Sunday Funday: Week In Review

This is my first Sunday Funday, but I’ve been reading a few of them for a couple of weeks now.  I first discovered it over at Stefani’s blog, but it was originally created by Cristina :D  Let’s get started!

Life:

Nothing unusual has been going on in “normal” life, lol.  Last Sunday I did make an Instagram account, though, so that was pretty unusual for me.  I’ve also been really into the Subway pastrami sandwiches.  SO GOOD.  And so filling.

I’ve also been really into hair dye!  Heheh, yes.  A little while ago (maybe a month ago?) I dyed my hair blue, which was the first unnatural color I’d dyed my hair.  I used a light blue first, and then I went over it a day after with a darker, more-vibrant blue.  Now it’s just green (go figure xD), but I still love the splash of color it brings.

Life in Books:

I had a pretty darn good week in books if I do say so myself!  I was aware of BookTubeathon, which ended on Sunday, but I was kind of being lazy and thought of joining in at the last minute, but ended up not.  For one thing, I literally just got out of the worst reading slump ever, and I didn’t want to do anything that might make that happen again.  Forcing myself to read as much as possible isn’t exactly going to make books land on my good side.  It would have ended up a big, stressful mess.  But—congrats to all of those who did participate!  Tell me what you read!

As for what I read this week, let me tell you:

I finished Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, which is a huge weight off my shoulders.  If you didn’t know, I’ve been reading this book since last October (read from: 10/7/13 – 7/18/14), which is shameful, but hey, I was being forced to read a book I didn’t like.  What can you expect? XD

I then read Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (read from: 7/17 – 7/19), which was freaking AMAZING.  Like, go read this book if you haven’t.  It was great.  I already ordered the next book from my library, but sadly, I have to wait for someone else to read it before me D:

I also just finished Inexcusable by Chris Lynch (read from: 7/19 – 7/21), which I, unfortunately did not enjoy.  People agree that it would be a good companion to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, which I really liked (Kristen Stewart was great in that movie :O).

I’m not going to put up a full review of this book, mainly because I didn’t really take enough notes to put together a substantial review.  I will tell you literally the only thing I liked about Inexcusable: the thought style highly impersonated that of Holden Caulfield, my favorite sulker and main character of The Catcher in the Rye.  That was literally the first thing I thought of when I started reading this book.

Inexcusable offered me the very first chance to use my TBR wineglass!  I’m really trying to get through those books that I keep buying.  The next book I chose was Frostbite by Richelle Mead, and I’m quite eager to start this book because I’m loving Richelle Mead right now :D

IMG_2535[1]So that’ll be my next read.

Aside from that, I started rereading Twilight… I was very bored.  And that book can be somewhat addictive.  I don’t know what it is.  Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to read.  Simple plot, simple writing style, and it’s (for me) calming.  I DON’T KNOW.

Now… I’m going to reveal a secret… you may laugh.  I recently picked up this book at the library.  I was curious, okay?!  *shies away as I reveal the book*

City of Indra

The title of this book is so freaking long.  Rebels: City of Indra, The Story of Lex and LiviaO_o

But, yes, I’m attempting to read this.  And I’ve already found several Legend comparisons (yes, Marie Lu’s Legend), and I’m not really enjoying it.  I wish I hadn’t heard who the “authors” were, then maybe I could go into this with a clear mind.  Gahh.

I also am participating in my library’s Summer Reading Program, which started in early June, but unfortunately, I was going through slumpiness.  But I’ve read and reviewed five books already, so I get a prize!  Last year I got free books, so my fingers are crossed, though that’s not exactly helping Project Finish the Books You Hoard.

(My life in books last week was really long!)

And last but not least, I went to Barnes & Noble and picked up a bunch of, uh… chapter samplers and sneak peaks… *covers face with hands* I’m not even a sampler person.  So why did I pick up these free samplers?  Well, there were a few authors I recognized.  I got a Young Elites sneak peak, which is the first book in Marie Lu’s new series that I’m super excited about :D  Also, Ally Condie has a new book coming out!!!  As in Matched Ally Condie!  Look:

IMG_2540[1]

I also managed to snag an “If I Stay” poster and a poster for “The Infinite Sea”, which is the second book in the 5th Wave series (which I still have to read… I still have to read “If I Stay”, too… *facepalm*

The chapter samplers/sneak peaks are pretty darn generous!  They’re pretty thick for samplers.

Life in Music:

I had a pretty awesome music week!  I got the chance to go to Hot Topic, one of the awesomest (I just made that a word) stores on the planet :D  I got some band merch, and shirts were buy one, get one half-off, so I was a happy camper!  Here are the shirts I got:

IMG_2543[1]I got a Sleeping With Sirens shirt and a Panic! At The Disco shirt, which I LOVE.  I can’t wait to wear them :D

I also discovered a song with lyrics that I think are just amazing.  Just so beautiful and it’s a really touching song, I think.  It’s called Free Now by Sleeping With Sirens.  Here’s a lyric from the song:

“I wrote this song for my mother
I wrote this song for our father
So hopefully we can come together
And hopefully make things a little better.”

The message in this song is amazing, and I love it.

Another lyric-y thing that I discovered this week, though I think this also should be in my Life in Books section, is that I found these interesting lyrics:

“They’re gonna clean up your looks
With all the lies in the books
To make a citizen out of you
Because they sleep with a gun
And keep an eye on you, son
So they can watch all the things you do.”
-My Chemical Romance, “Teenagers”

This song really reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode (one of the newish ones that aired years ago), where that family moved to the gated community because their teenage daughter was getting out of control, and they pretty much stripped her of her tattoos and her CDs and her hair dye and everything and I LOVED THAT EPISODE.  I also loved the episode with Jessica Simpson and the creepy Barbie dolls O_o

But more importantly, these lyrics reminded me of… dystopian worlds.  Think about it… Now let it sink in…

Are you mind blown?  XD


And that was my week in review!  It came out to be much longer than I’d anticipated, so if you made it this far, you get a cookie!  If you skimmed, you still get a cookie :D  Withholding cookies is a horrible thing to do >.<

What was your week like?  Let me know in the comments, or link me to your Sunday Fundays, if you participated.  I’d love to know!

-littleonion

Book Review: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

DemonglassTitle: Demonglass

Series: Hex Hall, #2

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Summary: Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (a.k.a. witches, shape-shifters, and faeries). But then she discovered the family secret, and the fact that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world-the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will either destroy her powers for good-or kill her.

But once Sophie arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new housemates? They’re demons too. Meaning, someone is raising demons in secret, with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she? -Goodreads

Review:

Hex Hall was a masterpiece.  ‘Nuff said.

Demonglass was exciting.  It was so thrilling and intriguing.  There were so many turns of events and plot twists that literally had me on the edge of my seat.  You know you’re reading a good book when you have to cover the next page to keep your eyes from jumping ahead.  Because you’re so excited to know what happens.  That’s what Demonglass was like.

In this book, we take a trip away from Hex Hall, Sophie’s school, and go to England, where Sophie plans to go through the Removal (and talks about her daddy issues).  I didn’t really miss any minor characters from the last book.  It’s not that I didn’t like them, it’s just that I was more interested with what was going on with Sophie.

As the summary suggests, we get to see more of Archer, which was fabulous, though there might be another guy I like even better than Archer in this book. :O

I feel like every character had such a distinct personality, and though Sophie has this whole thing going on with Archer, she was kind of the anti-Bella Swan, or anti-any other female protagonist who had the same mindset as Bella.  (Minor spoilers: I also feel like Sophie’s thing with Archer was more… normal than some of the relationships we see in fantasy.  They just seem so dysfunctional, even when you dissect it and take away the fantasy aspect. End of spoilers)

The interesting thing was that some of the cussing was filtered out.  Like, at one point someone was apologizing to Sophie and he said, “Sorry for being a jerk,” and Sophie proceeds to think, He didn’t actually say “jerk,” but another word that was way more accurate.  Now, I’m sure we can all fill in the blanks and figure out what that word was, but I found it interesting.  Not that there wasn’t swearing in this book.  Just that some of it was… left to the imagination XD

The relationship between Archer and Sophie reminded me of the song Bulletproof by La Roux (raise your hand if you remember that song).

I think the only thing that annoyed me about the book (it had more to do with the author’s writing style) is that Hawkins had the tendency to repeat words and phrases.  But other than that, it was awesomesauce :D

There was a whole bunch of other stuff going on that the summary didn’t even touch on, and Demonglass was a satisfying read.  It was so unique, and I think that’s kind of hard to do in the fantasy genre, to make a book stand out so much.  I definitely wanted more upon finishing the book.  It’s time to hit up the library!

5/5 stars.  Excellent sequel!

How Long Does It Take For Me To Finish A Book?

It’s story time, my friends, my bloggy people.  Gather ’round.

Once upon a time, a man named Jostein Gaarder decided to write a book about philosophy.  He named it Sophie’s World, and it was published in 1991. 

Sophie's World

Unbeknownst to him, a fangirl in the 21st century would be forced to read his book on philosophy.  Let’s just say this fangirl was not pleased, and she certainly made her displeasure known.  The fangirl began her journey with this book on October 7, 2013. 

She found the book to be boring, though there were moments where the book picked up.  She especially enjoyed the few parts that mentioned mythology.  But still, this did not satisfy the fangirl.  There was a major creep factor which never failed to make her uncomfortable, and yet the main character in the book, Sophie, was completely unfazed… as was Sophie’s mother (and really, the mom should have been a bit more attentive and paid more attention to her teenage daughter and the strange man she chilled with).

The story kept getting more and more bizarre.  Maybe, the fangirl thought, I’m reading too much into this creepy situation. 

But it still irritated her. 

The fangirl managed to swallow down the last thirty-seven pages in one sitting, and finished Sophie’s World on July 18, 2014.  She was so proud.


I fail at life.

facepalmEven House is disappointed XP

emma watsonEmma Watson’s pretty impressed with my accomplishment, too. -.-

Draco MalfoyNow, now… Calm down, Draco…

And that’s my story about Sophie’s World, completely non-fictional.  I did, in fact, begin the book at the beginning of October of last year and completed it about half an hour ago.

Someone get me a trophy, because I was nominated for, and won, the Longest Time It Takes To Read a Five Hundred-Page Book Contest.  I want a cookie.  I totally earned it.

Le sigh.  Shame on me.

But I hope you got a chuckle out of that (or maybe you’re looking at this post like I’m crazy for taking so much time to read a book…)!  I have so many rant-y notes that I didn’t want to deal with.  Plus, I stretched this book out for so long that toward the end, I wasn’t even sure what was going on.  I completely forgot most of the plot and whatnot.

I am a horrible person.

But, yeah!  And to make me feel better about this situation (or maybe you just want to sit back and laugh at me… that’s cool, too…), what are some books that you took forever to read?  Let me know!

-littleonion

 

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

 

Shiver 2Title: Shiver

Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Summary: For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without.

Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human… until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever. -Goodreads

Review:

*Again, trying to go spoiler-free!

I feel like it’s really rare these days to find a series that’s not titled after the first book.  Right?

So, Shiver!  I’m back into the swing of things!  I started Shiver a little bit before finishing Of Neptune, but I was only fifty pages in.  So I read it pretty fast, considering my recent slumpiness.  I feel free!

Now, I’d started Shiver once before about a year ago, but, according to Goodreads, put it down in September 2013.

This book was quite… well, bland.  The summary didn’t grasp my interest.  In fact, it had me rolling my eyes.  “He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.”  Can someone say cliché?

Shiver was written in dual-POV (thank the gods that they were both in first person—I would have gone insane!), both Grace’s and Sam’s.  Their voices weren’t at all distinctive, and they didn’t really have personalities.  I felt like Grace’s “witty” remarks came out sounding slightly forced.

Now, I’ve read Maggie Stiefvater before.  I read The Scorpio Races, which I really enjoyed!  And this didn’t live up to it much.  I felt that Stiefvater was trying too hard to sound poetic.  I mean, poetry played a relatively significant part in the story, but it was kind of getting on my nerves.

Instalove.  Meh.

If I had to choose, Isabel and Beck were my favorite characters.  And maybe Jack.

Minor Spoilers: Let’s talk about Grace for a sec.  In my opinion, I feel like she might have been worse than Bella Swan :O (Side note: I’m actually rereading Twilight—don’t ask.)  Anyway, Grace went as far as saying this about her relationship with Sam (which seemed to take up all of her time with friends and stuff): “This, Sam and me, this was my real life.  The life where I went to school and waited up for my parents and listened to Rachel vent about her siblings— that felt like a pale dream in comparison.  Those were just things I had done while waiting for Sam.”  So, you’re telling me that all of the things that have happened in your life, it was just stuff you were doing while waiting for some wolfy boy?  So, yeah, that got on my nerves. End of spoilers.

This was one of those stalker stories, where the guy, like, watches the girl, and the girl finds it soooo romantic (do I sense another Twilight parallel?).  He was also infatuated with her scent… OMG.  He even said at one point that he had an obsession with Grace.  How utterly dreamy.

For me, the last hundred pages contained the best part of the story, which is why I’m giving this book a 3.5/5 stars.  Not sure whether I’m willing to start the next installment.  We shall see…

How did you feel about Shiver?  Let me know!

Music Games

So I saw this really cool thing going around the internet (kind of…) called the iPod Shuffle Game: A Lyrical Poem.  It seems really cool, and I love these types of games, so I’m going to do it!

The Rules:

iPod game

I’m going to modify this slightly by using Spotify, because all of the music from my iPod is years old, and I haven’t actually listened to those songs in a really long time.  So, Spotify!  Let’s go!

I wrote this song for my father
Oh no, I just keep on falling
Smiles and her laughter
I breathe you in with smoke in the backyard lights
Your magic, white rabbit
I know I’ve been mistaken
If I was Jay-Z, you’d be my Beyoncé
Screaming on the inside, I am frail and withered
We could just go home right now
It’s taken a lifetime to lose my way

Well… that came out interestingly.  Here are the songs I used:

  • Free Now by Sleeping With Sirens — “I wrote this song for my father”
  • Born For This by Paramore — “Oh no, I just keep on falling”
  • Emily by From First To Last — “Smiles and her laughter”
  • Bulletproof Love by Pierce The Veil — “I breathe you in with smoke in the backyard lights”
  • White Rabbit by Egypt Central — “Your magic, white rabbit”
  • Right Here by Staind — “I know I’ve been mistaken”
  • Boomerang by The Summer Set — “If I was Jay-Z, you’d be my Beyoncé”
  • Into The Nothing by Breaking Benjamin — “Screaming on the inside, I am frail and withered”
  • Here’s To Us by Halestorm — “We could just go home right now”
  • Fix Me by 10 Years — “It’s taken a lifetime to lose my way”

That was pretty fun, though!  I love doing music games like this.  Have you ever done this?  If not, you should!  Also, do you recognize any of these artists/songs?  Let me know in the comments!

-littleonion

Oh, and good luck to anyone who’s participating in BookTubeathon!!!

 

My Social Networking

I’m really unfashionably late to the whole social networking thing.  I’m not on many websites, just a few.  I don’t understand Facebook and Twitter (though I try!).  I also don’t understand hashtags… yeah.  I love WordPress and Goodreads and Pinterest and Bloglovin, but that’s pretty much all I was on…

…Until I decided to make an Instagram account.  Yes, my friends.  The day has come.  It’s actually really weird for me, because I’m totally not used to Instagram, lol.  But I’m giving it a try.  It’s basically a second Pinterest for me (because Pinterest is amahzing), where I’ll post a bunch of stuff band- and bookish-related.  A combination of my two of my all-time favorite things!

So if you’d like to be spammed with band and bookish stuff, then follow me on Instagram @littleonionwrites (did I do that right?)!

That’s all for now,

-littleonion

Book Review: Of Neptune by Anna Banks

Of neptuneTitle: Of Neptune

Series: The Syrena Legacy, #3

Author: Anna Banks

Summary: Emma and Galen’s kingdom and their love is threatened by long-lost Syrena in the brilliant conclusion to Anna Banks bestselling trilogy.

Emma, half human and half Syrena, and her Syrena love, Galen, need time together alone. Away from the kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. Emma’s grandfather, the Poseidon king, suggests the two visit a small town called Neptune.

Neptune is home to both Syrena and Half-Breeds alike. But Emma and Galen didn’t sign up to be peacemakers between the ocean and the land-dwelling, freshwater Syrena. They didn’t bargain for meeting a charming Half-Breed named Reed, who can barely disguise his feelings for Emma. And they especially didn’t expect to find themselves in the middle of a power struggle that threatens not only their love but their ocean kingdoms.

In this stunning conclusion to her bestselling Syrena Legacy, Anna Banks thrills fans with more action and romance than ever. -Goodreads

Review:

*Going spoiler-free with this one!

And she finishes a book.  You know what, we should celebrate this moment, because I haven’t finished a book in for-freaking-ever (see what I did there?).  But you know what?  I think I’m finally getting back on track with this whole reading slump thing, which I’ve been battling for a really long time.  So there’s that.

Now, a lot of people were not expecting a third book in this series.  I know I wasn’t.  I think Of Triton, the second book in The Syrena Legacy trilogy, provided a suitable ending for the series.  And honestly, this would have made a great duology.  This book was actually a bit disappointing.

I have a bunch of rant-y notes sitting beside me, but I decided I’m going to take a different approach this review and be a little more informative (though I don’t know how informative this review is going to be) while trying to stay away from the spoilers.

One thing that has annoyed me over the entire course of the series is the dual-POVs.  Don’t get me wrong, Banks was able to make Emma’s and Galen’s voices distinctive, but it’s the way they were written: Emma’s POV is written in first person.  Galen’s POV is written in third person, which, as I’ve mentioned before, totally made me feel detached from his character.  And I’m a tad OCD when it comes to trivial things like this, so if you’re doing multiple POVs, you’re either going to write them all in first person, or you’re going to write them all in third person, or whatever person you like.  Just keep it the same!

The book kind of dragged, though that may have been entirely my fault—I’ve been reading this book for a while, and very slowly, so it might have just been my mindset.

Because Emma and Galen were taking a little trip, that meant leaving behind some of our other characters, like Emma’s mother, Grom, and the beloved Rayna and Toraf, who never fail to make me laugh.  I missed those characters a lot, and I think that they bring in a lot of the series’ personality.

The way the book ended before the epilogue seemed a bit abrupt at first.  The more I think about it, it was a nice ending to have before the epilogue, but it still seemed very rushed.  Or maybe that was just me trying to get through the book… >.<

I liked Emma in this book, even though her thought process was kind of driving me insane.  She was questioning a lot of the things she’d been told prior to coming to Neptune.  And it’s good to question.  Question everything.

I did not like Galen for the majority of the book.  (Minor spoilers: He was very possessive and controlling of Emma, and while that improved, it still got on my nerves.  Emma didn’t take any of his crap, though, so kudos to her. End of spoilers.)

In the end, I’m not sure whether or not this book was needed to complete the series.  Would’ve made a great spinoff, though.  OMG, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AN AMAZING SPINOFF :O

There were quite a few disappointments and moments where I was literally saying, “Oh my god” because something was irritating me.  But hey, what can ya do?

I’m going to go with my gut and rate the conclusion to The Syrena Legacy a deserving 3/5 stars, which isn’t bad at all.  I guess you just kind of need to be patient with this book.

What did you think of Of Neptune, or of The Syrena Legacy series in general?  Let me know!  And it’s great to finally be out of that reading slump.  I was getting scared there for a sec.