chose to be any supernatural being, I would be a witch, hands down. I would want the bubbling cauldron, a black cloak, a flying broom, a black cat, gem-encrusted amulets, magic books, the whole enchilada! (Most people I know would think I want to be a vampire. I would surprise them with that answer.)
3) I hate folding laundry. Such a tedious job. *Rolls eyes*

4) I am OBSESSED with spiral notebooks. I love collecting them. Even the plain purple, or red, or green ones. I love decorating the covers as I'm writing in them. But I also love the pretty ones.
 5) Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. I get to participate in the YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday. (My post this week can be found here.) Also on Wednesday at 8 and 9 o'clock America's Next Top Model comes on The CW and Restaurant: Impossible is on the Food Network at 10. It's a good day :D

6) I love how words that begin with X sound like they start with a Z, the element "Xenon" for example--which reminds me of the movie Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century or Zenon the Zequel. Or "Xenophillius Lovegood" from Harry Potter.
Does anyone remember that movie--Zenon? Or am I alone here?
7) I only write with black pens when I'm working on fiction works. If I can't find a black pen I'll write in blue, but it really irks me.

8) I'm currently in the mood to watch an amazing movie Julie and Julia. It's such an inspiring movie, and I don't believe they could have picked a better cast. (And man, do I want to learn to make some of the food from Julia Child's cookbook! That stuff just looks delicious!)

9) I really want a tattoo, I just don't know the design yet :/ I'm afraid five years from now I won't want it anymore and unless I have the money for surgery removal, it's permanent.

10) I never liked the color green much until I began writing Angel Wings. It's my main character's favorite color--she rubbed off on me. I now have a green mp3 player and want a green car. Goooo figure (lol).
 Now I'm going to award five awesome bloggers with those two awards. And they are in alphabetical order:
You guys are all awesome! And thanks again to Melanie Stanford for the award!

Now off to tell you bloggers....

Katniss, The Girl Who Was On Fire

If you recognize this post's title, you must have read The Hunger Games. I just finished reading the first of the series and haven't written a book review, so no better chance than now. Warning, I'll try not to contain spoilers. If I do, I apologise now.

This week's Road Trip Wednesday topic:

What's the best book you've read in August.

Author:Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 374
Date of Release: Dec. 14th 2009
First Line:  "When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold."

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Part One: The Tribute

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!”
-Effie Trinket

The book begins with Katniss waking to crawl underneath the chainlink fence and hunt--an action which is illigal. But with food on the scarce side, what's a girl to do? She has to feed her mother and her young sister Primrose (Prim). Here is also where Katniss' hunting partner Gale Hawthorn is introduced. They hunt and fish together, and talk about the nerve-wracking event that takes place later on in the day, the Reaping; the announcement of tributes for the 74th Hunger Games. When they finish hunting and selling some of their catch in a place called "The Hob" the two seperate to ready themselves for the ceremony. How it works is every person from age 12 to 18 must enter their name once, but for a years supply of tesserae--grain and oil--for one person they enter more. The more a person enters, the more tesserae the family gets. Katniss' name has been entered into the Game twenty times. Gale, who is eighteen and has seven brothers and sisters at home, has his named entered forty-two times. Now that Prim is old enough to enter, her name is entered once.

In the end Katniss and a boy named Peeta Mellark are the tributes from their district--District 12, which is set in the Appalachian and is known for coal mining. Since the Games are for "entertainment" and on television, the tributes have to look good right? They are all assigned a stylist. For District 12 it is Cinna and Portia--who I absoloutly love, by the way. The district is known for the tributes to be dressed in practically nothing--skanky coal miner outfits, for example. What does Cinna and Portia do to be radiant and different? They set them on fire.

Part Two:  The Games
“Winning means fame and fortune.
Losing means certain death.
The Hunger Games have begun.”

 The tributes know that the Games can take place anywhere from a desert, an artic region, to a forest. They have endured interviews, preparations, days of nerves, and finally it's time to start the games. Katniss knows she needs only one weapon--a bow and arrows--and it's not promised. Here is when cleverness, strength, skill, betrayal, and the strive to survive is tested.

Part Three:  The Victor
“Here’s some advice. Stay alive.”
-Haymitch Abernathy

It's all about who has gets the victory. I can't tell you much about this part without giving everything away.

My Thoughts
When I first heard about The Hunger Games it was from Stephenie Meyer's--the author of Twilight--website. It was when it first released and the book sounded so interesting, but I never got the chance to get my hands on it. I'm certainly glad I did. I would give it 4.5 stars. I can't wait to read the next one, Catching Fire.

Though I haven't read many, dystopians never cease to amaze me. It's interesting to wonder what the world be like in the future, and The Hunger Game's world would be a horrible world to live in. If Panem existed right now, based on where I live, I would probably be in District 12, too.

I cannot wait for the movie to come out! Here is a teaser trailer that just released.

The Love Interest

“Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true. Here is the place where I love you.”
-Katniss Everdeen

Two of my favorite aspects in novels are action and romance. I love a good fight scene just as much as I love mushy scene that makes you go "Squeee!" It has both action and romance, although the romance is different from other books and I found it interesting.

At first I wondered if there was something between Katniss and Gale. Though their relationship in the beginning of the book seemed platonic, I couldn't even begin to guess what Ms. Collins has up her sleeve for the next book.

Peeta. Sweet, sweet Peeta. To Katniss he is known as "the boy with the bread" and not just because he is the son of the baker. Though Peeta and Katniss never talked before the Games, they have a history so heavy Katniss feels she can never pay Peeta back for a favor he did for her.

Peeta: “Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping.”
Caesar: “She have another fellow?”
Peeta: “I don’t know, but a lot of boys like her.”
Caesar: “So, here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down then, eh?”
Peeta: “I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning…won’t help in my case”
Caesar: “Why ever not?”
Peeta: “Because…because…she came here with me.”


Have you read The Hunger Games? What did you think? What was your favorite/least favorite part? Which was your favorite in the series--but no spoliers, please! :D

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Glass by Ellen Hopkins Book Review

Hey everyone, I'm finally posting a book review for Glass. I don't know why I have been so reluctant about posting book reviews lately. Oh, well. I'll get back on track. Just as a heads up, Glass is the sequel to Crank by Ellen Hopkins. So if you haven't read Crank there will be spoilers.

Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Simon & Shuster
Pages: 681
Date of Release: August 21, 2007
Book is written in verse.

Crank. Glass. Ice. Crystal. Whatever you call it, it's all the same: a monster. And once it's got hold of you, this monster will never let you go.

Kristina thinks she can control it. Now with a baby to care for, she's determined to be the one deciding when and how much, the one calling the shots. But the monster is too strong, and before she knows it, Kristina is back in its grips. She needs the monster to keep going, to face the pressures of day-to-day life. She needs it to feel alive.

Once again the monster takes over Kristina's life and she will do anything for it, including giving up the one person who gives her the unconditional love she craves -- her baby.

The sequel to Crank, this is the continuing story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, it's a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts.

photo found here

In Crank, Kristina Georgia Snow became addicted to many things. She became addicted to the feel of a boy's body pressed against hers, she became addicted to love, but, ultimately, she became addicted to meth. (And I became addicted to the series.)

The good girl Kristina's parents knew is struggling to hold back her stronger identity named Bree.

"Not quite silent,
                        shouts obscenities just because
                        they roll so well off the tongue.

Not quite straight-A
                        but talented in oh-so-many
                        inevitable ways.

Not quite sanitary,
                        farts with gusto, picks
                        her nose, spits like a guy.

Not quite sane,
                       sometimes, to tell you the truth,
                       even I wonder about her.

                      There is no perfect daughter,
                      no gifted high-school junior,
                      no Kristina Georgia Snow.
                                                            There is only Bree."
                                                                   --Crank page 5

Bree is everything Kristina is not:  confident, sneaky, a party-girl. But now, in Glass, Kristina is dealing with consequences of her actions. Now a mother, Kristina tries to fight her addiction to the monster Crank, claiming it's up to her to call the shots, not the monster. The problem? The monster is alluring. It calls to her when she wakes up at night to feed her son, it calls to her in the morning when she hasn't gotten much sleep, and it calls to her when she argues with her parents. And inside of her, Bree is yearning for it.

Finally, Kristina gives in.
      "Just a little"
But we all know how that works. A little turned into a lot. A lot turned into losing control. And losing control meant losing her life. No, Kristina didn't die, but everything good thing in her life was gone. Her parents kick her out, take her baby, and leave her to live on her own.
But she was never on her own. There is always a boy. Even two boys, and they introduce her to a new type of meth, one that takes her flying higher, Glass.

At the end of Crank, I wondered how Kristina could make her life worse because of a drug. In Glass, it's proven that she can.

My thoughts:

As soon as I finished Crank, I couldn't wait until I had the chance to pick up Glass. I was dying to know what happened next, what choices--most likely bad choices--Kristina would make. I was curious to how the monster was going to control her this time and how hard she was going to fight against it.

There are many mixed reviews out there about Crank and Glass--some claim Hopkins' plots weren't original enough--but I believe she stuck with realistic ideas and I was glad she did. Sometimes not all book plots are completely original, but it's what an author does to the book and the story that make it original. Hopkins certainly succeeds in my opinion. Maybe it was because I'm a sucker for her unique writing style or it may be because I love the aspect of realism she kept within the book. Using drugs and addiction usually lead down one dangerous road, and Hopkins captures it beautifully.

Reading Hopkins' books sent me on a roller coaster, an emotional roller coaster. I would feel sorry for Kristina one moment, and then want to slap Bree the next. Many times I wanted to tell Kristina "Well, that's what you get!" but would also think to myself, "Awwh, that's not right! She has a problem."

I have to admit this, in both Crank and Glass, Kristina's character bothered me on some levels. Mainly on the fact that she believes you need a guy to be happy; that is Kristina's perspective since the beginning of the series--but being the sucker for romance that I am, I wanted her to find it. There are many times Kristina lashes out at her family, misses her life before her baby, hungers for a good high, and forgets about her child all together. Her family eventually becomes unimportant to her entirely. This fact saddened me, but it is an affect of addiction and the meth--the drug damages the pleasure centers in the brain. People addicted to the drug, as Kristina does, only feels happy when they are high.

Overall the book was as amazing as the first one, sometimes even better. The consequences of drug use and meth are even more severe than in Crank. Kristina suffers many mental, physical, emotional, and life consequences for her actions.

I definitely recommend it. Rated on a five star rating, I would give it 4.5 to 5 stars.

was radical
right after I met
                        the monster.

Later, life

                        a living

like swimming
against a riptide,

the wrong
direction in the fast
lane of the freeway,

from sweetest
dreams to find yourself
in the middle of a
                             --Glass page 1

Up next for review? The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Follow Friday (#4)

First off, WOW I can't believe it's Friday already!

For those of you who don't know what Follow Friday is, it is a weekly blog hop created by Rachel @ Parajunkee and Alison @ Alison Can Read. This week's question:

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real? I have to pick only one? I've always been interested in vampires, ever sense I was about seven or eight and I became obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So vampires for one, as long as they are all like Angel, Spike, or the Cullens. I don't want to be attacked in a dark alley from a vampire.

Not that I spend most of my time walking down dark alleys...

Angel and Spike
Found here

Another creature I would like to be real are witches. I love witches--and worlocks. From Harry Potter to Willow from Buffy to Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments. I've always dreamed of having magical powers, and love reading and writing stories about witches.

OH how I would love for Adam Lambert to play Magnus Bane in the movie! Magnus is one of my favorite characters of all time. This photo found here

Lol! I thought this was amusing. Photo found here

Also, I think the Phoenix would be a lovely creature to exist. A lovely creature with a beautiful song.

Fawkes the phoenix from Harry Potter

What mythological creatures do you wish were real?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Every Writer's Antagonist: Writer's Block

This week YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday topic is:

How do you beat writer's block? Do you go for a jog? Read a book? Go to a movie? Come on, share your secret--we're dying to know!

As every writer knows inspiration can come from anywhere. For me, I've said many times before that one big inspiration comes from music. Just on this week's Music Monday, I posted a great song to help set the mood for writing. That's not exactly to beat writer's block, but it was some sort of inspiration. As for writer's block, to be honest I usually end up flailing in distress and wracking my brain until I think I've had a break through. Usually I haven't, and I'll erase everything I write until I do actually have a break through. But there are a lot of ways I help fuel those glorious break throughs like...

Reading a book.

Or listening to music.

 Or go picture surfing to find awesome pictures.

Also I watch movies and TV.
LMAO!! Got to love Jasper--and the person who created this. Found here

twilight zoolander
Hehe!! Gif found here
Buffy gif
Buffy cast! Found here

But most importantly, I just write.

Tell me, what do you guys do to beat the evil being, writer's block?