Drabbles

2013 in Review – Just the Stats

WordPress sent me this in an email and I thought it was interesting enough to share. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how my little blog has done this year. 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser and Top Ten Tuesday for December 31st

The last day of the year is upon us, which means I have a lot of stuff to wrap up. But first, some fun Tuesday posts.

Teaser TuesdayTeaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Here are the rules if you want to play along.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This isn’t even really the first words of the book – it’s the epigraph – but I loved this quote so much. I’m looking forward to reading this, although I probably won’t get around to starting it until tomorrow.

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely folks over at “The Broke and the Bookish.” This week’s topic:

Top Ten Books Read in 2013

This topic is both so easy and sooooooo hard! Easy, because I’ve read a bunch of great books this year, and hard, because wow, I’ve read a bunch of great books this year. I can only pick ten? In no particular order, here they are.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Seriously y’all, how often have you heard me singing this book’s praises? It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read ever, no just this year.

2. Deadline and Blackout by Mira Grant – The last two books of the Newsflesh trilogy left me on the edge of my seat and knocked the breath right out of me. I still haven’t recovered from the last sentence of Deadline and probably never will.

3. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – I really need to finish this series. This book was wonderfully told and I really enjoyed it. Plus, I got to see both authors at YALLFest this year!

4. Of Shadow Born by Dianne Sylvan – This series just keeps getting trippier and trippier and that’s what I love about it! I love her take on vampires and I love her characters. Can’t wait for the next book in the series.

5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – I don’t read a lot of horror, but this was really good. Vivid and scary with a great mystery thrown in.

6. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – The last book in the Graceling series was my favorite. I really loved Princess Bitterblue. She’s a great character given some really tough problems to work out, and she does it well.

7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman – Any book that forces me to read it in one sitting, that won’t let me put it down, deserves to be on this list. Seriously, I couldn’t have stopped if I wanted to. It was that gripping.

8. Divergent by Veronica Roth – I’m so glad I finally read this series. I enjoyed all three books, but the first one was my favorite. It will be interesting to see what they do with the movie.

9. Pawn by Aimee Carter – I’m so glad I managed to grab this ARC from NetGalley! This is the first book in a series, and I already can’t wait to get the next book. It was really, really good!

10. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham – When I picked this up, I expected to enjoy it, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. This was such a funny, heartwarming, inspiring book!

I could have easily doubled this list. There were so many good books out there that I got to read this year. Hopefully 2014 will bring some wonderful new reads as well!

As always, please leave your teasers and lists in comments. Wishing everyone out there a Happy New Year!

Books I've Read

Book Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Sunday bonus post!  This week will have lots of random posts here and there as I wrap up things for 2013. For starters, here’s a review of White Cat by Holly Black.

white cat

To be honest, I had very few expectations going in to reading this book, which I don’t think was a bad thing. In fact, it was kind of nice. I’ve only read one other book by Holly Black, Tithe, which was very good, but it was clear that this book was going to be completely different.

Our main character is Cassel Sharpe, the youngest of three brothers. Most of Cassel’s family are “workers,” or basically, people who can use magic to affect people in different ways. There are many different types of workers: death workers, who can kill you, emotion workers, who play with your emotions, luck workers, who can change circumstances in your favor (or against your favor), and so on.

The problem with Cassel – he’s not a worker at all.

In this world (which is basically our world, just with magic), workers are generally seen as criminals, since the things they can do can be used to take advantage of people. Cassel’s mother is actually in jail because of this. Most people wear gloves, since curse work can only be done if your bare hand touches skin, and since people are wary about being around people without gloves, everyone wears them, even if they aren’t workers. The thing is, many workers are pretty much part of large Mafia-like crime families, including Cassel’s family.

Poor Cassel just wants to have a normal life, but he’s also sleepwalking and having visions of this white cat all the time. He is also haunted by the knowledge that he killed a girl that he had a crush on, although he doesn’t remember how.

This book was twisty and turny and a lot of fun to read. My only complaint (and it’s fairly minor) is that I wish some of the explanation about curse work could have come out sooner. Authors do this all the time and it does get on my nerves – they expect me to understand things they haven’t told me yet. It pulled me out of the story a bit at the beginning, but the rest of the story pulled me back in. It’s a tale of magic and lies, about the exhilaration that comes with running a con, and most importantly, the very complicated relationships within families.

The second book in the Curse Worker series is at my library. I shall get it tomorrow. 🙂

Teaser Tuesday · WWW Wednesday

Teaser Tuesday and WWW, um, Tuesday? for December 24th

Y’all, Christmas is TOMORROW!! Holy cow!!! Because of this, I’m combining two meme days into one, just because I doubt I will be able to get posting tomorrow. Way too much stuff going on. As you probably know by now, these two memes are both hosted by MizB over at “Should Be Reading.” She is taking a much deserved break from blogging this week, but I’m still going to play along with her games, just because. 🙂

Teaser TuesdayWant to play along for Teaser Tuesday. The rules are simple:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I don’t know whether it’s day or night when the girl gets up to leave. Her minnow silver dress swishes against the tops of her thighs like Christmas tinsel as she opens the hotel door.

I struggle to remember her name.

Red Glove by Holly Black

These are the first sentences of book two in the Curse Workers series. And see! There’s even a Christmas simile! That wasn’t even planned!

www_wednesdays4WWW Wednesday will be done on a Tuesday today, just because I’m finally starting to get out of my reading slump and I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!! Three questions, three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

Getting ready to read the aforementioned Red Glove. I will be starting it today.

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished and reviewed Pawn by Aimee Carter, which was excellent. You can read my review here. I also finished White Cat by Holly Black, the first book in the Curse Workers series. And then, since I couldn’t make it to the library in time, I read Beastly by Alex Flinn, which was recommended to me via someone’s Top Ten Tuesday post a looong time ago. It was good, although not great. A fun read, but there were a lot of things that bugged me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m hoping to read Black Heart, the third book in the Curse Workers series, but it’s not at my library. That one I’ll have to buy. Luckily, I will probably be getting some gift cards for Christmas to help with that.

No Top Ten Tuesday this week, just because there are so many books I would love for Santa to bring me for Christmas, there is no way I could narrow it down to ten.

So that’s it from me today! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with friends and family! Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, have a nice couple days off from school and/or work! Or, as we said on the podcast, Merry ChristmaHanaKwanzaYule!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Here’s my review of Pawn by Aimee Carter, as posted over at Bibliophiles Anonymous. Enjoy!

Bibliophiles Anonymous

Hey everyone! No show this week, but how about a book review? This was a Net Galley ARC that we accidentally let fall through the cracks, but hey, better late than never, right? Right? So let’s take a look at Pawn by Aimee Carter.

pawn

Pawn follows in the footsteps of other dystopian YA novels, like The Hunger Games, and especially like Divergent. If you are a fan of either of these works, you will probably enjoy Pawn as well. It is set in a future version of the United States, Washington D.C. to be precise, and, similar to Divergent, young people have to take a test when they turn 17 in order to see where they belong. They are ranked, from I to VII, with the Roman numeral tattooed on the back of their neck. We meet our narrator, Kitty Doe, right after she’s taken her test. She scored…

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday for December 18th

www_wednesdays4

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Three questions. Three answers. Go!

What are you currently reading?

What better way to get out of a reading slump than to find an ARC that you missed reviewing! To that end, I started reading Pawn by Aimee Carter. So far, it’s really good!

What did you recently finish reading?

Nothing new since last time, I’m afraid, but that should change soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I might read White Cat by Holly Black while I’m reading Pawn, but if I don’t, then I’ll definitely read it next, followed by the next books in that series.

There are my answers. I’m feeling a bit better this week! Please leave your answers in comments. Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers and Top Tens for December 17th

Teaser TuesdayTeaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB at “Should Be Reading.” Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

In order to boost myself out of my reading slump, I decided to try something completely new. It’s not that I don’t want to read the Kady Cross books – the first one was excellent and I want to know what happens next – but I don’t think I’m in the mood for them right now. So here’s the first two sentences of my next read.

I wake up barefoot, standing on cold slate tiles. Looking dizzily down, I suck a breath of icy air.

White Cat by Holly Black

Not sure why this dude is on the roof, but I guess I’ll find out!

 

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the folks over at “The Broke and the Bookish.” This week’s topic:

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013

This was tough to narrow down. I’ve discovered a bunch of new – and not-so-new, but new to me – authors this year. It’s been a great year for reading, I have to admit it. So here we go.

  1. Veronica Roth – The author of the Divergent trilogy, I picked up her series just in time for the final book to come out. I still say that the first book was probably the best, but the whole trilogy was gripping and edge-of-your-seat-y.
  2. Gayle Forman – The author of If I Stay and Where She Went. I read If I Stay in one sitting because it was impossible to put down. Beautiful and heartbreaking.
  3. Erin Morgenstern – I think people are probably getting tired of me raving about The Night Circus, but too bad! That book is amazing, beautiful and sensual, and made me want to re-read it the second that I finished it.
  4. Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Granted these are two authors, but they wrote one really good book – Beautiful Creatures. Actually, they’ve written many things together, including the rest of the Caster Chronicles, which I desperately need to read. I also saw them at YALLFest, and they are hilarious!
  5. Stephanie Perkins – I love her so much! Her books are sweet and funny and romantic and make me want to go to Paris. She’s also a really nice person who I got to meet at a book signing this year.
  6. Chloe Neill – I will be forever grateful to my podcast co-host, Jess, who encouraged me to read the Chicagoland Vampires series. Well, actually she got an ARC of book seven in the series and made me have to charge through them to be able to review it in time. It was worth it though!
  7. Kristin Cashore – The Graceling books were some good, straight-up, epic fantasy. It had been a while since I had read that and these were the perfect books to sink into, even if it did take me a while to finish the series.
  8. Robin Wasserman – I’ve only read one book of hers, Skinned, but it was haunting and stuck with me for a long time after I finished it. This is another series that I definitely need to finish once I get the time.
  9. Kendare Blake – You want something haunting and scary? Read Anna Dressed in Blood. Go on, I dare you. So good, it’s practically a visceral experience. I’ve got to find the sequel, Girl of Nightmares, sometime next year.
  10. Liesel Schwarz – One of the first ARC’s we ever got from NetGalley was A Conspiracy of Alchemists, the first book in The Chronicles of Light and Shadow. Fun books with a cheeky heroine, these were my introduction to steampunk. And I do enjoy it.

So there are my authors. Check them out! They are all awesome! And please leave your author lists and teasers in comments! Because, as you know, I desperately need to add to my TBR list. Really, I do. 😉