Well, That’s Just Stupid.

I bet you guys missed me.

I missed you!

Anyway, today I got really angry. With whom, you may ask? BARNES AND FREAKING NOBLE. I got angry with that book store giant.

For our anniversary, my MIL sent us a gift card to Barnes and Noble. Awesome, right? We went on the website (the closest one is about 45 minutes away from us), and we ordered a couple books.

We ordered:

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

And The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

We both have read, and absolutely loved, The Book Thief, but we misplaced our copy. We have both also read the first two books in the Divergent series, and were excited to finally read the latest installment.

However.

Barnes and Noble is a jerk. We ordered the two books about two weeks ago, thinking that we would get The Book Thief in a few days and then Allegiant would come on the 22nd (today) because that’s when it was set to release.

WRONG.

We must have missed a box that said “send in as few packages as possible,” because we still have not even gotten the first book. Then, upon review, we found out that we won’t be getting the second book until 2-5 days AFTER the 22nd. I have been looking forward to reading this book on the day it came out for weeks now, and I am just so disappointed. I have never pre-ordered a book from B&N before, and I don’t think I will be doing it again any time soon. The point of pre-ordering a book is so that you get it on the day it comes out, instead of having to go to the store to purchase it. It’s supposed to be on my doorstep TODAY. Not 2-5 days from today.

Sad. News.

Anyway, I will be staying away from the WordPress reader in the next couple days so that I can hopefully avoid any Allegiant spoilers. I just hope that the book makes an earlier appearance.

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: April 24th, 2012

Date Read: May 7-8, 2013

When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever. The big hitch in her brilliant plan was me. I didn’t want to be royalty. And I didn’t want to be a One. I didn’t even want to try.

First Impression: You can read all about my very first impression here.

I thought it was dumb.

I was wrong.

When I picked it back up, I did it because I ran out of books and I still hadn’t finished this one. I flew through it in about a day, because it gets so much better than that first chapter. I thought it was going to end up being a vapid, pretty girl’s version of The Hunger Games- with a love triangle. But, as I read further, I really liked it. I got to know the character more than the first few pages, and I was glad I picked up the book again.

Things I Liked: The relationship between all of the contestants was an interesting one to read about. It’s like being backstage on The Bachelor (I am assuming this, because I have never seen it), and it was fun to read. I think that kind of writing takes a little effort too, because the author really needs to study group dynamics in a competitive setting. I was angry and happy and confused by some of the girls, and I loved it. I would have hated it if the book wasn’t told from America’s perspective, but it really was nice seeing it through her eyes. I also really loved that there is a dash of politics in here. Royal secrets, questions about the end of the U.S. as we know it, all that. It is a theme that becomes increasingly important, and increasingly interesting.

Things I Didn’t Like: I am not sure that I like the love triangle. Love triangles are ridiculously overdone, but somehow they always feel like a necessary part of YA lit. I think that this book could have stood without the love triangle, but I don’t know how it plays out in the rest of the series, so I won’t write it off (so punny) just yet.

Overall: I reallllly liked it. That being said, my first impression really sticks with me, so I can’t give it 5 stars. I know that I am not the only one to feel this way about the beginning chapters, but I do wish the others would finish the book.

Rating: 

fourstars

Pre-Ordered

I both love and hate pre-ordering books.

love that I will get the books I pre-ordered on the very day they are released.

hate that paying for them in advance feels like paying to be reminded of a book that isn’t even out yet and an already-missing-sum from my bank account.

 

What I have pre-ordered so far:

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth

2.  Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi (no cover yet!)

This one is the second novella in the series, right between Unravel Me (#2) and Ignite Me (#3- not yet released.)

3. The Guard by Kiera Cass

This is also a second novella, right between #2 and #3 of The Selection series.

Both novellas don’t come out until December. How will I stand the wait?!

Do you guys have anything pre-ordered that you are just dying to get your hands on? 

Should I have something else on my pre-order list?

*I just remembered a I should have pre-ordered The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4) by Richelle Mead, which comes out in November.

Review: The Magnolia League By Katie Crouch

Title: The Magnolia League

Author: Katie Crouch

Publisher: Poppy

Release Date: May 3rd, 2011

Date Read: April 16-18, 2013

By birth, sixteen-year-old Alexandria Lee is a rightful if unwilling member of the Magnolia League– a long-standing debutante society in Savannah, Georgia. Alex is the first in decades to question the Magnolia League’s intentions, yet even she becomes entangled in its seductive world. The members enjoy youth, beauty, and power…but at what cost? As Alex discovers a pact between the Magnolias and the Buzzards, a legendary hoodoo family, she unearths secrets–some deadly–hidden beneath the glossy Southern veneer.

First Impression: Sometimes it takes you a few pages to really get a first impression. I was so impressed by the first couple sentences that I took a picture to send to my friend that recommended the book to me. Here is that picture:

IMAG0918

I literally don’t like sweet tea for that exact reason. I used to work at McDonald’s, and they use a pound of sugar for every 4-5 gallons of tea. It’s gross (to me). And that is why I decided to finish this book no matter what.

I know that some of you might not agree with me (my husband loves sweet tea), but I don’t care. This book hooked me because of that sentence. And because it’s about Southern Magic. I capitalized that because it should be a genre. For real.

Things I Liked: Lately, I have been loving books about southern magic wielders. Witches, voodoo queens, all of it. I like everything from Sarah Addison Allen books to the Beautiful Creatures series. I can’t really explain it all that well, but the characters are sassier. And I like that. I also like when you see these southern towns from an outsider’s perspective, and that is another reason I liked this one. And the sass and bossiness that can only come from southern debutantes.

Things I Didn’t Like: Some of the secondary characters. Some of their actions didn’t make a lot of sense when I thought about the information previously given about that character. That kind of lack of cohesiveness makes me angry, because it seems like the author only paid attention to the main character. However, I will admit that since this is a series, I am sure to learn a little more about that character’s personality and motivations that may explain their previous actions.

Overall: I like it a lot, but I don’t know if I loved it. However, I will definitely read the rest of the series.

Rating:

fourstars

Why Rating Books Makes Me Nervous

I feel like I have to be honest with you guys. So, here goes:

I’m pretty sure I am absolutely awful at rating books.

When teachers grade papers, do they grade them on a scale? Does one A necessarily match up to another A? Does one five-star rated book match up to another five-star rated book?

That’s my conundrum. I have read some really spectacular books, and given them five stars. But do some of the other books I have given five stars to really compare?

Should I even be comparing one book to another book?

So, every time I sit down to rate a book, I tend to over think it. In the end, I ask myself whether I really liked it, what I thought was wrong with it, and how much those things weigh against each other. That is sort of the purpose of my reviews, and I often don’t know what my rating is going to be until I get to the end of my review. The whole process kind of makes me antsy. I just don’t like the idea of someone taking my ratings at face value without reading my reviews.

By cellar_door_films via WANA Commons

The Introverted Journalist

Christopher Stocking- Author, Editor and Freelance Journalist

Are you an introvert? Are you a journalist? Would you like to read about someone who is both? Then hop on over to Chris’s (my husband!) new blog The Introverted Journalist. It’s his brand new blog documenting his time as a freelance journalist- and an introvert. It’s sure to be a good read, so you should go give him a follow!

And for those of you that already know Chris -don’t worry, his creative writing blog is still active! You can check up on his creative writing adventures at Write to Perfect.

 

Dear YA Lit: I Have A Bone To Pick With You

Courtesy of Tumblr

My problem is with your leading ladies.

My problem is that almost all of them are the same.

This is what I have noticed about a lot of YA’s leading ladies:

1. All of them have messy hair.

2. They don’t realize that they are beautiful, and it undoubtedly takes a very specific male to point it out.

3. They are very reluctant to fall in love, or are simply too oblivious to see when a guy likes them.

4. They are always very easily embarrassed , especially in situations that should not end in embarrassment.

And this one gets to me the most:

5. They always remember to wear lip gloss. Ummm, what? Lip gloss is literally the last thing I remember when I’m getting ready? Chapstick, yes. Lip gloss? Absolutely not. These girls can literally have 2 minutes to get ready, and instead of brushing their hair or their teeth, they grab their lip gloss and go. Crazy people.

 

Anyway, that’s the extent of my list for now. I am absolutely positive there are things I’m forgetting.

Do you have anything to add?

Review: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Title: Under The Never Sky

Author: Veronica Rossi

Publisher: Harper Books

Release Date: January 3, 2012

Date Read: April 18, 2013

IN A WORLD OF DANGER

AN UNLIKELY ALLIANCE

BREATHTAKING ADVENTURE

AND UNFORGETTABLE ROMANCE

First Impression: If you take a look at how long it took me to read this book, you will notice that the only impression I had time for was the first one. That’s how good I thought the book was. The book is 376 pages long, and I flew through every one of them in no time. I liked the dystopian setting right of the bat, I liked the characters and wanted to learn more about them, and I ended up being too interested to stop reading it.

Things I Liked: I really liked that the characters were independent. I know that a lot of the characters are independent in YA books, but mostly I find that they are in the extremes. Some characters are so independent that they hardly have any friends and we think they are weird until we really jump into the story. Others are so dependent on their friends and family that it often causes problems. I liked that these characters had bonds, but could see the big picture as well. The bonds are important, but so is the big picture. Their feelings are also realistic as well. That’s another thing that YA books do. I know that teenagers are often moody and shallow, but that doesn’t mean that every teenager everywhere is only concerned about what to wear and what their love interest is doing or thinking. These characters are often shallow and selfish. However, the other half are introverted to the point of social aversion- but they are the deepest thinkers ever. Possible? Sure. Realistic? No. These characters seem realistic in a world that is not real (in our reality, anyway.) It makes the whole book and all of it’s newness in terms of setting more real. That’s the ticket. If you want to write me a piece of dytopian literature, then you better take some steps to make sure that I can make some sort of connection to make it seem real for me.

Also, I just liked the story. I love the outsiders-insiders theme.

Things I Didn’t Like: It’s obvious I read this quite a while ago, so I don’t really remember anything bad. Also, I think when I read books so quickly, I might not have picked up on anything I don’t really like. Because, for me, it’s over in a flash. So, moral of the story, I liked it way more than I my have potentially not liked it.

Overall: Looooooved itttttt. (In my head that sounded like a flamboyantly gay man saying “fabulous.”) Great story, great characters, great read.

Rating: 

stars

Black Powder Brigade has Hit the Digital Shelves!

If you didn’t know, my husband released his fifth book on Saturday! If you are interested in fantasy, especially flintlock fantasy, you should check it out! Curious about what flintlock fantasy is? Give it a read. It is also called black powder fantasy. Anyway, it has officially hit the digital shelves, and you can buy it from Amazon!

Go get it!

Black Powder Brigade has Hit the Digital Shelves!.