WoW - Skyscraping

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Skyscraping

June 2, 2015






A heartrending, bold novel in verse about family, identity, and forgiveness

Mira is just beginning her senior year of high school when she discovers her father with his male lover. Her world–and everything she thought she knew about her family–is shattered instantly. Unable to comprehend the lies, betrayal, and secrets that–unbeknownst to Mira–have come to define and keep intact her family’s existence, Mira distances herself from her sister and closest friends as a means of coping. But her father’s sexual orientation isn’t all he's kept hidden. A shocking health scare brings to light his battle with HIV. As Mira struggles to make sense of the many fractures in her family's fabric and redefine her wavering sense of self, she must find a way to reconnect with her dad–while there is still time. 
Told in raw, exposed free verse, Skyscraping reminds us that there is no one way to be a family.
I love verse novels every now and then. I'm a big fan of Lisa Schroeder's work but I've never read books by any other author who writes in verse. This might be nice! Also, I adore the cover :)

 What are You Waiting For?

-MARI 

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Cover Wars: Of Dreams and Rust vs. Song of Blood and Stone

Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Yet again, Song of Blood and Stone has managed continue its reign. This week our favourite diverse cover is facing another of its own category, Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine.



In contrast to last week's covers, these girls are quite similar. Both portray an ethnically diverse model looking off into the distance with their side profile shown to us. I love the red kimono on the model in Of Dream and Rust. It's plain but has great contrast with the model's hair and the background. Two gorgeous covers. Which is your favourite?

It's up to you to vote!

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WoW - The Leveller

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

The Leveller

June 23, 2015






Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them. 

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

Gamers and action fans of all types will dive straight into the MEEP, thanks to Julia Durango’s cinematic storytelling. A touch of romance adds some heart to Nixy’s vivid, multidimensional journey through Wyn’s tricked-out virtual city, and constant twists keep readers flying through to the breathtaking end.
This looks so cool. I've always been interested in the Ready Player One type books, which play with virtual realities. This one might be a good start. Also, I love the cover.

 What are You Waiting For?

-MARI 

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Cover Wars: Six of Crows vs. Song of Blood and Stone

Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Song of Blood and Stone managed to hold on to it's throne as the competition becomes even more fierce. This week it's up against Leigh Bardugo's next book Six of Crows.



The two covers are quite the opposite in many aspects. While one focuses on bright colours like pinks and reds, the other is made up of shades and blues. However, both the covers meet in the title typography department. Although they are different, they resemble each other nicely. But, mostly they add character to the covers they were designed for. 

It's up to you to vote!




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Discussion: Warped in Time



A discussion between Mari and P.E..

MARI: I've never been much of a time travel fan and so the majority of books that I've read which pertain to history are historical fictions that contain people from the set time period. This gives those characters the mindset of the time period as well. Time travel completely disrupts this harmony. Norms are shattered as what is acceptable in two periods crash.

Whilst reading Outlander I came upon a troubling scene that made me question what I would do in the situation. 

EX: Wife puts people in danger by stupid actions and husband is charged with the husbandly duty to punish his disobedient wife by way of a nice pelting. 

Being beaten as a punishment. Some logical part of my brain says ok, yes I understand why someone would do it. At some point in time that was the norm and deviating from it would cause more trouble than it is worth but my modern bringing up doesn't allow me to ponder it for long. I feel our current law against physical abuse is in place for a reason and I will sure as hell not let anyone pelt my arse.

Do you have any experience with clashes of culture? When in Rome will you do as the Romans? 

P.E.: I don't really read much time travel. I feel like you always know exactly where a time travel story is going to end up, and it's like a ghost story: boring to me. But yes Mari, one day I will make an exception for Outlander. Just not now.

I think I haven't read too many historicals that aren't about future queens and the biggest culture clash for them is about arranged marriages. I'm completely against them right now, but in that age, that was really the only power a princess had. Marry the right person, a treaty could be made, and a lot of good would come to her kingdom.

I guess I'm a little bit more comfortable with the idea of letting someone sacrifice themselves rather than, in your example, hurting someone. I don't have the stomach for that. I guess I don't know what I would do in Rome, I've never been there.

MARI: I've also read many stories surrounding a queen and her sacrifice for her country: marriage. I do hope everyone could marry for happiness and if that mean love then great, but love can also be created after marriage. I'm not too sympathetic to princesses who run from their "duty", as in some cases it results in war and lots of pain to the citizens (aka The Kiss of Deception). Rome is dangerous and I would totally do as the Romans to save myself.

Have you had any experiences with a clash of time and culture? What's your take?



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One Does Not Simply Stop Loving you

It's the day of love, what better day to declare my never ending love for boys.... correction book boys because we all know they are the best kind ;)

To keep this from becoming an Outlander-fest I'm going to get James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser out of the way now. I LOVE YOU!


Rowan
Rowan Whitethorn - Throne of Glass
This guy has won my heart. He isn't the love interest but his bond with Celaena is gorgeous.
Josh and Isla - Source
Josh - Isla and The Happily Ever After
This guy was just so raw and artistic. I adored him and his troubles.


The actor was a perfect Adam, imo.
Adam - Where She Went
Where She Went is my favourite Gayle Forman book and it is because of Adam. He breaks my heart which seems to be a recurring theme in my Valentines. He is a great guy who puts everything he's got into his love for Mia.

Daniel Cohen  - Prisoner of Smoke and Fog
Daniel is another one of those sweet guys, but he is also smart, ambitious and humane. Daniel stands up for what is right despite the dangers he may face.

Ignefix - Cruel Beauty
He was filled with darkness, but I loved the occasional light. 

West Young - Take Me On
"I adored [West and Hayley] from the beginning. They are both troubled and flawed but they are strong people who will go through hell to protect the ones they love and I thought they were very noble, even if some of the things they did were kind of stupid." - My review

Arin - The Winner's Curse
Arin is conflicted hero. I'm currently reading This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and I can relate him very much to Flynn. Both stuck in love with an "enemy". I love when this happens because it shows that people can get beyond their differences. 


It doesn't hurt that he has become Kit Harrington in my mind.
Arius the Barbarian - Mistress of Rome
With a name like that, don't you want to stop and find out how he got there? The guy is a brute, but he falls in love with our heroine and goes through a lot of pain to see her again. 


Source
Alexander Belov - The Bronze Horseman
This guy had me swooning for months. Heads up if you love a man in a uniform. 
"Alexander, were you looking for me?
-All my life."
The Beast - Dark Triumph
This guy. There is no such thing as ugly when your heart is so noble.
“I was wondering, since I have kissed you three times now, if you might turn into a handsome prince.” At the sight of his quick, easy grin, I feel my heart dance in my chest. “Alas, you are still stuck with a toad, my lady.” 
Darcy and Elizabeth
Darcy - Pride and Prejudice
A girl can love a man from any century. Darcy is everyones dream, especially if he is this sweet.

Alexander Fuentes - Perfect Chemistry
The Fuentes brother aren't ones to listen. But despite all the crazy things Alex does, his love for his family scores major points. Also, I love his spanish.


I definitely approve of this dude. Dimka!
Dimitri Belkov - Vampire Academy
Rose said the man was a god. I'm not going to argue.
Will and Tessa Source
William Herondale - The Infernal Devices
For all his beautiful lines and his tortures soul.
Source
Happy Valentines!

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Life of a Blogger: Awesome Websites

This is a wonderful meme type post hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. Basically, there is a topic pertaining to the blogger every Thursday. This way we can all get to know the person behind the blog.

Mari
I'm boring so here are my most used and favourite sites in the order that I recite them to myself when trying to decide what to do.

YouTube - I'm big on life vlogging (FleurDeForce), BookTube (abookutopia), Korea (Eat You Kimchi) and music and Outlander clips.
EYK - Simon and Martina (aka cool Canadians!)

Goodreads - To update my reads, see what everyone else is reading and find new books.

Twitter - This site is my go-to P.E.-stalking site, my source for world and book news.
I think P.E. will approve of this one :)

Facebook - To stalk friends and famous people. But mostly to see funny school memes.

Blogger - To write and to read.

University site -  For homework and lecture.. yuck.
Me in every lecture lol. Untrue, I promise I'm studious.


P.E.

Why thank you Mari, you have left me with none of my most frequented websites, which probably starts with Twitter and stays there. So here are some websites I have visited a few times before.

Upworthy - Lots of interesting videos.

TED - More interesting videos!

YouTube - Mari mentioned this one, but I can mention different channels. Lately, I've watched lots of Ellen and randomly, I've found myself watching TIFF trailers. The trailers look so good and it's so sad that I won't get to see those films. :(

My next choice is not really a website. It's a reader, but it curates some articles from some phenomenal websites, and I really love it. I actually don't even use it on the computer (I use the app), but who cares? Digg is really a wonderful news source. It has a lot of high quality articles and I've used a lot of news apps, but it wasn't until Digg where I found one with a great choice in articles.

Speaking of news websites, The Atlantic is my favourite. There are always a handful of articles I want to read and after reading them, I am always impressed.

Next, Humans of New York  is wonderful and it's beautiful to know that everyone has a story. It humanizes people and I think that's pretty important nowadays.

Anddd I can't think of anything else because seriously, I'm always on Twitter. & yes Mari, that gif is very much appreciated ;)






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WoW - Hello, I Love You

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Hello, I Love You

June 9, 2015



A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can't stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can't deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol. 

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she'll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.
Oh my god... this is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. Also, this was my fangirl dream last year when Kpop was my world. It's taken a backseat for now but I'll definitely still enjoy this.
Exo
Rain 
RAIN!!!!!!

 What are You Waiting For?

-MARI 

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Cover Wars: The Decaying Empire vs Song of Blood and Stone

Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Song of Blood and Stone has had many dominant victories, and last week wasn't one of them. In fact, the covers tied so I did the equivalent of a virtual coin flip where I went on random.org, assigned a number to each cover, and generated it. Song of Blood and Stone prevailed. Is its reign coming to an end? The Decaying Empire would sure like to test that. 



Colour, moody covers everywhere! The Decaying Empire takes the dark colours with splashes of orange, more like a destructive fire than a decaying one, i would say. Song of Blood and Stone promises a little more serenity with a calm pink and a sky full of possibilities. 

It's up to you to vote!



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The Problem With Books I Love

Reviewing is awesome. It's a medium of emptying our thoughts and feeling for a book and sharing it with other readers. This creates an awesome discussion where we can continue to look back on a book we enjoyed in the past and also create space for other books in our brain. However, this process of read, write, erase doesn't work sometimes.

I don't review every book I read because I CAN'T review some books. When I go to the keyboard, my mind freezes up, my fingers forget the letters on the keys, and I end up staring at my screen mind empty.

Thankfully, this isn't something that happens out of the blue. For me, it's a special side effect of a book hangover. I can spill my guts about all the love I feel for a book, but the beauty of talking is that I can speak all the gibberish in the world and my listener will understand that it's just my way of trying to put into words feelings that are beyond my span of vocabulary.


My reviews in my head.
Writing is different. I need to to make sense because how else are you going to see just how serious I am about my mindless gushing?

The past few months my life has been taken over my Outlander and while I read some books here and there in between, I think it would be fair to say that the series has bewitched my mind because I can't pull away. As I read each book I have a million thoughts and feelings and I write them on my Goodreads stats, then freak out a little because I don't want to spoil anyone.


I haven't written a review for Outlander, nor do I think I ever will. Just like I didn't for Harry Potter, Vampire Academy, Eon, The Bronze Horseman, The Infernal Devices, Graceling. These books are all favourites, and although I can try to put my feelings in words, those feelings are restricted to my limited vocabulary and I don't think I can do them justice. The great thing is that they are already popular and just by talking and recommending them to each other we can keep the buzz alive.

Book are awesome, just read them!

-MARI


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Life of a Blogger: Super Powers

This is a wonderful meme type post hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat. Basically, there is a topic pertaining to the blogger every Thursday. This way we can all get to know the person behind the blog.


MARI
I feel like most people would choose to fly, *cough P.E.*, but I'm scared of free falling and not having some sort of stable platform under my feet. Also, I HATE BIRDS!! They freak the bejeezus out of me. My default had always been invisibility but I figure that's too lonely, sorry Deathly Hallows Brother #3.

So... I would have to go with teleportation. I want to zap my self in and out of any situation. If I want to fly, well then teleporting into a plane should do. Also, free and fast travel! Only question is, can I teleport others and my luggage with me? If yes, then hello BAHAMAS!!



P.E.

I would like to fly, like Mari said. I also wouldn't mind having elemental powers. Controlling all the elements, or even being able to make a storm appear out of nothing. That is cool. If I had to choose one element, it would be air, so I could make myself fly, and also make the objects I want float to me. Also, mini-tornadoes and stuff. ;)

What are your choices?

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6 Things I Hate About You

To help with the positive-negative imbalance on this blog I'm writing about the few things that I hate in books. We all have them, sometimes we share them but never in full scale so here goes.

Disclaimer: This is a deviation from my normal style and is meant to share some of my pet peeves.  I do love a lot of the authors and book series found in the compiled blacklist throughout this post. I in no way wish to offend or disrespect anyone, it is simply a list of my experiences and some books that have fallen under each category for me.

SLOW BEGINNINGS
Hi there books with slow beginnings, I just want to let you know that I have the patience of a 3 year old and will throw you over the cribs railing if you don't capture my attention, now!

But, you know what's worse than books with slow beginnings? Sequels to books that continue the slow beginning tradition or start them. I understand that as a sequel that probably came out a year or so after the original you may see the need to refresh the readers memory. However, can we agree that this process can take place in concurrence with actually movement in the plot?

Slow pokes:

Visions (Omens#2) by Kelley Armstrong
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Biggest Flirt by Jennifer Echols

INSTALOVE
I think I just found everyones favourite. Who doesn't like it when two strangers look at each other and decide they found "the one".

Stay Out of My Bedroom.

I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre
Wild Cards (Better Than Perfect) by Simone Elkeles
Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin

INSTA-LOVE TRIANGLES
Who need two lusting folks when you can have three? The more the merrier, right?

Ugh

Fallen by Lauren Kate
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

THE JACOB-RENESME SYNDROME
Jacob why? Even my 13 years old mind thought that resolution of the Insta-Love Triangle issue was not acceptable. Please don't imprint on a newborn it doesn't matter how unique your situation is.

Faulty Imprint

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

FAKE SWEARING
Ughh... You bother me. I'm pretty sure teenagers created half the bad words in use today so give them some credit and say the words. You know you make it worse by substituting.

Don't you "bull poopie" me:

The House of Night Series by P.C and Kristin Cast


FAKE STRENGTH
Please don't lie to the reader. You say your strong then show me your strength. Yes, every strong person has their weaknesses, but don't melt when you see blonde hair and blue eyes. And if you can't manage that then try to not get hot and heavy in the middle of escaping.. just wait.

I'm Looking at You:

Reboot by Amy Tintera
Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin


Thanks for reading. What are you pet peeves?

-MARI


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Cover Wars: Daughter of Deep Silence vs. Song of Blood and Stone

Cover Wars is a weekly showdown of two beautiful covers. The winner, as voted by you, goes on to face a new cover, and wins bragging rights. This is basically a fun way to discuss what we like in covers.

Song of Blood and Stone has dominated thus far and for good reason. This week it's up against another formidable foe, Carrie Ryan's Daughter of Deep Silence.



Both are brilliant covers with fantastic use of space. Daughter of Deep Silence looks stunning with the depiction of a blue wave on the wall behind her. Song of Blood and Fire fills the space with a starry sky within a silhouette of a woman. Love them both.

Let the voting begin!

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WoW - The Decaying Empire

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

The Decaying Empire

Book #2
April 21, 2015



When eighteen-year-old teleporter Ember Pierce wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, she remembers only the basics: she’s been trained by the government as a spy, she’s sent on dangerous missions, and her last assignment—the one that landed her in the hospital—was a setup.

Caden Hawthorne has spent the past ten months of his life grieving Ember’s death. So when she shows up in his room like an apparition, he can’t believe his eyes. But this Ember is different. Her hair is longer, her skin is paler, her gaze is haunted. She tells him what he’s already begun to suspect: someone he trusted betrayed her.

Now, uncertain who is friend and who is foe, Ember and Caden face the toughest mission of their lives—to stay together and survive, as they run from danger toward an unknown future.
I just read the first book in this series The Vanishing Girl, which also has a beautiful cover. (Review) Now I'm dying for this sequel. If you are into fast paced thrillers this one is for you.

 What are You Waiting For?

-MARI 

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Discussion: Creative Writing Styles


A discussion with P.E. and Mari. 


P.E.: In 9th grade, I was given a peculiar writing assignment. It began with developing a story with characters and a typical plot chart. The surprise came when the teacher revealed that our storyline couldn't be linear. This doesn't mean that she wanted us to include flashbacks. She wanted the entire story to take place in different times. It was a strange assignment, and surprisingly effective because when you're not just focused on saying something the way you imagined it happened, then you can start focusing on affecting your reader in some way. The assignment opened my eyes to different writing styles and the fun it is to read something a little different.

Mari: Definitely, it's good to shake things up sometimes. Alternating perspectives, inverted story lines, keep the reader engaged. If done right they can be less confusing and more enjoyable. My first experience with alternating perspectives was Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry and that book has managed to hold on to its spot in my top reads since 2009. There are limitations to the amount of character development a reader can see and how much they can relate when the reader isn't in the character's head. For all the world, including Brittany, Alex was an insufferable no good gangbanger. But the alternate perspectives allowed the reader to see his side, see his family and how the things he said may not necessarily be what he meant.

Another example of alternating perspectives done well was in Legend by Marie Lu. We had two characters who were misinformed about each other and the reader got to have the best seat in the how as they watched the two develop their own opinions about the other. Also, alternating perspectives are especially appreciated when the characters aren't in the same place at a given time. This way we can actually see what's going on instead of Day went on a mission, he must've been successful that's why he is back in the same place as June.

P.E.: I've also always been a fan of alternating POVs. For me, it began after reading Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. The story had a lot of political intrigue and drama in general, so it was super useful to see what certain characters were doing because they all had different objectives and moral codes. That's when I realized alternating perspectives can be fun. So, I like different POVs and different sequencing. How about unreliable narrators? Have you read a story with one of those?

Mari: I think the closest I got to an unreliable narrator was in Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupula. There were various underlying current in this book. The main character had experienced a traumatizing event and though she would hint at the person who did it to her sometimes you weren't sure if she was telling the truth because she would incriminate herself as well. Those kind of stories make a fantastic fast paced and gripping read if done right.

P.E.: Liar by Justine Larbalestier was the most unreliable narration I've ever read. The main character promised to lie, and she would say something in the beginning and by the end she would say something completely different. It was so strange. I loved it. It's just that it was so different, which is refreshing.

What do you think? Are there any types of creative writing styles you want to see more of? Any you don't like? Any you've read and would like to share?

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