October 1 – Apologies

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Life has been busy for me recently. I keep meaning to get out a writing wrap-up post for last month, but I just haven’t found the time.  My sister is getting married this weekend, it seems crazy to me that she’s old enough to do something like that. It seems crazy to me that all of my siblings and I are growing up and becoming adults. I’ve had a lot of feelings about all of this and yet I can’t seem to put anything into words.

I haven’t been writing much at all this week. Which always adds to my bad mood. When I’m not writing I feel useless, like I’m failing in life.  I know writing comes and goes sometimes but at this point I’ve been writing for almost 9 years. You would think I would be able to push through this shit better.  I guess not.

NaNoWriMo is coming up soon and I am unbelievably excited. I love this writing event, it’s when I do some of my best work for the year.  I also love this time of year. After summer everything seems to come alive again for me.  I look at people and I see stories everywhere. I might be writing some NaNo prep posts in the upcoming weeks, so look forward to that. I’m also going to share some poetry.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading. 🙂

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Venturess – By Betsy Cornwell

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Goodreads Synopsis: Nicolette’s Cinderella story is over, and she’s finally living her own fairy tale happy ending. She’s a successful inventor now, free of her horrible stepfamily, and content in her loving friendship with Caro, a palace servant, and Fin, the prince of Esting.

Then she receives a message from her long-lost housekeeper, now a revolutionary, begging her to bring the prince to Faerie for a diplomatic meeting. Nicolette fears a trap, but decides that the chance to end the bloody war waged by their kingdom is worth the risk.

Together with Fin and Caro, she ventures across the monster-filled ocean to the lush continent she’s always dreamed of visiting. There, mechanical armies and dark magic await as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and themselves. 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I was given a copy of this book by Tara in Digital Marketing and Publicity Specialist with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Which made me super excited because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to read it this soon!  I did a review of the first book in this series earlier in the year, Mechanica, you can find that post here.

Venturess is another fun adventure story from Betsy Cornwell.  Again I found that the writing was a little bit young for the intended genre. Most of the book I found that Nic, Fin and Caro sounded (and sometime acted) like they were closer to 12, than around 17 which is what I thought they were. I found that it made the book hard for me to read, I was a little bit bored I have to admit.  But the characters are still fantastic, and well developed. The plot is good as well. Just don’t go into reading this thinking that you’ll be able to relate to the trio as people on the verge of adulthood.

That said I still think the book was really great! I love the bisexual and polyamorous representation. I loved that Nic loves both Fin and Caro, equally and in different ways. It was also great because they all loved each other, but they never went beyond kissing and sleeping in the same bed. I thought it was great that Venturess doesn’t make sex out to be some huge life-altering deal. They loved each other, supported each other, and their friendship and love was so adorable.

I gave this book 3.5 stars on Goodreads.

 

 

The Goblins of Bellwater – By Molly Ringle

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Goodreads Synopsis: Most people have no idea goblins live in the woods around the small town of Bellwater, Washington. But some are about to find out.

Skye, a young barista and artist, falls victim to a goblin curse in the forest one winter night, rendering her depressed and silenced, unable to speak of what happened. Her older sister, Livy, is at wit’s end trying to understand what’s wrong with her. Local mechanic Kit would know, but he doesn’t talk of such things: he’s the human liaison for the goblin tribe, a job he keeps secret and never wanted, thrust on him by an ancient family contract.

Unaware of what’s happened to Skye, Kit starts dating Livy, trying to keep it casual to protect her from the attention of the goblins. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kit, Skye draws his cousin Grady into the spell through an enchanted kiss in the woods, dooming Grady and Skye both to become goblins and disappear from humankind forever.

It’s a midwinter night’s enchantment as Livy, the only one untainted by a spell, sets out to save them on a dangerous magical path of her own.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book took me a little bit to get into, the first 15% was hard to be interested in. We’re introduced to Kit, the liaison between humans and goblins.  I didn’t find him a very interested character until after he meets and starts interacting with Livy, whose character I did really enjoy.  It’s amusing to me that although Kit starts off as the main character, it’s really Livy who ends up saving the day.  Kit himself is rather plain, he’s your average guy who happens to have a weird job. Because he was so average I found him dull.  I found Livy to be an interesting character because of her love for her sister Skye.  Their connection and bond was really well written.  Skye herself spends a lot of the book not actually talking, she was more of a minor character. Same with Grady. The two of them were okay, but nothing super special.

The Goblins of Bellwater is well written, I always had a really clear mental image of what was going on because of the great descriptions. The book made me hungry several times because of the food that Grady cooks.

Overall I didn’t find the book spectacular. It was a little cliche at the end, and I felt like the stakes weren’t quite as high as they could have been. Or maybe it was that they weren’t believable enough. It’s just that I never worried that Livy wasn’t going to save the day and her sister. I knew she would and so I found myself a tad bit bored.

But that said I did enjoy a good quantity of the book. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

 

WWW Wednesday – October 18th

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WWW Wednesday is weekly book event hosted by Taking on A World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Current Read: Tempest By Julie Cross. 

I have a lot of books that I’m reading right now, but to make it easy I decided to just post about the one I know I’ll finish soon. This book has been both boring and interesting, and has an awful main character.  I’ll have a review up for this one some point in the month.

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Finished Read: All The Things I’ve Done By Gabrielle Zevin.

I finished this book on Monday. I started off really liking the story, but the ending was fairly cliche. That said I think the cover is kinda cool, or maybe I’m just a fan of chocolate. 😉 I’ll be reviving it on the blog soon.

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Next Read: A Touch Morbid By Leah Clifford.

I’ve had this one on my TBR for years and years and finally decided to just get it from the library. It’ll be due in a couple days so I plan on reading this book probably tomorrow or the day after. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

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That’s all for this week! What are you currently reading? Have you finished any good books this week?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Meals I Need To Cook ASAP

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog event hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. 

As some of you may know I love to cook. Making meals is my favorite part of the day, and I love to make most things from scratch. So I thought today’s theme was a great idea! Here is a list of some of meals I read about in books that I want to try and cook!

1. Redwall by Brian Jacques. 

Pretty much every meal in any of Jacques book are amazing. In fact I’m planning on buying the Redwall Cookbook one of these days.  But the meal that I remember the most was the soup the otters make, their Hotroot Soup has shrimp and veggies and it sounded amazing.

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2. Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban By J.K.Rowling. 

Ooh again, so many different things that I want to make from these books! But specifically I’m thinking Butterbeer! I’ve found a couple of recipes for this, some alcoholic and some not, I’m hoping to make both.

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3. The Bad Beginning By Lemony Snicket. 

There are a lot of bad things that happen to the children in this book, but one good thing is the food that they made. Pasta Puttanesca! Artichokes and olives and tomato sauce, yum!

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4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

The food at this circus sounds like heaven. The apples and popcorn. I’m not usually the one who makes popcorn, Grant does that. But I might help him next time and add something sweet to the batch.

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5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

The cheese rolls from this book sounds amazing. My mom and grandmother actually make the most amazing cheese rolls, and I fully intend to make them myself someday.

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6. Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. 

I can’t actually remember which book they first mention meat pies in, but I’d never really liked the idea before now.  Now, it’s fall time and I like making warm foods and meat pies sound like the best thing for this season!

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7. The Red Abbey Chronicles: Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff.

This book had a lot of really great food scenes. They made a lot of herb breads, with fresh cheese. Unfortunately I can’t make my own cheese at this point, but herb breads are definitely on my list.

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8. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.

Now these candies from the book were actually not that great, but they sounded amazing. They were caramel and melted in your mouth. Candy making is one of the next things on my list to try.

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9. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.

Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? In this book Molly makes some really great sounding cookies that she puts in mason jars. It sounded like a really cool idea for a party.

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10. The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle. 

Grady is an amazing cook in this book, and there were so many times that I wished he was a real character that I could take lessons from! Pretty much every meal was something that I want to make.

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That’s all on my list! Don’t forget to post a link to your list in the comments.

The Memory Trees By Kali Wallace

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Goodreads Synopsis: Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople—especially their neighbors, the Abrams family—but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world.
Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.
Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?
 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

I got this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The Memory Trees took me a little while to get into, the story starts off slow and it’s not until Sorrow makes into her mother’s farm and orchard that it picks up.  But that’s not to say that the story isn’t well written, it is very much so. The prose has a very lyrical feel to it. And honestly reading this book during fall was a great idea because it feels very fall-like.

I felt very connected to the characters and to the orchard (which can practically be considered a character of its own), Sorrow’s story never felt angsty. And I thought her reactions and even her outbursts were realistic.  Sometimes authors don’t write scenes between angry children and parents very well, and it’s just makes me frustrated with everyone. I didn’t feel this way with The Memory Trees, I always felt like Sorrow was justified and not just being a brat.

The ending was both surprising and predictable at the same time. By the last fourth of the story I knew who had caused the fire, but I didn’t know why. There was enough to keep me guessing even when I knew parts of the answers.

Overall I enjoyed the story. I found it to be interesting, moving and well written. I gave it four stars on Goodreads.