I have to apologize again for being M.I.A. I got a cold that really kicked me on my butt. I fell behind on my reading and I really wanted to read both Half-Blood and Vampire Academy before doing a review on either. I’ve heard a lot of talk around the blogosphere and on Goodreads. There are a lot of strong opinions around both these books because of their similarities. Vampire Academy being the one published first, a lot of hate went down on Half-Blood. I’m not one to join in on accusations and heated feelings. I do admit that these books both have strong similarities when it comes to the world both authors built. However, when I read both books I also saw a lot of differences. The main difference I saw was in the journey each heroine takes on. Yes, when you get down to the bare minimals of each protagonists’ journeys they are the same. But, a ton of other novels share this same framework. There is only so many essential storylines out there. Books are unique based on their worlds, characters, and events, not the very basics of the storyline (hence the Harry Potter vs. Star Wars comparisons). I think that with these two novels, a lot of people focused on the similarities–the ground floor of the storyline. This started the uproar. Personally, I understand how a fandom or someone so in love with a series could be offended when something similar appears. I get it. But when I read both these novels, I felt like the two main characters were going on similar, yet totally different journeys. Both faced hard obstacles, had forbidden loves, and were connected to someon
e else. However, their personalities where different; the style of writing was different; and the ultimate goal was varied. Ultimately, I enjoyed both stories a lot. The genre they fall into is a favorite of mine and their storyline structure is one I really like. In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to hate on the similarities or accept them and move past it.
Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentorut is the first book in the Covenant series. The series follow Alexandria, or Alex for short. She is a half-blood: part mortal, part Hematoi. What is a Hematoi? A Hematoi (pronounced HEM-a-toy [thanks Armentorut!]) is a half-god–the result of when a god and mortal have kids. What makes the Hematoi high up on the chain of command in the human world is their godlike powers that came from mommy or daddy. Unfortunately none of this power is transferred on to a Half-blood. I mean Half-bloods are a step up from mortals, but no real special power exists in them. Plus, they’ve pulled the short string in this world and can only exist in two roles–as a sentinel or as a
slave, I mean servant. Sentinels are warriors that hunt daimons (pronounced DEE-muns). These pesky things are the bad guys. They like to “eat” people, but especially Hematoi. I mean the half-bloods taste better then the mortals, but the Hematoi taste really good. SO Sentinals like to kick their butts so that they don’t hurt anyone.
Since this is Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d review and share one of my favorite YA books, A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson.
The novel centers around Anna, a young Russian countess who fled to England during the Russian Revolution. Anna is still adjusting to her new life in England living with her former governess, who took her and her younger brother in when they arrived. She lost her family and her fortune, but she is determined to take care of her younger brother. In order to keep paying for his boarding school education, Anna decides to take a job as a house maid. With only an outdated housekeeping manual and her stubborn determination, Anna sets out to work for the esteemed Westerholme household. There Anna’s personality shines as she works hard trying to complete her duties–ones so foreign to her. Then Rupert, Earl of Westerholme returns home and Anna faces another obstacle–her attraction to him. Anna struggles to keep her secret identity hidden while trying to become a great servant and trying to stay away from her feelings for Rupert. The novel is a cute historical romance that will have you coming back!
The thing I love most about this novel is Anna. Ibbotson wrote Anna’s character splendidly; her whole personality jumps off the page. I loved watching Anna’s determination to complete every task she was assigned. Her ability to make everyone around her love her and respect her. Anna’s quirkiness was a joy to read–especially her interactions with the family’s dog. I loved her passion for music and ballet; the way she connected with Uncle Sebastien and Mr. Proom’s mother; and her great humility. She might have been a countess, but she never acted privileged or entitled. Anna made this book. Her story is a really sweet one and her character is one of my favorites.
I’m sure by now everyone’s jumped on the bandwagon of celebrating and discussing today’s date. 11.12.13 is one of the last sequential dates I’ll see in my lifetime and I’m not the only one. Most of today’s population won’t see another date sequence after next year’s 12.13.14. This makes today’s date kind of special and definitely talked about (just check Twitter!).
Since today’s date is ringing a chord with a lot of people, it got me thinking of what I could write about today. What do I want my post for today to be about? Of course, this post won’t be a popular turn up on the search engine when someone in the future Googles this date, but this post will play some part in chronicling history–as everyone’s blogs, journals, and vlogs will. We live in a high technology and almost fully-focused on internet society. No longer will just newspapers be documenting history. Everyone’s thoughts, ideas, and creations are now a part of that documentation.
So what will I leave on this particularly interesting and special day?
I just wanted to apologize for being MIA at the end of last week and over the weekend. One of my cats passed away unexpectedly at the age of four for no visible reason. I was kind of in shock mode and then mopey the rest of the time. I didn’t want my mood to affect my reviews or posts so I stepped back for a few days. Now I’m healing and looking forward to jumping back into everything! So let’s move on to the review
I have to be honest. I was really drawn to this book because of the cover. I remember walking the shelves in Barnes and Noble, turning around and seeing it there facing out. I instantly picked it up and read the back cover. I’m just getting into the dystopain genre, so I was interested in the novel right away. I decided to take a chance on the story and it took me on an unexpected journey.
The novel takes place in England after a calamity called the Seventeen Days and follows the story of Princess Eliza. Eliza becomes the sole survivor of the current royal family due to a menacing revolutionary, Cornelius Hollister. Hollister has taken up the cause of overthrowing the crown to gain power over England. His first target of course was the royal family and only Eliza managed to escape. She isn’t your typical princess. Eliza’s not only trying to survive, but she wants revenge. Her plan? To get as close to the enemy as possible and hopefully get her chance to kill him. So Eliza enlists in his revolutionary army. This army is merciless and ruthless. Her time training isn’t a walk in the park and she makes a few enemies along the way. But Eliza also encounters someone willing to aide her even if it puts him in danger. But can Eliza trust him? She has forgotten how to hope and to love, but he might be the one to remind her. The story ends in some predictability and some surprise, but its a quick action packed read.
So lately I’ve been thinking of things I’m passionate about. Everyone always says you should follow your passions, right? Well, I feel like I’m not entirely sure what mine are. I know that I love writing and getting lost in the worlds that books provide (hence the combination of my loves appearing on this blog), but sometimes I feel my lack of dedication is a sign of a lack of passion. My lack of eagerness to meet the early morning hours so I can cram a few hours of writing in is just one thing that has me thinking, what am I really passionate about if it’s not writing? Why am I not being dedicated enough to make this shit happen if I love to write? Passion and dedication and faith are the driving forces behind being successful at what you love to do.
I’m a YA addict. It’s really no secret anymore. Naturally I’ll be spending a lot of time searching through the Young Adult shelves in the book store. But I can also spend hours looking through the online shelves of Amazon’s Kindle store. That’s where I found this cute gem!
The Accidental Movie Star by Emily Evans follows Ashley, a frequent visitor to Hollywood where her dad lives and works. Ashley is spending the summer interning for the movie production company her dad works for. All she wants to do is get a good internship on paper so she can pursue her dream of majoring in architecture. She has no interest in the “Hollywood” type as she’s been around them for ages. Caspian, Caz for short, is a famous actor that mistakes Ashley as a fan who’s sneaked into his limo outside the airport. They have some choice words and the chick lit is set! The novel follows their relationship while working on a film. (yes, she just happens to be interning on his movie set!). Readers watch Ashley stay true to herself and Caz breakdown his trust barriers. It follows the ups-and-downs of most romance-focused story archs.
But this isn’t a boring story! It’s a fun read filled with flirty moments, some sizzling chemistry, and some laughable moments. It has its predictability (I mean it is a chick lit), but the story line is unique too. And I’m a sucker for these types of stories! A quick sweet shot of YA romance! If i’m being honest I’ve read it more than once already.
Wow NaNoWriMo is coming up QUICK! Less than two days are left before the event kicks off this Friday, November 1st. I’m still debating participating. I more than likely will not officially participate, but instead use NaNoWriMo as motivation to write as much as I can.
So by this point you’re probably wondering what NaNoWriMo actually is. The acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month which quickly turned into a monthly challenege to write a novel in the one month time frame.
What I love most about this challenge is the community of support behind it all. Although you are writing your novel alone you’re not actually writing by yourself. There are coaches giving you advice, local communities meeting together to refocus and support, and the whole international community motivating you! That’s what makes NaNoWriMo such a great challenege, especially for writers. We definitely need all the support we can get since we live a good chunk of our lives in our minds and shut up alone staring at a computer screen or notebook.