TTT #18 Top Ten Settings Megan Would Like to See More Of

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is.......Top Ten Settings Megan Would Like to See More Of

1) Underwater: I just love mermaid books, and dolphins, and swimming, and the idea of scuba diving or becoming a mermaid, (not that I've attempted either of the last two) but as you can probably infer, under the sea holds a soft spot in my heart as far as settings go. Can't have too much H2O! 

2) In the mountains: Because mountains are just so cool! I don't think I've ever read any books that specifically take place in the mountains, but I think it would be an interesting place to explore as a setting. So much stuff could happen! With all the caves and rock climbing and dangerous passages, and ups and downs, (literally!) I think it would make for a great backdrop! 

3) Pirate ships: I love me some pirates, Captain Jack, Captain Hook... (newest fav is Captain Hook from ABC's Once Upon a Time!) And I also loved Hamish X and the Cheese Pirates by Sean Cullen. I thought it was hilarious! I would just really love to see more books written about these crazy dudes! (And dudettes :P) 

4) Tropical Islands: This one sort of ties into the previous one, as pirates often discover tropical islands, but it doesn't necessarily have to! There's something magical and mysterious and just awesome about a tiny patch of land far away from any other land in the middle of crystal blue water...

5) Floating cities/in the clouds: WHY NOT??? 

6) Normal suburban setting: Because it seems like most books these days take place in fantasy, dystopian or some other modified version of reality. We need to go back to what we know best! Our own hometowns! 

7) New York City: I've ALWAYS wanted to go to New York City, it's still on my bucket list of places to go. I just love the hustle and bustle of that big city atmosphere. So exciting to me! 

8) Secluded castles: Castles are so incredibly pretty, and I love pretty much every book I have read that takes place or includes a castle. I love the beautiful imagery they provide. 

9) Run down mansions: I've had a craving for mystery-genre books lately, (anyone have any suggestions?) and a run down mansion seems like the perfect setting for that type of story! Mysterious, slightly creepy, and a lot of awesome. Oooh, maybe some ghosts in there somewhere too... :) 

10) Hotels: Could be old style hotels or newer ones, but just the concept of living somewhere that is not technically home. I guess I'm thinking of a Suite Life of Zack and Cody sort of idea, which I've never seen in a novel before! 

What other places would you guys like to see written into books? 

keep readin' it write! 


Review: Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

Lament is a dark faerie fantasy that features authentic Celtic faerie lore, plus cover art and interior illustrations by acclaimed faerie artist Julia Jeffrey.

While this book wasn't quite up to the same AWESOME as Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, I still wasn't disappointed.This was just her debut novel, anyways. She has obviously improved as a writer.

As always, Maggie Stiefvater's writing is something I admire. It's just so beautiful and vivid and gives this extra quality. So when it was that combined with the faerie element of the story, it created something almost dream-like, really fairytale-esque. Reading her writing just makes everything sound better and draws me in more.

I loved her use of the more traditional faeries and the superstitions that go with them. After I read this and the next book in the series, I went and looked up this kind of faerie to see what else I could find out. There's some pretty good stuff out there involving Celtic faerie lore!

As far as characters go, they were not lacking. Deirdre, or Dee, isn't my favourite heroine of all time, but she at least doesn't sit by and let things happen. She has her moments where I was starting to get annoyed, but she also has some good scenes, too. And another thing: Dee's family is... interesting. 

James was my favourite, I think. He's one of those witty, sarcastic, and just overall hilarious characters, but with more to them, too. He's got his own secrets and problems. Plus I can't help but feel sympathy for all of the situations he's put in throughout the book. 

Then there was Luke, the mysterious faerie boy. I was torn through the whole book whether to root for him or against, and I mean that in a good way. 

Overall, I was very happy with this book and didn't once hesitate to keep reading. The main characters were all ones that I liked. I'm a sucker for books that include lore and fairytales, so it gets bonus points for that, too. And then there's the writing, which is just wow.

The Good: The faerie parts, the writing, the characters.
The Bad: Dee made a few decisions that I was not impressed with. But everyone makes mistakes, right?
The Verdict: A very solid 4/5 stars.



TTT #17 Top Ten Reading Goals for 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Each week they give a topic, and then other blogs make their top ten lists for that topic.

This week's topic is.......Top Ten Reading Goals for 2013

As always, these are in no particular order and any books are linked to their respective pages on Goodreads just incase any of y'all are interested. :)

1) Get through my TBR stack BEFORE buying any new books...(not sure how well this one will work out...)

2) Read The Hobbit and the LOTR Trilogy (I know, I's pretty sad that I haven't read these yet...)

3) Get into a new genre. Maybe some mystery, or chick flick types to switch it up a bit. 

4) Reread the Harry Potters. It feels like it has been too long....(too long meaning about...5 months? ha ha ha...)

5) Read some other types of books. Like nonfiction type books that will help me expand my other interests such as photography, art and fashion.

6) Read posts off of Smart, Pretty and Awkward regularly. It often has very inspirational quotes and interesting ideas for everyday life. (I know this isn't a book, but it's still reading! ;P)

7) Read everyday. Even if it is only a couple pages.

8) Read my own writing... and to do this, I'd need to WRITE something for me to read! (Is this cheating? Teehee... I guess technically this is a writing goal....OHWELLS)

9) Keep up to date with current events. ie: Read the newspaper, or other news sharing websites. I have noticed in the past I have been kind of ignorant when it comes to current events locally and around the world, so I'd really like to change that.

10) Read at least 2 books per month. Preferably more, but that's the bare minimum. ;)

What are your reading or book related goals for 2013? I'd love to hear what you guys plan to do this year to keep yourselves word-surrounded!

keep readin' it write!


Review: Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society. 

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapated mansion. Schuyler is a loner...and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead... drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn't know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

After seeing this series on the shevles of the library for months and months and months, I finally decided to read it. There's a bunch in the series, so I figured that if they turned out to be good then I would have something to keep me occupied for awhile.

It started out as a "Why on Earth did I choose this book?" kinda book. Not good. Pretty much, it got started off by introducing us to one main character, Schuyler Van Alen, but giving a huggeee back story and all sorts of information about her. And then I thought it would finally get started into some story-stuff, anddddd....... it switched perspectives. It did that for several chapters, introducing new characters with new POVs, huge info-dumps (especially describing their clothes and the name brands they were wearing), and just as I got interested it would switch.

Finally the story did start to pick up a bit, and some of the characters got interesting, such as Jack, Oliver and Bliss, although a few are downright intolerable. The idea behind the vampires in this story is quite fascinating. The way they work is something I've never heard or thought of before, and their history, which is mentioned in the prologue, was one of the few things that kept me reading. 

As far as characters and character relationships go, I was not to impressed. Schuyler, who was sort of the 'main' main character, was just odd. She didn't make any sense. All of the teens in this book belonged to a very prestigious private school in New York, and all are very very wealthy. Yet Schuyler acts like she's quite poor sometimes, but at the same time she doesn't. She flip flops between all sorts of different attitudes. Pick a personality and stick with it, girl! 

Mimi irked me to no end, as well. She was overly self-righteous and arrogant, and not in the way that makes a book interesting.

The POV shifts, were, however, interesting. I liked seeing different sides of the same story for this plot.

A few other things bothered me, too. The book took forever to getting around to the fact that many of the main characters were vampires. It kept dropping major hints and clues as if we didn't already know what they are, but if you so much as look at the cover or read the synopsis it's a complete giveaway. It was unnecessary foreshadowing for something that we already knew.

Also, there was whole paragraphs and pages entirely devoted to what characters were wearing. Sure, it's nice to get a sense of what a character looks like and how they dress, cause this can tell us a lot about them. But when every outfit they wear is described down to what brand their shoes are, it's not so interesting anymore. I ended up skipping (gasp!) some of these parts.

And then then ending was a complete let down. I know that since it's the beginning to a series, there would be some things left open and most likely some cliffhangers, but there was  absolutely nothing tied up and no answers given. I want to find out what happens, but at the same time, it was almost a complete waste and I don't want to spend my time reading another book if I might not like it when I could be reading something I know I will like. It was not satisfying.

Overall, this book was full of things that, for me at least, distracted from the book. Buuuuut, it also has a bunch of redeeming features. The history of the vampires, for instance, and the reason behind the name "Blue Bloods". (I don't want to say, because I'm not sure how spoilery it would be. Quite a bit, I think.) Plus the way the vampire society works and the fact that there's secrets and different sorts of mythology, tied in to some real history and some people-figures from long ago, and it was enough to keep me fascinated.

The Good: Concept, history, basis of the vampires
The Bad: Info-dumping, somewhat odd characters, unsatisfying ending.
The Verdict: 2 1/2 stars out of 5. 


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YA to You Contest

You may have already seen elsewhere, but Beth Revis, Marissa Meyers, Marie Lu, Victoria Schwab and Megan Shepherd have unveiled a new contest!

YA 2 U: The Official Site.

Basically, these authors will be going to a select city that is selected by US, the readers. Vote for your city or nearest city, and the place with the most votes will get a visit from these authors!


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