books

March Books Recap

8:49 PM

Today I tallied up this month's reads and winced at the pitiful, scraggy list. I don't know what it's been lately, school stress, preparing for college in the fall...I haven't been able to read at my usual speed. Hopefully, I'll be able to read more as summer comes closer.



Summer break. Ah. Just think of the books I'll be able to cross off my TBR list.

*PICTURE OF ALL THE BOOKS I READ TO COME*

How many books did I read in March?
*sigh* 9. And that's counting a novella and a book I DNF'd. Eight YA novels and one adult.

Favorite?
Definitely The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. The characters were awesomely quirky, the plot and premise were unique and awesome. And the way the lives of all the characters were entwined was mind-blowing. It's like seeing a close-up of a maze, and slowly the camera pans out and you understand. I loved the main character, Blue. 

Least Favorite?
Well, I DNF'd As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott so...yeah. It was confusing (and not in the good way). It just didn't click for me. 

Favorite cover(s)?
I should probably pick one since I've read only 9 books. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt was my favorite cover. It's bright and cheerful and suits the book perfectly. The headphones are a good touch. 

Least favorite cover(s)?
A Ride into Morning by Ann Rinaldi. Yeah, it's just so reddish toned in everything. I'm not usually one for covers that look like traditional paintings.       

Longest book?
451 pages (The Help, which by the way is a runner-up both for my favorite books & favorite covers).

Bonus Question: Which book was I most disappointed by?
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. I was really looking forward to this book because the synopsis sounded so awesome. A world where people are tested for a murderistic-tendency gene? Yes, please (although it would be very bad if it happened of course). As I read it though, it just seemed full of dystopian cliches and I didn't really get close to the main character. 

Memorable Moments:
  • Getting nominated for a Liebster Blog Award!
  • Receiving my first review books in the mail where all things should be gotten because let's admit it getting stuff in the mail is awesome. 
  • Finally reading The Raven Boys and loving it. I want the second and third books now. Give. 
  • Making friends wherever I go/went (Haha, not really).




Usually it goes something like this:


  • Discovering that I was very glad that I made a Twitter account. I now get updates telling me about giveaways everywhere. I almost don't know what to do with myself (I said almost. Back away from the Rafflecopter). 
  • Ordering a signed and personalized copy of Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. ASDFGHJKL. I can't wait until it gets here!
  • Winning a bookmark for The Polaris Uprising by Jennifer Ibarra and wishing I had the book to go with it. The limitations of my pockets are maddening. 
  • Getting stuck in the front yard in my Mustang because it just rained recently and was muddy and having to spin my way out. I scared my sister. But really, I had everything under control. 

Have an awesome coming week. :) I hate Mondays too, but we'll pull through it together. I am going to post a bucketful of Project 30 Days of Inspire posts all at once, probably tomorrow.

Inspirational

Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 14

9:38 PM


Maybe you're a gypsy, with a wanderer's heart. Sometimes it's boring to stay in the same place for too long. Sometimes it's painful.

People may not understand your need for finding fulfillment in a way that doesn't seem to have purpose. Keep wandering.


Every time you slow down, you want to travel again. Maybe travel the world in a plane, car, or bicycle. Maybe the dimensions that unfold when you read.

Just because you don't have a destination doesn't mean that you shouldn't be taking a road trip. It's all in the experience. Keep wandering.

Unikke's March 28 Post

Icey Books

What's Next? {2}

7:27 PM

http://iceybooks.com/ 

What's Next? is a weekly meme hosted by Hafsah and Asma at Icey Books. These are some books I have on my (huge) TBR pile. Which one should I read first?







The Girl with the Windup Heart by Kady Cross

1897 London, a final showdown is about to begin

London's underworld is no place for a young woman, even one who is strong, smart and part-automaton like Mila. But when master criminal Jack Dandy inadvertently breaks her heart, she takes off, determined to find an independent life, one entirely her own. Her search takes her to the spangled shadows of the West End's most dazzling circus.

Meanwhile, taken captive in the Aether, Griffin King is trapped in an inescapable prison, and at the mercy of his archenemy, The Machinist. If he breaks under the hellish torment, The Machinist will claim his powers and control of the Aether itself, and no one in either world will be safe—especially not Finley Jayne and her misfit band of friends.

Finley plunges headlong into the Aether the only way she knows how, by temporarily dying. But she cannot parry The Machinist's maneuvers for long. To defeat him for good, Griffin will have to confront his greatest fear and finally come face-to-face with the destructive power he wields.





The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling


No-one performs on the circus trapeze like 16-year-old Remy Brunel. But Remy also leads another life, prowling through the backstreets of Victorian London as a jewel thief. When she is forced to steal one of the world's most valuable diamonds, she uncovers a world of treachery and fiendish plots.














The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

In the not-so-distant future, the forecasted “death of print” has become a reality. Bookstores, libraries, newspapers, and magazines are things of the past, and we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication but also have become so intuitive that they hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order takeout at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called the Word Exchange.

Anana Johnson works with her father, Doug, at the North American Dictionary of the English Language (NADEL), where Doug is hard at work on the last edition that will ever be printed. Doug is a staunchly anti-Meme, anti-tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email (everything now is text or videoconference) to communicate—or even actually spoke to one another, for that matter. One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices, leaving a single written clue: ALICE. It’s a code word he devised to signal if he ever fell into harm’s way. And thus begins Anana’s journey down the proverbial rabbit hole . . .

Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague, Anana’s search for Doug will take her into dark basements and subterranean passageways; the stacks and reading rooms of the Mercantile Library; and secret meetings of the underground resistance, the Diachronic Society. As Anana penetrates the mystery of her father’s disappearance and a pandemic of decaying language called “word flu” spreads, The Word Exchange becomes a cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller and a meditation on the high cultural costs of digital technology.

~~~~~

Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 13



You are not alone... no matter how forgotten you feel, someone does care about you. A family member, a friend, maybe even someone you haven't talked to. I care about you too. Never forget that.

Unikke's March 27 Post

Inspirational

Raven Boys + Second Chances

9:59 PM

I am forfeiting time reading The Raven Boys to write this post for you guys. Appreciation is in order, I think. :D (Seriously, though. How awesome is The Raven Boys?? No spoilers please.)

So, as stated above, I'm currently reading The Raven Boys, I started it after admiring the cover and stroking it. All the normal stuff. It is blowing my expectations away! It's amazing and there will be a review.

I'm thinking about doing a post on stereotyping bookworms. What do you think? I also have this extremely nasty lemon/honey drink that I'm procrastinating on drinking. It's sitting very evilly at the corner of my desk. I can smell it even though it's cold. 

I also visited an online book store called The Book Outlet today, and I shouldn't have. I now want to buy more books (well, more than before). It has destroyed my life. 

I splurged on a  ten-dollar book that I love, but now I'm feeling sort of guilty-ish because maybe I should have used those ten bucks to support indie authors. Or more precisely one indie author. Self-published books are extremely expensive. Never mind. The guilt is gone because I'm so excited about what the book is. I'll tell you when it gets to my house. ;)

Let's see....I took midterms a couple weeks ago for my Sociology college class. My hands were shaking from fatigue (psh, no I wasn't scared) at the end. It turned out good though, and I'm super excited about my grade. :D My economics class doesn't like me *pouts*. 

Last night I was hanging out with my younger sister (13) and little brother (4). Well, my little bro was being unusually talkative and bouncy (I think something got put in his grape juice). VERY HYPER. So here are some tidbits of our conversations that you can giggle, smile, snort at.

BRO: I sowwy.
SIS: Yeah, you should be sorry. (She's mean. No soul. Poor thing, she was born that way.)

Oh, and apparently "making snow" is "baby nose" to little bro.

BRO: I fith (he means 'fix') it, I fith it. 
SIS: What. No, that's not allowed. You may not knock over my books. 

BRO: Sowwy, sowwy, sowwy (and on and on).
SIS: SORRY, SORRY, SORRY, SORRY.
BRO: Shhhhh. Quiet, quiet! [He needs to do what he preaches *shakes head*]

ME: You look very crazed. Are you okay? (Yes, it was very weird writing down my own words.)
BRO: RAGHHHHHHHHHHHH! (He was not okay. He was baring his teeth at me.)

And that's the end of this very random, pointless post (you laughed didn't you).

~~~~~
Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 12


Honestly? Just because you've made a mistake or two doesn't mean you're screwed for life. You can have a fresh beginning. When you get your driver's license taken away, it doesn't mean that you can never drive again. It means that, yeah, you'll have to be more careful, prove that you can do it, and get it back. Everyone deserves a second chance. Everyone can get new beginnings. You're not messed up. You learned and now you're moving on. 

Remember you can begin again.

Unikke's March 26 Post

dreams

Review: Going Vintage

6:43 PM



Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 320
Source: Library
Format: ebook

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List:

1. Run for pep club secretary
2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree
3. Sew a dress for Homecoming
4. Find a steady
5. Do something dangerous


But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.

Obviously, there's no "good" way to find out that your boyfriend's cheating on you, but it's particularly awful if the information is second-hand and when Mallory discovers Jeremy's online girlfriend while she's at his house helping with his paper she's shocked...and mad. Mallory ends it. But things can get nasty on the Internet and she needs a break. What better way to drop out of the 21st century than going vintage? Dresses, plaid capris, bicycling to places that seemed a lot closer by car, and writing a school paper by hand seem like good ideas at first. Maybe Mallory should have thought this out before she took the leap. 

This was awesome to read. It wasn't action-y (yes, that's a word) and it didn't have any super big, heart attack inducing cliff hangers, but it was funny and realistic and...did I mention funny? Mallory's humor was hilarious. I can't remember how many times I thought, "This author understands me! I wonder if she's secretly a tumblr/pinterest/bloggering girl." I mean, I would understand it if she didn't want to reveal that. We do have crazy reputations. ;)

See? SEE?? I'm not the only one.

Mallory and the rest of the characters were also completely real. Her parents weren't portrayed as the totally opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum lawyers or druggies. They had unique personalities and problems and they annoyed Mallory sometimes but she also loved them. Her younger sister Gina was another awesome character (And reminds me quite a bit of my own little sis. Aw, aren't you happy I mentioned you on here?), spunky and all about that sarcasm. All the characters were amazingly written and I can honestly say that if any of them weren't there the story wouldn't be the same. And here's where I stop talking about the characters because I might say to much.  

I often describe myself as various shapeless foods.

INDEPENDENCE. Here's where I talk about how Lindsey Leavitt totally nailed it. She made a story where the girl finds herself, discovers her passions and who she really is, and embraces it. It's not about the guy, it's about being yourself no matter what. That's the most important thing the book gave to me. I JUST ERASED TWO SENTENCES BECAUSE SPOILERS. UGH, THIS IS HARD. Mallory became her own person. She learned to define herself without a boyfriend (You go, girl! You don't need no man. Especially not one like Jeremy. Oops, wait. Man, ha. He's a mere boy.), she rocked vintage and she rocked single. 

Okay, maybe not completely confident. But this is reality. Seriously, don't point.

 And I loved her humor. Just saying.


All in all, this was a light contemporary read that made me laugh (and growl) that addressed totally non-light issues. #GirlPower
My Rating:

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. I have written it solely for the entertainment of the readers of this blog and myself.

~~~~~
Project 30 Days of Inspire: Days 10 & 11


Day 10: "People are the prettiest when they talk about something they really love with passion in their eyes." Do what you love. Find things that make you happy. Take up sewing or collect postcards. Explore activities and objects that you're passionate about. Happiness follows. :)


Day 11: "Follow your dreams." This ties in closely with the first quote. Don't be afraid to follow your dreams. I know that sometimes it may seem impossible, and all the realists in your life are being annoyingly negative right now, but keep dreaming. Dreams aren't accomplished through big leaps, they're made by taking small, baby steps and crashing into walls once in a while.

Unikke's March 24 Post

Unikke's March 25 Post

book haul

Bragging Rights + Being Turtles

9:31 PM

I feel like documenting this month's book haul. I know I shouldn't have, but I bought seven books at a used-books store when I already have loads of books waiting to be read. *sigh* It is the curse of the bookworm.


#sorrynotsorry

So, let's get on with it.



I got these for a total of $6.65! Isn't that amazing?? GOSH. I'm stunned by my own bargain-making. OR LUCK, YEAH IT COULD HAVE BEEN LUCK. Also, I grabbed the first two books of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I'm really excited to read them because I've seen the movie (The Golden Compass) and because it seems to be religiously controversial in the book world and I'm curious.

The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman 
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman
A Ride Into Morning by Ann Rinaldi
The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda
Across the Great Barrier by Patricia C. Wrede
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott



Is that or is that not the creepiest cover for Little Men by Louisa M. Alcott that you have ever seen? No offense to the boys (I'm sure they were very nice), but they look like they could be from a horror story. Look at those faces. Yikes.


I have started reviewing this month! *fist pump* Well, I haven't actually read and reviewed too many books yet because of school, but I have received many. This makes me very happy. Happy Skylar is a good thing (trust me on this one).


I got these the good old fashioned way via snail mail. Reviews will be coming eventually, I promise. I'm not going to fangirl about Fire & Flood here because I already did here.

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Fisher of Men by Gene Harlan Powell


And these are my ebooks. :D I can't wait to read the top two and the bottom two sound really good as well. All things counted, this seems to have been quite a successful month. ;)

The Girl with a Windup Heart by Kady Cross
The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
Hacked by Geri Hosler

What have you collected/bought/stolen/hoarded this month? Is anyone else thankful for the goodness that is NetGalley?
~~~~~
Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 9



This is probably one of the most important things that you will do in your life. Find a way to be comfortable with who you are, with all your gifts and imperfections. No one's perfect even though it may seem that way.

Try to be yourself and not worry about what other people think. I know it's tough. Personally, I hate standing out or causing tension. But you will feel so much better if you are okay with it. I'm okay with you. Are you okay with you?

Unikke's March 23 Post

Inspirational

Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 8

10:06 PM



Isn't it awesome how the world is made? The world is a million stories true and imagined. You are a beautiful work in progress. First drafts are lying hidden in every niche and corner. Not only are you an amazing story, but there are around seven billion more unique stories being lived right now.

Write your story and know that it is important. Listen to other people's stories. Just like the story of the earth is written in each grain of sand, the story of the world is written in you.

Unikke's March 22 Post

Inspirational

So, I'm a Dog

6:01 PM

I have a little brother. I don't talk about him a lot on here, but he's four and very cute (and loud) and has just started talking in sentences. There isn't anything wrong with him. He's just a smart butt who doesn't like doing something if everyone wants him to.

He is currently making a small Easter basket tied to yarn bang against my side. He thinks it's funny which I totally disagree with but whatever. :D

Anyways, we were playing outside today in the sandbox and I was getting tired of it because I'd been out there for a while and I wanted to go inside. Perfectly reasonable.

I tell this to him.

LITTLE BRO: No.

ME: Pleaaaase. Please??

LITTLE BRO: No. (He's very strict.)

ME:*pouts*

LITTLE BRO: *stands up* Catch, Jiejie (Chinese for older sister). *throws ginormous baseball at me*

ME: Um. Okay. *gets baseball and throws it back* (By this time he's playing with his toys in the sandbox again.)

LITTLE BRO: *looks up briefly* Catch, Jiejie. *throws baseball* *immediately goes back to playing with his tractor*

ME: Wow. So I'm a dog now.

I was just standing there thinking that that little butt actually thought that I would stay outside longer if he threw the ball for me to catch. He was like "Go catch the ball, peasant. You like that kind of stuff don't you?" Nah, actually he was pretty sweet about it. He even came in after I begged him to.

We have a good relationship like that. 

~~~~~

Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 7

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

All it takes is one step to get something started. Everything that's big now started with something small.
You can do anything that you're determined to do, if you take that small step.

Unikke's March 21 Post

bloglovin

Books to Win + People (Me) to Follow

12:42 PM

This is basically going to be a post with lots of blog-related/book-related news.


Giveaways
*These are a few of the amazing, awesomesauce giveaways that I've discovered recently that you need to go check out. I will put links to the giveaways where the blog names are and links to the books (on Goodreads) through their pictures. 

Kate @The Magic Violinist is giving away a copy of Fauxpocalypse which she co-wrote with a group of people. :) Ends on April 6.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19547322-fauxpocalypse?ac=1

Hawwa @It Was Lovely Reading You is giving away FIVE book series: the Slated Series by Teri Terry, the Across the Universe Trilogy by Beth Revis, the Declaration Trilogy by Gemma Malley, the Roller Girls Series by Megan Sparks, and the Ruby Redfort Series by Lauren Child. What's even better? There will be one winner for each series. YES. Ends on May 1.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12743472-slated?from_search=true             https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8235178-across-the-universe?from_search=true
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13490543-fractured?from_search=true            https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10345927-a-million-suns?from_search=true
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17901410-shattered?from_search=true            

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1722717.The_Declaration?ac=1                 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17888623-falling-hard?ac=1                 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11999940-look-into-my-eyes?ac=1

Martina @Martina Boone (author of Compulsion) is giving away a signed copy of These Broken Stars, signed copies of Kat Zhang's What's Left of Me and Once We Were, a personalized ARC of her own book Compulsion, and a sterling silver key necklace. Go away, I want to win this. Ends on March 31.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18732883-compulsion?ac=1        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13138635-these-broken-stars?ac=1        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11043618-what-s-left-of-me?ac=1         https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16109664-once-we-were?ac=1

Make sure to check these giveaways out! I guess I can live with you diminishing my chances of winning this once.
~~~~~
Project 30 Days of Inspire: Days 5 & 6
I totally forgot to put an Inspire post up yesterday. Sorry, Unikke. I'm making up for it today though because I'm putting two quotes up and, in honor of the first day of spring *fist pump* (beautiful days need to come now), they are flower-based quotes. 

Day 5: "You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses." Isn't that a beautiful way of saying-- Hey, either you can focus on the good things in life or you can focus on the rotten things. I know that, especially for me, it can be so easy to only see all the things that are going wrong.

Thorns hurt. They're ugly. But the pain goes away, the wounds heal. Focus on the roses in your life and the world will seem like a much better place, vibrant and colorful.

Day 6: "Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul." Don't let anyone else define you. Don't wait for other people to make decisions for you, or if you have people trying to force you into a decision, tell them to lay off and back off. You need to make your own decisions. I'm not talking about being rebellious and rude towards relatives (ahem, parents). Be firm though, because sometimes it's hard for them to realize that you are growing up.

Point being-- you need to make yourself. Don't let other people make you. Plant your own garden, decorate your own soul. After all, you're the one who needs to live with yourself for your whole life. 

Inspirational

Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 4

9:53 PM



Sometimes it's too easy to let yourself go, to wish for anything but now, and hope that tomorrow will be better but do nothing about today.

Today...listen to music.

Let it sooth you and speak to you. Let it fill in all the empty places. Plug those earphones in and jam out like a rock star. Cause you know what? You are one.


Unikke's March 18 Post

Fire and Flood

Packages in the Mail

7:50 PM

I am about to virtual happy dance and scream in happiness all over this computer screen.

It so happens that I've been seeing loads of stuff about Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott all over the blogosphere, popping up on every other book blog.

1. The cover is amazing. I DARE YOU TO DISAGREE.
2. The synopsis that I was reading everywhere was very intriguing. A race for a cure? A cure that can cure all diseases but can only be used by one person? Animal companions called Pandoras? I couldn't up this book fast enough on my TBR list.

You probably wouldn't be surprised that I entered a give-away for it on Icey Books (I didn't win). I wasn't surprised that I didn't win. But in the process of trying to win also known as reading the post and discovering Victoria Scott's website (her 'About Me' page is lol-worthy), I found her 'Contact' page. Where these words popped off the screen and into my eager hands.


Did I request an ARC? Uh, duh. You better believe it.

Emma replied the next day asking for my blog address and mailing address along with any stats. I was super excited. I sent an email in a few seconds.

I waited.


Then waited some more.


Guys, my hopes were rapidly going down the drain. I was like "Man, I knew it. My blog's too small. I don't get enough traffic. Blah, blah, blah." I forgot about it (after being depressed).

Today I got two bulky, delicious packages in the mail with my name on them!!!

My first thought: BOOKS (Because I was expecting review books from other publishers, etc.)

I ripped open the first package (read: gently tore) and made a noise that I'm pretty sure was something like a strangled gasp. Because this:


It was in my hands.

My second thought: AHDGLSKJHLKSFJHSLFK.

Which is...not really a thought but whatever. As you can see, I was thinking very logically and calmly. And what is cooler than getting a package that has Scholastic Inc., New York as the return address? Not much.  



~~~~~

Project 30 Days of Inspire: Day 3


This is for all of my writer friends. :D Even if your work-in-progress is feeling a lot more like work than progress (And you're under the impression that it sounds awful. What were you thinking?), push ahead. There's always Plan B....or Plan Z. Take it from an editing freak who can't write more than one chapter without succumbing to the urge to start over because ew. You can do it! You'd be surprised how much better your writing can sound after you've left it for a while and come back.

Unikke's March 17 post

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