Archive | December, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday – Goals/Resolutions For 2015

Ooh, these are always so tough. There are so many things I want to do, but I also know that some I probably won’t (at least not in 2015), and I have a horror of unfinished lists. Anyways, I tried to keep the list mostly book-related (if not completely), and have written them below in no particular order. [My goals from last year]

10. Get a job in publishing

Technically, in order of importance, this should be Numero Uno, but I put it at the top of my list for the same reason. Honestly, of all the goals on my list, this is the only one that’s not negotiable. I’m moving to NYC in a few short weeks for an internship that I strongly believe will pave the way for a paid position somewhere within the publishing industry. I’ve been gunning for you for years now, my lovely publishing people. JUST TRY TO STOP ME NOW!

9. Read more non-fiction

Literally less than one percent of my reading last year was non-fiction, which is a real shame. I love learning new things. Give me a good book on ancient wars or historical blunders or black holes or serial killers or any number of other things, and I’m a happy camper. I miss that part of my reading life, and while I don’t think it’s realistic to think that I’ll be reading a ton of non-fiction next year, I do hope to bump up my percentage at least a little.

8. Read more historical and post-apocalyptic fiction

I really should have split these two up, but oh well. I cheated. The point is that I haven’t read nearly enough of either genre. My historical percentage was pretty strong in 2014 (13.75%), but I’d like to make it even stronger. Also, I’ve discovered that apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction nicely fills the hole left behind by dystopian fiction. Forget evil overlords and the Big Bad Government. Give me puny humans fighting against nature itself!

7. Go to BEA

I’m iffy on this one, because I don’t know how my year and schedule will shake out. However, since I’m already in New York, and therefore wouldn’t have to pay for flights or a hotel, I’d like to make it to at least one day. It would be awful to have all my friends in the city and watch them have fun without me.

6. Hang out with book people

Speaking of which! I had this resolution last year and failed miserably. But THIS YEAR. This year I will be in New York where both blogger friends and publishing friends dwell. You have been put on notice, my people. We will hang out and drink coffee (or whatever) and swap books and generally enjoy each other’s company. Okay? Okay.

5. Visit The Strand (and try not to die)

I have heard of The Strand. It sounds wonderful. Actually, it sounds like the sort of place that would send me into a coma of pure joy the moment I step through the doors. The plan is to go diving into the shelves with a buddy (or multiple buddies) who can pull me out if I forget to eat/sleep/work/breathe.

4. Read more books from my own shelf

I will likely never leave ARCs behind, especially not now that I’m really entering the publishing world. And that’s cool. I love ARCs. But I have too many gorgeous books on my shelves begging to bed read, and I’m sick of ignoring them. MAMA’S COMIN’!

3. Attend a Broadway production

This one is all iffy just because of money, but if I’m going to live in New York, I really should see something on Broadway. I’m thinking Phantom of the Opera, Aladdin, The Lion King, Cinderella, or Newsies. (Yes, I’m a Disney-o-phile. What’s it to you?)

2. Grow a plant

I don’t think I’ve ever been able to keep a plant alive. Ever. Part of the problem may be that when they “die” in winter, I assume they’re dead for real and then throw them away. Oops. Anyways, I’d like to change that this year.

1. Keep up with the blog

I’m really worried about my ability to post regularly in the coming year. My life was busy enough in December that I had to stop posting for a bit, and it was surprisingly hard to come back. I’m not saying I’ll blog forever nor that I’ll continue with six posts a week like I’ve been doing. But I don’t want to stop. Not yet.

Bonus: Prepare for a cat

This is one of those “goals” that I won’t officially put on my list in case something changes. However, I decided a while back that one of my life goals is to own an angle-faced black cat and name him Eugenides Attolis. I love dogs, but I don’t have the temperament to own a dog, while I think I’d do just find with a cat. My sister’s cat rules the roost at home, but in New York, in my own apartment? I need to get settled in the city first, both physically and financially, and make sure that any potential roommates are okay with a little furball hanging around… But then at the very least I can start stockpiling supplies slowly, even if I’m not prepared to own a living thing in 2015. But we’ll see. 🙂

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Review: THERE WILL BE LIES by Nick Lake

In four hours, Shelby Jane Cooper will be struck by a car.

Shortly after, she and her mother will leave the hospital and set out on a winding journey toward the Grand Canyon.

All Shelby knows is that they’re running from dangers only her mother understands. And the further they travel, the more Shelby questions everything about her past—and her current reality. Forced to take advantage of the kindness of unsuspecting travelers, Shelby grapples with what’s real, what isn’t, and who she can trust . . . if anybody.

Award-winning author Nick Lake proves his skills as a master storyteller in this heart-pounding new novel. This emotionally charged thrill ride leads to a shocking ending that will have readers flipping back to the beginning.

Oh book, what an odd little duck you are. Honestly, I don’t know what all I can say about the story itself, both because of spoilers and because of how divided the book itself is. So maybe I can give you an overview of my reading journey instead, rather than breaking everything down into plot, character, etc. Continue Reading →

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Review: EXQUISITE CAPTIVE by Heather Demetrios

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

I’m going to keep this review short and sweet, not because I have a newfound love of brevity, but because I have very little to say. I avoided reading Exquisite Captive because of concerns regarding the material, enjoyed it when I did read it, and then felt nothing immediately after finishing it, which made me avoid reviewing it for months. You could say that I brought this on myself, but why start pointing fingers now, hm? Continue Reading →

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Rewind & Review (74)

Rewind & Review

 

Blog Posts You Might Have Missed

I have multiple weeks to catch up on, and there’s some pretty fantastic stuff in there.

Stuff I Received

  • The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E.B. Hudspeth (from Quirk)
  • Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein (from Disney Hyperion via NetGalley)

Thanks, Quirk Books! And THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION, DISNEY!

Stuff I Bought

  • Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
  • Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
  • This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
  • Something Real by Heather Demetrios
  • Nobody’s Princess by Esther Friesner
  • Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor

I really shouldn’t have. But I did. 😀

What I Read

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce audiobook – Finally finished. Ended up being pretty good. Still not one of my favorites, though.

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce audiobook – Oh my gosh, the beginning draaaaaagged. Now that we’re past the midpoint, though, it’s getting better.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt – Short, sweet.

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake – Well, that was a trip and a half. Review to come.

Dream a Little Dream by Kiersten Gier – DNF’d. Not my scene. Review to come.

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett – Happy reread!

The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett –  Just started. Hope I like it as much as the last one.

Event of the Week

There were actually THREE pretty important events during these past two weeks.

Event One: Scrooge!

I was absent most of last week because of The Gospel According to Scrooge, a Christmas play my church puts on every year. I’m the assistant to the executive director, and this year was our biggest year yet as we celebrated our twenty-fifth year performing. The church as a whole did, anyways. I’ve been in Scrooge a long time, but not quite that long. It was a great year and we broke our attendance record from last year! Woot!

A photo posted by Shaelit (@shaelit) on

Event Two: I’m got an internship!

In case you missed my Twitter announcement, I landed an internship in New York! I’ll be moving in February to intern at Greenburger Associates on the scouting side, which is exciting and scary and AAAAH! I’m beyond ready to start living my life outside Florida, and I already really like the agent I’ll be working with. My biggest fear right now is housing, so y’all keep your ears open for anyone needing a roommate, y’hear?

Event Three: The Hobbit!

It’s hard to overstate how big of a space Tolkien’s works fill in my life. In 2001, either before or right after my eleventh birthday, my dad bought and read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I figured anything my dad liked must be cool, so I read them both as well (even though it took tiny me like a month to finish them both.) As a reward, my dad took me to see my very first PG-13 movie, The Fellowship of the Ring. Since 2001, we have seen every single LOTR and Hobbit movie together in theaters, and that tradition held Tuesday night. It was fantastic, and now I’m sad because an era has ended. 🙁 Here are my (non-spoilery) thoughts from after the movie:

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2014 End of the Year Survey – Favorite Secondary Characters

Image and meme property of The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Good morrow! If you’ve been following along, you know I’ve been working my way through The End of the Year Survey as created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner. I follow her pattern pretty closely, but now I want to take a brief interlude in the proceedings to talk about secondary characters.

Here are my Reading Stats and Best In Books, Parts One and Two, if you need to catch up.

Protagonists, antagonists, and love interests garner the most talk in the survey, and rightly so. However, being a character-focused reader, I often find myself falling most deeply in love with the supporting characters that aid or hinder our main characters and prop up the bulk of the plot, and so I thought they deserved their own list.

Rules for making the list:

  1. They must be actual secondary or tertiary characters. So no love interests (I still love you, Sturmhond and Niklaas and Gansey and…!), antagonists (sorry, Mr. Darkling, sir, don’t kill me), or any main characters that shares a POV (so as much as I love Titus and Iolanthe, since both helm the narrative, neither qualifies.)
  2. They must be well-rounded. How well-rounded will depend on how much page time they receive, but I don’t want any one-trick ponies on my list.
  3. I have to know who they are. What I mean by that is that I don’t need more than a name to remember why I love them so much.
  4. They have to be cool enough that I would follow them to a spinoff novel all their own. Continue Reading →
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2014 End of the Year Survey – Reading Stats

Image and meme by The Perpetual Page-Turner

Oh boy, I think the End of the Year Survey is both my favorite and least favorite time of the year. I love looking back and organizing my data, but it’s SO HARD to choose favorites! I’m a wordy person when it comes to gushing, so I’ve split the survey up over the week so I don’t bore you with my answers. Luckily, the first part of the survey is all about stats, so it’s far less subjective than the rest.

I keep my own book log and have my own questions I want answered, so I won’t be following Jamie’s lead on this one. There’s an unspecified margin for error in these graphs because there’s always a chance that I’ve forgotten to add a book, and also some things like genres and ratings can be tricky to nail down.

Note: Unless otherwise specified, manuscripts are not included in these stats. Novellas, audiobooks, and DNFs are included. Continue Reading →

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Review: WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY by Gail Carriger

Class is back in session…

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what–or who–they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine’s proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

Warning: This review will likely contain spoilers for previous books. You have been warned. Continue Reading →

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