Archive for October, 2013
I feel so sad that October has come and gone. It has truly been one of the best months I had, mainly due to the book events I went to. I managed to review more books this month. Whooooo! I hope it continues!
Lots of Awesome Book Events
I went to A LOT of book events this past month and it was THE BEST. I had so much fun!
- I met Maggie Stiefvater who was an awesome storyteller (both in real life and in her books).
- Gayle Forman and Tamara Ireland Stone talked about their book duets. Gayle had the best bookmarks I’ve ever seen – “All. The. Feels.” Eek! So perfect!
- I mingled with a bunch of authors at Teenquake by doing a scavenger hunt. I stuck to Kasie West’s side because I was very comfortable with her.
- Seeing Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan was the perfect last event of the month (and probably of the year). They were an amazing duo. They had the audience cracking up every few minutes.
I started making personalized cards again (ie. I made one for Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan)! I totally forgot how much I enjoyed it. I couldn’t sleep one night because I was imagining what I wanted to put on cards for some of my blogging friends. I’m really excited about it! I will be making it soon, so if we talk a lot on Twitter and you want a personalized card for Christmas, tell me! I’d be happy to make one! It fills me with a lot of joy when I make it. :D
I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I am totally not ready. I participated last year and it was a major failure. I’m hoping this year is different because I have a detailed outline of everything. You can read my intro here. I really have a frickin’ badass story idea. However, I am majorly stressing out. I don’t like the idea of a specific word count each day. I feel really restricted to it and I don’t like that. I’m like a bird. I need to fly freely.
DISCUSSION | CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH CEE
JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER | COVER CHANGES
How was your October? Was it as awesome as mine? What was your favorite post?
Happy Halloween, everybody! Since it’s Halloween, I wanted to talk about how I’m a big fat scaredy cat.
That’s right. You read that right.
I’m a big scaredy cat.
I rarely read any scary stories growing up because I refused to touch them. I stay away from scary movies because I don’t find them entertaining. I usually spend the majority of my time with my eyes close, wishing for it to end. I don’t like it when there’s gore and when things pop out of nowhere. I don’t do well when there’s a lot of suspense. I get a lot of anxiety, so I just want it to be over. I’m scared even when I turn off the TV and it shows that fuzzy black and white screen with the white noise, I get creeped out. (It makes me think of The Ring. D:) Scary things make me hide under my blankets and wish for sleep to come fast.
Did you know –?
- I can’t touch covers with scary images (like the Goosebumps series and even Bunnicula). I know that’s weird, but hey, what happens if I absorb the scariness? What happens then? Possession is a thing. ;D
- (ie. I remember owning a book that was about a horse ghost and I could not touch it because the cover freaked me out. When I had to move it, I had to wear gloves or use paper to wrap so I didn’t have to touch it.)
- When I was little, I watched Casper and had a nightmare that featured Casper’s three uncles. I swear I saw the fat one when I woke up from the nightmare. HE SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME. I remember quickly turning on my side so my back was facing it and covered my head with my blankets, squeezing my eyes shut. (They can’t get to me if I’m all wrapped up.)
- When I was in elementary school, I hated going into the music room on the first/basement floor of the main building when my reading tutor took there. I looked forward when she came because I got to miss class to read with her, but I always worried that she’d take me down to the music room because I hated it there. The lights always flickered and a part of the room was usually a bit darker than the rest. I heard rumors that it was haunted and I was scared of seeing something out of place or floating when I was reading. I always counted down the seconds until we could leave.
- When I read Turn of the Screw by Henry James for class, I found myself looking over my shoulder every couple of minutes when I was in the library or at home. I really liked the book, but I was incredibly afraid of Peter Quint appearing out of nowhere like he did in the book. It obviously wasn’t going to happen, but you can blame my imagination.
- You know how there are old-timey photos in In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters? Well, every time there was one, I would cover it with my hands because I didn’t want to look at them. I was too freaked out by the idea of ghosts in it, especially since I was reading at night time…before going to sleep. Eek! REALNESS. NO THANK YOU.
- Strangely enough, I attempted to write my own psychological detective-ghost story for NaNoWriMo last year. The ghost aspect of it wasn’t the main thing I wanted to highlight; it was more the idea of a recluse main character forced outside to figure out this ghost mystery. I wrote the first few pages, but never finished it. I will one day.
- I have never read any Stephen King books. And I am kind of okay with that.
I wish I were tough, but alas, I am not.
Are you a big scaredy cat like me? Or are you tougher than me? Do you have any stories like mines? If you have recommendations of scary/horror books you think I absolutely have to read (because it’s a must), leave it in the comments. I can’t guarantee I will actually read it.
Waiting On is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.
Why I’m waiting?
Apparently this book is about witches? WITCHES, GUYS. I haven’t read a lot of books about witches, but every time I read it in a synopsis, I get incredibly excited. Maybe it’s the season for witches because y’know, Halloween is around the corner. (And I’m planning to watch Practical Magic then.) But even if it isn’t Halloween soon, how am I not supposed to be excited about witches? WITCHES ARE COOL. ALSO, look at that ivy in this cover. It’s gorgeous! I love how it forms the title. Very creative.
What books are you waiting on?
Well, everyone. It’s almost that time of the year! National Novel Writing Month. A grueling thirty days of pure writing torture. That should be fun, right? (No it won’t. I predict lots of crying and stressing out. A lethal mixture.)
Paola @ A Novel Idea and Charlotte @ Gypsy Reviews created this lovely support group for bookish people who are participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I think it’s an absolutely awesome idea. Having a group of people root you on boosts your morale. I remember last year, I didn’t have a support system at all and I just fell apart–melted into a puddle of icky failure.
I participated in my first NaNoWriMo last year and let me tell you, it was a complete failure. COMPLETE. FAILURE. I think I only stuck with it for the first three days (not even doing the minimum word amount) and then poof, I gave up.
Reasons why it was a failure:
- It was my last semester of college and I had to write my thesis (I was a creative writing major and had to write part of a novel.)
- I wanted to do a psychological detective-ghost story for last year’s NaNoWriMo, but that didn’t pan out because I had to focus on my thesis. (Writing two stories in the month of November was not ideal for me, especially with a very real deadline.)
- For that particular project, I was a pantser. I was just writing whatever came into my head, and that meant that there wasn’t a clear plot. I knew how I wanted to start it, but afterwards, I found myself flailing. I got stuck.
- When I write, I want everything to be perfect even though it’s a first draft. (I need to remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect, but old habits die hard.)
- I didn’t have the attention span to write a specific amount of words each day. (That isn’t how I write.) And I have a bad habit of procrastinating.
- I had no dedication.
I fear that I will succumb to what happened last year, especially with getting easily distracted and wanting to revise everything to make it perfect. I need to get it into my thick skull that NaNoWriMo isn’t about revising the same sentence over and over again. It’s about writing as much as I can. I don’t have to reach 50k words, but that would be nice if I did.
Also, if you want to be writing buddies on the NaNoWriMo site, feel free to add me. I’m seymouring.
2013 NaNoWriMo Project
Earlier in the year, my best friend and I decided to write a joint novel with each of us writing a main character’s point of view and we’re using NaNoWriMo to force us to write it (because we’ve procrastinated a lot). Surprisingly enough, we made a detailed outline, which should keep us organized. We have the general idea of the characters and the world, so yeah, thumbs up.
Currently, the story is untitled and it’s about teenage bounty hunters set in the future. (Doesn’t that sound badass?)
I’m really excited to write this story.
I’ve told everybody this – as soon as November 1st comes, I predict I will have given up writing November 3rd or 4th. Mark my words. But if I don’t, congrats to future-Cee for her dedication. Proud of her. ;D
Good luck to everybody who’s participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo!
In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He began asking questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not have been published, in four volumes that shouldn’t be read. This is the first volume.
Before you consider reading “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” Ask yourself these questions:
1. Are you curious about what is happening in a seaside town that is no longer by the sea?
2. Do you want to know more about a stolen item that wasn’t stolen at all?
3. Do you really think that’s any of your business? Why? What kind of person are you? Are you sure?
4. Who is that standing behind you?
First sentence: “There was a town, and there was a girl, and there was a theft.”
I have a big soft spot for Lemony Snicket books, so I automatically love everything about this book – the characters, the surprisingly humorous yet somber tone, the irony in the characters’ actions and dialogue. I get nostalgic when I think about the world that
Daniel Handler Lemony Snicket created. It’s so rich with tongue-in-cheek jokes. I cannot get enough of it. Who Could That Be At This Hour? is the first book of Lemony Snicket’s new series, All The Wrong Questions. It serves as a prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events and follows a young Lemony Snicket as he begins his apprenticeship under S. Theodora Markson, searching for a not-so-lost statute called the Bombinating Beast to return it to its rightful owner in the desolate town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea. In the process of tracking down this item that everybody seemed to be after, Snicket meets an eclectic group of characters who sort-of-not-really help him on his endeavor. By the end of the book, you’ll find yourself asking all the wrong questions about this case and what the future holds for young Snicket.
NOIR DETECTIVE STORY
Who Could That Be At This Hour? is not your normal detective story. Oh no. Sure, we get a case, suspects, a femme fatale (of sorts), and double crossings, but the characters and the writing make the story…odd? The detective should certainly be competent, right? Let me tell you, S. Theodora Markson is not. Worst detective ever! (No wonder she’s number 52 on the chaperone list.) Seeing Snicket and Theodora in action, I would pick a kid to help me find something over an experienced detective because if I went to Theodora for help, I’m pretty sure she’d try to convince me that no such thing existed in the first place. Although her incompetence can get a bit annoying, it’s quite humorous to read. Also, in a noir detective story, the stolen item would be returned to its rightful owner and the bad guy would’ve been revealed, right? Yeah, not here. (Perhaps because this is a four parter story.) I would say this book is very much of a parody of the typical noir detective story. Perfect for kids!
Lemony Snicket is what I like to call an unreliable narrator. He’s obviously keeping a lot of information from the readers, especially the important bits of the story (the ones you really want to know like what he’s really doing). I feel absolutely clueless when it comes to the entire mystery of Lemony Snicket and the Bombinating Beast. He’s purposely evasive, throwing the usual definitions, fancy wordplays, and quick-witted remarks that distracts and floors me. For instance, we get this wonderful gem:
There’s an easy method for finding someone when you hear them scream. First, get a clean sheet of paper and a sharp pencil. Then sketch out nine rows of fourteen squares each. Then throw the piece of paper away and find whoever is screaming so you can help them. (169)
You can’t help but appreciate the irony and mockery that comes out of Lemony Snicket. His pieces of wisdom are truly picture frame-worthy.
Some of the names in this book are absolutely ridiculous, but I can’t help but admire how lovely they are. At times, I feel like it’s an elaborate inside joke I desperately need to figure out.
I get pretty excited reading these names because it reminds me of my love for naming. (I’m pretty sure A Series of Unfortunate Events started my fascination with names and their meanings.) I do admit that some of these are not creative, but that doesn’t make them less amusing. I like that Snicket (the writer) is playing with words. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and I really like that.
What this book does is leave you with a hell of a lot of questions by the time you’re finished and that does not surprise me. (This series is called All the Wrong Questions.) These are the questions that are stuck in my mind, and I’m pretty sure it’s all the wrong questions.
- What is the deal with the chaperones? Why did Snicket pick the worst chaperone?
- What organization is he part of? (Does it have to do with his involvement with VFD? Or does VFD come later?)
- Who is Hangfire? And why does he want the Bombinating Beast statue?
- What’s this about Snicket’s sister?
- Why does he have to break into a museum?
I have plenty of other questions, but they aren’t coming to me at the moment! (I blame the fact that there are too many of them to put into coherent sentences.) If you’re the type of person who needs questions to be answered, then maybe you should steer clear of this book? You can say it’s very nonsensical. I enjoy that sometimes.
If you’re a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events and Lemony Snicket, you should go read this book. It isn’t quite like A Series of Unfortunate Events, where you always feel a sense of foreboding for the Baudelaire children. Who Could That Be At This Hour? is much lighter in tone, but it still contains wonderful word play and literary references (which I, myself, cannot identify). Be forewarned that you’ll find yourself with so many questions that will probably be left unanswered for the next book, but it’s very enjoyable.
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! These are all the books I bought when I was at book events or received in the mail this month! SO MANY BOOKS. PREPARE YOURSELF.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Just One Year by Gayle Forman
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Every Day by David Levithan
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
(All of these books were signed at the various book event I went to! YEEEEE.)
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales + mixtape (from publisher)
Notable (ARC) by Marnie Bates (from publisher)
Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Matched by Ally Condie (from Teenquake raffle)
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron (from Teenquake raffle)
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (signed! from the author)
Two Lies and A Spy by Kat Carlton
If you have missed my previous posts, check them out:
- Tuesday | This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was absolutely perfect for my because NAMES. I LOVE talking about names and their meanings.
- Thursday | I WENT TO THE BEST BOOK EVENT EVER LAST SUNDAY. I MET RAINBOW ROWELL AND DAVID LEVITHAN. You should read the awesome Q & A and tell me what you think. Also, if you live in the US, you have the chance to win a signed copy of Every Day by David Levithan! Awesome, right? (Also, don’t forget about my giveaway of Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and The Distance Between Us by Kasie West! It ends on Halloween.)
- Friday | I reviewed Reality Boy by A.S. King and it was disturbingly good! An angry teenager who is trying not let his anger run his life? Surprisingly, my type of book. It hit me right in the heart. (I was pre-approved for this book on Netgalley! Yeeeee.)
How was your week? What books did you pick up? Have you read any of the books I got in the mail?