Book: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

16085457Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: March 10, 2015
Series: Seraphina, Book 2
ISBN-13: 978-0375866579
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?
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Personal: Dear Me

For International Women’s Day, women across the globe wrote letters to themselves, their children, their people. Youtube even had a #DearMe campaign, where different YouTube celebrities wrote letters to their younger selves. I watched a few videos and saw it as an initiative to inspire and empower younger teens everywhere. If you’re interested, watch the videos here.

It had me thinking. What would I tell my younger self? What could I even say to the girl who was just trying to fit in? (Let’s face it, I was still trying to fit in, in my 20s.) And the more I think about it, I would want this letter to show what I would tell my two little ones.

IG 1 IG 3 IG 2 IG 5

Dear Me,

Love yourself unconditionally.

Hold your head high and embrace who you are. Others may see you differently, but you are just like them: a young person trying to figure things out.

Spend as much time with your family as you can. Don’t think that it’s uncool, because in the end, your family will be the only ones who will love you no matter what.

It’s okay “he” wasn’t the one. Your heart may be broken, but you will soon learn how to pick yourself back up and survive. And in the end, what you do after an emotional crisis is what really matters.

And don’t forget to love yourself.

Love,
Older you.

P.S. – Don’t fight wearing your glasses. You’re going to love it later on.

What would you tell your younger self?

Book: Dearest by Alethea Kontis

17155793Dearest by Alethea Kontis

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: February 3, 2015
Series: The Woodcutter Sisters, Book 3
ISBN-13: 978-0544074071
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?
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Personal: Drawing a blank.

Over this past week, I have been in a reading stump (of sorts). It’s not necessarily that I’m not loving anything that I’m reading, but rather that I’m not in the proper mood to read. My kids have been sick, so I’ve been watching TV when I can. But let’s face it, I’m not sure what to really do now.

Basically, I’m drawing a blank.

Time is passing by! I’m back at work, I turned 35, and I am living my life as much as I can without falling over. Life is tough, and so is parenthood. I always feel like I don’t have time to relax, but that’s not really true. I just don’t see my free time as something tangible anymore. Before, I could always take a half hour, or so, and read, or watch a show on my DVR, or even watch something on YouTube. But now? I don’t know!

Blank!

Maybe I’m just exhausted. That has to be it right? Or maybe I haven’t been reading something that is fully capturing my attention. Maybe, just maybe, I’m living in this alternate universe and my subconscious doesn’t know what’s real or not real. Oh well. I’ll get over it. I started reading a new book lately. It’s amazing. I’ll tell you more about it later.

Side note: I watched Mockingjay the other day, and I loved it! All of the creative edits were perfect. The integrity of the book was kept intact while allowing me to enjoy the movie experience. I didn’t sit through the movie thinking and analyzing. I just watched. It was great, and so was the movie.

2015 Real Book Challenge: February Recap

Real Book Challenge on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

February is awesome for books and birthdays!

I have enjoyed being able to grab a tangible book to read. It feels good to see my progression with a bookmark. It’s fun, and this challenge has really kept me on my toes about reaching for a physical book over my Kindle. I’ve had a lot of great reads for this month, some amazing and others not so. Either way, I’m enjoying choosing a book based on the spine or cover art. (I don’t do it that often, but you know I do.)

I read a total of EIGHT “real” books. Not bad, eh? I think this has me on track for my goal. For a total of all the books I’ve read in to date, see the list on Goodreads.
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Book: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

21469060The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publish Date: March 3, 2015
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy (Book 2)
ISBN-13: 978-0374384708
Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis: The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them. Continue reading

Book: The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

20454635The Last American Vampire by Seth Grahame-Smith

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: January 13, 2015
Series: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Book 2
ISBN: 978-1455502127
Genre: Fiction – Paranormal, Horror

Synopsis: In Reconstruction-era America, vampire Henry Sturges is searching for renewed purpose in the wake of his friend Abraham Lincoln’s shocking death. Henry’s will be an expansive journey that first sends him to England for an unexpected encounter with Jack the Ripper, then to New York City for the birth of a new American century, the dawn of the electric era of Tesla and Edison, and the blazing disaster of the 1937 Hindenburg crash.

Along the way, Henry goes on the road in a Kerouac-influenced trip as Seth Grahame-Smith ingeniously weaves vampire history through Russia’s October Revolution, the First and Second World Wars, and the JFK assassination.

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