Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Liebster Award (#2)


The Liebster rules are thus:

Link and thank those who nominated you.

Answer the 11 questions posed to you, list 11 random facts about yourself, nominate 11 bloggers and ask them 11 questions.

Inform them of nomination by commenting on one of their posts.


Thanks Erfa @Bring on the Ink for my second nomination! I know it’s been slow on here recently but I really appreciate it and feel really honored :) 

Questions Answered

Which book did you read in your childhood that's stayed in your heart through the years?

I’d say Percy Jackson, but that series has quite left me yet (I’ve still got a good 100 pages ofBlood of Olympus to read because I’ve been putting it off. I just don’t want it to end!). This is probably ridiculously clichĂ©, but I’m going to have to go with Harry Potter. These books were my entire childhood. I remember my mother giving me a copy of the first book when I was in second grade. I failed the 5 finger test (one finger goes up for every word you don’t understand on the page) but I asked plenty of questioned and chugged through that 384 page clunker in no time. I grew up waiting for each book to come out, to find out what my beloved characters were up to next, and they will always be a part of me.

Imagine walking into a drugstore and seeing one of your favorite characters there. What would your first reaction be?

I would probably squeal really obnoxiously and have a total fangirl moment, or pull myself together and start some small talk with them in order to not scare them away.

Who is the one author you would love to take a selfie with?

I’ve already checked this off the Bucket List last April when I took a selfie with Jonathan Stroud. Continuing my trend I’m going to have to go with Rick Riordan or J.K. Rowling as my next selfie partner.

What's your sense of humour like?

My sense of humor is full of hilariously bad/cheesy jokes and puns with plenty of witty comments and references thrown in to keep people on their toes.

Is there any place where you're not comfortable reading?

I’m comfortable everywhere in any position or a short amount of time. I’m a shifting reader though, every couple of pages I seem to move into a different position

Three bookish pet peeves?

-I hate owning cover changes. When I buy a series they need to all be matchy-matchy
-Booksellers putting stickers on books. I literally do not care that a movie is coming out or whatever it is you want to tell me- you’re sticky-ing up my book and it will NEVER go back to normal after that sticker comes off. But I can’t leave it on either because it looks garish.
-Thinking I’ve got 40+ pages til the end only to find that the back is actually an epilogue/adds for other books/preview chapters for something else.

What came first - the chicken or the egg?

The chicken. I think that it continued to evolve while alive, birthing eggs that then further evolved etc. until we go to the chicken, but the bird probably evolved first… unless the egg was mutated and that’s what started it….

One character you initially liked but later started disliking?

I can’t think of a book character at the moment, Hans has just fully captured my attention with this question (plus I just watched the newest OUAT Frozen over episode). Gale from the Hunger Games I suppose. He was OK in book 1 but I really started to hate him in Mockingjay because of Prim and how easily he could move on with his life.

Which world would you rather go to: Neverland or Narnia?

Definitely Narnia. Have you SEEN Once Upon A Time?? Neverland is scary (though Robbie Kay is really good looking). The Chronicles of Narnia was one of my favorite series growing up, I loved some many of the characters (Reepicheep for example) and it would be so cool to go there during a more peaceful era.

What is your Patronus?

I’d say an Otter because of their curiosity, agility, and friendship. However, because Hermione has already called dibs and I don’t want to be a copy-cat I’m going to have to go with a Wolf. The creature has intense loyalty, strength, and intelligence, not to mention compassion, all qualities I resonate with.

What skill do you want to acquire before the year is over?

I’d really love to get a better grasp of the French language but the goal isn’t looking too hot. I think I’ll settle for improving my writing and learning how to use chopsticks!

11 Random Facts

  1. I really like Yankee Candles (especially their Apple Pumpkin scent)
  2. Golden Retrievers are my favorite dog breed (I have an 8 year old named Luke Dogwalker)
  3. I absolutely love anime and manga
  4. I’ve broken my left leg and wrist
  5. My favorite season is Autumn. It’s brisk but not tooooo cold or hot, and the colors are beautiful
  6. Spiders really creep me out
  7. I’m a dog person
  8. I’m really into travelling, so far I’ve been to Sydney, Auckland, Sicily, Quebec, Toronto, Montreal, New York City, and Boston
  9. I set aside an hour of my Sunday night every week to watch the premiere of The Walking Dead
  10. I adore Halloween, a dress up every day of that week!
  11. I eat “breakfast”/”dinner” food at all hours of the day

Nominee Questions

Scariest moment in a book you’ve read?
Do you currently have a book checked out of the library?
Have your reading habits changed since you started blogging?
Do you ever dog-ear books?
Favorite reading snack?
What’s the weirdest book you’ve ever read?
Favorite fictional villain?
Any books that you’ve been avoiding?
Do you own any pets?
Do your friends come to you for recommendations?
Least favorite series?

My Nominees

In no particular order, these are some great blogs that I adore!

I’d love if you posted your links below for me to see!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Our Souls to Keep by Gary A. Caruso

Our Souls to Keep
by Gary A. Caruso
Publication Date: April 11th 2013
Publisher: Inertia Publishing
Source: Author
Find This Book: Our Souls to Keep
Rating: 3/5

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The concept of this book revolves around the rules of Heaven and Hell. Particularly around the idea that Heaven and Hell work together and that Satan picks up God’s “trash”. Anyone who commits murder or suicide goes to hell and the tortures included. With the depression and suicide we see in society I thought this was a bit distasteful, but it made for an interesting notion. Even the purest soul will be tainted and damned just because they took their own life. This brings us to the plot of our story. Demons go around manipulating people into taking their own life in order to collect their souls for Satan. A demon named Nevin collected Wake’s (our main character) mother’s soul and Wake made a deal with the demon to kill himself in exchange for his mother’s soul’s safety. This leads us to Wake the half human half demon collecting other human’s souls for Satan in order to keep his mother safe. However, the game completely changes when he falls in love with his biggest target yet. Annemarie, the pregnant girl with a sacred child.

Keep in mind that I was not originally drawn to the story, however I certainly found myself enjoying it even with my criticism below.  

One thing I didn’t particularly like but didn’t really affect the story too much was how quickly Wake reverted back to acting like a human. He’d had all memories taken away from him as well as human emotions, but at the slightest doubt in his contract he started acting human again? I think it would have been better if Wake was swamped by the emotional overload and struggled between the human that he was and the demon life he has now. Instead it seemed more like a “whelp, I’m human now and my mother can’t be saved so I’m just going to let her rot in the fiery pits of hell while I fall in love and try to live my own life, no biggie.” It just seems like he made these huge life-changing decisions too fast and never looked back to doubt his choice.

The description in this book was quite interesting to say the least. For example, the “sunset clouds thick like boiling carrot soup”. I’ve never had carrot soup so I can’t testify how thick it is but comparing clouds to soup to begin with I just found odd, but in a good way. Descriptions like so led to a certain unique charm.

Another good quality of the book was its humor. The budding friendship between Wake and the angel Gabriel was quite amusing and gave the book a little hope. Even with the heaven/hell battle happening in the background the character’s had their light-hearted cute scenes as well. Our Souls to Keep had a Romeo & Juliet feel to it, including an unnecessary (in my opinion) romantic scene right before the climax. About to be attacked by demons, Annemarie and Wake decide to have their first kiss? They need to straighten their priorities.

Lastly, I want to brush on the topic of character development. While I thought some of Wake’s decisions were a bit rushed, his character and defining personality were well thought out and developed. Satan, Nevin and Wake seemed to be the only characters who weren’t shallow. Everyone else only made extremely brief appearances to aid Wake or give him important information before they died (Wake’s brother and the girl hunter for example). There were so many minor characters killed off I can’t even tell you all of their names. Yes, it’s a demon-killing book, but as a reader I can’t become attached and car about somebody dying when they’ve only been on a couple pages. The same thing happening multiple times just made it kind of bland. Annemarie wasn’t as bad, but her constant description was being innocent and pure. I just wish we’d gotten to see more about her and her backstory instead of her just being a pure love interest for a damned demon.

So overall, the novel had a great concept, the writer had an interesting writing style, but it just seemed under developed. I would have liked more depth to the characters and plot, but it was a fine read the way it was.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ten Book Challenge

I got tagged to do the Ten Book Challenge by Gloria @Gloria The Violinist. Thanks so much Gloria! The color scheme and layout of your blog is so cutsie <3

All you need to do is list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Do not take more than a few minutes, and do not think about it too hard. They do not have to be the 'right' books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Paste these instructions and tag ten friends through comments. Be sure to comment on my blog so I can see your list!

This 12 volume manga series and 2 spin-off written books (L, Change the World and Another Note) were my absolute favorite my freshman year of high school. I made many friends through mutual enjoyment of Light Yagami and L and I will always love these characters.

Tris and her buds really grew on me throughout my first read. Uriah and Four were a big impact on me, shaping my valued characteristics in a person. The third book had a huge impact on me last year oh my goodness, I almost cried.

I read this book about 3 years ago and it blew me away. I loved the concept and thought the characters (even the ‘bad guys’) were well developed. Finnick Odair was one of the original book boyfriends and I can’t wait until Mockingjay hits the bigscreen! From the beginning I shipped Everlark but I always thought Katniss would end up with Gale. 

I discovered this book in fourth grade, a year after it came out because it was on a suggested reads list at school. I can still remember my 5th grade teacher buying book 3 the day it came out and everyone in the class making an order of who got to read her copy next (our library take forever to get new books). Rick Riordan’s characters really impacted me as well as the many others who read his Greek mythology series. Percy and Annabeth’s finale comes in just a few weeks and I am dying to get my hands on it!

My first experience with this series was a free ebook download of The Angel Experiment. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t realize it was actually a popular YA book at the time. Years later I came across book two at my local library and took it with me on my vacation to Cape Cod. I could not have enjoyed it more and quickly jumped on book 3. I have not yet finished this series, but it certainly was a big part of my childhood.

Speaking of childhood, this book was pretty much my entire childhood. I grew up living and breathing these books and I can’t imagine my life without them. I was crushed when I let my sister borrow my favorite (book 4) and she returned it in 2 pieces. I don’t just mean the cover ripped off, I mean I had two hearty chunks split around page 400. She had to by me a new copy. I also remember staying up until midnight waiting for the release of Deathly Hallows. I only made it a hundred pages or so before I fell asleep from exhaustion. I’ve never waited until midnight for something before and haven’t done so since.

I can’t remember when I discovered this series, but I remember being devastated when I didn’t have the money to buy book 4 right when it came out. Like Percy Jackson book 3, I had to wait a couple weeks for my friend and his sister to read it before I could get my hands on his copy. I later treated myself to the deluxe edition, which proudly sits next to my signed copy of Eragon. Getting book was quite the lucky coincidence. I went to New Zealand for a trip and happened to be in Auckland when Christopher was signing books at Whitcoulls.

This series is what helped me bond with my best friend in 3rd grade. We became absolutely inseparable for the next few years <3 The three children escaping the dreaded Count Olaf  had me hanging onto the edge of my seat while simultaneously making me fall off laughing.

I didn’t discover this series until the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe movie came out in 2005. Fantasy being me favorite genre I quickly got my hands on the books (in chronological order, not publication order). This series means a lot to me and I was so disappointed when I couldn’t go see the Dawn Treader movie… still have to do that.

I know, not my genre, but I had to read the French version for a class a while back and this book really got to me. The drawings were adorable, when not satanic since he can’t draw, but the themes were so, so important.

This is the list of bloggers I'm tagging to do this tag:
Tracy @Cornerfolds