Saturday, January 24, 2015

Badass Books: One, Two, Three

It's taken me a while to get to the lovely Elodie Nowodazkij's One, Two, Three--last year was a crazy year, and I'm not the biggest reader of contemporary. But this story was lovely.


Summary (from Goodreads):

When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love. 

Why I Read It: Elodie is one of the wonderful YA authors I've gotten to know through this writing community, and when she put this book out, of course it went straight to my TBR list. A lot of the other authors in this same community loved the book, so I knew I would, too.

ZOMG Yes! I think the biggest thing about this story for me was the relationship between Nata and her mother (I mean, don't get me wrong--I loved the kissing scenes with Tonio). Her reaction to her mother's alcoholism felt very raw to me. In some ways, it angered me. She wanted to protect her mom, to help her, to hide her secrets. This is a very real way to react. I know, because I've seen it. And I hate it.

But it was well done.

I also loved her relationship with her best friend. Friendships carried me through my own teenage years, and this sort of friendship was spot on.

kthxbai If you like a good contemporary romance rich with emotion and family struggles, pick this one up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. Be sure to visit Jaime's blog to add your post to the link list!



What I'm Reading: I'm finally on the lovely Elodie Nowodazkij's One Two Three. I'm really enjoying it so far. I don't know a lot of the ballet terms, but I think the way that Natalya deals with her mother's alcoholism is very raw.

What I'm Writing: I lied last week. I thought I was going to work on my ghost story, but I ended up doing a few more edits on Stars & Stripes, my historical fantasy. That book is now officially out of my hands for now and I am back to the ghost story! Tentatively titled We Used Our Phones as Flashlights (just kidding...)

What Works For Me: This week, the song Kansas City (performed by Marcus Mumford, lyrics by Bob Dylan). My book has nothing to do with Kansas, but the feeling of this song was just spot on for Stars & Stripes this weekend.




What Else Is New: Katy Upperman's candy minimal photos inspired me to jump on that trend, so I've been posting a few. In other news, I'll be gone next week for the biggest trade show of the year for my largest account at work, so you probably won't be seeing much of me!

Have a great week :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What's Up Wednesday: Hello 2015!

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. Be sure to visit Jaime's blog to add your post to the link list!



What I'm Reading: Reading more is a huge goal for me this year. In 2014, work took over my life, so most days I had to choose between reading or writing and didn't get both. Not this year. So far I've read two YA fantasy novels, so I'm taking a break from my typical genre and going contemporary. I'm finally reading Jellicoe Road.

What I'm Writing: I finished another round of revisions on Stars & Stripes on New Year's Eve. So now I'm back to tinkering with my ghost story. 

What Works for Me: Right now it's any bit of writing I can get in in the morning, even if it's only fifteen minutes. The revision on this piece is going pretty slowly--mostly because I've had other things come up. But the positive side is that it's given me a lot of time for thinking. Most days when I write I'm so focused on word count that I don't really take time to think, to mull ideas over. So this is good for me.

What Else Is New: 

  • I dyed my hair blond at the end of last year, and I kind of love it. 
  • I put together some goals for 2015.
  • I made a new mood board (it's in the above post).


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Badass Books: Strange & Ever After

While I started Strange & Ever After at the end of 2014, I finished it the first day of 2015. I can't think of a better way to kick off the New Year, especially since I want more than anything (ok not anything but I want it a lot) to read more this year. I have to say, this was a beautiful, beautiful end to this series.

I won't go into too much detail, as I don't want to spoil the series for anyone, but if you like historical fantasy with badass heroines and a lot of magic, add this book to your list.


Summary (from Goodreads):

In the conclusion to the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a roaring—and addictive—gothic world,” Eleanor Fitt must control her growing power, face her feelings for Daniel, and confront the evil necromancer Marcus...all before it’s too late.

Why I Read It: I picked this series up the year it launched because the first book came out just as I was preparing to start on my own historical fantasy, so I wanted to read a historical fantasy to kick it off. This series has been a companion to me, and it seems only appropriate that I finished it the day after I finished the final big revision of my own Stars & Stripes before going on submission.

ZOMG Yes! As I've said in my reviews of the other novels in this series, the characters are phenomenal. Eleanor is so terribly real. And the treatment of this dark magic--necromancy--is just wonderful. Susan Dennard has taken something that sounds inherently evil (raising the dead? um hello) and created questions in the readers' mind.

kthxbai I hate saying goodbye to this series, but Susan nailed it. The ending tore through me, as any good ending should do, but it was so very right. All the Chiweenies to Susan Dennard!