Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Answers to the Dooms Day Mini Game

Ok, so finally here are the answers to the mini game I put up on Dooms day (valentines day)! Don't read this post if you don't want to know the answers and if you haven't tried it yet do it now! I added hints because I realized it might be a little too hard without them and I hope they didn't make it too easy! The books weren't necessarily romance books, but the quotes were all form the romantic relationships in them. I hope y'all had fun with it and had a wonderful Dooms day!

1)  Kai and Anna in Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins.

2) Rudy and Liesel in The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak

3) Noah and Mara in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin.

4)  Four talking to Tris in Divergent by Veronica Roth. 

5)  Jace and Clary in The City of Bones  by Cassandra Clare.

6) Daemon and Katy (aka Kittycat or Kitten)  in Obsidian by Jenifer Armentrout.

7) Lena and Ethan in Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

8) Blue and one of the Raven Boys in The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

9) Aria and Perry in Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.

10) Samantha and Jase in My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. 

Unleashed: A Guide to Maximizing your Career and Enriching your Life.

Unleashed: A Guide to Maximizing your Career and Enriching your Life

by Dan Weedin

A compilation of the greatest hits from business author and executive coach, Dan Weedin and his precocious sidekick, Captain Jack the Pirate Dog. These short yet powerful missives are filled with inspiration, business strategy and personal perspective to help you thrive in your professional career and enrich your life. 

I know this is really nothing like what I usually read or review on here, but Dan is a good friend of my families and he asked me to read his book in return for my honest opinion, so I gave it a shot. I've decided to post my thoughts and review it just like I would any other book, so here it goes. 

When I address the writing I have to look at it a bit differently than I usually would because it is a different type of writing. It is a collection of stories that have been posted on his blog so it isn't written like a fiction novel and he uses persuasive writing instead of plain conversational fluff. He uses basic persuasive techniques like, establishing credibility and sharing personal stories. He does a wonderful job of making each entry thought provoking and surprisingly deep. I would recommend reading it slowly so that you can fully absorb his thoughts, and advice, and get more out of it. The depth of his thoughts and ability to analyze everyday situations do deeply is astounding, and a sadly rare quality in the world today. 

All in all it was quite an interesting and thought provoking book. However, I did have some issues with it. One issue I had was that the majority of the time he offers general advice, telling you what you should do, without offering suggestions on ways to accomplish this. This might just be me, but I was frequently left wanting some examples or specific suggestions. Also, He doesn't always leave room for other opinions or solutions, which is understandable since he is writing in such a way as to persuade you to adopt his opinion, or agree with him, however he doesn't always refute other ways of addressing an issue either, so these other views or solutions are left unacknowledged. These were minor issues however and mostly just my personal taste. 

In the end I would recommend this book to business owners, employees, and people from all walks of life. Dan's humor and ability to always look at the bright side, along the witty and mischievous Captain Jack's entries, will win you over, and their advice isn't half bad either! ;)  Any reader is sure to find some story they can relate to and some piece of advice that will change how they look at life and improve their life and/or career when they apply it.

You can buy it from Liberty Bay Books by clicking here: Unleashed A guide to Maximizing your Career & Enriching your Life!

Teaser Tuesday!

I feel like I should have theme music or something snazzy to introduce weekly features like this. It would make it more exciting. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to start working on that... Anyways, here is this Tuesday's Teaser!

"Yet not many slivers would pass before I realized that my eyesight had been perfect. And my life in Wormwood, to the extent I had one, would never be the same." -The Finisher by David Baldacci (page 9)

Add The Finisher to Goodreads and buy it through Liberty Bay Books here => The Finisher.

*This quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change*

Tips for Authors

Now I am not necessarily the most qualified person ever to be giving advice to authors, but for some strange reason I found my self determined to give my two cents. So here is a list of a few tips for authors everywhere. (In no particular order.)

1) Put yourself and your book on Goodreads!

Most bloggers and book-lovers use Goodreads for everything book related. Goodreads recommends books, and puts out newsletters, and allows users to see what other people thought about a book and what their specific friends thought about various books. If your book is on there it will gets plenty of publicity and promotion, gaining you more readers! Personally, I go on Goodreads pretty much every day and when ever I get a new book or am looking for something to read that is the first place I go to tell friends what I am reading and what I think of it or to search for something new that I love. Goodreads provides so many opportunities for authors and readers and bloggers love it!

2) Bloggers. 

I know this may sound a little biased coming from a blogger, but hear me out. Bloggers are going to be your best friends. Or at least they should be. Bloggers will be your biggest fans and worst critics. What they think of your books is going to be put out there for the whole world to see and lots of readers love reading blogs to get a feel for the books that are out there. So, getting bloggers to read your books or interview you or connect with you in someway and put the word out about you and your books is going to be very helpful to you. Even if they review your book and they end up giving it one star and ranting about how much they disliked it, they got people to think about and discuss your book, and they usually explain why they didn't like it, telling you what you need to work on to make your future books better! Bloggers can be a bit of a double edged sword, but in the end if you find the good ones and befriend them you'll be better off.

3) Put yourself out there and be accessible! 

I love interviewing authors, learning about them, and keeping up on what is going on with their books and what new stuff they are coming up with! So, it is super frustrating to me when they don't really have a website or a blog or something similar separate from a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account, and when it is hard to contact them or find the information to contact them. Your readers and fans want to follow what is happening. Giving them a way to do this is super important not just because they want to know but also because it makes it hard to forget about you between books or events. Not everyone has accounts on every social media site, even the big ones like Facebook and Twitter. A website or blog of your own in addition provides an open, easily accessible way to follow you, without requiring followers to have an account. Providing some way to contact you is a big thing. Readers, fans, bloggers, they are all going to want to ask you questions, ask to interview you, tell you how much they loved your book ect. Giving them some way to contact you is practically a necessity. It allows your fans to connect with you and vice versa. This connection will provide many opportunities for both sides and can be fun. Remember to be safe about what information you put out there and how you use it ect. though! The internet is fabulous but it also means that we have to remember to be safe!

4) Respond!

I know this one can be hard for any big name authors out there, but it is still super important that to at least try. Depending on how popular or famous you and your book are you will get varying amounts of feedback, questions, comments, ect. from readers and fans. This is wonderful, but I am sure it can be overwhelming and daunting as well when you already have a full and busy life. However, I can't stress enough how important it is to try to respond to as many of the comments, emails, letters, ect. you receive. It means SO much to the people that contacted you. I have contacted countless authors for interviews and some reply, while others don't. I have a lot more respect for those that do respond even if it is way after I contact them, or if it is just a pre-set email response to tell me thanks for contacting them and that they are very busy right now. I never forget how busy their lives are so I don't blame them when they don't respond. When authors do respond though it means a lot because I know that they took time out of their very very busy lives to do so! When someone contacts you try your hardest to get them some kind of response even if it is short because it will mean a lot to them. This is your opportunity to give something back to your fans and readers who have done so much for you!

5) Be creative! Avoid too many cliches.

This one is a bit subjective. Personally, cliches annoy me and from what I have heard from most of my book obsessed friends, cliches tend to drive them insane too. Some times it's ok to throw one or two in but be careful. Cliches annoy me because I have heard them a thousand times and I am reading your book to hear YOUR words and see how YOU describe things not hear someone else's words that I hear all the time. This is your chance to let your creativity shine! Break out of the box, stop using cliches and show readers what YOU can do with words!

6) "Love triangles" are the literary equivalent of the Bermuda triangle.

I know, I know, you've heard it before, but your love triangle is an exception, and every YA book has one. The Hunger Games has one and people everywhere still love it. Love triangles don't take away from the story or anything. Well, I beg to differ. This is another subjective one I know, and it also depends on the book. There have been exceptions and in some cases I have loved the addition of the love triangle, but it is tricky. It is rarely done right or well enough that I feel that way. Lots and lots of bloggers and readers rant about the awful love triangle in this book or that book or just how much they hate love triangles in general. So I have no idea why they are everywhere. I am not telling you to never write anything with a love triangle, I am simply telling you to write it carefully and make sure it actually helps the story or makes it better, because love triangles are like the Bermuda triangle.

7) Be careful when it comes to criticism and feedback. 

This seems like it should be a bit obvious, but I feel the need to address it anyways. Many authors will not read reviews of their books so that peoples's subjective opinions do not affect them. However, I don't know that this is necessarily the best way to go. Constructive criticism can be very helpful, not just to authors, but to everyone, but sometimes people don't always offer constructive criticism. Being able to take in criticism (constructive or otherwise) and feedback and then only listen to or only use the helpful and constructive information is a great life skill for everyone. It can be hard to listen to feedback and criticism when it is aimed at things we love and worked hard on but if we handle it carefully and well we can take a lot away from it and make things better. However, there are many times when the opinions and criticism people are offering are not helpful and aren't necessarily meant to be. Sometimes people can be rude and cruel and simply bash our work rather than offer ways to improve. In these cases we need to simply tune them out and move on.

8) Be unique! Write outside the box.

Yet again, this seems like it should be rather obvious, but for authors it can be hard. Pressure comes from every direction to write what you know, or write to what's popular right now, so that you sell lots of books, but I personally disagree with this line of thinking. I think it is time to "write outside the box" people like me that read all the time get tired of reading the same thing over and over again, so when we see something new that isn't like anything else on the shelves we are often eager to give it a try! As far as writing what you know, well I can see what they are saying and I can see how that may be beneficial in some cases, but if every author followed that rule there would be no fantasy! We wouldn't have these books that transport us to other worlds, that once only existed in an authors mind but now have been brought to life on the page! We wouldn't have stories about things like dragons or life  in galaxies with crazy names, or what life is like 100 years from now when the sun crashed into the earth! There wouldn't be much out there reading wise and it would all be the same. Writing and being creative is your chance to stand out, invent things, create, do what you want! If your book is unique it is sure to grab peoples attention, and pique their curiosity.

9) Sometimes one book is enough.

This sounds harsh, I know. I'm not telling you to stop writing all together after writing one book. Keep writing! Never stop! Stop and think before deciding if you need a sequel for your book, or a slew of books to fallow it making it a series or a trilogy. Sometimes one book is enough. Standalones are amazing! Don't get me wrong, I love trilogies, sagas, and series just as much as the next person, but sometimes the books that fallow the first book are a drag. Sometimes, all of the problems were solved in the first book and as much as I may love the characters, I don't really need another fallow up book. In fact, sometimes trying to add books to fallow a first book or make a series can take away from the first book. So just take a moment to think about whether or not your first book allows room for a fallow up book or books or if it would be better off on it's own.

10) T.M.I.

Sometimes your readers don't need to know every little detail. Describing things like the setting, characters, clothing, ect. is very important and makes stories more real, but sometimes you don't need to tell us everything. Give just enough of a description that people get the idea but not enough that they get bored. You can do a lot with a few strong adjectives, you don't need to go on and on for a paragraph of more describing something. Use things like strong word choice to make the imagery vivid rather than relying on the length and detail of your description.

Well that was my two cents. I hope you enjoyed, found it helpful, or thought provoking. Do you have any advice for readers? Or maybe you have some tips for bloggers or readers? I would love to here all your thoughts in the comments below!

On another note, the answers to the Valentines/Dooms day game have been posted on my Facebook  page. I will put the answers up here soon!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Belated Stacking The Shelves

I am really excited for this post and I am sorry that it is coming late. I tried to get it out yesterday, but I didn't have any free time between errands and dance prep and, of course, actually attending tolo or Sadie Hawkins or the winter ball or what ever your part of the world calls it. Ah, the life of a high schooler. I had fun and I had an amazing haul this week so I am quite content! :) Speaking of my haul...here it is in all its bookish glory!

I'm sorry it isn't a very good picture but you can tell what books they are so it works. I got all the books above from the glorious box of ARCs at Liberty Bay Books, so a big shout out thank you to them for this fabulous set up we have. I have been wanting to read the three on the bottom row for forever so I am super-duper excited to read those. I have heard great things about The Dream Thieves and These Broken Stars. I really enjoyed the first two books in the Goddess Test series and am thrilled to finally get to read The Goddess Inheritance! The top row are the wild cards. Suzanne asked me to read The Finisher and I am excited because it is more of a middle grade book and I haven't read anything like that in a very long time, plus it looks super interesting and kind of gave me vibes that reminded me of The Tapestry books that I enjoyed tremendously when I was in elementary school. White Space sounded thrilling and Twinmaker will be a total surprise, I don't know what to expect with that one. The sheer size of the top row is a bit frightening, but I am determined to not let that stop me and give them all a whirl. (The top row are all 500 pages or more in length.)

Also, I bought myself a copy of Pushed by Corrine Jackson this week!

I finished it and there should be a review up fairly soon, although with how busy I have been soon has become a bit of a relative term...
Well, that's my haul! Tell me about yours in the comments below or on my Facebook page, or if you wrote a stacking the selves post, comment with a link to your post so that I can check it out as well as the rest of my readers!

What book should I read next?
pollcode.com free polls 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Teaser Tuedsday

Well, well, well it is yet another terrific Teaser Tuesday! I'm sorry that I haven't been posting as much other than features and that I might not post much this week, but as usual life as a freshmen is crazy and getting crazier every day! I will try my best though and I do have a few posts planned I just need to write them and post them! But, for now, here is a teaser from The Scarboys by Len Vlahos!

The Scar Boys

"I was able to make it to the shoulder where Dino let out his last gasp and died on the spot. We were still one hundred miles from Athens--all our equipment, all our luggage, all our hopes and dreams entombed in rusted metal."
Add it on Goodreads and buy a copy through Liberty Bay Books by clicking the hyperlinked title beneath the cover!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Doom's Day: A Bookish and Horribly Gooey Post, Wherein All Sorts of Craziness Ensues

Ah, Valentines day! Or as Catherine and I affectionately call it, Dooms day. So to celebrate this...special...day I had grand plans for a brilliant post. Originally, it was going to be a list of my favorite cross book ships. If that doesn't make sense to you, here is a quick explanation; the list would consist of couples that I ship the most but the people that I ship would be characters from different books. Here is an example (I don't actually ship this): Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series and Uriah from Divergent. However, I couldn't come up with many, or really any, that I liked enough to make into a list for this post so this will be a jumble of various things that fallow the romance theme and are of course bookish! Enjoy the ensuing chaos! ;)

First and only Cross Book Ship
Ok, so the one "Cross Book Ship" that I thought of and actually kind of liked was Mia Price from Struck and Harry Jones from The Scar Boys. Pretty much the only reason I ship this is because they were both struck, well Harry was nearly struck, by lightening and I feel like they could bond over the social and other repercussions of it.

My Top Ten List of Minor/Secondary/Supporting Characters That I Think Deserve to Find True Love
So I am one of those cheesy people that thinks everyone deserves to find true love but let's face it, when reading there are some people that we want to find love a bit more than others. Here is my list of those people.

1) Raven from Halflings

2) Kope from The Sweet Trilogy 

3) Dee from Lux

4) James from Lament

5) Cristina from The Divergent Trilogy 

A fun little game...
Now for a little game/quiz where the prizes are awesomesauce, neverending, and completely imaginary! The better your imagination the better the prize you get! I can't wait to see how y'all do and what kind of prizes you think up! So, here is the deal, I will list quotes from some relationship from some book and you need to name the book and character or relationship for full points! Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor! Oh and so that the answers aren't given away to people by scrolling through the comments I will post the answers sometime this weekend separately!

1) "My girlfriend is a party girl angel who can kick some arse and cook." 
"He was my drummer. My guy. Mine. I bit my lip to hold back a grin." 

Hints: Dukes. Drummer.

2) "He must have longed for it so much. He must have longed for it so much. he must have loved her so incredibly hard. So hard that he would never ask for her lips again and would go to his grave without them." 

Hints: Historic. Books.

3) "What would you do if I kissed you right now?"
I stared at his beautiful face and his beautiful mouth and I wanted nothing more than to taste it. "I would kiss you back." 

Hints: Life and Death. Swamps. 

4) "I might be in love with you." He smiles a little. "I'm waiting until I'm sure to tell you, though." 

Hints: Fears. Character. Different. 

5) "Is this the part where you start tearing off strips of your shirt to bind my wounds?"
"If you wanted me to rip my clothes off, you should have just asked." 

Hints: Not the suburbs but the___. Black. Fantasy/Paranormal.

6) "You don't look like an alien!' It seemed important to point that out. 

He arched a brow. 'And what do aliens look like?'

'Not...not like you,' I sputtered. 'They aren't gorgeous--'

'You think I'm gorgeous?' He smiled." 

Hints: Light. Aliens. Not dogs but ___. 

7) "I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I'll never love you any less than I do, right this second." 

Hints: Spells. The South. Lollipops. 

8) “I wish you could be kissed,' he said. 'Because I would beg just one off you. Under all this.' He flailed an arm toward the stars.”

Hints: Eccentric. One of the primary colors. Birds. 

9) "I miss you.
I miss you. I miss you, I miss you.
Be ready, because when I see you, I'll never let you go again." 

Hints: Falcon. Opera songs. 2.

10) "You have to kiss me," I find myself saying.
"Yeah." He leans closer. "I do." 

Hints: Rooftops. Politics. Kids...kids everywhere. 

Well that's all folks! I hope you enjoyed this posted and had a brilliant, mushy, gushy Valentines day, or a spectacularly dark Dooms day! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stacking The Shelves

I am so excited about this post! I have been waiting for this post for days, even though I only added one book to my shelves this week.
It was for sure the highlight of my week. :) And why yes, yes I did look almost exactly like that. And why yes, of course, I stroked it, and smelled it, and loved it, and still love it dearly, because what else would you ever do with a book?
And did I tell you that it has one of those weird, yet awesome covers that is all soft-ish and almost velvety feeling! Oh, I'm sorry, I almost forgot to tell you what it was! I bought myself a copy of The Scar Boys in a purely impulsive moment where I lost all self control thanks to a newly rediscovered Barnes and Noble gift card.

The Scar Boys
But, I most certainly do not regret it. It was love at first line. Of course it took a while to get to that fabulous first line and through the into thanks to some classmates that didn't seem to get that when someone is reading it means that you don't talk to them or interrupt and pester them about the book itself or anything else. Especially not at the beginning or end. They also didn't seem to be capable of reading basic body language and vocal tone. It should have been no secret that I deeply wanted to smack them until they shut up.

I had planned on taking pictures so you could experience the beauty better, but then I was too lazy and tired for that after a full day of singing and living life, so the plain cover picture above will just have to be enough for y'all, sorry. So I guess this Stacking the Shelves post was a bit unorthodox but hey, aren't some of the best things unorthodox?  

Right, the book. Well, I really encourage you to not only add it on Goodreads but buy a copy through Liberty Bay Books by clicking the hyperlinked title beneath the cover! They have autographed copies and if you request one when you order they are happy to send you one!

Does it drive you crazy when people try to talk to you way too much when you are reading? What are your reading pet peeves? Do you believe in love at first line? 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Special Guest Elizabeth Heiter

Bum-bum-bum! Happy happy Thursday everyone! I hope y'all had a great day! I am super pumped to share with you my interview with Elizabeth Heiter, the author of Hunted! (See my review here.) Well, I'm just going to go a head and jump right into it!

What made you decide you wanted to start writing? Tell us a little bit about how you got your start!
I’ve always loved writing – and I always knew I wanted to be a novelist!  I can remember starting novels longhand in notebooks back in middle school.  I finished my first co-written manuscript in high school, and a few years after I graduated from college, I began submitting to literary agents!

What is your favorite thing about being an author and writing?
There’s a great thrill to coming up with that first tiny seed of an idea that you know can bloom into a full novel.  One of my favorite things is the brainstorming process, where that little nugget of an idea begins fleshing out into a real story.  One of my other favorite parts about writing is being so engrossed in writing a scene that my fingers can barely keep up with my brain.  That time when the story is flowing just right and you don’t want to stop writing, no matter how late it gets.  As an author, I have to admit there’s also something pretty amazing about seeing my novel in bookstores and hearing reader reactions.  The other day, I got a letter from a sixteen-year-old who said she hated to read, but loved HUNTED.  Moments like that make all the hard work truly worthwhile!

How did you come up with this story?
Many years ago, I became fascinated with the idea of criminal profiling – the notion that someone could show up at a crime scene where there were no solid leads, no strong suspects and no forensic evidence, and give law enforcement details about who had committed the crime anyway.  That was the first nugget for me – the first tiny kernel that would ultimately become HUNTED.  From there, I started fleshing out my character – asking myself what kind of person would choose this kind of work.  I decided that Evelyn needed something that personally motivated her from her past, such as the disappearance of her best friend when she was twelve.  Once I knew some basics about my character, I started developing my villain, the Bakersville Burier, and the plot.

What is your favorite character, moment, line, ect. from Hunted?
This is a hard one!  I love the characters for different reasons – I appreciate my heroine, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine, for her determination; her friend and possible love interest FBI Hostage Rescue Team Agent Kyle “Mac” McKenzie for his persistence and his charm; and their friend Gabe Fontaine for his humor.  One of my favorite moments in the book is when Evelyn opens up to Kyle a  little bit about her past and the case that brought her to the Bureau – the disappearance of her best friend Cassie seventeen years earlier.  (That case will return in the sequel to HUNTED, out next year.)

What character in Hunted do you relate to the most? (Explain how or why.)
I relate to them all (well, most of them anyway – not the serial killer so much!) for different reasons.  With my heroine, Evelyn, I love her tenacity and I relate to her determination to go after what she wants, no matter the hurdles.   I also like that she’s not perfect – she’s prickly and socially awkward and she’s definitely got room to grow, both in the course of HUNTED as she learns to let others in, and as the series progresses.

Did you end up cutting out whole characters or scenes during the writing process? Was it hard?
I did!  It was difficult.  There were some characters and scenes that I really loved, and I ended up cutting them.  But ultimately the end, the book was stronger without them, so they had to go!  When I’m revising, I try to take an unforgiving look at each scene and ask myself if it advances the plot and the character development in some way.  If not, no matter how much I like it, it’s got to go!

What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing and/or publishing Hunted? How did you handle or overcome it?
I think one of the biggest challenges was persistence.  I wrote many manuscripts and spent years submitting those manuscripts before selling, and sometimes that was discouraging.  But at the end of the day, I wanted this too much to give up on it!  And then HUNTED sold along with four other novels, so it was definitely worth the wait!

Are there any books or authors who have influenced your writing style or inspired you?
There are so many!  I’ve always loved to read, and I used to devour huge stacks of novels every week (I have less time for that now, being under deadlines, but I still read a lot).   I’m inspired every time I read a book that I don’t want to put down.  Some of my favorite authors include Lisa Gardner, Tom Clancy, Allison Brennan, Suzanne Brockmann, and Laura Griffin.

Any last words or advice for aspiring authors?
I think some of the best advice I can offer is the advice I got from Suzanne Brockmann many years ago.  At a book signing, she told me that the difference between an unpublished writer and a published author is perseverance.  So, “never give up” is a good motto for a writer!  Another thing I’d recommend is to find a strong writing organization to join – it makes a difference to have the access to craft and business information they can provide, but also being in a community of other writers is inspiring!

Thank you so much for your time! It has been great having you and learning more about you, your writing and Hunted!
Thank you so much for having me here, Briana!

J Elizabeth Heiter

Wasn't that just charming and full of great advice? Be sure to add her book Hunted on Goodreads and get it through Liberty Bay by clicking this: Hunted, and of course be on the look out for more from Elizabeth! I can't wait to read book 2!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Expiration Day

What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?
It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….

Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.

Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?

Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.

I found this book underwhelming and slightly boring. As I browsed reviews by others on Goodreads I found that many people rated it five stars and raved about the genius and thrill of it and praised it for all the many things I felt it lacked. The plot was an utter bore and lacked thrilling twist,s and turns, and suspense, and all the things that make a plot fabulous.  There were lots of loose ends and blunt cut offs. One character disappeared with explanation and with reason. It was logical for the story line but then they were just gone. They weren't really mentioned that much after that and their disappearance didn't really seem to adversely impact the other characters lives as much or in as many ways as I felt it should have with the reason for their disappearance and their role in the story line. Also, as Tania changed her mind on whether or not Sian was a teknoid or a human, there weren't really any transitions. You agreed with what ever her current opinion on the matter was based on evidence provided but then she'd change her mind again and nothing would have happened to disprove the previous evidence. Additionally, there wasn't much of a transition between opinions. When she changed her mind it would happen abruptly and out of the blue just thrown in there and it was almost confusing. Speaking of confusing, the lingo or slang or language, or whatever you want to call it was a bit confusing at times for me. I assume that the terms are British because I eventually found out that it was set in the UK (however this part of the setting didn't become apparent for far too long), and I realized that why yes, the author just so happens to also be from the UK. So, it might have only been confusing to me because I have never heard some of the terms that Tania uses but it was bothersome nonetheless. I tried to think of substitute words based on the context to figure it out that way but frequently that was unhelpful and I had no idea what the term was supposed to mean. I figured out one term out of who knows how many and it wasn't until way later in the book when it was used again and this time the context was a bit more helpful. I am happy to say that I understand the meaning of the word wobbly in UK context! Yay me! (I feel so accomplished. No really I do.) The writing overall was decent and I did appreciate the messages and themes woven into the story. However, sometimes I felt that William would do well to learn the art of subtlety... The fact that the messages and themes of the book practically screamed at you as you read (yes they were that obvious) didn't take away from the book and didn't degrade them thankfully because they didn't stick out from the story but instead fit into the flow smoothly. The downside however, was that in the big finally moment, I knew exactly what would happen and exactly how it would happen down to the very thoughts that would occur before the characters had even an inkling of it all. So it sucked all the suspense and excitement out of the end. Essentially, the book spoiled itself; and I find that rather sad. On another note (yet on a still sort of  similar and related topic), I have a confession to make. I skipped and skimmed through sections of this book out of pure boredom. I know, I know, I am a horrible person! Before you smack me across the face via the internet or even just mentally let me explain. The book is written as a series of diary entries from Tania, but every so often there is an entry from the "Mister Zog" alien that recovered her diary and is reading. Both characters write as if they are speaking or writing letters to one another even though supposedly Tania and her entire civilization are long gone by the time "Zog" is reading her diary. I tended to skip and skim through most of the parts written by "Zog" because I found them to be boring, irrelevant, and there fore irritating. I read a few of his entries all the way through before coming to this opinion though, I promise you. I found that there were often wise and all knowing and chock-full of inspirational crap and advice and life messages. It was utterly ridiculous in my opinion. The messages "Zog" wrote weren't even blended in with plain writing. Messages seemed to be really the only thing "Zog" could say! It didn't work and it was annoying. As I said he seemed rather irrelevant with no purpose (other than to drive me to the brink of madness of course), but then at the end, in his last entry all of the sudden Tania's life and "Zog's" collided and that was how the book ended. I was so confused it wasn't even funny. I understood the gist of what happened but as to how we got to that point or what exactly happened in between Tania's last entry and "Zog's"? No clue what so ever. I don't think I have ever been that confused by a book in my life! I re-read thinking that my skipping and skimming had come back to bite me but that didn't help. It had nothing to do with my reading, there was just this gaping whole in the writing! Maybe William was trying to just leave something up to the readers' imagination or something. I don't know. Whatever the case it was a huge mistake that pretty much ruined the book entirely for me. The ending was the chance for redemption! A chance to change my opinion of the book thus far! The last thing I read is going to be the part I remember most so it should end epic-ly, and of course in a way I can actually make sense of! Sadly, this ending was quite the opposite and an utter failure. The only part of this book I actually liked where the characters. The characters were actually quite vivid with very realistic personalities and relationships that I felt were a lot closer to real life than they are in many YA fiction books today. I enjoyed the characters and in the end the characters and their emotions were probably the only thing that kept me reading. The book was packed with vivid emotions that people from all walks of life can relate too as well of people of many different age groups. Of course, teens can probably relate more than some other age groups. Tania had a complex, relatable, and lovable personality. The other characters did too,  but they paled in comparison to her. However, there was a large portion of the book where I ended up ranting to Catherine and wanting to smack both William and Tania, as well as bang my head repeatedly against a brick wall. That portion of the book was the portion in which Tania was dating two guys, at the same time.

This isn't a love triangle. This is much, much, much worse my friends. Nothing, is worse than reading about cheating, at least how it is written and thrown into this book. Oh, and not only is she cheating on a really awesomesauce guy with a guy that just want's her for her body, but she was in a play with the latter and so she thinks of it as her character Portia dating his character Bassanio. That was the point when I lost faith in her and her mental stability and just everything. I was so done at that point. 
Overall, I didn't like it really. Originally, I was going  to give it two stars because I found it sort of entertaining despite it's flaws, but now I am rethinking that decision. I have decided I will compromise and give it one and one half stars out of five. If you'd like, you can add it on Goodreads or check it out through Liberty Bay Books by clicking the hyperlinked title below the book's cover. It has an expected publication of April 22nd, 2014.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Teaser Tuesday!

It's Teaser Tuesday! Whoop, whoop!

"He laughs at this hilarious joke, turns his back on us, and leaves. There is nothing as suspicious as a long goodbye." -pg.63 Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem

*This quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change*

Add it on Goodreads by clicking the hyperlinked title after the quote and then buy it through Liberty Bay Books by clicking the title underneath the cover! 

As always you are welcome to join in on the teaser fun by commenting with your own teaser below or on Facebook or leave a link to your own teaser post! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Stacking the Shelves and A Pending Come Back

I have been rather absent lately and I apologize for that. I have been quite overwhelmed with finals, the first winterguard performance of the season, and just life in general. But the nice thing about finals is that while I didn't have much time to blog, I did have a lot of time to read. That sounds strange, I know, but I got extra reading time during the school time because we had extended periods and lots of spare time. However, I had less fee time around a computer so the blogging thing fell to the side for a bit. But, now that all that is over and now that I have time to read up you can expect plenty of activity from now on! Here is my stacking the shelves! 

The Impossible Knife of Memory

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? 

I am so excited to finally have added this to my shelves! I bought it on my kindle app today and immediately  began eating it up! I have been wanting to read this SO BAD since before it came out and the day has finally come, I am finally reading it!