Archive for January, 2014
The first month of the glorious New Year is over! I am forever stuck with this sprained ankle that refuses to heal. (Correction: I keep getting overexcited when I can walk that I reinjured it all over again. It totally sucks! On the good news, I’m helping out my college’s literary journal by keeping track of submission decisions during their discussion. It’s nice to be interacting with people in person.
Let’s see how January have been for me in the reading/blogging world.
Compared to last month, I didn’t review as many books. I blame it on this reading slump I’m having.
- Wide Awake by Hilary T. Smith
- I’ll You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (w/Shelly at Readiculous Reads)
- Avalon by Mindee Arnett
- The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
Cress (ARC) by Marissa Meyer from Mac Teen Books!
Roomies (ARC) by Tara Altebrando & Sara Zarr from Alice-Jane (who drew me a lovely narwhal with a monocle and a moustache and it’s frickin’ adorable.)
BOOKS READ/CURRENTLY READING
- Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
- Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young
- I’ll You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
- The Destiny of Violet & Luke by Jessica Sorensen
- The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
- Avalon by Mindee Arnett
- The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand
- Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh
- Slightly Scandalous by Mary Balogh
- The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas
- Slightly Married by Mary Balogh
ON THE BLOG
- I introduced a new feature — “You’re Just My Type,” which showcases fonts for people to admire and to add to their own font collection. I’m a huge font lover, so I gotta share the love with everybody!
- I renamed my “Letters to” feature with the help of Shelly. It’s now called “Sincerely Cee: A letter from yours truly.”
- I discussed —
- my blogging goals and resolutions. I hope I can achieve them. So far, it’s not looking good, but that’s okay! I have eleven more months.
- the cover change of Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I get into my English major analyzing pants.
- how I listen to audiobooks and it seems I am a special sunflower for listening and reading with it at the same time. I can’t do it any other way!
- the cover change of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I like the creepy eye.
- my book boyfriends, and I confess that it’s a term that I had originally not liked.
- my reading slumps and how I have two main types. At the moment, I’m in a YA reading slump, so all I want to do is read romance books.
- I had the lovely honor of participating in The Unbound tour. Victoria Schwab told us nine truths about the Archived series.
I want to put down bands I’ve been listening to this month. (I can’t promise I will do this every month because I tend to listen to the same bands/albums over and over again.)
Thank you to Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner for introducing me to London Grammar and Royal Teeth. I am so in love with them. (If you have suggestions that are similar to them or CHVRCHES, feel free to recommend them to me.)
How was your January? Any memorable thing happen? Any new music? Are you looking forward to February? (I know I am!)
Do you ever find yourself unable to read YA because your heart isn’t in it? No matter how much you want to read it, that little voice in your head is telling you “nahhhhh, let’s not read that or that or that. Not that either.” You’re absolutely beside yourself because it looks like you’re heading toward a reading slump and that’s the worst thing to can happen.
But then, you realize, no, you’re actually not. Reading slump? Not at all! You just want to read books from a specific genre (like romance or sci-fi) that’s not YA or you want to reread books you’ve read before.
I get into reading slumps and I have two main types:
- I can’t read anything.
- THIS IS THE WORSTTTTT. No books are read. None of them can hold my attention or my interest. I can’t force myself to read any books. I spend my days attempting to read anything, but then I give up.
- I can’t read YA, but I feel like reading all the romance books in the world!
- This happens a lot. More than I realized. I reach for romance books almost on instinct when I’m not satisfied with YA.
I’m having one of those phases right now where I can’t read YA, but I WANT ALL THE ROMANCE BOOKS! GIVE MEEEEE.
Since the New Year, I haven’t been inspired to read YA. From the 11 books I’ve read so far, only three of them are YA. :\ I had feared that I was headed to another dreaded #1 reading slump, but luckily, my heart was set on reading and it wanted books that I can breeze through and entertain me. Usually when that happens, I start rereading a bunch of my favorite romance series (like the Psy-Changeling by Nalini Singh or the Highland Pleasures by Jennifer Ashley). Romance novels are always what I fall back on when I enter a YA reading slump.
This time around, I am all about new romances (that I haven’t read). I’m actually quite happy about this since I yearned for new ones when I went through this romance phase (but I wasn’t feeling any then). I went from wanting to read contemporary romances to historical romances. It’s absolutely great! So far in my historical romance reading phase, my absolute favorite one is The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas. It’s soooooo awesommmeeee. (Alexa at Alexa Loves Books and Racquel at The Book Barbies can vouch for this!)* Go read it!
Sometimes, we need a break from reading YA and from reviewing any books. I know I get burned-out, so I’m happy that romance novels is an outlet for me. I think I fall back on them because they are light and fairly easy for me to breeze through and that’s what I want when I’m in a #2 reading slump. Also, if I don’t like a romance book, I’m more inclined to stop reading it and toss it in my DNF pile so I can pick up one that’ll keep my interest.** It’s easier for me to do that because I really can’t deal with incredible cheesiness or absolute over-the-top ridiculousness with characters or the situation. I don’t like getting irritated or angry when reading romance books because that defeats the whole purpose for me. I don’t do that with YA books I don’t like because I have to finish it or else I won’t ever pick it up again, which I don’t like doing. (I know. It’s quite weird.)
It would be awesome if I suddenly have the urge to start reading YA right now, but alas, not yet! In the mean time, give me all the tears and the sexy times. ;D
* Felix and Louisa are frickin’ adorable. All the power play they do to get the upper hand in their relationship is funny and amazing! I am just so into the way they fell in love. Both are learning from their mistakes and gahhhhh. Also, Sex isn’t something that they skirt around. They are totally upfront about it with each other, and I love that!
** I actually don’t keep a DNF list for YA books because I know I’ll read the book again when I feel like it. That’s not the case with romance books.
Do you have different types of reading slumps? Do you ever need to take a break from YA and find yourself reading a totally different genre? When do you find yourself going through those phases? Tell me about them.
Waiting On is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend, Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.
To make matters worse, Austin’s hormones are totally oblivious; they don’t care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He’s stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it’s up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.
Why I’m waiting?
I would never imagine in a million years that I would be intrigued by a book with bugs in it. I’ve read snippets of people’s reviews, saying that this is written bizarrely and I am strangely excited to see how it affects the story! Also, I loved this part: He’s stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ahhhh. Yay to exploring sexuality!
What books are you waiting for?
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.
Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?
With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.
Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett
January 21, 2014
Balzer & Bray (Macmillan)
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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
* ARC courtesy of the lovely Kelly @ Effortlessly Reading
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.
Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.
Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon’s cult hit show Firefly.
Avalon was touted as a Firefly/Battlestar Galatica-esque YA about teenagers traversing the universe, stealing stuff and whatnot, so I, obviously, was excited and had a lot of expectations for it. What can go wrong? (I’m sure you know by know that I’m a huge fan of both shows.) Of course, this book didn’t actually live up to them (in terms of character development), but surprisingly, I wasn’t as disappointed as I initially thought I would be? I enjoyed it (once I got 100 pages into it) because of the space travel and the ~mystery of the Belgrave Quadrant.
Everybody has that one dude (or maybe more) in a book that causes them to go:
And I mean they make us swoon and legitimately flail our arms around uncontrollably to the point we’re —
- trying to suppress our squeals/screams that threaten to emerge from our throats
- calling them assholes for making us have tons of ~feels
- declaring that we would do anything for them to exist in our lives right now.
They have to make us react extremely strongly to them.
I am no exception.
Confession #1: I thought having book boyfriends was incredibly dumb.
I thought I was soooo cool for not having one. (I was secretly a hipster. ;D)
Three years ago, I would’ve scoffed in your face and flipped my hair over my shoulder if you asked me about my book boyfriends. To pre-2012 Cee, “book boyfriend” was a silly term and a childish way to describe my crushes. Like out of all the terms you could call them, book boyfriends? Really? I would’ve gone with “love of my life” (because I am an absurd and a dramatic person most of the time). ;D
I was wrong. It’s not silly. You know what is? Me acting like I was above it. “Book boyfriend” is just a way to describe crushes. It’s no big deal.
Confession #2: I don’t consider male characters I crush on in classic literature or literary fiction to be “book boyfriends.”
I don’t have a lot of crushes on male characters in those genres. I admit that it’s extremely rare. I like them, but not enough that I’m sighing every time they enter the scene. I wouldn’t wish for Fitzwilliam Darcy to suddenly walk into my room (but if it was Colin Firth, *sigh* yes please) because I don’t feel very strongly about him.
When I do crush on one, I don’t really call him a “book boyfriend.” With certain genres, I call them different things —
- Classic Literature/literary fiction = crushes
- Young Adult = book boyfriend or crushes
- Romance = ????
I find it weird to call them book boyfriends. I almost feel like I’m being rude if I call Darcy that. (I’m pretty sure he’d be unimpressed. I don’t want to offend these dudes from this genre with terms they have never heard of. They’re stuck on “courting” nonsense. I don’t want to break their brains. ;D)
But that’s just me. I’m not telling you it’s wrong to call them that. You can call them whatever you like. :)
Confession #3: I don’t have tons of book boyfriends. Before this year, I only had one.
At times, I felt like a special sunflower because everybody seemed to have ten or more book boyfriends, and I was just sitting there with one. Sure, there are some male characters that make me squeal and make me wish they existed in the real world (like Archer Cross and Jonah Griggs), but I don’t have extremely strong feelings for them. Not enough that make me want to declare them my book boyfriend.
If I don’t —
- feel absolute devotion toward the male character
- have to take a break (like a minute or two) from reading to squeal and flail when the male character enters the scene
- hear weird noises emerging from my mouth
- shake my head every time they do something as simple as smiling or standing still
- find myself frantic and desperate for more
- find myself declaring them assholes (when they actually aren’t but I like to be dramatic)
- tell every one that they should looooovvveeeeee this dude
Then, I can’t really call them book boyfriends. My heart won’t let it happen!
The only book boyfriend that elicits all those criteria is Adrian Ivashkov from the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead.
That dude is *sigh*. What can I say about him? Every time he appears on the page, I do everything in the criteria above. He is laid-back and smart and sneaky and charming and snarky and funny and sarcastic. Everything I love. He has such a complicated history and family, but despite that, that dude knows how to love. He does it with his entire soul and I love that.
Just thinking about him makes me want to flail my arms and release a small squeal (which really sounds like a bird mating call).
Confession #4: As of January 16, I have my second ever book boyfriend!
I officially inducted Wesley Ayers (from The Archived and The Unbound books) into my “book boyfriend” club!
CONGRATS, DUDE. WELCOME TO THE EXCLUSIVE CLUB!
He earned in! He is an awesome guy! Great friend and partner. Funny and adorable. Supportive. And after this asshole (note: no, he isn’t actually one and yes, it’s for dramatic emphasis) appeared in The Unbound the way he did, I remember dropping my e-reader onto my bed with my arms raised above my head and yelled, “I’m out” because it was official. I love him. Wesley in The Archived was reaching “I really love this dude” status, but he reached “oh fuck I love you so fucking much.Can you be in my life please and smile at me because I need you in my life” status in The Unbound. He is worthy to be my book boyfriend.
Now here we are!
Who would’ve thought this Goth kid would earn a special place in my heart? Not I!
Confession #5: I feel bad that I haven’t inducted a few male characters into my book boyfriend club (even though I absolutely adore them).
Male characters that should’ve been inducted into my book boyfriend club:
- Archer Cross (Hex Hall)
- Jonah Griggs (Jellicoe Road)
- Cricket Bell (Lola and the Boy Next Door)
They totally deserve to be in the club. They elicit most of the reactions in my criteria, but there’s something keeping me from inducting them. I don’t know what’s wrong!
At this point, I think I’m being stubborn. :\
There’s nothing wrong if you have one or a hundred book boyfriends. Yay to those of you who can open your heart to all of them! I adore lots of male characters, but my heart and head refuses to induct them into the exclusive book boyfriend club. I am fully devoted to only two and I’m okay with that. (Maybe. ;D)
Do you have any confessions you want to tell me about your book boyfriends? How many book boyfriends do you have? Who are they? What type of guys do you usually go for? (I wonder what my book boyfriends and other male characters I adore say about me.) Do you have any criteria that your book boyfriends have to fulfill?