Monthly Archives: April 2017

Chores

I’m tired,

Sweaty,

Dirty,

Because I’m fighting the weeds,

Not you.

Blackberry and Coconut Shampoo

He chews on his lip ring when he’s thinking.

I’ve started to see the difference between the tattoos he’s done himself

Versus his brothers’ practice art.

I love that all his tattoos have color.

He’s started using my blackberry and coconut shampoo.

He says it’s because he’s too lazy to buy more of his own

But I found his under the sink, hiding behind the cleaning supplies.

It makes me smile.

D. Gray-man Vol. 3 Thoughts

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If you haven’t read volume one or two, proceed with caution.

A robot goes crazy, the Millennium Earl has a dinner party, there’s a rewinding city, and a woman named Miranda who can’t hold down a job.

I liked this one even more than two. I’m hoping that this series gets better and better with each volume. It was even more funny and I related to Miranda’s struggle to find a place in her world. Her issues are more extreme than mine though!

Retro Reread #4: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Witch-of-Blackbird-Pond

The first time I read this, I was in elementary school and my mom was going through her collection of old books and she told me to read this one and if I liked it, I could keep it. The most emotional connection I made was with Hannah, Kit, and Prudence’s friendship. Hannah is lonely and has been regularly persecuted for being a Quaker and then she is regularly accused of being a witch. Kit has lost her grandfather and her home and has come to this harsh new place. Prudence has been badly treated by her mom and her dad doesn’t have a spine. They are all a bit different than the people around them but together they are able to be themselves and find comfort. Prudence becomes a lot stronger and happier.

The second time I read it, I did it for school. I got even more out of it then because we were discussing things as a class. That reading did focus more on how Hannah Tupper and Kit were treated especially amidst the accusations of witchcraft. Both of their lives are saved because there are people willing to stand up for what is right. That court scene still gets me in the feels.

Speaking of feels: I do like the romances in this book. I was totally rooting for Kit and Nat. I think they are fabulous individually and together. But Mercy and John’s romance grabbed at my heartstrings the most. That dramatic scene in winter between them gets me every single time.

Status: still one of my favorites. I loved it as an elementary school kid and it’s lost none of its power even though I’m reading it as an adult this time.

Top Ten Tuesday: I will be awkwardly repulsed by these things

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish. Last week the topic was centered around things that make me want to read a book. This week is the opposite: things that will make me NOT want to read a book.

Number One: I massively dislike the writing. (Passive voice, the writer can’t seem to figure out what tense their verbs should be in, their characters don’t sound like people… the list goes on and on. I want to call their editor and copy editor and give them a piece of my mind.)

Number Two: I’m just not into it right now. There isn’t anything wrong with the writing, characters, etc. I’m just not in the mood for this category, genre, or story. But I may come back to these books at a later date. This tends to happen with YA contemporary romance, sometimes the YA category in general, literary fiction (because tough subjects are a common attribute), and classics (they either need my full attention or at least a primary focus so I can comprehend what’s going on and get the deeper messages and stuff).

Three: The first chapter is a flash forward.

Four: Characters are consistently whining about something.

Five:¬†Disturbing model covers. (Those clothes do not look lived in. That body position is unnatural. This book is about pioneers and yet somehow you have a French manicure and a spray tan… So many negative thoughts. My mom tends to read these books and I flip them over so I can’t see the front.)

Six: People describe it as being a “dystopian” or a “frightening representation of what our future is going to look like.”

Seven: “This book is the next – insert name of popular novel or series here – .”

Eight: Mention of the Fae, Sidhe, Seelie, or by any other name.

Nine: World War II

Ten: Nowadays I may hesitate if the description says it is set in Russia or an alternate Russia.

Weekly Pieces: The Classics Book Tag

Weekly Pieces Spring

classics book tag

In honor of finishing Anna Karenina¬†and my second draft I’ve decided to do this tag! (Also, I saw The Orangutan Librarian do this tag earlier this month.) (Finishing my second draft doesn’t have anything to do with this tag but I really wanted to tell you that anyway.)

First question: an over-hyped classic you really didn’t like

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Number 2: Favorite time period to read about

Heian to early Meiji Japan; The Sun King: Louis XIV, French Revolution, and Napoleon; ancient Egypt

3: Favorite fairy-tale

“The Little Mermaid” and “The Nightingale” by Hans Christian Andersen

4: Classic you are most embarrassed you haven’t read

Since I’ve finally read Anna Karenina, I had to come up with a new answer! I’m a little sad I haven’t read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall or Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte because I’ve read books by Charlotte and Emily but not either of hers.

5: Top 5 classics you would like to read soon

The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas (I keep meaning to read this one but I’m a little afraid of it because I know I’m going to love it.)

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (I want to read this one for a Popsugar Reading Challenge task.)

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (Love the operetta but I haven’t managed to read the book yet.)

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (The beginning of my epic reread of Dickens!)

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (This one was strongly recommended to me by a person who feels that I need to read more modern classics from across The Pond. This is one of their favorite books of all time. I will be picking it up on Monday from the library, my dear.)

6: Favorite modern book or series based on a classic

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is awesome and has some Romeo and Juliet vibes.

7: Favorite movie/TV series based on a classic

I love the BBC miniseries of Bleak House and Pride and Prejudice. I also really like the movie Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant.

8: Worst classic to movie adaptation

I do not like the movie version of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley.

9: Favorite editions you’d like to collect more classics from

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I love these editions of Jane Austen’s books because they have a bunch of annotations and pictures.

I’m also intrigued by the Splinter classics with the watercolor covers.

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10: An under-hyped classic you’d recommend to everyone

I haven’t seen too many people talk about The Pickwick Papers by Dickens but I think it is super funny.

I wasn’t tagged to do this but if you want to do it… TAG YOU’RE IT!

 

Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a time

She left home

Because it hurt to stay

She took a train

And met a fellow traveler

With a suitcase and heart

Just as battered

They became fast friends

But were forced to go on separate adventures

They needed to find themselves

Before they could find each other again

And they did

Friendship joined with enduring love

In the end

A Spell-book Collection

Arin looked to her spell-books for comfort. A good portion of them had been filled with her experiments, failures and successes. Others on the shelf were written by witches who liked to experiment too. Arin’s mother and aunts had no patience for magic like that. They wanted books with tried and true spells. Their cookbooks were the ones they filled with experiments.

D. Gray-man Vol. 2 Thoughts

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I will try not to spoil volume one but if you haven’t read it, proceed with caution.

Allen is going out on his first mission with Yu Kanda. They massively dislike each other because Yu Kanda is mean and Allen is not. They are fabulous frenemies.

I did like this one more than the first volume. The story really moved me. Part of that has to do with the pacing and the higher page count allotted to this story.

Nine Susanna Kearsley Books Ranked

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I’ve read most of the books Susanna Kearsley has written because the first one I read was not enjoyable and a bunch of people said that one wasn’t as good and I should try something else by her and so I did and really liked the second book I tried. Then I treated this as an unofficial challenge. I needed to read most of her books and gain a better perspective on this writer’s work. So here I am ranking what I read.

Best: firebird sk The Firebird

This is one of the dual narrative books. We get the present day narrative with two people who have paranormal abilities. She can see the past of an object by holding it. After holding a firebird statue she goes on a quest to find out the whole story. I loved both the past and present narratives. They were both strong stories and worked really well in tandem. The only downside to this book is: you have to read The Winter Sea first because the past narrative of that one is continued in this one. Luckily for me I accidentally read The Winter Sea before The Firebird. 

51gMZ3KRoML._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_ The Winter Sea

This was the second book I read by her and I loved it. I was motivated to read the other books she wrote after I read this one. This is also a dual narrative book and I did slightly prefer the past narrative but I did still strongly relate to the writer in the present narrative who was inspired by the ruins of a castle. This is also my most recommended book because people tend to grab The Firebird off the shelf and I feel compelled to tell them that they should read this one first or they won’t get the full emotional impact (or they’ll just be confused).

a-desperate-fortune-9781451673838_hr A Desperate Fortune

This is also a dual narrative. There were aspects of the past and present that I liked but other elements that weren’t quite working for me; however, they were not enough to upset me. I was a big fan of the fairy tales in the past narrative and I also really liked the two romantic leads in both narratives. And we get a glimpse of the past leads in The Firebird in this past narrative and it made me happy.

wp85b8fcca_05_06 The Rose Garden

This is the only book I’ve read by her where the main character physically time travels rather than reading a journal (A Desperate Fortune), reliving an ancestor’s memories (The Winter Sea), or sensing the past via paranormal ability (The Firebird). The leading man in the past was a pretty fabulous romantic lead. His conversations with the leading time travelling lady were my favorite bits. I also liked a modern woman learning how to do basic things in the past. I appreciated that detail. But this plot dragged. It wasn’t compelling until the very end. I could put this down for weeks and not pick it up. It wasn’t a chore to read but it still took me forever to get through it.

shadowyhorsessk The Shadowy Horses

The leading man in the present narrative of The Firebird is in this one but he’s a kid. You don’t have to read this one before The Firebird but the events in this one do come first. The Shadowy Horses doesn’t have a dual past and present narrative. We have the kid seeing a Roman sentinel and an old rich man convinced that this ghost is guarding a huge potential archaeological breakthrough. So he hires a team. There is a slow burn romance in this one that I really enjoyed. But there was a lot here that felt a little anticlimactic.

5166LIpxLmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Splendour Falls

This one is also not a dual narrative. It is more of a murder mystery with historical elements and a little bit of romance. I really liked the setting and the characters and I liked the plot more than a lot of other reviewers but it isn’t as strong as the previous books on this list.

51yWoCsMDiL Season of Storms

This is mostly about a production of a play that has never been performed before. The romance was a little lackluster and the ending was a little awkward but the familial relationships were compelling and I really liked the leading lady. This one is also not really a dual narrative but there are a couple snippets of what the playwright was thinking while he wrote this play for Celia, the woman he loved who mysteriously disappears before the play could be performed.

mariana Mariana

I liked most of this. I massively disliked the ending. There were two big things, one in the past narrative and the other in the present, that I had big issues with but they are massive spoilers so I will leave it at that.

Worst: 51m+UrMokQL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_ Named of the Dragon

This was the first book by Susanna Kearsley that I read and my list of issues with it is rather long and does include spoilers. This book angered me on multiple occasions. Highlights: it all felt massively melodramatic and the main romances didn’t feel right.