Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

November 27, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Random1 comment

thanksgiving

I just wanted to take a quick minute to wish all of y’all a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day is filled with family, friends, lots of incredible food, and, if your plans are anything like mine, football games and good books! And for you lovelies who don’t live in the United States, get your butts over here and help us eat all of this food. Haha. Just take it from Joey and don’t forget a Thanksgiving necessity: the Thanksgiving pants!

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Visual Effects: These Broken Stars + The 100

November 24, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Visual Effects11 comments

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Hi! Welcome to the first post of a feature I decided to start a couple of weeks ago. I was watching one of my new favorite shows and thought, “hey, this is exactly like one of my favorite books”. Basically, this feature is my excuse for talking about TV shows on my book blog, but it’s also fun to compare shows and books, because both ruin my life equally. Some books and shows might be very similar (I will draw parellels to show you) but some may just give me a similar feeling or have some aspects that are alike. Either way, you should watch these shows because they’re epic. This time: if you like These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, you might like the CW’s The 100.

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The Amberiot Chronicles

November 21, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Me!, Personal6 comments

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The reason I love blogging so much is that it makes me able to talk to people who like the same things I do. However, when I just started this blog I would never have thought that blogging would allow me to meet some of my best friends in the entire world. But then I met Amber, at the end of 2012, and she has been one of my favorite people ever since. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her, not only with this blog, but also in life in general. We talk every single day, and I wouldn’t change this friendship for the world. Anyway, earlier this year Amber decided it was time for a visit (which we’d been talking about forever but had somehow not happened yet) and then in November, there we were.

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Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

November 17, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Review, 3 comments

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow PlaceTitle: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
Author: Julie Berry
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Genre/Age Group: Humor, Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

There's a murderer on the loose—but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner.

Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings.

my thoughts

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a story about friendship and girlpower in the best way. This middle grade novel about seven young girls trying to stay together after the headmistress of their boarding school is murdered is sassy, charming and clever, and I think I was already a little bit in love with this story when at the very first page, we get to see a portrait of each of the girls and a bit of a backstory for why they were sent to boarding school. Set in a small Victorian town filled with nosy neighbors and all kinds of interesting people, the girls must work together to stay at their school, while at the same time trying to find out who murdered their headmistress and her brother. I think the historical setting really made this setting, because there are so many quirky shenanigans that work in this era only.

With seven main characters, you are bound to get confused a bit at times. Especially in the beginning, I couldn’t tell the difference between any of them. Although I loved the way Berry named them (with a personality trait in front of their name, like Smooth Kitty, Disgraceful Mary Jane, etc.), they all seemed similar to me. I found that I adjusted quite easily, though, and I love how distinct these girls were and how well they complimented each other. Despite their many differences and the fact that they didn’t even know if they could trust each other, they really didy have each others’ backs unconditionally. I loved watching them go through all their problems together. This novel shows friendship in the best way, and I’m so happy that middle grade readers will be able to read and learn from this book.

Sometimes the story was a little too exaggerated, but I think that was the point. It is, after all, a farce, and once I got used to it, I really liked it. The story remained very light-hearted and funny, and quite surface level, which means we didn’t get to know the girls on a personal level, but that was fine. Their combined power is what makes this novel worthwile. My only issue, really, is that I had a pretty hard time getting through this story. It was charming and I adored the characters, but there were moments when not much happened, and I had to put it down at multiple times. All in all, however, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a heart-warming story filled with humor, quirky characters, female power, and a fun murder mystery that I think will do well with readers of all ages.

memorable quotes

“I don’t condone killing, but if killing happens anyway, then I think women go about it much more sensibly. Leave it to men to be loud and violent and messy about the business. It’s egotistical of them. It’s not enough to eliminate their enemy. No. They must conquer them face to face and watch them plead for mercy, whereas women dispatch victims quickly and silently.”
“Men might say poison isn’t sporting.”
“Yes, and men think that organizing parties of dozens of riders and hounds to chase down one poor fox is sporting. Men’s opinions are irrelevant.”

Mini review: Firebug

November 14, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Review, 1 comment

Mini review: FirebugTitle: Firebug (Firebug #1)
Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Genre/Age Group: Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 3 Stars

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren't caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She's one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn't like it one bit. Not least because her mother's death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can't say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

my thoughts

The main thing I took away from Firebug was that I adore Lish McBride’s writing. She has a way with words that is just naturally funny, and it made her characters, especially Ava, very sassy and loveable. Even though the story itself is not meant to be funny, I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times anyway because of the writing, and that hasn’t happened in a while. The characters were definitely what made this story for me. I adored Ava, but more than that, I loved her relationship with both her adoptive father and her two best friends, Lock and Ezra. Family and friendship is an important theme in this book, and I liked that a lot, because it is so realistic. Sometimes it feels like all YA books have absent parents, but even though Ava lived with her adoptive father, their bond was incredible. Lock and Ezra could be demanding, but the friendship was lovely because it felt like a sibling relationship.

I didn’t like the world building as much as the characters, unfortunately. The paranormal aspects were slightly weak. Even though the idea of a magical mafia interested me, the way it was executed didn’t really work for me, mostly because I never felt like it made much sense. I realized this relatively early in the story, when there was a guy whose house was a giant chicken (?) running away from the Coterie. Even though everything was explained well enough and I still love the firebugs and their powers, the rest of the paranormal creatures and the entire world was just a little much for me. Furthermore, even though I liked Ava and the writing from the start, it took a while for me to get really into this story. Not much happens for the first third of the book, and it dragged a bit. Still, even though I had issues with Firebug and the paranormal aspects didn’t really work for me, I definitely enjoyed it, and I want to read more from Lish McBride.

memorable quotes

Taken from the ARC.

“The phrase “Gentlemen, lock up your ladies” is a good one when Ez is around. (“Ladies, lock up your gentlemen” might also be useful. Ezra loves attention. He isn’t about to get a little thing like gender get in his way.) 

“Don’t you think it’s a bad sign that your best argument for your beau is that nothing has been proved in court?”