Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Tigers and Mini Reviews

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)

Perhaps I'm cheating by including reviews in this post along with my WoW, but I can't help myself. I think you'll understand why.

Tiger's Destiny (The Tiger Saga #4) by Collen Houck
Scheduled to be released:
September 4, 2012

My initial comments: One. Ms. Houck if you would like to publish sooner than September, you won't hear any complaints from me. I'm sure many of your fans agree. Two. If you want to publish 2 books in one year, I'm sure you'll find many eager and agreeable fans out there as well. Three. Hopefully Goodreads has it wrong when they list book four as having only 250 pages. That just won't do. Four. Cover art please?!?

Why I'm waiting:
Here is where the mini reviews come into play.

Tiger's Curse (book 1):

My friend recommended this book to me by saying, "You must read this! It will blow Twilight out of the water. It is so good." Okay. . . well here's the thing Twilight is not that hard to blow out of the water, especially when you don't find it well written to begin with. However, I'm a good friend (I think) and decided to read this book based on her ravings. 

Yikes! I hate to be mean, but it is painfully obvious this is the author's first book. Lots of plot holes and character development is extremely lacking, not to mention what there is of it is too quick to be considered normal. Kelsey is so naive and trusting that I just have to wonder, do people read this and think this would be someone's true reaction? I can't imagine any foster parents (Kelsey's real parents are deceased) not caring as much as these people don't seem to care that she just met this old guy, suddenly is an "expert" when it comes to Tigers, and is leaving for India. I'm not being kind, I realize. I didn't like reading it and feeling as though I was hitting myself in the head constantly thinking "Duh!" or "That would never happen!" The book is fantasy, yes, but even the most far-fetching fantasy story out there has a level of believability to it. 

Tiger's  Quest (book 2):

Intentionally reminiscent of New Moon or just a coincidence?

Kelsey and Ren (sigh) find themselves separated at the end of the last book. (spoiler sorry) COMMUNICATION folks it works wonders! However, the reason I like this is because reactions seem truer to nature (unlike another teenage girl whose life seems about to end when sparkle boy leaves her). This also gave Kelsey and Ren the chance to develop a relationship on more than physical attraction. 

I'm a big fan of poetry and quotes and enjoyed how the author sprinkled these throughout; especially when she uses them as a bantering competition between Kelsey and Ren. I do not like Kishan and he needs to leave. Love triangles have these maddening affects on me; I tend to want to bash a character on the head over and over until they wake up. Typically it is the girl, because she throws around this nonsense "I love you both." Although that comes into play more in the third book than in this book.

Perhaps it is the place I'm at in my life, relationship wise, that brings many of the themes to the forefront and connect me so strongly, but I couldn't get enough of this book. I will admit (DON'T JUDGE ME) that I did cry at the end of this book. I saw it coming and my heart kept teetering on the edge begging that it wouldn't be so, but it was. I will not tell you what happened; you will have to read it yourself!

Tiger's Voyage (book 3):

While this book kept me reading, it was solely because I had to know what was going to happen. Otherwise this book drug on a bit and didn't keep me occupied as well as book 2. My library didn't have book 3 yet, so I was "forced" (a little too willingly) to purchase the book in order to read it. 

I think it is extremely evident that the author has done her homework. There is so much culture and history and research thrown in, that I can imagine she worked hard to write these books. I mean they learn how to deep sea dive and she describes it in great detail. I've never been, but I can assume she knows what she is talking about. If not, she is good at pretending.
Kishan leave already! When he first comes into the books, he seems macho and just the least bit narcissistic. Suddenly in this book he is a love sick, pushover, and a wimp. Love does not become him very well. I feel only the least bit sorry for him, because dumb Kelsey can't seem to make up her mind. I will sympathize with her some, in that even in real life you come to the point where you are so confused and lost, you just want for someone to tell you straight and clear, "This is what you are so supposed to do!" None of this cryptic nonsense that constantly gets thrown at us and we have to do the "adult" thing and decide ourselves. Humph not fair . . .

Favorite parts are the moments of jealousy. I don't know about you, but a hot guy + obvious signs of jealousy = HOTTIE. . . for me anyway.

You might at this point, be asking yourself than A. Why is another book in the serious your WoW? and B. Why did you finish and read the other books?

Surprise! I've got an answer!

Hot Indian guys aside (sigh), Ms. Houck has a knack for entertaining her readers, regardless of the other downfalls I found in the books. I appreciated how clean the books are compared to the majority of YA fantasy out there, but there was just enough to keep the "ole" romantics at heart satisfied. I kept turning the pages because I had to figure how these poorly written characters were going to finagle their way out in a manner that seemed half plausible. These books suck you in! At least if you are a sucker for love triangles (which seem to be in every other novel written these days) and for shape-shifting hot guys! 

I find it encouraging (wanting to be a published author myself someday) that Ms. Houck was able to get her books published, mostly, due to a huge fan following that supported her by crying out for MORE. It is amazing she was able to publish 3 books in 1 year! I hope she continues to write and that by writing more, she may hone her skills and encourage other up and coming authors that, it is possible.

A side note, according to her website her books have been optioned for the big screen by Paramount. Now Paramount, do you think you can do a better job than Summit has done with Twilight

This was a long post, sorry. I hope you enjoyed it and that it made sense. Perhaps these books have affected me more than I realized. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tattoo Tuesdays: HOPE

Finally! I'm able to post another Tattoo Tuesdays blog. I thought I would never get around to posting. Although, in my defense, Tuesdays are usually shop day (I own and work at a bookstore). At the shop we are very 19th century and have electricity, but we aren't hip and happening quite enough to have. . . internet or a computer, yet. I can write the post, but as for it going live on the web well that can't happen.

Today's tattoo I first came across, or tumbled upon, on Tumblr. Ever since it has been "drool over" at first site. :)

Inside All of Us is...HOPE

In my old age (ha I'm only 23) I'm starting to become a typography nut. (No I'm not a hipster...yet) That being said I like the lettering choice for HOPE and then the contrasting font inside the 'O'. I'm envious of whoever thought this up first. Thumbs up to you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas (My Christmas Letter)

The Front of my Christmas Card

Dear Friends,

I can't believe that it is Christmas and soon to be New Years! It seems like I was just making my New Year's resolution list and putting lots of pleases, hopes, and prayers into what this year could bring. I'd like to say I got them all accomplished and then some, but well I won't tell if you won't.

If there is one thing I've learned this year it is boy howdy am I am stubborn person. It has been a rough year, emotionally, spiritually, "relationally", you name it. I read a verse the other day that made me scratch my head and think "Gee God, I think I'm as gold as I'm going to get." In 1 Peter it says "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." As my dad reminded me, and now that I think of it more I'm truly grateful for this, He is never finished refining me. Of course maybe it would be nice if He didn't polish so hard. :)

This year my mum watched in horror (ha ha!) as I purchased my first of several (I'm addicted, shhh don't tell) pairs of skinny jeans. Added to my growing taste for music, I can't stop listening to screamo or there are other names for it, but most commonly in my house that scary stuff Maddie listens to (shout out to the guys who introduced me to it :)!) In March I traveled to Long Beach for my fifth year!

I watched as my baby sister, Elyza, turned 21. Hello drinking buddy! Don't tell my mum I said that. A. David turned 20 and baby Reece 18. Man I'm feeling old. . . I turned 23, blah, but hey another year wiser. Don't worry if you question that, I do too. I still live at home (if you thought that had changed) and these 3 are some of my favorite people. Between making me laugh with their quick wit and sarcasm and playing SingStar, we are the karaoke champs; it is never a dull moment.

I took horseback riding lessons during the summer and hope to continue next year. Knitting became a thorn in my side. I always seem to take on the hardest projects. Hopefully with snow coming (I'm praying for it, are you?), I can have a chance to indulge in some winter activities as well.

2012 may be considered the year the world ends, but I'm hoping it is a big year for me. Win the lottery. Marry prince charming. Vacation in the Bahamas. Yes big year, indeed. On a serious note, I'm looking forward to what the Lord has in store, crossing my fingers for some growth, adventure, and joy.

Happy Birthday Jesus! Merry Christmas!

2011 Favorites:
Movie: Drive
Book: Blackveil by Kristen Britain
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:6-8
Song: Blame it on the Rain by He is We
Screamo: Safe to Say by Vanna
Documentary: The Art of Flight

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mundane Mondays: Christmas Secrets, Dragons and Wrapping with style

Did you think you'd lost me? That somehow I had drifted off into space, never to be seen or heard from again? Don't worry! I'm here. Life has been . . . well busy.

Christmas is 6 days away! I'm ready, just about. I got the last of my gifts, courtesy of Etsy today. Okay people! I'm going to steal these last gifts. Shhh . . . no one has to know and you don't have to tell. I am very pleased with myself. Could you tell? I will have to post pictures after Christmas.

This year I'm trying a different wrapping technique, well labeling is the only difference. Otherwise they are still wrapped the same. I can't tell you though, some people read this blog who will be getting gifts from me. You thought I would share the secret before Christmas. . . wrong!

You may be reading this and finding it a bit rushed. That's because it is. I have things to do, people to see, guys to kiss. . . wait what? Oh yeah that's just in my imagination. Hmm I'm tempted to stay there for a bit. :)

I will be doing something this week, or perhaps I will have to wait for things to calm down a bit, that I have never done before. I'm going to see a movie . . . all by my lonesome. Do you want to come with me? I make for a good date. No one I know has read the books or watched the Swedish versions, nor has any interest whatsoever in seeing this movie. I on the other hand have read the books and watched the Swedish versions and Daniel Craig aside (he is handsome, just not my type) I want to see this movie. By some chance though, if you stranger, live in my town, know where I live, and want to see this movie, well be my guest. Give me a call, you'll need my number first and therefore you need to know me. I know I'm making it rough, aren't I? I am, of course, talking about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (that needs to be in lights, flashing, cue LIGHTS people). You can read my review for the book here. This will be a new and weird experience for me. I mean don't people stare at people who come to theaters by themselves, "Oh, look at the creepier, came to see a movie alone." Ok, no? I guess only I do that kind of thing. I'll let you know how loner movie going is, unless. . . hey you over there, yeah you're cute you wanna go with me? :)

My Christmas tree finally went up Saturday night!

I'm 16 books away from 1,400 in my own personal library. I only have to read 24 more books by the end of the year, to complete my goal. Which, just a sneaky suspicion, that seems unlikely to happen. I'm a fast reader, not that fast. Check out my GoodReads to see what I have read this year.

I had all these great quotes to give you and what did I do? I left them at home. . .

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review (of sorts): Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for the opportunity to review this book!

Born Wicked by Jessica SpotswoodCate Cahill is a witch. Her sisters are witches, as was her mother (now deceased). But in 1890 New England that is the farthest thing from “proper” for a woman to be.

I often judge books by their covers and had no inkling I had picked a book about witches, not my usual. It was an entertaining read and kept my attention. I was absorbed and forced to turn page after page to see what would become of this twisted situation.

The story is well written, but at times predictable. Although, I’m now frustrated, I have to wait over a year to find out what happens next.

If witches and alternative history novels are to your taste, this is a book you will enjoy. I truly felt for Cate and the burden she endeavored to take on.

I’m not one to appreciate religious mockery and this story is rife with it; as well as continuous examples of belittling the “Christian” faith’s distaste for bluestockings and the like. I am never quite sure where or why people get off thinking this is how things are. That is the only portion I take issue with in this story.

This review is proof that I'm not very good at writing negative reviews.
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