Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kat un-confuse-ifies Things: Kick-off post! (after credits scene of Pirates of the Carribbean: At World's End)


I decided to start a new feature where I'll take things that confuse people in YA, MG, or movies and interpret/explain it.

On the interpret side, it'll be mostly my theory (but based on facts, and only a little bit my gut feeling) and then on the explain side, I will use my ability to remember teensy details to help decipher confusing plots and characters. Hopefully I can get some guest posters too.

There WILL be spoilers in these posts. So if you don't want to know an ending or plot twist, TREAD CAREFULLY.

[SPOILERS]



So in Pirates of the Carribbean: At World's End there was some confusion about that scene after the credits.

You know, the scene where that 9-year-old boy and Kiera Knightly wait for Orlando Bloom to come back from collecting souls on the Flying Dutchman. So many people believed that this is just a one-day visit for poor Orlando Bloom. But I believe they are wrong.

If you listen to the lore of Davey Jones it goes like this: He was tasked with going onto the Flying Dutchman to courier dead souls to the afterlife for ten years. As long as Calypso was faithful and waited for him, he would finish his duty after ten years and another would take on the task. HOWEVER, Calypso was a little bit wayward in her affections and she skedaddled. SO, Davey Jones was cursed to courier the souls FOREVER, only allowed to set foot on dry land one day out of every ten years.

SO, since Kiera Knightley was faithful to Orlando Bloom and waited for him, he is now free of his duty and he can come home. So people who were sooo boo-hoo sad that this was not a happy ending can rest assured. It IS a happy ending, Orlando is home to stay and he can see his son for the first time (BTW, congrats on making a baby on your first try you two, way to be super fertile).

Friday, August 29, 2014

Feature Follow Friday: Book Character I'd Trade Places With




Every Friday Parajunkee and Alison Can Read hosts Feature Follow Friday. It's a great way to get to know the blogging community and they ask fun questions!

This week's Question is:

Tell us about a book character you’d trade places with

I'd probably trade places with Zuzana Nováková from Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

(Check out my review of it here or my Dream Cast of it here)


She is actually the best friend character of the main heroine, Karou. However, I really like her spunk, her loyalty, her strength and her awesome sarcastic humor. She doesn't fit into a convenient peg. She's a Czech art student in Prague. And her art of choice is: puppets. Awesome.
She's tiny (which I can relate to) but she doesn't let it be a deterrent to kicking butt and taking names!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: Redwall by Brian Jacques

New feature time! I will do Throwback Reviews every Thursday. Reviewing books from the good old days.


By: Brian Jacques
Genre: MG Fantasy
First Published: 1986
Publisher: Philomel Books
POV: Third-person - multiple narrators
Kat's Rating: 4 out of 5


Description:
Welcome to Redwall Abbey. Inside its enormous doors, mice live in peace, helping those in need and throwing epic feasts for the great and the good of Mossflower Woods. But outside a grave threat is gathering. An army of evil rats led by a vicious, one-eyed warlord, is on its way.
Matthias is just one little mouse but he knows it'll take more than stones and mouse-sized arrows to keep the rats at bay. Enlisting the help of a military hare, wild sparrows and argumentative stoats, Matthias sets out to defend his freedom, his friends, and the abbey he calls home.
Main Character: Matthias is like the Frodo--the Luke Skywalker--the Harry Potter of the story. He is "average" in an amazing way. He has to be strong and brave in order to overcome his small stature. He actually has a leadership quality that he needs to learn to harness if he's going to help lead the Abbey inhabitants against Cluny.

Love Connection: Cornflower, she's sweet and strong. The romance is not a central interest, so it's more like Harry Potter in the sense that they have a love, but it's not integral to the story or characters.

Allies and Enemies: Cluny the Scourge. He's a rat with one eye and an extra long tail with a barb at the end. He's part barbarian, part pirate, part Hun.

Brother Methuselah is an old grizzled record-keeper. He is like a kind old tutor (or a maester if you've ever read Game of Thrones). He's also someone who believes in the legend of Martin the Warrior and his powerful sword (supposedly hidden somewhere deep within the abbey).

The Sparra tribe, a wild group of Sparrows that live high in the Abbey's eves. The queen is Warbeak Sparra and she is one of my favorite characters. She's a little rough around the edges, but she's also pretty strong and cool.

Basil Stag Hare, he reminds me of Sir Didymus in the Labyrinth. He has a lot of bravado, but unlike Sir Didymus he has some skills to back it up. He's an expert at camouflage and offers a lot of comedic moments in the book.

Setting: Redwall Abbey in Mossflower woods. No time-period is actually described but it feels like the Middle Ages, but with mice and hares and badgers. The world is pretty complex with it's own folk-lore and mythology.

Quote:
"Even the strongest and bravest must sometimes weep. It shows they have a great heart, one that can feel compassion for others."

Review: Brian Jacques is quoted as saying: "Mice are my heroes because, like children, mice are little and have to learn to be courageous and use their wits."

Seriously Brian Jacques, you're too adorable, get out of here. But actually don't because I love reading your books. 

This book was a great part of my childhood. I wrote "spin-offs" of these books as some of my first experiences with writing. It has the adventure of Percy Jackson, the puzzles of Harry Potter, and the setting of Game of Thrones. And it came BEFORE all of these books!

It also became multiple different television and movie versions.

These books definitely hold up over time and I would recommend them to anyone who loves middle grade fantasy and adventure.

Also, you guys. If you like reading about food, food in general, or just eating then you HAVE to read these books. The food descriptions are epic.

Recommendations: The Dark Portal by Robin Jarvis, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking the Spine which highlights the upcoming books we're most anticipating.

This week I'm looking forward to:


By: Stefanie Gaither
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?

This book is like The Good Son meets The Island. The idea of clones is just so strange and intriguing to me. I don't know why (because I know it is probably not super ethical) but I always wonder what kind of world would create and need/utilize clones.
But you guys, seriously, let's never make clones. It's not cool man.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday(1): Books I Want to Read but Don't Own




The Broke and the Bookish host a weekly meme of Top Ten Lists.

This week's question is:

Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don't Own Yet



To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.
I have no excuses for not having read this yet. I will definitely read it soon...ish. Maybe...


2. Talon by Julie Kagawa

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.
Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.
Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
Dragons you guys. Dragons. Enough said.


3. Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

This book is so new that there isn't even a description up on Goodreads. It just says, "This book will feature Cinder and Snow White and will take place on the moon."


4. Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer Armentrout

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.
She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.
Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.
They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.
War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing


5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
I really should get on reading this. It's no one's fault but my own...well, also reality, it's definitely reality's fault.


6. The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2) by Rick Yancey

How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.
Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.
Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.
Coming in September 2014, Eeek!


7. The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun Hutchinson

Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.
Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.
Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.
But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so he’s determined to make things right. He’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.
But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.
You guys, this is told partly in graphic novel format. So excited.


8. Salvage by Alexandra Duncan
Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean. 
This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can't read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change?
Named by the American Booksellers Association as a Spring 2014 Indies Introduce Pick.
I really, really love space. Like I really do. Space is infinite and awesome (and terrifying)!


9. In the Afterlight (Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.
They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IANN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.
Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.
Awesome series with a great heroine and twists that just keep coming.


10. Ink by Amanda Sun

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
Really excited to read this. A YA book set in Asia, bringing in Japanese mythology and culture. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Musings: Nook partnered with Samsung!


A new blog means that I am going to start some new features. The first I'm rolling out are my Monday Musings. Mostly random thoughts about reading, writing (and awesomeness).

My first post is about the partnership between Barnes and Noble's Nook and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.


For some background info, Barnes and Noble was not as successful as they wanted to be with their Nook (first launched in 2009). Kindle was killing the eReader market and the Nook wasn't gaining as much of a fan following. So they scaled back a little in 2013. It looked like they were probably preparing to throw in the towel. But then in comes Samsung (Koreans for the win, woot!).

They released the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablet, a 7" tablet running on Android 4.4 OS.

I think Barnes and Noble made a smart move. They are not a gadget company, they're a book company. So while it always made sense to me that they would have an eReader, it didn't surprise me that they stumbled a little. They've partnered with Samsung, a company known for fighting against tech Goliaths and holding their own (see iPhone versus Samsung Galaxy S smartphones). I think this is really smart because B&N can go back to doing what they do best, books. And Samsung can take care of the hardware/tech part of this new eReader. Plus the Samsung Galaxy Tab is proven already, so it is not much of a stretch for people to pick up the new Nook and use it as easily as people already use the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Now, I do most of my eReading through my kindle app on my iPad mini. So, I am as far away from the Nook as I can be. However, I can appreciate the desire to shake things up, and I do love my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone. So I am cautiously optimistic that this little tablet will be an awesome eReader (if only because I don't like there only being one go-to device on the market).

What about you guys, are you interested in buying the new Galaxy Tab Nook? Or are you sticking with your tried and true eReaders?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stacking the Shelves



Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga Reviews to show the most recent books on our shelves!

Here are the most recent books I've gotten (they're all digital so I'm a little sad I can't do a cool stacked picture):


The Dark Lord by Jamie Thomson









Outcast by Adrienne Kress



Partials by Dan Wells

On Starting Fresh & Past Reviews



You guys, sometimes it's hard to start over. I have had a lot of experience with this recently.

New City. I moved from New York City to Chicago (just up and moved, no new job yet, no apartment yet. Packed all my stuff in a car and drove away).

Which also means New Job. I was lucky enough to get a new job very soon after moving to Chicago (where I am currently staying with my awesome sister).

Also, New BLOG! This blog is new. I am not a new blogger (previously blogged with my awesome cousin on BooksAreBread.blogspot.com). However, like with the most stubborn of baby birds, sometimes the momma bird has to just shove them out of the nest to get them to fly.

So that's me. I'm tumbling out the nest. Hopefully, my little wings will catch me and I'll fly away, probably to the place with the most food and the most HGTV.

I hope you all will enjoy traveling on this journey with me. And by you all, I mean all three of you who currently follow me (Hi Axie!)

Anyway, if you want to see some of my old reviews then you can visit Books Are Bread or click on any of the below links:

BOOK REVIEWS

Series Review City of Fallen Angels; City of Lost Souls; City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Always, Forever by Nancy Ohlin

The Adoration of Jenna Fox By Mary E. Pearson

Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Gravity by Melissa West

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

FILM REVIEWS

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flash Fiction Piece: BORDERS

So here's my entry for Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge. If I had to give it a genre, I'd call it Urban Fantasy. Hope you all enjoy!


BORDERS

Mal’s legs pumped beneath him as he sprinted over the cracked asphalt.

He could hear air filling his lungs and expelling with a whoosh.

He was gaining on his target.

He eyed the surrounding buildings, abandoned factories and warehouses. A lot of places to hide. Which was why he was directing his prey towards the docks. Flush him into the open. Mal knew that’s where Ephram waited, and no one could beat Ephram this close to so much water.

Mal felt energy tingle on his finger tips, begging to be released. But he held it in, he didn’t need it right now. Everything was going fine without extra force. Just as they were about to reach the docks, the man veered to the side, crashing through a wide window. The sound of glass tinkling around him as he used his arms to protect his face.

“Dammit,” Mal cursed under his breath as he turned to follow the man through the shattered window. It was dark inside, almost pitch black except the glow of the moon behind him. Mal scanned the interior, all the exits were boarded shut. There was no escape. Mal felt the tingling of energy on his palm and let it build up until sparks shot from his hand to bounce off of the ceiling beams, it lit the room in a shower of sparks, showing broken pallets piled high in the corner. Mal stepped forward, harnessing more power as he walked.

“It’s useless to run.” Mal’s voice echoed through the empty warehouse. “You know what I am. You know what I can do.”

“Border scum!” came the terrified answer.

The target was definitely hiding behind the pallets.

Mal gave a scoffing laugh. They always needed to get in one last barb. Like it would give their life further meaning to be defiant to the end. Didn’t they know that no one really had free will anymore.

“I might be scum, but I’m the scum who’s got you cornered. So why don’t you just come out here.” Mal really didn’t want to have to wrestle the guy out from behind the boards. He had just re-entered the field after a shoulder injury and it would be a bitch to injure himself again on his first active mission. He could feel the energy sizzling on his hand, traveling up his arm as it tried to escape his hold.

“Mal, what’s your status?” Dante’s voice sounded in his ear comm.

“I’ve got a rabbit.” Mal didn’t bother lowering his voice, it didn’t matter if the man heard him. In some cases, it helped mess with the target’s mind, made them easier to catch.

“Do you need assistance?”

“No, I have it handled.”

“Transpo is loaded. We’re just waiting on your deposit.”

“Yup.”

Mal took a step forward, bringing his hand up, ready to release a small burst of energy. He would just collapse the precarious pile onto the man and pluck him out from underneath. Best way to catch a rabbit.

But the man darted out from behind them, shooting wildly with a gun he pulled out from his waistband.

“Shit!” Mal dove to the side, throwing a burst of energy in front of him to divert the bullets. He missed one and it hit his side as he fell to the floor. With a hiss he pressed his hand to his ribs. When his hand came away wet he grimaced. From the feel of it, he had just been grazed, but the guys were going to rag on him when they saw he got hit on his first active mission in two weeks.

He pushed himself up, brushing the dust from his pants. He walked over to the fallen body of the man.

“Shit,” Mal said again, this time a resigned oath. The deflected bullets had hit him right in the chest. Dumb bastard. He should have just come quietly.

This base of resisters had been big, two dozen men and women who defied the general. Mal had already hauled five of them to the transpo himself. But they had been alive. He hated it when he had to collect bodies.

He bent down to enter the stats on his wrist unit. Recorded the time of death and scanned the ID chip, it was probably a fake, but it was protocol. Mal never breached protocol. He stood with a sigh, wiping the blood from his hand absently onto his pants.

He stuck his hand in his pocket, his fingers brushing a piece of warm metal. He pulled it out and looked down at the broken charm. It was small in his calloused hand. Tarnished, the fake gems had almost completely fallen out. It was worn in places where his thumb had rubbed over and over. But it still held that distinct figure eight, an infinite loop. A promise that no matter how hard it got, this wasn’t the end, there was still time to stand back up.

The story doesn’t end when you’re knocked down, not if you get back up.

He tucked the tarnished charm back in his pocket and clenched his teeth against the ache that wanted to take up residence in his chest. Then he bent down and lifted the body over his shoulder.

“Got the final deposit,” Mal said into his comm. “Mission completed.”

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