Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday Swoons

by Skylar!

If you don't know what Sunday Swoons is, it's a weekly feature where Skylar @ Life of a Random and I (and anyone who links up) chat about all things swoon worthy every spectacular Sunday!

Rules:
1. You're welcome to use the button Skylar designed as long as you cite her as the source/give her all the loving credit she deserves!

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts ( it may only work on mine the first time because we are still working that part out.).

This week's topic is: The Everybody Loves Me Syndrome

You'd think I was going to talk about love triangles with a topic name like that right? Well I'm going to be funky and tackle this one from a different angle. I've mentioned this before in previous Sunday Swoons posts but it is something that has always really bothered me so here we are talking about it again.

I'm talking about that classic best friend that both goes for all the guys and gets all the guys (or girls, I said guys because I have seen it most frequently with a girl friend hunting guys). They are fabulous and they know it, They flaunt it, they own it, they work it.

That's all fine and good. I think it is GREAT that they have that confidence! However, sometimes it goes to their head a bit and they get cocky. The worst thing is when they decide that it is impossible for someone to not be interested in them let alone interested in someone else or their best friend. 

How do you guys feel about these confident besties? Are some of them too full of it? Does their ego get in the way sometimes? What characters have you recently read that sound like this? Do you write characters like this?

Next week's topic: HELP! We need you guys to help us come up with some ideas! Pretty please with a cherry on top?





Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Sound of Letting Go

The Sound of Letting Go

by Stasia Ward Kehoe

For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. 

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go?


I don't typically pick up books like this, but Suzanne and Liberty Bay Books asked me to read it and gave it their highest recommendations. Also, the author is semi-local and I don't read many books by local authors. It's not like I avoid them, I just don't come into contact with them very much and when I do I don't typically notice because I don't really read author bios or look to see where authors are from.  

The synopsis makes it sound like the book is romance with a little struggle on the side. Really, the book is nothing like the synopsis makes it sound. It is a mixture of struggle, rebellion, romance, family, and all the other things the synopsis brings to mind. It is a perfect mixture. Kehoe did an AMAZING job of balancing all the different factors so that none of the pieces overrode or overpowered the other pieces. 

It was written in prose.  I know this is a bit controversial for people. Some people hate it, some people love it. I feel fairly neutrally about it. I don't dislike it when it is done well, but I'm not like going out of my way to find and read books in prose. I like that it goes quickly, and the way that Kehoe wrote it, it was light, yet heavy with emotion at the same time. It was utterly perfect for this story and simply decadent. For the first few chapters it felt a little...odd to read. It felt like reading poetry, but then after the first ten chapters or so, I realized that it didn't feel that way anymore it just felt like reading. 

Daisy was lovely. She didn't know exactly who she was yet, her interests weren't set in stone, she had identity crises and tried different styles and things, exactly like every normal teenager. She was quite possibly the most realistic, normal and most understandable/relateable character's I've read in a long time. m

Cal was not a huge part of the story. The second paragraph of the synopsis makes it sound like he is part of this intense love triangle and that he changes the course of the story and that we get to know him super well. All of that couldn't be farther from the truth. He doesn't come up a lot a lot, I mean he matters sure, but we don't see a whole lot of him or really get to know him. There isn't really a love triangle either, I mean Daisy has thoughts about Cal, but there isn't much of a contest. 

Dave and Daisy. I wanted to ship this so SO bad. Childhood friends reunited, childish love rekindled! However it didn't feel like love. It kind of felt like Daisy was using him and he was maybe using her a tiny tiny bit, but not really and it felt like a lot more lust than love. Which I get that some relationships are like that and all that jazz, but when their relationship was supposed to be more real, lovey and serious, I struggled to believe it because there was nothing before that to indicate they really felt that way at all. It was not my favorite, I don't know. I got it but I didn't love it. 

The story line and plot was really nice. The pacing was good and all of that was well done. It was raw, poignant, and something that every teen can relate to despite the extreme and rare circumstances. 

 Last thoughts: Overall it was b-e-a-utiful and I would highly, highly recommend it. Even if this isn't usually what you enjoy reading, I encourage you to give it a try. I had a few minor issues with it so I'm giving it a four our of five stars. 

Goodreads and Liberty Bay Books. 


General Gif Consensus: 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Swoons

by Skylar Finn
If you don't know what Sunday Swoons is, it's a weekly feature where Skylar @ Life of a Random and I (and anyone who links up) chat about all things swoon worthy every spectacular Sunday!

Rules:
1. You're welcome to use the button Skylar designed as long as you cite her as the source/give her all the loving credit she deserves!

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts ( it may only work on mine the first time because we are still working that part out.).

This week's topic is: Romantic Writings! (AKA let's chat about all the relationships we've written!)

I am going to talk about/ list all the different types of relationships I have written and which one I am the happiest with. Brace yourselves. As you all know by now, I have written A LOT but never finished or stuck with anything for any long period of time. As mentioned in this throwback Figments Friday post, I have started to write roughly 18 pieces (now about 19-20 at the least) I won't talk for ever and a day about all of them, and some might not even be mentioned so don't worry that this post will go on for all eternity.

Un-named and Inspired by Sinister Kid by the Black Keys: 
The situation: Popular and typical teen girl falls for a "bad" guy who is really not so bad and sticks with and truly falls for him when the whole town decides he murdered someone.

My thoughts (now): What was I thinking? Can you say cookie cutter? Stereotypes!?! No. Although I did write a really great party scene to set it all up....

Daemon Blood: 
The situation: Daemon hunter/nephilim boy is supposed to kill a girl that is part daemon but then decides not to because she doesn't seem to know about daemons and they fall in love. Immediately.

My thoughts (now): Again, what the heck did you think you were doing Briana? INSTA-LOVE REALLY?! Not just any insta-love, one with a cheesy over done background and one that couldn't have happened more instantaneously if you'd tried?!




Island Killer: 
The situation: A boy moves to a small island and a local girl is forced to show him around. She doesn't really like him. It's nothing personal, she just doesn't really do the whole people and social interaction thing. But hey feelings change sometimes?

My thoughts (now): I tried not to give away the entire plot because I am actually really happy with this one right now and plan on continuing it. I love the book and their relationship right now. I want it to be reasonably paced, realistic and awkward, but I am worried that I am getting so excited about it that I am making it happen a bit too fast. Hopefully I will finish and then I can just go back and fix the pacing of their relationship. Wish me luck.

Working Title of Dreams of Death:
The situation: A girl has lots of nightmares. Her family takes in this boy who just got orphaned because her parents were good friends of his. He finds out about her nightmares because he hears her crying out from down the hall, comforts wakes her up (even thought she'd like to push him off a cliff and he feels similarly. So he really does it mostly just to get her to shut up.) and eventually they happen to always have to be there for each other and love blooms.

My thoughts (now): I don't have much to say because I only wrote like one page. (Surprise, surprise!) However, I feel like although the full plot was really weird, and that their relationship was slightly cliche, it would have been better than the first one mentioned, Daemon Blood, and 98% of all the other things I have written.




WIP 2 (current):
The situation: A girl is in a very dark place after loosing her best friend to suicide and begins to find her way back to normal with the help of a boy. (NOTE: he doesn't save her! He opens her eyes and supports her as she saves herself!)

My thoughts (now): I am starting all over on this one so we'll so where it goes (if anywhere) I liked him and I liked their relationship, it is just that the rest of the story was all wrong.

Next week's topic: Everyone Loves Me Syndrome 





Sunday, October 5, 2014

Winners are Announced!


First off, I want to thank everyone who entered for entering and another huge thank you thank you to Liberty Bay Books  for supplying the books! Now here are the winners!

Stack of Adventures:

Alisha S.

Guilty Pleasures Stack:

Kara M. 

If I do not hear back from the winners within 48 hours I will pick new winners. Thanks for participating! The next love stacks Giveaway will hopefully be next month but may not be until the month after that.

Sunday Swoons!

by Skylar

If you don't know what Sunday Swoons is, it's a weekly feature where Skylar @ Life of a Random and I (and anyone who links up) chat about all things swoon worthy every spectacular Sunday!

Rules:
1. You're welcome to use the button Skylar designed as long as you cite her as the source/give her all the loving credit she deserves!

2. You can post in whatever style you would like: list, discussion, etc. as long as what you are talking about goes with the topic for the week.

3. You either must follow the topic given OR you can do a post on the opposite of the topic we give. (Example: Our topic-- Top 5 Favorite Couples, Your topic-- Top 5 Least Favorite Couples.)

4. Your posts don't have to have anything to do with books you are reading right now. If you reference specific books, they can be past or older reads. (It's nice if you put in the Goodreads link to the book, or another site that will take readers to the book's synopsis, cover, and other information.)

5. Please remember to link back to us in your post, giving us credit for the feature! Also, you can add your link to the link-up tool at either of our posts ( it may only work on mine the first time because we are still working that part out.).

This week's topic is: Diversity in Relationships

I got really excited when Skylar came up with the idea to talk about race in relationships, and then it sparked a different idea for me. What about religion in relationships? (We decided on just Diversity so that people could come at it from any angle they'd like.) That's always been something I hear a lot about because I am a Roman Catholic Christian and grow up in a family that is (almost all) super religious. and same with my community. A big "rule" or part of that is that you are supposed marry and date people of the same religion as you.

I understand why. There are lots of good reasons. It makes it so that you can support each other on a faith and spiritual basis, you don't have as many religion or spiritual belief conflicts, if you have kids together you won't have arguments about their religious upbringing, ect. However, I have never ever "discounted" a guy because of his religion. (sorry family) By that I mean that I don't really care what a guys religion is. It's nice if we share the same religion, but as long as he respects my beliefs and we can calmly work out any religion based differences I don't mind him not sharing all my religious beliefs.

So now that we have talked about me, let's connect this to literature. I don't read super religious literature most of the time, but still, religion never really comes up. I'm ok with this, but I think it is interesting that when that message is pushed so hard in reality that it never seems to come up in our most popular novels.

Also, I've never read a book where the culture or race of the two people in the couple has played a significant role, clashed, or even been brought up. That's not a bad thing per say, but I feel like we need more diversity in our modern and popular literature. It is a real and prominent issue in life today and it doesn't get very much recognition in books today (at least the ones I read).

What do you guys think about mixing religions, races and cultures in real life relationships? What diverse relationships have you read and what have you thought about them? Do you feel like we need to address differences in literary relationships and have our characters work out intense and deep differences/disagreements?

Next week's topic is based on: Couples we've Created




Saturday, October 4, 2014

Stacking The Shelves


I haven't had time recently to get, let alone read new books. So I haven't really racked up the books in the past few weeks of my absence, however, I have a super-duper awesomesauce older sister and she sent me a bunch of her old books! Here they are, and don't forget to share your haul and link up with Tynga @ Tynga's Reveiws  !


The End of Mr. Y : All of these books are a bit outside my usual, but I'm excited to try them! Mystery has always interested me so despite the chunky size of this one.

Her Fearful Symmetry: This one seems like it could end up being really weird in either a bad or a good way, so we shall see!

The 100-Year-Old-Man: This is a huge step outside my comfort zone, almost more than any of the others, but I thought I should give it a try and hope that it surprises me.

The Book of Tomorrow: I picked this one mostly because it sounded like buckets of fun.

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: I'm typically not into non-fiction or biographies but I love Breakfast at Tiffany's and Audrey Hepburn so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Thanks again sissy!

What did you guys add to your shelves? 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quotation Nation

Stray Imaginations
created by Catherine 
My bestie Catherine over at Stray Imaginations  just started this totally awesomesauce link up so naturally I'm joining in! I can't promise that I'll get one of these posts up every time, but I will try my best to participate as much as possible!

I don't know if you know this about me but I collect quotes. I love them to pieces and I put them on everything I can find and I bring them up all the time and I memorize them and love them and am always looking for more of them. So of course I am uncontrollably excited about this feature! Let's get this party started!

Guidelines:
1) Feel free to get creative! Share a passage from a book, a verse of a song, or even one of those artistic quotes abundant on Pinterest.
2) If you do a Quotation Nation post of your own, please link back to me (and don't forget to add you link to the widget below!)
3) Have fun! (Cheesy, I know, but what's a good list with only two rules?)

Quotes:

Pinterest
Briana's Image
Briana's Image
Pinterest Artist Unknown
Pinterest