Saturday, December 13, 2014

Between Here and Forever {A Review}

Between Here and ForeverTitle: Between Here and Forever
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 2011
Rating: 2 stars


Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen.

Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...

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Geez... and I thought I had self-esteem issues. This girl... man. Poor Abby. I wanted to snuggle and hug her and tell her she's perfect in her own way and strangle her at the same time. Her incessant "woe is me" attitude seriously started to wear on me. And really... she is totally not perceptive at all. I feel I'm a pretty unobservant person and that I don't read people all that well, but c'mon.

So that might've been my biggest issue with the book. Which is bad since she is the main character and everything is from her point of view. But I, as a reader, knew more than she did. I picked up on the 'clues' long before she did. I saw everything she didn't. It seemed everyone had a little bit of the 'woe is me' attitude going on tho. Except for Claire. Claire was pretty awesome. She knew who she was and had no problems with how people saw her. But everyone else? They were so intent on caring about and only seeing what they thought everyone else saw. A LOT of assuming was going on, which was quite annoying.

I think the premise of the story was really good. It hooked me and I wanted to know how it all went down and turned out. And although there was some growth in Abby, I felt it took a lot of hitting her over the head with things to knock her out of herself.

Overall not a bad read. I don't know that I would *highly* recommend it to anyone and everyone, but if someone is looking for a slightly sad, self-discovery type book, then I might suggest it. :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Raven Cycle Art

When it comes to drawing, or pretty much possessing any imaginative artistic ability, I typically scoff and say "Uh, no. I can't do that." BUT... esteemed Maggie Stiefvater has decided to hold an art contest. And the prize? A set of her major arcana tarot cards that she herself created for her series, The Raven Cycle. I knew about the cards from her Blue Lily, Lily Blue blog tour, and I entered those contests (which required no artistic ability) to no avail. These cards are oh-so-gorgeous. So when I saw her post yesterday about the new giveaway, in which she and her sister will judge works of art created based on the Raven Cycle, I thought "Uh, maybe. Maybe I'll give it a shot. I mean, if I put some effort into it, and patience (lots and lots of patience), maybe I can work something out worth entering."

 As you can see, my family is a Maggie Stiefvater fan... ;)  These are older, I took them when TRB first came out, but I just had to add them on here for fun. :)

So I started thinking about the Raven Cycle. The scenes that still stand out to me. The characters and their relationships with one another. There's Cabeswater, the dreaming tree, the Pig, Chainsaw, Noah, Blue/Gansey, Ronan/Gansey, Ronan/Blue, Monmouth Manufacturing, cars, Kavinsky (who, despite my strong dislike of and nearly feeling happy for his demise, still stands strong in my mind... I mean, he *did* help Ronan...sort of...), Maura, Persephone, Calla, the Gray Man... man I could go on for the rest of the month probably. This obsession may not be healthy...

I started to just draw. At first I was stuck on the dreaming tree. As you can see... yeah. Not my finest. Or hopefully not my finest. I can't seem to translate to paper what I see in my mind. Obviously I can draw in the most basic sense. I can hold a pencil and make marks on paper, but creating something that looks like something? Not my forte. As my friends Mindy and Adrienne pointed out, it looks like a pair of pants... HAHAHA

Then I thought of Blue/Gansey, and their 'moment' by the Pig... *sigh*... ♥. I wanted to attempt to recreate that. Caveats? 1 - I can't really draw faces. 2 - Even if I can get the faces, how do I get that emotion to go with it? So I worked on the former first. Google helps. "How to draw faces." I mean, yeah yeah yeah, I work in a library and could just go pull a book off the shelf, but I'm also sitting RIGHT IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER. ;)  I got a face. Sort of. I mean, obviously it's a face. Or supposed to be. But then I attempted to add hair. And glasses. Because scholarly Gansey. Yes. lol  So scrap that. And my friend Mindy kindly informed me that if I were drawing glasses in profile form that you wouldn't see the entire lens. Uh... duh? Whoops. ;)

Moved on to ravens in general. Not too bad of a bird. But what to go with it? Does a simple bird count as a 'piece of art'? What if I draw more than one? One in motion, one not?  And I added 'shine' with blue hues. Hmm... So far they are the best of the three, at least.

Oooh... but the Pig... I mean, who can think of the Raven Cycle without thinking, at least passively, of Gansey's beloved? Not me, for one. But could I draw a car? You decide, I guess. (Although I can see lots of issues with it, but that's alright...) I did have a model. He (yes, he... not she) sat very still for me. I offered this model to Maggie once via Twitter, when her Loki kept breaking down. But, alas, it's never made its way out of my possession - only from my house to work, from where I was truly going to mail it to her (really, I was...).

So there you have my attempts at art. Despite them not amounting to anything remotely museum worthy, I think they may earn a spot with my kids' art in our kitchen. At least the ravens and the car. The others? File 13, probably. ;)

Anyway. Happy Friday! :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, y'all!

What've you been reading? I recently finished Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Very interesting concept and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it continues. I'm hoping I enjoy the rest of the series as much. I just got Unwholly in today at work (library), so I'll try and start it this weekend. And, I've discovered recently that I kind of enjoy audio books, because I can listen while I'm working (at work or home). But I've only listened to re-reads, not anything new. I'm not sure my focus, or lack thereof, can handle something I'm not at all familiar with.

Been watching anything good, lately? I'm still quite obsessed with Supernatural. So much so I was nervous to start the season so I waited until it was five weeks in and then binge-watched it. *whew* Still loving The Blacklist, too, and Criminal Minds, NCIS, Chicago PD... my dvr is crazy busy, per usual. My reading typically slows down a bit in the fall due to that, but my laundry gets caught up more because I can fold and watch at the same time.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue {An e-ARC Review}

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Raven Cycle #3
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Source: NetGalley
Format: eArc
Rating: 5 stars

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.


I am SO grateful that NetGalley exists and that Scholastic was awesome enough to grant me access to an e-arc of this. For real, I was SO excited that I was rereading  The Raven Boys & The Dream Thieves. For the third and second time, respectively. I love this series... I feel so connected to these characters, which is a feat considering I have VERY little in common with any of them. Seriously.

So, where to begin. First, if you haven't read TRB or TDT, obviously I highly recommend doing so. *If* for some odd, crazy reason you don't want to and you want to start BLLB, then go to Recaptains to read Maggie's recaps of her own stories (TRB & TDT).

Maggie Stiefvater creates a realistic world with impossible scenarios. But nothing is impossible. But it's still believable, which is really an accomplished feat, let's be honest. I've loved watching (well, reading) this story as it unfolds and seeing how the characters develop, change, and grow as it goes along.

I'm not going to say ANYTHING about ANYTHING, so as not to spoil it for ANYONE. Just know that you get more of your Raven Boys, more Blue, more of 300 Fox Way, more Mr. Gray, more... EVERYTHING. It's interesting how it mimics real life. No matter what happens - death, disappearance, changes - life goes on. So does this story. At the end of TDT Maura vanishes. But, true to reality, life for everyone goes on. The mundane, the good, the bad; no matter how irrelevant it seems in light of everything that is and has happened, life continues as the Earth makes its way around the sun.

Again, no spoilers, so this is very NON-specific... regarding every little thing. I want to go on and on about details, specifics, what happens to people, to Cabeswater... the twists Maggie throws in. Oh! But, I won't. I hate spoilers, as do most people. And at the risk of saying something that SOMEONE views as one, I'll just play it safe and not mention a single solitary thing. :)

Super excited for this baby to be on my shelf next to the first two. It's on pre-order, so it will come to my house in the next monthish. Woo-hoo!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Raven Cycle Re-Readathon {AKA: My Apparent Obsession}

TRCR readathong mock up

So I totally wanted to participate in this (re)Read-a-thon. Which, I guess, technically... I did. I just already finished BOTH books. Which, given my history of reading this past year, is really quite shocking that I ALREADY finished them. I do love my Raven Boys, tho, so being around them, and Blue... man. I missed them. I did not, however, miss Kavinsky.

I mostly listened to them this time around. I had a lot of stuff to do, stuff that didn't require a lot of thought (cleaning, putting crafts together, etc). This way, I could get reading in *and* work at the same time. I don't typically do audio books, as I tend to lose focus quite easily. But, apparently, using them to REread something is a go for me. :)

While I enjoyed listening to Will Patton read them, there was only one thing that bugged me. Kavinsky. Now I realize that Kavinsky is NOT a likeable character, and I didn't like him the first go around either. But the voice that Mr. Patton gave him... oh, man, it made my skin crawl. So it was either very effective, or poorly done. I'm going to say effective. But... yeah.

Basically I feel the same about the series as I did when I started it the first time. I LOVE IT. I've now read The Raven Boys three times. (The first time, the second time when The Dream Thieves was about to come out, and, well, now). And I've read The Dream Thieves twice. There were a lot of things that I had forgotten. Nothing major major, just a few details. Or like the how something happened. For instance, I knew there was a death, but I couldn't remember HOW. And then, when I was reading, I was like "DUH".

Anywho. I'm really excited because NetGalley is awesome. Well, I guess it would Scholastic moreso than NetGalley, since they are the ones who did the actual approving of me to read BLLB early. Since I finished The Dream Thieves yesterday morning, I started BLLB last nite. I didn't get all that far, but I'm super excited. I've already pre-ordered (I did that the moment it was announced that it was possible), and I only torture myself more by reading it early since then I'll have to wait even longer to read the fourth... but, I'm a glutton for punishment. ;)

Don't these look amazing next to one another? 

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

Happy reading,

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Raven Cycle (re)Readathon

With the release of Blue Lily, Lily Blue approaching, I've decided to participate in a (re)readathon for TRB & TDT. Wee-hee! Here's the post from Readers in Wonderland...  Who is hosting with Books of Amber, who has her own post on it here...


From them:

Reading Schedule

For this post I’ll only be sharing The Raven Boys schedule since that’s what we’re reading this month. The Dream Thieves schedule will be revealed September 28th (or you can go take a peek here)

They have lots of fun things going along with this, including a Q&A with Maggie herself (because she is awesomesauce) and some awesome giveaways. Be sure to check it out if you're interested... I'm not going to re-post everything they did... not because I don't care, but because I'm lazy... ;) 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blue Lily, Lily Blue {Waiting on Wednesday}

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that highlights upcoming releases we're excited about.

There are, as you know, books coming out left and right that we all want to read. One I am looking most forward to is...

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

I can't express my excitement enough. The moment she tweeted it was available for pre-order... this was me:

I went and pre-ordered immediately. I miss Blue and the boys. I'm excited to see what they're up to next, what's going on in their lives. :)

What are you looking forward to?