Monday, December 5, 2016

Music Monday (8) Chloe X Halle

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
Adri is off to Hollywood to see a show, so today, I'm doing Music Monday alone. Hopefully, she'll have the time next week and be back with more recommendations. Until them, I'm going to go ahead and share some of the music I've been listening to recently.

My picks this week are Fall and Drop by Chloe X Halle. I absolutely love their music, and I’m only sad that I didn’t discover them sooner. The music videos for Drop and Fall are also really gorgeous. The locations used were just spot on. These are two of the best songs I’ve come across this year. Drop is positively fantastic and the first song I actually heard by Chloe X Halle. I really enjoy the background music as well as the vocals.

Fall is just as great. The vocals and lyrics are the star of the show, and just like Drop above, the filming of the music video is spot on.

What new music are you listening to this week?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Cover Spotlight: Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

On Wednesday, the cover for Victoria Scott's Violet Grenade was revealed over on Glitter Magazine (You can check out that post HERE), and today, I'm going to share it here on the blog. You can check out the cover below, and head over to Goodreads to see the synopsis.  
Displaying Violet Grenade Cover.jpg
Title: Violet Grenade
Author: Victoria Scott
Expected Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
You can find out more about the book on Goodreads
Victoria Scott is the critically acclaimed author of TITANS, FIRE & FLOOD, SALT & STONE, the DANTE WALKER trilogy, HEAR THE WOLVES (2017), and VIOLET GRENADE (2017). She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe. Her latest novel, TITANS, received two starred reviews, and FIRE & FLOOD was nominated as a YALSA Teens' Top 10 book of 2015. Victoria’s novels are sold in thirteen different countries, and she loves receiving reader emails from at home, and across the world...

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The Friday 56 (87) Now with Book Beginnings: The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell

The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.
20821109Synopsis from Goodreads...

Something is wrong in the house Lin's family rented. The clocks tick too slowly. Frost covers the flowerbed, even in a rain storm. And when a secret key marked "Twistrose" arrives for her, Lin finds in a crack in the cellar and unlocks a gate to the world of Sylver. This frozen realm is the home of every dead animal who ever loved a child. Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with Rufus, the pet she buried under the rosebush. But together they must find the missing Winter Prince in order to save Sylver from destruction…and they’re not the only ones hunting for the Prince...
Beginning: "The grave that Lin had made for her friend  could not be touched by the wind. Above, the dripping rose-bush flailed, scratching its thorns at the wall. But the whittled cross of twigs and string did not so much as shiver. Instead a lick of rime had crept up to cover the wood with white. Late, Lin Rosenquist would remember this as a sign, the first."

56: "When the last hope is lost, a Twistrose is called.

She tilted her head. The dark colors of the background bled into one another, and she had missed it at first. But now she saw that the wall had tumbled in the middle, so a hole opened into the unknown shadows. On the edge stood a girl with her back turned, with tangled hair and a scruffy-looking sweater."--The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell
Comments: I'm so glad that I picked up The Twistrose Key. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. I've also joined Book Beginnings this week. I just haven't had a chance to update the header yet.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Title: Gemina
Author: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library; Hardcover
More Details: Young Adult; Science Fiction
Publisher/Publication Date: Knopf Books for Young Readers; October 18, 2016
Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed...

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands. But relax. They've totally got this. They hope...
I feel like I have waited forever to read Gemina. There were parts that I really loved about the story, and others that were just sort of meh.

Listen, I loved Illuminae. I have an endless amount of praise for that book. I enjoyed the way the mixed media was used to tell the story, and honestly, it was just exciting. The beginning packed an emotional punch, and the ending was full of action and suspense. Simply put, Illuminae was exhilarating. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

Don’t get me wrong, Gemina was not a bad book. The same elements that made Illuminae so great were here too; although, I felt like something was missing. Some parts were a little underwhelming for me and I had a harder time connecting with the focal characters—Nik and Hanna—but other than that, the book was great.

Despite its length, Gemina was a quick read for me. I did like the use of the mixed media—plus, the illustrations were nice. On its own, the story was pretty interesting, and there was a lot of action once the bulk of the conflict took center stage. Part of what I liked most about Gemina was the tone of the story. The villains posed a significant threat. Their motives, attitude, and means created an atmosphere of suspense.

The science fiction aspect of Illuminae and Gemina is part of what I like about this series thus far. The technology, ships, and the station were all pretty neat, and I liked how the setting was used.

As I said above, I had a slight problem with connecting with the characters. This was mainly due to the VERY beginning of the book, but once I got past that and learned more about them, I did like them a little more, especially how they were ultimately developed. It was also nice to see some of the characters from the last book, and I really enjoyed that part of the story.

Now, the end of Gemina didn’t really resolve that much—it was kind of a cliffhanger. I still have a lot of unanswered questions and want to see how things ultimately turn out, so I’m definitely going to read the next book.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Music Monday (7) The Video Game Edition

  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
I was mostly offline at the end of last week. I was pretty busy and took a somewhat impromptu break from the internet. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Anyway, welcome back to Music Monday. This week Adri and I are tackling some of our favorite video game trailers and theme songs, hence the title of this post.

My first pick this week is Glockenpop by Spiderbait, which is one of the songs featured in Little Big Planet. I always like to play the levels that use this song since it’s so catchy, and I don’t mind listening to it more than once in a ten minute timeframe (or however long it takes me to beat the level). From the Little Big Planet OST (original soundtrack), I think Glockenpop captures the feel of the game best.

My second pick is Blackheart by Two Steps From Hell, which is used in the PlayStation 4 trailer. I regularly listen to Two Steps From Hell. I really enjoy their music. So, I liked Blackheart even before it was used for the trailer. I might even have to do another post that features a couple more of my favorite Two Steps From Hell songs.

Well, since I'm becoming a permanent blogger here...

This week, we're focusing on video games so my selections are based off a game I fell in love with: Mirror's Edge. I found the game because the PlayStation store had some type of anniversary thing gong on at the time, and the game was free. At the end of the game, the song Still Alive sung by Lisa Miskovsky plays as the credits roll; unfortunately, I didn't care for the song at the time.  **Fun Fact: Still Alive is also the name of the song that plays at the end of Portal (Yet another pair of songs that share the same name).**

It wasn't until the reboot (which at the time, I mistakenly assumed was the sequel) was announced that I started to like Still Alive. However, history repeats and the same thing happened with Mirror's Edge Catalyst. I was not a fan of CHVRCHES' Warning Call, but of course, I found myself coming back to the song. I guess you could say I'm listening to this song until I can actually play Mirror's Edge Catalyst. **cries** :,-(

On a side note, I have also been listening to the soundtrack released by Solar Fields while playing the original Mirror's Edge. I love Savant, the Anchor District, and Catalyst.
What are some of your favorite video game theme songs?

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