Uncategorized

If We Were Having Coffee

If We Were Having Coffee

Well hello friends!

So, first things first:

How did I not know about this blog feature?! I live and breathe all things coffee. I stumbled upon Jamie’s blog post on The Perpetual Page-Turner and her version of If We Were Having Coffee.  BTW Jamie, nice About Me page upgrade, hadn’t seen it! 🙂

I thought this was such a cute idea and though it promotes me getting a little vulnerable here–after all, as a fellow introvert in this world, getting a bit vulnerable and chatting about your life’s current events, is healthy, right? Now, though many would think,

Uh, don’t you have friends to do that with?

Yes! I have friends! Sheesh. What are you insinuating here?

As a person who likes to write (because I haven’t felt the guts to go on and call myself a “Writer”…IF I ever get published, maybe then, MAYBE, I’ll say such a thing) I have had a tendency of writing my emotions rather than verbalizing them. This has always been me, since I was a little tot. I’m horrible at verbalizing anything in my brain...anything! It gets frustrating, attempting to bring someone into my brain, verbally, expressing to them my momentary feelings and then failing at it. I then, proceed with what has become a bad habit throughout my lifetime…I just tend to not express any of my feelings. Surface ones, sure! Deep, important one? Nope. I lock them up in my mind, after they’ve shimmied on up from my chest, and push them far, far back into a storage bin, in the garage of my brain.

So! All that gibberish to say, I thought this was a cute way to put a person behind these blog posts. Normally, I’m pretty transparent, letting you all see my “specialness”, quirks and all but hey, let’s talk about our day, our week, our year so far.

Thanks Jamie for the idea!

So, here goes…

If We Were Having Coffee…

Let’s set the scene:

What are you drinking?

Today, BuckStars got my White Mocha right, which sadly, is not every day. All is well in the world as I sip my coffee goodness. But we are not at this popular coffee joint. Oh no, friends!

We are at the above joint. (ref. picture) I love this place but it’s a little bit of a drive and you have to pay for parking, so I don’t always make my way there. They have the best coffee in my part of town-bar none! The atmosphere reminds me of the authentic coffee houses in the North. I live in a large, overpopulated city where everything is commercialized, modern, fast. Good, homey, or cozy looks and feel of an establishment is lost to the people in my city. Hey, we all have different tastes and that’s cool. People who live here, love and gravitate towards the look and lifestyle of this place. I, on the other hand, live in the wrong state. Everything about my personality screams the opposite to where I live. *chuckles* I’ve been protesting, and kicking like a child having a tantrum that I need to move. One day…one day.

My point! This is the first place they have built here that resembles the coziness of places I visited when I lived on my own in KC for three years.

If we were having coffee…

I’d pull out the book in my purse and share what I’ve been reading, then ask you what you’ve been reading. If you haven’t been reading or just don’t, I’d assess you in my mind and see what to gush over and recommend. In my head, I’d be plotting to win you over towards a YA (young adult) book. *wiggles eyebrows*

This weekend, I was having an off couple of days–health wise. I have a few health issues we’ve recently discovered and are taking care of it–hence I needed to move back home a few years back and take care of stuff, also figure out my next move. Recently, I’m dealing with, just to name one, a heavy case of anemia, and my body likes to shut down on me WITHOUT MY PERMISSION! I then had the worst migraine (I hate those with a passion) and was out, gone from the world for two days. When my brain isn’t assaulting my eyeballs with pain, I turn to my trusty books for entertainment. When my brain cant, I turn to T.V.

I finally received, the long anticipated “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins.

Anna and the French Kiss

Now, I’ve heard countless things about this for some time now. I was apprehensive due to the title that sounded a bit cheesy, so I waited, leaving it up in the air–whether or not I’d grab this one. After an ‘anything but contemporary’ binge read, I was in a funk with my TBR. I read everything I had that I was eager to read. Luckily, Jen @cupcakegirly (book blogger and awesome cupcake lady. I must taste one, one day!), she recommended a book, “Making Faces” by Amy Harmon.

And here is where I’d proceed to pull out my phone and show you the cover.

Making Faces

Oh, be still my heart…AMBROSE! I had no idea what this book would be about. The cover can be very misleading too! I cozy-ed up to it and read the whole thing…in one. sitting. I laughed, swooned and cried. It was such a beautiful story. One of the best I have read–truly! It wasn’t a steamy read, which you might conclude from looking at it. It was a solid, full of heart and soul story. A beautiful illustration of acts of true love. Go, read it! Trust me! GO! 🙂

That kicked off my contemporary reading. I then read “The Promise of Amazing” by Robin Constantine (Book Talk here), then “The Distance Between Us” by Kasie West and recently, I finished this weekend “Anna and the French Kiss”. Omygoodness, I absolutely loved this book. It was such a cute, funny, and just lovely story with a cute Brit (a little short for my taste but I still swooned over Etienne St. Clair) and set in Paris! Really cute story that I will be re-reading in the very near future. Don’t let the title sway you otherwise, pick it up!

Then I’d remember the book I took out of my purse, which in fact, is none of these I’ve mentioned–go figure. I’m a girl and tend to bunny-trail.

I’ve also heard much about the Lunar Chronicles series and finally picked up the first two books at Target over the weekend. Those few times I peeled out of bed, trying to motivate myself to rejoin civilization, then would get home and collapse again.

So I started Cinder (book one by Melissa Meyers) last night. Have you read it? Re-telling of Cinderella and it has cyborgs and it begins set in New Beijing. Huh. Very interesting.

After gushing about books for probably an hour, hoping you’re not about to toss your coffee at me, I’d move on…

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you how exciting I am–especially since a common question you’d probably ask me is:

“So what have you been up to?”

I’m back to writing my book! The last four months was complete radio silence from the creative chamber in my brain. I was working on the synopsis for the story as a whole, which turns out will be two books. I’ve been a bit anxious about this–the not moving forward, waiting for the synopsis part–because I’ve had the “Failure” monster on my shoulder, discouraging me. The last year has sucked, if any of you read my saying “Good Riddance to 2013” blog after New Years, you’d know. Writing this book has been the one project I’ve been dedicated to, determined to finish because I want to! In the past–and my bestie, Heather can relate to this–we always have ideas! We get these brilliant creative sparks and for a few weeks, a couple months maybe, we are REALLY focused and dedicated…then…we allow it to fizzle out and never finish what we started. My writing journey has encouraged her to pursue her own writing as well. We’re both encouraging one another and keeping the other accountable to not let this one fizzle out. Usually, it’s when it gets hard, or the odds seem stacked against us, we tap out.

I’ve made this a career goal. Other things in my life ceased and I needed to find what was next. I pursued a few things but they just weren’t panning out and I’ve had to accept, they’re not meant to, not at this time at least. Now, writing is something I’m passionate about but know it can’t be my only pursuit–financially. I need to think of financial means, long term. That’s where I’m a little frustrated, trying to find out what that will be. I had a career path for seven years and early last year, it wasn’t the right fit for me anymore, which was really hard to accept, but couldn’t deny.

So, my synopsis ideas came and I finally started drafting! YAY! Now, I’m working on just getting the story told through the first draft, avoiding being overly critical of myself. That’s the beauty of the revision process.

If we were having coffee…

I’d ask if you had any genius ideas for how to swallow so many freaking horse pills, daily?!?!

horse pills am

Those are my morning doses and then I have a separate evening pack. I’m okay, it’s nothing fatal. I have a few issues but am still very lucky. They’re able to be remedied. Others are suffering much more severe issues and illnesses. I need to remember, that yes, my issues are rough and suck, but others have it way worse and I’m truly lucky, blessed, to have my families support and will get through this. My doctor is hopeful that in the next year, I’ll feel like a brand new person. We’re attacking everything hard, hence my body gets tired some days and just shuts down.

“Too. Much…need…refuel”. That was my bodies response. ha. ha.

Anyway, I’m not horrible when it comes to swallowing pills, but dayum…this is a lot and with all the water to chug them down, I get full and nauseous before getting through half of them.

My mother tells me to have pieces of banana after swallowing a few. Any other ideas, folks?

If we were having coffee…

I’d finally shut up (not wanting to continue spewing about my negative on-goings) and let you update me and then probably not share anything else on my end because it’s what I tend to do. I become the good listener, who pulls up a couch and counsels other through stuff. I’ve always been dubbed, “Mother Hen”, which I used to hate but have embraced it in recent years. It’s always easier giving words of wisdom and advice than it is to take it. Huh.

So that’s all for today on this borrowed Blog Feature!

Hope next time I have more exciting things to report! Please feel free to write your own in the comments below or on your own blog. Leave a link to it in the commetns below, I’d love to read it!

*clink coffee mugs* 

Cheers!

No…I’m not British.

Though, if you find one out there who looks like this: Edmond from How I Live Now…age appropriate, of course…

Eddie how i live now

Send him my way! 😉

Okay, for shame. That was horrible, Des…just…walk away now. Walk. Away…Wait

*walks back. forgot coffee cup on table. grabs it…then proceeds to walk away*

Bye!

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Writing…Back On!

Writing…Oh, Yeah, It’s Back On, Baby!

…took long enough-Ha!

SYNOPSIS board

I’m such an extremist. I’m either all Reading or all Writing. I need to learn happy mediums. The last four months I would say, have been me waiting. And waiting…wondering when the juices to complete my synopsis would hit me. Here I was trying to be a good girl and not start the drafting process till after I had organized the plot for both books.

For those who don’t know, I had began almost nine months ago with a concept for a book. It was going to be a trilogy, it was in dual perspectives, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, etc, etc. For months, I wrote the first draft of this first concept and was almost done. I mapped out the last few chapters and was at 67K words.

Then…*breathes remembering* long story short, it wasn’t working. It didn’t have a proper ending. Book one had an ending, but the series couldn’t work. The concept wasn’t tight enough and I never figured out the full story. When it came time to answer those questions…I was mortified–for myself–that it wasn’t going to work.

I chucked the entire draft out the window. *single tear* But in the end, it was most definitely for the best! Soon, a more tight concept I liked even better came about. Months of working it out, other things fell into place and I was excited. I had all of Act One figured, and soon I had an idea for how Book one would end.

I came to the conclusion that this story could be told in one POV, and that it would be a “duology”-made up literary term. *grins*

Now I had much of the skeleton and could have began writing but I said,

No! Don’t. Touch. That. Manuscript. Woman.

Yes, I talk to myself, a lot and in that manner. So! I waited…and procrastinated…and waited…and nothing. Nothing was coming. Four months later, anxiety began to set. I wasn’t liking this. I was letting time pass and not progressing in this project I determined to finish by this year.I was letting myself stress too much. I was going into “you are failing” mode, which is never productive or healthy, but in fact, I was beginning to feel like I was failing at something I’m so passionate about.

So I immersed myself to binge reading. I was reading…ALL. THE. TIME. Which I was more than okay with. I caught up on so much reading and it was wonderful. I’m addicted again and must remember to lift my head up every once in a while, be social and say hello to at least the people in my household. Outsiders? Pfft! Who cares about being courteous or social with them. *snickers*

Then…one fateful evening…after watching this movie I have never heard of that in fact, was an adaptation from a book, it came to me. The movie featured Saoirse Ronan who I have dubbed: Every Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic authors go-to gal for casting. She’s astonishingly brilliant for someone so young and has been able to maintain it as she grows up. Anywho, the movie is called “How I Live Now”.

I may never say this again and almost feel ashamed to say it now but after reading reviews of the book–once I found out it was a book first–I think I prefer remaining ignorant to it and only knowing of the movies existence.

*pots loudly crash on the floor, clinking and clanking*

That’s horrible, I would never condone such a statement but the fact of the matter is, that the sensitive issues within the movie are amplified in the book. We have the first cousins falling in love scenario and taking that relationship all the way. I mean, at least it’s cousins and not a “Flowers in the Attic” brother and sister scenario, so it’s easier to swallow somewhat. This was the norm, many a years ago, especially in England. i.e. Elizabethan, Victorian, Regency eras.

Once, I got past that part, I really, truly enjoyed the movie. I thought the main characters journey was real and beautiful. Here you have this bratty, fifteen year old American from New York, shipped off to England, by force, to live with her aunt and cousins, in the English country. She’s foul mouthed, has a substance issue relating to an eating disorder and definitely has issues, mentally. She puts up walls and acts like a total brat when she first arrives. Instantly, she’s mesmerized by the older of the three kids. Eventually, they’re abandoned by the aunt who leaves for buisness, and the forbidden love affair that doesn’t seem to bother the other two cousins, occurs. Then, WW3 hits England. War changes everything. The girls are separated from the boys and shipped off to opposite locations to participate in war-surviving efforts through hard labor.

The promise made when separated was to get away and come back here–home. Our main character grows up. She faces the realities of war and how war brings out the worst in many people. She slowly becomes more maternal, less selfish and her instinct is to get home. Get to him. Make it out alive with her little cousin, who relies on her now.

I thought the end of the movie was absolutely beautiful, thinking of this teenager, putting herself aside, demonstrating true love by selflessly giving of herself to serve those she loves. It’s “how I live now” she says in the end, and I loved it.

Daisy and Eddie
courtesy of: How I Live Now (2013)

 Any way, this was supposed to be about me writing and I’m gushing about this movie. Ha ha ha. Throughout the movie, I found myself reaching for my notepad and jotting down random ideas that came to me. By the end of the movie, I was processing that beautiful ending and cinematography shot and it all hit me at once. I reached over to my writing bag, grabbed my notebook and jotted frantically the idea for the entire two books.

Next, I told myself to sleep on it. I was gushing with hype and emotion. Sleep on it and come “morning” (I was up late, meaning I wasn’t going to be up by morning, probably–nightowl syndrome) go over it all with a sound mind.

I was so excited the next day. I had it. It was finally here. I went back and grabbed my trusty plot/outline board which I had abandoned, and filled it up with all the next stuff. Bitter sweet taking off the first concept index cards I still had hanging on there.

I spent the day organzing the synopsis and finalizaing all my ideas. Next day, the day I had been waiting for…DRAFTING! Actually writing the story now!

am writing at starbucks

Now, I’m all writing again and my books are pouting puppy faces at me. I’m trying to figure out a new schedule. Since I’m writing late afternoons, early evening, late into the night (my once reading time), I’ trying to schedule my reading time with my doctor’s mandated hour of sun outdoors a day regiment. (taking care of some health issues currently) The silver lining? I have all this time to take advantage and write this book!

home office writing

My mother walks upstairs and catches me here (above image), laughing.

“Every day you have a different office”

I laughed. I raid different parts of the house, different days and claim them as my office. Today, I’m here. The view?

writing spot sunny

I love all the high ceiling windows that let in all this brilliant sunlight. I’m nocturnal but love open, bright spaces with natural light…go figure.

So that’s my update. I’m sure I’ll be switching towards “Writing-Talk” mode more than Book Talk but will still try to get some Book Talks out there. I have a few I could already write from my last three reads. See when I get those done.

Wish me luck!

Happy Reading, Writing or whatever you do that made you happen upon my little blog.

Cheers!

No…I’m not British.

Uncategorized

The Promise of Amazing Book Talk

The Promise of Amazing

The Promise of Amazing (Robin Constantine)

 by: Robin Constantine

Man, I really wanted to like this. I wanted to love it, so bad. I held on to that promise of amazing, believing it, as soon as I opened the book and turned the first page.

First, hats off to the designer of the cover. Man, on a marketing level, could you design my first book because, let me tell you, you sold this book with that cover. The title of the book was also a genius touch with that marketable cover. Ugh. I wanted it to live up to it all. I really, really did.

It wasn’t awful. It was just a meh read. More than halfway through it, I needed to switch gears and read something else. I did and fell in love with a new read. I couldn’t finish that new read, while leaving this one there unfinished. I get this icky feeling, leaving something unsettled like that. I pushed through it so I could get back to my love read and that just makes me sad. I pushed through it. I wasn’t interested in finishing it due to the pleasure of knowing these characters and stepping into their head, no, I wanted to get it over with.

Why the Struggle?

It was really hard to believe Grayson and Wren. This book is told through dual perspectives–both Wren’s and Grayson’s. The last half of the book, I saw Grayson’s potential as a character. He had moments that I gathered into little notes in my head, and wanted to reform them into a different possibility. A lot of Grayson’s inner dialogue just didn’t click for me. Some of the things he thought didn’t seem to match or make sense with his character. This whole bad boy, privileged and ladies man didn’t match up with his behavior upon meeting Wren. This sudden, romantic pull towards her, I just wasn’t buying it.

Insta-Love: My “Two-Cents” On That

Many who reviewed the book mentioned their irritation with the infamous “insta-love” that happened in this book.

Now, I totally get that. I’m typically a fan of the progression between our two love interest main characters. I especially love when they first hate each other, get to know each other and surprise themselves by falling in love with one another. *girly grin*

Yes, it’s crazy when two young adults in a book get caught up in this sudden flustered whirlwind of “I love you” soon after meeting in a story but isn’t that how teenagers are?

I remember dating a guy who was in the late 90’s, a mash up of “Titanic’s” Leo DiCaprio and “Good Will Hunting” Matt Damon. I had the BIGGEST two year crush on this kid. Through some crazy (which later became dramatic) turn of fate, he liked me and we started dating. It only lasted two months and when you’re young and a teenager–especially–those two months seemed like a serious, long term relationship. The “I love yous” through beeper codes “143” (Oh yes, youngins, there weren’t cell phones for teens, there were beepers and code messages saying “miss you” “I love you” “goodnight” etc.) well, those “I love you’s” I believe started week two of dating.

Now, I can forgive an “insta-love” scenario if I can BELIEVE it. I want to still feel some sort of journey, emotional and actual—time lapsing—journey that makes me believe that their naïve declarations ring true in their mind because that’s what they genuinely believe they’re feeling for this person at this point in time.

See, the “I love you’s” didn’t make a cameo in this book till page 252. That’s pretty far into the book, nearing the end but here’s the thing…At this point in the book, they’ve only known each other for almost a month. Not even a full month, and I felt it. I felt the shortness of time. Not a whole lot happened between them, just a whole lot of drama apart from them. When the “I love you” happened, I paused. I didn’t believe it. It felt very empty—their declarations.

Now, Tris and Four from Divergent for example. Four was the first to declare his “falling in love” with Tris and realistically, it had only been what, weeks, a couple months? I don’t really remember, but not a whole lot of time had passed. Granted, this novel “The Promise of Amazing” is a contemporary read, which works differently emotionally than a more action filled Dystopian, Fantasy or Sci-Fi’s for example but still, reading Divergent, I wasn’t focused on it being a Dystopian in order to evaluate Four and Tris’ feelings for one another. I believed him. Sorry Grayson, I wanted to believe you, but I couldn’t and Wren…I couldn’t believe you either. I wanted to, I really wanted to.

On a Positive Note

I hate dogging on a book. It makes my heart sad because I believe and appreciate the art of daydreaming and putting it to pen, releasing it then, into the world, in a wondrous form called—a Book. As someone in the process of writing her first book, I encourage the belief that we all have a voice, we all have something to say and share, and as writers, readers, book lovers, supporting one another is beautiful and powerful. The beauty of books is that they are as diverse as every human being on this earth, which is wonderful because that means—there’s something for everyone! We don’t all have to agree.

“No two people read the same book”,

and that’s okay!

What I did like?

In the beginning, it was cool to connect the book already with the cover of the dust jacket. On page 39, Wren sees Grayson

Grayson looked younger than I remembered. His hair was a tousled mess, with those jagged bangs hanging in his eyes, and he wore this retro-style blazer with patches at the elbows that he managed to make look cool.

I got excited when I read that because I instantly thought of the picture on the cover. He’s wearing the same blazer and her purple petticoat was mentioned by this point briefly as well. I love those little details.

There were some cute, sweet moments that I enjoyed. Wren’s–quiet girl–attempt to get Grayson alone was pretty hilarious, especially when he calls her out on it. There were many classic symbols that definitely screamed “Pretty in Pink”. You had the “Steph” jerk representation, the privileged rich kids from private school contrasting our heroine, who’s an average, middle class gal who attends a regular high school.

Grayson wants to do right, and not be who he was in the past. His recent misfortune was a wake up call, showing him that he needs to change his ways. Wren, apparently, becomes an even greater incentive for him to do so.

All in All

I believe the overall concept had potential. I believe Wren and Grayson, individually and together had potential. If approached different, this very well could have been the promise of amazing. Sadly, I don’t feel it was executed as such.

Well that’s all folks! Happy Reading, Writing and whatever else your up to *winks*

 

Uncategorized

Ignite Me Book Talk!

Oh Ignite Me, let me count the ways…

Ignite Me banner
image courtesy of: Epic Reads

Spoiler FREE section: (Spoilers marked below!)

I feel so inadequate, trying to express my feelings for this book. In the last week, I have read three series finales. I have a three book hangover. I’m trying to recover. I loved each of them. I loved them all for different reasons. I need to reread them all. The first two, were beautiful in regards to their relationships as well as their great action-adventure story telling throughout. Ignite Me, I would say was more about the relational romance dynamics with a backdrop of the world-building plot and let me tell you…I did not hate it! It was cool to see a romance that was set within a dystopian backdrop, but the dystopian plot not being the focus of the story. It was a character story.

Overview of the series:

Shatter Me series
image courtesy of: Epic Reads

If you’re looking for a detailed world-building, intense, action-packed, classic dystopian novel, this isn’t it. The theme and dynamics connected to our main character is Dystopian in nature, but the story is a relationship-centric romance.

I believe, if you can go into the story with that in mind, you can then appreciate it for what it is. The core of the Shatter Me series is about Juliette. It is a character story following the journey of a young girl who we first meet as timid, tortured, living within the frightened shell of her mind, shunned by people due to her ability to kill with just the touch of her skin.

Through the three books, we see her first (Shatter Me), experience freedom with Adam—a young solider, struggling in poverty to make ends meet for him and his ten year old brother. We meet a sadistic, sociopath named Warner—a leader of the military in Sector 45 and son to the Commander of the Reestablishment. Warner begins as Juliette’s captor, a monster trying to bring out the monster within her, which she desperately fears and hates. She wants to hide away from the big bad world and Adam shelters her, protects her, keeps her away from all she fears—or he tries. No one can touch her. No one but Adam. This begins the bond between them. Juliette, holding to hope, believing fate brought the one person who can touch her…until Warner too, touches her.

Come book two—Unravel Me—we begin to see Warner in a different light—especially if you read the novella in between the first two books, Destroy Me. Adam’s and Juliette’s relationship begins to suffer. Her touch is beginning to drain him, kill him slowly. His ability—which no one, not even him, knew he had—was what allowed him to touch her, and deflect her power, only now, by doing so, it drains his energy. Then we find out that Warner too has his ability, and not only can he touch her, but her touch strengthens him, fills him, doesn’t hurt him as it does Adam.

Now let’s get into it—Book three. IGNITE ME

Here is where Juliette breaks out of the frightened, little girl shell and determines herself to live differently. She will no longer be afraid. She will learn to truly live. She would have done everything different if she could but chooses to look ahead and live each day with confidence, and determination to make tomorrow different. For her. For everyone.

I loved many things about this book! It truly was focused on Juliette’s journey with herself and with love. The rest of the world-building plot took a back seat, providing a backdrop and scenery for the real story.

At first, the love triangle.

The changes taking place in Juliette.

Many things we saw within the first two books through Juliette’s perspective get confronted and challenged.

Suddenly, things she thought she knew, things she believed happened, in fact, did not happen the way she thought. Through her perspective, we all, together learn these things as well.

Kenji!

Kenji is pure, awesome, ridiculousness and has by far, most of the best lines ever, in this book. I laughed out loud so many times, I can’t count and 99% of the time, it was cause Kenji spoke. I enjoyed very much Kenji and Juliette’s friendship in this book. In book two, I didn’t connect with it because it was still growing. By book three, they’re friendship is a solid best friendship and I loved it! I loved their conversations, his candidness with her, his vulnerability. He provided such a wonderful bridge, and comic relief to so much of the story. He was more of a main character in this book.

The end for me needed more pages. For the most part, there is enough resolution. All in all, I am very happy with who Juliette ends up with. It is most definitely the best choice for her and I love how Tahereh developed it further in this book. I love that she allowed us to SEE it, enjoy it and not just wrapped it up in the end with, “And Juliette chose so and so and now live HEA.” No, she let us in. I liked that very much.

I loved this book. I loved the “love”. I loved Kenji and his friendship with Juliette. I am satisfied with the ending—though there is a little more I would’ve wanted. Just a few more pages Tahereh.

I would definitely recommend this series!

__________________________________________________________________

And now…SPOILERS

By the way, yeah, I won’t do a Memorable Moments Tab because I would pretty much be sharing the ENTIRE BOOK. I’ve never had so many tabs in a book before. No one would need to read the book after I’m done. They would have it here. Ha! So let’s just discuss it 🙂 

*

*

*

*

The Love

Through out the book, a lot doesn’t actually happen other than everyone training but what I did like about that was that it gave room for the development of Juliette falling in love with Warner. I truly appreciated how Tahereh built that story line, how she let us SEE the process of Juliette falling in love with Warner. I didn’t mind that it took till Chapter 55 (oh dear goodness me, Chapter 55 *blushes) for them to officially come together. Everything leading up to that was brilliant because she allowed us to see the development. I loved that this book was pretty much Juliette, Warner and Kenji. Ha! Awesome.

Anderson

Now, I do agree with some that there could have been perhaps more Anderson. He’s such a strong villain and an opposition to the story. I mean, yes, we definitely got a good clear picture of him in Unravel Me. You hate me. You understand he’s bad. There were no holes about his character but what I would have really like perhaps was in the end, or near the end, a Warner and Anderson and maybe even Adam showdown, resolution.

More Action?

Maybe not so much throughout the story, because as I mentioned, I really enjoyed that time being dedicated to Juliette’s growth and seeing her fall in love with Warner and understanding what her true feelings were towards Adam all along. Perhaps in the end, it would have felt like a well-rounded ending if when it was actually time for action…there was um…action. More action, showing the rest of the group’s battle, struggle. A little more conflict perhaps.

Bromance

I did NOT expect Warner’s reaction to be what it was after he finds out Adam and James are his brothers. My heart melted. I LOVED his walls coming down, feeling sorry and guilty for almost killing his own brothers. He lost his mother (oh my goodness, talk about heart shattering quiver lip. I can’t see a man cry. Breaks my heart. Man Warner, you won my heart in this book), he gained two brothers and was eager to make amends and spend time with them. Get to know them. Build that brotherly bond that was lost for so many years. So weird to think Warner’s the older brother. Oh my goodness, I LOVED (I need a thesaurus, I know) James and Warner conversing. I wanted more! I wanted James to keep breaking down Warner’s walls, especially AFTER Warner found out, I wanted him and James to chat more, bond. Too cute.

Juliette’s Personal Journey

Quiet, fearful, sweet, tormented girl at first…in the end she is strong, confident, aware of life, and of herself. Thank goodness, cause yes, Juliette’s feeble minded self drove me crazy sometimes but that was the point. The point was to really see a character arc and transformation. She came into her own. She learned so much about herself and from there, understood what she needed, which in turn was what she wanted and not by default because…SHE COULD TOUCH PEOPLE NOW! How cute was that scene with Kenji, holding his hands, tears in her eyes. She learned to control her lethal touch, now being able to have skin to skin contact. *wipes happy tear* How did we know this? Because of Adam’s jerk of a move that could have killed Kenji, dang it! Oh my goodness, let’s talk about that for a moment.

But lastly, the famous quote:

I am no longer afraid of fear, and I will not let it rule me.

Fear will learn to fear me.  -page 103

Adam Goes From Boring To JERK Mode!

Omygoodness, Adam, what the hell?!

Book one, I was team Adam, all the way. There was so much, I felt, that he was still holding back, and hiding. He was sweet and hot, (yes, um, shower scene, anyone?) and caring and protective but there was something lacking. Come Unravel Me, I was a bit torn. I was still wanting to be Team Adam, but then he got all crippling by the news of his ability and how Juliette’s touch weakens him more than anything. He became desperate and distant and a bit of a pansy here. I was wanting so bad for him to man up and I felt bad for him. Juliette refused in her “love” for him to hurt him. She broke up with him. She walked away from him. Things got awkward between them and then entered Warner. He started to fog up my head and judgment as he did with Juliette. I didn’t know what I wanted. I came into Ignite Me thinking, Adam’s going to redeem himself, be so freaking awesome and be the healthy choice for Juliette.

Holy Baloney was I wrong.

I hadn’t read Destroy Me before but I knew there were some misunderstandings about Warner from Shatter Me. Chapter 62 in Unravel Me (hot dang) had me swaying but I thought still, something would happen where Warner wouldn’t be the right choice in the end. So I thought. Ha.

I didn’t finish reading Fracture Me before this, so I didn’t even see when Adam starting showing his jerk side. I was completely blind-sided, as I’m sure was Juliette, by Adam’s behavior. Man, talk about sore loser. He became venomous. I was hurt by his toxic words towards her. Granted, I did feel bad for him.

“All of this,” he says, meeting my eyes, his voice quieting to a raw, aching whisper, “was for you. I left everything I knew because I thought we were in this together. I thought it was going to be me and you.” His eyes are so dark, so deep, so hurt. Looking at him makes me want to curl up and die. “What are you doing?” he says, desperate now. “What are you thinking?” -page 135

Ugh. Ok, here, my heart went out to him. I saw how he thought, as did I, leaving Unravel Me, things weren’t technically over. He thought, we were on a break. *chuckles* Ah, Ross from FRIENDS comes to mind.

“We were on A BREAK!!!”

He held hope that once he could control his power, and not be hurt by Juliette’s touch anymore, they could be together again. I totally get that but then…Oh, but then…there was NO excuse for his behavior, his harsh words. That says a lot about a person. In the long run, he would NOT be someone I would want to be with if that’s how he reacts when he doesn’t get his way. Hell to the No!

Page 167, which I like to call…Where All Hell Breaks Loose. 

Adam finds out Warner is returning to his house to meet with everyone about the plan to work together to take down The Reestablishment and ultimately, his father, Anderson.

Adam. Flips. Out. and kicks Juliette out. Let’s just review some of the lovely phrases Adam spewed within just a couple of pages. Sorry Adam shippers, but I had hope, kind of, for Adam and Juliette still until THIS. I lost all respect for Adam.

“She can go do whatever the hell she wants.” He turns to me again. “You want to be with him?” He points to the door. “Go. Drop. dead.”

Juliette’s inside are breaking and Kenji’s trying, pleading with her not to go, but how could she not? Adam’s there, waiting, spitting in her face practically to get the hell out of his place.

“I was happier,” Adam says, “when I thought she was dead.”

“You don’t mean that. Don’t say things like that, man. Once you say that kind of shit you can’t take it back–”

“Oh, I mean it,” Adam says. “I really, really mean it.” He finally looks at me. Fists clenched. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”

Oh, and there was more. My mouth was gaped open, in shock. My heart was punched. It’s like I was there, looking over at frozen Juliette, trying not to cry, trying not to fall apart, and my heart ached for her. I was there, part of the nine, looking at Adam, then at Juliette, then at Adam again, shocked at how someone could do such a 180. Later, Juliette’s standing there frozen, not registering voices and pressing the clicker over and over and over again, hoping Warner would come and rescue her from this heart break.

From the moment Warner rushed in, straight to her, cupping her face, so worried, I was done. I was 150% team Warner from here on. -pages 167-175

On To Happier Times: KENJI

I should do a post just on Kenji’s one-liners. Man, he made me laugh out loud SO many times. That doesn’t happen often. I’ll smile or chuckle inwardly with a book but no, Kenji flat out made me laugh. Him and Juliette on the roof, sharing their feelings. Too cute. It was nice to see the natural, vulnerable side of Kenji that he only allowed Juliette to see, and perhaps Castle but we never see those moments. By the end, as they were going to attack Anderson, one Kenji moment stood out, and I was cracking up.

“…I know I am an extremely attractive man, J, “

Um, can we just pause at the cuteness of his new nickname for her. I loved when he started calling her J, all the time.

“but I am not Bruce Lee.”

“Who’s Bruce Lee?”

Who’s Bruce Lee?” Kenji asks, horrified. “Oh my God. We can’t even be friends anymore.”

“Why? Was he a friend of yours?”

“You know what,” he says, “just stop. Just–I can’t even talk to you right now.” -page 371

I’m laughing right now just typing and reading it again. LOVE. IT!

And finally…The End

As Katytastic on YouTube described:

The “not-enough-pages-to-conclude-all-of-this-syndrome”.

This was for me, the one thing that left me a little bit conflicted in the end. I finished the book, after binge reading it for seven hours, and though I was smiling on the inside and out, the entire time, I closed the book and said,

“Hm.”

Was there an epic, elaborate battle scene in the end? Kind of? Nope, not really. It was a medium sized intensity battle scene. The entire “confront the bad guy resolution” begin and happened within the last 10 pages of the book.

I’m reading, and freaking out because as I read, I look over and notice, the pages are dwindling FAST. Chapters are ending quickly, becoming shorter and shorter and I’m tensing up thinking,

“Tahereh, how the hell is this ending? How can you possibly wrap this up soon? Is there an epilogue? (nope)”

There were a few things I wanted. The last pages felt rushed. There needed to be more pages to round it up better, if that makes sense. It felt like the ending, after this whole emotional journey, was merely snapshots of what happened in the end, with missing pieces.

It was battle time.

We got a lot of tension with Juliette running around tight, military hallways for like three chapters and some weird, unknown thing overpowering her for a few minutes, Kenji finally showing up but now will he live, and then Juliette overcoming the thing which turns out to be a person with crushing sound wave abilities, then Anderson and her two second showdown. The end. Oh wait, and then there was ‘Where are my friends, pause. Oh, there they are, sweet. Wait, where’s Warner? Phew, there he is, hugging me. The World aint got nothing on us. Now, the end.

Wait, what? That all happened in like 20 pages. That was the quickest wrap up of life. I just needed a little bit more. More conflict. More of the battle in the sector with everyone else in the group, perhaps a Anderson and Warner verbal showdown, confrontation. Before all that, I wanted more bro bonding between Adam, James and Warner. I wanted to see it. Especially more James and Warner convo. I wanted an epilogue with more of Warner and Juliette, together, living this new reality. *sighs*

All in all, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! I will re-read it again. I need to read it more slowly, enjoy, digest the awesomeness. The ending conflicted me a bit, hence I gave it a 4.5 on Goodreads but putting that aside, I am satisfied with the ending. I am most definitely happy with who Juliette falls in love with. I love them together. I’m in SHOCK, looking back at how I perceived Warner, and seeing how much I LOVE him now, which is crazy but it’s true!

YAY TAHEREH MAFI! Thank you for such an awesome series that made me laugh, and FREAKING blush, woman! Thank you for SHOWING us, Juliette falling in love and actually allowing us to see them BE together. It wasn’t, she chooses Warner in the end and now imagine what them being together would be like. No, we get to see their relationship for a bit and it was AWESOME!

__________________________________________________________

Really LONG book talk but there was just too much to say about this awesome ending. Best of the three books by far!

And that’s all folks! Fangirl with me in the comments below!

Oh, and if any of you know about BookTube, check out Christine’s (PolandBananasBooks) Book Talk below. I love her! Loved this book chat about Ignite Me! Enjoy

Happy Reading!

Uncategorized

Mail Day: Ignite Me Came!

MAIL DAY-Books

Nonchalantly, stepping outside, my eyes dart up. Bernard the Mailman catches the crazed look in my eyes and braces himself.

BERNARD!!! IS IT? IS IT?

He reaches into his satchel and takes out the beautifully covered book I have waited for. I let out a high pitched, schoolgirl squeal.

IT IS!

I tackle Bernard the Mailman and lock him in an awkward embrace. He has no choice but to accept my book love. I grab the book and skip, leap, fly–I can’t tell which–inside, saying repeatedly,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Ignite Me

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Everyone and their mother has been talking about this book since it came out, February 4th. People read it and were discussing it. Epic Reads, talked about it last week…AND. I. DIDN’T. YET. POSSES. THIS. BOOK!

I didn’t put myself through the torture of reading the first 15 chapters that were released the week before. I knew that the moment I flipped to page one and began reading…there was no stopping. There was no turning back.

And that’s exactly what happened, folks. It arrived in my hands at seven p.m. I prepared myself. Come nine p.m. I took my happy butt to bed, got cozy and opened. the. book.

Fast forward, it’s FOUR in the morning. I only had 72 pages left, which sounds more than it looked. I had to stop and process. I knew the book was almost ending and there was still A LOT that had not been revealed or resolved and I honestly was beginning to get nervous. I was fearing a bit, Tahereh’s ending. Would she wrap things up? Give us resolution cause, um…Tahereh, there aren’t many pages left in my book, woman!

Ignite Me reading

Today I woke up and finished the rest. Overall, I finished this sucker in seven hours. I’ll have my book talk up tomorrow!

Happy reading everyone!

Uncategorized

Infinite by Jodi Meadows Book Talk!

book talk feature art

I enter our local coffeehouse and spot the “Book Talk” group off to my right. I wave and head towards the barista.

“Hey Tristan. Can I get–”

Tristan marking a cup doesn’t look up, “Medium White Mocha with a pump of?”

Holding my wallet, I’m a wide-eyed statue. How sad, I thought, that they know me already. Perhaps I drink too much coffee. Maybe it was time to wean off the stuff and come less to the…but who was I kidding. I chuckled as Tristan, holding up the cup still, waiting to write the finishing touch to my order, turned up one side of his mouth into a crooked grin.

“Let me guess” he begins. “Winter is gone, so we’re done with Peppermint. I’d say” he lingers on that last world, eyeing me as though he were searching my soul for the answer. I can feel the stare of the girls behind me, waiting at the table. They’re going to make fun of me for this one.

“Toffee nut?”

I let myself look pensive for a moment but he was right. It’s exactly what I wanted.

“Is that your final answer?” Oh boy, I was flirting. I need to stop this. Just nod and pay the man, Des. 

“Thanks Tristan, how much?” I asked but really, that was a dumb question. I knew the answer. It was the same every time and his face told me he was thinking the same thing.

“Right, $4.30” I said, setting the money down, and adding a dollar tip to the jar. I smiled, suddenly feeling a rush of heat in my cheeks. Walk away now, Des. I turned toward the girls and their wide, not so subtle, open mouthed smiles displaying their molars for all of the coffeehouse to see, made this even more uncomfortable.

I approached, keeping my cool, pretending there was nothing deserving of their ridiculous reactions happening here. I sit and pull out Infinite by Jodi Meadows from my bag.

Silence. Shifty eyes.

“So…books” I said. Silence broke with giggles. Suddenly, we were all schoolgirls.

Then Tristan’s voice carried like a warm latte on a rainy day, “Des! You’re drink’s ready.”

Infinite by Jodi Meadows

infinite

Goodreads Synopsis (click here)

Hey everyone! January has come and gone. I feel productive on the reading end of things. I set a Goodreads goal for 2014. 80 books. It’s my first Goodreads book goal. It’s ambitious but I like the incentive to keep me from allowing unnecessary book lulls to happen. I can let those lingers for too long. I can’t do that. There are WAY too many books I want to read. Many new, and many old I need to catch up on.

Apologies on the unexpected book Talk intro. It started off as just a one liner because I’m weird like that, and like to give the book talk a touch of quirk and well…it turned into an entire short story passage. Hope y’all enjoyed my randomness.

And now…to THE BOOK-TALK!

General Thoughts:

The entire series–the storytelling–was well done. It was well-rounded, lyrical, beautiful, endearing, adventurous, funny, and well paced.

Overview:

From the beginning of the series (book one-Incarnate) we met Ana—a Nosoul, a Newsoul—sheltered the first 18 years of her life, kept away from civilization by her only living relative Li—her mother. On Ana’s 18th birthday—three years after her quindec, what those in the city of Heart consider adulthood—Ana left home to go find herself. She left her uncaring, unloving, cold, over protective mother to be free and live, finally live.

On her adventurous venture, she comes across sylph who chase her down till she is cornered at the edge of a cliff looking over a lake in Range. If Range is the city, Heart is the town within it? Or is it more that Range is a state and Heart a city within?

Back to the “being-cornered-on-a–cliff-overlooking-the-lake” part. Ana gets hurt by the burning sylph and jumps into the freezing waters below. If she was going to die, it would be by her own accord, not these fearsome burning, melody screeching, shadow creatures above.

Enter Sam. Tall, black wild hair, brown eyes, and music in his soul. He jumps in to rescue her as Ana loses notion of where the surface of the water is. Is it up? Is it down? She’s downing…till strong arms wrap around her waist, pulling her up.

Here begins a three book journey for our main characters Ana and Sam.

Back to My Thoughts On Series:

I truly enjoyed this series. I found the world to be unique in its modern technologies, intertwined with fantasy elements we’re all familiar with. Sylph, Dragons, Centaurs, Trolls, Rocs mixed with air drones, and SED’s that are pretty much like iPhones–communications devices that also do…everything. Anything you need, these little devices were built to do it.

I found the concept of a million souls for five thousand years being reincarnated over and over—never someone new till Ana–fascinating. I was extremely curious to know, why? Why a Newsoul, now? Ana was a Newsoul but told she was a Nosoul—insignificant, incapable of love, life, thinking, feeling, anything. Then Sam comes and challenges all that thinking, making Ana feel infinite.

What I Loved in Book Three: INFINITE

  • I loved…too many things. Unexpectedly, there was A LOT of action. So much happened early on in the book. From the beginning, the pace zoomed full speed ahead with no intentions of stopping. Right when you thought it would for a moment…nope! Sike! Something rocked their world, and threw monkey wrenches all over the place. All. Over. The. Place. Money wrenches, everywhere.

Look over there! *points left*

See? Monkey wrenches. Ok, I’ll stop now. I laugh because I tweeted Jodi Meadows, right before opening the book for the first time, ready to delve into this much anticipated story and I told her that I was excited to see Sam and Ana get cozy cause man, Asunder (book two) was a rough ride. What does she reply?

“Well, I—Well, good luck.” *shifty eyes* *busies self writing other book*

My eyes opened wide.

“Jodiiiiiiii!” I responded.

Awwww man! I opened the book.

To book: “Be nice…you’re gonna give me heart palpitations aren’t you?”

Yep! First couple pages…brace yourself.

From here on…WARNING: SPOILERS (not many really, just little things) 

Loved the series and recommend it! Go read it *winks*

Other Things I Loved…Spoilery Things:

  • Cris. I loved Cris. Here I was in Asunder, scowling at Cris. I’m like,

“Cris! Go away! You’re complicating things for Sam and Ana.”

Then the end happened and I literally cried for Cris. Then Infinite page 124—my heart wept and my eyes may have watered as he bloomed a smoke-filled shadow rose to identify himself to Ana. *quiver lip* Oh Cris. He was such a wonderful surprise as a secondary character. I fell for him. I came to really care for his character. I appreciate and enjoyed his role in this last book.

  • Sam and Ana. Man, here I thought their relationship would be better than it was in book two but this was their greatest trial. My heart seriously felt tension the entire second half of the book. My chest was tight at their weeks of tension, distance. It hurt me. I felt Ana’s ache. I felt the emptiness she carried as everything continued to FALL APART and the other half of her soul, whom she loved with everything she was, was distant. He was mad and hurt and angry and distant. Again…*quiver lip*
  • Acid Breath!

jodi meadows tweet-acid breath

And this is one of the many reasons I love Jodi Meadows. In another life scenario, if we were in the same town, went to the same school or something…I think we’d be friends.

Omygoodness. The Dragons and Ana. Later Sam says to her,

“You just go right up to anything and talk to it, don’t you?” Sam closed his eyes and smiled. “I love that about you.” Page 406.

I loved how throughout the series—not all at once—Jodi introduced each mythical creature at some point mentioned, which really aided in painting the world building image for the reader. The whole time, I could see where I was, what it looked like, what they were encountering, seeing.

  • I like that Jodi didn’t leave any loose ends, really. Elements she brought about over and over, found their resolution.
  • For example: I thought the timing for Sam and Ana’s intimacy was well played. At one point, you almost thought it would happen and she siked us! Jodi! *chuckles* Then soon after, the opportunity presented itself, even better than the first. It wasn’t just thrown in there to be thrown in there. It was part of Ana’s ARC, I believe. There was a purpose for it. She grew so much as a character. Their journey toward that intimacy which I felt, sealed the bond that strongly existed between them, was well thought out and written. Not all authors succeed at this. Some throw it in, sloppy, just to throw it in. Others don’t build it well. They present it but then shy away from it, misleading their reader. I appreciate YA writers who approach this sensitive reality with thought instead of impulse and status-quo expectations giving it no purpose. Even in stories where sex is openly painted in the story, it could still be done with a story line purpose, with some thought. For example: “Where the Stars Still Shine” by Trish Doller” which I read and book talked–there are many, I call them New Adult scenes where sex is a part of the story but there was thought behind it. The characters life, upbringing and then her past demons, it all made sense. It fit within the story. Okay, I’m done ranting. Anyway. Sam and Ana’s journey was real and beautiful.
  • Ana. I truly loved her character. I loved her growth. I loved her quirks; I related to them so much, it was great. I liked her gusty approach to things. I liked her determination to not be held back by peoples assumptions, thoughts, rules, small minded ignorance trying to box her in. If she believed in something, nothing or no one would convince her otherwise. She loved well, and for someone told she was incapable of loving. I enjoyed her journey and by the end, I desperately wanted another chapter or so. I wanted a bit more of Ana in her new life.

There is so much more I loved about this series but am still in the midst of my book hangover and can’t remember it all right now. I’m processing the sad reality that I am done with this series. I will not read anything further on Ana, Sam, Cris…I want more. Thanks Jodi Meadows for a great series! Can’t wait for Orphan Queen! (her new project) 

I definitely recommend this series. It had a lot of heart. It had adventure. It had a beautiful relationship that developed in the course of a year. It was great. Go read it!

Uncategorized

MAIL DAY: Books!

MAIL DAY-Books
Mailman courtesy of: Petshopbox Studio

“Hello Bernard!”

*skips over to Bernard the Mailman*

“What do you have for me today”

*Bernard, the quiet type, reaches into his satchel and takes out*

into the still blue

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

and…

infinite

Infinite by Jodi Meadows

*Des practically tackles Bernard the Mailman to the ground, grabbing books, runs inside, calling out across her shoulder*

“Thanks Bernard!!!”

*Bernard the Mailman grunts an “Mm-Hm” and goes along his day*

Happy Mail Day: BOOKS!

Hello everyone! How is February treating you? Can you believe January is over and February has already arrived? Goodness me, time really needs to simmer down and calm it’s horses!

Welcome to my new Feature: MAIL DAY: Books!

Simple, but I thought it would be cool and bookish of me to share with you all the glorious-smells and feels like Christmas-days of Mail, when books come home to me!

Sometimes the journey is AGONY! Such as Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi, making me wait till possibly February 9th-12th to receive. Not Ignite Me’s fault…it’s Barnes and Nobles and Amazon’s fault. *grins* 

“But Des, why not go to the book store and have the wondrous experience of purchasing the book the day it’s released?”

Oh reader, I would LOVE to have such an experience but my BOOK STORE IN TOWN SUCKS!

Barnes and Nobles is the only bookstore we have in town that remains current. The two indie bookstores I would love to visit and purchase from, do not have a wide range of YA titles, hence it is not a priority for them to stay up to date with New Releases…that breaks my lil’ corazon (heart) a bit…no, a lot. *sighs*

So, I am robbed from such an experience and must order on Amazon. Amazon wants to charge me a butt-load to have it delivered on release day. Some authors have told me to request it from bookstore. Barnes and Nobles wont even have the book brought to the store, they will request it and have it shipped to my house which would take over a week of business days. Ugh.

But enough of the sad stuff…TODAY WAS A MAIL DAY!

As most of you know, I have truly enjoyed reading the first two books of each of these series.

(click on book titles and authors for Goodreads links)

 

Under the Never Sky

Through the Ever Night

Into the Still Blue

by: Veronica Rossi

&

Incarnate

Asunder

Infinite

by: Jodi Meadows

I have fallen for Perry’s strong and silent self, and I have swooned at Sam and Ana’s relational dynamics, quirks and all.

A part of me is sad to see these two series come to an end. I’m not ready to say goodbye, dangit! I have heard brilliant things about the ending of both of these series, which makes me VERY happy.

The last series I read and finished was the Divergent series…I mentioned that in one of my recent posts and it just dawned on me that I’m lying. Divergent wasn’t, The Hunger Games was.

Well, both were heavy-hearted endings. I’m excited to finish a series and walk away feeling fulfilled and happy…from what I’ve gathered of other’s brief reviews. (no spoilers, of course)

I feel torn between which to start reading first. Tonight I will begin one of them. Which to pick?

Happy Reading!