Monday, March 31, 2014

Attention: Reader, Writer, Critic Has Been Commandeered

It is my pleasure to inform you, dear followers, that after a long and arduous power struggle, this blog and its peasant population have been seized by none other than me, Catherine of Stray Imaginations, ruler of all humanity (a humanity which currently consists of two blogs, a thirty-five pound dog, and an arguably demonic younger brother, but that's irrelevant.)

You, being the curious followers that you are (we’ll fix that shortly) are probably wondering what this little hiccup means for you. Now that your old master has been forcibly shipped out of state for a week by means of drug-laced chocolate and the emotional influence of Disney Princess movies, things will be different. Much different.

(And to think I wasn’t even her first choice at opponent. Pssh. She underestimated my power.)

Don’t worry. Briana will be back in due time, and she will once again fight for control over you. She’ll probably lose, for I am the better chocolate confectioner, but I’ll grant you your false hope. What’s the worst you can do? Start a rebellion? (I know how the Hunger Games went down. I know what mistakes not to make.)

And by all this evil chatter of course I really mean we’re all going to have a giant party. A Briana-free, book-loving jamboree. That’s right. The parents are out of town and now you all get to party with the older sister! (In that metaphor, I’m the amazingly cool older sister, and Briana is the stuck-up parents. TAKE THAT, Briana.) I won’t rest until every one of my loyal peasants is partying their hearts out.

See? I’m a nice dictator. None of that arena-killing garbage.

(Let it also be noted that I did nothing incriminating to sway the other candidate’s choice. The good-luck gift I sent was not full of drugged chocolate. Trust me, not the lab test. Those can be faulty. I, on the other hand, have the honesty of a Candor.)

What can you look forward to this week? Games, quizzes, fun features, and so much awesomeness your head just might explode.

With that said, LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

Yours Truly,

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A New Adventure and a Special Guest

Hi guys! It has been far too long and I have really missed y'all! I wish I could use the up coming break from school to blog my little life away, but sadly I won't get the chance. So, to try to make up for my absence I have decided to have my friend Catherine from Stray Imaginations to do a little blog takeover. She'll be posting on my blog and doing some fun stuff with you guys. She's told me a bit about her plans and I am kind of jealous and sad that I'll be missing all the fun! I'll let her surprise you guys though what exactly what she is going to do. So enjoy Catherine blogglings! I know you guys will love her because she is made of lots of awesomesauce! Also, have a great break for those of you who are on a break from school!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Finisher

The Finisher

by David Baldacci

Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn't unusual -- nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At least not until Quentin Herms vanishes into the unknown.

Vega knows Quentin didn't just leave -- he was chased. And he's left behind a very dangerous trail of clues that only she can decode.

The Quag is a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But just as deadly are the threats that exist within the walls of Wormwood. It is a place built on lies, where influential people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. Vega is determined to uncover the truth -- but the closer she gets, the more she risks her life.
I wasn't quite sure what to think when Suzanne asked me to read this one. It was a "middle grade" book and I out grew those halfway through "middle grade's" supposed age range. I was worried it would be dumbed down and childish, simple and boring. Also, there was the fact that it was like 500 pages long! I am always worried with long books like this one that they might be stretched out, boring, and/or overly descriptive. This book proved me wrong ten times over. The first page was like a slap to the face. The diction and just everything was extremely sophisticated. David used big words, (Even I had to look up one or two!) and everything about the writing screamed, "I am intelligent! I am sophisticated! Big words everywhere!" Surprisingly and thankfully, it wasn't too much. It was tasteful. I loved the writing. I was a little concerned that the words might be too challenging for the average middle grade reader. Supposedly the age range is roughly 8-12 years old. I definitely think that all 8-12 year old should be able to read at this level, but I don't know how many actually can. Not to offend 8-12 year olds or anything. I am sure there are many of you who can, and I don't know for sure, I am just expressing a concern I have. However, I didn't find this to be too concerning because I figure they can look up words they don't know and it will be a very good opportunity for them to learn and challenge themselves. Also, there aren't enough words that are super challenging to make it impossible to read with out knowing the meanings of them all. I was a bit confused at first because David uses many words I know in a different context and uses them to mean different things in the world he has created, without explaining them. So I had to simply guess from the context clues. For example, a "sliver" I think is a minute and a "session" a year. Again, this wasn't too big of a problem and didn't affect my ability to read or understand the story drastically.

If I could use only one adjective to describe this book one of my top picks would have to be original. This is probably one of, if not the, most original and creative books I have ever read. David has created this vivid world from scratch and it didn't remind me of anything else I had ever read before. It was amazing.

The characters were amazingly deep. Again, almost more so than any I have encountered before and they brought out messages and lessons constantly throughout the book. I loved all the characters. The are all real and human, and relateable, and loveable, and just plain awesomesauce! Their relationships were real and their experiences and hardships often hit close to home. Vega's fiery spirit, flaws, insecurities, and hunger for the knowledge and the truth, along with her deep love for others was beautiful to watch and fun to read. It was great to see her, Delph and all the characters grow. Her brother's development showed another side of society and humanity and I was impressed how well it was portrayed and expressed. David left a soft side to him so that you could love him despite his flaws. Delph was endearing, and so sweet to everyone even when his community had done nothing but bully him almost his entire life. He grew to stand up for his loved ones but he was never mean or cruel.

The plot impressed me. Yes, the book was long but it didn't feel long! The pages went by in a blur and I ate them up. I couldn't get enough. Every single thing that happened was absolutely necessary and I was never bored. Not once in all of the nearly 500 pages. That is when you know an author is amazing at what they do. Also, I never once called what was going to happen. Each twist and surprise was truly shocking.

I was on the edge of my seat, wildly guessing at what was going to happen next through the entire book. My mind was spinning and I ate up every word. It was fabulous and I give it the highest of recommendations. It wasn't just fun it was powerful it contained more lessons and messages than maybe any book I've ever read. David's writing was astounding and I can only hope to write like he does. He captured the hearts and minds of his readers within the first few sentences. His creativity is unparalleled in modern writings, he is the Dr.Suess of modern day fiction. Authors everywhere could learn so much from him. This book is a must read for adventure lovers of all ages. I give it a solid five stars, it is the best book I have read this year.

Add it on Goodreads and get it through Liberty Bay Books here =>The Finisher.

Teaser Tuesday and A Cry for Help and Understanding

Happy Teaser Tuesday everyone! I hope y'all had a terrific Tuesday! I'm going to do the teaser first and then get to all that crying and help and understanding or whatever after!

"And there it, is against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile." These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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

There you go! Wasn't that just magical?
So do I Harry, so do I. Anyways, onto that cry for help and under standing. Let's start with the understanding part. Some of you may have seen my post on Facebook announcing this but here it is again. I am so busy this month I barely have time for basic necessities like eating my dinner, sleeping and passing 9th grade. So my posts might start happening even less this month. I will try my best but I have a lot on my plate, so, sadly, surviving has to take top priority. I apologize and thank y'all for, hopefully, understanding! Next on the agenda is crying for help! 

I want and may even need help. So, I am reaching out/crying out to you, my dear readers, for help. Here is a little background so y'all know what's going on. I am an aunt! It is amazing and I love every second of it. I also love reading if you haven't figured that out yet. So naturally books are super important to me and I want to encourage my littlies to read and love reading. I am planning on building a chest and painting it all cool (to the best of my practically nonexistent artistic ability) and filling it with books that I thought were really important and impactful that they should read as they grow up as well as little notes on what age group they would be most appropriate for and when in life these stories might be helpful or why I found them so amazing. I have some ideas but I really would like some more to span a wider range. So I am asking you guys for ideas and suggestions. Comment below or on Facebook or e-mail me at or call to me telepathically with recommendations and why you think they'd be good ones to throw in, and maybe the age group in case I haven't read it so that their parents can make sure they don't read totally inappropriate books at certain ages. I'd really appreciate it and love to hear from you! Thank you for the help and I don't really have a dead line, because I hope to continue recommending and giving to them throughout the years!

(Some are based solely on the strong messages or lessons I feel that they will teach others are just because they are fun!)
In case you were wondering, here is what I am planning on so far:
Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce 
The Tapestry Series by Henry H. Neff
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Fire and Thorns Series by Rae Carson
The Finisher by David Baldacci