Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: The Chaos of Stars, an orangutan, and Radioactive

This will be the first time I've participated in What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk, and I'm delighted to join. Lovely ladies both.

What I've Been Reading: 

Well, most recently I just finished an ARC of The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White. (I'll be giving it away in August.) I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up other than my initial infatuation with the simple yet beautiful cover, but the first line grabbed me right away and off I zoomed to a world of mythical beings and ancient gods.

The Chaos of Stars is not like other mythological based YA lit I've read. It's not a retelling in any sense, but rather a continuation, and it makes sense to me that these characters and the events that unfold could happen if those myths were real and the gods still roamed the earth, hidden in plain sight.

The MC, Isadora, is the daughter of the Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris--but there's a catch: she's human. Because of that, Isadora has all kinds of typical teenage daughter issues with her parents, but on a scale that is quite beyond that of the "typical teenager."

To me, the book read as a testament to the trials inherent in any family and the ultimate love that parents have for their children despite their differences. Although I'm happy to report that my family doesn't have any of the murder or betrayal that Isadora's immortal family does.

At the moment I am reading Reboot by Amy Tintera and enjoying it. It's too early for me to tell what will happen but I have a sneaking suspicion there will be romance and some butt-kicking action. The blurb on the back of the cover reminds me of Divergent and the ARC I recently gave away and reviewedThe Brokenhearted.
Now that I'm a Reboot: I am faster. I am stronger. I heal quickly. I don't cry. I follow orders. Until now.  
Intriguing, no? I thought so. I have a cache of other books (YA or otherwise) just waiting to be read and reviewed or given away, and to be honest, it is quite overwhelming. I've taken to splitting them up and putting them on separate shelves so I don't get the figurative stink-eye from more than a few at time, depending on which direction I'm looking. Is it bad that I give my books personification? Because sometimes I think they really do have personalities.

What I'm Writing:

Not to bore y'all, but I haven't been writing anything fictional this summer. I've actually been doing more research (Yuck! Help! Research!) into the characterization of animals and their "uses" in fictional works as either vehicles for ideas or balances for the bad qualities of a main character. I am doing this research in hopes of writing a more detailed paper on the relationship of Forrest Gump to the orangutan Sue, in the novel.

When I wrote my thesis, I focused on this relationship for about ten pages but all of my committee members (who are doctors of English, so I have to believe them, don't I?) said that that section was their favorite and suggested I develop it further. In all honesty, I, too, thought I made good points and considered it my favorite area as well, but since I was trying my hardest to sell them on the awesomeness of my entire thesis, I brushed the idea under the rug. I wanted to pass, after all.

Now that it's summer and graduate school is looming ever closer, I have decided to take the idea off of the back burner. So there you have it. What I've been writing. Or in this case, pre-writing, since I'm mostly doing research.

And as I type this I have a document open to one of my old WIPs, re-reading it and cringing at some of my descriptions. Goodness, it could use some TLC.

What Else I've Been Up To: 

Working. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I work (worked, now) at the Education department of my university and I was basically a lab fixture for two years. This summer was my last semester in that lab assistant position for one of my favorite classes ever (EDM310, check it out, Dr. Strange is awesome). Now that it's over, I'm a little depressed. I'm going to miss that job.

Starting in August I will be working in the Writing Center as part of my GA position, but a part of my heart will always be in EDM310.

Let's see...what else. I've moved into a new apartment and this time I have a roommate. I love her though so I don't foresee any issues. We met in EDM310 as coworkers and she jokes that since because I and the a few others have graduated and she is still working there that she might pay me to read some of her assignments because she'll have so many to do. Ha!

What Inspires Me Right Now:

I've been on a YouTube kick for the past two weeks. If you haven't seen Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix's new video cover of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, then please watch it right now. I'll wait. I've even embedded it for your viewing ease.

Now, go watch all of the videos related to this one and you'll see what I've been inspired by lately. Oh this song makes my skin tingle and soul squirm. I can feel it inside me, oozing out of my pores to the soaring violin and beats.

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Confusion: Some Quiet Place Blog Tour

Meet Confusion

He isn't mentioned directly but his presence is felt throughout Some Quiet Place. Confusion is an Emotion that we all feel nearly every day. Therefore, his physical presence isn't exactly needed in order to feel confused. Due to his nature, Confusion is a wanderer, rarely in one place for long, because as we know, confusion fades as quickly as it arises.

He is passingly referenced here:
 “See you in class,” I murmur, turning my back to Joshua. He looks like a lost little boy now, his hair tousled and his expression one of warring hurt and confusion as I abandon him.

When I found out that Confusion would be my topic for Kelsey's blog tour, I felt like it was entirely appropriate, not only for this blog but for myself as well. I'm always befuddled over one thing or another. Confusion and I are great pals.

I hope y'all have enjoyed your stop on the Some Quiet Place Blog Tour hosted by Gabriella at The Mod Podge Bookshelf

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 15, 2013

Winner of ARC of The Brokenhearted!

Today I chose the winner of The Brokenhearted ARC giveaway (via Rafflecopter) and I'm excited to announce that the bigger winner is...

Alice S.!

Congratulations, Alice! I hope you enjoy The Brokenhearted as much as I did! For all of you who entered but did not win, don't fret! I have more ARCs to give away and they will be coming to a Rafflecopter entry form near you! (Or rather, on this blog, haha!)

Until next time...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Happy Book Birthday to Kelsey Sutton!!! + Review of THE BROKENHEARTED

A happiest of book birthdays to my friend Kelsey Sutton and her debut novel Some Quiet Place! Coming up soon there will be a guest post from Kelsey (July 17) and I'm so excited to see what she will have for us! I know it has something to do with Emotions and if you haven't read Some Quiet Place yet you definitely should! A few posts ago I participated in the cover reveal for SQP and I'm thrilled to also be in the blog tour this month that Gabriella is hosting at the Modgepodge Bookshelf! She created a lovely blog tour button that I just have to share now even though it's not my "turn" in the tour.

Feel free to snag it and put it on your sidebars! I know it's simply lovely.

Anyway, I feel like it's time for me to get to the second part of this post, which is a short review of an ARC of The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney. I snagged this ARC from my local independent bookstore (along with three others, so expect reviews of those as well) and I plan to give it away as a part of this post. Appropriate, I think, considering it's SQP's birthday.

Here are the specs for The Brokenhearted:
Pub Date: Oct 8, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover, 320 pages
ISBN: 0062230921
Official Website for Amelia Kahaney

Anthem Fleet is the ultimate society girl or at least she should be. Her father--a real estate tycoon--is fabulously wealthy and powerful and her mother is a beauty queen turned socialite. They have it all, the penthouse, the cars, the perfect straight-A ballerina daughter. Until Anthem makes a series of decisions that change her life forever and propel her into a role she had not practiced for her entire life, but one that she chooses to accept regardless.

The setting is Bedlam City, a novelistic place reminiscent of Gotham, and I think it's meant to evoke that same darker urban feeling that the most recent Batman films have captured so perfectly. There are slums--South Side--where criminals of the Syndicate deal in drugs, guns, theft, and body parts for those willing to undergo surgery in the most disreputable of places.

But despite that darkness, the people of the South Side want to believe in a better future, one where the city isn't divided by a river known as the Crime Line, and one where police don't conduct raids with Fear Gas and beat those people not afraid to protest the corruption.

Initially, I found The Brokenhearted to be a bit slow, but once I grew accustomed to the world and the pace picked up, I couldn't put it down. Much like the cover says, once Anthem's "heart stopped" her "life started" and so did the action in the novel. From simply looking at the cover, one might assume that this book is of the steampunk genre, but in my humble opinion, I don't think I'd classify it as such. There are more elements of the superhero type of narrative particularly with regards to Batman-esque type of social avenger, but I suppose you'll have to read it to find out.

To help one lucky reader towards that goal, I will be giving this ARC away! Fill out the Rafflecopter entries below and cross your fingers! a Rafflecopter giveaway