Thursday, February 11, 2016

02 - 11 - '16: An Update

Helllooooo. I ought to say, this will be a short post.
Anyway. This post was actually supposed to be written a month or so ago but, in typical Emma fashion, I forgot about it till this afternoon.
New year! New books! THINGS!
It's 2016, guys, and it's exciting! Since I posted last, I've written a novel (you can see my sleep-deprived progress from last November here), bought a shelf's worth of history books, and done other various fun things.
I also have an Instagram now - look, shiny.

That's most of my news, I'm afraid. I've got several books I need to review that I'm hoping to get up soon-ish, so. See you all soon.

Monday, November 30, 2015

I Promise I'm Not Dead

Been a while, hasn't it?
I promise, though, I'm not dead or anything. I also haven't forgotten about this blog, although it looks like I have. I've read a lot in the past several months, actually, I just...haven't really gotten around to posting. At all.
But anyways. November is over, or nearly so, and I'm approaching the end of the first draft of the book I worked on for NaNoWriMo, which you can see a bit about here, and here.
So anyways, here I am! I return! Semi-prepared, very much alive, and with a too-big stack of books from the library waiting to be tackled.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

[February TBR]

    Oops. This is a little late. :P But at least I'm posting it, right?

February 2015

*I've actually been reading this since September of last year, but I'm hoping to finish it this month. :D

     I have a few less books than last month, so hopefully I'll do better! I've got two road trips coming up this month, also, so hey. Lots of reading time. :P

    Till next book!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

[The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy] Kate Hettemer

“I was sitting in a plastic desk-chair contraption in an English classroom in Minnesota, tapping out the meter of lines from Pound's Cantos, wearing a baseball shirt with a small hole in the armpit. But I was also roiling with feelings and thoughts and doubts and conjectures and worries and layers of complication...If so much happened in my head, didn't I have to conclude that it was the same way with everyone else? I had to look down again. The world was too big.” 

The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
Genre: Contemporary, friendship
Author: Kate Hettemer
Content: Several curse words, some characters make out offscreen (er--page? o_O)
Memory: “When you die I bet you want real life, pure real life, eulogies that are unpoetic and messy, smeared with tears and truisms, cliched as hell, the kind of stuff a person means.” 
Recommended to: Fans of Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, if you're alright with a bit of revolution thrown in. :P
Rating: 4 stars. 


The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy (being known as Vigilante Poets from this point) is one of those books I want to live in. Like, crawl inside, shut the flaps, and let myself absorb the storyworld. It is also dorky, funny, and full of literary and musical references that make my fangirl soul happy. 

Witty, sarcastic Ethan and his three friends decide to take down the reality TV show, For Art's Sake, that is being filmed at their high school, the esteemed Selwyn Arts Academy, where each student is more talented than the next. While studying Ezra Pound in English class, the friends are inspired to write a vigilante long poem and distribute it to the student body, detailing the evils of For Art's Sake. But then Luke—the creative force behind the poem and leader of the anti-show movement—becomes a contestant on the nefarious show. It's up to Ethan, his two remaining best friends, and a heroic gerbil named Baconnaise to save their school.
Okay, did that convince you to read it? No?

Well. Um. It convinced me, so. HOWEVER. Look at (another) amazing quote from this book:
“Everyone knows how to love, but not how to love well. The mistake is too easy. You call her a goddess and you think he's perfect and suddenly they're not people anymore. You've betrayed them. Instead of being in awe of their complexity, you've swept it away. ... Once you've recognized a person as a person, you can start to love that person well. It's an awful thing to learn, but it's the best thing in the world to know.” 

I'm resorting to the list style I used in All Fall Down again? So don't judge. :P

  • Ethan. He's dorky and awkward and funny, and his obsession with tricolons is maybe one of the best things in this book. Also, I'm really hoping he and Elizabeth ended up together after the end of the book, alright?
  • Jackson. If you've read Heist Society, think Simon. And Liz from Gallagher Girls. I feel like, if you combined them, you'd have an almost complete picture of Jackson, tech genius, sarcastic gerbil-owner, and driver of the Applevan. 
  • Elizabeth. This might sound bad but I don't actually remember much of her? I remember her dreadlocks (because of that lovely scene where Ethan ponders how he's missed how beautiful hers really are) and I remember her snarkiness, and the scene where they confront Luke. But other than that, my mind draws a blank.
  • Luke. Lukelukeluke. I have so many mixed emotions. He was so amazing, and then he was...well, not...but I still like him? I think?

Buy it?

Um...maybe? If I found it on a good sale or something, probably.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

[All Fall Down] Ally Carter

     Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

  1. She is not crazy.
  2. Her mother was murdered.
  3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

Genre: Suspense, YA, Mystery
Author: Ally Carter
Content: Things get the tiniest bit violent at a few points.
Recommended for: Anyone who wants to have their soul brutally ripped apart, pureed, and then served back to them on a spoon.
Fans of Ally Carter (le duh), suspense, fast pacing, geeky sidekicks and international intrigue. 
Memory: "I stare back and then something occurs to him. "Oh, you need me to turn around? Here. I'll turn around.""
Rating: Five. Freaking. Stars. 


     I am a big Ally Carter fan. I have been for almost three years now. She's one of those authors that I trust will always give me a good story. I don't have to spend time deciding if I want to buy her book when it comes out or not because it's been preordered since the option was available.
    So, going into this, I knew I would love it. 
    I just didn't know that I would love it this much

     Gosh, I don't even know where to start with this. There's so much I love about this book, honestly. I love love love the setting - Embassy Row is so fun to read about. I also love the way that Ally sets up the plot - I won't go into great detail because SPOILERS, but it's...
       Remember what I said about plot twists galore
       They're in here. Trust me. 
        GAAAH. I really don't even know how to describe this book without spoiling the entire thing or being too vague. D: You know what? I'm going to be lazy and make a list. Because reasons. 
  • GRACE. I love Grace. I love how it feels being in the mind of someone who cannot even trust herself - it makes you think twice about everything that you're told. 
  • The fact that real-world relations between countries affects relationships between the Embassy Kids (does that sound like a band? I think it sounds like a band.) Particularly the Noah/Iran situation, and the whole relationship between Alexei and Grace. 
  • The mystery. It was impossible to follow, but in a good way. The moment I started to feel like I knew where things were going, Ally gave out a new bit of information that completely changed everything I knew. And the end is explosive. Did not see that coming. 
     Speaking of the wanna know where, exactly, I finished this book?
     In Rooms-To-Go. 
     While one of the employees was helping my mom. 
     Just picture this, okay? I'm sitting on a couch (because why not), reading, blah blah blah...and then I'm maybe five pages from the end. I lower the book in horror. I squeak. I'm pretty sure I grow pale. I pull the book closer and read the last few pages and then just kind of...flop. 
     My grandma asks, "What's wrong? What happened to her?"
     Ally Carter, Grandma. Ally Carter happened. 


     Obviously I am a sucker for characters. It's usually my favorite part of a book. 
     This is no exception. 
     And I'm resorting to lists again. Oops?
  • Grace. Grace. GRACE. Grace is mean at times, maybe crazy, slow to trust, and a wreck, and she's one of the best protagonists I've ever read. Because on top of all of those other things, she's loyal, and she really does care, and she's heartbreaking. 
  • N O AH . Easily one of my favorite parts of the book! Noah is a dork, really. He's part Israeli and part Brazilian, a footballer, and just an all around cool guy. The quote in the Memory section is actually from him - and it was the exact moment I realized he'd become a favorite. 
  • Megan: I have mixed feelings about you, Megan. You kick butt. You are pretty darn cool. But I'm also, somehow, not sure you can be trusted? Hmm. 
  • Rosie. AKA the most adorable 12-year-old girl to grace (ha. Grace.) YA history. Really, though. The first thing you hear her say is that she was going to be a gymnast but now she's too big, and that she likes to take tours of the Roman tunnels beneath the city. 
  • Alexeiiiiiiii. You're a darling. And I eventually am going to need you and Grace together, 'kay? My ship must sail. I think, somehow, we're going to get a lot of his backstory - something probably very sad that will make everyone collectively aaaawwww and D: at the same time - next book. 
  • Ms. Chancellor. This lady, okay? Imagine a combination of a female version of Uncle Eddie from Heist Society and Aunt Abby from Gallagher Girls, with a bit of Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries thrown in. Then you have an almost-complete picture of Ms. Chancellor. Imagine. The. Sheer. Awesome. 
     TL;DR: I love this book. Please go buy a copy and read it and sob and laugh and fall in love with it.
      I need book 2. 


Saturday, January 24, 2015

[January 2015 Wrap-Up]

     Hey guys!
     So, I've not posted in a couple of weeks, but I have been reading.
     I mean. It's not necessarily what was on my TBR list. But I've been reading. If you look on my Goodreads, you'll be able to see what I've been up to this month, literary-wise.
      And while it isn't the end of the month yet, I'm slowing down on reading (with the exception of two FABULOUS NEW RELEASES COMING OUT THIS WEEK) to make some headway in my writing (you can read about that here). So, here's what I've done this month:

      From My TBR List:
      Guys. This is really pathetic. I finished Maisie Dobbs, The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, and most of Only Yesterday. *blinks* Oops. Try again next month, I guess. xD


  • All three books in The Raven Cycle by the fabulous Maggie Stiefvater! I read The Scorpio Races right after Christmas and loved it. Also loved these. GANSEY. <3
  • Perfect Scoundrels (Ally Carter). (And okay, this was a reread, sssshhh)
  • The Impersonator/Silent Murders (Mary Miley). These were so much fun! You can read about her research and writing on her blog. I really enjoyed these two--mysteries set in 1924-1925? Heck yes. Gimme. 
  • Don't Touch (Rachel M. Wilson). This was good. Not what I was expecting, but really good. 
And that's all I read this month. :3 However. There are two more books I can guarantee I'll read before January's up, and they are (you guessed it) All Fall Down and Fairest! I am so excited for these, guys. I might just explode.
     Till next book,

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

[Maisie Dobbs] Jacqueline Winspear

Finally catching up on my January reads! I'm closer to finishing Only Yesterday and half-way through The Girls at Kingfisher Club. Also, my Goodreads challenge isn't telling me I'm behind anymore. That was kind of annoying.

Maisie Dobbs (#1)

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Author: Jacqueline Winspear 
Content: Description of battle wounds, etc, in the trenches of WW1. A girl sneaks out of school to attend parties. "The Retreat" is slightly disturbing. Probably would be a mild PG13 if it were a movie.
Memory: Billy Beale being adorable. Simon Lynch and Maisie Dobbs saving lives in the middle of a war. "Assume nothing, Maisie."
Rating: 4 Stars.

     This book was a lot of fun. It took some getting into (I picked it up three or four times before sitting down and telling myself I was finishing it no matter what), but I really did like it. 
     Normally I'm not a fan of a few of the author's techniques--namely, the huge break from the current plot to give backstory--but I felt like it was done well. I think the story would've lost something if you didn't know Maisie's past.
     That being said, I adored the WW1 setting. I really don't read enough hisfic set during that era--I mean, my favorite season of Downton Abbey is season 2 for goodness' sake! I need to read more of this stuff!
     Maisie as a nurse was interesting. It brought out a side of her we hadn't got to see before. Although I will say, it was not fun meeting characters, falling in love with characters, and finding out BAD THINGS happen to them afterword. D:
     Also, the plot. I did not see the ending coming. At all. My idea for what the retreat was was way off. (That seems to be the case with me lately. D: Darn it. I'm not secretly Sherlock Holmes as I thought.)
     There were some things that were not-so-good, but they were small. Mostly character problems (which I'll discuss below). 

Mariesa screenshotted me finishing Maisie Dobbs. I may or may not have been squeaking angrily.
(This is what I get for videochatting while reading).

     Ooooh boy. Here we go. I really did like this book.
My relationship with Simon Lynch,
     There were maybe three characters I really cared for the entire story. 
     I mean, I liked everyone okay (except Maisie's dad....he annoyed me), but they were just...there. I loved Maisie, even if she was a bit flat at times, and I adored Billy Beale (can there please be more of him in the next book??) And of course I LOVE Simon. 
But other than that, I can't really name a character that I was really rooting for on the sidelines, besides maybe Maurice Blanche. He was pretty cool.
Buy It?
     Maybe. If I found it at Chamblin's for a really good price.

     There are 12 books, I think, in this series.  Hopefully I'll get around to reading the rest of them soon? As always, if you've read this, feel free to talk about it in the comments!