Mid-Year Freak Out Tag.

Hello everyone! I am here with a tag :D Let’s get started.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2015?

Uhhhhh…….. Nope, not answering this one!

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2015?

I’ve got two!


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New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want to?

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Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2015?

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Biggest Disappointment?

16124145Nothing can beat Anomaly. I was so disappointed in this book/series.

 

 

 

 

 
Biggest Surprise?

13206828I didn’t really enjoy Cinder and Scarlet, the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles. But I fell in love with Cress! It gave me a book hangover and I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
 

 
 

 

 
Favorite New Author?

I have so many! I’ll just name four: Anne Elisabeth Stengl, CJ Darlington, Nadine Brandes and Jaye L Knight.

Newest Fictional Crush?

Jace from the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L Knight.

Newest Favorite Character?

Pretty much the main character in all the books I named.

Book That Made You Cry?

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Book That Made You Happy?

21746534

((SIGH))

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?

Catching Fire. I loved the book and the movie was pretty darn close.

Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

18197223

What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

There is so many! I am only going to name five though.

  1. Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  2. Chivalrous by Dina Sleiman
  3. Ties That Bind by CJ Darlington
  4. Out of the Ruins by Karen Barnett
  5. Swipe by Evan Angler

I tag The Library in My Room and Confessions of a Teenage Bookworm.

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My First Flash Fiction

Technically this is a day late, but I wanted to do this prompt anyway.  Just look at that picture?  What stories it has to tell!

wpid-photo-20150808193532549

Thanks to Sonya at the blog,
Only 100 Words for the picture

This prompt is from Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.  I write a short piece 100-150 words (give or take 25 words) on the picture prompt.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hannah filled with dread as the cold gray stone came into view. She had spent the last three years trying to forget what happened that night. She had argued all week with Henry, her advisor, about coming back to this place where so much was taken from her. But in this war torn country, there was little anyone could do. The fighting had moved south, and the young queen needed to seek refuge where no one would find her. Who would think that she would return to the place of nightmares? The place where her family was so cruelly torn away.

Was there no other place she could go? she wanted to ask Henry again. Knowing it was futile, Hannah remained silent. Could this place be more than a place of nightmares? Could she remember the happy times spent here without the fear and panic overshadowing the happiness? There may be a war raging in the south, but Hannah was facing a war inside herself.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My word count is 165.  Other stories for this prompt can be found here.

I’d like to give a shout out to The Glitter Aficionado for inspiring me to write this piece!  I found the prompt from her blog where she wrote her own flash fiction.  Check it out!

Top Ten Most Owned Authors

Today’s post is kind of random. :) I saw it on Youtube and liked the idea! So here we go.

Number ten is Evan Angler. I own a lot of four book series and chose this one at random :D Swipe

Number 9 is Susan K Marlow with a total of six books. This was a favorite series when I was younger and she is continuing it! Which makes me happy, happy, happy :D Marlow

Number 8 are my much loved Laura Ingalls Wilder books AKA Little House on the Prairie with a total of seven  books.

Wilder

Number 7 is tied with number 8. My Anne Elisabeth Stengl books. I love these guys books so much it’s not even funny.

Stengl

Number 6. I own eight Lisa Bergren books. (Only seven are pictured because Deluge is loaned out)

Lisa

Number 5. Marguerite Henry. Another one of my favorite authors growing up!!! I remember a whole box full of her books coming in the mail as a surprise from my parents. Eight books from her :)

Henry

Number 4. Here are my Lauraine Snelling books. I think I have more hiding around somewhere but who knows where! Nine Snelling books :D

snelling

Number 3. There is a little bit more variety with my Donita K Paul books! Four separate series and ten books. (One Realm Beyond is on loan)

Donita K

Number 2. Now we skip all the way up to SIXTEEN books with Martha Finley. (I use to own 28 by her!) This tower kept threatening to topple over.

Elsie

And then.. the “grand” first prize goes to…. Drumroll Terri Farly with a total of eighteen books!

FInley

I love both of these series so much! I have more books to collect before they are ever finished though….

Well, there we have it :D I hope you enjoyed my rather random post……..

Have you read any of these series? Who is your top owned author?

I am going to start using a signature for my blog post! Which one do YOU like best?

(I did not make any of these, I found them all online.)

imagesSierraSierra

Mustache Blog Tag

paul

I was trying to decided what I would do for Monday’s post when I remembered The Glitter Aficionado had tagged me in this blog tag a while back.  Her blog is pretty awesome, so be sure to check it out!

 

Four Movies I’ve watched More than Once

Evan Almighty
Princess Diaries
Amazing Grace
Belle

Four Books I would Recommend

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher
Captives by Jill Williamson
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Four Places I’ve Visited

Michigan
Philadelphia
New York (not the city)
Washington D.C.

Four Places I wish I was at right now

Rivendell
Narnia
Hobbiton
New Zealand

Four TV shows I enjoy

Agent Carter
Sherlock (BBC)
Merlin
Arrow

Four Foods I like

Lasagna
Spaghetti
Pizza
Anything Italian

Four Awesome Blogs I’d like to tag

A Gathering of Dreams
Proverbs 31 Teen
Memoirs of a Tale Weaver
Glimmer of Happiness

Seriously, their blogs are awesome.  Go check them out!

Review: Five Enchanted Roses.

Five Enchanted RosesFor the past two years Rooglewood Press has had a writing contest based on a fairy tale. The first year was Cinderella re-tellings and this year is Beauty and the Beast. Would you love to be published? Next year they are doing Sleeping Beauty,here are more details for the contest.

I am sorry that the reviews are short and vague, but I don’t want to give any spoilers!

 

 

Esprit de la RoseEspirit de la Rose by Kaycee Browning 4/5 Stars


The setting Kaycee Browning created was very unique. I loved the spin on the Beauty and the Beast story! Mermaids? Creatures from the sea? Pirates? Definitely a different kind of Beauty and the Beast story than the norm!

My favorite character had to be Pepin. I felt like he was more developed than the main character, Cecilia. He has a French accent and every time he spoke I could “hear” the French.

The only reason I am giving this book four stars instead of five is because of the ending. I felt like the ending was left open for a whole other story, there wasn’t enough closure. Also why Pepin acted the way he did was very confusing. He explained it but I didn’t quite understand it.

 

WitherWhither by Savannah Jezowski. 3/5 stars.

I found this story interesting at first. Then it all grew into a big mess of confusion!

I did enjoy the ending, something finally made sense.

 

 

 

Stone Curse by Janelle Schmidt. 5/5 stars.Sonte Curse

Oh my goodness!! I love this one sooo much!! It was dark to begin with but quickly turned into a light read.

I loved the devotion of Karyna and Barend. Even though he wasn’t the man he once was she was still there for him, and he would protect her at any cost.

 

RosaraRosara and the Jungle King by Dorian Tsukioka. 4/5 Stars. Can I just give a big sigh? That ending though!!!

This was a different kind of Beauty and the Beast re-telling than I have ever read. A jaguar as the beast? Interesting…

I loved this story. I knocked off a star because I guessed the ending ;)


The Wulver’s Rose by Haydin Wand. 4/5 Wulver's RoseStars.
For this story I guessed everything that was going to happen… except for the roses. That part totally blew me away!

I enjoyed this sweet little tale a lot more than I expected.

 

 

Conclusion:
I love this collection of short stories a lot more than last year’s! I assume next year’s will
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher (Rooglewood Press) in exchange for my honest review**

Book Review: Of Dreams and Rust

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.35.05 PMTitle:  Of Dreams and Rust

Author: Sarah Fine

Series?  Sequel to Of Metal and Wishes

Cliffhanger? No

POV: First person, present tense. One narrator.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Author’s Website:
http://sarahfinebooks.com/

My Rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
(half a star for good writing, and well, I did finish the book after all)

About the Book (from goodreads)
In the year since the collapse of the slaughterhouse where Wen worked as her father’s medical assistant, she’s held all her secrets close. She works in the clinic at the weapons factory and sneaks away to nurse Bo, once the Ghost, now a boy determined to transform himself into a living machine. Their strange, fragile friendship soothes some of the ache of missing Melik, the strong-willed Noor who walked away from Wen all those months ago—but it can’t quell her fears for him.

The Noor are waging a rebellion in the west. When she overhears plans to crush Melik’s people with the powerful war machines created at the factory, Wen makes the painful decision to leave behind all she has known—including Bo—to warn them. But the farther she journeys into the warzone, the more confusing things become. A year of brutality seems to have changed Melik, and Wen has a decision to make about him and his people: How much is she willing to sacrifice to save them from complete annihilation?

My review
Some books should remain stand-alones.  Of Metal and Wishes is one of them.  I loved the first book, and still recommend it, you can see my review of it for details.  Initially, I was really excited about a sequel.  And the cover is just so pretty!!  The first book concluded the Phantom of the Opera story, so I was curious what direction this book would take.  While I did wonder if it would be more romantic than the first book, since the mystery of the factory ghost is no longer, I was still optimistic.

At first I thought I liked this book.  I was super happy to get back into the world of Wen and Melik.  I was caught up in the excitement of seeing what happens next for the characters.  Unfortunately, it was not the same world or people I remember.

Writing and Plot
The writing is good, just like I remembered.  I actually think this book is more quotable than Of Metal and Wishes.  But even with good writing, the plot sunk the story.  And so many plot cliches!!  It is slow paced, with mostly internal conflict.  And annoying internal conflict over a forced love triangle at that!

Lets Add a Love Triangle!
In Of Metal and Wishes, there was no question who had Wen’s heart.  She was intrigued by mysterious Bo, but he was not a love interest.  Now Bo loved Wen, but it was more obsession, stalkerish “love.”  Wen sympathized and even grew fond of Bo, but she never had a romantic attraction to him.  Enter the sequel: Of Dreams and Rust. Wen is confused about who she loves!  She might love Bo and feels like she might belong with him.  And then there is Melik, who held her heart during the first book.  She loves him too!  But Wen is not sure if Melik loves her back, even when it is glaringly obvious.  For the rest of the book she has conflicted feelings for both men.

And she won’t communicate with either of them!  The communication in this book is annoyingly bad. They spend far too much time trying  to sort out their feelings and trying to guess what the other person is thinking. Even Melik does not communicate with Wen.  But the Noors typically say everything on their minds!  And the lame excuse that he is trying to be more Itanyai for her did not help the believability.

That Ending
I’m also REALLY mad about how it ended.  I will put that in spoilers for you. The war machines are coming and Wen gives a conditional promise to go with Bo back to the factory, but only if he helps stop the war machines.  Bo becomes friends with Melik’s younger brother Sinan because he is mechanically inclined. [Highlight to reveal spoiler]  (In the battle against the war machines Sinan dies.  And of course, everyone blames Bo and acts like he is a horrible monster.  Bo runs away leaving Wen behind.  Now to the part that made me angry. Wen sees how well Sinan and Bo got along, and thinks they would have become excellent friends. It is insinuated that Sinan would have become obsessive about machines like Bo to the point that it might be better that he died than see that fate.  Now, I could be reading into that, but that is the definite the impression I got.

With Bo gone, Wen and Melik realize they are meant for each other and run off in a cave to have sex.  (non-descriptive, but still) Fine, whatever.  The problem is, Bo shows back up because there is a second waves of war machines.  And seeing Bo sends Wen into confusion between the two men – again!!  Ugh, sooooooo annoying.  Bo and Melik put aside their differences once more to fight off the evil Itanyai war machines.  Both die, but we only see Bo’s death scene – making it obvious that Wen only thinks Melik is dead.  Wen, seeing that she really loves Bo, kisses him at the moment of his death.  He is later lauded for he bravery and selflessness, and even credited with ending the war because the Itanyai realized the Noor had a machine of their own, referring to Bo.

Enter most typical and predictable ending ever:
Wen becomes delirious because of some injury she had.  She dreams of Melik, but later wakes up to find him still alive.  Wen and Melik realize that they were meant for each other all along (for the fourth time since the book started, so it really doesn’t mean much any more), and with Bo gone there is no confusion or competition.  So cheesey!!  [End spoiler]

Sorry for the long spoilery digression, but sometimes the story itself is the best way to explain my feelings for it.  In fact, I will write a summary of the book to farther show my disapproval of the sequel.  You can read it and save yourself the time of reading the actual book.

 

Of Dreams and Rust: A Summary

Wen: I’m so in love with Melik! I dream about him and even say his name in my sleep!

Factory worker: We will send war machines against those evil Noor to rid our selves of them once and for all!

Wen: Oh no! I must go warn Melik so he does not die!!

Melik: Wen, why are you here?

Wen: Oh no, I thought he loved me, but he is fighting on the side of the Noor and killing people. How could he love me if he is doing that?

Melik: What are you talking about? I was helping you and the Itanyai prisoners. I even helped them escape and gave you the opportunity!!

Wen: Oh, that’s right. And I didn’t escape with them because I loved you! And now I see you love me too!

passionate kissing

Bo: I saw that! How could you love that below the scum of the earth Noor? You belong with me!

Wen: You are right Bo. I should be with you. I don’t even know if Melik loves me!

Melik: So you have spent the last year with this Bo machine guy. This is why you don’t love me any more.

Wen: But Melik, I do love you! I will stay with you forever, if only I knew that you loved me back.

Bo: The village will be attacked. Wen and I will run away so we are not harmed.

Wen: But I cannot stand to think that Melik, the love of my life, might die. You must save him, Bo! If you save him, I will run away with you and never think of Melik again.

Bo: Yay! I win. I will have Wen forever!

Melik: They are acting all loving. I must act distant and brooding so Wen knows of my jealousy.

Wen: Melik is not talking to me. He must not love me! I was right to stay with Bo.

Melik: I might die, but I do love you Wen. Very much.

Wen: You might die, so I too will proclaim my love for you, Melik.

passionate kissing

battle occurs

Melik: One of my beloved men has died and it is all that Bo machine’s fault. I must kill him!

Wen: No! Don’t kill him!

Melik: I see you are still in love with Bo.

Bo: I saw you kiss Melik before the battle. You are really in love with him. I will leave you and you will never see me again.

Wen: Oh no! Bo is gone, and I don’t even know if Melik loves me!

Melik’s Mom: Wen, why are you not comforting Melik during his sorrow?

Wen: Because I don’t know if he loves me!

Melik’s mom: Of course he loves you! You are the only one who can comfort him!

Wen: Yay! He loves me! We should run off in a cave and have non-descriptive safe for YA book sex!

Melik: Now we both know that we are meant to be together.

Bo: I’m back. And more war machines are coming to mow down the Noor. I will stop them. It is the only way to right my wrongs.

Wen: I said I loved Melik, but do I really want him forever? Maybe I should be with Bo.

[Highlight to reveal spoilers]

Melik dies in fiery battle

Bo: I’m hit!  I’m dying!

Wen:  Oh, Bo!  Now I see that I really do love you.  If you weren’t dying, I would have run off with you!

passionate kissing

Melik: But I’m not actually dead.  I love you, Wen!

Wen: Now that Bo is dead, I don’t have to choose between the two guys, woohoo!! I love you too, Melik!  I will be with you forever.

Melik: Bo was a hero.  He ended the fighting between the Itanyai and the Noor.

Wen: Bo was a great man, but not as great as you, Melik! I’m so happy to be pregnant with your child!

[End Spoiler]

 

Other things to be noted
There is a fair amount of war violence in this book, but no more graphic than the first book.

There are quite a few passionate kisses.  The idea is presented that marriage is not forever. And there is a non-decriptive sex scene.

Some nonsense about what happens after death that leave many possibilities open, including reincarnation. I skimmed it and can’t remember details.