Archive for August, 2013

 

August 31, 2013 • Cee • Monthly Recap

The end of August means it is officially the end of summer. Boooooo.

It has been a good month for me. And this past week has been totally awesomeeeeee for me – from being more active on my blog and on twitter to the events I attended. I have been filled with so much joy that I hope it continues into September.

ontheblog

I reviewed:

In “The Three C’s: Candid Conversations with Cee,” I discussed:

My favorite friendships in YA and children’s literature
My indecisiveness when I go to bookstores
My bad habit of book juggling

In “Judg(ing) A Book By Its Cover,” I talked about: 

The cover change of If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In “Waiting on Wednesday,” I wait for:

ld-prsrb-ll2

rr-fgLeila Sales - This Song Will Save Your LIfe

inmylife

  • My BFF returned from Japan for a visit and gave me the best present in the world! CAT BUTTS. (It’s so relevant to my life.)

  • My BFF and I hung out and made some progress on our joint YA story. (I should be working on it right now. :P)
  • On the 23rd, I saw No Man’s Land that starred Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Billy Crudup. IT WAS SO BRITISH AND AMAZING. And I got Ian McKellen’s autograph. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! He brushed past me to move through the small crowd. AHHHHHH. One of my best nights. 

  • My sister left for school in Chicago, which meant she gave me her laptop (which is in really good condition). I am excited because y’know, I was without a laptop since I knocked my old laptop over in July.
  • I became obsessed with The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcasts, specifically “Beyond Belief” segment, because of Rainbow Rowell, who I blame. Everybody needs to listen to it. 
  • On the 28th, I MET AND TALKED TO SARAH J. MAAS! asdjwrjqworjfojsajsdj9wiepwqi SHE IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. I LOOOOOVVEEEEE HEEEERRRRR. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be when I spoke to her. The reason might be because she is super friendly. And I can talk to her about anything, specifically Henry Cavill and Teen Wolf. (There will be a post in a few days (once I type it up).) And I bought these lovelies and had them all signed by Sarah –

         DEFINITELY THE BEST, BEST, BEST NIGHT I EVER HAD.

How was your August? Was it as awesome as mine?





August 30, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

Sarah J. Maas - ToG .3The Assassin and the Underworld (Throne of Glass #0.3) by Sarah J. Maas
May 1, 2012
Bloomsbury Children’s
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When the King of the Assassins gives Celaena Sardothien a special assignment that will help fight slavery in the kingdom, she jumps at the chance to strike a blow against an evil practice. The misson is a dark and deadly affair which takes Celaena from the rooftops of the city to the bottom of the sewer—and she doesn’t like what she finds there.

myreview

First sentence: “The cavernous entrance hall of the Assassin’s Keep was silent as Celaena Sardothien stalked across the marble floor, a letter clutched between her fingers.”

In The Assassin and the Underworld, Celaena has returned to the Assassin’s Keep after three months in the desert. When she gets back, Arobynn is apologetic and showers her with lavish gifts. He commissions her to kill Doneval, a businessman from Melisande, and retrieve important documents to prevent a slave-trade business from occurring. Celaena prepares herself by staking out Doneval’s place with the help of Sam, who reveal a part of himself to Celaena. And then something happens, revealing everything and everyone is not what it/they seem to be.

I enjoyed this novella a lot more than the other two. I think most of it had to do with all the Sam and Celaena interactions. All the scenes made my heart want to burst out of my chest. They like each other. It’s so obvious! And Sam is too cute. Of course, he’d do something so sweet to make Celaena happy and something so selfless to protect her. Where can I get a guy like him?

Another reason why I enjoyed this novella was because we get to see Celaena in action and see how she makes mistakes. (I complained about the lack of it in previous novellas.) It was interesting to see how she wasn’t entirely successful in her infiltration of Doneval’s house. She made mistakes that led to her capture. I liked that we saw she had been too blinded to see Arobynn’s true motives and see that she had been misled. A real critical error on her part to trust Arobynn.

I was extremely fascinated by Sam’s comment about Lysandra, a courtesan who’s getting ready for her upcoming Bidding. He claimed that Lysandra annoyed Celaena and did shit things to her because Lysandra wanted Celaena’s attention and acknowledgement. So interesting because despite not liking each other, they both yearn for acknowledgement from those who are much powerful than them. Here are two females who live in an extremely male society. They need acceptance and they don’t get it from each other. However, I was  discouraged that yet another female is portrayed in a negative light. 

I wonder what the next novella will show us – in Celaena’s growth as an assassin and her budding romance with Sam.

gradeB+

borderscribble

Sarah J. Maas - ToG .4The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass #0.4) by Sarah J. Maas
July 20, 2012
Bloomsbury Children’s
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Celaena Sardothien is the assassin with everything: a place to call her own, the love of handsome Sam, and, best of all, freedom. Yet, she won’t be truly free until she is far away from her old master, Arobynn Hamel; Celaena must take one last daring assignment that will liberate her forever. But having it all, means you have a lot to lose . . .

myreview

First sentence: “Curled into the corner of a prison wagon, Celaena Sardothien watched the splotches of shadows and light play on the wall.”

The Assassin and the Empire is set a month after Celaena and Sam left Arobynn’s home, trying to find their way out from under Arobynn’s thumb. They decide that, to truly escape Arobynn’s hold on them, they have to leave the Assassin’s Guild and leave Rifthold. However, they do not have enough money to sustain them. Sam finds a job for them, to kill Ioan Jayne, the biggest crime lord in Rifthold, and Farran, Jayne’s right hand man. However, things do not go as expected. This novella sets up how Celaena ended up where she is in Throne of Glass.

I didn’t enjoy this novella as much as I did the previous one. A large part of that had to do with Celaena’s naivety. Even though she’s knows not to trust Arobynn, she does it anyway. I would be extremely suspicious of Arobynn’s motives, even if he shows regret or whatever because of the shit things he’s done. Arobynn shouldn’t be trusted whatsoever. When Celaena wonders who betrayed her at the end, I’m like JUST THINK, CELAENA. I find it interesting that Celaena is not as observant as she thinks she is. If she really had been, then she would’ve seen this coming; she wouldn’t have played into Arobynn’s hands. This flaw of Celaena shows that she still has a lot to learn.

My favorite scenes are: 1. after Celaena sees Farran torture a prisoner, she thinks about her own actions and killings (love this scene because she acknowledges that she is, in a way, no different than Farran), 2. when Celaena waits and waits and waits for Sam to come home (my heart breaks because y’know, the tragic thing that happens is just terrible and ahhhh), and 3. when the King speaks to Celaena in the dungeons (I find their interaction interesting because he’s an asshole and she tries to maintain herself.)

I don’t want to spoil anything that happens in the novella, but it certainly is a good read.

gradeC+





August 29, 2013 • Cee • Discussion

three c's

I have a really bad habit.

I am a self-proclaimed book juggler. A very notorious one, I might add. 

I start reading multiple books at once, which is not the greatest idea on the world. 

How does it start? Well…

I start a book with every intention of reading it ’til the end. I always tell myself I won’t get distracted, but oh man, my dear friends, I’m so naive to think that (considering my history of being easily distracted. It’s an actual problem). After a couple of chapters into the book I’m reading, I look up, muttering to myself how interesting the book is. Before I can continue, I get distracted by the internet or by my emails or by food. And when I try to return to my book, I get distracted again. Usually because my attention is caught elsewhere, specifically at my bookshelf. I imagine seeing a spotlight shining on the the spine of a book on my TBR bookshelf, and I remember ‘ooohh, I have been meaning to read that book.’  I get up, grab that book, and begin to read it. I keep doing this until I have at least four books I’m juggling, or reading all at once.

I’m on a Merry-Go-Around that I can’t get myself out of. Every time I think the ride has stopped, it continues. I always hear the circus theme going in my head as I switch from book to book, trying to decide which I should commit to. It is not the greatest thing to be doing. I know that. 

I don’t do it on purpose. Sometimes I do it because I need breaks, especially when the book is a bit boring or it annoys me or I get overwhelmed. And during those breaks, I realize that there are soo many books that I own and want to read, but I can’t (mainly due to time constraint). I guess starting four books at once is my way of trying to get my reading done? Maybe? It’s a race against time! And then, I feel like my book juggling is my way of testing myself? – “How many books can I read at once? Let’s go for a world record!” (BAD NEWS, EVERYONE. I have to admit, before I fool you all, that I’m a really horrible juggler, both in books and any objects that you can juggle. Everything will fall comically onto the ground and you’d see me attempt a bashful, yet awkward smile as I say, in Steve Urkel’s voice, “did I do that?”)

BUT THE GOOD NEWS, I do finish one of the books I started. I usually return to reading my original book…after I admonish myself…a lot. 

Are you a “book juggler” like me? Do you start a book, but stop to start another one just because? Do you ever return to reading the original book you started? How do you get out of it? 





August 28, 2013 • Cee • Waiting on Wednesday

wowfestivo

Waiting On is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Leila Sales - This Song Will Save Your LIfeThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
September 10, 2013
St. Martin’s Press
Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Why I’m waiting?

Music, music, music.

I love when the main character finds their own niche. And this book is giving me ‘found family’ vibes, which makes me want to shout ‘yeeeesssss.’ I’m excited to see how music is incorporated into this book. I hope there’s a playlist in it because it’s a book about music and why not experience it while we read?  

What books are you waiting on?





August 26, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

cp+sy - jlfJust Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young
August 27, 2013
Simon Pulse
(* won this from Angie @ Beneath the Jackets)

Cat Patrick: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Suzanne Young: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape–both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram’s side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two separate paths—and she’s about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she’s ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…

myreview

First sentence: “There are exactly sixteen minutes left in math class when there’s a faint double knock on the classroom door, and we all perk up.”

When you have to make a decision (small or big), do you ever ponder about the outcomes? Do you ever think how different your life would be if you picked the other one? Just Like Fate presents that option for Caroline. Caroline’s grandmother is dying. Caroline has to make a decision – to STAY at the hospital, sharing the last moments with her grandmother or to GO to a party with her best friend, missing the chance to properly say goodbye to her grandmother. When she makes her choice, we are presented with two different outcomes. 

Here are the main differences between the two universes and my thoughts.

I think Just Like Fate is a good read. I didn’t dislike it; I liked that it was light and easy to read, but I thought a lot of things should’ve been flushed out more. For instance, the main problem I had with the book is the lack of emotional connection to the plot and to Caroline. Right off the bat, I didn’t sympathize with Caroline. Don’t get me wrong, I liked that she was flawed, but she was rather horrible, especially with how she dealt with her differing situations in both parallel universes. How am I supposed to care about Caroline and her grandma’s relationship when 1. Caroline is extremely unlikeable and 2. we never see that interaction between Caroline and her grandmother in the first place to sympathize for her? (I know we don’t get that interaction because y’know, her grandmother dies.)

Usually, when I read YA books about death of a love one, I bawl my eyes out because I connect with the main character and their struggles. Just Like Fate did not do that. I don’t feel like Caroline’s grandmother’s death had a huge impact on Caroline. Her grandmother seems forgotten, despite how important her death should be in the story, in favor for the “romance” with trivial boy problems. I feel like we only scratched the surface of the story and the characters. If the story focused more on exploring the relationship between all the characters (specifically Caroline, her siblings, her parents, and her best friend) instead of on the romance parts, then I would’ve connected with the story better.

Nevertheless, it was a good, light book, albeit flawed in how the characters and plot was developed.

gradeC-





August 24, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

stsfestivo

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where you share books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  So many wonderful things happened in the past day (got to see No Man’s Land, received Ian McKellen’s autograph, and got a new laptop – a hand-me-down from my sister but in excellent condition). A post about that later, hopefully. 

won1

 AND

Friday night, I went to see Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Billy Crudup in No Man’s Land. It was very British, but nonetheless, brilliant. All the actors did a phenomenal job in their roles. ANDDD I got Ian McKellen’s autograph.


(It’s a bit smudged, but readable.)

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

ALSO.

If you have missed my previous posts, check them out: 

How was your week? What books did you pick up? Have you read any of the books I got in the mail?