Tess of the Road || A Book Review

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl—a subspecies of dragon—who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

Returning to the fascinating world she created in the award-winning and New York Times bestselling Seraphina, Rachel Hartman introduces readers to a new character and a new quest, pushing the boundaries of genre once again in this wholly original fantasy.


  • This book is ridiculously amazing.
  • It’s not for everyone, though. It’s really slow, and there isn’t much of a plot. It’s mostly just a character arc. But it’s a heck of a character arc.
  • For what little plot there was, I was confused for much of it.
  • THE CHARACTERS. Tess is an amazing character. She’s so developed and she seems like a real person. She has faults (many of them) and dreams and shames and other person-y things. She feels real, and I love seeing how she changes over the course of her journey.
  • The cover is a bit misleading. There aren’t really any dragons the way the cover implies. There’s a large, four-armed lizard and a really big snake, to say the least, but the dragons are in human form. It is fantasy, but it reads almost like historical fiction.
  • I love that the heavier topics were thoroughly discussed.
  • The book is really slow, but it’s compelling. You want to keep flipping the pages and keep reading and reading and reading (Warning: homework will suffer).
  • This takes place in the same world as Seraphina, but it’s necessary to read it beforehand. However, it is nice to read it first so you get a grasp on the world. There are also a lot of character cameos and references to Seraphina.
  • The writing, like in Seraphina, is gorgeous. I really love it.

The Aftermath of Midterm Exams

Midterms are finally, finally over. I am so glad they are gone. I don’t particularly mind taking midterms, but I despise the preparation. It saps time and leaves little room for anything else.

I’ve had a few days off after midterms, thanks to the snow, and I was so confused. It was like “What is this? Free time? I haven’t seen this in so long I’ve forgotten what it looks like. What happens if I poke it? What do I do now? Whaaaa. It’s eating me.”

As much as I beg and plead with the universe for free time, it only scared me when the universe plopped almost three days in my lap. It was so new, so different. I yelped and threw it into the fireplace. Sorry, it was a reflex.

I tried to have fun. I read a lot. I wrote. I drew. Sitting back at my computer to write was an interesting experience. After so long away from my stories, my fingers were like baby birds and they had to relearn their way around the keyboard. I’d forgotten the feel of the keys.

But it’s like I’d been trained to do nothing but homework. I wasn’t prepared to do anything else. And so I ended up studying, despite having no homework. I read ahead in Chemistry and studied for Science Olympiad.

So in conclusion, I am unable to have fun.

School has started again in earnest and I am being pummeled with homework. It’s like standing in a hailstorm of golfball-sized ice bricks, except each golfball/ice brick is a pocket of homework. Eventually, these homework pockets will melt and you will drown, but you won’t even notice because you were so busy attempting to duel the homework pockets. You may win a battle, maybe even numerous battles, but the homework will always win the war. Because you have only yourself: mortal and easily fatigable. Homework, on the other hand, does not fear death and has an infinite army raining from the sky. Defeat is inevitable. It’s only a question of how long you can hold your breath.

So what have I been doing these many, many nightmarish days that I have been absent from the blogosphere? Not much, really. Mostly studying. I’ve been studying nonstop since Christmas. My brain has been mushed thoroughly. You could probably be sneaky and serve my brain instead of mashed potatoes at your next dinner party and no one would even notice until you surprised them at the end of the night with this delightful little piece of trivia. You’d cackle with glee as your guests process your wonderful trick.

Many things have happened since Christmas. I aced my exams. I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped on English, but it didn’t affect my overall grade at all, so *shrugs*. I’m sure I’ll accept it eventually. I did very, very well in AP Chemistry, however. But as I am only me, I will spend my time thinking about the perceived English failure (which wasn’t really even a failure) instead of the unexpected success in Chem.

I’m glad that the sacrifice of my morale was worth it.

We had a Science Olympiad Invitational that our team did very well in. I saw a friend from middle school. I said “hi”. It took her a moment to recognize me. (I had an epiphany. I finally understand what people mean when they say you can read eyes. I probably wouldn’t have recognized her out-of-the-blue either. It’s been years and we both look very different. I only identified her because she wears the same style of sweaters now that she did then.) Then she waved. Then we studiously avoided each other.

I entered a piece to an art contest. Predictably, nothing came of it. But I’m glad I entered, as it motivated me to finish the drawing, which I will give to my grandma for her upcoming birthday.

I also entered two short stories in a writing contest last November. Surprisingly, I got an Honorable Mention for one of them. So YAY.

Quality vs. Quantity

I was thinking the other day, as I occasionally do, about the phrase “quality over quantity.” This saying is useful when describing friends or hours spent studying or blog posts, but it is not always true. Sometimes quantity can be more important than quality.

For example, let’s consider Fred. Fred wants to start a sock business. He has scoured the globe for the perfect sheep with the softest, most unscratchy wool. He’s searched oceans and galaxies, talked to wise wizards and wise librarians, searched under rocks and inside the bellies of various beasts. After many years of humiliating fruitless searching and exhaustion, Fred finally did it. He found the perfect sheep.

He spent months in isolation, knitting away as the clock’s hands spun until he had created the most perfect, wonderful sock. It was the softest, the most breathable, the comfiest sock in existence. The quality was brilliant.

However, Fred only had enough wool to create one sock. Only a sad half of a complete pair. There simply weren’t enough socks to start a business. As there was only one magic sock in existence, Fred could sell it at an outrageously high price if he so wished, but he did not so wish. Through the years spent devoted to the creation of this sock, Fred had grown quite attached to it and he couldn’t bear to sell the love of his life to be worn on some random geezer’s stinky foot.

And so Fred had wonderful quality, but his lack of quantity led to a failed sock business.

Fred did, however, have a business-minded younger sister, Bethy. Bethy and Fred were always competing as children for their parents’ love. So while Fred spent years failing to find a sheep, Bethy took the opportunity to be better than her brother. She was going to start a successful sock business that would make her brother look even more incompetent in comparison.

Bethy’s socks didn’t have nearly as much care put into them as Fred’s sock did. Bethy business plan was to sell her socks at an absurdly low, low price so people would compulsively purchase them. In order to make them at such a low price, Bethy had to be clever. Instead of using wool, she used dandelion fluff. People paid her to weed their lawns and then she used those same dandelions to make her socks, which the same people later purchased. She also hired highly trained mice instead of people to make her socks because mice accepted cheese as payment.

Bethy’s socks weren’t of the highest quality. Her customers often complained of the socks being too fragile to wear and smelling oddly like rodent. But her customers’ contentment didn’t particularly concern her as long as they continued to purchase her socks.

And so Bethy had poor quality, but she did have quantity and a successful sock business, unlike Fred.

Now the question is, was there a point to this whole rambling story? No, not particularly. But it was fun to write.

The Upside of Unrequited || A Book Review

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli || 3/5

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. 

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?


  • The writing style was lovely.
  • I appreciate the pacing.
  • I like that it takes place in the Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda universe and that we get to see some of our favorite characters, but it seemed somewhat awkward to force them to show up. But it made me happy, so *shrugs*.
  • Aside from Molly, our main character, the other characters weren’t developed at all.
  • I wasn’t attached to Molly or any of the other characters. I didn’t find Molly relatable.
  • Molly was constantly thinking about dating and boys and etc. etc. It got repetitive.
  • There’s not much of a plot.
  • Overall, it’s a decent book, though somewhat boring. I’d recommend it if you enjoyed Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Read More

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda || A Book Review

Leah on the Offbeat || A Book Review

What If It’s Us || A Book Review

Kingdom of Ash || A Book Review

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas || 5/5

Years in the making, Sarah J. Maas’s #1 New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series draws to an epic, unforgettable conclusion. Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. . .

Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.


  • This book took me over a month to read. It was at no fault of the book, which I loved every moment of, but rather my life (aka homework). That’s a record for me. I think the length of time it took me to read the book distorted my perception of the pacing. I thought it dragged, but I have no idea if it actually did. That said, I don’t believe it did, because thinking back on the plot, there weren’t many moments where nothing was happening. It was an action-packed book. Which is to be expected as, you know, it’s a war.
  • This book is a very hardcore fantasy. (I read a fluffy contemporary afterward and it was jarring.) Through the first third or so of the book, there are no lighthearted moments to lighten the mood, and even after that, fun moments were few and far between. Our characters suffer a great deal.
  • I was planning to reread the series before I read Kingdom of Ash, but I didn’t get a chance (see note about homework). However, I unexpectedly didn’t have a problem with this. Yes, I remember very few details about the prior books in the series, but despite not having read the series for just over a year, I jumped right back into the story without missing a beat.
  • I appreciate the lack of detailed sex scenes in this installment of the series.
  • I love how conclusive the ending is. Kingdom of Ash is a worthy conclusion to this epic series.
  • The character development is lovely. I love seeing how the characters grow and change due to their experiences.
  • The writing style is, as always, gorgeous. It’s a work of art.
  • A random note: I noticed that the characters’ knees buckle a lot in dramatic scenes. I’m wondering if this is a normal thing or are the characters’ knees weirdly weak?

Extreme Spoiler Section. You have been warned.

Stop right there if you haven’t yet read the book. (In which case go read it now.) This is an EXTREME spoiler section. I will be discussing the ending. I hold no responsibility if your eyes betray you and read the following section without your permission. This is your final chance to turn back. You have been warned.

  • I really like that before the ending, Aelin loses the majority of her power. I like that she becomes an average Fae, and she still manages to defeat her enemies. I like that she’s not overpowered magically, and she still remains so powerful.
  • I like that she relies on her friends to defeat Maeve and Erawan instead of being the sole hero.
  • I like that in the end, it is not Aelin who ends Maeve or Erawan, but her friends.

I’ll Give You the Sun || A Book Review

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson || All the stars and then some

“We were all heading for each other on a collision course, no matter what. Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.” At first, Jude and her twin brother Noah, are inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude wears red-red lipstick, cliff-dives, and does all the talking for both of them. Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways . . . but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious new mentor. The early years are Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only half the story, and if they can only find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world. This radiant, award-winning novel from the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing—often all at once. Printz Award Winner Stonewall Honor Book.


  • This is a new favorite.
  • From the first page, the writing style pulled me in. The writing makes this book. It’s full of gorgeous artistic metaphors that I can’t properly describe. You’ll just have to see for yourself.
  • I’ll Give You the Sun is explosive.
  • It made me feel things. It made me turn pages. It made my imagination explode with color. It made me want to create.
  • I’ve always loved to draw, but I’ve had a dry spell recently. This book inspired me to make art again, and for that I’m grateful.
  • I love the characters. I fell in love with them. They’re all unique and complex with stories and secrets.
  • I love that the characters aren’t goody-two-shoes. They don’t always make the right choice on the first go. They’re selfish and they’re jealous. They make rash decisions because of their emotions, and they regret it, and they apologize. In short, they’re human.
  • I love the complex, cyclic plot. I love how everything was interconnected and played larger roles you didn’t see at first.
  • I was completely absorbed in the book. I usually read before class starts, and I stop when the teacher starts talking, but while I was reading this book, I was unaware of everything around me and I may have accidentally read partway into class. (Totally worth it though.)
  • Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book and I have to reread it soon.

Flashback || A Book Review

Keeper of the Lost Cities: Flashback by Shannon Messenger || 5/5

In this unforgettable seventh book, Sophie must let the past and present blur together, because the deadliest secrets are always the ones that get erased.

Sophie Foster doesn’t know what—or whom—to believe. And in a game with this many players, the worst mistake can be focusing on the wrong threat.

But when the Neverseen prove that Sophie’s far more vulnerable than she ever imagined, she realizes it’s time to change the rules. Her powerful abilities can only protect her so far. To face down ruthless enemies, she must learn to fight.

Unfortunately, battle training can’t help a beloved friend who’s facing a whole different danger—where the only solution involves one of the biggest risks Sophie and her friends have ever taken. And the distraction might be exactly what the villains have been waiting for. 


  • This book was… not what I expected.
  • I thought it was going to be super action-packed. Just look at the cover! But it wasn’t. The majority of the book centered around the characters talking and planning.
  • And I love character development, I just didn’t expect so much of it.
  • My biggest issue with this book was the pacing. There’s some action in the first hundred pages, then little action in the next five hundred pages, and then LOTS of action in the last hundred pages.
  • I love the character development in this book for Fitz.
  • However, the other characters were neglected a bit.
  • I love the writing style.
  • I love that the world was further developed and we got to learn new things about it and see more of it.
  • I love that the story is character-driven.
  • Overall, it’s an amazing series, and I love it so much, but this isn’t my favorite book in the series. I still love it, though.
  • I love seeing the characters growing up.

Lord of the Flies || A Book Review

Lord of the Flies by William Golding || 3/5

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable tale about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”


  • By terms of symbolic meaning, this book is a masterpiece
    • I love how it portrays humans as savage animals
  • Entertainment-wise, it’s a resounding meh.
  • The pacing is slow.
  • The characters are shallow and two-dimensional. They have one or two defining characteristics, but that’s it. They exist to be symbols, not people.
  • I kept forgetting characters. They all have interchangeable names, especially Roger and Robert.
  • The writing takes some getting used to, but once you get in the flow of it, it’s fine. It doesn’t really stand out, though.
  • The ending was jarring. It didn’t flow from the rest of the book. It’s like, alright, now things have gone too far. Cue madness. Cue chaos. Okay. Let’s end it right now and tie it with a pretty pink bow.
  • It was boring, and I didn’t care about the characters or what happened to them.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy || A Book Review

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee || 4/5

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.


  • Love the writing style and the humor
  • However I enjoyed the first book in the series, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, much more.
  • It wasn’t quite as funny, but that’s because the main character is Felicity, not Monty
  • I loved seeing what happened to Monty and Percy after the first book
  • I love how Felicity stood up for herself and was so stubborn. I was rooting for her the entire time.
  • However, while I liked the other two minor characters, Johanna and Sim, I wasn’t particularly attached to them.
  • Overall, it’s a solid read, but I don’t see myself rereading it in the future.

Read 10-18-2018 to 10-21-2018

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Vengeful || A Book Review

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab || 5/5

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.


  • The writing style is lovely, as always.
  • The characters are amazing. I love them so much, especially Victor, and I just want to lock them away in a safe house and keep anything bad from happening to them.
  • But, I liked Vicious, the first book in the series, a tiny bit better.
  • The events were difficult to keep track of chronologically. In Vicious, there were only two main time periods, so it was easy enough to keep everything straight. However, in Vengeful, there are so many different times and places and characters, so it was hard to piece together what was happening.
  • I love the characters that were established in the first book, and I loved finding out what happened to them next. And I admired the new characters in this book, but I didn’t get quite as attached to them.
  • I didn’t understand June’s motives toward Sydney, but June was a really mysterious character. We know almost nothing about her. Which is interesting and all, but it made me confused as to June’s purpose.
  • After finishing the book, I still had questions. So hopefully there will be another book in the series.

Read 10-7-2018 to 10-12-2018

Vicious by V.E. Schwab || A Book Review

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab || A Book Review

Bridge of Clay || A Book Review

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak || 3.5/5

The breathtaking story of five brothers who bring each other up in a world run by their own rules. As the Dunbar boys love and fight and learn to reckon with the adult world, they discover the moving secret behind their father’s disappearance. 

At the center of the Dunbar family is Clay, a boy who will build a bridge—for his family, for his past, for greatness, for his sins, for a miracle. 

The question is, how far is Clay willing to go? And how much can he overcome?


  • It’s beautifully written.
  • The characters are developed and complex.
  • I love the story.
  • But it’s very slow. It drags and meanders quite a bit.
  • I spent the majority of the book very confused.
  • I finished, and I was still confused.
  • And it didn’t make me feel anything.
  • The shocking moments weren’t very shocking. I kept thinking, That’s it?
  • I love how conclusive the ending is.
  • While the writing is very beautiful, I had to read almost two hundred pages before I got used to it. During those two hundred pages, I kept having to reread portions to understand what was happening.
  • A lot of seemingly unimportant details turned out to be important much later. Because I’d initially thought they were unimportant, I struggled to remember them later, which added to the confusion.
  • The book struggled to hold my attention. It wasn’t captivating.

Read 10-24-2018 to 11-3-2018

Book Review of I Am The Messenger

Mirror, Mirror || A Very Short Story

  1. Mirror, Mirror: What if your mirror started talking to you? What might the mirror say?

Jenny stood in front of the mirror, adjusting her makeup, when her reflection screamed. Jenny, of course, screamed in return. And cursed a bit as well.

“You look atrocious!” the mirror exclaimed.

Jenny, bewildered, couldn’t form a reply.

“Well, come on, don’t just stand there like a pebble or a lilypad or some other immovable object. Don’t tell me you’re incompetent as well as ugly!”

“What are you?” Jenny breathed, concerned that she might be going crazy.

“This is unbelievable. You really can’t recognize me?”

“Well, you look just like me…” Jenny replied.

“You’re very good at stating the obvious,” her reflection replied.

Jenny rolled her eyes. “You haven’t answered my question.”

“You still can’t guess? I’m your self-esteem.”

Arachnid Writes a Story

NARRATOR: Arachnid’s fingers dance over the keyboards as he weaves a story. Her fingers struggle to keep up as she records the symphony in her head.

ARACHNID slams her face into the keyboard after staring at a blank document for an embarrassing amount of time.

A lightbulb flashes into existence above her head as an idea comes to her. She furiously types.

She pummels the backspace bar, beating it bloody, then slams her face into the keyboard again. Random letters appear on the screen.

ARACHNID: Ugh! Why is this so hard?

LAPTOP: I’m sure it’s harder for me than it is for you. What with the beating my keys bloody and all that! (Glares)

ARACHNID: If only I chose to like something I was actually good at. Imagine how convenient it would be!

LAPTOP: And if you like something you were actually good at, you wouldn’t beat my keys bloody anymore! (Glares harder)

ARACHNID: Come on, Laptop, you’ve been with me through it all. Essays, stories, disgusting attempts at poetry… You must have some ideas!

LAPTOP (softening a bit): Well, you could try writing short, random pieces before you get back to the hard one. Just write whatever. Flex those writing muscles! Preferably without beating my keys bloody. Practice makes better, as a wise first-grade teacher once said.

ARACHNID: Whatever? As in anything I can think of? Like a scene where you give me writing advice?

LAPTOP: If you must. (Sighs)

ARACHNID: Aww. I love you, too.

Vicious || Book Review

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?


Vicious by V.E. Schwab || 5/5

  • It was a page-turner. I couldn’t stop reading, and my homework definitely suffered.
  • It wasn’t in chronological order, but it wasn’t hard to keep track of what was going on.
  • I fell in love with the characters.
    • It was interesting to read a story where everyone is morally gray. There’s no clear hero, and there’s no clear villain.
    • So who should you root for?
    • What if someone’s doing the right thing for the wrong reasons? Or the wrong thing for the right reasons?
    • I loved getting into the heads of the villains. And finding them relatable. Usually, you’re supposed to despise the villain. You’re supposed to gasp and go “How could they do something so atrocious?” But what if you know how and why? Do things change?
  • The writing style is beautiful, the characters are believable.
  • I was constantly asking questions and I was fully sucked into the world of Vicious.
  • Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Go read it. Right now. You’ll thank me later.

Read 9/23/2018 to 9/26/2018


Read More: Review of This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab


Also, I think this song pairs nicely with Vicious.

Eye Contact: A Writing Prompt

  1. Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

 

The park’s loud, but the only thing I can hear is the scratch of my pen and the distant echo of an epic dragon war. There are knights with clashing swords and a blazing fire and medieval princesses that save themselves, and then the knights. It seems like most people need absolute quiet for their writing. And honestly, maybe if I was writing in a silent place, my stories wouldn’t be so horrid, but it’s not like I’ll find silence anywhere at my house. The park’s not quiet, but it’s the kind of loud where you can’t hear anything. Which is an improvement.

Currently, in my head, the hero is standing in the dragon’s jaws, about to retrieve the queen’s crown from its stomach (which is where the dragons in my story hide their hoards. It’s like a weird second stomach. More like a pouch or something, I suppose, since there aren’t any digestive juices.) But. However. My pen’s run out of ink.

I’m rooting around in my bag in the hopes that I brought another one (which I know for a fact that I didn’t) when a roller skater, screaming/laughing (I can’t really tell) jumps/falls/crashes into the bench. Like the comet in my book that started the fires the allowed the dragon population to explode. But on a smaller scale and less catastrophic.

But still kind of catastrophic because all of my papers fly everyone and rain all over the place. It’s not windy, luckily. But ughhh. It’s going to be a pain to reorder everything. I should’ve added page numbers.

She pulls herself off the bench and brushes some dirt from her shirt. There are grass stains on her knees. I don’t think this is the first time she’s fallen. She sticks out her hand to help me up. I wasn’t planning to stand up, but what is one to do? Be excessively rude and not take the offered hand?

“Sorry. You wouldn’t believe how many times this has happened. I must be setting some record. I’m exceptionally bad at skating, but I decide to do it anyway, all the time. I have no idea why. Am I talking too much? I feel like I’m talking too much, especially since I just ran you over. Sorry. I like talking. And skating. And writing. I just felt like putting a third thing in there because it seems evener. Even though three is an odd number. And you were writing, and I like writing. So I feel like we’re connecting. We’re basically best friends already.”

I don’t think she takes a single breath, and she talks in that too-much-sugar sort of way.

“Hi,” I say.

She’s picking out some leaves that got tangled up in her hair, but then she looks up and meets my eyes and I get kind of distracted. She has very big, very brown eyes.

She’s an exact replica of Naila, the knight-saving, dragon-fighting princess from my story.

Halloween Horror Story

Hi peoples!

Happy spooky day!

It’s my favorite holiday. I LOVE Halloween.

What are you going to be for Halloween? I’m a cactus.

SHORT STORY!


She woke with a choked gasp, her fingers clawing at her throat, before she fell back into her pillows, realizing that she was still in her bed. She waited for her heartbeat to settle, gloomily accepting that she likely wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. She curled up and tried to get warmer beneath the mound of blankets, the nightmare already slipping her mind.

She was in a daze, in that quiet space between waking and sleeping, when she heard a soft creak, like footsteps on old floorboards. It must’ve been imagined. It must’ve been the first whispers of a dream. But she was alert now, listening and tense beneath the sheets, her eyes still closed.

What am I doing? she thought, with a short burst of laughter that more resembled a sigh.

A door slammed.

Whispers rose.

The footsteps came faster. Quicker. Urgent.

She rose slowly out of bed, wrapping a quilt around her shoulders, letting it drag on the floor behind her. She went downstairs, listening looking terrified. She flicked on the light, prepared to find something sinister and relaxed a bit when there was nothing. She was about to go back upstairs, to write off the sounds as figments of her imagination, when she heard a voice in her bedroom and froze, her foot hovering over the stair.

The sound wasn’t in a language she could recognize. It flickered at the edges of her mind like she should’ve been able to comprehend it. Yet it didn’t sound completely right, either. Something was off. A hissing undertone that wasn’t possible on the human tongue.

She climbed up the stairs, softly, slowly, coiled up and ready to fight or flee as soon as the cue was given. She flipped the light switch in the hall. She breathed a soft curse as light didn’t flood the hall. A moment later, the light at her back from the kitchen plunged into darkness, leaving nothing but shadows and silvered moonlight.

The quilt drifted to the floor behind her as she used touch and memory to find the hall closet. She pulled out a flashlight, praying it to work as she switched it on, and a dull glow filled the hall.

She followed the sound of the whispers, the sound rising and falling in chaotic waves, to her bedroom. To her bed.

She fell to her knees and pressed her face to the floor. Her hand shook against her will as she directed the flashlight beam underneath the bed.

The darkness seemed to swallow the light.

A solid mass of shadows.

Roiling and swallowing and shuddering.

Consuming.

She squinted and pressed closer. It couldn’t be. The light. The darkness. Her imagination. Her eyes. They were lying.

Her eyes widened.

A gasp escaped her lips. What did she see? What did she see?

She scrambled backward, lunged for the door.

Something pulled her back.

Something took her.

Something swallowed.

Something consumed.


© ARACHNID WEAVER 2018

What If It’s Us || Book Review (This is the most adorable book ever)

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

»»§««

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera || 6/5

  • I love this book SO MUCH. I’m sad that there isn’t any fanart yet.
  • It’s very adorable, very cute, and very, very awesome.
  • My homework suffered while I was reading this. I kept having to read just one more chapter. And whenever I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. That honestly sounds like Arthur and Ben when they’re crushing on each other.
  • The characters are amazing and you can’t help but fall in love with them.
  • The characters are complex and flawed and well-developed and unique and they feel like real people. I’m kinda surprised they’re not.
  • The characters make this book. They drive it forward and make it spectacular.
  • The magical blend of Albertalli and Silvera’s writing styles is the thing you didn’t know you needed, but you totally need. The separate styles meshed so well. And the ending.
  • I was smiling for the majority of the book.
    • Seriously, that’s hard to do.
    • No, really. That’s impressive.
    • I was smiling at the spot-on humor, the characters’ goofiness, or the amazing adorableness of it.
  • Dylan. Is. Amazing.
    • He’s like another Keefe. (For all you peeps who don’t know, Keefe Sencen is my favorite character person. He’s from Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities.)
  • I loved the ending. It was inconclusive, but I think it’s better that way.
    • Also. Just throwing it out there. Sequel?
      • Well, not really a sequel. Like a novella in the future that’s about how everything turned out sparkles and cotton candy and rainbows.
  • Also. I love the cover. Just look at the awesome watercolor-ness of it.

In conclusion. Everyone, read this! It’s so, so amazing.


Read 10/21/2018 – 10/24/2018

Read more

Batman: Nightwalker || Book Review

Heyo, peoples of the universe!

How is your Monday? I don’t know how my Monday is going since it’s currently Sunday night and I’m not a psychic or anything. Although that would be very cool. Imagine knowing your test grade before you take the test so then you don’t freak out over it. Getting sidetracked here, but what superpower would you like? I always thought that I’d like invisibility or teleportation (because I hate traveling, but I like going places. But doesn’t everyone. Twelve-hour plane rides suck universally.)

So, I’ve just finished writing a twenty-one page, handwritten report for Chemistry. It was… not fun. More like a mad dash of insanity that murdered my fingers.

So. Getting to the point now.

But before we get to the point, what are you going to be for Halloween? It’s coming up and I have no idea. I was supposed to go shopping today, but because of said Chemistry report, I didn’t have time. But really, (and I don’t mean to be evil) what’s the point of dressing up when you wear a coat and nobody can see your costume anyway? But it seems like a betrayal to not wear a costume on Halloween.

Okay. Now. To the point.


Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu || 3.5/5

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer. 

  • So I have no comments on how the book is compared to existing Batman lore because I only know basic Batman. And much of that knowledge comes from the Lego Batman movie. Honestly, getting into superheroes seems likes a daunting task since there’s SO MUCH out there. So many movies and comics and superheroes.
  • The whole premise is kind of ludicrous. Why would they give Bruce, an eighteen-year-old, community service at an asylum/prison? Especially when his crime was interfering with the police. The events that occurred seemed inevitable. I also can’t get over community service at an asylum/prison. Couldn’t he have picked up trash at the park or something?
  • The main character is well-developed, but the minor ones could use some work. Madeline is intriguing, though.
  • The writing is fine, though not remarkable.
  • The pacing is somewhat slow, but there is good suspense and I was never bored.
  • Overall, the book was entertaining, but not remarkable.

Read 8/23/2018 to 8/26/2018

Read More: Review of Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo


I’m so behind on book reviews! I’m reading much faster than I’m reviewing. So, in order to catch up, I’ve decided to not review every book that I read. Sometimes I just don’t have much to say. The books I’ve skipped are Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (5/5) and When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket (4.5/5).

I’m also going to try to get in the habit of reviewing books as soon as I’ve finished. I suspect I will fail because time. But I will give a valiant effort.

Currently Reading: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

This is my first ever signed copy of a book! It’s also so adorable. And addictive. I feel like my homework is going to suffer in the near future.

World Mental Health Day: Pick Me Up Playlist Tag

Heyo, peeps!

Spinette and I both adore music. We talk mostly about music when we text. But we listen to vastly different genres of music. Spinette adores K-pop while I prefer alternative rock. I usually listen to pessimistic songs. (Hey, I’m a pessimistic person *shrugs*.) In fact, a common complaint of Spinette’s is that I listen to too many songs about death. However, I’ll try to stick to the more upbeat ones for this tag.

I’m so excited to share my music with you guys!

I was tagged by the ever wonderful Sophia Ismaa. Go check out her blog, peeps, you won’t be disappointed.


RULES

  1. Link back to ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ creator – Laura Spoonie
  2. Tag the blogger who nominated you
  3. Mention how music helps your Mental Health
  4. List 10 songs that you would consider to be a part of your ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ (optional: mention a little bit why each song is on your list)
  5. Tag 10 other bloggers to join in with the ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ Challenge

Music helps me relax while I do my homework. I am up to my eyeballs in homework. My eyeballs are sad.


1. Unstoppable by The Score

The Score is one of my favorite bands and this is my favorite song by them. Listen to the lyrics. Very Pick Me Up. (I’m succeeding at following the rules of this tag!)

 

2. Better by OneRepublic

A very terrific song. It makes me happy.

I think I’ve lost my mind. Don’t worry about it. Happens all the time. In the morning I’ll be better.

Me too.

 

3. Happier by Bastille and Marshmello

This one’s a new song by the amazing Bastille (and Marshmello) that I love. It makes me happier. The video, ironically, is quite sad.

 

4. Blood by My Chemical Romance

The tune is very peppy.

 

5. The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

It just takes some time
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

 

6. I’m Yours by Jason Miraz

And it’s our God-forsaken right to be loved loved loved loved loved

 

7. Pocket Full of Gold by American Authors

Very peppy.

 

8. Connection by OneRepublic

More pep.

 

9. Desolation Row by My Chemical Romance

I just like it.

 

10. Sinners by Barns Courtney

I couldn’t help but pick some negative songs. They pick me up.


Out of curiosity, what’s your favorite song?

The Traitor’s Game || Book Review

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen || 3/5

Nothing is as it seems in the kingdom of Antora. Kestra Dallisor has spent three years in exile in the Lava Fields, but that won’t stop her from being drawn back into her father’s palace politics. He’s the right hand man of the cruel king, Lord Endrick, which makes Kestra a valuable bargaining chip. A group of rebels knows this all too well – and they snatch Kestra from her carriage as she reluctantly travels home.The kidnappers want her to retrieve the lost Olden Blade, the only object that can destroy the immortal king, but Kestra is not the obedient captive they expected. Simon, one of her kidnappers, will have his hands full as Kestra tries to foil their plot, by force, cunning, or any means necessary. As motives shift and secrets emerge, both will have to decide what – and who – it is they’re fighting for.

»»§««

  • Lots of exposition dumping at the beginning that distracts from the story.
  • The romance is VERY forced.
  • It says that Kestra has been training, is violent, and dangerous, but she never really does anything to prove these claims.
  • A Super Random Observation: There’s a character named Basil. In The False Prince, there’s a character named Sage. Is there a character named Sage. Is there a herb theme going on here?
  • The fight scenes aren’t done well. To support Kestra’s supposed combative prowess, it seems as though all her opponents are unskilled, despite being trained and experienced soldiers.
  • Kestra’s says that she cares a great deal about her servants, but there are almost no interactions between them. Their relationship isn’t fleshed out and Kestra’s situation, therefore, doesn’t seem as dire as it supposedly is.
  • Kestra and Simon’s relationship is forced and unrealistic. Despite thinking about each other all the time and being attracted to each other, they constantly fight when they’re together. They are risking far too much for each other than is practical or advisable. They are planning a hypothetical future for themselves (if only their love wasn’t forbidden. *Dramatic sigh*) after only having been reunited for three days. It’s honestly kind of ludicrous that they’d “fall in love” after days. Especially since they originally hated each other.
  • Overdramatic and not suspenseful.
  • I enjoyed the ending, though the twists were not particularly surprising.
  • The antagonist was undeveloped and we only saw them once. The antagonist was portrayed more as a looming evil force.

This book was rather disappointing, especially considering how much I adored The False Prince. I most likely will not read the sequel to this book, but I will try other books by Nielsen. Overall, this book was rather forgettable. Nothing stuck out. The worst part was the romance. I don’t mind a well-done romance that is integral to the plot, but this one didn’t add anything to the story and was highly impractical. And I know love is supposedly not about practicality but *shudders* feelings. But this was such a non-romance that I was gagging at not rooting for that the impracticality took the spotlight.

Read 8/15/2018 – 8/21/2018

Currently Reading Vengeful by V.E. Schwab.