Monday, January 30, 2017

Music Monday (13) MØ, The 1975, & Kerli

  • 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 

After Disney’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland came out—Kerli sang Tea Party for the movie—Breana and I continued to follow her. You don’t know how long I’ve waited to feature Kerli on Music Monday!

For my first pick, I choose Feral Hearts. Not only is it the first Kerli song I’ve listened to in a while, but I really loved the music video. Even thought I found the visuals enchanting, after watching the behind the scenes I admired the video even more. I really like the meaning and inspiration behind each area and outfit. In addition, I loved seeing how each look came together.

(p.s. also check out the Sacred Forest Session of Feral Hearts HERE)

One of Kerli's newer songs includes Spirit Animal. I can’t really explain it, but I’m really in love with it. I can only hope that there’ll be a music video for it!


My first pick this week is Final Song by MØ. The first time I heard of MØ was when I was watching the Coachella livestream back in 2015, and happened to catch her performance. Before then, I’d never actually heard of her, but her live performance really impressed me. Since then, I’ve followed her music.

One of the reasons why I love Final Song is the catchy beat. It’s a nice song, and the music video is kind of simple but also awesome. I especially like the scenery in the background.

My second pick is The Sound by The 1975. I haven’t listened to a lot of music by The 1975—not yet anyway, but I plan to fix that soon. The Sound is the song that introduced me to their music. I happened to hear the song while listening to one of my favorite google music channels, and instantly loved the sound of it.

Have you ever discovered a group while watching a TV show, movie, or a Coachella livestream?

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Friday 56 (91) & Book Beginnings: Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee

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.
22747795Synopsis from Goodreads...

In a tale steeped in action, romance, and the gaslit intrigue of Victorian London, Mary Quinn’s detective skills are pitted against a cunning and desperate opponent...

Mary Quinn has a lot on her mind. James Easton, her longtime love interest, wants to marry her; but despite her feelings, independent-minded Mary hesitates. Meanwhile, the Agency has asked Mary to take on a dangerous case: convicted fraudster Henry Thorold is dying in prison, and Mary must watch for the return of his estranged wife, an accomplished criminal herself who has a potentially deadly grudge against James. Finally, a Chinese prizefighter has arrived in town, and Mary can’t shake a feeling that he is somehow familiar. With the stakes higher than ever, can Mary balance family secrets, conflicting loyalties, and professional expertise to bring a criminal to justice and find her own happiness?
Beginning:"It was a miserable day for a walk: sleety, frigid, dark. Nevertheless, Mary Quinn and James Easton, Private Detectives, were out for a ramble about Bloomsbury, bundled against the penetrating drizzle, straining to distinguish people from lampposts in the dense fog that swamped the streets."

56:"James refrained from rolling his eyes, and unfolded the letter. As he read, his eyes widened and he glanced up at his brother's smirking face."
Comments: I have been meaning to read Rivals in the City for a long time. While I'm a little sad that the series is over, this book was fantastic. I like the beginning of Rivals in the City, especially the descriptions about how the weather effected their walk. 

What series have you recently finished reading?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Extraordinary Voyages, #6)Title: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Author: Jules Verne
Source/Format: Purchased; Paperback
More Details: Science Fiction; Classics
Publisher/Publication Date: ; March 20, 1869

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads...

French naturalist Dr. Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. But Nemo's mission is one of revenge-and his methods coldly efficient...
Its official, I think I’ve gotten a pretty good start on my year. At least, I feel like I’m going in the right direction.

I have finally read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Jules Verne. It’s the first book I tackled this year and the first book I’ve read by Verne. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about the story, including the characters, setting, and technology.

The book was told from the perspective of Pierre Aronnax who was a relatively interesting character. His internal monologue was particularly great. It was interesting to see how the situations were viewed from his perspective and how his conflicted feelings about his new circumstances effected his thought process. The rest of the characters were just as wonderfully developed. They each had their distinctive traits and the development they underwent shed light on their histories, motivations, and personalities.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is one of those books that involves a lot of travel, but by no means was this a boring book. It’s as much about the characters as it was the setting and how the two ultimately effect one another. There were a lot of clues cleverly placed throughout the story. So, when I actually got to those pivotal moments the pieces just fit together. In some ways, this book reminded me of The Martian. Of course, they’re two very different books and aren’t very comparable—since one is set on Mars and the other takes place on or underwater. What I mean is that they’re both heavy-handed when it came to the science and terminology, which is actually one of the things I really enjoyed about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

The writing was very descriptive and I could envision all the cool places the characters got to visit.  I loved all the details that Verne included, and at times, the underwater setting was vivid and surreal. And as cool as the setting was, my favorite part of the story was still the Nautilus. Clearly, I’m a sucker for cool technology.

So, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a very entertaining read. I can finally cross this one off my list.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Musing Monday (66) Random Weekly Questions & Currently Reading

  • Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 
My musings for the week...

Today, I'm going to talk about the book I literally just started. I'm also going to get caught up on some of the random weekly questions that I missed.

Have you joined any challenges in reading for the new year? Do you have any general goals book or even not book related for 2017?

No, I haven't joined any reading challenges. Generally, I don't participate in those because I read at random (unless I have an ARC or a blog tour that requires a review by a certain date). As for some of my other goals, I pretty much covered that on my 2017 Blogging Resolutions Post. One goal I have, which isn't related to books, is refining my art skills. Improving is always a goal when it comes to art, and that's one of the things I want to work on this year.

What do you think about books being made into movies or TV shows and do you always read the book first?

I think its great as long as the source material is used wisely. If my favorite book or series happens to be adapted, I would definitely give the movie or TV show the benefit of the doubt. I don't always read the book first. Sometimes, I choose not to, and at other times I might have overlooked the fact that it was a book at first (this is especially true if I'm watching a movie/TV show just to see what all the hype is about).

How do you make time for reading when you are very busy? Or how do you find a better balance between wanting to spend time reading and other commitments?

I just kind of read whenever. There's really no trick to it or really much of a specific method of balancing reading with other commitments.

Other Musings...

This week, I’m going to read The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this book since it came out back in 2015. Since I’m trying to get through all the older releases that I’ve been meaning to read, I decided to go ahead and give this one a try—plus, the copy at my local library was recently returned. 

20345202Synopsis from Goodreads...

Magic lives in our darkest corners...

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known. Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act. Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants…and how to take it. But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire...

What are you reading this week?

Music Monday (12) Samsaya & Laura Mvula

  • 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 
Last Monday, we took a bit of a detour and skipped Music Monday. But, we’re back.

I only have one song to talk about this week: Beginning at the End by Samsaya. I first heard about Samsaya back in 2015, and while I haven’t listened to much of her music lately, Beginning at the End is the one song I know and love. The music video for it is kind of simple, but that's what I love about it.


For this Music Monday, I decided that I wanted to show another artist who I not only liked upon first listening, but also find really inspirational: Laura Mvula. The first song I chose is Overcome featuring Nile Rodgers. After listening to Lianne La Havas' Unstoppable for a while, I saw this in the recommendations. I adored the song and the video so much that I often have it on repeat. So now, I'm recommending it to you.

After I was able to pry myself away from the first song, I went to check out some of her other songs. Although, it looked pretty, I had to check out Phenomenal Woman because it has the same name as a Maya Angelou poem. All I can say is I'm glad I did. The song makes me want to jump out of my chair and dance around.

Are there any songs that make you want to dance?

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Friday 56 (90) & Book Beginnings: Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

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.
10645526Synopsis from Goodreads...

Kathryn Littlewood’s culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly magical wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure...

Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Stone Sleep Snickerdoodles and Singing Gingersnaps. Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke under lock and whisk-shaped key while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle, wears purple sequins, and whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, non-magical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun. So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke. A few Love Muffins and a few dozen Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?
Beginning:" It was the summer Rosemary Bliss turned ten that she saw her mother fold a lightning bolt into a bowl of batter and learned--beyond the shadow of a doubt--that her parents made magic in the Bliss bakery."

56:"On her mother's side: no one."
Comments: I really love the beginning of this book. It introduces the type of magic that's found in the story as well as the character, Rosemary. Overall, it was a pretty good book.

What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: The Twistrose key by Tone Almhjell

The Twistrose KeyTitle: The Twistrose Key
Author: Tone Almhjell
Source/Format: Purchased; Paperback
More Details: Middle Grade; Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Puffin Books; September 2, 2014

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Book Depository

Synopsis 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 Sylveros. 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...
I happened to find a copy of The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell by complete accident. I was just out for the day and happened to see it in the store. I wasn't looking for it, and didn't know anything about it or the author. However, once I read the synopsis my immediate reaction was "Yeah, this seems like something I want to read". I do have to admit that the synopsis can sound a bit morbid, but The Twistrose Key was a whimsical tale full of adventure, danger, and friendship.

The Twistrose Key was a fantastic story. There was a lesson, but it was conveyed subtly through prose, dialogue, and all the things Lin experienced. The primary focus of the story was on the task given to Lin and her reunion with Rufus in the world of Sylveros. The majority of this book took place in Sylveros, and it was by far one the best settings I’ve read about. I mean, it was a snow covered land literally populated by beloved pets that were deceased. The rules of Sylveros were pretty straight forward, and I liked how consistent the details were kept.

The characters were wonderful, Lin especially. By far, she wasn’t perfect. She made mistakes, got upset and frustrated. But it was nice to see such a range of emotions. I also liked the friendship between Lin and Rufus.

The story didn’t have that fast of a pace. Instead, it was a combination of slow and quick moving scenes. I honestly didn’t mind all of the details. I liked the early development that went on. The initial chapters introduced a lot of the characters, the magic, and other details that would later become the adventure aspect of the book. The Twistrose Key was simply a good story.

There appears to be another book in this series, and the synopsis also seems pretty interesting for that one too. So, I would definitely be interested in reading another book by Tone Almhjell.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Highly Anticipated Book Releases (2017)

Today, I’m going to be sharing some of the 2017 book releases that I’m really looking forward to. This isn’t going to be the most comprehensive list, because it is the beginning of the year, so realistically I don’t know about every book that’s coming out. However, I will keep an eye out for anything that happens to catch my interest. For now, here is my current list…
I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen. It was one of my favorite 2016 reads. So, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

This is another book I’m really excited about. I’ve been looking forward to this one since I first heard about it last year.

I read the synopsis for this one and liked how it sounded. So, I’m looking forward to it.

I absolutely adored the first two books in the series—Finding Serendipity and A Week Without Tuesday. Suffice it to say, I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
What 2017 releases are you looking forward to?

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Friday 56 (89) & Book Beginnings: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

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.
33507Synopsis from Goodreads...

French naturalist Dr. Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. But Nemo's mission is one of revenge-and his methods coldly efficient...
Beginning: "The year 1866 was signalized by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and puzzling phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten."

56: ""I can understand perfectly, sir, that your nets furnish excellent fish for your table; I can understand also that you hunt aquatic game in your submarine forest; but I cannot understand at all how a particle of meat, no matter how small, can figure into your bill of fare."
Comments: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is one of the classics I've been meaning to read. It's the first book I tackled in 2017, and I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed it. I also really liked the opening sentence.  

What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I'm Back + 2017 Blogging Resolutions

Well, I’m finally back and ready to start blogging again. It was kind of nice to take a break what with everything that’s been going on lately. 2016 is officially over and I’m praying for a better year. What I really want to tackle today are my Blogging Resolutions, because it’s that time again. Last year I set some simple goals for myself, and I mostly accomplished them. This year, I’m going to follow the same kind of theme and keep all of my blogging goals relatively simple and manageable. Of course, whether or not I actually accomplish these goals is left up to how 2017 goes for me.

  • #1  Expand the topics discussed on the blog.

I don’t want to limit this goal to just exploring the different genres. I’ve always been an avid comic/manga fan, and I would like to incorporate some of the other books I've read onto the blog as well, which is what I ultimately did with nonfiction. Occasionally, I also want to talk about some of the shows I watch. But again, this goal isn’t very specific, which is how I want to keep it. 

  • #2 Read more backlist books. 
I’ll still read the 2017 new releases that catch my interest, but I want to get to those books that I’ve wanted to read for a long time too.

  • #3 Read more classics. 
This is one goal I want to make progress on, because, no, I haven't read Pride and Prejudice or Fahrenheit 451 either. There are so many classics that I want to get to that reading more of them had to be one of my Blogging Resolutions.

  • #4 Post more discussion posts. 
I haven’t done many discussion posts, but I want to do more of them. It does take time to think of a topic worth discussing, and then finding the right words to convey that idea. So, like all my others goals, I won’t stress myself out if I can’t meet this one. 

  • #5 Take breaks as needed. 
Last year, I didn’t take as many breaks as I did in 2015. Breaks give me the time to recharge and come back to blogging with renewed enthusiasm. I don’t know when I’ll need them, but I want to take them whenever I don’t feel up to writing posts or reading. Like my other goals, this one also depends on how the year goes.
So, those are my 2017 blogging resolutions. Sometime soon, I’m going to share some of my highly anticipated 2017 releases. Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Roseblood by A.G. Howard

Roseblood by A.G. Howard releases today! If you haven’t heard about A.G. Howard's latest book, be sure to check out all the details below. There's also a giveaway down at the bottom of the post, where you can enter for a chance to win a signed Roseblood poster and a mask (courtesy of A.G. Howard & Rockstar Book Tours).
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: January 10, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

In this modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake she’s trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Rune’s mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.

At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thorn—an elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thorn’s dark agenda comes to light and he’s forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father he’s ever known.

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Now for the giveaway. One winner will receive a signed Roseblood poster and a Mask. This giveaway is US Only and ends on January 17th at Midnight EST.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...