Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Little Thank You and Rant!

Oh my goodness. IT's the end of March already... and  I am going off to State Thespian Festival! (If you don't know what a Thespian is... it means that I am a part of Theatre) And this year I get to relax and enjoy everything and really soak it in as it is my last time going to state!

Which is insane! But experiences with theatre have been so impactful on my life, and I will do an entire post about it when I get back, but my theatre family is so generous and kind and mean so much to me! This weekend I will be having fun and watching theatre! Immersing myself in the family! :)

Here's a little update on what's been going on in my life....

Dearest Blogger Friends,
Hey guys. So, March was an insane time and oddly super stressful. You'd think because of Spring Break I would have had a better month. But, eh. It was very mediocre. I have felt a lot of pressure in my life lately, trying to hold up to my own standards and standards set by myself. I try so damn hard at everything that I do, and it's been really difficult to try and fail, and watch others not try and succeed. In fact, it kind of pisses me off.

I am one of those people that firmly believes you need to work for what you get in your life... and yes, I'm white, and I have a lot of privilege that comes with that, but that does not mean that I don't work my ass off. It doesn't mean that I have everything I need in life, and that I can kick back and relax.... NO. I have to work super hard for everything. Do I have money for college? Nope. I am entirely relient on Scholarships and Grants and I am just praying colleges will give me money.

I can't go to my dream school, Emerson College, because they are $64k a year and we simply cannot afford that. I will probably be going to Community College next year, something I would have said hell no to that two years ago. But, it's going to be practically free, so it's what I'm going to have to do.

I'm scared as hell about my future, but praying that things work out. I want to work for a publishing company and specialize in YA... and I will publish multiple books in my lifetime. I will become a full-time writer. I will do this. Because I have to to survive.

I started this blog so I could spread the love of books, and improve my writing style and hone my voice.

I am determined. I will succeed and it's all of you that help me believe in myself. With every conversation on twitter, with every comment on my blog, with every little thing you do.

Thank you. I truly appreciate it.

Love,
Cody Roecker




Monday, March 28, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #2: Most Recent Five-Star Reads!

This meme is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish

I have been a little more ginger with my 5 star reads this year, becoming more critical, and more observant over many things... but we shall see what I have for you today and see how many are from my 2016 reading experience!!! (I am not including graphic novels on this list)

Here we gooooooooooo!

The Star-Touched Queen

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
My review is here and this is probably my favorite book of the year so far! SO GOOD. PREORDER IT. BUY IT. JUST YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE! My review is here

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Holy moly, this book. This book is the reason I need to read everything by Victoria because this novel is SO well written and was my first adult fantasy novel, and it makes me feel safer transitioning into adult novels with my young adult craze. :) READ THIS. IT IS PHENOMENAL. My review is here

More Happy Than Not

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
This is my favorite contemporary of the year so far (and will probably stay that way) This book tore me apart. I loved every moment of it, and Adam Silvera is a PHENOMENAL writer. Read my review here. P.S I freaking love Adam Silvera. Seriously.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
That fateful time where I read two 5-star books back to back. This and More Happy. So gloriously different but both so phenomenal... Read my review hereeee!

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
My god, I loved this book. It was just so addicting. I loved Iseult to death. And just yes. My review is here!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (aka my favorite human being)
To my last read of 2015, This book has changed my life, and not in the way that More Happy Than Not has. This was utterly adorable. I loved every second of it. It was cute, it was nervewracking and the characters were so real, and EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK! :) Plus, Becky is the sweetest, as I have said time and time again. I cannot wait to reread my new signed copy that is the most beautiful thing ever. Seriously. Review (though short) is here!!!

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
I mean, this one is self-explanatory, but possibly surprising to a lot of TOG fans as this has been criticized for mischaracterization. Read my review here!

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
This book held it's five star rating through a reread! Woot Woot!

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I adore this book with all of my being. Holy crap. If you haven't read this by now, you have to. Seriously. It's unique, and enthralling. Review is here!

Winger (Winger, #1)

Winger by Andrew Smith
This book also broke my heart. My review, although early in my blogging experience is here!


AND WE HAVE ARRIVED. My list is complete! It took me from today going back to August of 2015 to get my 10 books! Which is significant for me (I mean, I did discount the rest of the Throne of Glass series because I didn't want this post to be completely TOG! lol ) ! I have done a lot of lowering my initial ratings of books on Goodreads, and have yet to update them here so that would be why I did not include them on this list!

Thanks for reading!!! :)

Are any of these books on your list? Have you loved any of these? What books are on your list? Let me know down below!




Book Review: The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh


The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)
Title: The Wrath & The Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Page Count: 388
Publication Date: May 12th 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Source: I borrowed the book from Annelise! :)
Rating: 3.75 Stars
Goodreads Amazon The Book Depository Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.


Review:

"When I was a little girl in Thebes, I remember asking my mother what heaven was. She replied, 'A heart where love dwells.' Of course, I then demanded to know what constituted hell. She looked me straight in the eye and said, 'A heart absent love.'"

The Wrath & The Dawn is very unlike anything I have ever read for a few things, but mainly: the writing style.

The writing style took me at least 30 pages to get into, and before that I was NOT liking the book at all, despite my liking of the premise and how the story was going. I really appreciated that, but the writing was just strange to me. But because Annelise really liked this book, I was determined to continue, and push on and maybe the book would improve...

Good news! It did improve! Something happened that made the writing click in my brain enabling me to continue reading and begin to absorb the words and the storyline as one, and not look at them as separate entities as the writing had made me do as I began.

So, once I got into the writing... I LOVED this book. For the most part. I have a few other quarrels with it... I honestly didn't like the chapters that didn't include Shazi and Tariq... until about the chapter titled The Old Man & The Well (page 140)... and that's when that part of the storyline really clicked for me as well. There were a few other moments I liked before that, but I didn't truly connect to them before that. I thought Shazi's dad and sister were very intriguing characters that I only wish had been explored further, because I thought they offered a lot of potential and could offer some interesting storyline and other such things. (I have a feeling we will get a better feel for them when it comes time for The Rose & The Dagger... [which I looooooooove the title of by the way, it's sort of perfect, now that I have read TW&TD] and I am excited for it. I don't think I can consider it one of my most anticipated reads, but I am looking forward to it.

Anyways, I thought Shazi was headstrong and very committed to her convictions... until she wasn't. But, that's besides the point. I really enjoyed her for the vast majority of the novel, and the choices she made were understandable. The biggest pet peeve of mine was the fact that she uttered something along the lines of I cannot love him. I cannot betray my loved ones. so so so many times. I think I remember it being said at least 5 times throughout the novel, and it got slightly overbearing. I got the point after the third time. That would have been enough. I saw her struggle. One line would have been okay, but entire paragraphs about it... gah. It was annoying, and frankly it made me not like those sections in the book. Again, I will reiterate that I understand the importance of it, but I really want to stress that one line would have had just as much if not more power than the paragraphs.

Also, Shazi is full of angst, and I loved every second of it.

Khalid was intriguing as can be and I loved slowly getting to learn more about him. He offers such potential and although we all already knew everything that was happening to him, as it is explained in the prologue, I still felt when we got to that point Ahdieh wrote the scenes in a way that offered something more that I truly, truly appreciated. I have a lot of things I would LOVE to say about him, but I don't really want to spoil too much but goodness. That boy.

Before I go onto talk about more of the characters I enjoyed/didn't enjoy. I have to comment about that forbidden romance. cause Holy freaking crap. The romance was sensual, beautiful, dare I even say sexy as hell. I actually found myself LOVING it. And that's me, who finds it really hard to connect to those characters romantic feelings, they never feel real enough to me. But goodness, Khalid and Shazi felt so REAL. Swoonworthy, my goodness. And although I had problems with it and my thoughts about it toward the beginning... why in the world would she love somebody like this?... It soon made sense, and I fell in love with the romance.

Okay, now onto my favorite side characters, General (right?) Jalal al-Khory, and our wonderful handmaiden Despina. My god, I loved them. They were the light when I wasn't caring for anyone other than our two beloveds... I always loved them. From the moment that they appeared on the page... Despina was so honest and raw, but not at the same exact time. I couldn't help but admire her strive and her compassion for the better of others before herself. She was just lovely in every moment and I think her character offers so much to this story. As does Jalal, I absolutely adored the scene near the beginning with the archery and everything of the such, it felt very real and I appreciated that being included. I thought it was kind of typical for Shazi to be talented as she was... but I get it. Just little tropes and such that bother me. It almost made her feel special, because in a way, she is. (Which is both a compliment and a criticism at the same time.)

Tariq, oh Tariq. I honestly didn't care for him. I cared for the characters he was with him far more. I feel like he was there, and he offered another reason for Shazi to feel guilty, but he didn't feel much more than that. He bothered me with his 'I'm entitled' stick. It bothered me.

As I write this review, I realize I have written many more criticisms than positives, but that did not diminish my enjoyment of the novel. I really did enjoy the storyline, especially Shazi's storytelling. It felt like I was being told a bedtime story directly before going to bed as a child, and it brought a feeling of nostalgia. I loved it. So much. Thank you Renee Ahdieh, for that. And also for creating this utterly breathtaking and beautiful story.

Although I had my problems with this book, I will definitely pick up the sequel because I am too curious not too. Plus, I need to know what happens with Despina, Jalal, Khalid, and Shazi as well as Shazi's sister, because she intrigues me.

I definitely would recommend this to most people, as long as you are open-minded about a slightly different reading style. Besides, it's actually a really, really good book... I just got annoyed with a few things. More me than anything else.




Sunday, March 27, 2016

One Day (Poetry by Me #10)

This is another poem that I wrote probably around two years ago.

What has life become?
A dreary existence filled with sadness…
Is this what the future holds?
No hope, and depression?
I’d like to believe that no…
Life won’t be filled with sadness
If we continue to have hope
Maybe things will look up
Be better
One Day
Life will be better
For now, we wallow in pity
Dreaming of a better life
We are dreamers
Waiting Patiently
For our happy endings.
And One Day
It will be all that we dreamed of
And more...

What do you guys think? :) Do you write any poetry?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Writing Habits and WIPs!!!

I took a twitter poll and it seems that you all are most interested to hear about my WIPs and writing, but you guys also want me to do all of the other stuff too! So I am going to start out by letting you all know a little bit about my two WIPs as well as different things that I do while writing, to keep me motivated and stuff of the sort. So let's begin....

WIP #1: My first Work In Progress has two titles as of now, I haven't decided which I like better or that fits everything better. Shattered & The Legacy of Spencer Heath. The titles are in no way final... just a few things that definitely encompass the story. This is a YA (maybe NA?) Contemporary Novel that follows three central characters. Damien Scott, Bianca Dupre, and Spencer Heath

This novel, as of now, is told in first person POV from Damien's point of view. The story is going to be about Spencer Heath and his impact on Damien's and Bianca's lives.

The story starts off at the end. Spencer is in the hospital (And I'm not going to tell you why this is so.) and in the most basic terms asks Damien to do him a few favors. This involves him telling Spencer's mother, Lucille the truth, Delivering a letter to Miss Bianca Dupre, and going on a grand adventure that Spencer has laid out for him, as a final wish you could say.

I have some of the story outlined and about 10k words  written as of now, but so many ideas for how it is going to go. When I originally wrote the beginning of the story, it was going to be from Spencer's point of view, but that has since shifted. The story will include stories from when Damien and Spencer first met, but will primarily be when they are both about 19/20 years old.

I shared my favorite quote from it on Twitter earlier this year, but I will share it here now.

“You should try to encourage yourself,” I tell him. “I won’t always be here, you know. I travel often Spencer, and I don’t want to see you get hurt especially by your own self. It kills me inside watching someone with such a beautiful soul and a big heart destroy himself from the inside out. You are a poison to yourself, Spencer, you administer a little to your mind each day, you let it kill you bit by bit. To save yourself, you depend on other people, you let them be your antivenom. And that will work, for now. But eventually- eventually you won’t have someone to lean on, to save you. What are you going to do then? If you aren’t careful your poison is going to kill you.”

I'm intentionally being vague about details, because I am not entirely sure how everything will play out, and I hope to sell this novel someday. I hope that my agent is Brooks Sherman, because I would love to be rep'd by him.

Second WIP: This one is a YA Fantasy Novel that goes back and forth between Los Angeles, California and Aulan, an alternate dimension.
My god, do I love this story. This is the first story that I ever seriously dedicated myself to handwritten wise, and a lot of it has yet to be typed. I have 11k of the novel typed, and have about 33 more pages of handwritten notes to type (granted this is a small journal, but I add a lot of details as I type.)

I am most proud of my prologues (Yes, there are two of them, is that unconventional? Oops.) And I will share the first one with you guys here and now:


Pain echoed in the small hut, made of clay, just large enough to live in without the feeling of claustrophobia. Her stomach convulsed at the thought of giving birth to these babies, the danger of what they represent, the agony that she must endure to give them a life, a hope. Twins, the first twins of her kind, the first to survive the prolonged pregnancy. She should be thankful that she has them, but instead all she feels is fear. Fear because she has to protect them from her. Fear that one will perish after offering her a new hope for her world.
    Tears streamed down the woman's face as she bellowed in suffering. Her husband's hand nearly gnawed off as she bit down, easing the pain by transferring some to him. High witches are known to withstand immense amounts of pain, but nobody is equipped with an arsenal to survive giving birth without at least a little bit of aching.. The only thing getting her through this besides the knowledge of what the twins represent, of course, was her husband, the only person that had always been there for her, through every insanity that came through this world. His pain was starting to surpass hers, and she was too focused on the birth to care, ready to bring her little witchlings into this world, the beauty that it was. It was heartbreaking that the only way to ensure they both lived is to send one of them to another world, a world without magic.
She told everyone she was having a little girl, months before she knew, because her motherly instincts told her she was stronger. She knew that meant the little boy still inside her would have to go, as difficult as it was to choose.
Another contraction allowed her to push, and she heard the little boys cry, the healer they entrusted to be here for the birth bringing the baby out, and cleaning him off and marking him with his witchling mark, so one day he could be found again.
The mother wept, as she heard the guards of the town marching up and down the city line. Fear struck her core, she was hoping, praying that the bitch did not know of her pregnancy. She must of sensed my distance from her, and the growing power inside of me. the mother thought solemnly. Luckily, they planned for this, it was more difficult than the original plan. She was going to send the healer away, to the west, by boat to the land of the forgotten, a land where magic was weak, and although the exiled live there, it would be safer than what Aulan was about to become, under the tyranny of the Spider Queen.
The boys twin was not far behind, and the healer gave the boy to the father to hold, as another push produced a second witchling, a little girl, larger than the boy, strength evident in her face due to her silence, a good quality in a witchling. The healer took a blanket off the shelf and wrapped her like a burrito, and placed her in her mother's arms, as she took the baby boy back from the father.
The healer was very motherly, and glad to help as she was infertile. “Am I still taking him to the Land of the Forgotten?” She knew very well of the dangers this could lead to, but knowing the couple for twenty years gave them a strong bond, they grew up near each other.
The mother and father exchanged glances, and she shook her head to the healer. “I want you to listen very carefully. You cannot take him there, for the dangers that lurk are too great, you must take him far away from here, to a land without magic, take him to a place called Earth. To get there you must go to the seer, Ezrael, and ask him to transport you there. All other instructions remain the same.”
The healer quickly ran through the busy streets, and down the cobblestone path toward the big tree where the seer lived. She held the baby close to her heart, praying that nobody could sense the life hidden beneath her cloak. When she arrived the seer was waiting, with a portal and everything else she needed, as if the Tanera family knew this was going to happen and had planned it this way all along. She stepped through the portal, ready to begin a new life, forced to hide her magic, to save the boy who would save them all.

Now, I love to write, but oftentimes I don't have the energy to do so, or I'll feel like it but then the words won't flow. Do you write? Do you have that problem? Here's some of my quick fixes

1. Drink water or your favorite  iced tea. Something refreshing helps keep you hydrated and your brain moving!

2. Have little snacks on hand! I personally prefer to have a little bit of chocolate or some chips (but I can get carried away on that one, so...)

3. Take a break when your brain starts to hurt. Get up, walk around, do something besides staring at a screen/journal for a little while.

4. Write for YOU first, and everyone else later. If you are enjoying your story, than chances are others will too.


I'd love to hear what you guys think! Did you like either of my WIPs? Have any of your own writing advice/ little things you do? I love interacting with you guys! Leave me a comment and I'll make sure to visit your blog as well! :) :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

2016 ARC April

So, ARC April is a challenge of sorts run over at Read Sleep Repeat in which we read as many ARCs as we possibly can in the month of April! I have a lot to catch up on so bear with me here... This is going to be loooooooong!

2015 eARCs (Got to get my NetGalley percentage up!)
1.Quicksand by Steve Toltz
2.Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier
3.Justice Buried by Hilary Thompson
4.Drowning is Inevitable by Shalanda Stanley
5.The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morill
6.The Dream Engine by Johnny B Truant & Sean Platt
7.Nirvana by J R Stewart
8.The Golden Braind by Melanie Dickerson

2016 eARCs (These ones actually aren't out yet! Go me!)
1.The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
2.Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black
3. Avian by Nicole Conway (received it from Month9Books) (well this one is, but hey)
4. Traitor by Nicole Conway (Month9Books)
5. Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost (Month9Books)
6. The Requiem Red by Brynn Chapman (Month9Books)

2015 Physical ARCs (Won in a giveaway)
1.This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzie Lee
2.The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett
3.A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
4. Sky Key by James Frey
5. Sound by Alexandra Duncan

2016 Physical ARCs (Won in giveaway)
1. The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan
2. Take The Fall by Emily Hainsworth

WOAH. That's 21 ARCs in all... HOLY CRAP. I have a few more physical ARCs but they are all sequels and that would make this entire ARC April thing pointless... I have vowed to not request any more ARCs on NetGalley until I catch up.. unless it is a book I have been HIGHLY anticipating such as what I did for The Star-Touched Queen

Looks like I have a fun time ahead of me in April! AHHH! This is scary!

I will update this list if I happen to start any of them before April due to the fact that I need to have Fear My Mortality and Requiem Red read by April 12th. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. We will see. I am definitely going to prioritize the 2016 eARCs, then the 2015 eARCs and the physical ones will only be read if I get to them! Wish me luck! AHHH!

My goal is definitely to read 16 books and I have no idea if I will be able to do it with school, but I am sure as hell gonna try. I already have my eye on a book at BEA and I would die to get a copy!


Are you participating in ARC April? What's your TBR look like? Is it as insane as mine? Even more so? Let me know in the comments below! :)

ARC Review: Dreamology by Lucy Keating Review & Playlist Part 1

Dreamology
Title: Dreamology
Author: Lucy Keating
Page Count: ~320
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: I won the book in the Epic Reads SDCC Giveaway a long time ago!
Rating: 4 Stars!
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Goodreads  VRoman's Bookstore Barnes & Noble (The Grove LA location will have signed copies!)
Amazon The Book Depository
Synopsis: For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?
 

Review:

"One day a nine-year-old girl is walking around the Museum of Modern Art. It's totally empty. There aren't even any guards. But she doesn't really mind, because it gives her more time to look around... Then suddenly, all the paintings started to disappear. Or rather, the images on the paintings, and eventually the canvases are all white. She hears a noise and realizes she isn't alone in the gallery after all. There's a boy there, and he's holding out a giant box of felt tip markers, in every shade. And they spend the rest of the day coloring in the paintings with whatever they want, and then they fall asleep on the roof in the sunshine. And even though when she wakes up he's gone, and she's back in her apartment, she somehow feels better. Stronger. Like someone was there to save her."  

^^ THAT QUOTE THOUGH. IT HAD ME SQUEALING IN PURE JOY!!!!

Dear lord this book is adorable. I read this fairly quickly, in a couple hours because it is such a quick and *mostly* light read. The back of the book says that it is like the romance of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and although I have not seen that movie, it is reminiscent of More Happy Than Not which was also compared to that. However, this is much much lighter of a book than More Happy Than Not (which I also loved, you can check out my review of it here.) Which is evident by it's comparison to Jenny Han (which I have also not read but I have heard very cute things about)

This story follows Alice, who has reoccurring dreams for as long as she can remember about Max, her perfect everything. In every way possible, Max is everything she could ever dream of (HA! I'm funny.) and at first, that's all he is, a dream, a figment of her overactive imagination...

Then Alice moves to Boston, and in her Psychology class, Max is there, and he is real. He isn't like Dream Max, but he looks like Dream Max. Alice attempts to figure out everything from there, which leads her to the CDD, Center for Dream Discovery (because her Nan happened to keep the cards from when she went there as a child)

When I began reading this book, I thought it was not going to be for me, and that I wasn't going to like it... but I really did! I was genuinely surprised because romance-y books aren't generally my favorites... but this book is something special.

Alice's dreams are spread out between the main storyline, and often bleed into the main storyline and I think the dreams were definitely the strongest point of the novel, besides the character relationships and dynamics. They were just so addictive. Keating weaved the dreams into the story so nicely, and I found myself being really drawn into those sections of the novel. I found myself looking forward to the dreams because even though I know they were dreams, they felt just as real as the reality (for the most part anyways,) and I think that was the point, and I love it.

This book was so adorable that I made a playlist for it (Which you'll be able to see in a little bit! ;) )

This is completely unorganized, but that's okay (right?) Lucy Keating's writing is very pretty, and bubbly and super enjoyable. I definitely was giggling while reading, and smiling even more often.

This book is light for the most part. And I highly recommend it after reading something heavier that destroyed your heart, because this can and will bring it back to life. However, it also deals with some heavy topics such as abandonment, and while I think it could have gone even further with it, I think what was done, was done super well. The feelings of each character were extremely palpable, and real. I loved seeing their feelings towards each and every thing. Alice's feelings toward her Mom being gone really gets explained throughout the story and I truly appreciated it. It also discussed a father that was there, but not really present. It was great.

Max, at the beginning, is confused about everything that is going on, and then we quickly understand why, and we get to see into his reality as well. And I loved seeing his reactions to everything. He was just as confused as we were, and it felt real.

Another great thing about this book is the way the romance folds together. The characters must learn to love each other outside of their dreams, and how dreams don't always transfer into reality like we all hope.

I loved ALL of the side character. Especially Oliver. He was such a humorous addition to this book, and at first I was rooting for him to end up with Alice (WHAT? How dare I?) I mean, when you read the book you'll understand why, because Oliver is just wonderful. He really cares behind his fa├žade he puts up. Sophie, though a smaller part of the book, was also wonderful and her friendship with Alice is one that will stand the test of times, because she was always there for Alice, through every insanity that followed. She also offered some great advice that I really respected.

Another refreshing character was Celeste and the fact that she wasn't some throwaway character. She wasn't bitchy, and in fact, she probably was the most real character and had the clearest motivation out of everybody for her actions. A+.

I really wish we could have had a little more explanation about the dreams and how they worked exactly, but I can easily overlook that for this book as it was, an utterly adorable romance that allows some heavy topics to seep into the words and leave a meaningful impact on our lives.

Such a great book! (Also, I have realized it is impossible for me to form actual coherent thoughts about this book, but I loved it, so buy it, read it, love it.)

P.S Jerry deserves to be mentioned as the most adorable bulldog ever. I love him. Especially the scene with Oliver, Alice and the swans. <3

P.P.S I honestly cannot recommend this book enough. Yes, there are things I would have liked to see but... that's okay. If you like contemporary, read this book. If you like romance, read this book. If you like to smile, read this book. If you are human, read this book. If you aren't human read this book. The point is, READ THIS BOOK.



And now, without further ado...

Cherry blossoms! Because I love them and they are cheerful and also remind me of this story for whatever reason! :)
Okay, now I will provide you with my playlist <3 <3 <3 <3



DREAMOLOGY PLAYLIST PART 1

The playlist below is in no particular order for the novel, just various songs that reminded me of DREAMOLOGY for whatever reasons :)
1. Do You Love Me Too by Tessa Violet and Rusty Clanton
This song is adorable, and the entire time while reading this book and seeing the budding romance between Alice and Max, I thought of this song. Do you like me in a suit? I always think your cute. <3

2. Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble
This song is on the playlist because this is how I feel Alice and Max are before Alice moves to Boston, because they have met, but not in real life. They love each other, but they haven't met yet, in fact they didn't even know the other was real until quite recently! I promise you kid, I'll give so much more than I get... I just haven't met you yet <3

3. You And Me by Lifehouse

This is probably one of my favorite songs of all time, and I performed it in the talent show my 8th grade year, so it holds a special place in my heart... And it's such a wonderful love song, how could I not include it? It's you and me, and all other people and I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you <3
4. All About Us by He Is We feat. Owl City
My god, do I LOVE this song. It's a given that it would be on this list... Just listen.
Take my hand, I'll teach you to dance.
I'll spin you around, won't let you fall down. :)
Literally the entire song is perfect.

5. Kiss Me Slowly by Parachute  
Hold my breath as you're moving in,
Taste your lips and feel your skin.
When the time comes, baby don't run, just kiss me slowly

6. Synesthesia by Andrew McMahon
I feel like their dreams are definitely similar to synesthesia.
And I've known you all my life
But I knew you long before that tune
Let's go dancing to the songs we wrote
When we lived in the shadow of the moon

7. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
Well, duh. Of course.
If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lay with me and just forget the world?
Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life


8. Oh Ms Believer by Twenty One Pilots
Only some of this song fits and this line in particular...
I will tell you I love you
But the muffs on your ears will cater your fears

9. Lovesong by Adele (originally by The Cure)
Hehehehe <3
However far away I will always love you
However long I stay I will always love you
Whatever words I say I will always love you
I will always love you

10. Dream by Imagine Dragons
This song is more melancholic than this book actually is, but I think it still fits. When I originally found it I wrote that it was "Alice's Anthem when first meeting Real Max"
We all are living in a dream,
But life ain’t what it seems
11. Bright by Echosmith

This song is just overwhelmingly adorable and fits this so well <3
I think the universe is on my side
Heaven and Earth have finally aligned

12. Some Type of Love by Charlie Puth
There is something about this song.
When we're old and gray
And our faces changed
There won't be a moment when my heart don't feel the same
That's some type of love <3

13. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
No explanation needed really.
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars <3

14. I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz
I won't give up on us
even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

15. Rhythm of Love by Plain White T's
She begs me to come down
Says boy quit fooling around <3

16. I Was Made For Loving You by Tori Kelly feat. Ed Sheeran
I was made for loving you
Even though we may be hopeless hearts just passing through <3

17. Your Hand In Mine by Explosions in the Sky
 
Completely instrumental but beautiful <3



I realize there are a lot of deeper songs on here... and I believe it fits this book, although the first song I shared with you really encompasses the story in my mind. They each remind me of the story in there own ways, and some more than others. I hope you all enjoyed this review and playlist! I had such a joy creating it for all of you! I'll have a second half to this playlist up sometime within the next week (most likely) so look out for that!

Don't forget to buy this book!

What do you guys think? Do you want to read DREAMOLOGY? Do you enjoy my playlist? With PART 2 of my playlist, I'm considering sharing one of my wildest dreams I have ever had, would you be interested in hearing it? I'd love to hear what you all think! :)





Thursday, March 24, 2016

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

16068905


Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of age
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


Goodreads synopsis: 

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review:
This book had me smiling like a lunatic.  It was so freakin cute.  This was my first Rainbow Rowell book and definitely not my last.  I have a feeling all her other books will be just as cute if not more so.

Cath.  Cather.  Cather Avery.  She is such a great main character and by the end of the book you can just see she has gone through amazing character development.  She is an introvert just like I am, and I really understood her nervousness when met with the truly intimidating task of socializing with other human beings.  Although, she is so introverted at times I just wanted to yell at her and tell her to get out of her dorm once in a while.  I feel like Rowell did this on purpose though, so that we could really root for Cath to break out of her shell.  It worked, I rooted for her all the way.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate Levi for a sec?  Why can't every guy be like him?!!!  He's not the swoon worthy, tall, dark and handsome, mysterious boy that has plagued the world of YA.  He's cute, dorkey, and incredibly approachable.  Him and Cath, although opposites, were glorious together.  Every single interaction between them had my cheeks burning from smiling for so long.  He's an extrovert, and she's an introvert.  I absolutely adore pairings like this.  I also really loved Reagan.  She is very blunt and quite a badass.  At first, her and Cath mostly ignore each other, despite being roommates.  But as the story progresses, their relationship really blossomes and is very fun and entertaining to read about.   I thought Wren's story arc was very predictable, (mild spoiler) becoming the twin that sort of loses it and parties too much, as well as her and Cath drifting away from one another and being brought back together near the end of the book.

The plot was mainly just watching Cath come out of her shell throughout her first year of college.    A 400 page contemporary is a little bit too long for me, so it did drag in a few places.  I thought the family dynamic was very interesting and I loved seeing Cath take care of her father.  She very much took charge in the moments of her father's mental elusiveness.  I also liked how her problems with her mother were never really resolved within the book.   It shows that some relationships may never be salvaged and that's OK.  I never really connected with the fanfiction within the book, but I absolutely loved Cath's passion behind it.  The ending was a little abrupt and pretty anticlimactic.  But to be honest, most contemporaries are like that for me. Overall I really liked this book and will definitely be picking up some more Rainbow Rowell books.









Monday, March 21, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: 7 Books I Love But Haven't Talked About Enough



 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created over at The Broke and Bookish They love lists over at Broke and Bookish, and so do I, so when I heard about this feature, I was pumped!

This week's topic is in the title, books that I loved and have not talked about enough!!!

1. The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken.

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2) In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3) Through the Dark (The Darkest Minds, #1.5, #2.5, #3.5)

The story of me and this series, which is now my favorite, is an odd one. I picked up the first book because of its GORGEOUS cover, not too long after its release. I let it sit on my shelf for awhile, before picking it up my freshman year of high school. I read about 150 pages in, and then I put it down because I wasn't feeling it, I wasn't enjoying it as I thought I would. It was mostly because of my English teacher that year, I couldn't enjoy anything while in that class... But then, almost two years later, I decided to pick it up once again, and I FLEW through it. I ordered the next books immediately and read this series in record time.

I have never written anything about these books, I didn't review them, because I hadn't started reviewing yet. But when I reread them, I will be and I will be able to tell you about them in all there glory, with memories fresh in my mind.

This book follows Ruby after IAAN (a disease of sorts) strikes everywhere, killing lots of children. The government ends up deciding to collect the kids that live and put them into camps for protection. Read the back (or inside flap) of the books or just look them up on Goodreads, but good heavens read these books!

These books have made me laugh, and cry, and everything in between. I love these characters,(Primarily Jude, and Zu, and Liam, and Chubs, and Vida, and Ruby, and every-last-character-ever-really) and I feel like I know them personally. I feel like they are my best friends. I wouldn't trade my experiences with them for the world.

Alexandra Bracken has DESTROYED me time and time again. And yet I keep going back, because she is phenomenal.

2. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

This book is one that I wanted since it's release, but I never purchased it for whatever stupid reason. But then I bought this on my kindle and devoured it in one day. Needless to say, I loved it. I wrote my review of it in a stupor of glee and exhaustion as it was almost midnight on New Years, probably a little after, as I wrote my review.

This book is adorable. In every single way. And you will love all of the characters. You will crave Oreos. You will dance around your house in glee. You will love every moment of this book, because it's practically impossible not to. Seriously.

Simon Spier is an UNFORGETTABLE character. I loved him. His relationship with Blue is one of my favorite relationships in all of YA literature. It's cute as all hell, and you will root for them the entire way through. Definitely an OTP.

And then, you will talk to the author on twitter, telling her how much her book means to you, and how wonderful it is, and how much you love it. And you will learn something. The only thing better than this book is the author herself. You will find that Becky Albertalli is one of the sweetest people on this planet, and will gleefully talk to you. She is wonderful everyone, no joke. I cannot wait to meet her one day!

I highly recommend this book for anyone who craves a cute glbt book that ultimately deals with difficult topics, that anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ will likely relate to. I cannot recommend highly enough.

3. The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Legend (Legend, #1) Prodigy (Legend, #2) Champion (Legend, #3)

Another trilogy that I really haven't talked about enough, and cannot really talk about it with justice. This is another one of my favorite trilogies. And favorite authors, by far. Marie Lu is an absolute genius with the way she weaves stories along. This trilogy, and The Young Elites for that matter, are beautifully written with unforgettably dynamic characters.

The trilogy follows June and Day, who have come from two very different walks of life. And boy do they tell a compelling story. This is a dystopian book, but really well done!!!

Champion destroyed all of my feels. And I really think everyone should read this. (Just ask Lauren DeStefano and she'll tell you all about it!)

4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls

First of all, I LOVE Patrick Ness. His Chaos Walking trilogy was one of my favorites growing up, and I really need to own them. But this is something different, something special, and beautifully heartbreaking.

The artwork inside is absolutely breathtaking, and horrifying, and beautiful. And I cannot really explain this enough. You MUST buy a physical copy of this book. It is 10000x worth it.

The storytelling is beautiful, and the story will break your heart. So don't read this unless you are ready to be destroyed. It is a compelling story about a boy and his mother who has cancer, and metaphors of monster are used, and nothing I could ever, ever talk about would give you the right idea. Just, READ THIS BOOK. It's also going to be a movie at the end of 2016. I think it will be beautiful, and if it isn't I am going to be angry...

5. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
The Thief Lord

It has been so many years since I have read this book, and I don't quite remember a whole lot about it, except for an abandoned movie theater in Venice. As well as that the story follows orphan boys. I also remember that this was my FAVORITE book ever as a kid. That along with Cornelia's Inkheart series. I think that is still the series that truly got me into reading... It may have been Kathryn Lasky's Guardian's of Ga'Hoole, but it was definitely those.

I have reoccurring dreams about this book, and it is the only reoccurring dream I have had, at least that I can remember, and I just loved this book so much, that I feel like it HAD to be included on this list <3

6. Every Day by David Levithan
Every Day (Every Day, #1)

This list would never be complete without this book. This book is something incredibly special and follows A, someone who changes bodies every single day. Never the same body twice. You might be thinking What the hell? And you would be correct. This book is phenomenal and really comments on the ability to love someone no matter what their appearance on the outside is.

This is a love story, but I think the even stronger part about this story is it's ability to draw you in, and the stories incorporated from these other people's lives, that A controls for a day. A's effect on everyone is truly breathtaking. I cannot recommend enough.


7. More Than This by Patrick Ness
More Than This

I wasn't going to include an author more than once, but Ness deserves it. Excuse my language, but this book is a total mindfuck. No joke. It blew me away. It is complicated. It is confusing. It is beautiful. It is devastating. It tells a wonderful story, and you will wonder what the crap is going on.

Ness writes wonderfully, and this book is the highlight. It's better to go into this with no preconceived notions cause anything you think this is going to be, it won't be. It really won't be. It's that insane. Read it.

I am going to stop at 7 for this week, and hopefully actually make it to 10 for next weeks TTT. Hope you all enjoyed!

Are there any books I should keep my eye on if I haven't read them? Let me know in the comments!!!

- Cody @ Roecker Reviews :)



  

ARC Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Out April 2016)

The Star-Touched Queen
Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Page Count: 352
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Mythology,
Source: I received this book for free from NetGalley and St. Martins Press in exchange for an honest review, this in no way affected my opinion of this book.
Rating: 5 Stars!!!!
Synopsis: Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Inspired by Indian mythology.


REVIEW: "My star-touched queen,' he said softly, as if he was remembering something long ago. 'I would break the world to give you what you want."

Holy crap, this book. This book is everything I have ever wanted wrapped up in this little bow of breathtaking beauty.

Every single person on planet earth needs to read this book, and every thing ever needs to as well, no matter where you are from, what city, state, country, continent, planet, galaxy or whatever else, you NEED to read this book.

Before you even open the book you are struck with a cover that is immensely beautiful and is as aesthetically pleasing as book covers come. It is, plainly put, the most gorgeous cover I have seen in a long time. It holds a lot of meaning to the story, and it captures the books essence pretty well.

Then you open up the book, and you begin to read and you are welcomed by the most lyrical, beautiful, writing style I have had the pleasure of reading in recent time. You are immediately thrown in to an unforgettable world, and wholly wonderful characters. You will never want to leave (I know I didn't want to at all)

You are greeted by Mayavati, our main protagonist and her words will enamor you. (I promise) She has a horoscope that promises Death and Destruction... and the whole kingdom looks down upon her because of it. She is entirely loveable in her own way. There was so much to her, both on the surface, and underneath on the various levels of her entity. Mayavati's voice is strong, and she knows what she wants, but is almost fearful to fight to get it (at least it felt this way near the beginning) and she is wickedly intelligent, spying on the Raja, and other maniacal things. I loved her story, and boy was it a wild ride. Her story is one of hope, in a sense, and the power she finds through it. She takes her loneliness and transforms it into strength, transcending the society that has constricted her growth.

During this story you meet the harem wives, and learn about Mother Dhina, and she is something I have really tried to understand. She is hard to describe, and I think it's better that I don't attempt to, because she is multi-faceted for sure, and I think it's good for you to watch it play out. She has two daughters (I believe only two) that are quite vicious towards Maya (which was semi-reminiscent of Cinderella in that sense... but vaguely)

Mayavati's sister Gauri is a sweetheart, and Maya watches over her with protection. She tells her stories, various myths, and other things that really connect the reader to these characters and make them feel real. They already felt real, but it lets them relate to us. Also the relationship between Maya and Gauri is one of the strongest stories of love I have read. I wholeheartedly enjoyed their dynamic. "We could have been stars, you and me. and not the mean ones that blindly spell out the rest of your life, but beautiful constellations hovering far above fate." I just appreciated the way Maya cared for her, and the selflessness she had when near her. "No matter where we are, we'll always share the same sky. We can always find each other in the same constellation.... The Solitary Star. That will be our constellation. Legend says it was built by the celestial architect who made the golden city of Lanka."

And when Maya is married off to Amar and becomes the Queen of Akaran, that's when things really get insane. We get to see the Night Bazaar and all of it's intricacies and beauty. There is a scene in particular that I really like that involves trees and fruit, and that's all I will say because I want you to be able to experience it for yourself. It is exquisitely written, as this entire book is, but there is something extra magical about that little scene that I really adored. (It may have something to do with my obsession with trees..)

And Amar is someone so intriguing. From the moment we meet him, he is shrouded in mystery and I LOVE that. I think Roshani employs a very interesting tactic while doing that, leaving us craving more information and by proxy, continuing to read. "I know your soul. Everything else is an ornament." This quote is true, and I loved it, and I highlighted it and yeah, I really liked it. (My thoughts are becoming incoherent... oh no! I want to talk about this book and do it justice, as they say.)

Kamala, is a horse that eats flesh that Maya meets at a point in the story, and woah is she wonderful in every way. She oddly reminded me of The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle, as well as the butterfly in that story. If you put the two into a boney horse. Also a hungry horse, and super snarky. A lovely snark. Something I thought was interesting was learning that Kamala means 'the lotus'.

"Sometimes illusion is just as good as the actual thing."

This story was inspired by Indian mythology and its also a retelling of Hades of Persephone mixed in with the Indian Mythology.  This world is lush, vivid, well described (like holy hell, I will get to more of that in a second.) mythological story set in an Indian backdrop.

First of all, I don't know if I mentioned this before... this kingdom and the surrounding kingdoms put an immense stress on the importance of horoscopes and following them. This is why Maya is not treated to such a glamorous life in the courts, and rarely sees her father, the Raja, as a result. Horoscopes are their lives, and they follow them strictly.

The world-building is phenomenal in every single way. Roshani definitely vividly explains every mythological thing in this story. (She doesn't flat out explain it either, she appeals to your senses, making you feel the world blossoming around you.)

Also, the romance, holy shit... like I LOVED every single moment of it. And I am super picky about the romances that I actually enjoy, but it wasn't *entirely* instant. And it felt so real, something I could truly get behind. I FREAKING ADORED EVERY LITTLE ROMANTIC THING IN THIS BOOK. IT WAS HOPELESSLY ROMANTIC, AND I am truly a romantic person, but usually the romances in YA novels feel forced, unrealistic, or often enough too quick. This was quick but I DID NOT CARE ONE BIT. I LOVED IT ALLLLLLL!

Going back to the mythology of the story, I think Roshani described everything so well, it left me wanting to learn more about the mythology, and read about it, forever because it is so damn intriguing. From the demons, to Airavata the elephant, to everything in between and more. It set my curious heart aflame.

Nothing could please me more than seeing this turned into a graphic novel. Which is why it reminded me of The Last Unicorn because I couldn't stop myself from thinking of it, knowing it would rival that as the most beautifully done graphic novel I have ever read. I can see the beauty now. Somebody needs to get behind me with this, because I am ready. (I don't have any artistic talent when it comes to drawing and stuff of that nature, so I would just love to help and provide some ideas) Combining phenomenal storytelling such as this with equally as enchanting pictures... that would be glorious.

Did I mention the beauty of Roshani's writing already? Yeah... I did... but it's important. I found myself breathless reading some of these passages because the way she weaves word to convey her message is simply unbelievably glamorous and elegant.

Cold hearts do not exist while reading this beauty of a novel, AND a debut at that! Holy moly! This book is phenomenal and I couldn't recommend it higher than I already am trying to.

Consensus: Roshani Chokshi's debut novel The Star-Touched Queen is a story of strength and empowerment, and definitely love. It is exquisitely written, and provides a lush story filled with scenery that will quite literally take your breath away. It's filled with a beautiful romance, a ton of wickedly beautiful scenes, including one of a recarnation pool (Super duper interesting!!!) This book is beautiful in every way possible, and nothing I ever say about it will explain its beauty, it's THAT fantastic. This is by far my favorite debut of the year, so far, and have no doubt it will stay there.

I am ecstatic that there will be a companion novel following a certain someone we met in a beautiful tapestry (another wholly beautiful aspect of the novel) There is only one problem I can find with that... I have to wait sooooo long to get it! NO! I need it now! I need it immediately.

P.S As great books do, this book makes me want to write, and improve my writing, and everything involved and work to be as lyrical, and beautiful as Roshani's writing is. Thank you for this book, and everything you write after. :)

**also please note that all quotes were taking from an eARC I received from NetGalley**

Everyone needs to have their eye on this book, I really hope this convinced you... and if it did... you can do the following...

ADD IT ON
Goodreads

PREORDER HERE:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

The Book Depository

If my review didn't convince you enough...

Karina, who is absolutely wonderful, at A Reader Under The Sea wrote a phenomenal review... And there's a giveaway! Check it out! You want this book in your life! Also: You could win The Crowns Game by Evelyn Skye (which is another of my anticipated books of the year!)