Saturday, April 16, 2016

Fandom of the Month Club March | Marvel

I’ve been subscribed to Fandom of the Month club for quite some time now.  It was the first subscription box I subscribed to and the one I’ve stuck with the longest.  March was an exciting month for me because the theme was Marvel.  You may not know this about me but I’m a huge Marvel fan (I have a Captain America tattoo!) so I had high hopes for this month’s box.  Sadly, I was quite let down with everything included.

Loki Magnet

The first thing I saw when I opened the box was the magnet.  Each month an exclusive magnet is included that goes along with the theme.  This month’s magnet featured Loki and I was so excited to see it.  I do love the magnet and will be adding it to the rest of my collection.

Fandom bag

Next up was the bag that all the jewelry came in.  Once again, I was pretty happy with it.  It features Nick Fury’s eye patch and the quote “I still believe in heroes.”  Good quality and it looks awesome.

Spidey

Then came the first piece of jewelry which I was not impressed with.  The bracelet this month was a cuff bracelet made up of spiderwebs and featuring a Spider Man charm.  It could have been pretty cute except the Spider Man charm just kinda hangs there and is only attached at the top so it dangles from the front when you try and wear it.  I also fear that if I do actually wear it, the charm might not stay attached since it’s not secured very well.

Cap

Next came some extremely gaudy Captain America earrings.  I’m a huge Captain America fan but these are too gaudy even for me.  I’m always happy to show my love for Cap but these are just too out there.  Maybe I’d wear them for a fan convention or something like that but that’s about it.

Thor

This next piece I actually really do like.  I’m a big fan of rings and I always love when Fandom of the Month includes one in their box.  This month’s is probably the best I’ve ever gotten.  Thor’s hammer is featured on a rather large ring (it sits comfortably at the base of my finger and goes all the way up to my knuckle).  While it does make bending my finger a little difficult at times, it’s worth it.

Tony ARC

Last was a necklace with Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor featured as the charm.  Apparently it glows in the dark?  Don’t know why and don’t really care about glow in the dark jewelry.  I wouldn’t mind this one except it’s not very well made and the arc reactor isn’t actually centered to the backing.  I’m a little OCD so that annoys me about it although I’ll probably still wear it at least once or twice.

katie3stars

Overall, I’m not going to cancel my subscription because of this box because there were still a couple things that I did enjoy and will get some use out of.  I’m hoping my faith will be redeemed with the April box and we’ll see how I feel about my subscription after that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Let’s Get Personal | Discussion

With BEA just around the corner, I thought I’d talk about something kind of related to that but more just something that’s been on my mind for a while.  While it does have to do with blogging, it isn’t about books so I’d understand if you didn’t want to keep reading.

I’m a very shy person.  I can sometimes act like I’m not when I’m online and even at some book events but a lot of the time, I stick to myself.  I feel like I miss out on a lot because of this.  I sometimes come across as bitchy or stuck up but that’s not how I really am.  I don’t know how to interact with people I don’t know.  Heck, I don’t even know how to act around people I do know.  I’m extremely awkward and I’m always afraid to say the wrong thing.  Once you get to know me, I will talk your ear off and you won’t be able to get rid of me fast enough but that takes quite some time.

awkward

I’ve also noticed that I sometimes come across the same way online.  I use Twitter a lot but I don’t have the same relationships with other Twitter people that I see some of my fellow bloggers have.  I wish I was able to form quick bonds and just make online friends like that but it’s never been that easy for me.  I get so jealous seeing all these bloggers that are amazing friends with each other because I sometimes feel like I’ll never have that.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some of my Twitter friends IRL and consider them awesome friends but I still get nervous just messaging them and I wish I knew how to keep in touch with them better.

Here’s where the blogging part really comes in.  I worry that if I don’t become more personable on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, my blog is going to become irrelevant.  It seems like everybody these days really wants to know the person behind the blog or the Instagram and let me tell you, there isn’t much to tell about me.  I’m not an interesting person.  I don’t have a whole lot to show other than lots of books and a crazy puppy.  I want to keep up with the times but I don’t know how to go about doing that.  I’m a total people pleaser and I want everyone to like me, no matter how impossible that actually is.  I feel like so often I’m trying to tailor my blog and Instagram to what other people want, rather than what I want.  I don’t want to do that but I understand the need to make things appealing for readers since otherwise there isn’t really a point to me putting all this effort into a blog that no one reads.

And since I started this post mentioning BEA, let’s get back to that.  I’m so nervous even though I’ve gone to BEA for the past 5 years!  Every year there are new people and as I’ve mentioned, I’m not good with new people.  I’ve been trying so hard this year to come out of my shell but I’m still a little afraid for how I’m going to act at BEA.  Last year was my first year not going with a group of roommates and my first day was really tough.  I almost booked an early flight home because I was so miserable and didn’t know how to change that.  Lucky for me, I met some amazing bloggers who adopted me into their group and let me tag along for all their fun stuff.  I wouldn’t have made it through without them and I’m happy to say that a bunch of them are actually going to be rooming with me this year which makes me feel at least a little better.  I don’t want to just tag along this year though.  I want to take charge and meet all the people I want to meet and not be afraid to do it.

cheese

Not even kidding, this is me with new people.

So now that I’ve completely rambled on about my awkwardness and total lack of social skills, let’s chat.  Do you guys have social anxiety or any quirks that make it hard to meet new people?  And actually, I’m kind of okay with the meeting people, it’s getting them to want to stay friends with me that’s the hard part.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard | Review

Roses and Rot by Kat Howard | ReviewRoses and Rot by Kat Howard
Published by Saga Press on May 17th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love in this haunting debut fantasy novel from “a remarkable young writer” (Neil Gaiman).

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.

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Kat Howard’s debut novel landed on my doorstep one afternoon and, after reading the blurb from Neil Gaiman, I decided I’d give it a shot.  Roses and Rot is unlike anything I’ve ever read and seriously impressed me.

Pros:

  • The writing: Kat Howard’s writing is by far the best thing this book has going for it.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of good things about Roses and Rot but the writing just stands out.  It’s so atmospheric and haunting and will have you stopping to savor it as you read the book.  I really can’t do justice to how gorgeous it is.  I marked so many quotes and I don’t typically mark any.
  • The sibling bond: Marin and Imogen have an odd relationship.  They were close growing up but grew apart when Imogen left for boarding school.  Now they are both at the same art program and it’s sister against sister for an amazing opportunity that could make all their dreams come true.  While it doesn’t seem to affect their relationship at first, things quickly come to a head and secret feelings start pouring out.  I loved that they had a close relationship but they could still fight.  Their bond was stronger than it first appeared and I’m not sure about Marin but Imogen was willing to do anything for her sister.
  • The setting: I don’t want to give a whole lot away but Melete wasn’t the only place the book was set.  Melete, however, sounded spectacular.  Everything was so detailed that I felt like I was there with Imogen.  The houses, the moat, the rose garden, the river, nothing was left unexplained and I could picture every stunning image in my head.  And like I said, Melete wasn’t the only setting for the book and the other main focal point of the book was also pretty spectacular in a very haunting way.
  • The friendships: Imogen and Marin went to Melete already having each other to rely on but everyone else was an outsider.  That didn’t stop them from forming some rather unlikely bonds.  Helena and Ariel were their other roommates and while it seemed like they didn’t have a whole lot in common with each other, they made up a pretty great foursome.  Ariel was outgoing and fun while Helena was more moody and introverted.  They all brought out different sides of each other and I liked the friendships they formed.

Cons:

  • The romance: Imogen and Evan start a romance relatively early on in the book and it seems to come out of nowhere.  They clearly are physically attracted to each other and they can appreciate each other’s talent but they didn’t seem to have much more in common.  Most of their interactions were physical in nature and they really just didn’t seem to be able to sustain more than a physical relationship.
  • The pacing: Roses & Rot is not an easy book to get into.  It takes quite some time for things to really take off.  While I was intrigued with the story, it wasn’t enough to really capture my attention and hold it.  I had to push myself through the first 50 pages or so until things really started going somewhere.  Even then it’s not a fast-paced book.  Just know that you won’t be able to really rush through this one and I honestly don’t think you should. It’s definitely a book to take your time with and really think about.

Overall, I clearly have much more good to say about Roses and Rot than bad.  While it is classified as an adult novel, I think it holds great crossover appeal for older young adult readers.  I look forward to seeing what Kat Howard does next and I highly recommend checking this one out.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead | Review

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead | ReviewThe Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1) by Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Published by Razorbill on April 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

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Richelle Mead made me fall in love with her writing years ago when I read Vampire Academy.  I never expected to find something of hers that I loved more than that series (c’mon, Rose and Dimitri?  Can it get any better than that?) but I was wrong.  The Glittering Court is Richelle Mead’s best book so far, in my opinion.

Pros:

  • The romance: Richelle Mead’s books never lack in the romance department and that’s the same with The Glittering Court.  While the attraction between Adelaide and Cedric is immediate, the romance is not.  In fact, I was really hoping something would start up between them way before it actually did.  They built up a wonderful relationship as friends (kind of) before they ever became romantically involved and it just made it that much sweeter when they did get together.  They had some serious chemistry and some wonderful banter.
  • The story: The Glittering Court is classified as fantasy but it’s almost like an alternate history.  Adelaide and the other girls in The Glittering Court travel to a new land where they will no longer be bound by their original stations in life, whether it be a maid or servant like most of the girls or a noblewoman such as Adelaide.  While they do have to marry once they reach the new land, they get to choose their husband and can even buy their own way out of their contracts if they can come up with the money.  This new land offers religious freedom for some of them as well as a chance at wealth.  The Glittering Court almost reads like historical fiction which I loved.
  • The suspense: I never knew what was coming next and I’m still reeling over some of the things that happened.  Let me just say, if you want a neat and tidy ending with all your questions answered, this is not the book for you.  The Glittering Court is very much the first book in a series and it sets readers up with quite a few questions and only some of the answers.  Richelle Mead definitely knows how to keep her readers guessing and coming back for more.
  • The friendships: I think this is one of the big reasons The Glittering Court will appeal to Richelle Mead’s previous fans.  If you’ve read Vampire Academy, you know that Richelle Mead writes about strong bonds between friends (Lissa and Rose) and that those bonds are always amazing. That’s the same with Adelaide, Mira, and Tamsin.  They couldn’t be more different but they become fast friends during their time at the Glittering Court.  They have their fights and they keep their secrets sometimes but they always come back to each other and each girl has something unique and important to offer to the friendship.

Overall, there are no cons with The Glittering Court.  It’s perfection in book form.  Fans of Richelle Mead will find many things to love about it that will remind them of their favorite book from her.  New readers of Richelle Mead will seek out more of her work after reading this one.  You can’t go wrong with The Glittering Court.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Jungle Book | Movie of the Month

I don’t go to the movies too often but at least once a month I try to go see a new release.  For the month of April that movie is going to be The Jungle Book.  I haven’t seen the Disney animated version in years (which I need to correct) but this new one looks absolutely fabulous.

I mean, just look at this trailer!

 

I also can’t help but be in awe of the cast.  Everyone is just perfect.  It’ll be interesting to hear some of my favorite actors give voice to these animals.

the_jungle_book_poster_key_art

Do you have plans to see this one?  I’ll let you know what I think when I get the chance to see it!

Friday, April 1, 2016

10 Books I’m Dying To Read This April

April is looking to be a pretty great month for new releases.  I can’t possibly find time to read all the books I want to this month but these 10 are at least going to be added to my shelves to read later.

April's Exciting Releases

1. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Hitting shelves April 26th

The Raven King is the final book in the Raven Cycle.  If you haven’t started this series already, you’re missing out.  Maggie Stiefvater has a way of making readers adore her characters and then killing them in cruel and unusual ways.  Seriously.  How could I come to love someone that has been fated to die since book one?  I’m just asking for heartbreak.

The Raven King

2. Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Hitting shelves April 5th

I have yet to read anything by Cinda Williams Chima but I’ve heard from my fellow readers that her books are amazing.  While this one is set in the same world as her Seven Realms series, it takes place a generation later and I have heard that you don’t need to read the other books before reading this one. It’s a high fantasy featuring a guy out for revenge and a girl on the run from the crown.  I’m intrigued.

Flamecaster

3. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

Hitting shelves April 19th

If you’re a member of any fandom, I think you can relate to Scarlett Epstein.  She’s a fanfiction writer, she has tons of online friends but not a lot of IRL ones, and she (rightly) freaks out when her favorite TV show is cancelled.  She starts writing fan fiction about kids from her school and we can all guess how that turns out but I’m eager to read for myself and see how it goes.

Scarlett Epstein

4. The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows

Hitting shelves April 5th

The Orphan Queen was one of my favorite books of last year and the cliffhanger ending was probably one of the worst I’ve ever read.  Needless to say, I’ve been waiting for this one.  If you haven’t read The Orphan Queen, it’s a great fantasy novel about an orphaned queen who plans to take back her throne and save the kingdom from the evil byproduct of magic use.

The Mirror King

5. The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Hitting shelves April 26th

Roshani Chokshi’s debut novel has been getting a lot of buzz from her fellow authors as well as the bloggers who have been lucky enough to read early copies.  It’s a story inspired by Indian mythology that features arranged marriage, dark secrets, and magic.

The Star Touched Queen

6. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Hitting shelves April 19th

The blurb for this one describes it as deliciously creepy and that’d be enough to get me to read it but the synopsis sounds amazing too.  It’s historical fiction about a girl whose father is murdered and she sets out for revenge using a tree that she discovered.  When a lie is whispered to the tree, a hidden truth is told.  The tree might help her find her father’s murderer but it could also lead the murderer to her.

The Lie Tree

7. When We Collided by Emery Lord

Hitting shelves April 5th

I’m a fan of Emery Lord’s work so I’m pretty eager to get the chance to read this one.  I’ve been hearing that this one is a very emotional read dealing with mental health and I look forward to seeing how Emery Lord tackles that tough topic while also delivering another great romance.

When We Collided

8. Tell The Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Hitting shelves April 5th

Tell the Wind and Fire is loosely based on Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and while that doesn’t really matter to me, I do love retellings.  However, it’s the story itself that really appeals to me.  Lucie lives in a city divided between the Dark and the Light.  While she lives in the Light now, that hasn’t always been the case and she knows some very dark secrets.  When revolution breaks out, it’s up to her to save herself and the two boys in her life.

Tell the Wind and Fire

9. Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs

Hitting shelves April 5th

Eidetic memory, time travel, and a race against time?  I’m a fan of all those things.  Five teens are sent to the future on a mission to bring back some data.  When they arrive they break the only rule they’ve been given and they find their future selves to see what’s happened to them.  What they find out isn’t what they hoped for and now they have to get back to the past to stop their future.

Future Shock

10. Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Hitting shelves April 5th

I’m a history minor and the Nazis/Holocaust have always fascinated me.  Girl in the Blue Coat is the story of a Dutch teenager who procures black market goods for people.  When her neighbor asks her to find a missing Jewish girl she had been hiding, she can’t resist the task and is drawn into mystery and danger in the midst of rebellion.

Girl in teh blue coat

What are you looking forward to reading in April?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Movies of March | Wrap Up

I don’t know about you guys but I have a tendency to watch the same movies, over and over.  I find one that I like and I watch it until I know every last word.  For some reason I never get tired of those movies.  This year, however, I’ve been trying to branch out and watch some new things so here are the movies I got around to in March.

Lilo & Stitch, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch, Stitch!: The Movie, Leroy & Stitch

Lilo and Stitch

I’m a little behind with these movies and my age range is probably not the target audience but who really cares?  I loved every single one of these movies, the first one probably being the best.  I think each one has a great message about family and finding where you belong.  I admit, at one point, I even cried a little.  (That’s not really saying much since I cry a lot, but still.)  If you haven’t watched these I do recommend it and if you know where I can get the TV show, let me know.  I’d like some more Stitch in my life.  He’s so adorable!

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day off

If I was a little behind with Lilo & Stitch, I was way behind with this one. I probably shouldn’t admit that I only just watched this for the first time this month but it’s the truth.  I never really wanted to watch it but a friend of mine found out and forced me to watch it and I’m glad he did.  I laughed so hard at this movie and it surprised me in a lot of ways.  I didn’t really expect anything other than a funny, feel good movie but there was a little more to it than that.

Inside Out

Inside Out

Disney has really got to stop with the animated movies that make me cry.  The last one was Big Hero 6 and now this one.  Everything about this movie was perfect.  I borrowed a friend’s copy but I need to get a copy for my own collection.  This was definitely a more emotional Disney movie and it was a little deeper than their usual ones and I loved that.  It wasn’t just for kids (although I don’t really believe any Disney movies are just for kids).  Seriously, if you haven’t seen this one, watch it now.  And if you have seen it, please tell me you loved it as much as I did.  Bing Bong!

I really didn’t get around to watching a whole lot of new movies this month but I’m happy with the ones I picked.  Next month I’m hoping to get to The Princess and the Frog, From Hell, and Dirty Dancing, just to name a few.  

Have you seen any of these?  What did you think?  What are some movies that you’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t gotten around to yet?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top 5 Most Recent 5 Star Reads

top ten tuesday 4

I haven’t been reading a whole lot lately and I haven’t really adored that many of the books that I have read so I think this is probably going to be less than ten but I’ll try and get close!

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I mentioned this one in last week’s post and I’ll say it again, it’s amazing.  Fantasy fans and non-fantasy fans should totally read this one.  The romance is perfect, the banter is extremely witty, and the story is fresh.

rebel of the sands

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

I read this one at the recommendation of a friend and I am so glad that I did.  It’s the story of Morgan who believes she had something to do with a fatal shooting at her school.  She becomes afraid to leave her apartment but that starts to change when a new boy moves in next door.  While the story was a little slow at times, the writing more than made up for it.

Underwater

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

Is this one really a surprise to anyone?  Marissa Meyer made herself one of my favorite authors with this series and it’s finale was no exception.  Winter was probably the best of the series and I loved how everything ended.  I haven’t read Stars Above yet but I do expect another five star read from that one.

Winter

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett

When this one first came out, everyone was talking about it and telling me to read it.  I picked it up with very low expectations (hype usually makes me nervous) but I ended up adoring it!  Bex and Jack were perfect together and their story was full of adventure, romance, and intrigue.  It’s probably one of my all time favorite contemporary novels.

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

Wolf by Wolf (Wolf by Wolf #1) by Ryan Graudin

Wolf By Wolf was one of those books that I predicted I would love and I was right.  I’m a huge history buff and anything to do with Nazi history really gets my attention.  While this is alternative history, it was still fascinating and contained enough actual historical references for me to love it.

wolf by wolf

Have you read any of these?  Did they make your list of five star reads?  What books were on your list?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Blog Tour: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn | Review + GiveawayHot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn
Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books on March 22nd 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new…pterodactyl…at school. After all, everybody wants him!

Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she’s at it). She’s smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?

But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There’s something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he’s around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can’t keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school’s fastest runner who Sheils has always discounted as a nobody.

Pyke, hugely popular in a school whose motto is to embrace differences, is asked to join a band, and when his band plays at the Autumn Whirl dance, his preternatural shrieking music sends everyone into a literal frenzy. No one can remember what happened the next day, but Shiels learns that she danced far too long with Pyke, her nose has turned purple, and she may have done something with her boyfriend that she shouldn’t have. Who’s in control now?

Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing

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Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is probably one of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read.  I mean, just look at the title and synopsis.  You can’t really expect normal from a book about a hot pterodactyl boyfriend.  I had a feeling that it was going to be weird and entertaining and that feeling was definitely proven right.

Pros:

  • The story:  As bizarre as the story may seem, it’s actually quite relatable.  Shiels is a control freak in every aspect of her life and she’s at the point in her life where she feels like she really needs that control.  She’s applying to colleges and doing everything she can to make herself look good on those applications.  It’s a really common story except for the fact that her school now has a pterodactyl as a student and his entrance in her life throws it into complete upheaval.
  • Shiels:  I really liked Shiels.  Like I said, she wanted complete control and she was used to having it.  That all changed with Pyke.  She had to give up that control and she might have actually gone a little overboard (skipping school, hiding things from her parents) but she grew as a person when she did give up some of that control.  She started to see that maybe things didn’t have to be so orderly and maybe she didn’t always have to be the one to do everything.
  • The family aspect: I loved Shiels’ family, especially her brother.  Her parents were involved in her life but sometimes a little absent and sometimes a little overbearing.  I really just liked that they played a role in her life.  Her brother, Jonathan, was the best part.  They had the classic sibling relationship.  He reminded me a lot of my own brother and their dynamics were very similar to ours.  Maybe that won’t be a big deal to you guys but it was definitely a pro for me.

Cons:

  • Pyke:  I could not relate to Pyke and honestly, he was a little weird.  I mean, of course he’s going to be weird, he’s a freaking pterodactyl but I don’t know.  It was more than that.  He wasn’t very humanlike and so I didn’t feel like I ever got to know him.  I couldn’t understand how he evoked this attraction from everyone he met.  And it wasn’t always romantic attraction though that did happen.  It seemed like everyone wanted to be something to him, whether it was a girlfriend or a mother figure.  It was strange.
  • The writing: This one isn’t a huge con for me but the writing took some getting used to.  It is a little stilted and choppy but once I got used to that I could see how it actually moved the story along a little faster.  Take some time to get used to the style and it will get better.

Overall, Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is one of those books that you should go into expecting something totally out of the norm.  It was hilarious at times while also being really heartfelt.  I can’t say it’s on my list of favorites but it has me eager to check out more form Alan Cumyn.

Giveaway

3 finished copies of Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops!

Week 1:
 
Week 2:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Blog Tour | What I Look For In Retellings | Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

Blog Tour | What I Look For In Retellings | Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

You guys know I love blog tours but there was something special about this one.  I always look for romance in my novels, I’m a history buff, and retellings are some of my favorite things.  Stone Field is all of those wrapped in one gorgeous package!

Before I get to my favorite things, make sure to check out a little more about Stone Field!

Stone Field

Stone Field by Christy Lenzi
(Website, Goodreads)

In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.

Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

Inspired by Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

 

What I Look For In A Retelling

  • Originality: This might seem a little odd since the whole point of a retelling is to retell something that’s already been told.  However, that’s not to say that an author shouldn’t put their own spin on whatever tale they’ve chose to retell.  It’s also a good idea to make it unique so that readers who may not have read the original can still enjoy it.  In this case, Christy Lenzi took Wuthering Heights and made it her own.  And since I’ve never (completely) read Wuthering Heights, I appreciated that it didn’t seem like I had to.
  • Hints of the original: This may seem like the complete opposite of what I just said but if you’re writing a retelling, you have to keep something of the original story.  A lot of the time when I’m picking up a retelling, I’ve read and loved the original.  That means I definitely want to at least get a similar feel from the retelling.  Like I said, I haven’t read all of Wuthering Heights but from what I have read, I can see where Christy Lenzi took some inspiration.
  • An updated feel: Even if a retelling is still set in a historical time period, I want it to feel new.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics, but they can sometimes be lengthy reads that plod along.  Retellings need to make the writing a little more modern.  Make things move a little faster.  And maybe contain a little more romance than some of the classics.  Just maybe.

Stone Field is a great representation of the things I look for in a retelling.  If you haven’t checked it out already, add it to your TBR!

Oh and don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

www.bookrookreviews.com 3/19/2016 RETELLING
http://www.swoonyboyspodcast.com 3/20/2016 ROMANCE
www.fictionfare.com 3/21/2016 ROMANCE
http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com/ 3/22/2016 HISTORICAL
http://katiesbookblog.com/ 3/23/2016 RETELLING
http://www.addicted2novels.com 3/25/2016 ROMANCE
Fiercereads.com 3/26/2016 RETELLING
http://aperfectioncalledbooks.blogspot.com/ 3/27/2016 HISTORICAL
http://www.fiktshun.com 3/28/2016 ROMANCE
http://www.intothehallofbooks.com/ 3/29/2016 HISTORICAL